by guest author Lori-Ellen Grant, Wholebody Health
If you’re anything like me, you may never have heard of the Mooncup – despite it being the best method of collecting menstrual blood out there.
I was 25 years old before I heard of it, and I have to wonder why?
Is it because women just don’t talk about what they use during their periods?
Or is it because we’re still squeamish about a monthly bodily function?
Our squeamishness about our bodies and unwillingness to share information is denying us something wonderful.
The Mooncup makes it even easier to be active during menstruation. And it means we can reduce our carbon footprint, save money, keep track of what is happening in our bodies and look after our health.
So I am going to talk about it… about the Mooncup, and about menstruation. After all, all us women are doing it!
My first experience of menstruation ‘towels’ was trying out my mum’s pads and being freaked that I could hardly walk with one on and that this was what it was going to be like to be a woman!
Yet, despite remembering this, I cannot remember when I got my first period. How is that possible, I think now, yet it was generally not talked about in my family and there was no ‘coming of age’ ritual.
Lucky my friends introduced me to tampons, so when my period started, that’s what I used. But I didn’t like the fact they were so throw away.
In my early 20s I switched to cloth pads and hand soaked/washed them every month. This was good in theory yet, they had to be changed regularly and soaked for ages to be cleaned. A lot of water went into all that soaking and washing, let alone the time! So much for sustainable!
It was my friend Merle that first mentioned the Mooncup to me, yet it took me another three years to take her advice.
Well, I had something that was working semi-okay and it seemed like an expense to get started.
And I didn’t really know exactly how the Mooncup could work. Did it really work? I wasn’t ready to give it a try.
When I finally did put down the cash and pluck up the courage, I was so surprised at how easy it was to use. Insertion was easy, removal was easy, cleaning up was easy and I could use the same cup over and over!
In the 5 years I’ve been using my Mooncup, I’ve had 60 periods –according to research that shows women on average use 22 tampons per period, that’s 1320 tampons I haven’t flushed down the toilet. And $412.00 I haven’t flushed down the toilet 😉
The Mooncup costs only $60.00, so not only have I saved money, I haven’t send off a garbage bag filled with used tampons to the landfill!
I also like knowing how much I am bleeding each month, which I can measure on my Mooncup and keep track.
Now this may be something you hadn’t thought of, yet menstrual blood is rich in nutrients and I didn’t like how it kept heading down the toilet.
My friend Kristina told me it was great for the garden, mixing 1 part with 10 parts water. Easily done when I am collecting it in the Mooncup, the reusing goes on.
Yes, I know, yuck! Now we’re into truly squeamish territory for most of us – yet this is a perfectly useful body fluid! Why not honour and appreciate it each month?
My garden certainly is. 🙂
Five years on, I now sell the Mooncup through my website, Wholebody Health. It’s such a great product, I want other women to know about it, and be able to easily find one. Here’s some more information to answer any other questions you may have.
How the Mooncup works:
The Mooncup is a reusable menstrual cup, around two inches long and made from soft medical grade silicone. It is worn internally a lot lower than a tampon but, while tampons and pads absorb menstrual fluid, the Mooncup collects it. This means it doesn’t cause dryness or irritation, and also that it collects far more (three times as much as a ‘super-absorbent’ tampon’!).
Because the Mooncup is reusable, you only need one so it saves you money and helps the environment, too.
The Mooncup is designed to be folded and inserted into the vagina, then removed, rinsed and reinserted up to every 8 hours.
A light seal is formed with your vaginal walls, allowing menstrual fluid to pass into the Mooncup without leakage or odour. This seal is released for removal, allowing you to empty the contents, rinse or wipe and reinsert.
Comfortable, convenient and safe: the Mooncup can be used overnight and when travelling, swimming or exercising. I have loved this! I love surfing and as the Mooncup closes over the cervix, no blood comes out at all and it doesn’t get soaked with water like a tampon does. I was mildly scared when surfing with a tampon that I might be attracting unsavory large sea animals with sharp teeth!
Interested? Here’s more on the benefits:
The reusable Mooncup offers a simple way to dramatically reduce the amount of waste you produce.
- One woman will use over 11,000 disposable sanitary products in a lifetime
- 22 tampons or towels are used, on average, each period
- These items, their packaging, applicators and backing-strips will end up in landfill or in the sea.
- Mooncup Ltd. is the first sanitary protection manufacturer in the world to be awarded Ethical Business status for its people and environmentally -friendly practices.
The Mooncup is made from soft medical grade silicone and is latex-free, hypoallergenic and contains no dyes, BPA, phthalates, plastic, bleaches or toxins.
- Because the Mooncup is non-absorbent, it will not cause dryness and does not disrupt your body’s natural pH levels (35% of the fluid tampons absorb is natural moisture!).
- Menstrual cups have never been associated with toxic shock syndrome.
- The Mooncup has measurement markings, enabling women to accurately report menstrual blood loss to a doctor or gynaecologist.
- The Mooncup does not contain any absorbency gels, additives or perfumes.
- Unlike some conventional cotton sanitary products, it is also free from pesticides and GM materials.
- Tampons can cause dryness and leave fibres behind. The Mooncup is designed to respect your natural balance.
The Mooncup holds at least three times as much fluid as the most super-absorbent tampon, giving longer lasting protection on heavier days.
- And, because it is non-absorbent, it won’t cause dryness when your period is light.
- Because there is no string, the Mooncup is completely discreet – and you only need one so there’s no need to carry bulky spares or worry about disposal of used products or packaging.
One Mooncup lasts for years, and costs the same as the average woman will spend on disposable sanitary protection in three months.
Click here to go to Whole Body Health and get your Mooncup.
Lori-Ellen Grant founded Wholebody Health, a clinic in Christchurch, in 2007.
As an Acupuncturist, she specialises in musculo-skeletal ailments and women’s health. The former includes acute and chronic injuries involving all joints, especially the back and neck. The latter includes fertility treatment, pregnancy, birth preparation and regulating the menstrual cycle.
She’s also been practising Therapeutic Massage since 2000 and has a Diploma in Body Therapies (Massage Therapy and Neuromuscular Therapy).
Lori-Ellen taught at the New Zealand College of Chinese Medicine from 2006-2010 in Point Location, Musculo-skeletal assessment, Chinese Medicine Theory and as a clinical supervisor in the student clinic.