Period Positivity – Should I Use A Menstrual Cup?

Shockingly and sadly enough periods are something that people don’t talk about! Period talk is deemed inappropriate, it’s commonly brushed to the side and everyone pretends like it doesn’t happen every month. Menstruation wether you like it or not is a part of life, actually quite a big part of life! It’s a part or has been a part of every womens journey into womanhood, and it certainly shouldn’t be a topic that’s uncomfortable to talk about. It’s because of this attitude that girls all over are often uneducated about their periods. Growing up I can’t recall a time where I had a chat with anyone about periods in and shape or form, I didn’t know why we had them, what to expect when it started, what was deemed normal or abnormal – I was clueless!! From my own experiences I’ve come to the conclusion that periods are associated with feelings of disgust and they’re quite often talked about in that way too! Menstration, periods, whatever you call them are NOT shameful, nor are they disgusting! There really is nothing offensive about it, period!!

If you’re someone that is easily offended by periods this is your cue to exit!

My period has never been easy, it’s problematic, painful, extremely heavy and lasts for a whole 7 days. I usually get through 2 boxes of Tampons and 1 and a half packs of sanitary towels (I need both because of my heavy flow), it’s excessive and for something that’s so natural it’s at an expense! It wasn’t until more recently (say the last year or so) that I’ve heard about menstrual cups. Surprisingly they’ve been around for years yet I wasn’t aware – because no one talks about periods! Out of intrigue I begun researching all there is to know about menstrual cups and why it would benefit me to make the transition of using one over my usual method, tampons.

Did you know –

  • Tampons absorb 35% of your natural moisture, this can feel uncomfortable!! A menstrual cup won’t dry you out!
  • Menstrual cups are eco friendly and money saving since they’re re-usable and if taken care of can last up to 10 years!
  • Menstrual cups can hold up to 3x more than sanitary products meaning less changes required!
  • Most cups are made from medical grade silicone or latex

With so many cups to choose from I opted for one of the top rated sold in the U.K. – The Mooncup. The Mooncup comes in 2 sizes, A – for those who have had a vaginal birth or are over 30 and B – for those who are under 30 and haven’t had a vaginal birth. Since I’ve had two vaginal births I ordered size A and waited for its arrival.

I’d watched a load of YouTube videos about the Mooncup, I watched people sharing their honest opinion of the product, and I watched people giving tutorials on how to insert it correctly so that I had some sort of idea of what to expect. Some people shared that they thought theirs looked quite large when taken out of the box but the size didn’t surprise me at all, in fact I was worried that it wasn’t large enough to hold my flow!

No matter how many youtube videos I watched on insertion of the menstrual cup nothing truly prepared me for it! I folded the cup in the most common way using the ‘U FOLD’ (pictured above) and inserted! I was unsure of how far to insert the cup, I know I did a lot of research but when it came down to me actually trying it I had no clarity on wether I was doing it properly, I was going in pretty much blind! On my first attempt the insertion took me a little longer than expected until I felt comfortable and confident enough that I’d got it somewhat right! After attempting to re-insert a few more times I knew it was something I’d have to get use to, its not something you’ll grasp straight away but as soon as it becomes more normal, the faster and more confidently you’ll be able to insert the cup correctly. The cup will open up inside you, and by gently pulling on the stem you’ll be able to figure out if its opened fully or if it needs an further assistance.

Taking out the menstrual cup is a whole other feat! In all honestly, because it was an alien method to me I was a little panicky on removal. Pulling on the stem of the cup alone isn’t a good idea, you’ll feel a suction and if you work against it you could be in for a slightly painful and messy experience! After my first attempt I had the removal part down; I slightly pull the stem (which can also be cut down to size to make your experience more comfortable) and pinch on the lower section of the cup which releases the suction, now it can be fully removed safely. You can keep The Mooncup in for up to 8 hours so depending on how long you’ve gone between changes just be cautious on removal if you want a mess free experience! Emptying and cleaning the cup is really straight forward and easy. As you’d expect there is a strong copper like smell, I mean you’re dealing with blood so its totally normal, just flush your stuff away and theres no issue!

 

From my own experience as a first timer, to begin with I wondered if I’d made the right choice, I could feel the cup there at all times and when seated it would feel quite unpleasant. BUT I persisted and once I got use to inserting the cup successfully, my normal activities including siting down became comfortable and pain free! I did notice that when using the menstrual cup my period cramps felt a bit more intense but its nothing a little ibuprofen can’t fix.

What I love about using my menstrual cup is that I don’t need any other sanitary products! The Mooncup is suitable for my heavy flow and I don’t have to worry about any leaks or having to change soaked through products every hour!! Before using a menstrual cup my period was a really dreaded time of the month for me, however now that its been made easier for me to handle I’m feeling really period positive! I also noticed that when using the cup my period went from lasting an entire 7 days to only 5 days and that NEVER happens!!!

I can’t recommend Menstrual cups enough, they seem like such an obvious solution to managing a period, I wish I’d started sooner. With the amount of money it’ll save me and how convenient they are to use I know I’ll never go back to using disposable sanitary products again.

Specific to the brand, The Mooncup is suitable for vegans, its latex free, uses medical grade silicone and is made and manufactured in the UK.

xox

42 Comments

  1. inbar August 2, 2017 / 11:25 am

    Cool, great topic and you are so true about the fact that people dont talk about it at all, and even if they do they ignore it totally, good job

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 2, 2017 / 3:04 pm

      Absolutely needs to be spoken about more and lads as well as girls need to be educated on it!

  2. Ami ThroughAmisEyes August 2, 2017 / 11:49 am

    I have heard so much about these and actually have a friend that has used these cups for years and raves about them. I don’t know if I would be brave enough to try myself!

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 2, 2017 / 3:06 pm

      Oh you don’t have to be brave at all they are so easy to use once you know how and are absolutely life changing!! Always worth a shot!

  3. Ashleigh Dougherty August 2, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    I have always been intrigued by Mooncups when I’ve read blogs and seen them in Boots. However, always wondered what you do when using a public toilet? How would you clean it?

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 2, 2017 / 7:59 pm

      Well most people don’t have to worry since you can keep it in for 8 hours, however if you really needed to change it then yes you’d have to empty it out and take it to a sink unless you carry a flask of hot water around with you. Conveniently though I don’t have to change it in public places as I’m never out for a whole 8 hours at a time, so works well for me!

  4. Kacie August 2, 2017 / 6:46 pm

    I’m really not sure how I feel about menstrual cups :/

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 2, 2017 / 8:00 pm

      That’s fair to say, I mean I wasn’t sure of them either but that’s why I tried it so I could be, and I could have a better understanding of them. There isn’t anything odd about them though they are a great method to use which is why I felt compelled to challenge people perceptions on them.

  5. Mummy Times Two August 2, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    An interesting post, something I hadn’t really thought about.

  6. Beccy August 2, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    I was loving this idea until you said it was uncomfortable! I’m moody enough on my period without getting annoyed at that lol. My cramps are insanely painful too so if it makes them worse, I’m out lol. I’ll stick to the tampons and pads for now! Great post though I loved reading this! Different and so relatable!

    Beccy
    X

    beccykiernan.co.uk

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 2, 2017 / 11:06 pm

      Ahhh no!! Sorry! But at least it’s an honest account from me. I get ridiculously painful periods too so at first it was really difficult to get use to however the pain mess helped and I’ve spoken with multiple people today that have said with regular use of their cups they noticed their cramps getting lesser and lesser painful so hopefully that’ll happen here! Xox

  7. Mel August 2, 2017 / 11:09 pm

    I’ve heard great things about the Mooncup. As you say, periods should be talked about and it is important to be clued up to alternatives to the disposable options we have

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 3, 2017 / 8:57 am

      Yesss!! I’m so glad you agree and that you enjoyed the read!

  8. Isabel August 3, 2017 / 6:33 am

    Great post Francesca. I was actually thinking about writing a post on how to cope with life during your period and you’ve now convinced me that it’s something I should definitely do. I totally agree that periods are something that need to be talked about more, and on which both men and women need to be more educated about. I loved reading this post and Menstrual cups are now something I’m going to look into.

    Thank you for never playing it safe on your blog and talking about whatever you want ; you do a really good job!

    Enough now lol
    Catch you on twitter x

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 3, 2017 / 8:58 am

      Oh you absolutely should I mean why not?! Awwh you are so sweet thank you for the lovely words!! I’m glad you enjoyed the read and will be looking at your options!

  9. Isabel August 3, 2017 / 6:34 am

    Forgot to ask : how do you realise when it’s time to empty the cup? Might be obvious but With pads you obviously feel it or notice it. x

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 3, 2017 / 9:02 am

      Well more than anything you know your body best especially on your period. I know how I feel on my heavier days and I get a feeling that’s an indication I need to empty it. It’s sort of guess work in the beginning, I was changing every couple of hours only to find a tiny amount in the cup I know I can’t go to 8 hours that’s too long on my heaviest days so it’s about learning and getting use to using the cup at first it’s guess work but you’ll soon be able to figure out how your body works with it!

  10. Jessica August 3, 2017 / 7:36 am

    Loving this topic! It’s so true that not a lot of people talk about periods. I’ve heard of the cup before but I’ve personally not ever thought to use it, as my experience with gampons alone hasn’t been the best. I’ve gone from never having periods to constant periods but very very light. My flow has never been heavy enough for tampons until recently but my periods are so different each time I’d be worried to try anything new but this sounds like the best product and money saving for those who have regular flows! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Jessica | http://www.foodandbaker.co.uk / http://www.foodandbakertravels.co.uk

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 3, 2017 / 9:05 am

      It’s so interesting hearing about others period experiences because all I know is constant every month, lengthy, heavy periods!! The greatest thing about a menstrual cup though is that they cater both heavy and light periods so no matter what your period it usually like you’re likely to find they work whatever’s going on 🙂

  11. Gareth Torrance August 3, 2017 / 8:13 am

    You know… I’ve never heard of menstural cups… My OH has been looking for something to try and make things more comfortable. If she can get used to it, then this might be a really good thing to try. Thanks.

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 3, 2017 / 9:06 am

      See it’s such a shame that people don’t hear about them that much!! They are a great alternative to disposable products, thanks so much for commenting Garath it’s great to have comments on the topic from both men and women!

  12. Rhian Westbury August 3, 2017 / 9:35 am

    I do really need to give these a go as sometimes my period can be quite heavy as I have the implant so I don’t have regular ones x

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 4, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Oh you should try it for sure!!

  13. abbeylouisarose August 3, 2017 / 3:18 pm

    I must admit that I had no idea that tampons absorbed so much of your natural moisture, although it totally makes sense! I mostly use menstrual pads, as I don’t really like fumbling around up there when I’m on (haha so elegantly put, Abbey!) – however, the environmental reasons to switch to a moon cup are definitely persuasive! I need to get over my fear and give it a go! I am so impressed that it reduced the duration of your period too, another great reason to try haha! Thanks for speaking so openly and honestly about periods, it’s so important to discuss a perfectly natural process and make it less of a taboo topic!

    Abbey 🎀 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 4, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      Yes the environmental factors are such a big deal for me too I honestly really enjoy using the cup its no fuss and I feel managing my periods is much easier now!

  14. Melanie August 3, 2017 / 10:16 pm

    A tricky topic wrote well. Periods and period problems should be talked about and not just brushed under the surface – good on you :)x

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 4, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      Thank you so much!! I’m really glad its getting everyone chatting to be honest I feel like I’ve done my part 😀

  15. Angela Milnes August 4, 2017 / 9:47 am

    I have heard many good reviews about this menstrual cups and I had a friend use this and I’m so Intrigue

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 4, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      They’re honestly life changing!!

  16. nicol August 4, 2017 / 11:20 am

    i actually bought this the other day and i can’t wait to use it when my next period arrives. I’m more scared about the cramps being more intense. my are horrendous so not looking forward to that!

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 4, 2017 / 4:22 pm

      Well I’ve spoken with a few people who have said that their reduced their cramps significantly the more they used it so I’m hoping thats what happens here!

  17. Yaya August 4, 2017 / 4:15 pm

    I’ve been so intrigued with it, but haven’t given it a try as I was worried it wouldn’t be able to cope with heavy flow. I really want to give it a try now! You make it sound so simple and not at all what I expected it to be.

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 4, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Honestly my periods are so heavy and this works perfectly fine to me, obviously if you are someone that has a heavy flow maybe don’t leave it for the whole 8 hours but you’ll know your body so you’ll get use to when you need to change etc!

  18. danasia fantastic August 5, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    I don’t get a period anymore because of my IUD, but if I did I would definitely try a menstrual cup.

  19. Tanya Brannan August 6, 2017 / 10:21 am

    You are so right, these things are never spoken about and really should be more often! Women all go through the same things so why not be more open. I read your review with great interest as I have heard of the menstrual cups but never seen an honest review. Thank you for sharing your experiences x

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 18, 2017 / 9:31 am

      You’re so welcome I think its so important to openly speak about such natural, normal things!! If it helps someone else its so worth it!

  20. Tanya August 6, 2017 / 11:57 pm

    It’s the insertion and removal of menstral cups that scare me, I just always think what if it goes wrong, but they sound great. I definitely think people need to be more open about periods, it couldn’t be any more common and a part of life and yet it’s such a taboo still

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 18, 2017 / 9:33 am

      If it goes wrong it’ll be a little messy but thats really the only worry, menstrual cups aren’t as intimidating and scary as they seem. After a few uses you really do get use to it, I’ve just had my second period using the mooncup and its as if I’ve always been using it, insertion and removal were simple and quick!

  21. Rachel August 8, 2017 / 5:54 pm

    I’ve heard so much about these but never really looked into them or investigated further. I’m really intrigued! xo

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk August 18, 2017 / 9:33 am

      I’d say its definitely worth it!

  22. LTR October 18, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    Sometimes with removing tampons it felt like my insides were being pulled out. I hated it. From first period with mooncup I haven’t looked back. Periods have shortened, cramps have reduced, and it’s improved my life so much.one thing- It can become discoloured over time- I boiled it in a pan with some lemon which helped. Can’t recomend it enough ladies- take the plunge!

    • francescaferrarinelson@yahoo.co.uk October 19, 2017 / 10:10 am

      OMG yes I know the feeling all too well!! The moon cup hasn’t yet eased my cramps but its shortened the length on my periods etc its such a great thing!!

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