I know I missed the April edition of this, (this product happened to take 2 months to test out), but here is the fourth instalment of my Detailed Monthly Reviews series, in which I review a product, service, or brand and talk in detail about:
- The details of the product (price and company)
- First impressions
- My opinions at least 1 week later
- Whether it’s worth the money
This month I’m going for something a little more particular (and intimate, I suppose) and reviewing the menstrual cup… I wasn’t actually planning on doing a review on it, but I’ve been using one for a couple months now and it’s changed how I deal with my period so much, so I figured why not?
The particular one that I am using is the MoonCup, which can be bought at Boots in the UK, however another popular brand of these is the DivaCup, which is purchasable from Superdrug. I researched the difference between the 2 and honestly there weren’t any noticeable differences at all, so I went for the easiest one to find, which happened to be the MoonCup (Although the DivaCup is purchasable on the Superdrug website, I am yet to find one in an actual store).
These are small, thick, medical-grade silicone “cups” if you will, that you can insert like a tampon that collect your menstrual flow until full, leaving you to remove them, rinse them out and reinsert until your period is over. They’re advertised to be more wallet and environmentally friendly (they-re reusable and only need to be replaced every 10-20 years) as well as more sanitary and safer than pads and tampons, and relatively long lasting (they reckon the average woman can go up to 8 hours without emptying).
The MoonCup cost me £21.99, and both the Moon and Diva cup come in 2 sizes: one for women who are under 35 or have never given birth vaginally, and one for women who are over 35 or have given birth vaginally.
I am a strong supporter of sanitary towels and have been using them since I first started my period (I tried a tampon once and hated it, plus I’m incredibly paranoid about TSS). Therefore, at first the thought of insertion seemed very daunting, but thankfully it was smaller than I thought it would be. I’d seen a bunch of YouTube videos and read a tonne of reviews and the general consensus was that the initial insertion and removal would be difficult. However, it went a lot smoother than I thought it would; if you follow the instructions on the box properly then things should be fine, but don’t worry if it takes a few tries to get it right. I was surprised at how little I could feel it once it was inside! It stays in place incredibly well and most of the time you don’t even register it’s there.
They rinse out with water incredibly well, but it’s recommended that you should sterilise it before each cycle and before initial wear, either by boiling it in a pan for 5 minutes or using the special DivaCup wash that you can find online on Superdrug (which, again, I am yet to find in a store). I figured that boiling a menstrual cup in a pan on the stove would be an odd site for my 5 uni flatmates… so I ordered the wash online, making it easy to wash out in the comfort of my own sink.
My Thoughts after 2 Months/Cycles…
I decided I would try it for 2 months/cycles so I could test it out in some different situations: For the first month, I was:
- At home
- With the comfort of my family bathroom
- Spending a lot of time lounging around doing nothing
And for the second one I was:
- Back at Uni
- Spending hours on campus (away from my ensuite)
- Going to the gym a lot
- Having nights out clubbing
- Generally being a lot more active
Month 1: Lounging around at home…
I chose to start using it while doing pretty much nothing at home so that if everything went wrong and I resembled that one scene in Carrie only my family would see (and they’re obligated to love me no matter what)… But fortunately, the whole experience was pretty straightforward!
I was really sceptical of their promise of a “leak-free experience” so for the whole first cycle I wore a backup pad in my underwear just in case there was any leakage. As a paranoid newbie I tended to check the cup every 2/3 hours and it was never even close to being half full (and my flow isn’t exactly the lightest).
The biggest benefit for me was the ease of using it at night! I’ve always used night pads, however the amount of moving around I do as I sleep (and the occasional super long sleeps) mean that they’re subject to some leakage from time to time; a fact I’ve just come to accept. I was expecting the worst when sleeping with this in, and was incredibly surprised when I woke up completely leak free (You can also barely feel it at night too).
There were no surprises, no over-filling, it never felt like it was going to get stuck and it never hurt/caused me any pain, honestly, I was so pleasantly surprised and ready to use it the next month…
Month 2: Being active at Uni…
Being my second month of using it, I was a lot more equipped at getting it in and out. However, when I had to go up to Uni for a 5-hour day and a 3 hour meeting afterwards, I was really pushing the cup to its limits. They recommend having a small bottle of water with you if you need to empty the cup in a public toilet, however mine never got full enough to have to worry about this! They really hold a lot more than you’d think.
I was incredibly worried about going to the gym with it in, and I could definitely feel it more than usual, however the activity didn’t stop it working! I rushed home afterwards expecting all sorts of mess but there wasn’t a leak in site, the cup hadn’t moved in place at all and I was thoroughly impressed. Clubbing was so much easier with the cup as well! I didn’t have to change it, or worry about seeing the blood when I went to the toilet, and I didn’t have to worry about my pad being visible in a tight outfit.
Is it worth it?
I’ve used it for 2 months and I can safely say this is now my permanent menstrual protection. It was just so much… easier! In the 2 months I’ve used it I haven’t encountered a single leak (and sometimes I got lazy with how often I emptied it). This whole process taught me that you release a lot less blood than you think you do, and honestly, as an incredibly nosey person it was quite interesting to see how much I really bleed when I’m on my period.
At £21.99 it may seem expensive however they last for around 10 years if properly taken care of so £21.99 for an initial purchase works out cheaper than buying pads and tampons for £2-3 monthly (In a year you will have already saved money that you used to spend on pads).
I strongly recommend these, they honestly changed the way I deal with my periods and I’m so grateful. I’d say they probably wouldn’t work for you if you’re squeamish or not comfortable with insertion with your hands, but they produce less waste, end up cheaper, and feel a lot more sanitary! I don’t usually rate products but I would give it a firm 9/10.
Sorry this was so long, but hey wanted to get all the detail in. Have you tried one/want to try one? Comment down below…
Lots of love,