Favourite Zero Waste item? my menstrual cup

I’m not sure why I put off getting a mooncup for so long. Because it’s amazing and I love it. Not only do I feel like I’m reducing my waste substantially on a monthly basis, but it also feels so much cleaner and much less hassle than tampons and pads. Oh and when you travel it means less toiletries to pack, which I bloody love! And it saves you so much money long-term.

 

However, I want to stress that it was by no means an immediate magical, wonderful experience. Especially the first month when I didn’t research how to use it properly and just took the advice of a friend who had been using it for years and assured me it was very simple and easy to use. By no means should this put you off- it is still definitely worth persevering, but it does take some practice and some YouTube watching to learn a few tricks about how to put it in and take it out.

 

Here are some videos I found useful when learning how to use it:

And here are some of my personal tips that have helped me:

  • There are usually 2 different sizes with the larger one being for those who have given birth or older women
  • Different brands also have different shapes and sizes so if one is really not working for you consider trying a different option
  • Before using it for the first time and after finishing your period each month, sterilise the cup in boiling water for 15min.
  • To insert it you’ll need to fold the cup. There are several ways to do this, see this video from Sarah Tran for tips. The push-down fold seems to be super popular, I haven’t tried yet but will next month

 

The U-fold

 

The push-down fold

 

  • They often come with a stem at the base of the cup- I cut this off because I found it got in the way and pulling on it was painful
  • Related to above- do not pull on the stem without first releasing the suction! I was doing this to begin with and felt like I was trying to pull my cervix out. Horrible. Instead, put you thumb and forefinger up to the sides of the cup and squeeze in to release the suction, then pull down
  • When you remove it be careful to hold it upright so you don’t tip the blood out everywhere. You can definitely do this over a toilet but I feel more comfortable squatting
  • You have to get your fingers inside your vagina much more than when using a tampon, it shouldn’t hurt but breathing deeply to relax yourself helps a lot
  • It can be messy. The cup can be slippery and I’m clumsy. So I’ve dropped it a few times and spilt blood all over the bathroom floor. Yes this is gross but it doesn’t take long to clean if you have tiles. It you have carpet or a rug then I suggest emptying it in the shower– I now do this when I’m in the heaviest part of my flow. This is possible because I only need to empty the cup first thing in the morning and in the evening, not several times a day like a tampon! You can wear a menstrual cup for up to 8-12 hours
  • It can leak when you are still perfecting how to use it. So I definitely recommend combing your cup with some sort of period underwear like Thinx, at least until you are confident that you’ve nailed the technique

 

Finally, I can’t recommend trying a menstrual cup enough! Not only is it such an incredible eco-waste-saving-switch but it makes my period feel like such a cleaner and hassle free experience. I only wish I’d started using it sooner!

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I’d love to hear about your tips and experience using a menstrual cup below in the comments.

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