Women's Health Base

A look at women, the world and the web

Mooncup sales on the rise

Posted by hannahflynn on June 8, 2009

Many advocates cite the environemental benefits

Many advocates cite the environmental benefits. (Distributed under the Creative Common's license)

Sales of menstrual cups have increased dramatically over the last year in the UK, mainly due to their increasing presence on the high street.

High street chemist Boots stocked the menstrual product in only 300 of its stores last year, but you can now buy them in 1,300. Sales have grown by 37 per cent since April 2008.

Kath Clements, a spokesperson for Mooncup UK  said, “It is now a normal thing to do rather than a fringe product. I think it has become popular during this financial crisis because it saves a lot of money and some women like the fact that it is an environmentally friendly product.”

Their product has received a lot of attention recently with a recent positive Which? review. Expert Alison Eastwood said, “four out of seven testers [became] enthusiastic converts, won over by the cost, how well it works and the convenience of not having to carry tampons about and dispose of them” 

In the same year, Mooncup has been awarded ‘Best Buy’ status by the Ethical Consumer Magazine.   The Mooncup is also the top rated sanitary product in The Good Shopping Guide (New Edition).

So what is the Mooncup?

Basically, it is a small silicon cup which you use in place of a tampon. It is reusable so you only need to buy one. They currently retail for around £19, but the company and coverts claim the savings quickly add up. It is registered with the Vegan Society.

Many women use it for the environmental benefits, but more use it because of heavy periods or conversely light periods. The Mooncup holds on average three times as much as a tampon or pad, but because it isn’t absorbent it can be used by people with light flows without being uncomfortable.

Mooncup UK are based near Bristol and are an ethical company which employs only eight people

Mooncup UK are based near Bristol and are an ethical company which employs only eight people. (Distributed under the Creative Commons license.)

So, what’s wrong with it. Firstly it could cause problems if you are prone to urinary tract infections as it can press on the urethra in a similar way to the diaphragm. Originally, supporters of The Mooncup cited it did not carry the risk  of toxic shock syndrome which tampons did, but current medical advice suggests you do not leave anything in your vagina for longer than eight hours. The manufacturers of The Mooncup also admit their product requires a “hands on approach” which women who are used to modern products may find hard to become accustomed too.

Now the big one. Carrying it around in public is a bit of a bore. The only thing which is provided to hold it is a pretty cotton drawstring bag. It is attractive but: white, absorbent and porous. Plus, there is the issue of rinsing it out in public. The company suggest carrying a bottle of water with you to use in the cubicle, but that could end up seeming more cumbersome than what you are currently using.

Have you used the Mooncup or are you thinking about doing so? If so drop me a line on what you think of this innovative product.


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