Okay I did it.
I finally gave the mooncup a go.
Disclaimer, if you don’t wanna know actual details then stop reading now.
Yeah I’m a bit late to the party on this front, and you’d think being a healthy hippy I’d have been on it years ago. Well, I’d have thought so too. As an explanation (I was going to say defence but that didn’t sound quite right), and I feel like I need to do one because it feels like it’s a bit inexcusable to not be on the wagon these days (the power of marketing?); I’ve had three kids in the last few years and I’ve breastfed for all up for 44 months. What’s that got to do with the price of fish you might ask? Well, I gladly didn’t get any periods until after I completely finished breastfeeding. So three full term pregnancies and around 3 & 2/3 years of breastfeeding means, well – you do the math.
Anywho, as I recently finished breastfeeding for probably the last time, periods have started again. What a perfect time to get on the buzz and get myself a mooncup. Or a feminine cup, or menstrual cup, whatever you wanna call it. A thing you use to catch your flow instead of soak it up.
Gee whiz. Eye opening is probably a good way to describe it.
Firstly, it’s a little hard to get the thing in properly the first few times, but once you get the hang of it it’s alright. It can be a little uncomfortable as it kinda unfolds itself and gets itself in place, so bear that in mind when/if you give it a go. The one I got, which is actually called the mooncup, also had quite a long thing at the bottom (stem?) which meant that I then had to figure out, well, basically how long my vagina is and how much I needed to cut off (LOLS).
For me, and TMI but if you get a period you’ll know what I mean, my second day is typically my heaviest. So I basically had one day to figure it out before going full throttle on the heavy day. And the eye opening that I was referring to before was about just HOW MUCH blood actually comes out. It seemed that there was leakage on a fairly regular basis so I’d check the cup to see, empty it, clean it and put it back in and on the heavy day it wasn’t uncommon to see 7.5 ml each time.
Holy smokes batman.
Having always used mainly tampons, I’d never really had a sense of how much was coming out, because you kind of get used to how often you need to change rather than how much is coming out. And how can you tell when it’s being soaked up in cotton?
That leads me to another point.
Did you know most of the worlds cotton crops are GMO crops? Yep. Why should you care about that? Well, firstly, it’s not natural like nature intended kind of natural. Obviously. GMO cotton is ‘roundup ready’. If you don’t know what that means you may want to look it up. Long story short - researchers in Buenos Aires, Argentina found that 85% of all cotton derived feminine care products from tampons to sanitary pads, contain a chemical linked to a wide range of health problems, including infertility and cancer – Glyphosate.
Think about that for a minute.
If there's one place where you want to be sure only the purest of materials are introduced, it's your vagina. I mean FFS who would want to put glyphosate anywhere near their skin let alone this sensitive area?!
Vulvar and vaginal tissues are more permeable than the rest of your skin, making them especially vulnerable to chemicals and other irritants.
With mucous membranes, numerous blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels, the vagina provides a direct entryway for chemicals to circulate through the rest of your body. Plus, tampons are left in place for hours at a time, for several days each month, adding quite a bit of cumulative exposure time. This is your reproductive system people. Why take any risks?
Could it be that some period pain may be associated with in fact, toxicity coming from conventional cotton tampons?
Well, for me I had found that was the case.
Years ago, before I had kids, a friend was staying with me. She’s on the health wagon and I remember her going out of her way to drive to a health store across town because she knew they had organic tampons (they weren’t in supermarkets then). I thought wow, that’s some dedication what’s the big deal? So she enlightened me, and I noticed a difference in the level of pain I had in periods as soon as I made the switch.
The same might not happen for you. You might argue mind over matter. And maybe you’re right. But it’s what happened to me. Maybe I’m more in tune, maybe my body is more sensitive, I don’t know. But I did notice a difference.
I’ve been on the organic cotton buzz for the best part of a decade I’d say now, but obviously tampons aren’t great for the environment. Period (had to get it in there).
Feminine hygiene pads alone are a mutil-billion dollar industry. Add another 100 million + females using tampons globally and you got yourself a whole lot of waste. It’s estimated one woman would use around 11,000 tampons in her lifetime. GROSS. And where do they end up? In landfill or the sea. OMFG.
So, although I’m not completely sold based on my experience so far, I’m determined to persevere until I get it right. Not only are there no pesticides or bleaches, it doesn’t leave any fibres behind or dry you out. Plus, in the long term, other than obviously being much more environmentally friendly, it’s much much much cheaper.
They come in different sizes, depending on the size of your vagina (LOL). Actually though, there’s a handy chart on the side of the box which will help you identify what size you need, with simple questions like; Have I had children Y/N, Am I under or over 30, Did I have a vaginal or caesarean birth. Once you’ve identified your size you’re away laughing, and hopefully not leaking.