Why everyone's talking about moon cups

Why everyone's talking about moon cups

The little cup making a big difference to women’s monthly routine.

Words Carolyn Enting. Image Lunette New Zealand

I must admit, when I first heard about moon cups I screwed up my nose. Did our readers really want to know about this stuff? 

Well, it’s 2018 and the answer is “yes”. Moon cups are a thing, as well as being there for your “thing”. They can no longer be ignored. They’re friendly on the wallet, as well as the environment and your vajayjay, and as a colleague/user pointed out to me, you can sleep with them in, plus you’re never caught short if you’ve forgotten to buy tampons.

Robyn McLean, co-founder of The Hello Cup – one of the newest cups on the block – says “your vajayjay will thank you for making such a good choice”. She adds some people get the hang of using them straight away, for others it takes a bit of practise.

If it’s your first time using a moon cup, it’s important to read the instructions before inserting. For starters, they need to be sterilised in boiling water before use. After canvassing several menstrual cup users in the office before having a go myself, I can assure you it’s worth it, along with the inevitable giggles that come with sharing stories with your girlfriends.

Do your research 
Before investing in a cup, make sure you get the right one for comfort, and to avoid “red wedding” moments as my colleague Emily calls them. She uses panty liners as a precaution (we recommend Natracare organic liners) because she has experienced a bit of leakage from time to time.

Does one size fit all?
No, not all vaginas are the same, which is why finding the one best for you is important. Lunette and The Hello Cup both come in two sizes. You can also choose between softer or firmer cups. Hello Cup’s “Teen” cup is its smallest, and as the name suggests is designed for teens and first-time users. McLean recommends the firmer “Fit” cup for active women – “great if you want to bust out some dance moves”.

How they work
Menstrual cups hold around three times the amount of tampons and can be left in for up to 12 hours. You can also swim with them in. Fold the cup by pushing down on one side (inwards and down) before inserting. Once inside, check it has opened properly by running your finger round the base of the cup (you shouldn’t feel any indent). To remove, find the stem of the cup and pull it down and also gently squeeze the base of the cup to release suction. Empty into the toilet and then rinse or wipe out the cup with toilet paper.

Environmental tick

According to McLean more than seven billion tampons and pads go into landfills each year globally (and then take 500 years to break down). Using a moon cup diverts this waste from landfill. TPE plastic is fully recyclable at the end of its life. Silicone
can be burned at the end of its life and the ash returned to the earth.

The benefits 
“Menstrual cups are making a difference in people’s lives for a lot of reasons,” says Susan Johns of Lunette New Zealand. “For some, it’s the money saved by not buying disposables; saving around $2000 every 10 years. For others it’s the eco-friendliness; saving 130 shopping bags worth of rubbish going to landfill every 10 years.” There are also no bleaches, dioxins or fibres entering your body every month. 

Lunette menstrual cups are made from 100 per cent medical grade silicone and FDA and TGA approved. Hello Cups are made of medical grade plastic TPE, which is handy for those with silicone sensitivities. 

The lifespan of a good-quality cup is five years (providing you look after it and don’t leave it in direct sunlight).

Are moon cups new?
No. In the USA the first prototypes known as catamenial sacks were patented in 1860s and 1870s and attached to a belt worn around the waist and not surprisingly never made it to market. The first modern menstrual cups were invented in 1937 by American actress Leona Chalmers. 

Health benefits

One of the plus sides to using a moon cup is that it won’t dry you out like a tampon does. Did you know that 35 per cent of the fluid absorbed by a tampon is natural secretions rather than menstrual blood? According to Johns, many users report benefits such as reduced cramping and shorter periods. “It is thought to be because there are no chemicals entering the body (conventional disposable pads and tampons can contain bleaches and dioxins), plus the menstrual cup holds the cervix in a way which allows free flow and a more natural shedding of the lining of the uterus.”

You can read more about the history at lunette.com/blogs.

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