Like many of us, I feel very passionately about sustainable living and something that has always seemed absolutely baffling to me is the lack of awareness of sustainable period products. Back in 2015 when I moved away from home and went to drama school someone mentioned the Mooncup to me, the first time I’d ever heard of anything other than a tampon or period pad, and I was honestly a little bit mind blown. I have been using a Mooncup ever since but recently bought some ModiBodi pants, and they have changed the game all over again!
Some facts to get your head around…
Period plastic is technically classed as medical waste and so doesn’t strictly need to be tracked, which means we don’t understand the true impact our monthlies have on the environment. Click here for an interesting article by the National Geographic explaining how tampons and pads became so unsustainable. Here are a few staggering facts for you:
- A single menstruator will use anywhere between 5 and 15 thousand pads / tampons in a lifetime, almost all of which will end up in landfill sites
- Period products are the fifth most common items found on Europe’s beaches
- A big brand pack of 14 pads contains as much plastic waste as 5 carrier bags
- Roughly 2.5 million tampons, 1.4 million pads and 700,000 panty liners are flushed every single day in the UK alone
- 200,000 tonnes of mentrual waste is landfilled each year in the UK
Our planet is in crisis, with experts reporting that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. If that isn’t enough incentive for you though, how about the fact that by switching to sustainable products you could save 94% of your lifetime spend on period products? That’s a lot of ££ to spend on comfort food to make you feel better instead!
My Experience with the Mooncup
I have been using the Mooncup for four years now, and I have to say I love it. I was initially a bit worried when I first made the switch; at the time I was training as a dancer full time and was dancing anywhere up to 8 hours a day. I was scared that this level of exercise would cause leakage and the fact that I was often in pink ballet tights did not ease my worries at all. These fears were swiftly diminished when after two months of using my Mooncup I hadn’t had a single issue no matter how much exercise I’d been doing. This is still the case four years later, having only ever leaked once (completely my own fault, I hadn’t checked I’d applied it properly) and luckily it was at night.
Application can be a little intimidating the first few times, but I personally don’t find it painful at all. This will obviously be down to the individual (some people struggle with tampons, others don’t etc) but there are lots of websites to talk you through it and the cup came with an instruction guide too.
Something that was always a major selling point for me was the fact you can leave it in for around 12 hours without needing to change it. I was always a bit worried about the risk of toxic shock syndrome with tampons, especially as I used to sleep in them (I have always hated pads, I just always felt like I was wearing a nappy and haven’t used one in years) and worried I’d wake up and have to be hospitalized with TSS one day. With the Mooncup this is not something that has ever worried me and it’s nice to be able to go to sleep feeling settled.
I have used my Mooncup when swimming with no issues. Although I don’t tend to make a habit of swimming whilst on my period, I was in Australia at the time and couldn’t pass up the chance of a dip in the sea. There were no dramas at all, although I would definitely recommend finding a bathroom and emptying it once you’ve finished swimming (just in case).
Other things I love about the Mooncup: I have only ever replaced mine once, I didn’t need to but just thought it might be a good idea. They are so easy to clean (again, instructions in the pack) and have saved me an unbelievable amount of money since I started using it.
So what are the downsides? There are only a couple I can think of; I find that sometimes changing my Mooncup can be a bit messy, especially at the start of my period. I have only changed mine in a public bathroom once (after swimming in Aus) and it’s not something I’d make a habit of doing. It’s not difficult, but I just like the comfort of doing it at home in my own space with a sink right next to me. I also find that if I leave it in for around 12 hours it can very occasionally become a little uncomfortable. Naturally, that thing called gravity can make it shift its original position, but this is not something that causes me trouble too often.
If you’d like to check out the Mooncup website and maybe invest in your own, click here.
My Experience with ModiBodi
I have used my ModiBodi pants for two cycles now and they have been revolutionary. I never ever thought I’d say this, but I actually think I love them even more than the Mooncup. Since my first purchase I have bought a few more pairs and I honestly think they will be my go-to from now on.
First of all, they are so soft and comfy. I have surgery scars on my hip from an operation I had last year and I was really worried they’d make them sore as lots of my other undies do. This has not been a problem once, even in the height of this heatwave we’re having.
I thought cleaning these undies would be a bit gross, but it’s actually the easiest thing in the world and takes around two minutes. Hang them out to dry and they’re ready to use all over again the next morning (or you could be like me and invest in a whole range of ModiBodi knickers to mix and match!)
They are so clean and sanitary, there have been no funky smells (something I was a little worried about when making my first purchase) and no leaks at all. Also, and this is an important one for me, I find them super flattering. It’s so rare for me to feel good about myself on my period amongst all the bloating and general sluggishness, but I find wearing my ModiBodi pants so empowering – is that weird? I don’t know. I’m not sure why at all, but I just feel so fantastic in them and I’m so glad I made the leap.
I honestly can’t think of a single negative thing to report on my experience with my ModiBodi pants. If I had to push for something it’s that they can sometimes take a little while to dry due to the thickness of the pad area, but this isn’t a problem for me since I now have multiple pairs! I can’t emphasize enough how much I love this product. And if all that gushing wasn’t enough to encourage you to take the leap, how about the fact that they have a ‘Giving Back’ scheme to end period poverty which you can read about on their website if you click here.
I can’t recommend these enough, and though they seem a bit pricey as a short term investment, long term it will save you so much money too!
Questions I’ve had on Instagram
I think I’ve answered most questions that I’ve had already, but here are just a couple of specifics:
Are they suitable for people with a heavy flow?
I’d definitely say so. ModiBodi has many different options depending on how heavy / light your flow is so I’d suggest having a look around their website. The Mooncup also definitely works for people with a heavy flow! I’ve never had to change it in an emergency like I’ve had to do with tampons, but again have a look around their website for more info.
Does the Mooncup slip at all?
Sometimes, yes, but only when I’ve had it in for too long.
Any advice for using the cup for the first time?
Don’t be nervous! There is honestly nothing to worry about, I had no dramas at all and it doesn’t hurt in the slightest. From reading other blog posts I know some people who are a little worried have used lube to apply it, but I’ve never done this so can’t comment on how it helps/not. I would suggest reading around various blog posts to see what others have to say too!
And that’s that! I honestly have loved my experiences with both products. It’s so nice knowing that I’m doing a little bit to help the environment in some small way, saving lots of money to spend on Ben and Jerry’s instead, and taking ownership of my periods in a way I’ve never done before. If you have any questions feel free to comment on here or message me privately on my Instagram account @dearkatherineanne.