Menstrual Cups have come to campus

Posted by chj6 at Dec 02, 2016 03:10 PM |
A brand of reusable menstrual cup, the Mooncup, is now being stocked in the Students’ Union Food Market.

This has been a huge success for a student-led project to raise awareness of menstrual cups. “I wanted to start a conversation about the current trends surrounding menstruation and promote some alternatives.” Says Geography student Caroline Jeffery.

“48 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed each year globally – putting increasing pressure on landfill space and polluting the oceans. But reusable alternatives now exist. The end goal for my project has always been to get such products sold on campus as an alternative option to tampons and sanitary towels.”

Caroline applied to the SEED fund to purchase 15 Mooncups and gave them out to students and staff. They then trialled the product and reviewed it in a Facebook group – with 13/15 people saying they will continue to use it.

Mooncups2

As the project grew, they held stalls and workshops in the Students’ Union to raise awareness. Through this project and by word of mouth, more people are finding out about menstrual cups and making the switch.

We asked Caroline...

Why use a cup instead?

1. Comfort
“can’t feel it, doesn’t give that dry feeling”

2. Convenience
“holds more fluid and can be worn for up to 12 hours”

3. Cost
“price per month works out as 11-17p per month”

4. Health
“chemical free, no risk of TSS”

5. Environment
“Menstrual cups are reusable – they last for 10 years so avoid 99.999% of the waste tampons and sanitary towels produce.”

How does it work?Mooncup5

"A menstrual cup is flexible so it folds on insertion and removal. When you are out and about, it conforms to your natural shape so there are no leaks – you can’t even feel it!"

Does it work for everyone?

“Menstrual cups will work for most people. Some may find it harder to begin with, Mooncup states it can take up to 3 cycles to get used to it. However there is lots of help available online to perfect your technique so there are no spills or leakages."

"There are also a wide range of brands, with different size cups, flexibilities, colours and prices, so you can find the perfect one for you.”

I started using my mooncup just under a year ago. I can't believe I didn't try one earlier, it would have made my life so much easier, especially on my year abroad! I have always preferred tampons, but I find the mooncup to be much more comfortable. I honestly can't feel it at all, and it is much more convenient than tampons as it doesn't need to be changed as often and does not carry the risk of TSS. I like to travel a lot, and the mooncup was so useful to have on my month-long trip this summer, especially on long journeys and because it can sometimes be difficult to find tampons abroad. Last but not least, it is so much better for the environment, and miles cheaper than disposable products! I'm definitely converted, never using disposable products again!

Above: A review of the Mooncup by Rosanna, BA Modern Language Studies, former Women's Officer

The student SEED project also goes beyond promoting the personal benefits of menstrual cups– addressing the predominant societal view of menstruation and how this has been influenced by consumerism.

“Although certainly better than 100 years ago, menstruation is still quite a taboo topic. Big feminine hygiene brands know this and perpetuate it to profit. They subtly detach us from our own bodies, selling their products as ‘discreet’ ‘quiet’ ‘convenient’ ‘clean’. This make us see menstruation as something unseemly and unsanitary which should be whisked away by various disposable products."

"Menstrual cups break this negative cycle because with 1 simple product the user experiences an equally hygienic and more comfortable time of the month. They realise that periods aren’t as repulsive and unsanitary as society makes them seem. We are psychologically re-connecting with our own bodies.”

Mooncups4

Perhaps the most famous brand of menstrual cup, the Mooncup is the first hypoallergenic alternative to old-fashioned rubber cups, with medical grade silicone that can be easily cleaned and disinfected between uses. The company also have high credentials, with Ethical Business status, Best Buy status in the Ethical Consumer magazine and winner of the Women in Ethical Business Awards.

You can purchase a Mooncup in the Union St Food Market for £19.99, from 8am-6pm every weekday.