Ok, perhaps the title of this article is misleading. I can’t tell you how to deal with the sometimes excruciating pain, or how to overcome the fact that you are at your weakest physically during that time, but there is one thing I can help you with.
I’ve actually been very fortunate and somehow not had to deal with this issue too many times (with a total of 19 races last year I’m not sure how but I’m not questioning it too much.)
However, once is more than enough, and I’ve had enough experience to try a few different things.
Let’s be honest, unless you’re at the end of your period, running with nothing is not really an option, and if you’ve ever tried it, you’ll know that running with a tampon through mud and water is not only disgusting and uncomfortable, it’s also dangerous.
Well, the opportunity arose to try something new to me and so I did.
Introducing the moon cup. Costing around £18-20 from high street chemists or online, it’s really easy to get hold of. Yes the concept is a little weird at first but trust me.
The moon cup is a small silicone device with a little handle at the bottom, which basically collects everything and keeps it there until you are able to clean up.
Perhaps running the 28km Spartan Beast as the first test of ever wearing it wasn’t the best idea, but I couldn’t have been happier with the results.
The biggest questions I’ve been asked are:
“But doesn’t it just go everywhere when you remove it?”
Nope! take it out carefully (and you have to anyway) and it all stays in there….I would advise practising though!
“Isn’t it disgusting?”
Honestly, this was the cleanest period I have ever had. Ever. Ever. I can’t say it enough times. leading onto the next question…
“Doesn’t it leak?”
If you use it properly, no. Zero leakage, even over 6 hours and 28km later
“Isn’t it uncomfortable?”
It’s silicone, it’s soft. It’s a little weird at first but it totally fits you inside and after a short while you just don’t notice it anymore
“Doesn’t it fall out?”
Nope..there is a little lip on the cup which holds it perfectly in place…
The idea is, it’s a small silicone cup with a little handle on the bottom, you pop it in and forget about it. As and when you can, take it out, clean it and put it back in. There’s none of the risk of toxic shock syndrome, so you don’t need to worry about a four hour time limit, plus it doesn’t absorb all that muddy water which can sometimes happen, again making it cleaner and safe.
Ok, sometimes cleaning it can be tricky, public bathrooms for example would be a problem if there wasn’t a private basin, but in this case, I would advise you to travel with wipes and some water to flush it out.
Another bonus is that you buy it once and replace it after some time, so you are not only saving a lot of money, you’re also saving an awful lot of waste. Oh, and it’s vegan too.
I feel like I ought to say here, I didn’t get this product for free, I paid for it, and so this opinion (like all of my others) is totally unbiased and honest.
The sizing confuses some people, they come in two sizes: A & B, A is for those over 30 or who have had children, and B is for those under 30. However, knowing myself I went for a B, and I wouldn’t mind it still being smaller, so you’ll have to judge for yourself.
Whilst it’s so easy to use, I did find after a few days, the removal with the lip on the cup can become a little painful, so I switched back to tampons, but the more I use it, the more I become used to it.
There’s not much more I can say about this, apart from please try it, you will love it. You will love the ease, the freedom of not being restricted to times, the not having to worry about leaking constantly, you will love how clean you feel, and most of all, you will love how much money you will save.