Menstrual Cups

Gaia Cup – Review

gaiacup

The Gaia Cup pouches are a bit different to the other pouches – they have the brand name on a clear plastic tag on the side, and they have a flat base!

gaiapouch

The Gaia Cup comes in 2 sizes, but according to the measurements, there is only 1mm difference between the sizes, so I’m really not sure what the point of having both sizes is…..

Both cups look identical, it’s only the writing inside that tells you which size that lets you know.  If you put them against each other, you can see the rims are the 1mm difference, but it’s such a small amount.  Though their website only seems to have the large size now, so maybe they don’t offer the smaller one any more?

gaiacup2

gaiacup1

gaiacup3

The silicone has the “peachskin” sort of feel to it.  Very soft, my “Squish Test” measured it at 21mm compression – the same as the Si-Bell.  It has a nice feel to it.

Because I like having a good stem to grab onto, I found this short little stem to be quite slippery and not have enough grip – even though it does have grip lines on it.  I found it quite difficult to remove because of this.  But, on the plus side – I couldn’t feel the stem, so if you’re someone who normally has to cut stems off, then this might be a good compromise.

As with all the softer cups – I have to push against the vaginal wall to give the cup enough space to open up fully.  Because there was no smaller diameter version to try, this would be a problem for me, as normally a softer large cup has trouble opening but the smaller sizes are usually ok.  So I personally prefer a firmer cup.

The outside is smooth, no ridge, so it is comfortable for insertion and removal.  The inside rim of the cup has the brand name and size.  The airholes are a good size for cleaning.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | Leave a comment

Bassrose – Review

bassrose

This cup is interesting because it has a hollow stem, with a marble ball at the end that forms a stopper.  So that you can push the ball back up the stem to release the “valve” and let the cup empty without needing to remove it.

At first it seems really long.  But it isn’t actually much longer than some of the long cups.  Shown below with a small size LunaCup and DivaCup. The body of the cup is quite small too.

bassrose2 bassrose4

In the stem you can see there is a larger rounded part – this is where the ball is pushed to, when the cup needs to be emptied.  The ball is then pushed into the narrower part of the end of the stem to seal the stem off again.

The silicone is the more “sticky” kind, and about a medium level of softness.  When measured in my “Squish test” it compressed to 28mm.  Making it one of the firmest small cups I have.  There are no airholes in the cup, but I had no trouble with leakage or removal.  There are no measuring lines or markings on the cup.

To be honest, I don’t really see this design as being as much benefit as it gets advertised as – I don’t think cups are that difficult to remove for cleaning, and there are some issues with the design.  But I can see it being of benefit if you are out of the home and don’t want the hassle of having to empty a cup.  I imagine it would be difficult to tell if the cup was emptied properly while you are wearing it though.  I only tested it by removing the cup and emptying it – so that I could see how well it emptied and cleaned, so I could better review it.  I haven’t yet tested emptying it while still inserted.

I also would be worried about the ball dislodging and the cup emptying while you are wearing it. While it seems that it needs a decent amount of force to get the ball dislodged to empty the cup, I do still worry if it is possible it could dislodge by itself and allow the cup to leak. I would only feel confident wearing it if I had a pad on – but that is partly because I am already paranoid about leakage thanks to a white-pants-tampon-mishap back in my teenage years :P

I was also worried about the ball falling out while cleaning – but I’ve actually tried to push the ball out of the stem, and you’d have to really try hard to do it.  I did try while it was dry, so maybe when it’s wet it could be easier, but I wasn’t able to get the ball out through the end, but if I really tried hard I could push it up the stem towards the body of the cup (I don’t recommend doing that though, it’s difficult to get it back into place again :P)  and the cup does come with a spare ball just in case it did somehow manage to fall out.  But I don’t think that would be likely.

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I tried it a couple of times, and I must say – I was pleasantly surprised.  I actually found the stem more comfortable than some of the hollow tube stems!  I barely felt it.  Because it is longer, and rounded on the end, I think it pokes less than a shorter stem with a straighter end.  I also did not have any troubles with the ball moving or the stem leaking.

One of the things that I have seen discussed with this design of cup (and also the Victoria Love, which is a similar design), is that menstrual blood is thick and sometimes clotty – so we wondered if it was possible for it to flow out of the stem easily.  The Victoria Love design seems to have smaller holes on the sides of the end of the stem, whereas the Bassrose has a larger hole right at the end of the stem.  So out of the 2, it seems like the Bassrose design will work better for clots or thick blood.  I don’t know if I had any clots when I tried it, but it emptied fine – I did have to sometimes press the stem a bit to move the ball back up into that larger section, but no blood seemed to get stuck in the stem.

To better show people how the valve/ball works, how easily it emptied and how it doesn’t seem to leak when the cup is full – I have a photo and a video of the cup containing menstrual blood, to show you how it actually works.   Yes, actual blood :P   I will put the links here so you can choose to look at them or not, if you think it’s gross, just don’t look.  I won’t be approving any “eww that’s gross” comments either, you can keep those thoughts to yourself :)

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Click at your own risk :P

Bassrose Cup with blood Photo | Bassrose Cup emptying/cleaning Video

April 25, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | 5 Comments

Anytime – Review

anytime1

This is one of the Sckoon “knockoffs” (potentially copied design)  – it came without a box, and with a pouch marked “Lady Cup”.  I basically just got it to see if it was an exact copy of the Sckoon, or if it was different at all.  It does have a couple of very slight differences, but it is essentially a copy.

anytime2

The Anytime stem is longer, it doesn’t have the Sckoon branding around that flower base.  It also doesn’t have that frosted silicone band or the strange “water drop/stretch marks” effect the Sckoon has. The body of the cup appears to be the same though, and the flower grip pattern on both cups appears to be exactly the same.

The Anytime cup has messy airholes.  They have obviously been drilled from the inside out (Sckoon’s appear to be from the outside in, and are higher and neater), since 1 of the 5 holes doesn’t break through to the outside at all and the remaining holes aren’t fully punched through.  There is also ‘damage’ (for want of a better word – where the silicone is marked) around the edges of the holes on the inside.

anytimesckoon anytimesckoon2

The Anytime is a little firmer than the Sckoon, and it is not as translucent.

While I don’t like to recommend a “knockoff” cup, nor the very cheap Chinese made cups of any brand… If you like the shape/style of the Skoon but want it a little firmer, then (airhole/legal/safety issues aside), this cup may suit better, since it is identical in shape/size (other than the longer stem)

April 25, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | 6 Comments

iClean – Review

iclean

My iClean came with no box, a little instruction leaflet and a really poor excuse for a pouch – one of those organza bags you usually find jewellery or something like that put into.  Not really suitable for a menstrual cup pouch – but these are very cheap cups, so you can’t expect much.

The holes weren’t punched through as neatly as other cups, with some displaced silicone on the outside and inside of the cup.

iclean1 iclean2

I got this one in the small size, so that I could see what it was like compared to the large Aneer I bought – since they look identical.  In look and feel, they do seem to be in the same silicone and basically from the same mold. The only difference I can see is that the Aneer stem is slightly more rounded on the very end, and has a slight more of a lean to it.

icleananeer1 icleananeer2

I thought that this cup, being small, would be able to open up (since I had trouble with the large Aneer opening up), but I did have trouble with it too.  I did only try it once,so things could be different if I tried it again, but I fiddled around for a few moments trying to get it to open and it didn’t.  So I think it’s just too soft for me.

I know I’m supposed to be impartial and give all cups a go, but I don’t really trust the safety of the silicone of the ultra-cheap cups, so I really got it only for visual comparisons, and so that I had one of this brand for my collection – rather than to actually test the cup out by wearing it.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | Leave a comment

Cup Lee – Review

Cup Lee has been one of the cups I’ve wanted to try for a while.  They were a cup brand available in colours quite early on – and they have a purple :D

Cuplee_1The packaging I got has a (folded up) sheet of something (in Russian) as the top of the bag.  Which is an interesting way of doing it – but the problem was that unless you use a staple remover, or remove them carefully, you can tear that.

Cuplee_2The instructions came in English and Russian.  The pouch it comes in has a sort of linen look/feel to it.  The cup is a pinky-purple (magenta sort of colour), a bit more pink than I like my “purple” to be.  but it’s still pretty.  Some of my photos make it seem slightly more pink than it actually is, the photo above looks right to me.

The silicone is the more “sticky” kind of silicone, which in some ways doesn’t feel as nice as the more “peachskin” ones, but it does give a bit better grip I think.  The stem is a hollow tube, with raised grip rings. I usually find the tube stems can feel a little uncomfortable when they are not trimmed, so I could feel the stem of this cup, and I don’t find the tube stems have as much grip as a tab stem.

Cuplee_4 Cuplee_5,

The cup has a low profile ridge area around the top rim, which I find makes it more comfortable to insert and remove than cups with a more defined ridge.No writing or markings on the cup at all.  No branding, no measuring lines and no size markings.

Cuplee_6

“Squishyness” wise, it’s very soft…. In my “Squish test” the large compressed to 22mm, which makes it firmer than Sibell (21mm) but softer than Juju/Sckoon (23mm).

 Cuplee-sckoonl

I found that as with the softer cups, with the large size I had to press against the vaginal wall to help it open up.  But it did not seem to have as much trouble opening up as some of the other soft cups have.

All in all, I was quite happy with this cup.  As I say in most of my reviews, I prefer other stem types, but other than the stem (and that I personally prefer a more blueish-purple colour), I did like the shape of this cup.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | Leave a comment

Menstrual Cup Stores Worldwide Map

Want to find an actual physical (“Bricks and mortar”) store that sell menstrual cups, anywhere around the world?  Well now you can!

http://menstrualcupmap.com

menstrualcupmap

The map shows stockist information from the official cup brand websites, with identifying logos for each brand to help you see which cups are available where.

April 23, 2015 Posted by | Cup Related, news | 1 Comment

A Zen Cup

azencup2

http://www.azencup.com

Country: England
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes:  “S” (Small), “M” (large)
Dimensions: S: 41mm diameter, 47mm long without stem, 23mm stem length.  M: 46mm diameter, 52mm long without stem,  18mm stem length.
Capacity: S: 25ml to rim, 20mls to air holes. M: 35ml to rim, 29mls to air holes.
Stem:  Flat Tab
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP): £23.99 [Currency Converter]
Other Details: 4 airholes.  Comes in 3 colours (purple, pink, red and clear). Available in packs containing a soaking cup and cleaning gel.

These are the Fleurcup, given a new name and packaged with a container.

azencup3

April 7, 2015 Posted by | The Cups | , , , , | 10 Comments

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 | | 2 Comments

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 | , | 2 Comments

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 | , | 3 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/registration.

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

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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.

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 assume that cups that have come to the market since the premarket notification was stopped, would not be considered “FDA cleared” like those who have passed that process.  But are allowed to be sold. I also assume a cup brand could choose to become cleared if they wanted to submit the notification (though that is an expense they possibly won’t want to have to spend).

So, 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 the 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, as it has undergone some testing/regulation processes.

.

.

FDA registration

Any menstrual cup being produced or distributed (sold or given away) in the US, is required 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.

The “device” (cup) and “establishment” (the business making and/or selling it) are both required to be registered.

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 cup made by KDL Precision Molding (here).  I do not know what these brands are.  KDL may be the manufacturer for one of those registered brands, or a different brand.

.

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” (as I explained above), “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.

I do know that some cups are brands who are no longer in production (“Defunct”), or not yet in production.  As cups are now not required to be 510(k) cleared, cup brands no longer need to be on both lists.  But they all should appear on the registered device/establishment list.

But some established/current brands aren’t on that Establishment/Device list.  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?

EvaCup and Blossom Cup claim to be FDA Approved/Cleared/Registered – but don’t appear on the list.

EvaCup and Keeper/MoonCup US are listed as being made in the US, so the manufacturer “KDL Precision Molding ” may be the manufacturer for one or both of those brands?  But I would have thought that the business selling the cups to the customers would need to be registered separately, and the brand name would need to be 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 :(

.

.

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.  This is something I have had trouble finding the answer to.

For example:

fda_dutchess

fda-sckoon

fda_lunette

When I contacted the FDA to check to see if this was a valid claim, they told me that the FDA only regulates 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/register/clear  the food-safe silicone used for various things (like perhaps food containers), but the “CDRH” branch (which appears to be the medical device section) of the FDA doesn’t approve silicone for medical devices?  I don’t know.

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 do know that the reason MeLuna is only registered for their “Sport” and “Classic” styles is that the “soft” version is too soft for the FDA requirements for clearance on those.

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

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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

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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 | , , | 4 Comments

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 | , | 2 Comments

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 | , , | 2 Comments

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

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