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.
The “Squishyness” is how soft or hard a cup is – This tells you how easily it is able to be folded into the shape for insertion. Rating is from 1-11, where 1 is very squishy and 11 is not very squishy. This is ratings for the cups I have, listed in order of sqishyness to hardness.
Every time I go to re-rate these, it seems I give them different ratings. So I don’t know if temperature and age affects the way the cups feel, or if I’m not rating them well…. I don’t know. It’s also very hard to try and compare some cups, as there’s not much difference in some of them, so I’ve given half measures too.
Squishyness at rim
Fleurcup (Large) 2
Lunacup (large) – 2
Skoon Cup (Large) 2.5
Diva Cup (Small) – 3
Lunacup (small) – 3
Ladycup (Large) – 4
Miacup (Large) – 4
Ruby Cup – 4
Juju (Large) – 4
MeLuna (new) (Large) – 4
Femmecup (new) – 4.5
Lunette (Large) – 5
Juju (Small) – 5.5
Lady Cup (Small) – 6
Skooncup (Small) – 6
Keeper (small) – 6
Femmecup (old) – 7
Yuuki (Old) – 7
Mooncup (UK) (Large) – 7.5
MPower (old) – 8
Mooncup UK (Small) – 9
MeLuna (Classic) (large) – 10
MeLuna (Classic) (large) – 11
Squishyness at base
Femmecup (new) – 1
Lady Cup (Large) – 1.5
Lady Cup (Small) – 1.5
Sckoon Cup (Large) - 2
Femmecup – old – 2
Fleurcup (Large) – 2.5
Diva Cup (small) – 2.5
Miacup (Large) – 2.5
Skooncup (Small) – 2.5
Mooncup (UK) (small) – 2.5
Mooncup (UK) (large) – 2.5
MeLuna (new) (large) – 2.5
Ruby Cup – 3
Lunette (Large) – 3
Juju (Large) – 3
Yuuki (old) – 3
Keeper (small) – 3
Luna Cup (small) – 3
Luna Cup (large) – 3
Juju (Small) – 3.5
MPower (old) – 4
MeLuna (Classic) (large) – 6
MeLuna (Classic) (small) – 6
Old charts that need updating
I’ve also arranged the lists by different attributes. Where I didn’t have enough data to properly rank a brand, I’ve put them at the bottom of the list.
I have both the size “A” and size “B”
Testing it out – I felt the ridges more inserting it… more than the Diva….and a lot more than Lunette or Lady Cup. Not uncomfortably so, I just felt the ridges more…. I tried inserting it while on the toilet and while lying on the bed… I felt it a lot more when on the toilet. The actual rim of mooncup is thicker than the other cups, which may be what it is…but its only a thing I noticed because of trying all 3, and it certainly wasn’t Uncomfortable… just less comfortable than the others. The stem (when untrimmed) pokes quite a lot…. its very annoying when you go to the toilet as it gets in the way of wiping (it pokes out of the vagina on me), and sitting was painful, as it jabbed me more. I wear the Lunette untrimmed as I don’t need to trim it, I could at a pinch wear the Diva untrimmed, though I would trim it to make it more comfortable… but I would absolutely trim the Mooncup stem as it’s too annoying and uncomfortable to use with the full stem….. but most people trim the stems anyway. So apart from the stem, it felt no different in wearing than the other cups. The outside collected more blood in that rim part than the Lunette does (the same as the other cups with pronounced rims). The holes weren’t as hard to clean as the Diva, they came clean quickly. The bottom of the inside was not as easy to clean as I’d thought a flat bottom would be, but easier to get into than the Diva, because the Diva is quite narrow at the bottom. The smaller Mooncup (“B”) didn’t feel noticeably different to the larger (“A”) at all. I tried cutting the stem in half on my extra sample (they accidentally sent me 2 lots), and it wasn’t uncomfortable after that. So I’d be pretty happy with it cut in half to 2/3 off… though I still prefer the flat tab stems. I find the yellowed colour of the silicone a bit offputting…. it resembles that old stickytape….
Gear – they come in a cotton pouch – looks like calico or some unbleached natural cotton with their logo on, and different coloured ribbons for the size of cup. I believe bought versions come in a recycled cardboard box. With a small booklet of instructions in different languages, and I got pamphlets, which are nicely presented.
Personal observations – I haven’t had all that much correspondence with Mooncup, I asked for a sample, and they sent it. I have on one other occasion e-mailed them (over something with their website), and had a pleasant response.
I’ve rated all the cups I’ve tried. They can be found here: http://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/my-comparisons-and-ratings
Country of origin: UK
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes: A & B (A = After childbirth, B = Before childbirth)
Dimensions: B = 5cm length, 4.3cm width. A = 4.6cm width. 2cm long stem.
Capacity: Size B = 13mls (to under airholes), Size A = 15mls (to airholes)
Stem: Hollow tube
Measuring Lines: Yes (inside), Cup B marks 6mls and 12mls, and Cup A 7.5mls and 15mls
Cost (RRP): GBP$18.99 (including International postage at official site)[Currency Converter]
Guarantee: No (though used to have 3 month, and may accept exchanges in certain case by case situations)
Been around since: 2000
Other Details: Registered with the Vegan Society (Vegan approved). “Original Mooncup” (first cup to be given that name). Pay attention to the look of the product and packaging when buying from online stores to make sure you are buying the Mooncup you intend to (as there is another brand of cup using this name).