Menstrual cups have been around in some form since the 90s but seem to finally be making their way into mainstream consciousness and I am here. for. it!
They are probably my favourite sustainable period products and the Mooncup® is the OG.
About The Mooncup®
“Born” in 2002, Mooncup® was the world’s first reusable silicone cup and its design has stood the test of time.
I first bought one some time in 2013 and instantly fell in love with the comfort and reliability when compared to regular tampons and pads. I have one of those “easily upset” vulvas and by day three or four of my period I would be itchy and swollen from non-stop skin reactions to the bleach and other “ingredients they don’t tell you about” in these products.
The Mooncup® is made from medical grade silicone which is available in one colour (kind of cloudy clear) and two sizes. Size A is the larger of the two and is recommended for folks age 30 or over or who have given birth vaginally at any age. Size B is recommended if you are under 30 and have not had a vaginal birth.
I’m really not a fan of cup sizes that are “age sensitive” – I personally prefer to judge based on my knowledge of my flow and my anatomy. Both are the same length, A is 46mm in diameter and B is 43mm and both hold around 30ml. I started with a size B but I have now acquired a size A and they perform pretty much the same. The silicone is fairly firm and springs back into shape easily.
Using any brand of menstrual cup is a bit of a learning curb and I recommend practicing inserting while you’re not bleeding (which is perfectly safe). If you’re very regular or particularly aware of your body, you can even pop one in when you’re due and potentially “save” your sheets and underwear a few stains! Leaks can happen and as with tampons, there is a tiny possibility of developing Toxic Shock Syndrome though this is extremely rare.
Menstrual cups can sometimes cause issues with IUDs due to the suction involved. There is conflicting advice on the internet so is recommended that you talk to your doctor or gynaecologist before trying one if you have an IUD.
The Mooncup® official website is super informative and has LOADS more further reading than I can possibly cover in this review!
The Mooncup® is the first cup I tried and still my favourite.
It comes with a stem to aid removable that you should trim until it is comfortable. I personally lop off the whole thing and have no problems with retrieval.
The silicone is fairly firm and reliably pops back into shape once inserted. I rarely have any leaks with the Mooncup® which I put down to the particularly thick rim. Sometimes stuff happens though and I prefer to wear a small cloth pad or period pants which are also becoming quite popular and accessible online.
While it really isn’t a big deal as it’s not something I’ll ever have to look at while it is in use, I am not a fan of the clear silicone as it does gradually stain over time, which is why I am not providing photos of my size B! This has no impact on its safety but the yellow to brown tint is not attractive! Apparently this can be removed using sterilising fluid made for cleaning baby equipment, though this is not something I have tried myself yet.
I find the Mooncup® very comfortable and sometimes genuinely forget that it is there. The only issue I have is occasionally I find it difficult to fully empty my bladder, as if the thick rim presses somewhere it shouldn’t. On these occasions I do have to remove and re-place which is a bit of hassle, especially if I’m not at home.
Cleaning is very easy, menstrual cups are extremely low maintenance. I usually give mine a little rinse out and wipe down every time I empty it (usually around every 6-8 hours) and then sterilise by boiling for 5 minutes at the end of my period (yes, in a saucepan on the hob!) and storing it safely in its little bag for next time.
Sometimes there can be little “bits” that clog the holes that form/break the suction. I carefully poke these out with a pin (though I don’t advise this!) if they are still hanging around after being rinsed or soaked. Size B (the smaller one) is the main offender for this! The holes in the larger size appear to be a bit bigger so it doesn’t happen as much.
From a disability point of view, if you have joint or muscle problems in your hands then I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a menstrual cup. I have chronic pain flare ups that really affect my wrists and fingers which are often triggered by my cycle and as cups require some degree of dexterity to use, this can be an issue. Nothing worse than dropping a full cup!! Been there, bad times.
Sometimes if my back is flaring as well I can struggle to actually reach, so this may also be a problem for those less flexible or who have bigger bodies. You know your body’s capabilities best.
The take away
I love the Mooncup®. It is the most comfortable and reliable one for my body I have tried so far and all of my minor complaints are super subjective.
Checkout the Official Mooncup® Website for more info, tips and tricks and to purchase your own!
I bought this product myself and this review is not sponsored.
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