I Tried A Lunar Cup And This Is What Happened

Thinking of making the leap?

I’ve been thinking about trying a lunar – or menstrual cup – for about four years now. Each month I think about it, make myself feel a little guilty for not acting on my thoughts and then stick to my regular tampon/pad combo. To be fair, I have been using organic and biodegradable products since forever, however, I know in my sustainable living heart-of-hearts that menstrual cups are an even greener way to go.

It’s also the reason I put my hand up to write this story because there’s nothing like an impending deadline to get things moving.

When I unpacked my chosen period cup (I went with Tom Organic’s new cup that comes in two different sizes) the first thing I discovered was a 47-page user guide urging me to carefully read every page and highlighting the importance of using the cup correctly. Presumably, this is meant to make me feel prepared, however, all it does is make me want to pack it all up and put it off again till next month. But then I remember, deadline, so I persevere.

I learn that there are two different ‘folds’ to try when inserting – the C fold, which is where you fold the cup into a C shape before inserting, or the punch down fold (still not feeling reassured) where you press down on the rim towards the base of the cup creating a triangle shape. Instantly  I’m back to those awkward teenage years remembering how flustered I felt learning to insert a tampon. I’m beginning to wonder how difficult this is going to be.


All I have to do before inserting is sterilise the cup, another mental barrier that would normally have motivated me to put the whole thing off for another month, but here we are, back at the deadline, so I take the next step. You can sterilise either in boiling water or in Tom Organic’s case, the steriliser provided. I go with the boiling water option as it seems less intimidating somehow.

Next, insertion. I lock myself in the bathroom, fold the cup into the aforementioned C shape while willing myself to relax (the instruction booklet recommends taking a few deep breaths, gently push it up, then twist it (slowly) 360 degrees to make sure it expands, and I’m done.

It’s actually not that bad, in fact, I can’t feel it more than you would a tampon, which surely means success, right?

According to the box, you can wear this particular period cup for the length of time you’d normally take to go through three super tampons. Since it’s my first time, and I have no clue how long this might last me, I’m also wearing period undies as a backup.

After about five hours I take it out, more out of curiosity than any urge to change it over.

To be honest, it’s a little confronting and a bit icky, but it’s easy to discard into the toilet, and to be fair, not any grosser than changing a tampon. You can either reinsert immediately or if you prefer, sterilise again, the instructions say either option is fine. You just need to sterilise once your period has finished for the month.

I actually feel quite empowered, like I’ve had a little eco win. I continue to use the cup during the day for the rest of my period and feel like I am converted. I’m now officially a cup girl.

Tom's Organic The Period Cup, $40
Tom’s Organic The Period Cup, $40
INTIMINA Lily Cup x1, $49.95
INTIMINA Lily Cup x1, $49.95
Accalia Menstrual Cup, $39.95
Accalia Menstrual Cup, $39.95

Jenny Ringland and Erica Watson, of Green + Simple, are marie claire’s new sustainability experts. Each week they’ll be posting weekly stories on the best green, clean fashion, beauty and lifestyle products, as well as interviewing industry game-changers and experts. Learn more here

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