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Not one for the boys!
Member Name: black_gold
Date: 04/06/12, updated on 20/08/13 (92 review reads)
Advantages: Better than other methods, cheaper, etc
Disadvantages: A bit messy.
First off I was pretty apprehensive about using a mooncup and if you are one reading this trying to decide if the mooncup is for you I felt the same way as you do now not so long ago. I read reviews not only on Dooyoo but on several different online sites and the majority of verdicts are really positive but there are the odd bad experiences which do put you off.
Just to give a small description of the product it is a cup (in the name!) which you place inside you to collect all the menstrual fluid during your period. It is soft so it folds quite easily, you don't put insert it in the shape it is in the picture. There are a few different ways of folding and it all depends on your personal preference which way you use.
My first worries were 'how will I get it in properly?' and 'how is it going to come out?'. The first one is dealt with by folding and being quite comfortable rummaging around inside (I would also recommend running it under the tap first). On your first couple of goes I wouldn't worry too much about it being in exactly the right place, I would wear a pad to begin with as it is difficult to get it exactly right. Once it's inside it's best to use one finger to feel round the edge of the cup as once it's inside it will expand and be back in its original shape. This creates the seal everyone talks about which should stop leaks. Now the steam, again this is something you won't get right from the off. I've had to cut a couple of rings off it so I don't feel it once it's in. The steam should disappear once the cup is fully in and you shouldn't be able to see or feel it on the outside. It's a bit of trial and error, I'd cut one ring off at a time until you feel it's comfortable.
One thing I definitely recommend is persistence! It will feel a little weird when you first use it and it's not something you're used to. Once you've got it in leave it there and try to forget about it. I remember being really conscious of it at first. On my first period using it I didn't use it all the way through, just a few times to get used to it. It will leak on your first few goes but it's a case of practice getting it in the right place.
Now the tricky part, trying to get it out. You probably will have a few moments at the beginning where you panic and start to picture doctors stood around you working out how to remove this thing. However if you do struggle you can always leave it in a while longer and try later (you don't have to worry about TSS). Best thing to do is relax, squat as low as you can go and push down from the inside. Yes it has a steam and it is there for a reason but that reason is not to pull on it to drag the mooncup out! The seal needs to be broken first to allow it to come out easier. To do this you need to squeeze the bottom of the cup and try to get one finger up round the rim. I then squeeze the cup together to get it out, sort of folding it a bit like when putting it in. Yes there is blood and it is messy! Personally, blood doesn't bother me but if you are someone who is a bit squeamish the mooncup isn't for you. My only problem is I wouldn't really like to use it in a public toilet. Partly because of the mess and it being unavoidable getting blood all over your hands but also it still does take some time to remove and reinsert the cup. However I do find it much easier than I did to start with.
I'm now five or six periods in and I've only in the last couple have I exclusively used the mooncup. I am someone who was happy using tampons (never really felt dry like some people complain about) except I always leaked when I did use tampons. This often meant using a pad as well as a tampon which kind of made the tampon pointless! I hated using pads as you're always really aware they are there. I'm really glad I tried and persevered with the mooncup as I think it's a great solution. Definitely happy about not having to buy or use tampons and pads anymore. Whilst the mooncup isn't perfect from the start it does take some getting used to.
I would definitely recommend it!
Coming back over a year later (and after just over 18 months of using a mooncup) I'm now even more convinced by it. Whilst I wouldn't recommend giving it to a girl who has only recently started her periods I do think it should be something every woman considers at some point.
Summary: Will never use anything else ever again.