Menstrual Cups

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 cups.

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

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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 (supposedly the addition of silver).  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.

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The black storage containers are a cool addition

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Claricup softness/squishyness compared with a Sckoon

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

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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).

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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.

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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).

I’ve been using the “Clarigyna” wash to clean the cups before and after use.  Other than being a little too liquid (so if you store it so it’s standing on the cap, it can leak a little), I have found it good – no irritations or anything.  I’ve even put a little into one of those little fish shaped bottles you get soy sauce in, so I can take some with me if I’m camping or out.

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Conclusion

To be honest, I got this cup mostly 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 – given how I usually prefer the tab stems.  I really like the stem, I do actually 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 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.

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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.

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They have an anti-spill lip around the top rim

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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 😉

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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)

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

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

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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!

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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 😛

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 | , | 13 Comments