Girl Talk: The Period Cup is What’s Up
When you find a product that’s really great you tell your friends about it. You also tell them when any products go totally awry leaving you huddled in your bathroom feeling like an awkward teenager. Like what happened with my adventure with the cup. Good friends know that if you recommend a product that made you incredibly awkward that they should try it too. Some of Pathway To Wellness ladies said they would try the cup because we need to talk more about periods and safer period products. We tested some period cups and want to talk about them!
What’s a period cup or menstrual cup? It is a reusable, flexible cup that a woman wears inside like a tampon but instead of absorbing the fluid, the cup collects the fluid. Once the cup is full, you can empty the cup and reuse it again. The cup is often made of silicone or rubber and lasts for years.
A study from 2011 found 91% of women who have tried the cup would use it again and would recommend it to their friends. Less than 2% of women use a menstrual cup. If it’s a product women would use again and they’d recommend to their friends, more of us should be using them! There are so many benefits.
Benefits of The Menstrual Cup
It’s lower cost. A healthy woman of reproductive age will get her period every 28-35 days and it should last 4-7 days. I tried to find a less clinical way to say that woman of reproductive age bit but it either sounded creepy, clinical, or left some ladies out. Let’s say you spend $5 a month on tampons and/or pads. If you’re buying organic products, or have a heavy period, you know it will be more, but let’s say $5. That’s $60 a year! from age 15- 50 you could spend $2,700 on tampons and pads. And that doesn’t include all the new underwear you have to buy after inevitable leaks. A cup can last 10 years meaning you will get your money’s worth from a cup. Even though we did find you might want to try a couple different ones to find the perfect cup with no leaks. You are still saving money!
It also cuts down on waste. Think of all those plastic applicators and pads that don’t end up in a landfill. The fact that it’s reusable means no having your guy go grab you tampons when you need them. But you may have to explain why you’re boiling a cup in the spaghetti pot if anyone asks. The cup also has a higher capacity than a tampon so there is less messing with it throughout the day. Many women say you can just pop it in and forget about it. It’s like you don’t even have your period! That sounds like enough to give it a try, right?
Why Aren’t More Women Using the Menstrual Cup?
Hey, when it comes to our lady parts a lot of us hate to try new things once we get used to something. We use what our moms and our friends use. Over a dozen of us tried out a cup to let you know how it went. We had a few experienced cup users, but most of us were cup newbies. We lost a few testers along the way. One had a hard time getting it in so she thought it might be too big and one was too scared to try it, so she left it hiding under her desk. Another found out she had a very low cervix which she didn’t know so she tried another cup. Even the cup recommended for a low cervix didn’t work for her. Yes, we all learned a lot about each other!
That’s the thing about vaginas is we all have different ones and they change on us throughout the month too. If we don’t talk about these things it makes it even harder to find a right fit and will leave you frustrated wondering what you are doing wrong. So, we all took a cup quiz to find out which cup might work for us. As a whole our group tried six different cups. All of them were medical grade silicone except for one. The Meluna Cup is thermoplastic elastomer, which is good for people with silicone allergies. We didn’t all try the same ones so it’s hard to compare but we all don’t have the same vaginas. We gave it a few months because the cup takes a few cycles to get used to.
What We Learned Testing Period Cups
Want to know what we found out? We took comments we got from ladies for cups for each of the reviews below, and you will notice some of us are wordier than others. What we learned is don’t be afraid to try it. You will know more about yourself in the end, and for most people it works out well. It does take a while to get the hang of it, so don’t be too quick to write off the cup. Don’t feel bad if it doesn’t; maybe your cup is still out there.
OrganiCup is a certified vegan and certified hypoallergenic option with no dyes, chemicals, or other junk you don’t want in your lady business. It comes in minimal packaging with recycled cardboard that has all the info you need printed right on the box. It also comes with its own unbleached cotton bag for storage. Their consumer survey found that 90% of users believe the cup will become more popular than tampons and pads over time plus 94% would recommend the OrganiCup to their friends. This cup is pretty standard sized and shaped. It is a bit softer of a cup. Some of us thought that makes it more comfortable. A few tried it and thought it was flimsy.
OrganiCup Tester #1
I tried the Diva Cup at first and let me tell you that was a blood bath. You have to be really comfortable with yourself to use a cup. Getting it out was tough and I was in tears because I thought I was going to have to go to the ER to have it removed. Let’s just say there was some struggle and some pushing and it finally came out. But I was pulling hard and blood bath everywhere. That cup worked but I like this one even more. It has a longer tip to help you find it.
Now that I got the hang of it, I will never go back to tampons! EVRERRRRRR!!!!!! I realized you don’t bleed as much as you think you do, which it says it on the instructions of the cup, but seeing it is believing it. My periods are even lighter now, even though I used organic tampons in the past, so I thought that was helping! I don’t get as bloated as much as before with the tampons either. It is super easy because I empty it twice during my heavy days and once on my light days. I work out with it in, shower after that and that thing just stays in. I love it!!!!! NO leaks for me either. Until I got the hang of how to put it in, I had a few leaks, but now – Never!
Bottom line: the more you use it the better it gets!!!! I will never go back to tampons again! LIFE Changer. I wish I gave it a try earlier. Many people told me about it, but I was too weirded out to try it. Silly me.
OrganiCup Tester #2
Love. This is the perfect cup for my body. I had tried a firmer cup based on the cup test and was so sad when everybody was loving their cups but me. This one is so much better. My only complaint is my period flow is heavy, so I have to change it often. By often I mean 2-3 times on a heavy day and once on a light day.
The MeLuna Cup had the most options for sizes, handle options, and firmness. The possibilities really are awesome since we all have different needs. It also is the only cup we tried that wasn’t made from silicone. It’s made from an elastomer called TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). Some of the reasons their website cites for using this safe material is because it has lower incidents of allergic reactions, less likely to harbor harmful bacteria, and it’s a pliable.
I had tried other menstrual cups, so I knew what I was looking for in a cup and what I wasn’t looking for. Having so many options was really nice. This is a firmer cup than the diva cup. That might be the reason that I don’t have as many leaks with this cup. I love that there are so many options to choose from even the stem! They get that not all women have the same needs!
This was my first time trying a cup, so I was excited and a little nervous. I took cup test to find out which cup to use and this is the one that was recommended. I’m athletic with a heavy flow, but my other needs are fairly average. This product was hard to fold and to get to fit correctly. Not a good fit for me.
The Lunette cup is a high-grade silicone cup made in Finland with no BPA or chemicals. It comes in a variety of colors which is nice because we have heard that some cups can get stained with time. This cup is a bit shorter than the standard cup. The model 1 size is moderate firmness with the Model 2 being a little firmer. Their website is full of useful information for first-time and seasoned cup users! We can all learn more about our bodies, periods and cups.
I love, love, love my Lunette. I had tried a different brand, but it didn’t fit me well. When I took the cup test and it recommended the Lunette Cup. I might have given up but after trying the lunette I won’t give it up. It was difficult to remove in the beginning but once you find your groove in taking it out, it’s wonderful!!
I love my Lunette. My cup test came back as the standard Diva Cup but I like this one. It’s a firmer cup that I like compared to the flimsy cups that are hard to pop open. It seemed too squishy or hard to pop open. Or maybe I have a hostile vagina who doesn’t like newcomers… hard to tell… The Lunette works though! I love being able to pop it in and basically forget about even having a period for the day. It’s perfect for kayaking daytrips (or any day/daytrip when you don’t want to be bothered with period gear and restroom awareness).
The Lena Cup was voted by Cosmopolitan readers to be the #1 best cup for beginners and is the best-selling cup on Amazon. It’s also very affordable which is a big plus when trying new cups. You can buy a 2-pack for the same cost of some other brands. This cup is on the firm and short side. This cup is made in the U.S.A and has a few options for sizes.
I liked the Lena cup ok, I ordered the large because my flow is so heavy, I thought it would be better, but the fit on me was too large and sat too low, causing irritation. This was a firm cup and that was shorter. What I really liked about this cup is I never had any leaks. I did end up with a longer cup that leaks sometimes but is more comfortable.
This wasn’t my first cup. My first cup experience wasn’t perfect. I’m clumsy and let’s just say the bathroom got a deep cleaning afterwards. So, I did procrastinate on trying this new cup. I have to say, I really like it. It was much easier to insert and a bit easier to take out. Now that I have the hang of it, it’s nice not to have to worry about your period all day!
The XO Flo Cup has a larger capacity than the other cups we tried. It also comes in a mini with the same unique shape but smaller. It has a unique U-shape in comparison to the bell shape of most cups. According to their website, XO Flo’s patent-pending inner support rings help pop XO Flo open once inserted—no need for a thick, uncomfortable rim like other cups. Support rings also ensure easy removal. This cup is super smooth and has a long customizable stem. That makes it easier to find or easy to cut short if you have a low cervix.
XO Flo Tester #1
I have a lower cervix, so I just cut part of the tail off to make the perfect length for me. I loved the shape and size of this cup which were perfect for my body and cycle. I’ve had a baby, I’m physically fit and I have heavy cycles. Over the years, I have tried several different cups, and this was my favorite with the Super Jennie being a close second. This was my first cup with no leaks! The quiz is helpful but it’s important to try different cups.
I really liked this cup and how smooth it was. The fact that there are no bumps or rims to irritate me is a big bonus. I don’t even notice it’s there once it’s in and once it’s in, it’s staying put. Now I know I have a high cervix so having the longer tail allowed for me to find it easier which sounds crazy, but it makes a difference. I like the packaging and the cute little bag it came with.
Everyone in the office ooh and ahh-ed as we circled around to check out the packaging of the Saaltmenstrual cup. The packaging left a great first impression with creative design. These cups and packaging were obviously designed by women for women.
The company started after one of the founders heard that some of her family in Venezuela didn’t have access to period products for months. This got her thinking about how dependent we are on disposable products. There’s more to the story on how this cool company got started. They also donate 2% of all revenue to donate period care and help fund initiatives in education, empowerment, and sustainability. We also learned from them that having two cup sizes is nice because your period needs change day-to-day.
Saalt Tester #1
LOVEEEEE!! I love this cup more than the Diva Cup and I really like the Diva Cup. The longer and flat stem makes it easy to find and take out. I have a high cervix so the first few times I tried a cup were tricky. Don’t worry it gets easier! The nature of the Saalt cup is also softer and higher quality. Not to forget about the packaging….it’s super cute, feminine and makes you feel good about your period. If you’re going to get your period every month you should feel good about it!
Saalt tester #2
I hadn’t tried the cup before but really wanted to for the cost savings. I took the cup test and it recommended the Saalt Cup. It took me a few months to get comfortable enough to leave the house with it in but now it’s working well. I use both the small and the large even though I have had kids. It seems like my vagina changes throughout my period and of course, I have different levels of flow on different days.
Try a Menstrual Cup for Yourself!
For the majority of us, the benefits of the menstrual cup far outweigh the initial learning curve. For a few of us it wasn’t their cup of tea. It’s worth a try! It will save you money in the long run but that can be hard to see in the beginning especially if you have to try a few cups.
If one cup lasts 10 years, like the brands we tested, that’s more than 120 periods and could be over 3,000 tampons. The cup can save you money and save the planet from waste. The convenience is the biggest benefit we found and something we should treat ourselves to once in a while. Just because we have always done something a certain way doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way.
Written by Dawn Miller