Menstrual Cups

Open Letter to Menstrual Cup Companies

If I sound a bit grumpy, it’s because I’ve spent HOURS over the last couple of weeks trying to track down cup measurements and capacity info for brands…. which should NOT be a difficult task.

So… a letter to all the Cup Companies out there……

Dear Cup Companies,
The info that people like me add to our charts and databases – the lengths, capacities and other product info, is not something we do because we’re bored.  It’s information that some consumers want to know about the cups.  YOUR products.

So in some cases, for some of you, I’m doing part of your job for you, by listing the measurement info for your brand, that your customers are unable to find on your own website.

But do you realise that your competitors are listing their measurements, so when we don’t have measurements for your brand, it makes your brand look bad?  Look at these 2 listings from my site:

cuplisting_unknowns cuplisting_details

Do you want your listing to just say “unknown” for everything?  Look at how the comparison tables look when we have no info:

cuplisting_emptyline

People are going to just scroll on past a brand that has no available information.

I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but your cup isn’t the best cup for everyone – no matter what brand you are.  People *do* shop around, particularly when shopping online.  But they can only shop around on sites that give enough details about the product, to allow them to do so.

If your website/listing doesn’t list the total length of the cup including stem.  The length of the cup without stem, the capacity to the airholes and the capacity to the rim….. why not?  Is it because you’re afraid that if people know that information they won’t buy your cup?  Perhaps people are specifically looking for a cup with the measurements/capacity yours has!  But if you don’t trust in your own brand enough to properly list all the particulars – how can you expect us to trust in it?

It should be on your websites/product listings already – but if it’s not, and someone e-mails you to ask for it…. Why is it so hard to just reply back with the information? Or even just to say “I don’t know, but I will find out for you”   ?????

I have e-mailed and messaged NUMEROUS cup companies, some more than once, asking for the information that is missing from their sites/listings. Some never reply at all, some will reply to some aspects of my questions, but not others.

Keeper Inc. even asked me why the information was important to know (and didn’t give it to me *sigh*).

OK, so I’ll explain – Why is it important for people to know the measurements and capacity?

For some people, buying a cup is seen as a big investment.  Now while we all know that over time cups are far more economical, some people consider the initial purchase to be expensive – and because there are so many brands out there, the choice can be confusing.

The decision on which cup to buy may be as simple as which cup is physically easier for them to get (one in a store they see), or it could be which is cheaper.. or even what their friends use.  For others, they look at the information on the cups and choose a cup based on that. They like to window shop, and pick the cup that “speaks” to them or a cup that they feel will suit them physically based on the measurements and material information.

Some people have multiple cups – they find that different times in their cycle, they need differently shaped cups, and buy/have different cups for that.

If someone finds difficulty using a cup they have and are looking for another one to replace it…. if their present cup is too small or too short, too soft, too hard, not enough capacity etc. – they may look to charts to see which cups may better suit their needs.

Why do they need to know the total length including stem?  – because some people leave the stem intact and want to know how long the cup is if they choose to keep the stem.  If they have a high cervix and they know cups rise up, this total length may be important so they know how far up the stem is likely to reach.

Why do they need to know the length without stem? – Because some people get irritated by the stems and need to trim them down – knowing how long the cup is without the stem, as well as the info of the total length with the stem, allows them to judge how much of the stem they might be able to cut off to get the right balance for them – as well as how long the cup is going to be if they do trim off all the stem.  It also tells them how long the body of the cup is, in case they want to look for cups of a specific body length (eg if they have a low cervix then they may be looking for a particular length cup)

Why do they need to know the capacity to airholes and rim?  – because some people leak once the cup fills to the airholes.  Sometimes this can be because the airholes are large enough to allow fluid through, sometimes this can be because the seal is effected once the airholes are submerged.  In any case, some people don’t like to let their cups fill to the airholes and like to know this measurement.  Others can let the cup fill to the brim/rim, and would like to know overall what capacity the cup has in total, because if they only have the measurement to the airholes, then this is not telling them the full capacity of the cup.

Why do they need to know what the cup is made from? – There are a couple of brands who don’t even tell you what the cup is made from.  Is it silicone?  is it TPE?   You might not think it matters, but the thing is, if you don’t say what it is – you are withholding information from us, and we then get suspicious.  If you have nothing to hide, then why not say what it is?  You are asking people to buy it and put it in their bodies, and some people want to know more than your assurance that this mystery material is “safe”.

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So sometimes a customer will be looking for the widest and shortest cup, or the narrowest shortest cup, or the longest widest cup….or which cups of a certain length have the greatest capacity.  If they don’t have measurements for your brand – they will not consider your cup when they are looking, because they don’t know how it compares to others available.

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Because cups are mostly sold online, or in packaged boxes – people can’t usually pick up a cup and hold it in their hands.  They rely on product photos, measurement information and reviews/discussions on the brands to find out what that cup might be like.

Which leads me to….

Why do sites like this need actual cups to review?
Because words on a page can’t tell your customers what the material feels like. How soft it is, if it’s “sticky” or “peach skin”. How easily it folds, how easily it pops open. How the grip feels, how the stem feels.  How much more easily does it fold than XYZ cup. Is it firmer than ABC cup.   Lots of people ask me to take photos of certain cups together – so they know how others compare visually.  knowing one cup might be 7mm shorter than another doesn’t show them visually what that difference looks like. If they already have one cup and are looking for another, they will ask me to photograph other cups along with the cup they have – so they can better see how different the other cups are.

If I don’t have one of your brand of cups to do this with, then I’m only giving info on your competitors – that might mean they pick your competitors cup instead of yours.

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This is why it is important to have information available on your website, or in your product listings. This is also why places like this website exist to try and help people get the information they need. Both as a place to try and display (unbiased) information on all brands, to make comparison easier – but also to help answer those “how does it feel”, “is it squishier than” type questions.

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But when it’s difficult for us to get the information to pass on, it can be very frustrating for all of us.

To illustrate this – I swear this the actual conversation I had with a DivaCup representative via e-mail when I was trying to get info on the capacity to update my cup charts (My DivaCup sample came with a hole punched in the side, so it can’t be filled with water, otherwise I’d have tested it myself):

Me: “Would you also be able to confirm for me the capacity of both sizes of cup – both to the airholes and to the rim. The information I have lists 20mls for the small (we presume this is to airholes) and 25mls for the large (also to airholes?). I am unable to try measuring the capacity of the cup myself, due to the hole preventing me from filling it with water.”

Diva: “The DivaCup holds one full ounce of flow (30 ml). The Model 2 holds 30 ml and the Model 1 slightly less.”

Me: “I actually need to know the exact capacity to both the airholes and to the rim. Is that 30mls to the rim?

These are measurements that people would like to know, and that I include in the cup charts I compile, so without both these measurements I can only list the Diva on the bottom of the chart listing in an “unknown capacity” section, rather than placed where it should be.”

Diva: “The DivaCup holds 30 ml (1 full ounce) to the brim. The Model 1 will hold slightly less.”

Me: “Thank you, but I very clearly said – TWICE – that I need to know the specific capacity to the AIRHOLES….. and “slightly less” isn’t really specific enough to be able to list on a comparison chart.”

Diva: “The DivaCup holds one full ounce of flow (in capacity) up to the brim (four holes in the cup). There are flow measure lines on the side that also note this. I can get the exact amount of what “slightly less” means in the coming days from production.”

I’m seriously not even joking.  I gave up at that point, and “slightly less” is now the official measurement I’m going with 😛

I’d like to say that’s the only example of a cup company dodging what should be a very simple question on their cup.  But I’ve had to ask several cups more than once for measurement information.  Sometimes if I’ve asked for capacity to rim and airholes, I get a “cup capacity is 20mls” type response.  20mls TO WHERE?  Or I’ll ask for the standard things I ask for – length in total, length without stem, capacity to airholes, capacity to rim.  And I’ll get an answer back with only the total length and a capacity to rim.

ARGH!

MeLuna, when the representative there and I had been having a conversation back and forth as I was trying to answer some questions about comparisons between their older style cups I have, and the newer ones (specifically if the “sport” level of hardness was equivalent to their original cups, or if the sport is harder than that) – eventually they just fobbed me off with a statement that they don’t speak English well enough to answer my questions any more? :/

This information matters to us!  Why is it so hard to give it to us?

Conversely, Lily Cup e-mailed me back, giving all the info, and in a handy table!  (customer service win!)

Lilycupsizing

And the thing is….. the thing that really annoys me…. is that I put time and effort into making these listing pages and cup charts – to benefit other people.  I don’t get anything for my efforts.  I’m not selling anything here, I’m not paid or given incentives by any cup companies.  I’m doing this partly to help out the cup companies by letting people know about their products, and partly to help people be able to find out about cups….

… and there are a lot of cup companies who can’t even be bothered to reply back to an e-mail asking about the capacity and measurements of their cups.

Please…. Cup Companies…. do us all a favour and just put ALL the information ON YOUR SITE!

But if you haven’t, and I ask you for it, JUST GIVE IT TO ME, PLEASE!  You are only making your brand look less appealing than other brands – and I am sure that is not what you want!

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January 29, 2015 - Posted by | news

4 Comments »

  1. Brilliant! ;-D

    Comment by Quitterie | January 29, 2015

  2. I think you do amazingly well. If it wasn’t for your selfless pioneering of cup comparison charts and useful concise information I truly think I wouldn’t have found my cups as easily or even at all! Just seeing a list of cup names to know what images to google is a massive blessing. So keep up the good work 🙂

    Comment by yayforcups | February 6, 2015

  3. Thanks so much for all your work. So many products aimed at women tend to neglect concrete specifications in favor of insulting our intelligence (see shethinx.com and their choice to rate the absorbency of their products by how many tampon’s worth of flow can take, with no real units of measurement to be found). So would like to cosign this open letter and express my gratitude for the great resource that is this website.

    Comment by Tiina | February 28, 2015

  4. Yes, we do appreciate you SO much! Without the information you’ve gathered it would be torturous trying to decide which cup to buy.

    Comment by sprite | March 17, 2015


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