I’d been curious to try one of these cups for a long time. Such an interesting design for this cup!
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.
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.
The cups themselves are surprisingly large. Very soft and squishy.
This cup has a… I don’t know what you’d call it… “anti-spill rim”?
That part pops out so that you can properly clean inside.
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.
Here are the “regular” and “Teen” versions compared to a large Lunette for reference of “squishyness”.
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.
After a few users complained that the suction of the Femmycycle caused pain (and one reported it caused internal damage), Femmycycle issued this statement, which contains some parts that some people find concerning.
“Ladies, we have some important information for you regarding the FemmyCycle and its safety. Be prepared, this post will be very long, but it has a lot of information to help answer the concerns and questions that have been asked.
We appreciate that you have taken the time to contact us directly about your concerns. This is important for us to know what concerns women have with the FemmyCycle, and we care greatly for our customers.
The FemmyCycle is a menstrual collection cup, and is classified as a medical device (Class 1). The FemmyCycle is approved and cleared by the FDA and approved and monitored by the CE. To become approved, the device had to go through rigorous and extensive testing to prove that it is safe to use. We are very involved with the FDA and making sure we meet every requirement for safety.”
(Please note that according to the FDA representative I spoke to, no Menstrual cups are “Approved” by the FDA – See info on this here.)
“None of the women who are currently using the FemmyCycle –aside from a few on this page – complained of pain. In fact, they do not feel it at all.
There are no reported side effects of the FemmyCycle. All of the claims of “ripped cervix” are false and impossible to be caused by a soft Silicone device and have never been reported by anyone else, or those during the FDA trials. It is impossible to be permanently damaged, if at all, by the FemmyCycle.
We are a very small company and do not have a large support network. Anyone who encounters any kind of issue with the FemmyCycle can speak with our medical director who is a licensed practitioner, and inventor of the device.
After speaking with the medical director, I have gathered medical information regarding the device that you will see below. First and foremost, we recommend that you do not use the FemmyCycle at all if you are bothered by it in any way. Discontinuing use is the best thing you can do. However, you are in full control of what you will do with the device, and can decide what action to take yourself.
The nerves in the vagina and the cervix are autonomic. Please see the following link to get a better idea (note: Wikipedia isn’t always the best source, but this article has a bibliography and footnotes/endnotes with sources for further information): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomic_nervous_system.
The cervix/uterus and vagina do not have the ability to feel, nor can anyone control them directly. The opposite of this is the somatic nervous system. http://educationportal.com/…/somatic-nervous-system-definit…”
(I’m fairly sure most people with a vagina, would disagree that the vagina is not able to “feel”)
“This system controls feeling – sensory information. This is what the uterus/cervix and vagina are not!
Many women will have an IUD put into place by use of a tenaculum (a Google image search will show you what it is and how it works). This pierces the cervix. Women cannot and do not feel this, as there are no sensory nerves. The only time you would ever feel pain in your cervix is if it were to dilate.”
The “suction” design of the FemmyCycle is not meant to literally suck away at your cervix or anything else inside of you. It simply makes collecting the trickling fluid easier and quicker. The fluid that would normally take a few days to stop flowing are absorbed into the cup with a slight vacuum effect. There should never be any latching by the cup. The only reason that the cup would even be that close to the cervix is because of the vaginal muscles pulling onto the cup and making it go further into the vagina. This happens with all menstrual cups. They can ride up and even cups like the Diva Cup have a suction to them. It is in their nature.
To have bruising or swelling of the cervix because of the FemmyCycle or any other menstrual fluid collection cup is very rare. In those rare cases in which it does occur, the women experienced no pain whatsoever. Remember, this is because there are no sensory nerves in the cervix.
About the lack of air holes: if there were holes in the cup, it would defeat the purpose of the no-spill design. Also, those little holes are capable of harboring bacteria, which can host all sorts of problems and cause infections. If the FemmyCycle is difficult or painful to remove, it might be because of the way it was inserted, or simply that the light suction needs to be broken. To break the suction, all you have to do is squeeze the bottom of the cup, pull gently, and tilt upward and out.
With all of the things healthy women go through – childbirth (episiotomies and other painful parts of childbearing), getting and IUD put in, surgeries… The uterus/cervix heals well and quickly. There can be no permanent damage done by a menstrual cup. If this were true, the FDA, CE, and Health Canada would not approve the device at all.
I hope this helped clear up the issue. Please feel free to ask any questions or tell us any more concerns you might have with the FemmyCycle.
– The FemmyCycle Team”
Country of origin: Website has .eu Domain, but the company is in USA
Composition: Medical Grade ilicone
Dimensions: “Teen” =31mm diameter, 38mm long without ring, 57mm long with ring. “Regular” = 36mm diameter, 43mm length without ring, 63mm with ring. “Low Cervix”= 36mm diameter, 43mm length without ring, 50mm with ring
Capacity: “Teen” = 17.5ml. “Regular” and “Low Cervix” = 30ml
Measuring Lines: no
Cost (RRP): $39.00 USD
Been around since: Sept 2012
Unique Design?: Yes (This cup design appears to have been created by this brand and has not been seen used by other brands)
My Review: https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/femmycycle-review
Other Details: This cup is shaped more like a wine goblet, and has a “lid” type feature. While inserted it works like a funnel, so the blood can flow through the smaller hole into the cup, which helps stop the blood leaking out of the cup while the wearer is lying down. This “lid” part is pulled up to allow the cup to be emptied.