Menstrual cups (or moon cups) have been around for a few years now and they continue to grow in popularity. Moon cups are basically soft cups made from plastic that are used as an alternative to pads or tampons during your period. Moon cups are also way better for the environment because you can reuse them every month.
How do menstrual cups work?
Moon cups are made from a flexible material so you fold them up and insert them into your vagina – specific instructions vary between the style of cup you have – and it catches your menstrual blood just like a pad or tampon would. You can empty the cup anywhere from two to four times a day and the cups can be worn for up to 12 hours and overnight. After wearing overnight or for a long period of time, it’s best to wash your cup with hot water and a cleanser before using it again.
There are also a number of sizes of moon cups on the market so you can buy the correct size that corresponds to your individual vagina and flow.
Why are they better for the environment?
Using a menstrual cup is way better for the environment as you are saving thousands of pads and tampons from ending up in landfill. A woman usually uses around one pack of pads or box of tampons during her period, which can add up to 16,000 pads and tampons over a lifetime. Crazy, right?
When you throw a used pad or tampon into the rubbish, it ends up in landfill and they can take over 500 years to decompose. That is just plain scary.
Finding the right moon cup for you
There are a number of factors to take into consideration when choosing a moon cup. These include:
Capacity: There are a number of different sized moon cups on the market, so you can choose one based on the heaviness of your period. Most cups hold up to 20-30ml.
Firmness: While all cups are flexible, some are firmer than others. Smaller cups are usually softer than larger ones, although larger ones can be easier to pop open but can sometimes be a little harder to insert.
Shape: While most cups have a standard shapes, some are rounded while others are longer and narrower. This all just comes down to personal preference.
There are also some brands which specify your age and whether you've had a baby or not so keep an eye out for that.
How to use a moon cup
- Wash your hands before starting. Then, give your cup a rinse and dry before use.
- You can insert the cup while sitting, standing or squatting – it’s up to you! Fold the cup in on itself to make it flat.
- Keep it rolled up and guide it into the vagina. Then, release the cup. To check if it has fully opened, slide a finger up to the cup bottom, if it is round then it has opened correctly.
- To remove, relax your muscle and grab the bottom of the cup and squeeze it to release. Don’t remove it just by holding the stem, make sure you grab the bottom section. Tip the contents into the toilet then rinse and reuse.
- You should clean your moon cup before and after every cycle. Wash it with hot water and a sterilising solution or boil it in a pan of water for a few minutes.
Popular moon cups
1. Lunette Menstrual Cup – Clear
Made from soft, medical grade silicon, this cup has two sizes you can choose from. One is for light to normal flow while the other caters for normal to heavy flow.
Cost: $55 @ Lunette
2. Juju Menstrual Cup
Juju have different cups for whether you have given birth or not. For example, one is recommended if you are under 30 and have not given birth while another is better if you are over 30 and have given birth.
Cost: $49.95 @ Juju
3. The DivaCup Menstrual Cup
This moon cup is made from latex and is BPA, plastic, dye and chemical-free and DivaCup also have three options to choose from. Model 0 is for girls under 18 who haven’t used a menstrual cup before, Model 1 is for women under 30 who have never had children and model 2 is for women over 30 or for those who have a baby.
Cost: $45.99 @ Chemist Warehouse