Using a Mooncup: The best way to deal with your period when travelling
Apologies in advance to anyone who finds this kind of a Mooncup a little gross. But, I mean, just stop reading. Seriously, just stop now. If you are a man, I am presuming that you haven't even got to this stage, but maybe you have a solid interest in feminine issues and want to overthrow the patriarchy from within. More power to you.
If you are none of these people, and simply want to understand what the fudge a Mooncup is, and how it can help you on your travels, read on, my friend because this is for you.
What is a Mooncup
I want to qualify the post title a little bit first off because truthfully, it's crap. I don't think that periods are something you should have to deal with but to be honest I just didn't have the vocabulary tekkers to explain what I was trying to say which is this; whether you are travelling or not, if you are a woman who has monthly periods, I think you should try using a Mooncup instead of any other form of sanitary product. That's all.
Before I explain the reasons why I think you should try it out, I want to explain what it is. I thought it was totally gross before I tried it out, and most of my friends think it's super creepy too so let me try to tell you what the Mooncup is, and how it works.
The Mooncup is a soft silicone cup, with a sort of long, gross word alert, teet, that you use to remove it, a bit like the string on a tampon. You fold it in half (it's squidgy, so really easy to do this part) and pop it in. At first, this may be the weirdest part.....but it's simple and doesn't hurt. It should unfold inside you and settle into place. If not, as you would a tampon, take it out and try again (although unlike a tampon, you can reuse the Mooncup). Once it's there, you can leave it for hours......no changing every couple of hours like a tampon.
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It should unfold inside you and settle into place. If not, as you would a tampon, take it out and try again (although unlike a tampon, you can reuse the Mooncup). Once it's there, you can leave it for hours......no changing every couple of hours like a tampon. I change mine first thing in the morning and last thing at night. And if you get drunk and forget, there are no worries about getting Toxic Shock Syndrome, like with a tampon.
So, it's easy to use right? Now there is ONE thing that I would warn you about. It comes in two sizes, 'A' and 'B'. If you use the guide on the back of the packaging, you go for. 'A' if you have given birth vaginally or if you are over thirty. FYI 'A' is the larger size. Well, I know my own vagina (or vulva, if you wanna be anatomically and biologically correct) and it didn't suddenly get bigger when I hit thirty. So I went for 'B', and I am very happy I did, as it (overshare alert) it's a snug fit. Let's let that one sit for now.
Okay, cool. Over the awkward TMI moment and the fact that I have discussed the size of my vagina. Over it. Aaaaand back to the Mooncup and why I think you should try it.
YouTube video courtesy of Mooncup
Because it's amazing, you will love it and you will NEVER look back. These are the reasons why:
Every year, over a billion sanitary products are used and wasted in Britain. That's a sh@t tonne, right? Now, a lot of these a probably getting flushed down the toilet too.....so end up in our sewers, clogging them up. In the years and years that you can happily use one Mooncup, your tampon loving friend will have used 11,000 sanitary products. That is insane.
In a world where we literally do not have enough room for our waste, it is our problem to try to be a little kinder to our World. A little less wasteful, and a little more eco-friendly. Leave only footprints.......
Many tampons contain bleach and pesticides, which is horrific to think about when you know how many you have put inside your body.
The Mooncup has none of these and won't affect your insides at all. You can leave it in all night without the fear of Toxic Shock Syndrome, and it won't leave fibres inside you like tampons do.
If you've ever noticed dryness during and after your period, that will all change when you start using the Mooncup because, well, it doesn't take away any of your bodies natural fluids (I am so sorry for that sentence, I trust you aren't eating).
It's Perfect for Travel
Gone are the days when 'the fear' hits you as you casually go about your day, with a tampon that you suddenly realise has been in for SIX HOURS and is on the verge of leaking.......the Mooncup has got your back. It'll be fine. It has a sweet little pouch, with drawstrings that you can keep in your makeup bag.
I only started using it three years ago, so a significant amount of my menstrual life was spent travelling with tampons.
A total pain to carry around, and I used non-applicator tampons which are teeny! Disposing of them in places where there is no bin is also HORRIFIC....like the time that I had to wee/change a tampon in a trough full of sh@t on the side of a road, whilst a holy Sadhu kept watch so I didn't get run over was a low point.
A funny-ish story, but a low point nonetheless. When I got back onto the bus (FYI there was obviously nowhere to wash my hands) I had a little self-indulgent cry.
How many tampons do you use every month? A box? Two? How about pads. Do you have those cute Carefree panty liners? And maybe the thong ones too? Well, all that adds up. It may only be a couple of quid a pop, but when the average girl starts her period at 13 and menstruates until her early fifties, that's a LOT of pounds, ya know? And that's before you count the periphery stuff -- like period pants, chocolate, and painkillers.
The Mooncup can't drop your PMS cravings (it definitely hasn't mine) but it can help with your cramps. Because it naturally sits lower in your vagina than tampons, the cramps can be less painful. I have never really suffered from bad period pains, but the anecdotal evidence is positive for the Mooncup.
Where to Buy a Mooncup
If you would like to buy a Mooncup, you can find it in your local pharmacy/drugstore OR buy one here.
One final thought, because you are now totally convinced and running out to buy your Mooncup (size B, obvs) -- this post about the cons of a Mooncup is surely one of the funniest things ever written. I haven't had any of the same issues....but man, it's LOL-worthy.
Have you ever tried a Mooncup or diva cup?
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