Recently I have been thinking about tampons and man they are shit. I’ve been prompted by this ace poem by Hollie McNish that’s been going around, and also by having my period while away for the weekend.
Normally I use a mooncup. I had forgotten quite how much I hated the alternatives, so let me evangalise mooncups at you for a bit. But let’s start at the beginning –
WTF is a Mooncup?
A mooncup (other brands are available – the generic term is “menstrual cup”) is a little silicon cup that lives in your vagina when you’re on your period and collects your blood. Every 8 hours or so you empty it out into the loo (or if you’re going full hippy, your plants. I had a housemate who did this and it was unnerving but also kinda cool how much they like it – like a real life Little Shop Of Horrors!), give it a rinse and pop it back in. Every month you sterilise it, by boiling it up on the stove like an eco blood witch. You do not need to buy a new one for 20 years.
Why are Mooncups Great?
- Never run out of sanitary products ever again. Yesterday I got caught on a very long train journey with not enough tampons. What a load of bullshit! This would not happen with a mooncup.
- Can leave them in for waaaaay longer than tampons, and do not have to worry about absorbancy levels either. Also, not horrifically uncomfortable to remove when you’ve stopped bleeding. This is because they don’t absorb, they collect, and they’re slippy so you can take them out whenever you like.
- Never have to pay for sanitary products. It’s a steep initial outlay (about £20 from Boots) but that’s it! You don’t pay again until you lose it.
- Good for the planet. Reusable, no waste.
- Don’t have to do that awkward thing of really wanting to flush your tampon but knowing you’re not allowed to but also you’re in a friends bathroom and is it okay to leave biological waste in their bathroom bin? Prob not, so you are going to have to find an excuse to go to the kitchen clutching a little cotton bullet soaked in blood.
- Don’t have to worry about Toxic Shock Syndrome turning your toenails black and/or killing you like they said would happen at school if you left a tampon in for more than 1 minute over 8 hours.
- Not 100% on the science of this, but some people say that the bleach they use in tampons makes you cramp more. Since they said this I feel like I have had less cramping, but not sure if this is due to actual science or placebo effect.
- Doesn’t interfere so much with your natural vagina eco system by drying you out.
Are there any Mooncup Drawbacks?
- They can be tricksy. There’s a definite knack to insertion and the learning curve is pretty steep. You should probably be pretty comfortable with rummaging around up there, as you do have to do a kind of reach and grab manoeuvre to remove. Also, sometimes they shimmy up further than you can reach and you have to keep very calm and use your pelvic floor to shuffle it back down. Personally, I’m not sure I had the self-knowledge to have really managed all this without getting in a tizz until I was about 20ish, though everyone is different.
- If you don’t trim them correctly the stem will poke you in the labia, which is obviously uncomfortable.
- Changing them is messier than a tampon, as you are literally handling a tiny cup full of blood, so obviously it is more likely to get on your fingers etc. I feel the mess factor is about equal to pads.
So there you go. If you’re curious, ask me stuff in the comments! I will talk about this kind of stuff all day because I am an eco-blood witch x