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. “
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?
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.
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.
Country of origin: France?
Sizes: 2 sizes
Dimensions: Small = 4.1cm diameter, 4.7cm long without stem (7.4cm long with stem). Large = 4.6cm diameter, 5.2cm long without stem (7.4 cm with stem)
Stem: Narrow rounded stem
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP): 20,00 €
Been around since: Late 2011?
In my reviews and talk of the cups, I mention the “ridge” of the cup (or lack of). The “ridge” is what I call the section of the cup near the top rim. Where the cup “pokes out” more.
If you look at this photo below:
The Diva, Femmecup, Keeper, Miacup and Mooncup have what I consider a defined “ridge” – theirs pokes out more, and is more obvious.
Lunette and Yuuki have what I call a “less defined” or “smoother” ridge – theirs doesn’t poke out as much, and is flatter and less “bumpy”
Ladycup, MeLuna and Fleurcup have no ridge – those cups are smooth right up to where the rim goes thicker.
I find that the cups with more of a ridge are slightly less comfortable (though not “uncomfortable”) to remove and insert – due to that more “bumpy” ridge. The smoother sides cups are by comparison more comfortable, as they don’t have that bumpy outside.
So that’s what I mean by “ridge” :)
Arrived today! it’s very pretty!
The pouch has a glittery finish to it as well, which is quite cute
So it’s a slightly more pinkish purple to the colour of their Lilac. I have 2 of the Lilac cups. I think the darker one is the usual one (I got it when they first brought it out), and the lighter one was one of the batch of cups that was defective (they split). I assume the lilac they still produce now is the darker shade. Anyway – this plum is the one on the left.
I don’t know which I like better actually…
Normally I prefer a blue-purple to a pinky-purple, but they are both incredible cool and deep colours, I love them both!
And compared to other purple cups
(the lighting is terrible, – it’s inside, at night – so take that into consideration)
Miacup, Lunette Cynthia, Plum Ladycup, Lilac Ladycup#1, Lilac #2, Fleurcup
(the fleurcup looks un-coloured compared to the others!)
I got my JuJu cup in the mail today – but I was surprised by not one, but 2!!!
The packaging, is gorgeous!
Which opens up like a flower
With your cup in the centre!
Inside the bottom is a leaflet on how to use the cup, a discount coupon and the cup of course. The inside of the box has information on the meaning of the name JuJu and some facts about using cups. I like that the company is Australian and has carbon neutral packaging. No plastics! it was shipped in that cute giftbox thing, inside a similar sized white box for shipping.
The pouch is satin and double layer – pink on the inside. The green pouch has light green inside and the dark blue pouch has a silvery light blue inside.
The only downside of a double thickness pouch though is that the cups are a bit sticky with the satin, so pulling out the cup has a habit of pulling the satin lining out – so you have to poke it back in. It’s not a major problem though (you could sew a tiny dot to make both layers stick together if you wanted). The double layer satin feels thicker and nicer than single layer though I think.
Smooth outside. The bottom has a butterfly design as the grip. The inside has “JuJu” in ever so slightly indented writing, and the size on the other side (a small “2” for the large cup). The holes are nice and large.
The stem is a very flexible stalk (don’t know what to call it lol) and it’s actually not round, it’s a rounded-triangular shape – so it’s got straight sides to grip!
Squishyness seems to be able the same as a large Ladycup (though I haven’t compared it to other cups yet)… it is softer than Lunette. The silicone feels nice, and it’s quite clear (clearer than it looks in the above photo)
Quite a big difference in the 2 sizes
A photo trying to show the smoothed triangle the stem is
I gave it a “dry run” so to speak. I’ll be able to test it fully when I get my period next (next week).. but here are my thoughts based on the dry run:
Country of origin: Chile
Sizes: 2 sizes
Dimensions: Small = 41mm diameter, 47mm long without stem? (72mm long with stem). Large = 46mm diameter, 52mm long without stem? (72mm with stem)
Capacity: Small = 25mls. Large = 30mls
Stem: Flat wide Tab
Measuring Lines: Unknown
Cost (RRP): $15.90
Been around since: Early 2011?
Other Details: http://www.facebook.com/copamialuna
I’ve been asked why I haven’t reviewed or mentioned Softcups here. Not mentioning them I suppose is an oversight… However I don’t really consider them to be one of the “menstrual cups” that I talk about here… which is why I hadn’t included it. But I will now for the sake of completedness…
This is a “softcup”
What they are is a disposable cup, with a more solid rim and a thinner pouch like catchment area…. which sits higher than the other menstrual cups, over the cervix, like a contraceptive diaphragm does, and holds the blood in that catchment area. It is removed and replaced with a new one when you need to empty it. As they sit higher and are shaped differently, they can be worn during penetrative sex, but otherwise work like the other Menstrual cups (can be worn swimming, to bed, etc.)
Compared to a menstrual cup, the Softcup is much wider and shallower.
They now come in 2 forms, The “disposable” which is designed to be thrown out after each use (although a lot of women reuse them) – which are the light pink rimmed ones, and the “reusable” (dark pink) are designed to be reused through one cycle and then thrown out. So both forms are still disposable, one however you can use for a few days before disposing of it.
I haven’t reviewed them here for a few reasons…
- 1). Nobody has sent me one to review (most of the cups reviewed here were sent to me free of charge) – even though someone offered in the comments below, I haven’t received any….. and I’ve never asked for one, or would buy them myself because I personally have no desire to try them…
- 2). I am an advocate of completely reusable menstrual products, so I don’t consider them the same as the “menstrual cups” I talk about here (they are also a different shape, and are worn differently, so I don’t really consider them a menstrual cup like the others).
- 3). Frankly they scare me :D (the size and shape just looks bulky and cumbersome).. so I have no desire to actually try them, when I’m perfectly happy with the other Menstrual Cups, which seem to me to be a better design.
But – They are out there for those who feel so inclined :)
They have the advantage that they don’t have the TSS risk of tampons. They can safely be worn overnight or during sex. In the US you can often find them in actual “bricks & mortar” stores (pharmacies etc.), and you can buy online.
They claim the cost would be $3 per cycle (using the “reusable” version). If you consider a woman would have 12 periods a year, that’s $36 for a year’s supply. You can buy a completely reusable menstrual cup for that (or slightly more) – which would last 10+ years.