There are several sellers on AliExpress, ebay, Amazon and other such sites – selling very cheap menstrual cups. Often with no actual brand name. None of them have actual websites to be able to refer back to. Some of these are using images and descriptions stolen off established menstrual cup sites, and some of the cups themselves look to be copies of other brands of cup.
You’re talking really cheap…. as in from less than $5 for a cup (including postage!!) See AliExpress listings here for example.
Aneer, Rainbow Cup, iCare
So what do you get for your money? Well if you’re me, nothing :P I ordered one of the cups with a moon shaped stem from the “Love you sotre” store, so I could review it here because a lot of people have been asking about these cheap cups…. and never received anything, and that store doesn’t have any more listings of that style of cup any more – so while they said they will send me another one, I’m not sure if I will get the cup I ordered… but anyway….
While on the one hand I think it is great that more and more cups are being made available to people, and that low prices that make cups affordable can be a good thing…. I personally have concerns about this sort of thing.
Some of these cups look VERY SIMILAR to other established cups on the market. Some of them are claiming they are made from silicone, when it appears they are not. Some of them are showing pictures in their listings that are not of the same cups they are selling. Which I personally think leads to some of these companies not being reputable. So buying these cups may be a risk.
Potential safety concerns
Not all countries have high standards of quality, so it is important to realise that a cup that is from a reputable company (especially if it has FDA or other similar approval) you should feel fairly confident that there has been sufficient testing to ensure that the materials in that cup is safe to use. There is nothing at all stopping a company from making a menstrual cup made from absolutely anything and selling it on ebay or the like…. you really have to trust the company that it is made of what they say it is, and that it is compliant with safety standards…
Personally I figure that if a company has taken the time to make a website, put information up there for consumers and looks like a good business….. then I’m likely to place more trust in them. If a company only sells on cheap sites, with lower quality packaging, no website, usage pictures that aren’t even of the cup they are selling – I’m less inclined to trust that brand/seller.
While on the one hand I don’t like that menstrual cups are considered “medical devices” and need FDA (and other similar) approval for sale – On the other hand, given that they are going to reside in a warm vagina for up to 12 hours at a time – I’d personally want some assurance that it’s not going to cause harm long term.
It is sad to say, but China does have a history of adding cheaper additives to things, to keep costs down. Even when those additives are not safe and have even killed people:
6 infants killed, 54,000 being hospitalised – after being fed infant formula that had melamine (which is basically plastic) added to it (on purpose)
Ongoing use of lead paint and toxic chemicals in childrens toys
So there’s that risk concern if you are buying a cup that is not approved by some well known body like the FDA/TGA…. which I would like to point out, is a concern no matter where the cup is manufactured, and that some of the large well known brands are manufactured in China as well – but it is of extra concern to me when cups that are being sold by these types of cheaper sellers are being manufactured in a country which has such history of negligence towards public safety.
Also, don’t forget, there is a health risk for using even the humble tampon…. and I’m sure we all know about the “rely” tampons of the 1980s – which had undergone safety tests and then later been recalled
Pretty much you can guarantee that when prices are low, something has come at a cost. Now that may be that they don’t waste money on nice packaging and advertising (which will cost a lot), and that could be the only difference – but it is possible (or likely) that they are also using cheaper materials to make it, and that may be fine…. but it may not be.
|For example, the “Aneer” brand cup claims it is made from silicone, however they also frequently show these cups in packaging marked “PE-LD” with the number 4. Which seems to indicate they are not made of silicone, but of Low Density polyethylene (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-density_polyethylene). So that is misleading/fraudulent advertising for a start. Is that material safe for a menstrual cup though? I don’t know. The wiki article mentions uses of that type of plastic, but none of those uses are for things people use on their bodies.
It is worth mentioning that the MeLuna cups are also not made from silicone, but are instead made from TPE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoplastic_elastomer#Applications) – which does have medical device applications listed, and they have a helpful page on their website addressing people’s questions about this material (http://www.meluna.org/MeLuna-material)
This isn’t to say that cups not make of silicone aren’t safe, but if you are the sort of person who is concerned about limiting exposure to potentially harmful ingredients in plastics, then you might want to think carefully about what your cup is made from, and check that it has passed relevant safety tests.
Some people have reported that some of these cheaper cups have a terrible plastic/chemical smell.
I don’t profess to know exactly how cups are made, but I do know that some brands have got people like myself to be a tester for their cup while it was in the design process. Then based on feedback, they make changes, possibly send more samples out to the testers, then when they are confident in their product they go into production. So there would have been considerable expense in getting the initial design, then getting it redesigned as well as making and sending out the tester cups.
Other cup brands have changed their designs and silicone formulas to better suit customers preferences after they have been out on the market for a while.
So some existing cup companies put a lot of time and money into producing their brand of cup. If another company comes along, buys one of their cups, takes a mold of it and starts making a new cup that is an exact copy or close enough to it – Not exactly fair is it?
Now, that sort of thing doesn’t bother some people… and to an extent, many of us use products that were once someone’s original design and are now being produced by others (jeans for example)…. But while commercial theft is common…. it doesn’t really make it right does it. To me there is a difference between taking “inspiration” from someone else, “copying” someones idea but adding your own changes to it, or completely making an exact replica. I think the first 2 are acceptable, but I don’t like to condone the latter.
Which is why I liked the idea of those cups with the heart and moons on the stems – as those were very different to other cups on the market.. and very cute!
Country of origin: China
Sizes: “1″ (small), “2″ (large)
Dimensions: Size 1 = 40mm diameter, Total length 70mm, stem length 20mm. Size 2 = 45mm diameter, Total length 70mm, stem length 15mm.
Capacity: Size 1 = 15.5ml (to holes?) 20ml (to rim). Size 2 = 26mls (to rim?)
Stem: Solid tube
Measuring Lines: No
Been around since:
Other Details: Available in blue, green, purple and orange. I don’t like that their advertising claims “The Rainbow’s Menstrual Cup is the original silicone menstrual cup designed by women to be a convenient, safe and eco-friendly alternative to tampons and sanitary pads. ” Since it isn’t the original silicone cup…. Mooncup UK was the first silicone cup in 2000. People have complained that these cups have a very strong “plastic” or chemical smell.
Country of origin: China?
Sizes: “1” (small), “2” (large)
Dimensions: Size 1 = 40mm diameter, 85mm long including stem. Size 2 = 45mm diameter, 85mm long
Been around since:
Other Details: Comes in Pink, Purple, White and clear. The AliExpress site selling them, has information in the listing referencing the product being called “LadyCup” and with the url http://www.ladycup.cn (which doesn’t exist). The AliExpress listing also has “Rockbrook Industrial CO” watermarked all over it, but their website (http://rockbrook.en.ec21.com) doesn’t mention the cups.
Country of origin: (China I assume)
Composition: Claims Silicone, but look to be actually Low-density polyethylene (plastic)
Sizes: “S” (small), “L” (large)
Dimensions: “S” = 43mm Diameter, 50mm length. “L” = 46mm Diameter , 50mm length
Stem: Flat Tab
Been around since:
Other Details: Comes in pale pink, purple or clear. Looks very similar to a Lunette (Suspect this cup may be a Lunette ripoff). Listings claim it is made from silicone, but an unboxing video and pictures of the packaged cups clearly show they are marked with “PE-LD”, which stands for Low-density polyethylene (a form of plastic) - so they are *NOT* made from silicone.
LadyCup often bring out new colours for their cups, with pretty matching bags. Here is their current selection:
Country of origin: Spain
Sizes: “S” (small), “M” (large)
“S” = 47mm long without stem, 70mm including stem. 41mm diameter. 25ml total capacity, 20ml to airholes
“M” = 52mm long without stem, 70mm including stem. 46mm diameter. 35 total capacity, 29 to airholes
Stem: Hollow tube
Cost (RRP): € 25.00
Been around since: 2013
Other Details: Site says it is available in 6 colors: clear, pink, purple, red, blue and green. However the shopping cart doesn’t appear to give the option to choose colour.
Country of origin: China
Sizes: Size “2” (small) and “1” (large)
Stem: Hollow tube with valve
Been around since: 2013
Other Details: Has a hollow stem with a valve that allows you to empty the cup (every 4-8 hours is recommended) while it is still in place. They appear to sell a special steam steriliser as well.
Country of origin: Italy
Sizes: “1” and “2”
Dimensions: Size “1” & Size “2” – Length including stem = 66.5mm, 45mm without stem. Diameter = 42.5mm. Size “2” diameter = 46mm
Capacity: Size “1” 18mls (to holes) 24mls (to rim?). Size “2”
Stem: Hollow tube?
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP): € 19.90
Been around since: 2013
Country of origin: Mexico
Sizes: “M” and “G”
Measuring Lines: Yes
Been around since:
I got this cup a few months ago, and I’ve been meaning to write up the review!
I got given 2 sizes, the “M” and the “G”, with an instruction pamphlet (not in English), and packaged in a tin.
Not sure if the have English instructions available :/
Large and Small cup size difference
Large Lunette, Large Lunacup, Small Lunacup, Small Diva
This cup felt quite long. Even though overall it is actually shorter than the Lunette I normally use, the ball of the stem was poking out of my vagina, which was a bit annoying because I could feel the ball stem when I wiped after going to the toilet, and I could feel it inside me. It didn’t feel like it was poking me though, just that I could feel it was there. So I found it more comfortable than a tube stem, which I find poke me. But less comfortable than a shorter bodied cup.
It is about as squishy as a Diva cup or Fleurcup – so softer than Ladycup, but not quite as soft as Skoon – so I’ve given it a squishyness rating of 3/10. I found it folded nice and easily, I had no trouble getting it to open up. Removal was easy, although I had to hold the ball of the stem from side-on instead of up&down if that makes sense, as my fingers slipped off otherwise. But for ease of removal, this stem is definitely preferable to the thin stick stems like Juju has.
The top of the cup has a very slight “ridge” with a larger rounded rim, I find this sort of smoother shape for the rim of the cup to be more comfortable for insertion and removal than the cups that have a very pronounced ridge (eg Mooncup UK style)
The cups are a frosted whiteish silicone, with a pretty leaf design on 2 sides of the base of the cup as the grip lines.. The ball stem has little lines on it to help with grip. There are 2 lines on the outside, presumably for measuring, but there is no indication of what those lines are.
The outside of the cup, near the rim, has a “G” or an “M” on them to signify the sizing – “M” being the small and “G” being the large. There is no company name or branding on the cup. Completely smooth on the inside, the inside of the cup at the base comes down to a point (is not flat inside like Mooncup (UK)), which helps you to be able to squish the base of the cup (though can mean it needs a slight more rinsing to get blood from inside that area.
The airholes are big enough that they didn’t trap any blood inside, so that was good – overall the cup only needed a rinse to be clean.
I personally found the longer shape to be slightly more uncomfortable than other shorter cups, but for those who prefer the longer cups, I think this one could be a good choice.
With every purchase of a Ruby cup, they give a cup to a needy schoolgirl in Africa. This is a great initiative to help keep girls in school!
“Buy One Give One
Menstruation is a main cause of school dropout for girls in poverty. Pads and
tampons are too expensive or unavailable, and girls are forced to use alternatives
such as mud, bark, rags, cloth or pieces of newspaper. As well as being undignified
and unhygienic, these alternatives are not safe, and girls stay home. This amounts
to 20% of their school time.
When you buy a Ruby Cup, you give one to a Kenyan schoolgirl. With one Ruby
Cup, a girl can all the way from primary school through university without having
to worry about her period again.
With an office in Berlin and Nairobi, the three Danish female founders Julie,
Maxie, and Veronica, have won several awards for their ground-breaking work.
Ruby Cup is sold online to Western markets, and when you purchase a Ruby Cup,
you give one to a school girl in poverty. “
Cup Lee has some great looking coloured cups – including PURPLE :D
A long awaited review :)
Way back near the end of 2011, I was sent an e-mail, asking if I would be willing to try their prototype cup to give them my thoughts – but I was sworn to secrecy, so wasn’t allowed to give out any of the details of the cup or the company making it. It turned out to be Sckoon who were making it. A company I’d known for a while, because they make organic cotton pads. Over the next year and a bit, I had a few discussions with them over the design and colours, as they were very keen to try and make the best cup possible. I think it is really great that they took so much time and effort to speak with cup users like myself (other cup reviewers I know also got the prototypes to sample).
Starting out I love the shape! Slightly different to the other cups on the market, and I think it is a lovely shape. I found the stem design originally was a bit too slippery, with the bumps not really adding enough grip. So we discussed that issue and they ended up changing the stem to the smaller one with raised grip lines, and they increased the grip on the base of the cup by raising and thickening the lines and adding an additional line in. You can see the changes in the pic below.
Here’s a photo of the 4 samples I have from them, where you can see the changes made from the first prototype:
- The first (left) shows the first prototype they sent me – a small cup, in a sample (opaque) silicone. The stem on that had small bumps in it.
- The clear one is the second prototype, in a large size. The stem design is slightly different to the original prototype and the pattern on the base is raised and has the brand name in it.
- The Orange one, I can’t remember now if it was another prototype or if it was a finished design (I can’t remember if I got it before or after the clear one – probably before?). The silicone on that one is semi-translucent. Not as transparent as the finished product turquoise one, but not completely opaque like the first green one. It is slightly smaller than the prototype one. You can see that the grip lines on the base of the cup have a slightly whiteish look – it seems like the silicone there is slightly bubbled or something, which it isn’t on the final design large cup. The lines might be a fraction thinner too.
- The last one (right) is the final design in large. The only difference I can see with the final design (coloured) cups and the clear prototype is that the tip of the stem of the prototype is flat, whereas the tip of the final version stem is rounded (also the silicone may be slightly softer in the large final version than it is in the clear).
So, my thoughts.
I found the small size fit well, I had no leaks, it was easy to insert and remove. The large size I found also very comfortable to insert and remove (the lack of the protruding ridge a lot of the cups have, means it feels more comfortable [to me] to insert and remove the cups). I did however have the slight issue that I have had with the other soft large cups – in that they don’t fully open on their own, and I need to press my finger against the vaginal wall to push it out a little, to give the cup room to open out. I put this down the the fact that while I am 35, I had a caesarian delivery, so perhaps my muscle tone is good? :) as it only ever happens with the large cups. I don’t consider it a big problem though, I’d prefer that to a cup that is harder silicone.
I tried both the small and large sizes with my period and I didn’t have any leaking with either of them, even wearing them all day. Though I don’t know how much of a measure that is, as I’ve never had leaking with a cup except when I’ve let a cup overfill on really heavy flow days (where it’s filled above the rim), and when I tried the Diva cup sample – but that had a hole punched in it, presumably affecting the seal.
I find the stem to be very comfortable – I can’t feel it at all. So it’s better feeling than a tube stem (other than the Ladycup stem, all the other tube stems I can feel poking into me), and slightly more comfortable than a tab stem (I can feel the tab stems slightly, but I don’t find them uncomfortable). However I find that it stretches when you pull on it, so its effectiveness is less than a tube or tab stem in that regard as those have enough rigidity to be able to pull the cup down with the stem, whereas these stems stretch rather than allowing the cup to be pulled down – I found this more pronounced in the large cup size than the small (because as I said, the large one seems to fit more snugly than the small).
This is a similar problem to the JuJu which has a similar thin solid stem. The JuJu stem likewise I find stretches and is slippery making it very difficult to use the stem to pull the cup down, so the Sckoon cup has a lot more grip on the stem, but it is still stretchy. However, the Femmecup also has a thin stem a bit like these cups, but theirs is about half the length and more rigid so it doesn’t stretch and can easily pull the cup down.
However, where this cup differs from the Femmecup and JuJu is the base of this cup, which has a good amount of grip. So while I may not be able to use the stem to pull the cup down, I’ve found that I can grip the bottom of the cup and pull it down easily that way. Femmecup has some grip on the base of the cup but not as much as Sckoon. JuJu has a butterfly design on the base of their cup, but it’s barely raised at all so I don’t really consider it adds any grip at all
– Now I know that some cup manufacturers usually say that the stem is not for pulling the cup out with (though realistically, that’s what you do, and they know that – otherwise there wouldn’t be a need for a stem ;)) – but I find because my fingers are short, it’s easier for me if I pull the cup down a bit lower, where I can more easily reach up to break the seal, and I do tend to pull the cups out by the stems. Where cups have a stretchy stem like this, or no stem, I find it slightly more difficult to use because I can’t pull the cup down as easily as I can with a tab or tube stem. But I find most of the tube stems really uncomfortable, so that is why I prefer the tab stems.
The airholes are nice and large, so cleaning I have found is easy. Likewise with no lettering or markings on the inside out outside rim, means it’s very easy to clean this cup.
I love that they have brought them out in colours – A lot of cup companies are doing coloured cups now which is great – cups don’t have to then be a medicinal thing and can have a sense of individuality and style :) It’s a shame they didn’t bring out purple *cry*, especially since my poll results that I did for them showed that as being the most popular colour…. but the colours they have brought out are very nice and bright, and appear to have a good level of colour (not too pale).
The silicone feels less soft in the small size than the large (as is usually the case). The small one feels about as squishy as a large Lunette. The large slightly softer. Softer than a Mooncup UK, but not as soft as a Fleurcup. I think it is a good level of softness… You don’t want them too soft or they can have trouble opening, and too hard can be hard to keep folded.
There are some small marks in the silicone of the last 3 samples I received. Which don’t show in the photographs, and are obviously just cosmetic blemishes in the finish of the silicone. The silicone still feels smooth, so it seems to be in the silicone. Almost like flat (non-raised) waterdrops. It’s hard to describe what they look like….. but interestingly the cups have a line near the base where the silicone changes from a sort of frosted look to a slightly shinier (but still frosted) look, and it is in that shinier section where the blemishes are. The inside of the cups are not frosted at all, and are not marked with these blemishes. So I assume it is part of the frosting process causing the blemishes. I have had blemishes in MeLuna cups as well – neither of which are bad as having specks of dirt or something in the MPower cup I got :/
All in all – I’m impressed. I’m impressed with the effort the company went to while designing it, and I love that they took some of my suggestions on board. I love the fact Sckoon is already a company interested in sustainability and has added this product onto their already successful line of cloth pads (and baby products) – I also discovered recently they do padded underwear, so you can buy undies with a built in pad with leak resistant layer for cup backup, which is a great idea.
So the only negatives I can see are the stems (which I am picky about, moreso than other cup users, as I do like my cups to have tab stems), and the slight blemishes in the silicone – which don’t bother me personally. So if you don’t think the stem issue would be a problem (if you like to cut stems off for example), then I would definitely recommend this cup.
Country of origin: USA
Sizes: 2. “1” and “2”
Dimensions: “1” = 40mm diameter, 70mm long in total, stem length 30mm. “2” = 45mm diameter, 70mm long in total, stem length 20mm.
Capacity: “1” = 23ml, “2” = 30ml
Stem: Thin solid
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP): USD$39.95
Been around since: Feb 2013
Other Details: Comes in 5 colours (Dark blue, Light blue, Green, Red, Yellow) and clear
Country of origin: Unsure (It is produced by a company called Intima or LELO Inc, whose head quarters are in the US)
Sizes: 2. “A” and “B”
Dimensions: A = 40mm diameter, 77mm long. B = 42.5mm diameter, 82mm long.
Capacity: A = 20ml, B = 25ml
Measuring Lines: Unknown (no?)
Cost (RRP): A$39.95
Been around since: 2012?
Other Details: Claims to be the only cup that can fold as thin as a tampon for insertion, and has a spine to help insertion. Has an anti-leak edge around the inside rim of the cup. Opaque pink colour – light pink for size A, and dark pink for size B.
I was lucky enough to be sent a Ruby Cup to review – thank you very much :D
It came in a pink post envelope, with the cup, pouch and instruction sheet.
The cup is a nice soft silicone. It’s “squishyness” is about comparable to the Fleurcup. The stem is about the same size as the tube stems, but the walls of the tube are a lot thicker, giving a very sturdy stem. It has a series of raised bums on the stem for extra grip. I found this stem to have a good amount of grip because it felt so solid, yet it’s flexible enough that it was not uncomfortable to wear without the stem trimmed. If I really thought about it, I was aware of the stem sometimes, but definitely not as much as a Mooncup/Keeper’s stem. The stem being hollow however, did manage to collect some blood, but that rinsed out without problem. I find this stem definitely more comfortable and easier to grip than most of the other tube/rounded stems. My favourite stem design is still the tab stem however.
I’ve tried so many cups now that it’s hard to compare them against each other for things like feel and ease of insertion removal…. but I found this cup inserted without trouble, popped open cleanly without trouble, was removed without trouble and cleaned without trouble :) The airholes on the cup rinsed clean without holding onto any blood, as did the inside writing (the words “Ruby Cup” and measring lines are in raised writing inside the cup)
The cup shape is very similar to the Fleurcup – with the exception being the stem of course. There are also a few other differences between the cup – the Fleurcup’s base grip lines are different (more pronounced and not complete rings), and the Ruby Cup has a slightly different rim, with there being an extra “bump” (Tiny ridge) where the Fleurcup’s is smooth.
All in all, I was quite happy with this cup.
Country of origin: Italy
Sizes: 2. “M” and “L”
Dimensions: M = 40mm diameter, 50mm long without stem, 72mm long including stem, 25ml capacity to rim, 20ml capacity to airholes. L = 45mm diameter, 57mm long without stem, 75mm long including stem, 35ml capacity to rim, 29ml capacity to airholes.
Stem: Unsure (filled tube or tab)
Measuring Lines: Unknown
Cost (RRP): €19.90
Been around since: 2012?
Other Details: Very similar domain name to the “Copita” cup, whose domain is http://www.copitamenstrual.cl. But they are very different in shape, so they are not the same company.
FreeSiya “Smart Cup28″
http://www.smartcup28.com (Domain seems not to work)
Country of origin: Philippines
Sizes: 2 sizes (come shipped together in the one pack – can’t buy separately)
Stem: Long loop
Measuring Lines: Unknown
Cost (RRP): 500 Philippine pesos (for a pack of 2)
Guarantee: 6 month
Been around since: The website says “the new way to go in 2011″, so presumably it’s been around since 2011 some time. However their site currently says they have no stock as they are waiting for a new shipment due end of February – since it’s August 2012 when I’m writing this, it doesn’t appear they are available for sale, they may never actually have been available for sale, as “February” could be 2011 or 2012.
Other Details: This site contains a lot of misleading information and some content copied from other sites. I personally would not trust or respect a company doing so. Their reviews section contains reviews they have taken from the internet that are reviewing other brands of menstrual cup – they say at the top that this is the case and that all menstrual cups are basically the same. They show a picture on the front page showing that menstrual cups are approved by the FDA, but make no claims that their cup is approved by the FDA (all cups need to be approved, just because one has been approved does not automatically mean all menstrual cups are). Their picture guide on how to fold the cup shows cups that do not look like theirs, so I suspect those images have been taken from other sources. They use the Mooncup’s video guide on folding. They also reproduce the entire post here (http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/1243131.html) in their FAQ. Without even bothering to remove the personal comments that make it obvious it’s someone’s blog post rather than an online article. Their contact e-mail address is an @yahoo one…. ’nuff said :D
However if you look up the “BB personal care” they say is the company behind it, you see the same woman from the cp28 site in shown in pictures on this website – https://sites.google.com/site/biotroffcom/home, and both addresses are in Cagayan de Oro.
—- Update –
The http://www.smartcup28.com domain doesn’t seem to be working, which may mean they have not paid to renew the domain, and may mean they are no longer in bsiness.
Country of origin: Europe
Measuring Lines: no
Cost (RRP): Eur 39,90 (for a pack of 2)
Been around since: It will apparently start being available for sale from around Sept 2012
Other Details: This cup is shaped more like a wine goblet, and has a “lid” type feature. While inserted it works like a funnel, so the blood can flow through the smaller hole into the cup, which helps stop the blood leaking out of the cup while the wearer is lying down. This “lid” part is pulled up to allow the cup to be emptied.
Country of origin: Italy (made in China)
Dimensions: length (without stem) = 56mm, length including stem = 71mm, diameter = 44mm
Capacity: 27ml to airholes 33ml to rim
Stem: Flat wide tab (different to other tab stems)
Measuring Lines: no
Cost (RRP): Eur 13,30
Been around since: Late 2011/early 2012?
So here is the other “book” (again, using that term lightly) I bought to check on ….. (see the first one here) – which I bought because a few of us were concerned that with the claim the information came from “free sources online” that our content may have been used without permission… but it’s exactly the same as the first – a complete and utter waste of money, and a total scam. Again it’s just printed and bound wikipedia pages – no editing, nothing. Which is apparently what Hephaestus Books does. At least they had the decency to charge less than the other “book” for it though.
Again they make the claim:
“Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Hephaestus Books represents a new publishing paradigm, allowing disparate content sources to be curated into cohesive, relevant, and informative books. To date, this content has been curated from Wikipedia articles and images under Creative Commons licensing, although as Hephaestus Books continues to increase in scope and dimension, more licensed and public domain content is being added. We believe books such as this represent a new and exciting lexicon in the sharing of human knowledge. This particular book is a collaboration focused on Feminine hygiene.”
Which is apparently bullshit speak for “we’ve printed some vaguely relevant wikipedia pages to scam people into parting with their money – haha suckers!”
So, like with the other book (see my review of that here), I used that as a reason for a refund, as it was not as described. The “book” does not say it is only using wikipedia, so it’s misleading consumers into thinking there is more to this “book” than there is – and consumers have the right to demand a refund.
So there you go.
Country of origin: Denmark
Dimensions: 51 mm long (excluding stem). Total length: 68 mm . Diameter: 45 mm
Capacity: 34 ml
Stem: Hollow Tube
Measuring Lines:5ml, 10ml, 15ml (on the inside)
Cost (RRP): € 27,95 (free shipping)
Been around since: Late 2011? – They have a news item from Dec 2011 saying they won a design prize in Denmark, and expected to “hit the market” in Jan 2012.
Other Information: For each cup sold, they provide a cup for a young woman in Kenya.
(Site translated into English here)
A new brand of cup, I believe it is Spanish. It appears to be one size only, with a capacity of 35mls (making it comparable with the large size cups). Quite a different shape to this cup! The website says copyright 2010, but I wasn’t aware of them until a few months ago, and they don’t appear to have any “proper” online shopping, you have to just e-mail them to be able to buy it – which suggests they are still quite new, or not really looking for online sales (maybe only really selling in local stores)
The website doesn’t seem to give any other information. So not sure what it’s made from (I’d presume silicone), if there are more sizes or what it’s price is.
Well it seems us Aussies have even more choice now, with the coloured Lunette cups being available in early march for sale in Australia!
Also, they have been able to do a price reduction, dropping the retail price from around $57-$60 to around $49-$55.
Update — the “Cynthia” is now more purple (it was previously a very dusty reddish-pink), and the green “Diana” is no longer produced :( with a yellow cup “Lucia” instead.
I found out, via being spammed by someone calling themselves the Australia distributor (and having to contact Divacup to check it was legit)… that Divacup is now TGA approved and can be bought and sold within Australia.
So that’s great news!
The RRP is $49.95 (excluding GST which some sellers will have to add on)… making it
much (potentially) cheaper than the Keeper, Lunette and JuJu (which are the only other cups available for sale in Aus)
“Menstrual Cup” by Frederic P. Miller, Agnes F. Vandome, John McBrewster (Ed.)
Background story – (see more here) This book concerned many of us who have websites about reusable menstrual products, because of it’s description claiming “Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online.“ As we feared some of our websites may have been copied and put into this book. So I bought a copy, so that we could see for sure if any of our work was in the book. Long story short – it wasn’t.
When the book (using the term “book” lightly) says “the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from wikipedia and other free sources online“ – they actually mean just wikipedia. As in, essentially they have pressed the print screen button on their browser, printed off some pages from wikipedia and then bound it to make a “book”. (apparently wikipedia basically has a button you can press that will make you a copy of the site for your printing and exploiting pleasure – hence “books” like this.
I almost wish they had ripped off websites like mine, at lest then the poor people who paid for this piece of excrement would have had something actually usable and informative. (please note, that’s not an invitation to copy my stuff :Þ)
Now, given that wikipedia articles are subject to a creative commons license (they can be freely redistributed, even commercially) and that anything that uses them must also be likewise free for people to redistribute – and this is stated in the license at the front and back of this book. I could scan the entire book and make it available freely for anyone who wants to download it, but frankly there is no point as it’s all just on wikipedia, and 90% of it is utter rubbish you’d not be interested in anyway. Which is a shame, I can’t even make this book useful (or get my money’s worth) by being able to freely distribute it among others…. it’s not even worth the time to scan it! URGH! So what I’ll do is just link to the wikipedia articles they used. Infact that’s more useful than this “book” because wikipedia is updated frequently.
So….. The in depth look.
It’s very thin…. I’m sure I’ve seen Woman’s Weekly magazines that are thicker. Though they made the font miniscule to save on pages, so I suppose there’s something good to be said about not wasting as many trees to bring this bound pile of uselessness to the unsuspecting customers.
The chapters (aka “wikipedia pages they printed out”) are as follows (an apologies from here on in, my camera isn’t high enough resolution to really show enough detail, but trust me, you’re not missing much):
- Menstrual Cup
- Sanitary napkin
- Thermoplastic Elastomer
- Diaphragm (contraceptive)
- Food and Drug Administration
- Toxic Shock Syndrome
Then we have “references”
- Article sources and contributors
- Image sources, Licenses and contributors
Then the Licensing information (which is just saying it’s free to distribute under the creative commons license and a whole page of copy and paste of what that actually means).
The inside cover is a bit interesting… (easily the most interesting thing in here really….)
As it shows not only are the people whose names are on the front of the book not “authors” (no, really?), and it’s the only part of the book someone actually took the time to type onto a keyboard instead of just printing off the web…. but it shows how crap the actual publisher is. You can click that image for a larger one you can read, but here’s some highlights (bolding is my own):
“all parts of this book are extracted from wikipedia”
(so what about the other “free sources online” they claimed?)
“you can get detailed informations about the authors of this collection of articles at the end of this book. The editors (Ed.) of this book are no authors. They have not modified or extended the original texts”
(in actual fact there is no information about the editors in the book at all)
It says the information was gathered by volunteers and that “nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information. Some information in this book may be misleading or wrong.”
It also says it’s printed in USA, UK and Germany, and specifically says not in Mauritius (which is where the VDM publishing house that’s responsible for publishing this load of steaming horse poo is from)…. wonder why they felt the need to say that?….
So… anyway… what follows is just page after page of printed out wikipedia articles. Some of which are vaguely related to menstrual cups (like the page on pads and tampons)… some really not relevant at all. Not even grouped into logical sections… not even alphabetically…. quite the hodge podge!
What makes me laugh is that on a couple of the pages, they still keep in the “see also” links from wikipedia. Of course since it’s a book, and you can’t have a hyperlink in a printed book, and those articles you could “see also” don’t appear in this “book”, so it’s completely stupid and irrelevant.
Nice one, genius! Or should I say geniuses, since it apparently took 3 people to collect all this highly useful information!… Which says a lot about their editorial skills really, as I’m sure I could train a monkey to press ctrl+P on a wikipedia page, and apparently it took 3 of them to do much the same…
… moving on…
Now I guess including the articles on Thermoplastic Elastomer, Latex and Silicone are being “thorough”, but really…. without actually introducing people to why you’re including those pages in this book, it just looks like half a science text book got mistakenly bound in with a feminine hygiene book.
(that last one is another “see also” page)
So this is how they did the article sources…. they basically took the wikipedia page, and then listed all the contributors to that page. Fair enough I guess, since you have to credit the people who wrote it, even if what they wrote could have been deleted by someone else. Looks a bit silly though….
Except….. Look Ma! I’m famous!!!
(sorry, camera flash)
Images sources are likewise just the wikipedia url of the image and the name of the person who uploaded it if wiki had that information. I checked, there was nothing I could see that wasn’t from wikipedia. Not that the photos were anything spectacular anyway.
So… there you have it…. wow… that’s certainly worth $50 isn’t it!
There is a (very pricey) book about menstrual cups on the market. It’s description claiming “Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online.” Which is causing some concern among people like myself who run websites where this information may be taken from.
You have to ask yourself, why would you pay upwards of $50 (I’ve seen it for sale on Australian sites for over $100) for a book whose contents were taken from wikipedia and other webpages?…. I look at the part of the cover, where it says “High quality content from wikipedia articles” and just laugh. That’s some “high quality” authoring there… (and what’s with the feet photo and superfluous tag words on the front cover?)
The news of this book, and potential copyright theft has caused one cup resource, the “cup charts” Livejournal site to close down, stating that they don’t want their hard work to be stolen for someone else’s profit. In case you’re not aware, website contents, like books, are considered copyrighted to the person who wrote them. This is automatic copyright, not something the author needs to specifically apply. Copying parts of a website, or someone’s images, without their permission, is a breech of copyright. So we’re concerned that the “free sources online” may be our webpages and blogs, which are not actually free to take stuff from.
We don’t know yet if any of our intellectual property has been stolen, and without looking at the book, there’s probably no way to tell. I’ve contacted the publisher, and I’ve purchased a copy of the book, which I’ll be able to review when it arrives (which will take a few weeks, as it’s coming from overseas). It will be interesting to see what fills the 96 pages of this book! and if it’s worth paying such a huge price for information they gathered (stole?) from the internet.
(If you need me, I’ll be printing off 96 pages from wikipedia, binding them into a “high quality” book and selling them for the bargain price of $50 per edition. Buy now for Christmas!)
Mooncup (UK) recently blogged about why their cup will never be coloured.
“Call us boring(!), but we’re not willing to compromise our ethical status for a non-essential additive with a dubious health and ethical history.”
Which sparked some discussion on the topic here: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2742047.html, given that part of their reasoning included the use of non-vegan things as food colours (despite the fact cups aren’t consumed and some of their examples aren’t actually used as food colours anyway)
JuJu has the following in their FAQ:
“Does JuJu come in any other colour?
At this point in time, JuJu is only available in a clear/semi-opaque colour. Until such time as we are able to gain an accurate understanding of the effects of the addition of dyes on our bodies, we have chosen to manufacture JuJu without any colour additives.”
But it is an interesting topic.. I have e-mailed the cup companies (Iriscup, CupLee, Ladycup Lunette, MeLuna, Miacup, and Shecup) to ask them about the colours and see what they have to say on the matter, and I’ll update this post when I’ve heard back from any :) In the meantime, feel free to discuss!
– edit —
I’ve heard back from a couple of the cup companies.
They of course said the colours are safe :) but sent me several pdf files of their test results, which shows the testing of both the colours (first file) and the general cup material. Interestingly, I believe it’s saying that the plastic the cups are made from was tested on animals (presumably as part of checking the plastic is safe for use with people), as is referenced in the last file. I’d never thought about that being a component of testing, and I wonder if the other cups have been likewise tested.
Meluna_Masterbatches_Safety sheet – Info on the colours – they are food safe (though that doesn’t mean they are “food colours” like you’d use to make a cake blue)
THERMOLAST_M_englisch – Information on the plastic material the cups are made from (from the manufacturer I presume)
TM4MED_ISO10993-5 -Seems to be a certificate of a testing where the material was left in contact with the equivalent of human tissue and checked to see if it was reactive (it shows no reaction, whereas latex showed reactions).
TM4MED_USP661 – Information on a few tests that were run (I admit, I don’t really understand most of it heh)
TM4MED_USPVI – Test result certificate
Said they would get back to me in a few days
Said they will issue a public statement on it, and that they would contact me again in a few days – which they did, saying they have forwarded my e-mail to their head office. They say they realise it’s an important issue, so they are gathering information from their experts and will get back to me.
Secret Cup company (who are bringing out the new cup)
Said that as far as they know, the colours they are polling people on (see this post) plus clear and grey are the only colours that are already tested and approved by FDA… and that other colours (like purples and whatnot) would need to go through the process of testing and approval.