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    Lunette Menstrual Cup: Adventures from My Vagina

    Ladies, we need to have a conversation on here today about what we’re putting into our bodies. More specifically? Our vaginas.

    (Um, yeah. I guess this is the point where I tell any dudes trying to date me / my immediate family/ people ready to vote for Trump: Go over to a safer post like our recent interview with Christine Knapp.)

    I’ve been writing GPB for almost 8 years and have made SO many sustainable swaps: reusable, on-the-go cloth towel over paper towels; reusable bags; a french press over coffee filters / single serve cup. (I’m glaring at you, Keurig.)

    But a few personal items have plagued me for years. Dental floss. Q-Tips. And tampons.

    The problem with Tampons

    Those Tampax or Kotex brand tampons overflowing on your conventional grocery shelves? The FDA doesn’t regulate the ingredients, which means they’re full of chemicals and possibly GMOs. As Lauryn Evarts puts it, “most tampons and pads are bleached with chlorine which leads to a toxic byproduct called dioxin, which is linked to endometriosis and cancer, as it’s a known carcinogen.” Another estimate is that there’s as much plastic in the average pad as four plastic bags.

    Why does this matter? Your vagina is super-absorbent – which can be fun when using chemical-free, organic lube – but terrible when these are chemicals you wouldn’t eat but are still putting into your body.

    Plus, there’s the sheer quantity of tampons. It’s estimated that a woman will use over 9000 tampons in her lifetime, 2280 panty liners (for backup/light days), costing her over $2200 just for bleeding once a month, crying over their neighbors putting plastic bags IN the recycling bin and binge-purchasing Whole Foods’ vegan chocolate chip cookies… (or is that just me?!)

    After years of considering it, I decided to finally try out a menstrual cup. (i.e. a reusable cup that you stick into your vagina (like a tampon), empty out when you’re ready and stick back in.

    And what a better way to share my private experience with a select audience than the blog, for you fine readers?!

    My trial with Lunette Menstrual Cup

    I received a complimentary sample for a silicone menstrual cup Lunette. There’s a handful of brands these days (with all feel-good names to make you forget about your personal Bloody Sunday: the Diva Cup, Moon, etc..) You pick between two sizes (1 or 2, with 1 being smaller.) I chose 1.

    Lunette menstrual cup

    My first thoughts in opening the box:

    • “Wow. This is a BIG box. Is this supposed to fit into my vagina?!” (Opens box.)
    • “Oh wait. I’ve seen way bigger. I can totally handle this.”

    I read the instructions and found out I’m expected to sanitize the cup by boiling it in water for 20 minutes. Perfect. Minus the fact I have to “watch it” to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot.

    Who needs to play a video game when you can play "keep the cup from burning?!"
    Who needs to play a video game when you can play “keep the menstrual cup from burning?!”

    30 minutes later, I’m relatively sure the Lunette is safe enough for my vagina. At least safer than those conventional, chemical-laden tampons. Right?!

    Inserting the Lunette Menstrual cup

    My new menstrual cup. Clearly, the chipped nails and vegan chocolate chip cookie in the background prove it's really me you guys.
    My new menstrual cup. Clearly, the chipped nails and vegan chocolate chip cookie in the background proves it’s really me you guys.

    Inserting the cup is a little tricky the first couple of times. First and foremost – you must wash your hands and cup in soap to avoid any germs from spreading. (Seems obvious right?)

    The “C fold” or “heart fold” was my insertion method of choice, but there’s a few options. Essentially, you flatten the cup and then fold it again, say a quick prayer and then insert it in like you’re 13 again.

    Weird Things about the Lunette Cup

    • The first time‘s a little odd as I was trying to fight the physics of the cup blossoming open too early IN my lady flower, but after the second attempt, it was far enough into my nether regions to let it flourish. The suction keeps the cup in place to avoid any leaks, although my first trial run was on a Saturday to be safe. Memories of seventh grade can traumatize for years…
    • The Lunette has a stem which might be too long, depending on you – since every vagina is different/beautiful. You can cut the stem shorter, but I’d recommend waiting for a few trial runs before modifying.
    • Your friends’ reactions. My BFF was a little weirded out (although intrigued as she continuously asked for updates on my super-personal science experiment). Although she expressed concern about my emptying the cup in her bathroom toilet, but I can assure you it was nothing like the infamous Psycho shower scene.
    • Removing it: Unlike a tampon, you can’t just pull the Lunette like a string. Instead, you have to pinch the cup to break the suction seal.

    Emptying the cup wasn’t as traumatic as I thought. After dumping into the toilet, I washed it with soap & water in the sink and returned it to its monthly home. (You’re supposed to keep it in for 8-10 hours max.)

    The Lunette Cup Verdict

    After a complete cycle, I was pleased with my first week of using Lunette. I didn’t have to worry about making trips to the bathroom with a purse (or my usual move: forget my tampons at my desk until I’m in the bathroom and remember I need to change it…) or removing a tampon too soon? That terrible, dry feeling doesn’t happen with silicon. Specifically, the conventional tampon’s composition “of rayon and cotton absorbs your vagina’s protective fluid, drying out and disrupting its normal pH levels.”

    Plus, I could run, practice yoga, sleep, eat and do everything humans do during my period. No difference there.

    Currently, I plan on sticking to the cup switch. Further proof? Our Instagram post about the Lunette cup had many cup-loving friends emerge from the woodwork to sing its praises, and I found out that several IRL friends have been using it for 10 years! (If only I tried this experiment years ago…)

    Now, it’s time to hear from my cup-loving lady friends: What’s been your experience making the switch? Tell us in the comments. Or if you’re on the fence, ask away in the comments. We’ve already broken the awkwardness factor by bringing this up in the first place…

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    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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