SAFER, GREENER, CHEAPER: The Mooncup and the Development of Menstrual Cup Technology in the Twentieth Century

Camilla Mørk Røstvik* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


When the Mooncup® menstrual cup was launched in the United Kingdom in 2002, it joined a history of innovations that began in the 1900s. Like other commercialised menstrual products, such as disposable pads and tampons, the menstrual cup sits at the crossroads of medical device safety concerns, environmentalism, and economic debates surrounding ‘period poverty.’ Analysing how and when the brand emerged in the longer history of menstrual cup technology, this paper asks what it means for menstruating bodies to utilise the menstrual cup as a technology during its re-emergence as a novel and increasingly popular control mechanism for menstrual blood leakage. Specifically, this paper considers how the silicone properties of the Mooncup made it a viable commercial technology where other visually similar, but materially different, cups had failed in terms of popularisation. To do so, the article draws on an interview with a company employee, materials relating to the regulation of the cup, and literature from Critical Menstruation Studies. Situating it in menstrual technological history and within the specifics of the Mooncup product helps both broaden the historiography of menstrual cups, and reveals how this technology was developed during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-103
Number of pages23
Issue number2
Early online date1 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021
Event47th Annual Meeting of ICOHTEC - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 15 Jul 202017 Jul 2020


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