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Caption:Claire, 40, uses a menstrual cup during her period to reduce waste. 'The one thing with the Mooncup is that it is more hassle. It needs boiling to clean it properly. We have a ‘Mooncup pan’ in which I boil it and sometimes I have to rush into the kitchen to stop someone from boiling an egg in it.' Manchester, UK, April 2019
Credit:WaterAid/ David Severn
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"The one thing with the Mooncup is that it is more hassle. It needs boiling to clean it properly. We have a ‘Mooncup pan’ in which I boil it and sometimes I have to rush into the kitchen to stop someone from boiling an egg in it. I don’t find the moon cup as convenient to empty when I am out and about. I’d only be able to do that if adequate facilities are available, since you do end up with blood on your hands."

Claire, 40, Manchester, UK

I use sanitary pads, tampons and a Mooncup when I’m on my period. I buy them from a vegan cooperative near me. The tampons and pads are made of 100 percent cotton and are perfume and chlorine free, as well as being biodegradable. The Mooncup is made out of silicon and is plastic-free. You insert the moon cup into your vagina and then then little head sticks out, so that you can pull it out again.

My main consideration is that these products are better for the environment. I made a lifestyle choice to reduce waste. Before becoming more environmentally conscious I used regular supermarket brands. With the Mooncup, a side benefit is that it saves me having to but much of the normal products, as the cup is reusable. I like using it because I can leave it in longer than a tampon, it’s safer for the body.

My initial period knowledge would have come from my mum I think. Later I discussed it with friends. In my circle of friends it’s very acceptable to talk about these things and I myself have become a lot more comfortable in these conversations after having had children.

The one thing with the Mooncup is that it is more hassle. It needs boiling to clean it properly. We have a ‘moon cup pan’ in which I boil it and sometimes I have to rush into the kitchen to stop someone from boiling an egg in it. I don’t find the moon cup as convenient to empty when I am out and about. I’d only be able to do that if adequate facilities are available, since you do end up with blood on your hands. It’s a choice I have made though, like we use reusable nappies for the kids to reduce waste.
I don’t use the Mooncup on the first day of my period, as it leaks a bit more than other products.

With tampons, I am a bit concerned that I forget to take it out, as that has happened before. I don’t have that with the Mooncup. The little head that sticks out though, compared to the small thread of a tampon, can be a bit more uncomfortable. I’d consider using reusable sanitary pads in the future, or perhaps anything new that might come out.

My period doesn’t affect my confidence, but I do permit myself to rest more and I am more gentle with myself.

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