Love your Ladygarden (with a Mooncup)

I’m sure some of you may have strong feelings of admiration for your iPod or mobile phone, well I’ve got the same kind of awe-struck, ‘don’t ever leave me, I can’t live without you’ respect for my Mooncup . I heard about the product a few years ago and, intrigued by the ecological, financial and health benefits, I picked one up from Boots. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best things I’ve ever bought.

Contrary to knee-jerk opinion, Mooncups are not just something exclusive for crazy hippy types who live in tents, eat only bark and have a tendency to call their children Badger or Acorn. They are a workable, environmentally preferable and (perhaps most importantly) physically safer option.

A lot of my friends have grimaced and muttered ‘Gross!’ when I’ve mentioned my Mooncup use. A bit of your own blood (yeah, blood, there, I said it!) in a cup is gross? Really? OK, then take a moment to consider the facts. In her lifetime the average woman will use 11000 pads or tampons which will end up in either in landfill or the sea, whereas 1 Mooncup will last for years. Tampons are bleached, can cause dryness (possibly leading to the dreaded ‘T’ word) and leave fibres – the Mooncup is made from medical-grade silicone and is latex free, containing no dyes or toxins. Now, you tell me which is gross(er) – pouring away a few millimeters of blood down the toilet or putting potentially harmful chemicals into your body then clogging up the world with the waste? If you don’t care about the environment, that’s your call but if you give a damn about your own body, Mooncup is a must-have.

And if you don’t care about the planet or your own body, you’ve got to care about money, right? Costing around £20, my Mooncup paid for itself within a year. Using a quick bit of maths (NOT my strong point), if I were to spend £2 a month on sanitary products for the next 25 years, I’d be spending £600. As it stands I’ll probably need to buy another one, maybe two, Mooncups before I finally say goodbye to ‘the red plague’ forever. Hmmm, a £60 expenditure compared to £600, let me think. Additionally, I never have to worry about running out of tampons (or have them embarrassingly fall out of my handbag in the middle of the pub) ever again.

Being totally honest, it took me a couple of cycles to truly ‘bond’ with my Mooncup, just the same as with learning any new skill, but it’s totally worth it. There’s definitely a knack to using the cup but a bit of practise is all that’s needed (tampons weren’t exactly easy to get to grips with either if memory serves). I realise and acknowledge that some women really don’t like the idea of getting up close and personal with their monthly issue but if someone like me (who has a track record for fainting at the sight of her own blood) can do it, I’m sure you can too. It’s not gross, it’s totally normal. I mean, it’s not exactly pleasant (most of the stuff you do involving a toilet isn’t exactly something you relish or would be prepared to do at the dinner table) but it’s not horrific or gross or dirty or messy or any of the things I’ve heard people say about the idea. In fact, it’s a great deal more hygienic and there’s certainly no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Of course, I’d rather not have to go through the stupid process once a month but as Alice Cooper said, only women bleed and it’s something we have to do, like it or not. The Mooncup is simply a cheaper, safer and more environmentally responsible way of dealing with it and, far from making the whole palava more complex or tiresome, it simplifies it. It’s actually very liberating. When I was at school I remember the ‘Tampax Lady’ coming to visit, if only it was the ‘Mooncup Lady’ who visited schools, perhaps the idea wouldn’t seem so alien and unpalatable to some.

If you’re even slightly tempted to try this product, do it! And if this blog hasn’t convinced you, perhaps this video, part of the Mooncup team’s ‘Love Your Vagina’ campaign, will.