When you first started your period, you were likely introduced to one of two options: pads or tampons. Both of these can not only have a harmful impact on the environment but are also detrimental to your bank balance. That's precisely why ASOS is now selling menstrual cups.
Everyone's favourite online fashion retailer has decided to stock Mooncup, the original menstrual cup brand. Founded way back in 2002, Mooncup has been trying to win women over across the world for more than a decade. The fact that a major brand such as ASOS is willing to highlight women's period-related options is a real win for the cause.
"[It] really does show that times are changing," Mooncup said of its ASOS collaboration. "In 2018, ‘period’ is no longer a dirty word. In fact, you could go as far to say that periods are having their moment. The fashion-conscious consumer is becoming more earth-conscious and with ASOS’ selection of Mooncup it seems that ‘ethical’ really is ‘the new black.’"
Making any kind of alteration to your monthly routine can be difficult, especially when you've been used to a particular product for so long. It's also incredibly easy to dismiss a menstrual cup if you're in any way squeamish about the sight of blood. But the statistic that states every single one of us will use around 11,000 throwaway period products in our lifetimes and that that results in 200,000 tonnes of unnecessary waste in the UK each year won't improve unless we attempt to make a change.
Menstrual cups are made from hypoallergenic medical grade silicone; a material that is designed to collect blood, rather than absorb it. The initial purchase will set you back £22 but, with the correct care, one Mooncup is designed to last years before needing to be replaced. It's safe to say that's a lot of money saved in the long run.
Mooncups come in two sizes: A and B. A is designed for women who are over 30 or women who have experienced childbirth while B is a slightly smaller size. Inserting and removing it will take a little getting used to. The Mooncup site details exactly how to fold and insert it. (Note that you may have to cut the tip if it's too long for your body.) Once inside, you shouldn't be able to feel it. If you do, try and place it in a more comfortable position.
Mooncup recommends emptying your cup every four to eight hours. It can hold up to three times as much blood as a tampon, so you may be able to wait until the latter end of that timeframe if you have a lighter flow. All you have to do is pull on the toggle to remove the cup, tip the blood into the toilet, and wipe the cup with a tissue or rinse it out with water. It's obviously much easier to do this in the comfort of your own home but can also be subtly done in a public or work toilet.
The best part about menstrual cups is that they can be worn anywhere at any time. That includes overnight, in water, and even if you're having a super heavy period. Owning one also means you no longer have to think about carrying extra period protection around with you.
With many benefits and few disadvantages, menstrual cups are well worth thinking about. And if you're apprehensive about the blood part, just consider how much you could be helping the planet, not to mention how much money you could save.