A few months ago I mentioned that I had bought a mooncup and, since the 3 months or so that you are supposed to give it before reaching a judgement are now up, what better time to produce a full mooncup review?

The first thing to say is that I really like using the mooncup – it makes me look forward to periods, and there aren’t many “female hygiene products” (ahem) that can make you say that, are there? Now that I’ve had a reasonable amount of practice, it’s a total breeze to get it in and out, there are no leaks, you can’t feel it when it is in there, and you feel great knowing that you are using a sustainable product with no known health risks.

As for period pains – my periods are much lighter at present than they were before, so I can’t really comment on whether using a mooncup alleviates any of the physical discomfort. I’m not really getting much in the way of pains, but that might be because of the change in my cycle, not necessarily because of the mooncup.

However, aside from the purely practical aspects, I like using my mooncup because it makes me feel so much more connected with my body.

I have blogged before about how using cloth nappies helped me to hold on to a sense of connection with my baby’s body and its functions, allowing for the kind of bodily intimacy and awareness that is easily lost in a world of “hygienic” paper nappies. And I have found the same thing with the mooncup, that it has restored my menstruation to me. It has enabled me to feel positive about my blood, instead of alienated by it. Even when I am not bleeding, I find myself walking around more and more often with the totally brilliant feeling of living inside my skin, queen of my own internal world.

Maybe this all sounds as strange to you as it does to me… I mean, of course we are connected to our bodies, of course we live inside our skins, right? But until you have felt what I am feeling right now, you might only know that intellectually. The mooncup was my key to finding out what it feels like, viscerally. (Viscerally, by the way, is a word that is much overused in some circles, but which I think it bang on here. It means, broadly, “with your innards”.)

Thinking about it, I wonder whether this new sense of connection can be a contributing factor in the lessening of period pains. I have read accounts that suggest labour pains can be reduced in women who have managed to foster a sense of connection with the contracting uterus, a sense even of joy, that it is doing its job and that that there is nothing to fear. Maybe something similar could work to reduce the discomfort of menstrual cramping. Just a thought.

Back to practical matters. I wanted to include a few links:

http://www.mooncup.co.uk/
http://www.divacup.com/
http://www.keeper.com/
http://www.lunette.fi/

My cup is a mooncup, as I have said, but there are others on the market! These are the four most well-known brands of reusable menstrual cup.

Also essential is this forum, which has a wonderful archive of stuff users have said about the cups they have tried – a brilliant starting point if you have any questions beyond the basic “Er, so what is a menstrual cup then?”

http://community.livejournal.com/menstrual_cups

This was a lifesaver after my first period when my mooncup absolutely stank (honestly, I was gagging). I tried some of the ideas suggested by the women on this forum and no longer have a smell problem. Hooray!

So that’s it. Mooncups are great.

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One last thing: I am really disappointed that there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of slang or pet names that people use for or about menstrual cups. For instance the two terms I like to use (jampot… and the seemingly rather obvious bloodcatching) don’t seem to make an appearance anywhere on the internet.

I was surprised – surely this is an aspect of modern culture that could offer seriously rich inspiration to slangmakers? Does anyone out there know of any similar slangy / affectionate usages? Or do we have a blank slate on which to sketch out our own, blood-positive language?

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