Menstrual Cups

Food-grade Vs Medical-grade silicone

One of the theories I had about the cheap Chinese cups, was that they could be made using cheaper silicone, perhaps food-grade, rather than medical-grade.

While most of the listings for the cups state they are medical grade, there are a few that say they are made from food-grade silicone.  Which is a concern.  If some of them are, then it is possible that others are.  You are really only relying on what a product listing says to know what it is made from.

It could also explain why most of the cheap cups are also very soft/squishy.  It could be because there are more softeners added, but it could be because they are made from different silicone.

For example, Blossom Cup’s website claims the cup is FDA approved (which is false), and that it is made from FDA approved medical grade silicone.fda_blossom

Yet their Amazon listing says the cup is made from Food-Grade silicone:

blossom-food2

If it is made from food-grade silicone, then not only is their website fraudulent, but if the other similar cups (Charlene, Dutchess etc.) are in fact the same cups too (just rebranded), then those would all be food-grade not medical grade too… and those claim they are medical grade.

Another example is the cups being sold by Zhida Xintai, those list food grade silicone as their material.

aneer_foodgrade

What is the difference?

I really can’t say if food-grade silicone is going to be worse for a cup to be made from than medical grade.  However something that is safe for contact with food, may not necessarily be safe for skin-contact inside your vagina for days.

Medical grade silicone is designed for products that are used inside the body, and it is therefore tested on animals.  Now, while we might not like that fact, it is done to make sure that the material is safe to have in the body.  Food-grade silicone does not undergo those tests, as it is designed to have contact with food only.  Not for being used on or in the body.

So while food-grade silicone may be perfectly fine to use, there is no guarantee it won’t cause reactions, because it has not been tested for that use.

March 24, 2015 Posted by | news | | Leave a comment

Message from Anigan about Eva Cup

Anigan (EvaCup) posted a couple of comments to different posts here, which I didn’t publish to the blog because some of them weren’t in relevant areas, but I’ll repost what they said here (which makes it more visible to everyone anyway).

I invite Anigan to make more comments to this post if they wish.

“First of all thank you for your interests in reviewing EvaCup. We would like to take this opportunity to make it clear to everyone that EVACUP IS NOT A KNOCK OFF. We designed, developed and patented EvaCup in the US and we’re manufacturing EvaCup in the US as well.

We are a company that specialize in menstrual products and try our best to make HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTS with AFFORDABLE PRICES for women of all classes. Our quality isn’t any less than more expensive brands. EvaCup is made in a FDA registered facility as well.
We do have issues with China copying our cups and have been taking legal actions against them. They stole our design and sold the cups on Alibaba. We hired a China lawyer and international lawyer to fight them. After receiving warning letters from our lawyers, China manufactures slightly changed the cup design and continue to sell on Alibaba. We are still fighting against them but the Chinese government is not taking copyright and infringement as serious as western countries, so it’s a long journey for us.

We encourage you not to buy China made cups as their safety and quality are in question (Through our further investigations we discovered that they falsely claimed their materials. They are in fact not using medical grade silicone).

The following cups that have design like EvaCup you see on market are all the same China made cups with private labels.

– Dutchess
– Blossom Cup
– Femma Cup
– Charlene Cup

Check out our website and Facebook for more info about EvaCup. We launched EvaCup in August 2014.

Website: http://www.anigan.com
FB: facebook.com/stainfreeperiodundie
Instagram: aniganstainfree”

 

And also:

“It has come to our attention that even after we hired several lawyers including a patent lawyer for international, and specifically for China and the USA, we are still being targeted for design and rebranding.
While we find it very flattering, we began our company to offer a SAFE, well made product that was both environmentally friendly and affordable. We spend and continue to spend a great amount of time and money for testing to give you a product that uses certified and safe materials in an FDA registered facility. The materials “they” use may NOT be safe for use inside your body, as well is their colors and pigments.
We don’t want to name names, but we have had our lawyers contact counterfeit sellers and hope that they comply with NZ government. You may still find them listed on selling platforms however, “Currently Unavailable” will be shown when trying to purchase them. It’s a long process to fight infringement as some governments don’t take it as serious as western countries. Some counterfeit sellers slip through the cracks or haven’t complied yet.
As we continue to fight off the infringements, please bear with us and look for our trademark to be sure you are purchasing a product that has been tested safe.
***We are currently pending our US patent and have recently added our EvaCup logo to our mold so that YOU know you’re getting a product that you can trust!***

 

I’d like to point out that I’ve never accused EvaCup as being a copy/rebranding, I have simply listed here all the brands of cup have the same design (which is an “Aneer” and a no longer available “Cerene” brand), in the interests of sharing information.

There are a few questions I’d like to bring up though….

 

Firstly with the safety of cheap Chinese cups – this is something that quite a few people are interested in, so we would love to have any insight Anigan can give about why some of these cups may be very cheap, and what leads them to believe they aren’t medical grade silicone.  What have you seen that makes you believe they aren’t medical grade silicone?

On the cup design and other “copies”…..  EvaCup looks like this:

eva-boxed

Which has a distinctive grid-like pattern of lines around the base of the cup, with a short thick stem with grip lines and smooth “ridge” area near the rim of the cup – and the same design has been seen being sold on places like AliExpress with the name “Aneer” as well as with no brand name, and was being sold as a “Cerene” but that brand renamed to “Continuon” and sells iCare cups now.

The brands that Anigan mentioned, Dutchess, Blossom, Femma and Charlene (Also Cup’ax and Playtamx, which weren’t mentioned but are the same design too) are different designs of cup to the EvaCup though.  Those all look like this:

playtamx2

Having short thin stems (with no grip lines), rings of grip around the base and rings around the “ridge” part near the rim of the cup.

So I invite Anigan to discuss how those brands are selling cups that are the same as EvaCup?

While clearly some (if not all) of those brands are rebrandings and it is unclear who the original was – To me, saying those brands are a copy of the EvaCup would be like saying that the EvaCup is a copy of a Diva…. both have similarities and differences.  Afterall, most cups available today are very similar in design elements to other cups – mostly with slight changes to the stem design and “ridge” area.

Also, EvaCup website says “EvaCup is made in a FDA registered facility as well.”  – Since EvaCup itself is not a registered device with the FDA, and Anigan is not a registered establishment – is it possible to disclose which FDA registered facility is manufacturing the cup?   I also notice that there is no 510(k) Premarket Notification lodged for the EvaCup.  I invite Anigan to discuss this with us also.

March 16, 2015 Posted by | news | | 6 Comments

Review – OrganiCup

Organicup-box

The OrganiCup box has the instructions printed on the inside of the box – which is cool.  The pouch it comes with is a very stiff feeling cotton.  Almost like a canvass.  I wonder if it will soften up with washing?  But I guess it will be durable :)

Organicup-boxopen

These cups came squashed to fit into the box , but bounced back into a round shape after a few minutes of being free.

They have a stem that is a little thicker than the long thin stick stems of cups like the Sckoon, Si-bell, Juju etc.  But not as thick as the tube stems.  They have really thick grip lines on them.

Organicups

Organicups2

Organicups3

Testing them out

I found the stem design was very comfortable, I couldn’t feel it at all.  It’s also not stretchy (like some thin stick stems can be), so pulling down on the stem brought the cup down, without just stretching the stem.   Because the stem is a bit shorter than other cups, in the smaller cup in particular the stem was about at the limit I could easily reach up, so for that aspect I preferred the larger size because it was a bit easier for me to reach.

The smooth outside was easy to clean and comfortable for insertion/removal.  White frosted “peachskin” type feeling silicone.  Quite squishy. The slightly firmer silicone on this cup made it open slightly better than the Si-bell and other softer cups.  Overall I like this cup a lot.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | 1 Comment

Review – Si-Bell

sibell

One of the Si-bell cups came in a cotton bag, the other came in a silicone (I assume) bag.  I have to say though, the silicone bag feels AWFUL!  It’s just a disturbing type of feel to it, hard to explain but not nice to touch at all.  It also picks up all manner of fluff and dust.  I dropped it on the carpet by accident…. and lets just say…. I have 2 cats….. that pouch got very furry, I had to wash it off :P

But anyway…. the cups are nice :)

Sibell2

Sibell3

Sibell4

They are indeed identical to ClariCup

SibellClari

Although Si-bell has slightly softer silicone

SibellClariSquish

Testing it out

When I tested out the ClariCup I was really impressed with it, it was the first cup I’d tried with a thin “stick” stem that gave a good amount of grip.  So since the ClariCup seems to have been made with the Si-bell cup mold, they are obviously the same in how they feel when worn.  The smoothness of the outside of the cup makes for easy cleaning and comfortable insertion/removal.  The stem is excellent, I can’t feel it at all when it is in, yet it also has great grip.

The Si-bell airholes are properly punched through, when ClariCup holes were a bit messy.

It has a white frosted look to the silicone.  A “peachskin” type feel, it feels nice to touch.

Conclusion

I personally prefer a coloured cup to a clear one, because I don’t like the golden colour cups get and a colour is more fun to me….. and I prefer the slightly firmer silicone of the ClariCup – so since the Si-bell and the ClariCup are identical in design, I would choose ClariCup over Si-bell.  But if you don’t like the blue colour of the ClariCup, then Si-bell would be the better choice, as it seems to be slightly better made.  You’d probably want to get a new pouch for it though :)


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | 2 Comments

Review – Aneer

I thought I’d better get an Aneer brand cup, to see what it was like.

AneerNo box, just those in a mailing envelope.  I purchased it off ebay.

I see a lot of Aneer and other Chinese tab stemmed cups with bent stems, and when mine arrived, the stem was squashed into the corner of the bag – so I wondered if that is what causes it – but when it came out of the bag, the stem was pretty much straight, just a little lean.

Aneer2 Aneer3

This is supposed to be the “purple” colour…. I don’t have a pink one to compare it to, but looking at it on it’s own, I’d call it pink not purple, so it must be only very slightly more purple than the pink one.  Which is a shame :(

The silicone is the more “sticky” kind, that some cups have.  It feels ok though.  I find some of the frosted silicones can feel a bit “plastic” so I think I prefer a “sticky” silicone to one of the “plasticky” ones.  It has 2 very small airholes.

I don’t have a large Diva to compare it to (Since this Aneer is large), but it does seem to be a cross between a Diva and a Lunette in style.

Aneerdiva Aneerlunette

Compared with my (small, old style) Diva, you can see if does closely resemble that shape.   It’s a bit taller and narrower than the Large Lunette.  Also the ridge area is longer on Aneer – so it is more similar to a Diva, but with a tab stem.   I have heard Diva changed their rim from the more pointy to a smoother one too (Diva refused to send me a new one, so I’m only able to go by what I’ve heard)

Testing it out

Since this one didn’t have a chemical smell to it (like my moon stem cup), I felt more confident trying it out to see what it was like.  It is *VERY* soft, the softest of all the cups I have.  in hindsight I should have realised that it was going to be very soft and bought the small. So unfortunately since I have trouble getting the soft large size cups to open, I wasn’t able to get this one to open up at all.  No matter what I tried.  I imagine if I had the small size, I’d probably be able to get that open, so it’s a shame I didn’t get a small.   I guess I’ll have to get a small size and try that out and update this.

But, I wore it for a few mins not being opened fully, so I could see how the stem feels, and I was not able to feel the stem at all.  So in that respect, I think the very soft silicone is good for stem comfort.   Though I do find the tab stems to be a comfortable design anyway.  It is a quite long stem, so even if you have a high cervix you may need to trim some of the stem off.

Conclusion

As I’ve made pretty clear, I’m hesitant to recommend very cheap cups, because I do wonder if the quality of the silicone is as good as the more established and more expensive brands.  But other than the difficulty of opening for me (which I do have with a lot of soft cups), and a potential difficulty cleaning airholes that are so small…. there is nothing else really wrong with this cup, style/design wise.

Stem is comfortable, it has good grip, the silicone doesn’t feel any “cheaper” than other similar (“Sticky”) silicone cups…. there were no defects – in fact I’ve had Lunette and other brands of cups that have a little rough silicone around the seams… whereas this one is perfectly smooth all over.  All in all, it looks pretty good.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | 2 Comments

Review – Yuuki (new)

Since Yuuki redesigned their cup, and I hadn’t tried the new one, so I asked them to send me one.  Then I realised they have different versions now, and I’m not sure which one they sent me.  I assume the “Classic”?

yuuki-containers  yuuki-container2

They came with containers you can use for storage/soaking the cups, which is nice.  Other than the Lily cups (which came in special printed packets), these are the first cups I’d received where the cups were packed in plastic bags.

yuuki

yuuki2

For some reason my old Yuuki, which I only used for one cycle to review it, turned golden.  So apologies for that in the following comparison photo between the old and new…

yukkioldnew

They seem to be the same shape, except the old cup had smaller holes and the new cup has larger ones, and the old stem was a filled tube with rounded end, and had more grip.  Here’s the original Yuuki cup before it yellowed.

I must admit, I preferred the old one.  The newer silicone is a bit more frosted, but it feels a bit more “plasticky” to me, and doesn’t look as nice IMHO.  The older one was a bit more of the “sticky” sort of feel, but I prefer the feeling of the older one.  I also prefer the solid stem, since there’s less chance of blood getting caught inside.

I assume this is the “Classic”?  as the silicone feels about the same as the old one I have.  I know Yuuki now offers an economy and a soft version too.  But I’m not sure how those feel in comparison to this one.

Testing it out

I’ve been testing out a lot of softer silicone cups lately, which usually require me to push against the vaginal wall with my finger to give it space to fully open up.  So I must say, I did appreciate testing this out and having it pop open perfectly without me needing to do anything!  I’d forgotten how much easier the firmer silicones are able to pop open for me.

I can feel the hollow tube stem more than I could feel the solid one (and more than I feel tab stems) – I think perhaps because the solid stem was rounded on the end, whereas the hollow one is cut straight across.  I still prefer other stem types, but I like the rest of the shape of this cup.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | Leave a comment

Review – Luv Ur Body

LUB_box1 LUB_box2

When I got the package I was very surprised by how thin the box was!  But I suppose it is far more eco-friendly to minimize packaging where possible, and possibly cheaper to post too.

Inside the box the 3 sizes of cups were in separate bag packaging

LUB_packages

LUB_contents

To keep the packages flatter, the cups have plastic tags (the ones that attach price tags to clothing) through the airholes, to hold the cup folded.  Which is quite clever!  It does mean the cups are a bit more oval than round when you first open them, but they seem to bounce back to fully round if you squish them the other way.

LUB_squashed

LUB_3c

LUB_3a LUB_3b

The cups are fairly large.  The small one is only a little smaller than a large cup in other brands, and the large cup is very large.  Here’s a comparison with the Large Lunette and Large MeLuna

LUB_3lunette LUB_3meluna

The cups have a frosted look to the silicone, with raised flower designs all over the outside of the cup.  Medium level squishyness – to me they feel quite good.  The stems are little leaves which are cute, and they are very flexible. They seem to be designed so that you can cut the leaf part off, leaving a small ball if you wanted to.  The base of the cup has small flower designs for extra grip.

The small cups have the option for the flower designs to be coloured.  I’m not sure what they use for this, or how they do it, but those coloured raised sections feel the same as the rest of the cup, and scratching it with my nail doesn’t affect it at all.

.

Using the Cup

I tried the large size first, but I found it way too large for me.  I couldn’t get it anywhere near opening up.  So then I tried the medium.  I was able to get it open, but the longer length of the cup meant that it felt annoying, as the base of the cup it was almost at the entrance of my vagina, with the stem poking out.  The small cup however, I found to be the right size for me.  With the small size I wasn’t able to feel the cup while being worn at all – I couldn’t feel the stem.

I had no leaking with the small or medium sizes.

Cleaning was easy, the airholes are big enough that they don’t stay clogged, and the raised design on the outside didn’t seem to make cleaning any more difficult.

Conclusion

I didn’t like the large or medium sizes, I felt they were much to big for me, and I wonder if there are many women who would find those sizes better than the more standard sizes for cups (though I suppose it is good to have options for longer and wider cups).  But I did like the small size.  I think the flower designs on it are very pretty, though I do wonder what they are made from and the safety aspect of that.  I like the leaf stems, they are comfortable but also give a good grip.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | Leave a comment

FDA

There are some cups on the market that are giving misleading information on their FDA clearance/approval.

So I thought I would contact the FDA to find out exactly what the situation is with FDA approval on both menstrual cups and silicone used to make menstrual cups.

.

Firstly, on the topic of a cup being “FDA approved

NONE of the cups are “approved” by the FDA.  Menstrual cups are a class II device, and the FDA only gives “Approval”  to class III devices.

What some of them have however, is “Clearance” for sale.  It is largely just a case of which term is used, but “approval” implies the cup has been tested and “approved” by the FDA, which is not the case, so they are not allowed to use that term.  The FDA considers that:

Any representation that creates an impression of official approval of a device because of complying with the premarket notification regulations is misleading and constitutes misbranding.

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=807.97

.

For a menstrual cup to be cleared by the FDA, they need to submit a “510(k) premarket notification“.  In layman’s terms what this means that since a new cup is basically the same in function and design as existing cups that are already cleared for sale by the FDA – the new cup doesn’t need to go through the more extensive “premarket approval” process (which would require clinical trials and extensive testing).  But it does need to go through the slightly less extensive “Premarket Notification” process (which seems to be based on the FDA reviewing submitted documents, I’ve not seen reference to any product testing) .

It seems that as of Dec 2014, menstrual cups (as well as cloth pads) no longer need to go through the 510(k) Premarket Notification process, but do still need to be registered with the FDA (unless they have an exemption)

I do not know if the cups that have come to the market since the premarket notification was stopped, would be considered “FDA cleared” like those who have passed – I wouldn’t think so.  In either way, no cups are “FDA approved”, the most they can be is “cleared” by the FDA.

.

Menstrual cups are regulated under the product code “HHE”.  To find a list of all the menstrual cups that have 510(k) Clearance, you can search the FDA database for the “HHE” product code [Click here for the search results]

As of 12th March 2015, the following appear to be the only cup brands that have 510(k) clearance:

Alicia (defunct), Bellecup (defunct?), Divacup, Femmycycle, Insteads Softcups, Keeper, Lunette, MeLuna (classic and sport), Mooncup (UK), Mooncup (US), Rheacup, Sckooncup, Tassaway (defunct)

Though, as I said, there now is no requirement for cups to have 510(k) clearance.  You may however consider a 510(k) clearance as further assurance that a cup brand is good quality.

.

Registering the “device” (cup) and “establishment” (the business making and/or selling it) is still required.

To find a list of the brands/cups that are currently registered with the FDA (that would seem to be those who have paid their yearly registration fee to be allowed to sell cups to/in the US), you can search the “Establishment and device” register for the “HHE” product code again [Search results here]

As of 12th March 2015, the following appear to be the only cup brands that are currently registered with the FDA:

Diva, MeLuna (Classic & Sport), Insteads Softcups, Femmycycle, Lily Cup, Lena, Lunette, MCUK (Mooncup UK), Monzcare/Rainbow, Sckoon

There is also a cup referenced as being made by QURE, for export only (here), and another by KDL Precision Molding (here).  I do not know what these brands are, however EvaCup and Keeper/MoonCup US are listed as being made in the US, so KDL may be the manufacturer for one or both of those brands?

So brands like the Blossom Cup, who are claiming to be FDA approved, are in fact, not.

fda_blossom

Not only are no menstrual cups able to be “FDA Approved”, “Blossom Cup” is not listed on the FDA database for either Establishments and Devices, or for 510(k) clearance.  So it seems the FDA don’t have any listing for them at all.

.

I am unsure why some cup brands are on one list but not both.  Some are brands who are no longer in, or not yet in production, and cups are now not required to be 510(k) cleared, but they all should appear on the registered device/establishment list.  But some are established/current brands.  For example Keeper and Mooncup (US) are on the 510(k) Clearance list, but not on the registered Establishments/devices list.  Which could mean those cups have passed the FDA clearance, but are not currently registered?

I have asked the FDA why some cups are not on both listings, but it seems they aren’t going to reply to any more of my e-mails :(

.

On the topic of FDA registration.  Any menstrual cup being produced or distributed (sold or given away) in the US, is supposed to be registered with the FDA.  There are some exemptions, but they would appear not to be valid for most cup brands.  Even the people who appear to be importing cups from China and renaming them, would (from what the FDA told me) be required to register their device with the FDA, as they would classify as an importer or repackager.

.

.

FDA approved silicone“.

Quite a few brands (pretty much all of them actually) are claiming that they are using silicone that has been “approved” by the FDA.

For example:

fda_dutchess

fda-sckoon

fda_lunette

However, when I contacted the FDA to check to see if this was a valid claim, they told me that the FDA only approves the end product, not what it is made from.  So any claims that a cup is made from “FDA approved silicone” or other similar phrasing – would therefore be false.

To quote a portion of the e-mail from the FDA:

“Please be aware that the FDA regulates the “finished” medical device and the manufacturers of the finished device. Therefore, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) does not maintain a list of ingredients or materials that are certified or approved for use in medical devices.”

.

However, there are many silicone manufacturers who likewise claim their silicone is FDA approved or compliant (link, link), though I notice generally they seem to be referencing the FDA “rubber articles intended for repeated use“.  When I asked the FDA about that, they basically told me that was not part of the “CDRH”.  So I don’t understand their response.

So I wonder if the FDA does approve or give clearance to food-safe silicone, but the “CDRH” branch of the FDA doesn’t approve silicone for medical devices?

I have asked why cup manufacturers would be making the claim that their silicone is FDA approved, if it isn’t…. but I have not yet heard back about this.

I also do not know if the FDA requires each coloured cup to be separately cleared (as some cup manufacturers have told me), or not (as another implies)… I asked about that also and received no reply.

I have actually found it quite difficult to get answers from the FDA about these issues.  I’ve been trying for about a month. I first contacted the Medical device department, who answered some of my questions.  I then asked more questions and was asked to contact the registration section for answers – who then told me to ask the medical devices section, when I commented that I’d already done that, they passed me on to the compliance/complaints section.  I asked the questions again and haven’t had any response.

So I have been getting a bit of a run-around.

March 12, 2015 Posted by | news | | 3 Comments

GynCup

gyncup

http://mujkalisek.cz [Translated into English]

Country of origin: Czech Republic
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes:  M (small), L (large)
DimensionsSize M =40 mm diameter, 58 mm long, 25mm stem.  Size L = 45 mm diameter, 60 mm long, 25mm stem
Capacity“About 30mls”
Stem: Flat Tab
Measuring Lines: Unknown
Cost (RRP): 490 CZK
Been around since: ?
Other Details: Similar look to the Aneer and rebranded Chinese cups.

March 12, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , , | 4 Comments

Lamazuna

lamazuna

http://www.lamazuna.com [Translated to English]

Country of origin: France
Composition: Medical Grade Platinum Silicone
Sizes:  1 (small), 2 (large)
DimensionsSize 1 – 42mm Diameter, 47mm Long without stem, 62mm long with stem.  Size 2 – 46mm Diameter, 52 mm long without stem, 67mm long with stem
CapacitySize 1:  23ml, Size 2: 30ml
Stem: Rounded
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP): € 29.90
Been around since: ?
Other Details: 4 Airholes.  Comes with an organic cotton pouch.

March 12, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , , | Leave a comment

Anytime

anytime

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2015-Anytime-Brand-Wholesale-Reusable-Medical-Grade-Silicone-Menstrual-Cup-Feminine-Hygiene-Product-Lady-Menstruation-Copo/32288941057.html

Country of origin: China
Composition: Platinum Medical Silicone
Sizes:  Small & large
Dimensions: small = 40mm diameter, 50mm long without stem, 75mm with stem.  large = 45mm diameter, 60mm long without stem, 85mm long with stem.
Capacity: Both listed as = “max volume” 15mls, to rim 28mls.
Stem:  Long thin stick
Measuring Lines: Unknown
Cost (RRP):  Around $8 USD [Currency Converter]
Other Details: Looks like a copy of the Sckoon cups.  Made by Rockbrook, who also make the iCare.  Some of the listings show the iCare cup with the “Anytime” box too.

anytime_colours  anytime-icare

March 2, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , , | Leave a comment

Luno

luno_purple

http://www.kaliskyluno.cz [Translated into English]

(Seems to be the same as the “icare”, so since they don’t provide details on their site, I’ll list the details for “iCare”)

Country of origin: Czech Republic (made in China)
Composition: Silicone
Sizes:  “1” (small), “2” (large)
Dimensions: Size 1 = 40mm diameter, 78mm long including stem, 58mm without stem.  Size 2 = 45mm diameter,  85mm long with stem, 60mm long without stem.
Capacity: Luno lists it as 30mls
Stem: Flat Tab
Measuring Lines: yes
Cost (RRP): 444 CZK [Currency Converter]
Been around since: 2012?
Other Details: Available in pink and purple.  The cup itself appears to be the same design as the “iCare/Aneer etc. cups.  Box design is exactly the same as “iCare” for the pink Luno version (comparison picture below) and very similar for the purple version.  Whether this is a rebranding of the iCare, or the iCare is a copy of the Luno – I do not know.

icareluno

March 1, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , , | Leave a comment

Playtamx

playtamx2

Country of origin: Unknown
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes: S (small) and L (large)
DimensionsSize S: 40mm diameter, 70mm including stem   Size L: 45mm diameter
Capacity15ml (Presumably small cup capacity to airholes?)
Stem: Short thin “stick”
Measuring Lines: Yes
Cost (RRP): $10 USD
Been around since: 2015?
Other Details: Looks to be one of the more professional looking of the rebrandings of this cup design – see Similar and Rebranded cups.

playtamx-boxes

February 25, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , | Leave a comment

Patent for a “Splash-proof menstrual cup”

Someone pointed me to this today – it’s a Korean patent from 2009/2011 for a menstrual cup that has what appears to be a “lid” across the top, that would allow blood into the cup, but (presumably) not allow it to leak out as easily.

liddedcuppatent

http://www.google.com/patents/WO2011013954A2?cl=tr

I haven’t ever seen a cup like this, so I don’t think they were ever produced.

Much like the Keeper’s patent, which featured a hollow tube stem with a stopper to allow it to be emptied while worn – which doesn’t seem to have ever been manufactured.

keeper-patent

https://www.google.com/patents/US5827248

February 18, 2015 Posted by | news | 5 Comments

Charlene

charlene

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TACX6LY?psc=1

Country of origin: Unknown (Assume China)
Composition: Silicone
Sizes:  “S” (Small) “L” (large)
Dimensions: S = 42mm diameter. 52.2mm length without stem, 62.2mm length total. 10mm stem.
L = 45mm diameter. 55.4mm length without stem, 65.4mm length in total. 10mm stem.

Capacity: S=20ml to airholes,  22.5ml to rim. L=25ml to airholes, 28mls to rim.
Stem: Short Thin “Stick”
Measuring Lines: Yes
Cost (RRP): $49.99 USD set of 2  [Currency Converter]
Been around since: 2015
Other Details: The Amazon seller “Menstrual cup” also sells other Similar/rebranded cups. The shape/design of this cup looks the same as cups being sold as the Aneer, Blossom, Cup’ax and Dutchess cups.  They even state this in their listing:

charlenecompare

February 18, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , | Leave a comment

Ève Cup

evecup2b

Found on Ebay (Listing #1, Listing #2)

Country of origin: Unknown
Composition: Silicone
Sizes:  “S” (Small), “L” (large)
Dimensions: S = 32mm diameter, 48mm long, 22mm stem.  L = 38mm diameter, 60mm long, 24mm stem.
Capacity: Unknown
Stem:  Hollow tube?
Measuring Lines: Unknown
Cost (RRP):  [Currency Converter]
Other Details:  Has “Flame” sort of design on the base, with a wavy design on the rim.

evecup2

February 17, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | | Leave a comment

Sckoon knockoffs?

Browsing through AliExpress today, I discovered these cups.  While they have tried to disguise the stems, you can see the telltale flower design on the base of the cup.  They look to be copies of the Sckoon cup.

femcup_skoonhttp://www.aliexpress.com/item/2015-Hot-Sale-Reusable-Medical-Grade-Silicone-Menstrual-Cup-Lady-Cup-Feminine-Hygiene-Product-for-Femcup/32284308638.html

.

ladycup-sckoonhttp://www.aliexpress.com/item/2015-Hot-Sale-Wholesale-6-Colors-Choose-Reusable-Medical-Grade-Silicone-Menstrual-Cup-Lady-Cup-Feminine/32282819348.html

Also from Rockbrook (the makers of iCare), called a “Anytime”

anytime_colours

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2015-Anytime-Brand-Wholesale-Reusable-Medical-Grade-Silicone/32288941057.html

.

Since one of them shows it with a “femcup” box, and the “femcup” brand cup looks very similar to the other Chinese copies/rebrands, I wonder if it Femcup also a rebranded cup?

femcup

February 17, 2015 Posted by | comparisons, news | , , | 1 Comment

Biointimo Aqua Tampon

biointimo3

http://www.biointimo.org/en/

Country of origin: Russia?
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes: S (Small) and L (Large)
Dimensions: Size S = diameter 40mm; length70mm; length of the stem 25mm.  Size L = diameter 45mm; length 70mm; length of the stem20mm.
Capacity: S = 25ml L = 30ml
Stem: Flat Tab
Measuring Lines: Yes
Been around since: ?
Other: Their website does not list them (though it shows a picture of them).  But I found them on AliExpress.  They appear to be one of the many rebrandings/clones of the tab stemmed cups.  Although one photo shows the brand name embossed into the cup.

biointimo

biointimo2

February 17, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , | 1 Comment

ALX

alx_menstrual-cup

http://alexanderlifecare.com

Country of origin: India
Composition: “high quality silicon”
Sizes:  “1” (Small), “2” (large)
Dimensions: 1 =  43mm diameter, 56mm long without stem, 26mm stem  2 = 47mm diameter, 58mm long without stem, 27mm stem.
Capacity: Unknown
Stem:  Flat Tab
Measuring Lines: Unknown
Cost (RRP):  [Currency Converter]
Other Details: Looks to the the same as several other tab stem cups – see Similar/rebranded cups.

February 17, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , , | Leave a comment

Pinkcopa

pinkcopa

http://www.pinkcopa.com [Translated to English]

Country of origin:
Composition: Silicone
Sizes:  “S” (Small), “M” Medium,  “L” (large)
Dimensions: M = 44mm diameter, 51mm long (without stem). 10mm stem .
Capacity:
Stem: Short Thick
Measuring Lines:
Cost (RRP): € 25 [Currency Converter]
Been around since: 2014?
Other Details: Seems to be using a natural colourant.  I asked what this was, but they wouldn’t tell me :(  (mentioned on their blog)

pinkcopa3

February 17, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , | 2 Comments

Amulette

amulette

http://www.amulette.lt  [Translated into English]

Country of origin: France
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes:  S (small), M (large)
DimensionsSize S: 40mm diameter, 47mm length.  27mm stem.  Size M: 45mm diameter, 52mm length. 22mm stem.
CapacitySize S: 20mlSize M: 30ml.
Stem: Long thin “stick”
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP): € 37
Been around since: 2012
Other Details: Looks to be the same as the Si-Bell.  Comes with a fancy bag pouch and a cycle marking chart.

amulette_packshot

February 17, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , , | Leave a comment

Natu

natu

http://www.natulovesyou.com

Country of origin:  Unknown
Composition: Silicone
Sizes: 1 (small), 2 (large)
Dimensions: Small = 42mm diameter, 47mm long.  Large = 47mm diameter, 52mm long.
Capacity:  Unknown
Stem: Thin long “stick”
Measuring Lines: Yes
Cost (RRP)£20.99
Been around since: ?
Other Details:  (Close up picture of the Liberty Cup shows it appears to be rebranding of “natu” cup, as it appears to say “natu” embossed on the side)

natu2

February 15, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , | Leave a comment

iClean

iclean2

Being sold on AliExpress

Country of origin:  China
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes:  S (small( and L (large)
Dimensions: S – 40mm diameter, 70mm length, length of the stem 25mm.  L – 45mm diameter, 70mm length, length of the stem 20mm.
Capacity: S = 25ml  L= 30ml
Stem: Flat tab
Measuring Lines: Yes
Cost (RRP):  Around $4 USD
Been around since:  ?
Other Details:  This cup looks identical to a bunch of other cups being sold cheaply on Amazon/Ebay/Aliexpress.  See Similar and rebranded cups.  Comes in Pink, Clear and Purple.

iclean3

iclean4

I have also seen the moon/heart stem cups being sold with the iClean box.

iclean_heart iclean_heart2

Listing #1 & Listing #2

February 15, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , , , | Leave a comment

Comfy Cup

comfycup

Being sold on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Country of origin:  Unknown
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes:  Small & Large
Dimensions: S – 40mm diameter,  46mm length, length of the stem 19mm.  L – 46mm diameter, 53mm length, length of the stem 13mm.
Capacity: S = 15.5ml.  L = 26ml
Stem: Wide flat tab
Measuring Lines:
Cost (RRP):  Around $30 USD
Been around since:  ?
Other Details:  This cup looks identical to a bunch of other cups being sold cheaply on Amazon/Ebay/Aliexpress.  See Similar and rebranded cups.  Comes in Pink, Clear and Purple.

comfycup1comfycup4 comfycup3

February 15, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , , | Leave a comment

Claricup – Review

I got one of each size, plus the “Clarigyna” – which is a washing solution for my “intimate parts” (tee hee), and can be used to wash the cup.

clari_boxes

clari_gyna

The cups come with multilingual instruction sheet and a black plastic storage box

clari_box

Interestingly, the instruction sheet says that the Claricup is “the only menstrual cup made of biocompatible  ANTI-MICROBIAL medical grade silicone.” (their bolding) – So I’m not sure what makes theirs antimicrobial.  The instructions are more detailed than some of the other cups instructions which is good, but it basically covers all the usual things.

Now I just want to point out that (sadly) this cup is NOT purple, as it will appear to be in most of the photos.  The flash in the photos makes it look purple, but it is definitely a blue colour.  It is a very dark (unusual colour) blue, and does have a purple hint to it, but this colour below is what the colour looks like.

clari_blue

The black storage containers are a cool addition

clari_cups

Claricup softness/squishyness compared with a Sckoon

clari_squish-sckoon

clari_cups1Again, these photos make the cups look purple, but they are actually dark blue, like you can see in the squish photo above.

clari_cups2

The holes aren’t drilled through well, I do have to say…  In the large size some of them look a bit messy on the outside.  The small cup some of the silicone around the holes on the inside is poking out into the cup (which is what is appearing white in the photos).

clari_holes clari_holes2

And interestingly, in the instructions, the second note in the “precautions for use” section says to “make sure the 4 perforations an the top of your Claricup are correctly pierced“.  I’ve never seen a cup company list that before,  so obviously it’s a known defect with this brand.  It doesn’t bother me, as the holes are drilled through, just not as neatly as other cups.

.

Using the cup

Now I do frequently say that my favourite stem type is a flat tab (Lunette style), and I don’t tend to like any other stem type….. well I have now found a stem type that I like even more than the flat tab!!!

The stem on these is BRILLIANT!

My main issues with the thin “stick” kind of stems I’ve tried with the Juju and Sckoon are that they are stretchy, so when you go to pull the cup down the cup tends to stay put and you’re stretching the stem, and they are slippery.  This stem is not too stretchy, so works well to pull the cup down, and it has really good grip.  So I find it has just as much grip as a tab stem, but is even more comfortable to wear.  I could not feel this stem at all.  A great stem design!

The cup itself I like the shape of.  No “ridge”.  The silicone has that soft “peach skin” type feeling, it’s a nice soft (“squishy”) silicone.  No writing on it anywhere, so that makes cleaning easier.

The colour is interesting.  It’s not what I would choose, and at first I thought it was a bit unappealing, but it has grown on me and now I find it quite pretty.  There are too many pink and very “girly” coloured cups, so in a way I think it is nice to have a cup that isn’t so pink and girly.  Especially since there are people who menstruate who don’t identify as female.  I’m sure there are a lot of people who appreciate cups that aren’t pastel colours.

This cycle I’ve had 4 cups to test out, so unfortunately I haven’t been able to wear the cup for very long to give it a proper test.  Over the coming months I will try it out more, and update this review if needed.

I tried both the large and small cups.  I wore the large cup for a few hours during the day.   I found it opened up ok, I just needed to press against the vaginal wall  a bit to give it room to open (as I usually have to do with the softer cups). I did have a slight amount of leakage (just a little spotting), and the cup had not got very full, but maybe that was just a once off issue, I also had another cup I was testing that leaked that day when it hadn’t when testing it the previous day.

The small opened up fine.  I wore the small one overnight on a lighter flow day, and had no leakage overnight (the cup didn’t get very full though).

.

Conclusion

To be honest, I got this cup so that I could review it and see if it was like the Si-Bell, I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed with it as I am.  I really like the stem, I do like the colour and I find it is nice and comfortable and easy to clean.  While it doesn’t come with a pouch, it does come with a storage container (that can also be used for soaking/steralising), which is really useful.

I can’t say for sure, since I haven’t had enough time to test it out with my period to check it’s not leaking or anything, but based on the shape, feel of the silicone and the stem design – I think I would have to put this cup up there in my top favourite cups!


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

February 14, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | , | 12 Comments

Lily Cup and Lily Compact – Review

Lily_boxesThe Lily Cups come sealed in little pouches, with a little book of multilingual instructions.  The Lily Cups come with a pink (lycra?) drawstring pouch.  The Lily Compact comes with a little plastic storage case.  The instruction book is the same for both cups.

Lily_box Lily-compact_boxopen

Lily_boxopen Lily-compact_boxcontents

To me, the Lily Cup has always seemed very…. “Sophisticated”. perhaps even “elegant”… I guess.  Because of the shape of it.  But then that also makes sense since LELO (the company that makes them) also makes what I’d consider to be more “sophisticated” looking sex toys too.

Lily_cups2

They have an anti-spill lip around the top rim

Lily_cups1

Lily_cups4

They also have, which you can just see in the light coloured cup above, a thicker “spine” that runs up each side of the cup. I assume this is to help it pop open easier and make them stronger when being pushed up into the vagina.

You’ll notice also that the top of the cup is not straight like all the other cups, it is angled.  Presumably this is to conform to the shape of the vagina better.

It seems to me, that a lot of thought and effort went into designing these cups!  Which makes sense, LELO know vaginas ;)

Lily_cups5

I must admit that I’m not a fan of the colour pink, but the darker pink they use I actually find quite nice.  (Sometimes the flash makes the dark pink cup look brighter than it is)

.

The Lily Compact is a fantastic and novel idea I think.

Lily-compact_cups

They are designed to collapse down very small, so they can be carried around more conveniently!

Lily-compact_cups5 Lily-compact_cups4

Lily-compact_cupcontainer

I really think that is such a fantastic idea!  They don’t fold down as easily as I’d have expected, but then you wouldn’t want it compacting in your vagina, so I suppose that is for the best.  It just takes a bit of fiddling to get them to fold down.  The compact cups are a smaller capacity (only 20-25mls to the rim), so wouldn’t be ideal for a heavier flow.  But having one to keep in your handbag for emergencies would be very handy, and with the case, it means it’s protected, won’t take up much space and won’t be embarrassing if it falls out of your bag!

Lily-compact_cups2

Lily-compact_cups3

The silicone feels lovely!  While the extra lip of the rim of the Lily Cups, and the more solid base, makes them feel a bit stiffer… the compact is lovely and soft.  The silicone itself feels very soft and almost suede-like. It just as a very good quality feel to it.

Wearing the cups

I was testing out 4 cups this cycle, so I wasn’t able to wear each cup for a full cycle to test it, but here are my results.

I started with the Large Lilycup.  I did a C fold and tried to insert it, but it wouldn’t open up at all, it also seemed to suction against the wall of my vagina and I had a bit of trouble removing it.  But I also had trouble with another cup I tried (a different brand) that day – so I think maybe my vagina was being weird that day :P

So after not getting the Large to work, I then the small.  That one seemed to open up fine, but I wasn’t able to reach up to the rim to feel if it was fully open, and the shape of the sides meant I couldn’t tell (with the regular bell shaped cups I can tell from how firm the body of the cup is, if the rim has opened fully or not).  But I didn’t have any leaking, so it must have been opened fine.

I wore the Small cup for a few hours, I was aware of the feeling of the stem for a little while, but it wasn’t uncomfortable, and I forgot about it after a while.

When I removed it, it was about half full, and I didn’t seem to get any spillage when I removed it – so I think the anti-spill lip really does work well.

Then I tried the Large size Lily Compact.  It rode up quite high (because it is shorter than other cups), so I found I was just able to reach it (I have short fingers though).  I wasn’t able to feel the stem though while it was being worn, which is a bonus.  It was my heaviest day, so after a couple of hours it did start to leak, but when I removed it, with some spillage, the cup was very full, so it may have filled past the rim and that was probably why it leaked.

The next day I tried the large Compact again, no leakage.  The cup was about 3/4 full when I removed it.

Then I tried the Large Lily Cup again.  With the punchdown fold rather than the C fold.  This time it opened up fine. Again no sign of any spillage when removing the cup, so I am impressed with the lip on the cups.

Lastly, I tried the small Lily Cup again, I did have a small amount of leakage, and the cup was only about 1/4 full when I removed it, so I’m not sure if maybe I’d positioned it wrong or something.  It was only enough leakage to make slight spotting on a pantyliner though, so it wasn’t that bad.

The cups all rinsed clean easily – no airholes to clean on the non-compact versions, but you will have to remember to clean under the lip to make sure nothing stays under there.  The extra bumps of the compact cups may require a little more effort to clean than a completely smooth cup inside, but I didn’t have any issues with just a rinse out.

The stems had a good amount of grip, and the stem portion of the Compact was just long enough to give me enough to hold onto to pull the cup down, without being too long that it has extra to poke you with.  I think the fact that the bottom of the Lily Cup base is quite firm, is why I could feel that.  But it does appear to be able to e trimmed down if needed, and it certainly wasn’t “uncomfortable”, I was just aware that it was there for a little while after inserting it (I personally wouldn’t need to trim any off).

The first 2 times, I kept forgetting which side is supposed to be aligned where, so I had to keep checking the instructions.  The instructions show to do the punchdown fold and to press down on the shorter side, inserting the longer side first (so that the long side is against the tailbone).  Though this is something I’m sure I’d remember the more I use it.  The instructions also show rolling the Lily Cup up to make it as small as a tampon to insert, I wasn’t able to get it to roll up like that.  The punchdown definitely seems to be the best folding method to use.

Conclusion

I quite liked both styles of cup, but I was really impressed with the concept of the Lily Compact.  I personally don’t mind using pads, and I don’t like to use a cup without a liner for backup just in case, so I’m happy to have a cloth pad in my handbag for emergencies, but if you are a person who prefers cups to pads, and wants something to keep on hand for if your period starts while you are out – I would definitely recommend these!  I imagine they would also be really handy for traveling.  Not that a normal cup takes up much room, but these can be folded down really small, in a nice discreet protective case – and I found the cup to be comfortable too.

I did have a couple of issues with the non-compact versions, but I didn’t have the chance to use them enough before writing this review to get the hang of using them, and occasionally with any cup there can be days were they don’t seem to want to work properly.  So I wouldn’t think it would be fair to be turned off a cup based on a couple of hiccups I had.  I do have more cups to review, and only a certain amount of menstruating days to do it – but I will definitely use the Lily again to give it more of a go, and I will update that when I have tested them some more.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

February 14, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | , | 7 Comments

Squish Test Results

Previously I tried to rate the softness of cups by comparing how squishy the rim felt, now I’m rating based on squishing the rims together and comparing how much each cup rim compressed. I’ll refer to this as the “Squish test”.

This squish test of often done by taking 2 cups and pressing them together, like this:

namelessmoon-squish

This shows that the cup on the top has flattened more than the cup on the bottom, so the top cup is presumably made from a softer silicone, because it compresses more than the other cup.

This is a fairly good indication of which cup is softer than the other.  However, I have noticed in doing this myself, that if you have 2 cups with a similar degree of squishyness, the bottom cup will always flatten more.  It seems there is more pressure on the bottom cup than the top cup.  Also when you squash 3 cups together, the centre one squishes more. So to get a more accurate indication of which cup is softer, you really need to compress 2 cups, from the sides.

So I bought a caliper so I could more accurately test squishing 2 cups together :)
CupCalipers

I have measured the “squishyness” or Softness of the cups based on Squishing them all with the same cup – Lunette  – setting calipers to 50.00mm, inserting the Lunette and one other cup together between the slides of the caliper, and measuring how compressed the rim of the cup I’m testing against the lunette is (measuring from the outsides of the rim, to account for the fact the cups have different thicknesses of rim)

Now, this is not a perfectly accurate reading, however it can be used to give an indication of relative “squishyness” of the brands.  The smaller the number, the more compressed the cup was, so the softer or more “squishy” the cup is.

If anyone has any particular requests as to which cups to compare together, comment here and I can compare them for you.

 

Large Sizes
Tested against a Large Lunette – using all Large size cups (except the Luv Ur Body, which I used the “medium” size since it was closer in size to the Large sizes of other brands and the single sized cups)

  • Aneer (18mm)
  • Nameless ebay moon stem cup – (20mm)
  • Sibell – (21mm)
  • Lunacup (21mm)
  • Miacup [old] (21mm)
  • Juju (23mm)
  • Sckoon (23mm)
  • OrganiCup (24mm)
  • Vcup [one size] (24mm)
  • Fleur Cup (24mm)
  • Lily Compact (24mm)
  • Mooncup UK [new] (25mm)
  • Ruby (25mm)
  • Claricup (25mm)
  • Femmecup [new] [one size] (26mm)
  • Luv Ur Body (26mm)
  • Lady Cup (27mm)
  • Lily Cup (27mm)
  • MeLuna [Classic] (27mm)
  • Mpower (27mm)
  • Femmycycle (28mm)
  • Lunette (28mm)
  • Mooncup uk [old] (29mm)
  • Yuuki – [new] (30mm)

 .

Small Sizes
Tested against a Small Lunette – using all Small size cups.

  • Keeper (26mm)
  • Diva [old] (26mm)
  • Luna cup (26mm)
  • Femmycycle (26mm)
  • Luv Ur Body (27mm)
  • Sckoon [prototype] (27mm)
  • Juju (27mm)
  • Lunette (27mm)
  • Claricup (27mm)
  • Yuuki [new] (27mm)
  • Lily compact (27mm)
  • Femmecup [new][one size] (27mm)
  • Vcup [one size] (28mm)
  • Femmecup [old] (30mm)
  • Mooncuk uk [old] (33mm)

 

My “new” MeLuna was from 2011, I assume it is a “Classic”, but it’s HEAPS softer than their old cups.  The “new” Yuuki I’m not sure which version it is, probably the “classic”

 

— disclaimer —
Now, I would like to mention that when I get new cups in, I have to compare them to the old cups I have to know where to rank them, and I’m not sure if silicone changes softness over time (when stored in a dark box and not used – as my samples are). So that may affect my ratings.

Cups apparently get softer the more they are used (particularly through repeated boiling) – so my cups that are used once or twice then put in a storage box, will probably not be as soft as a cup that is used by someone regularly.

Please note that I can only test the cups I actually have – so this is a list of the cups I own.  Please do not ask me to test any cups not on this list.

I will update the list whenever I obtain a new cup (I do have a few cups on the way)

February 13, 2015 Posted by | comparisons, reviews | , | 4 Comments

Nameless moon stem cup – Review

I’ve been wanting one of these cups for a while, because they are purple, and have a cute moon stem – and I wanted to see what these cheap Chinese cups were like.

I tried to buy one in the past, from Aliexpress, but it never arrived – I contacted the seller and they said they would send another – I never got it.  So I decided never to buy from Aliexpress again (no buyer protection), so when I saw one of these cups on ebay, where I could pay with paypal and have some recourse if it never arrived, I figured I’d spent a whopping $3.80 (including postage!) and buy one.

This one actually did arrive!

namelessmoon_bagIn no expense spared packaging :P (I know, you can’t expect anything more for $3.80!)

The first thing that struck me.. physically… was the SMELL!  I’d heard people comment on the fact some of these cheap cups have a plastic/chemical small, and now I know what they mean.  It was really strong.  The more the cup has been left out of the bag and allowed to air out, the less smell it has, but it was very offputting!

Which really concerns me…. No other cup I’ve had smelled.  So I don’t know what type of silicone they used, or what additives are used… but something seems not right.  The listing just says it is made from “Silicone” – so it does not specify it is Medical Grade silicone…. which means it might not be.

That aside… it’s a really pretty colour and a really pretty design!

namelessmoon2

namelessmoon3

It is however basically a Lunette with a moon on the stem

namelessmoon-lunette

Same size (maybe a mm smaller), same shape, same size ridge around the top, measuring lines in the same location and the same spacing… Which… (copyright infringement aside) would work well for me since I do love my Lunette, and I love purple!

The silicone is really really soft, with that “peach-skin” (smooth, not sticky or plasticky) feeling.  It does feel really nice.

Surprisingly, I didn’t have too much trouble getting the cup to open, which I often do with softer silicone cups.  It might be because I’ve been wearing other cups all day, not sure.  I did have to press against my vaginal wall to give it enough space to pop open as I normally do, but I didn’t have as much trouble as I expected I would.

Here it is with a squish test, compared to a large Sckoon.

namelessmoon-squish

.

There are a few sections where the seams are a little rough, but frankly, I have a couple of cups including a Lunette that have that too…. so that doesn’t really bother me.  The airholes however, haven’t been punched all the way through.  My camera isn’t good enough to show this well, but on the outside they look like they go through, but on the inside there is no hole, just a piece of silicone poking out where the hole should go through (which looks white against the purple cup).  I think I could probably pull on that slug of silicone and I could cut it off which might open the holes, but I won’t use the cup again so there is no point.

namelessmoon4

namelessmoon-hole

.

Wearing the cup

As I’m sure you’ll suspect…. sadly, a pointy ended moon shape is not the most comfortable stem design :(

Normally I am aware of the stem of a cup for a little while after inserting a cup – not uncomfortable, but I can just feel it is there.  This one was more irritating than a regular tab stem.  I could feel the point of the moon stabbing/scratching me as I walked or did anything with my legs squeezed together.  It didn’t “hurt”, but it was annoying and uncomfortable.  It was however not as irritating as I find the long hollow tube stem that the Mooncup UK has.

Maybe it is something I would get used to the longer I wore it, and I am stubborn enough that the cuteness factor could make me put up with it more than I would have if it was clear or something :D but the fact the silicone had a funny smell meant I was already a bit wary of the cup, so I didn’t want to wear it for too long.  The main feature of this cup is the moon, so trimming it off would be a shame – although it would still be purple, so that would still be a bonus for me :)

– There are however heart shaped stem versions, for the smaller size, which would likely be a lot more comfortable to wear.

I wore the cup for about half an hour, and then removed it.  Now whether or not it was the stem poking/scratching which caused some irritation to my skin, or if there is something in on the material it is made from that has caused some irritation – I don’t know…. but I’ve tested out a lot of cups and I’ve never had any feeling of irritation before, but after using this cup, for about an hour later I had a “warm”, not quite stinging or burning, but almost like a milder version of that type of feeling in my vagina, which I presume was a mild irritation from this cup.  It felt to me that it was irritated more than just where the stem was poking, so I think it was a reaction to the material. So I won’t be wearing it again.

Someone pointed out that it could have been the “mold release” that was what I could smell. (which did lessen after it was washed and aired out, and gone completely now).  I do freely admit that I don’t boil or sanitise the cups before I use them, I give them a good wash with water and that is it – so while I’ve never had any issues with other cups doing this – maybe the “mold release” chemical stayed on the cup enough to cause the reaction and it might not have been the material.  I don’t know.  I did do a burn test to see if it was silicone, and it turned to ash and performed like burning silicone is supposed to do.  Which is not conclusive to show it is any particular form of silicone, but it proves it isn’t plastic.

Now, I am allergic to elastic and most metals – so I have sensitive skin that other people probably don’t have.  But then no other cup has been an issue. So I strongly feel there is was something in the material of this cup (or the mold release) that is not the same as the normal (more expensive) Medical Grade Silicone cups.

Conclusion…… 

I personally don’t trust the safety of a cup that sells for such a low price.  I paid $4.80 for it, including the cost to post it to me…. and ebay fees, paypal fees and postage has to come out of that $3.80.  It wouldn’t be leaving much profit left for the seller.  I do have to wonder how much it cost the manufacturer to make them, and if they took any shortcuts or used inferior materials to make it cheaper.  The fact it smelled very much like “new plastic”, when the other cups don’t, is of concern to me.

That issue aside, the stem design is not very ergonomic.  It might be ok for some people, but then it is easy to cut the moon off if you need to.  Also the holes weren’t punched through, so you would need to punch them out yourself.  But if you’re paying less than $4 for a cup, you really can’t be picky about the quality.

The shape of the cup and feel of the silicone though are very good.  the shape is obviously copied from Lunette, like so many other cheap cups on the market… but legalities of that aside, it is a good shape I think.  The colour is quite pretty.  So other than the pokey stem issue (easily dealt with), the cup itself is a comfortable fit, and it didn’t appear to leak (though I didn’t wear it for long).

I love the look of this cup, but I would be hesitant to recommend it (or any of the other no-name cup brands being sold for less than $10 on ebay and the like) to others, because of the potential safety concerns, and the moon on the stem is uncomfortable.  The heart version would be a better choice.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

February 13, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | | 5 Comments

Femmycycle – Review

I’d been curious to try one of these cups for a long time.  Such an interesting design for this cup!

femmycycle-box2 femmycycle-boxcd

It comes with a CD – it shows a documentary about the Femmecap (contraceptive device made by the same company) and the Femmycycle menstrual cup – as well as a video about the cup and how to fold, insert and remove it.  Probably not necessary to be honest, but it’s nice that they have the extra touch of the CD to give people a visual instruction on how to fold, for those who can’t look it up online.

femmycycle-boxinside

femmycycle-contents

The pouch is very different to the other cups pouches I’ve seen.  It is made from the type of material that reusable shopping/grocery bags is made from.  It also has a snap closure and a “gusset” – rather than just being a rectangle of cloth with sewn edges and drawstring like the others.

femmycycle-contents2

The cups themselves are surprisingly large. Very soft and squishy.

femmycycles

This cup has a… I don’t know what you’d call it… “anti-spill rim”?

femmycycleIt pops in/out of the top rim of the cup, making it into a sort of funnel type design, so the blood can flow into the cup, but can’t flow back out again when tipped on its side.

That part pops out so that you can properly clean inside.

femmycycles2

Here’s the Regular (large) size Femmycycle compared to the large size Juju (which was just the first large cup I grabbed), so you can see that compared to the conventional shape of menstrual cup, it’s quite a bit wider, and shorter.

femmycycle-juju

femmycycle-juju-sideThough the rim is smaller than the Juju

Here are the “regular” and “Teen” versions compared to a large Lunette for reference of “squishyness”.

femmycycle-lunette-squish femmycycle-lunette-squish2

Wearing the cup…

I’ll be honest, I had 4 menstrual cups to test out this period, so I wasn’t able to wear each cup for a full cycle to be able to test it fully.

I tried the “regular” (large) size first.  While the silicone itself is very soft, the extra “anti-leak” part around the rim makes that part a bit stiffer and thicker, so folding is probably about equal with one of the medium-squishyness cups in terms of the pressure needed to keep it folded.

I tried inserting it using the C fold while on the toilet, and I found I couldn’t get it to open up at all.   But I’d also had trouble earlier in the day with the Lily Cup too, so I think at that time, it was an issue with the contours of my vagina as well as the size/squishyness/shape of the cup.

So I tried the “teen” (small) size.  That seemed to open up ok, but because the base of the cup is so squishy and bulbous, and I couldn’t seem to find where the rim was to feel around there, I wasn’t sure.  Normally I can tell by the way the base of the cup feels, if the rim is fully open or not… and normally I can reach up to the rim to feel there. I suspect this is something that I would find easier the more practice I have using this cup.

I figured I’d know if it wasn’t opened and sealing, if I leaked.  I didn’t have any leaks, so it must have opened fine.

Normally I am aware of the feeling of the stem part of the cups after I first put them in, I was not able to feel the Femmycycle at all.  While the feeling doesn’t normally bother me, not being able to feel it at all, is much nicer!

I wore it for several hours, and I’d checked a few times and no leaking – but after a few hours I could feel the telltale “bubbling” sort of feeling that let me know it was leaking.  I did spill some when removing the cup – because the cup is so squishy, when you hold it to remove it, you’re like to so squish some out if it is too full, and the “anti-leak” guard thing can only do so much….  The cup was still about half full when I took it out to have a look – so it probably started leaking because it got too full.  Either because it overflowed or maybe it got heavier and slipped down a bit?  not sure.

I found it had ridden up quite high – I am used to wearing cups with a long stem – as I have short fingers and I presume a long vagina – so I need to be able to pull the cups down to better reach them,  I was just able to reach the ring to pull it down, and I definitely prefer a ring stem to a ball or narrow stick stem – The ring was the perfect size to get a finger into to grab it, but yet I couldn’t feel it while inside me at all.  So I was very impressed with that aspect.

I decided to try the large size out again, for overnight.  I don’t normally wear cups overnight, but with so many to test – I felt I should wear it overnight.  I didn’t have the same trouble as earlier in the day with getting it to open, it seemed to open up, but I still wasn’t completely sure.  But I had no leaking at all overnight  – the cup only got to about half full and I didn’t spill any when removing it – so I think the anti-spill spout feature does help reduce spillage when removing the cup – if you don’t let the cup get past about half full.

Cleaning was very easy – with no airholes to clean, it is simply a case of flipping up the spout thing, tipping out the blood, rinsing out the cup and you’re all good. Because of that spout part, you can actually give the cup a shake and swirl the water around inside it – which helps to get it clean – you can also stick your finger into the cup to wipe around the inside.  I’m not sure I’d call it “fun” – but because of that ability to swish the water around, it was maybe the most “entertaining” cup to clean :D  it made me think of how wine people swirl wine around in the goblet….  which made me giggle….  (I’m childish though!)

One aspect I appreciated was that I felt more secure being able to carry the cup around while it was full of blood.  I know what sounds weird, but let me explain :)  See, our toilet is in a separate room to the bathroom where the sink is.  I find that just emptying the cup into the toilet lets the blood sink to the bottom of the bowl and needs a second flush or a toilet brush to remove it (or you need to put toilet paper into the bowl first) …. So what I often do if the cup isn’t too full, is slowly put some toilet paper into the cup to soak up the blood, then put the toilet paper into the toilet…… but with this cup, I rested the cup in the end of a toilet roll while I finished up in the toilet (empty toilet paper rolls make perfect cup stands!), then I carried it into the bathroom and tipped the blood down the sink and gave the cup a good rinse.  So I actually found that a more convenient way to empty it.

All in all… I was very impressed with this cup.  It isn’t a cup I would have thought to buy if I was deciding on which cup to buy, since I must admit, it looked a bit weird and I wasn’t sure the anti-spill design was really needed.  But after trying it, I found it to be more comfortable than other cups, easy to remove, easy to clean and less likely to spill.  My only criticism would be the fact that I wasn’t able to tell if it was fully opened, but I think that would be something I would get used to the more I used the cup – whereas I unfortunately didn’t have enough time to spend getting used to the cups before writing this review.

.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

February 13, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | , | 11 Comments

Poll on Stems

I’m curious to see how many people trim off the stems of their cups and how many leave them intact.  Also how people like or don’t like stems, and which stem options you like the best.

So I have a couple of polls :)  please submit your answer.  If you have more than one cup, you can answer more than one option.

February 12, 2015 Posted by | Polls, Using a cup | 3 Comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 87 other followers