Menstrual Cups

Cups Cups and more Cups!

I thought it was time to do another cup lineup of the cups I have.  I have so many now that I can’t put them all in a line, but luckily I had a little wooden rack to use (Though I’m going to need to make a larger one, as it’s not big enough!)

Small Cups

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(The unnamed cup is an AliExpress cheapy I bought to see how it compared to similar looking cups)

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Large Cups

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I couldn’t fit them all on the stand, so I did the main unique cups in the top one, and added the others in below.

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(The unnamed cup on the far left I bought on Ebay)

February 19, 2016 Posted by | comparisons, photos, The Cups | Leave a comment

Lena – review

I’ve been excited for the release of this Lena cup for a while now, after being involved in the development process and having tried out prototypes of the design…. and having to keep tight-lipped about it until it was officially released 😀

With the package Lena sent, they also sent me a little card thanking me for my help and support!  Awwww 😀

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I’m always very impressed when cup companies have spent in contacting people like me to get feedback and discuss cups with them.  To me it shows a company is trying to do as much research as they can, to try and bring out what they believe to be a great cup.

Even a little sticker on the back 😀

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The boxes they come in are really lovely and unique.  They have an interesting feel to the box, it’s hard to explain…. almost sort of suede-like… almost like the “peach skin” texture cups have.  The boxes are 100% recycled and printed with vegetable ink!  Environmental win!

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The boxes are sealed with a little clear sticker, so you would be able to see any tampering.  Tampering or knowing if the box is factory sealed is not something I would have thought of, but it’s something I have seen people comment on, so I thought I’d mention that.  Removing the sticker on both my boxes destroyed the sticker.  So I imagine any tampering would be evident on the sticker.

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The booklet gives the standard instructions you’d expect, but an interesting addition is a diagram of the positioning of the cup for both a high and low cervix.  Explaining that if your cervix is high you may not need to trim the stem, but if it is lower you may need to.  I don’t recall any cup instructions specifically talking about cervix position before.

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The cup has a flat tab stem with a rounded bottom, good grip rings on the stem and base of the cup.  Overall a smooth sided cup (no ridge or protrusions), in “peach skin” sort of feel.

Currently only available in pink, which is a sort of rose pink with a touch of apricot.  Hopefully it will come out in other colours (like purple) in the future 😉  (I love purple cups!)

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The inside of the cup has a slight ridge and has “Lena” in slightly raised letters.  4 large airholes, horizontal with a slight downward angle.

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(My camera isn’t detailed enough to show the inside ridge properly)

The silicone is reasonably soft – In my squish test, the small measured 28mm (the same as Eco-cup), and the large 24mm (the same as Fleur and Lily Compact).  The silicone feels much the same in squishyness between the rim and the body of the cup.

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Since I tested out the prototype, I already know that I really like this cup – I love the tab stem, I am unable to feel the stem while the cup is in place, and I find the smooth outside cleans easily and is more comfortable to insert (than cups with a pronounced ridge).  As with a lot of softer cups, I did have to use my finger to push against the vaginal wall to make the large size cup open fully, but the small cup opened up without any trouble.

I’ll write up a more in-depth review in a month when I’ve had a chance to test it with my period.

 

Unfortunately at the moment they are sold through Amazon and not able to be shipped Internationally, however Precious Stars in the UK does sell them, and ships Internationally.  Hopefully once the cups have been out for a bit longer, International shipping will be available.

If anyone in the US would like to try out this cup, I’ve been given a discount code OBSIDIAN that can be used for a 15% LENA purchase discount from http://amzn.to/1MYBOEP

http://www.lenacup.com

July 14, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | , | 8 Comments

Mooncup UK Photos

I keep meaning to take photos of the newer Mooncup UK cups, as I only had the older versions.

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The newer cups are much more of a “white” clear (not the yellowed colour they were before), the silicone feels a bit softer and is frosted.  They now have grip lines all over the stem.

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The holes are now in the edge of the ridge (before they were just under it)

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This shows the old and new cups together

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May 11, 2015 Posted by | photos | | 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 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

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 😛 (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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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 😀 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 | | 9 Comments

Femmycycle – Review

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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 😀  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.

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See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

February 13, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | , | 15 Comments

Cup Comparison Photos

I have a few more cups since the last time I did a cup photo shoot…   So it was time to do another!

www.clothpads.org_allcupsgrass260115

Small sizes

www.clothpads.org_240115_smallcups

Large Sizes

www.clothpads.org_240115_largecups

I tried to use all clear cups where I had a clear or coloured version of the cup.  You can see my Yuuki and MCUK have yellowed with age, even though they were only worn for 1 period then washed well with soap and added to my collection…

January 24, 2015 Posted by | comparisons, photos | Leave a comment

Vcup – Review

I was sent a Vcup to review 🙂

It wasn’t addressed properly, so there was a little hiccup in receiving it, but it arrived the other day and I had a chance to try it out.  Sadly my period ended the day before it arrived, so I haven’t yet had a chance to test it with my period, but I’ve tried it and here are my thoughts….

vcup_box1

The box was a little squished in transit, but that’s to be expected sometimes.  On the box it listed contents, which I was surprised about – I didn’t realise the cup came with extras!  So I was excited to see what was inside.  The box lists no sizes, so I presume the cup is 1 size only, which seems to be a small.  The box does however have boxes to tick for white, pink or green – and one side of the box shows a pale green cup – so it obviously comes in those colours.  I got clear.

vcup_boxgreen

Inside the box, there is a tube (they call it a “pen”) of hand sanitiser, a little packet of soap sheets, 4 little “coin tissues”, the cup, a pouch and instructions.

vcup_box2

I already took the instruction booklet out and forgot to put it back when photographing it… I think it was lying on the top.

The booklet talks about the cup and the benefits of a cup over tampons and pads, gives the measurements of the cup and shows how to do 3 folds (“c”, “punchdown” and “triangle”)  It also gives some helpful tips on insertion and removal.  All in English and quite well written.

vcup_book1 vcup_book2

 vcup_contents

The hand sanitiser is quite cool actually.  It’s a bit like a thick marker in size, and has a spray top so you can spray some onto your hands.  It has a reasonably pleasant smell, dries fast and is not sticky or anything.  I personally don’t feel the need for such products, but I think this is a convenient way to do it (rather than the tubes of sticky-feeling hand sanitiser you get)

vcup_contents_sanitiser

The soap strips are another interesting idea.  I’ve seen this sort of soap before, designed for keeping in your handbag. I notice that they are keeping with the green and white theme for everything!

vcup_contents_soap

The directions say (paraphrasing) to wet your cup and hands then  wash the cup with the soap to get a rich lather.  Rinse the cup and store the rest of the soap sheets in a dry place.  Basically these soap sheets are paper with a thin layer of soap.  They don’t seem to be very soapy, but if you want to wash your cup with a bit of soap while out and about, then this could be a convenient way to do it.

I will say though that I tried one sheet (just rubbing it between my hands), and while the dry soap has a slight pleasant floral smell (frangipanni?), on my hands it left a weird lingering vomit smell I notice from some public restroom soap… I don’t know if you are familiar with what I mean?… The hand sanitiser does counteract that thankfully – I wouldn’t be able to use the soap personally…. but I think (from a bit of googling) that some people seem more affected by the vomit-soap phenomenon than others, so maybe I’m just sensitive to it (I am one of those people who is VERY intolerant to both the sound and smell of vomiting!)… anyhoo….. moving on 😛

vcup_contents_coin  vcup_contents_coincloth

The “coin tissues” are cool – they are those incredibly tightly packed washcloths!  The instructions in the booklet say to put 3 drops of water onto the coin – I needed a bit more than that… But they unfold out to a 23cm/9inch cloth.  A bit like a “chux” cloth – open weave.  Presumably designed to be disposable (I imagine they are not flushable), they seem sturdy enough you could reuse it a few times (though you wouldn’t be able to make it go back into the coin shape)

Now the cup….  it’s quite long, I’d say it’s a medium squishyness silicone – about the same as the Diva I have.  It has a band of frosted silicone around the centre, with clear silicone elsewhere. The centre of the frosted section has a slight line through it, a bit like a seam – though I think this is intended to give extra grip.  The clear section at the bottom of the cup likewise has a line through it, but more pronounced. The ball stem has a grip line around it, to help grip there.  There are 2 tiny airholes just under the ridge.  The ridge is very low profile (not very raised).

vcup_cup1

I didn’t think to wash the cup before taking photos, so there are a few dust particles from storage/manufacture on it which you can see in the photos.

vcup_cup2 vcup_cup3

Here’s a length comparison with some of the other small cups

vcup_cup4

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Using the Cup

I haven’t tested it with my period yet (will update this post when I have), but I’ve tested the cup and I was quite pleased with it.

Now, as I always say, my first preference is for a tab stem, so I don’t tend to like any other stems as much as I do the tab stem.  I didn’t find this one too slippery though, the grip line running through the centre of the ball helps give it a bit more grip I think.  I do find a ball stem less easy to use/grip than a tab or tube stem, but since the cup is so long, I don’t need to use the stem to be able to pull the cup down to grab the body of the cup – as I do with other cups…. and if it had any other kind of stem, that would be too annoying and you’d have to cut it off.

It (like the LunaCup) are longer than I would ideally like in a cup – the ball stem was only just inside my vagina – which does make it easier to remove I suppose.

When I reviewed the LunaCup, I did find the stem slightly irritating, because the cup was so long, but I didn’t find that with this cup  – Maybe I need to try them both more to see how I go with them over several days.

Insertion and removal was easy.  I had no problem getting the cup to open up (though it is equivalent of a small size, and I normally wear the large sizes).  I could not feel the cup while inside me.

—- Edited to add —

I’ve now had a chance to try this cup when I had my period.  I wore it for about 6 hours, the first 4-5 hours I had no leakage, but I had some slight leakage after that, the cup only got to about 1/4 full, so I’m not sure why it started leaking.

Mostly the cup was comfortable and I couldn’t feel it, but there was a few times when I was sitting on the couch, and I leaned forward to get a drink from the table, I could feel the stem poking into me a bit.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

January 24, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | , , , | Leave a comment

Review – Sckoon Cup

A long awaited review 🙂

Way back near the end of 2011, I was sent an e-mail, asking if I would be willing to try their prototype cup to give them my thoughts – but I was sworn to secrecy, so wasn’t allowed to give out any of the details of the cup or the company making it.  It turned out to be Sckoon who were making it.  A company I’d known for a while, because they make organic cotton pads. Over the next year and a bit, I had a few discussions with them over the design and colours, as they were very keen to try and make the best cup possible.  I think it is really great that they took so much time and effort to speak with cup users like myself (other cup reviewers I know also got the prototypes to sample).

Starting out I love the shape!  Slightly different to the other cups on the market, and I think it is a lovely shape.  I found the stem design originally was a bit too slippery, with the bumps not really adding enough grip.  So we discussed that issue and they ended up changing the stem to the smaller one with raised grip lines, and they increased the grip on the base of the cup by raising and thickening the lines and adding an additional line in.  You can see the changes in the pic below.

Here’s a photo of the 4 samples I have from them, where you can see the changes made from the first prototype:

Skooncups1

  • The first (left) shows the first prototype they sent me – a small cup, in a sample (opaque) silicone.   The stem on that had small bumps in it.
  • The clear one is the second prototype, in a large size.  The stem design is slightly different to the original prototype and the pattern on the base is raised and has the brand name in it.
  • The Orange one, I can’t remember now if it was another prototype or if it was a finished design (I can’t remember if I got it before or after the clear one – probably before?).  The silicone on that one is semi-translucent.  Not as transparent as the finished product turquoise one, but not completely opaque like the first green one.  It is slightly smaller than the prototype one.  You can see that the grip lines on the base of the cup have a slightly whiteish look – it seems like the silicone there is slightly bubbled or something, which it isn’t on the final design large cup.  The lines might be a fraction thinner too.
  • The last one (right) is the final design in large.  The only difference I can see with the final design (coloured) cups and the clear prototype is that the tip of the stem of the prototype is flat, whereas the tip of the final version stem is rounded (also the silicone may be slightly softer in the large final version than it is in the clear).

So, my thoughts.

I found the small size fit well, I had no leaks, it was easy to insert and remove.  The large size I found also very comfortable to insert and remove (the lack of the protruding ridge a lot of the cups have, means it feels more comfortable [to me] to insert and remove the cups).  I did however have the slight issue that I have had with the other soft large cups – in that they don’t fully open on their own, and I need to press my finger against the vaginal wall to push it out a little, to give the cup room to open out.  I put this down the the fact that while I am 35, I had a caesarian delivery, so perhaps my muscle tone is good?  🙂  as it only ever happens with the large cups.  I don’t consider it a big problem though, I’d prefer that to a cup that is harder silicone.

I tried both the small and large sizes with my period and I didn’t have any leaking with either of them, even wearing them all day.  Though I don’t know how much of a measure that is, as I’ve never had leaking with a cup except when I’ve let a cup overfill on really heavy flow days (where it’s filled above the rim), and when I tried the Diva cup sample – but that had a hole punched in it, presumably affecting the seal.

I find the stem to be very comfortable – I can’t feel it at all.  So it’s better feeling than a tube stem (other than the Ladycup stem, all the other tube stems I can feel poking into me), and slightly more comfortable than a tab stem (I can feel the tab stems slightly, but I don’t find them uncomfortable).  However I find that it stretches when you pull on it, so its effectiveness is less than a tube or tab stem in that regard as those have enough rigidity to be able to pull the cup down with the stem, whereas these stems stretch rather than allowing the cup to be pulled down – I found this more pronounced in the large cup size than the small (because as I said, the large one seems to fit more snugly than the small).

This is a similar problem to the JuJu which has a similar thin solid stem.  The JuJu stem likewise I find stretches and is slippery making it very difficult to use the stem to pull the cup down, so the Sckoon cup has a lot more grip on the stem, but it is still stretchy.  However, the Femmecup also has a thin stem a bit like these cups, but theirs is about half the length and more rigid so it doesn’t stretch and can easily pull the cup down.

However, where this cup differs from the Femmecup and JuJu is the base of this cup, which has a good amount of grip.  So while I may not be able to use the stem to pull the cup down, I’ve found that I can grip the bottom of the cup and pull it down easily that way.  Femmecup has some grip on the base of the cup but not as much as Sckoon.  JuJu has a butterfly design on the base of their cup, but it’s barely raised at all so I don’t really consider it adds any grip at all

— Now I know that some cup manufacturers usually say that the stem is not for pulling the cup out with (though realistically, that’s what you do, and they know that – otherwise there wouldn’t be a need for a stem ;)) – but I find because my fingers are short, it’s easier for me if I pull the cup down a bit lower, where I can more easily reach up to break the seal, and I do tend to pull the cups out by the stems.  Where cups have a stretchy stem like this, or no stem, I find it slightly more difficult to use because I can’t pull the cup down as easily as I can with a tab or tube stem.  But I find most of the tube stems really uncomfortable, so that is why I prefer the tab stems.

The airholes are nice and large, so cleaning I have found is easy.  Likewise with no lettering or markings on the inside out outside rim, means it’s very easy to clean this cup.

I love that they have brought them out in colours – A lot of cup companies are doing coloured cups now which is great – cups don’t have to then be a medicinal thing and can have a sense of individuality and style 🙂  It’s a shame they didn’t bring out purple *cry*, especially since my poll results that I did for them showed that as being the most popular colour….  but the colours they have brought out are very nice and bright, and appear to have a good level of colour (not too pale).

The silicone feels less soft in the small size than the large (as is usually the case).  The small one feels about as squishy as a large Lunette.  The large slightly softer.  Softer than a Mooncup UK, but not as soft as a Fleurcup.  I think it is a good level of softness…  You don’t want them too soft or they can have trouble opening, and too hard can be hard to keep folded.

There are some small marks in the silicone of the last 3 samples I received.  Which don’t show in the photographs, and are obviously just cosmetic blemishes in the finish of the silicone.  The silicone still feels smooth, so it seems to be in the silicone.  Almost like flat (non-raised) waterdrops.  It’s hard to describe what they look like….. but interestingly the cups have a line near the base where the silicone changes from a sort of frosted look to a slightly shinier (but still frosted) look, and it is in that shinier section where the blemishes are.  The inside of the cups are not frosted at all, and are not marked with these blemishes.  So I assume it is part of the frosting process causing the blemishes.  I have had blemishes in MeLuna cups as well – neither of which are bad as having specks of dirt or something in the MPower cup I got :/

All in all – I’m impressed.  I’m impressed with the effort the company went to while designing it, and I love that they took some of my suggestions on board.  I love the fact Sckoon is already a company interested in sustainability and has added this product onto their already successful line of cloth pads (and baby products) – I also discovered recently they do padded underwear, so you can buy undies with a built in pad with leak resistant layer for cup backup, which is a great idea.

So the only negatives I can see are the stems (which I am picky about, moreso than other cup users, as I do like my cups to have tab stems), and the slight blemishes in the silicone – which don’t bother me personally.  So if you don’t think the stem issue would be a problem (if you like to cut stems off for example), then I would definitely recommend this cup.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

April 3, 2013 Posted by | photos, The Cups | , | 15 Comments

Plum LadyCup

Arrived today!  it’s very pretty!

The pouch has a glittery finish to it as well, which is quite cute

So it’s a slightly more pinkish purple to the colour of their Lilac.  I have 2 of the Lilac cups. I think the darker one is the usual one (I got it when they first brought it out), and the lighter one was one of the batch of cups that was defective (they split).  I assume the lilac they still produce now is the darker shade.  Anyway – this plum is the one on the left.

I don’t know which I like better actually…

Normally I prefer a blue-purple to a pinky-purple, but they are both incredible cool and deep colours, I love them both!

And compared to other purple cups

(the lighting is terrible, – it’s inside, at night – so take that into consideration)

Miacup, Lunette Cynthia, Plum Ladycup, Lilac Ladycup#1, Lilac #2, Fleurcup

(the fleurcup looks un-coloured compared to the others!)

August 5, 2011 Posted by | photos, The Cups | | 3 Comments

Purple Cups

Now that I have a purple Fleurcup to photograph, for all the purple lovers out there – here are your options:

Now, different monitor settings will show different colours, so what you see on screen might not be the same as it is in real life, but it can help with comparisons…

Miacup is the most “pink” of all the purple cups (and is opaque)
Lady Cup is the most “Purple” of the cups
MeLuna is a sort of colour blend of Miacup and LadyCup
Fleurcup is a very pale “lavender” type colour

The LadyCup is by far my favourite colour of all the cups.  I love the good deep strong colour of it.  The Fleurcup is the most pale of all the coloured cups I have – so much so that  sometimes you can only tell it has a colour by comparing it to a clear cup or something white (but it is a very pretty shade)

Continue reading

August 7, 2010 Posted by | photos, The Cups | Leave a comment

More Cup Photos

People asked me to take some comparison photos of the MeLuna, and since I also got the Yuuki cup since taking photos, I figured I’d go on a bit of a photo spree.

see many more pics by clicking –> Continue reading

July 23, 2009 Posted by | comparisons, photos, The Cups | 10 Comments

Cup pictures from MeLuna

I e-mailed MeLuna and asked if they had any pictures of the coloured cups. They replied back straight away, and sent me several pictures! Including pictures of the cups next to tampons, which is a great visual reference for people who have never seen a cup in real life.  They are also sending me samples, so I will be able to include the MeLuna in some photos with other cups!   So here they are.

different versionsThis shows the stem types available
(Ring, Classic stem, ball and no stem)

Shows the colours available

Continue reading

July 2, 2009 Posted by | photos, The Cups | | 3 Comments

Cup Images

These are pictures of the cups I have. (none of the stems have been trimmed)

Diva (sm), Femmecup, Keeper (sm), Lady Cup (lge), Lunette (lge), Miacup(lge), Mooncup (UK)(sm), Pinkcup (sm)

July 10, 2008 Posted by | photos | Leave a comment

Lady Cup – My Thoughts

The sample they sent is a proper cup – no hole punched in! So that was very nice of them. First impressions were “ohh wow – it’s bendy!” It was a softer feeling silicone to the other cups, so a lot more flexible. However, I later found out that the cup they sent me as a sample was made with a thinner silicone than the cups they normally sell. So I got another sample, the smaller size this time, and the silicone on that is as the ones they sell. Which is still softer/ more flexible (squishier) than the other cups. I was surprised at the 2 rows of holes, and the fact the holes are quite large. Its also the plainest cup, with no writing or markings inside or out – except the small bumps on the bottom to help grip (where some of the other cups have lines/ridges). Because there are no ridges on the outside of the cup, it is much more comfortable for insertion. Not that any of the cups are “uncomfortable”, but it’s a noticeable difference.

It does look a little more “budget” than the other cups – as several people have commented on (I don’t think it looks “cheap” but if you were to line them all up and ask someone which was the cheapest, I’m sure they would pick lady Cup) – with the lack of writing and the lack of the ridge near the rim… In my opinion the writing on the cups is pointless though…you generally know what cup it is without it having to tell you – most people only have one (and even me with my lot of samples can tell them apart without having to read any of them) and without writing it’s easier to clean… and the lack of ridge makes the cup more comfortable to insert. So I think the plainness is actually a bonus, and I’d prefer a plain cup over some of the others.

Testing it out – Folding it and inserting it was easier than the other cups. The thinner sample cup was incredibly easy to keep folded due to its softer silicone, but the tradeoff for that was it didn’t pop open easily once inside. The softness of the silicone in that thinner sample cup meant it didn’t want to pop out violently like the others. I was able to get it to open, but it took a bit of poking and about 5 “stirs” (putting my finger to the rim and moving around, pushing the vaginal wall out to let the cup open) to get it to open properly. When I e-mailed the Lady Cup people to give them my thoughts on it, that is when they told me that the sample I received was the thinner silicone, so I asked for another sample, which they generously did. Which I had no problems getting to pop open. The silicone on the proper cup is less flexible than the thinner sample, so has the same “pop” that the other cups do, but it is still soft and easily folded.

Cleaning was easy – the easiest of all the cups. The blood stayed in the holes on removal – like it does in all the cups, but washed away when I rinsed the cup. I didn’t need to actually clean them at all. So it’s the easiest cleaning cup I’ve tried yet. The stem is more comfortable than the other tube stems because of the softness of the silicone, I’d probably be able to leave it untrimmed without too much complaint. Its not as frosted as the other cups, so it looks clearer.

Gear – My first one (the thinner sample) was sent in a small box surrounded with shredded paper in a packaging box… so it was very well packed. It came with an apricot coloured cotton pouch, a sachet of lubricant and 2 milton steralising tablets. The second one (the proper cup) was in the apricot bag, inside a plastic bag (as you would expect for display) in a mailing bag. The coloured cup samples were again all proper saleable products (I believe), packaged in individual boxes with the colours marked on the sides, packed into a mailing box with padding.

newladycup1

newladycup1b

Personal observations – A lovely company to deal with. They actually e-mailed me to tell me of their product when they started out, so I asked for a sample which they provided. I also suggested some changes to the way things were said on their website due to some translation problems, so I’ve had a few e-mails back and forth with them. The correspondence I’ve had with them was quite positive. And, not only did they send me a sample in the first place (without a hole punched in it too), which is very much appreciated, but they also sent me a sample of their proper cups, so that I would have one of the proper products to be able to compare, and they have sent me each of their coloured cups as well! All e-mails have been very friendly and personalised to me (not your standard automatic responses), so I’ve been extremely impressed by this company.

My love of purple is fairly well known…. and while I have always been a huge fan of the Lunette because of it’s design, I have to say the new purple LadyCup has really become a favourite. Infact all the colours are great. I’m not normally a fan of orange, but the orange LadyCup is really nice too (sort of reminds me of tropical mangos or something), and the colourful bags are a nice touch, with the cup name on a tag on the side of the bags, and the ribbons matching the cup colours. They seem to put a lot of effort into little touches like that.

Update:

There has been a few problems with some of the coloured cups.  It would seem that some batches are prone to splitting.  The company is replacing split cups, and have sold off remaining cups from those batches as “trial” cups, only guaranteeing them to last one use (although some women get more than that).  As a way to let women try cups inexpensively.  I bought 2 of these “Trial” cups, and found the silicone to be lighter in colour, and also stiffer than that of the non-faulty ones I have.

I do not know if the new colour for these cups is the more transparent/lighter versions, and all cups will be this new colour or if this lighter coloured cup is only from the defective batches, and only the defective ones are this light.

ladycupsaples“Trial” Lilac cup, “proper” Lilac cup, “Trial” Blue cup, “proper” Blue cup (small size)

June 26, 2008 Posted by | comparisons, photos | , | 13 Comments