Warning: If you are squeamish about hearing about periods and all related details then stop reading this now, don't blame me you have been warned!
As any of you who read this blog regularly know I've made loads of lifestyle changes over the past 2 months and it's not just about my food. I now wear salt crystal deodorant, use a wooden toothbrush, use all eco friendly household cleaners, have eco balls instead of detergent in my laundry, got a remineraliser filtration system instead of drinking tap water, to name but a few of changes.
I've recently gotten to know the lovely Claire who runs her business Eco Brats, which offers ecologically sound alternatives to raising a baby, selling a range of cloth nappies, organic cotton soft furnings, and natural fiber mattresses. She has a stall at the Milk Market at the weekends and I was browsing through all the amazing products she has at her stall, but since I have no kids I don't have much use for most of them. It was during one of these chats that I spotted that she sells Mooncups at her stall, something I had heard of before in Eats of Eden( local health food shop). It's an eco friendly alternative to using tampons, a silicone cup that you can reuse. I had been toying with the idea of getting on for a while but it was great to actually ask Claire about the nitty gritty and get answers to all the questions a manual just doesn't answer. In the spirit of all my recent changes I decided to buy one, they are less than €30, which is very reasonable when you consider one Mooncup lasts for years, and costs the same as the average woman will spend on disposable protection in three months.
I had to wait for a couple of weeks before I could use it, but my period arrived this weeks so I can finally report on my new adventure. Having used tampons for years I thought the process would be fairly similar, but there is a folding technique that took me a few tries before I could master it. I'm glad the first time I tried it I was at home, as I may have found it a little daunting in a public toilet. The key is to stay calm,to not get flustered, ie. relax the muscles and everything will go smoothly. It's worn much lower down that a tampon, as you can see here in the diagram, which was a little strange the first time I wore it. Also the first time I removed it it was a little sore, but I just wasn't doing it properly, I would recommend reading the manual twice. Despite all the changes after just 2 days I'm a total convert and I don't think I'll go back to using tampons.
The Mooncup is ideal for me as it hold 3 times more liquid than a tampon, which is great as I suffer from very heavy periods. The cup can be worn for 4-8 hours before you need to empty it. On my first day I used it for 6 hours whereas normally I would have only gotten 3 hours use from a tampon. This also means that you can use it overnight without worrying about leakages, sorry to be gross but it happens to everyone and it's a really pain in the ass! Also with a Mooncup there is no danger of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) as there is no absorbancy, so the body doesn't react adversely.Weighing up the financial benefit, the environmental kudos, the added comfort due to being able to use it for longer I'm starting to wonder why this isn't a more mainstream product. It would be nice to see this advertised on t.v and magazines instead of the disposable counterpart.
Here is a really handy Q&A if you are thinking of getting one.