About the Mooncup:
Dispatch / Packaging
Just started menstruating
TSS – Toxic Shock Syndrome
Urinary tract infections
Backflow / inverted postures
Is it messy?
Answers provided by Mooncup:
Q: Public toilets: How do you use the Mooncup in public toilets?
A: You can still use your Mooncup in Public toilets. Simply take a small bottle of water into the toilet with you and rinse it with this. Alternatively you can wipe with toilet paper and give your Mooncup a thorough clean at a more convenient time.
Q: Light flow: My flow is very light and I find tampons extremely painful to remove. Is it ok to use a Mooncup with a light flow?
A: Yes it is fine to use the Mooncup when your flow is light. The Mooncup is not absorbent and will not cause dryness so you will find removal much more comfortable than with tampons.
Q: Dispatch / Packaging: How big is the mooncup package - will it fit through my letterbox? If not, is it discreet, i.e. can I get it delivered to my boyfriend's work without worrying about causing any offence or much laughter?
A: Most parcels from So Organic come in a brown cardboard box printed with our company logo, or a reused box from one of our suppliers. The box won’t fit through a letter box, but nothing on the outside of the box will give any indication that there is a Moon Cup inside, so there is no need to worry about being embarrassed.
Q: Just started menstruating: I've just heard about your moon cup and it sounds pretty good. I'm wondering if it is recommended for use by a girl who has just started menstruating. Any caveats I should know about? My 11 year old daughter is not quite there yet but will be sometime soon and if this is as great as it sounds I would like to recommend it.
A: Yes young girls are physically able to use the Mooncup. It is possible to use the Mooncup from the very first period as our bodies are designed to give birth to full size babies at this time. The more confident that your daughter is about her body the easier it will be for her. As with tampons, it will require practice at first. She may like to use a water based lubricant to make insertion easier to begin with. I hope that this helps.
Q: Hymen: I saw the Mooncup at a festival and was rather dubious about it but I have been thinking about it quite a lot as I want to become more active and learn how to swim. As far as I am aware my hymen is still intact, so I was worried about using it and wasn't quite bold enough to ask the lady at the stand.
A: If your hymen is still fully intact the use of the Mooncup is likely to cause it to tear or break. The hymen is a thin membrane, with a space or spaces for periods to flow through, which partially blocks the opening of the vaginal entrance. Hymens come in various shapes and designs. Your hymen may be shaped like a septum (a thin line of skin which divides the centre of the vaginal opening, as does the septum of our nose), or you may have a hymen shaped like a crescent moon around the bottom or side of the vaginal opening. Interestingly, not all women are born with hymens, and hymens can break without women knowing it. Strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, horseback riding, stretching, or dancing, can also cause the hymen to break. Also a woman's hymen could have been broken or stretched by sexual activity, even if she has not yet had sexual intercourse. Once torn or stretched, the hymen becomes an irregular ring of tissue around the vaginal opening. If you would like further advice I recommend that you pay a visit to your local well woman or sexual health clinic.
Q: Leakage: I have been using Mooncup month after month and still I leak. I have to use pads as well, and my main reason for wanting Mooncup was for eco reasons. Please help me because I don’t want to go back to the old ways.
A: The most common reason for leakage is not placing the Mooncup low enough in your vagina. The Mooncup needs to be placed just inside the entrance to your vagina, not up near the cervix where tampons are placed.
Also, you need to check that the whole of the stem is fully inside you. Most women need to trim the stem. If you think you need to trim the stem, remove your Mooncup and cut the end with scissors. Trim a little off at a time and reinsert your Mooncup to check how it sits. Repeat this process until it is fully inside you and is comfortable.
Another reason for leakage is due to poor seal formation with your vaginal wall. You can try twisting and rotating the Mooncup once inserted. You can also try pulling the mooncup down slightly and then gently pushing it inward. Clamping your pelvic floor muscles around the Mooncup will also help to create a good seal.
Occasionally leakage can occur because the small holes below the rim of the Mooncup have become blocked. Use a clean pin and remove any debris blocking the holes. Wash your Mooncup and re-insert.
Finally, leakage may be due to the size you are using not being a good fit. In this case please contact the Mooncup advice service on +44 (0) 1273 673845
Q: Which size: How can I tell whether my Mooncup is the before or after childbirth size and what is the difference in size?
A: If you hold your Mooncup up to the light you will see an A or a B stamped in the bottom of the cup. A is after childbirth and for women aged 30 and over, and B is before childbirth and women aged below 30. The length of the cup is 50mm for both sizes, and the diameter across the top is 43mm for the size B and 46mm for the A. The stem is 21mm long.
Q: Lubricants: I know that oil-based lubricants and latex do not mix, but I also know that one of the unique things about the Mooncup is that it is silicone, not latex. Does this mean that I can use oil-based lubricants to help with insertion, without worrying about damaging the rubber?
A: We recommend that you do not use oil-based substances with the Mooncup as they can weaken the material over time. Water based lubes are fine.
Q: TSS: I particularly like the idea that I can forget about it and just need to empty it once on waking and once before sleep. However I'm still a little concerned about the risk of toxic shock syndrome from leaving it in for a long time. My cup only gets about half full in half a day, so is it okay to leave it in for those 8 hours without changing it?
A: You are right to be concerned about toxic shock syndrome, and with the Mooncup it is important to regularly remove and clean it as by doing so you prevent any build-up of the bacteria that may cause this illness. We recommend that you remove and clean your Mooncup 4 times during a 24-hour day. TSS has been linked to high absorbency and prolonged use of tampons. The Mooncup differs from tampons in that the material that it is made of does not support the growth of bacteria in the way that the rayons and cottons used in tampons do. Menstrual cups have been around since the 1930s but have not been associated with toxic shock syndrome. TSS is most common in women aged between the ages of 15 and 19 and the risk of contracting it decreases with age. As a precaution, you should be aware that the symptoms of TSS could include sudden high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, fainting, or a rash rather like sunburn. Should you experience these symptoms during your period you should remove your Mooncup and contact your GP immediately.
Q: Sex: Can you advise if the Mooncup is safe to leave in during penetrative sex (not obviously as a method of contraception)?
A: No, the Mooncup is not for use during sexual intercourse. It would be in the way as it sits low in the vagina, not high like the contraceptive cap.
Q: Removal Problems: I have just tried my Mooncup for the first time. Am I alone in having problems removing it?
A: No! It is a question of practice, and some women find removal a little difficult at first! You do not explain what the problem is exactly, but there are two usual difficulties:
1. Too much suction: Before inserting your mooncup, try inserting a pin into the small holes around under the lowest ridge on the rim of the Mooncup. These can become blocked, so wiggle a pin in each one to ensure that they are clear. You can always release the seal by inserting your finger alongside the Mooncup and squashing it sideways, if squeezing the base does not work.
2. Not being able to get hold of the Mooncup: this is a combination of position, and, often, panic! Try to sit on the loo or squat, and use your 'bearing down' or pushing muscles to move the Mooncup down before you try to get hold of it. You should be able to move it down to the entrance to your vagina where it is easier to get hold of! The best method for doing this is to use a sequence of small downward motions. It may feel as though the Mooncup rises again after releasing each motion but it will be gradually pushed down. Small motions avoid tension and panic!
Standing or lying down makes your Mooncup harder to reach. And yes, staying calm is helpful too!
Q: Post-birth: I've been using a Mooncup very happily for the last year. I'm now expecting our first baby in October, and I wondered if I can use the Mooncup for the bleeding after the birth? I've heard that you shouldn't use tampons, but wondered whether the Mooncup would be OK.
A: It is not recommended to use internal protection for the first six weeks after giving birth. This is because of the increased risk of infection (after trauma to the vaginal tissues.) It would probably be a bit too tender as well! We suggest using natural maternity pads for this post birth bleed.
Q: Urinary tract infections: When I used a diaphragm, I had problems with urinary tract infections. Have there been any experiences of women suffering urinary tract infections from the use of the Mooncup?
A: The diaphragm is worn higher in the vagina than the Mooncup. However it is still possible that the rim of the Mooncup may exert pressure on the urinary tract and if you have been affected by problems of this nature in the past we would recommend that you check with your GP before using the Mooncup.
Q: Thrush: Will the Mooncup cause me to get thrush? I get thrush from using tampons.
A: Approximately 1/3 of what tampons absorb is the protective secretions that prevent thrush and other infections from happening. These secretions also maintain the correct Ph balance of the vagina. When you use a Mooncup it will not interfere with these protective vaginal secretions, and it will not absorb them either, so your vagina will remain healthy whilst you are having your period.
It is important to rinse your Mooncup with plenty of water if you use soap to clean it, as traces of soap left on the Mooncup can upset the Ph balance of your vagina. In answer to your question, no the Mooncup will not give you thrush.
Q: IUD: Please can you tell me whether it is perfectly safe to use with the IUD?
A: There should be no problem with an I.U.D as long as you remember to place the mooncup low down in the vagina and take care to release the seal properly when removing the mooncup. It’s a good idea to ask your GP/clinic if they can trim the IUD strings to keep them short. You should continue to check your IUD strings periodically to make sure it hasn't been dislodged.
Q: Silicone Implants: I am a little confused regarding silicone, with regard to problems women have with breast enlargements!!, I don't have much of an understanding of this, and am looking for some feedback.
A: The Mooncup is made from a very different material to the breast implants that caused so many problems. They were gel held in a bag and the gel started to leach out over time into the body. The Mooncup is made from a solid medical grade silicone, the sort of material that replacement heart valves or catheters are made from.
Q: Endometriosis: I have endometriosis, how would the Mooncup work for me?
I am sorry to hear that you have this challenging condition. The feedback I have received from other women in your situation has been positive. This is because the Mooncup will hold up to three times more than disposable sanitary products. The Mooncup is able to accommodate clots because it collects your menstrual flow. A tampon is designed to absorb menstrual flow and therefore is not able to accommodate clots. It is also useful to use the Mooncup because you can measure how much you are actually bleeding and report this to your gynaecologist. You may also be interested to know that other women with your condition have reported to us that they experience less pain with their period when using a Mooncup.
Q: Heavy periods: I have very heavy periods, will the Mooncup be suitable for me?
A: Yes, the Mooncup works very well for heavy periods because it collects up to three times more menstrual blood than disposable sanitary products. This means that you will need to attend to the Mooncup less often. Women have reported back to me that this has significantly improved their quality of life. The Mooncup also allows you to accurately measure your flow. This means that for the first time your doctor or gynaecologist will be able to know exactly how much you bleed and will be able to treat you accordingly and quickly.
Q: Backflow / inverted postures: Hi, I have been looking through your site and think that the mooncup looks fantastic but i have one reservation/question. As the menstrual blood is just collected rather than absorbed, what would happen if you were to go upside down or lay down with your pelvis raised above your body? I know this sounds a really strange question but i do really want one and I just need to know what would happen if I was to lay down or go on an upside down ride at a theme park. Sorry if you think this is an odd concern!
A: Firstly your concern is far from odd; it is not an uncommon query. Using the Mooncup as a collective device will not create any additional risk than these kinds of activities may be associated with when you are menstruating. I don't know if you are aware that there is an ongoing debate regarding whether or not it is appropriate for women to adopt any inverted postures during menstruation, for instance shoulder stands in yoga are considered by some to be alleviative menstrual symptoms during a period, whilst others say that this posture should not be done during menstruation because of the potential for retrograde flow (back flow). It comes down to a personal decision, depending on your opinion. I think that overall the concerns in these areas are associated with being in inverted postures for a prolonged time, and even then the retrograde theory is just that, a theory, it has not been shown be true. The Mooncup is suitable for night-time use and all forms of sports so there is no need for concern in the doing the activities you describe.
Q: Insertion problems: I just received my mooncup through the post and am finding it really hard to use. I can't seem to insert it. Could you give me any tips?
A: If you are having problems with keeping it folded you will need to practice until you find a method that works for you. If you are having problems with actually passing it through the entrance of your vagina again with practice this will improve. The most important thing is to remain as relaxed as possible, otherwise our muscles tend to tense up and work against us. Just take your time and practice now and again when you are not menstruating until you feel you have gained confidence and found what works best for you. A water-based lubricant can also make things easier initially. Also make sure that you are running your mooncup under water before attempting to insert it as this reduces any potential friction too.
Q: Sports: I do a number of aerobics classes during the week. During the week of my period I do sometimes go but often wear a pad as well as a tampon in case of leaks when jumping - would a Mooncup be OK during exercise (including in swimming pool?)
A: The Mooncup is ideal for use whilst doing all sports, including aerobics and swimming. Some women use a panty-liner whilst they are still gaining confidence in the reliability of their Mooncup, but before long it will provide you with far more confidence than any other product. Feel free to contact me again if you have any further questions at all.
Q: Is it messy?: I only heard about your mooncup today, but am intrigued, especially for the health aspects. I have big reservations though about how messy it is. Can you please tell me whether this is true? Do you tip any blood into the toilet then wipe it? Is there a lot, it sounds horrible! Is it like inserting a tampon though in terms of the amount of blood you come into contact with?
A: The Mooncup is actually surprisingly un-messy to use. Yes, when you insert its the same as inserting a tampon with regard to the amount of blood you come in contact with. When you remove the Mooncup the outside of it is generally clean, with all your blood collected inside of it. It stays upright (and is rarely full anyway) until you tip it up to empty it down the loo. Then you simply rinse, or wipe, befor re-inseting. You will see your blood, but you will not have much actual contact with it. Many women find that once they get used to it, seeing your blood is actually a very good way of being in touch with your body and can lead to a greater sense of acceptance and well-being during menstruation! Its really not horrible, its just different at first. Let me know if you have any further questions at all.
Q: Menopause: I am going into my menopause, is it worth buying a Mooncup?
A: The Mooncup can be very useful in helping with the changes that occur during the menopause. Your periods may become heavier or lighter and the Mooncup can be used in both of these situations, saving you from needing to use a whole array of disposable products. The Mooncup is also well able to collect clots and to deal with sudden flooding. Another advantage of the Mooncup is that it allows you to accurately measure your flow. This means that for the first time your doctor or gynaecologist will be able to know exactly how much you bleed and will be able to treat you accordingly and quickly. For many women using a Mooncup improves the quality of their lives during the menopause.
Q: Painful Periods: I have really painful periods will the Mooncup help?
A: The Mooncup can safely be used with painful periods and many women report that using the Mooncup reduces their pain. One reason for this could be that the Mooncup is worn lower down in the vagina than a tampon and allows your menstrual blood to flow more naturally. The Mooncup is also hypoallergenic and does not react with your body. The chemicals contained in tampons may react with the body causing pain.
Q: Night use: Can you please let me know if the mooncup is safe to wear at night?
A: Yes, the Mooncup is safe to wear at night. You will need to ensure it is empty before going to bed and then empty it again as soon as you wake, but because it is safe to be in place for 8 or so hours there is no problem with using it at night.