I'm one of many thousands that have scoffed at the Mooncup ads on the backs of doors in health centres and festival loos. "Ha ha ha!" I said, "A plastic egg cup to collect your PERIOD BLOOD! Nyuh nyuh nyuh... GROSS."
That was when I was young.
Now I am thirty and, quite frankly, getting bored of my periods. Sixteen years of paying tax on tampons. And remembering to buy them. BORING. So when I discovered that a close friend used a Mooncup I quizzed her like a Mastermind contestant. So if you're at all curious, below are the questions I asked. And my own answers. Reader, I married it.
How do you get it up there?
This is officially called the 'Labial Fold' but to make it more interesting I like to call it 'Rosebud' in a whisper. You can fold it like an 'M' or an 'S' shape, but trust me, this is the best way to make it as small as possible. Unlike tampons (which sit quite high) it only sits about 1-2cm up your vagina, so really it's no more difficult to insert than a non-applicator tampon (which I can't insert, btw). Once it's in it pops open (if you remember the 80s, it's a bit like this), creating a vacuum, and your vag muscles hold it in place. Done.
Can you feel it?
No more than you can a tampon. Unless you don't trim the stem. I did this straight away because I don't relish the idea of sore bits.
Does it leak?
Mine leaked, a tiny, tiny bit, once, when I put it in sleepy as hell and smacked off my tits on co-codamol, at 4am. This was the only time and it was no more than any tampon ever did. Honest.
How do you get it out?
Most internet horror stories about using Mooncups cite this as the most horrific part. But this bit is FUN. It simply involves the art of BEARING DOWN. This just means squeezing your vag muscles, although having a wee will do a similar job. If you've never squeezed your vag muscles before (why wouldn't you? It keeps them taut!) then just have a wee before you try to take it out, the squeezing during the weeing will do half the work for you. You grasp the bottom, and give the base of the Mooncup a little squeeze until you hear a delicious slurping sound (this is the vacuum breaking). Then you just pull it out, keeping it upright the whole time.
Can you pee/poo with it in?
Yes. The fanny vacuum makes it easier to wee and poo with one of these babies in than a tampon, which is basically just floating around in your vag. I could never pee with a tampon in, I'd end up birthing it into the loo halfway through. Ditto number twos. The Mooncup is stuck up there like a plunger, dude, urinate away. If it comes down a bit just give it a gentle push up.
Isn't it GROSS when you empty it?
Underneath, and all around the outside of the Mooncup it is clean and dry. I just want to reiterate this fact: CLEAN AND DRY. Thank the fanny vacuum. It is cleaner than a manky tampon cord. It is cleaner than a sanitary towel. Your hands needn't touch blood at all during the entire process. Yes inside it will contain a small amount of period blood, but to date I have never even hit the 5ml mark, and I thought I had heavy periods. Tip it down the loo. Rinse your Mooncup under the hot tap. Admire how clean it is before inserting it again.
That's it. It's not foul at all. You see no more gore than you do with tampons. So calm down, ladies, and embrace the fanny vac. You'll save over £5 a month!