What Is A Mooncup And What Are The Benefits Of Using One?
What is a mooncup?
A mooncup is a small, soft, reusable silicone cup, similar in shape to an egg cup, that is inserted into the vagina during a womens period to collect menstrual blood. It has a long soft silicon stalk that makes removing the Mooncup easy.
Many women feel put off by the fact that using the mooncup is a little bit more intimate to use than a tampon or sanitary towel, but the up side to that is that you get to know your body better and can notice changes that maybe important. I know I was initially squirmy at the idea of using a mooncup, but I decided to give it a go and have been a mooncup user now for over five years, my only regret is that I didn't learn about them sooner.
Using a Mooncup does take a little practise, it may take a couple of months until you get the hang of inserting it correctly without it leaking, but it is worth persevering with as the benefits that I list below are well worth it.
Inserting a Mooncup....
The cup is soft enough to fold in half and insert into the vagina, cup side up, where it opens up enabling menstrual blood to collect in the open cup. If you are unsure that the cup has opened up, you can check by running a finger around the edge of it and feeling if it is opened, when you have been using one for a while you get to know if it has opened or not without having to prod about.
Removing a Mooncup....
When you feel that your Mooncup is full and needs emptying, you remove it and empty it down the toilet before reinserting it. If you are at home then it is advisable to give it a rinse under the tap.
Removing a Mooncup is not much different than removing a tampon, the wearer must gently pull down on the stalk whilst engaging their vaginal muscles to help push it out, sometimes the Mooncup can form a slight suction, the suction can be broken by gently inserting a finger a long side the Mooncup and pushing gently on the side of the cup. If the stalk is slightly on the long side it can be trimmed down for a more comfortable fit, I trimmed mine right down and have no problem removing my cup. I actually push the Mooncup right down using my vaginal muscles and then pinch the end of the Mooncup to remove it as the stalk is so short.
If you are a little worried about not being able to remove your Mooncup, you shouldn't as it won't get stuck, sometimes it can ride up a bit high into your vagina - usually after a nights sleep for me -but the main thing is not to panic, crouch down and use your vaginal muscle as if you were really trying to empty your bladder and it'll work it's way down again.
Some benefits of giving the Mooncup a go...
- What women hasn't begrudged buying tampons and sanitary towels? I know I used to as they aren't cheap, but unfortunately they are necessary. Once you have purchased your mooncup it should last at least ten years if looked after correctly.
- It can be worn safely without the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome which has been known to happen when tampons aren't changed regularly enough. Rare as it is, why take the risk?
- It can be inserted even before your period has started and you know you are due to come on, which is one less thing to worry about if you're busy or not near a toilet.
- It's perfectly safe to go swimming with and won't get soggy as tampons do.
- Think of the environment, one mooncup for several years or twenty sanitary towels or tampons - more or less -disposed of by every menstruating woman every few weeks.
- Tampons and sanitary towels can cause uncomfortable vaginal dryness and itching. The mooncup won't absorb vaginal secretions - making for a healthier vagina and a more comfortable you. There's nothing worse than trying to remove a tampon that won't come out easily due to dryness.
- Many women experience abdominal cramps during their periods, using the mooncup can eliminate help cramps.
- You have to use internal muscles to push the cup down your vaginal canal, which in turn helps to strengthen those muscle. Now I can think of a good reason to want strong muscles there!!
Cleaning your mooncup....
Keeping you mooncup hygienically clean isn't difficult.. At the end of every period it is important to sterlize your mooncup, to do this you place it in a pan of boiling water and simmer for a few minutes, making sure the pan doesn't boil dry - I do mine for around eight minutes. I also have a small milk pan that I use soley for this purpose. Your mooncup must be dried thoroughly before putting away in it's bag - I use kitchen roll as I find a cloth leaves fibres. I also sterilize mine before I start using it again although it's probably not necessary.
During your period you should give it a proper wash with a little soap and warm water at least once a day. I wash mine whilst I'm showering with a little intimate body wash, making sure to rinse it thoroughly, then just pop it back in. Otherwise a rinse under the tap will do until you get the chance to wash it properly.
At the rim of the cup you'll notice some very tiny holes going all the way round, these mustn't get blocked so it's a good idea to prick them with a pin every now and again to keep them clear.
Giving it a go...
If you are on the fence about trying a mooncup, give it a go. What's the worst that can happen? If you're worried about any leakage, then use a sanitary towel as a backup until you get the hang of it. You could turn out like me and wish you'd found it earlier or you may find that it's really not the thing for you, but unless you give it ago you'll never know...
Copyright © 2012 Debbie Roberts
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