Newest Review: ... In fact, if you can feel it at all, it just means you need to get a bit more practise at putting it in, as when it is in the optimal pos... more
Member Name: SugarSpun
Advantages: Better for the environment and your body
Disadvantages: A bit tricky to learn to use
Menstrual cups have been around since the 1930s, but only in the last few years has advertising started to pay off, as women have become annoyed at the costs of regular sanitary protection and concerned about the effect of it on their bodies and the environment. The Mooncup is one of these menstrual cups, about two inches long with a little stem for easy removal. (Some women find the stem awkward and annoying and cut it down or off. Don't do this until you have the hang of removing it.)
I bought mine in November 2008 and was immediately gutted to get pregnant and not have the chance to use it for over a year. When eventually I did get to break it out of its box I was amazed. The thing is awesome.
It's a bit tricky at first getting it in and needs a bit of practice, you need to run it under the tap so it's a bit damp, and then once you get the hang of it you can cut the stem to the length you need (NOT before, please trust me). I find that on the first two days I need a pantliner or something as well, but I'm sure if I had time to empty it more often that wouldn't be a concern. They recommend emptying it every 4-8 hours, although you can go longer overnight and you won't fall over in a bleeding heap if you don't; Toxic Shock Syndrome has never been associated with Mooncups (info available on their website, mooncup.co.uk).
I totally recommend the things, they're a bit weird but there is something strangely satisfying about seeing *volume* (don't judge me, you don't know) and I have always begrudged paying loads of money for tampons. Potentially off-putting things - they're made of medical grade silicone or latex, and they discolour after a while. If you need to wash them in public toilets (you shouldn't have to, you can just empty it, wipe it off or rinse with bottled water and reinsert) it can be a bit alarming. Husbands who come across them may do ridiculous things like pretending they are trumpets. They come in two sizes - one for ladies under 30 with no children, one for ladies who have had a baby vaginally and/or who are over 30. It's to do with pelvic floor strength, so if you're some sort of Kegel expert then you might need the smaller size regardless of your age or number of children.
Finally, I bought mine online for just under £18. I won't buy toilet paper; going into a shop for a menstrual cup was FAR outside my comfort zone. You can also buy them in Boots or ethical product shops.
Summary: Ethical alternative to expensive sanitary products