Menstrual Cups

Silja

silja

http://www.silja-cup.com

These appear to be officially approved silicone versions of the MeLuna cups (MeLuna cups are made from TPE). Currently only available in a limited range (compared to MeLuna’s large variety). The Ring, Ball, Stick and stemless options, only in clear, and not in the “shorty” length.

Country of origin: Germany
Composition: Medical grade Silicone
Sizes: “1” (small), “2” (medium), “3” (large) and “4” (Extra Large)
Dimensions & Capacity (taken from MeLuna measurements):
1=38mm diameter, 45mm long without stem. 15mls to airholes, 23ml to rim.
2 = 41mm diameter, 48mm long without stem. 20mls to airholes, 28ml to rim.
3 = 44mm diameter, 51mm long without stem. 24mls to airholes, 34ml to rim.
4 = 47mm diameter, 56mm long without stem. 30mls to airholes, 42mls to rim.
Stem: “Stem” (cross between a flat tab and a rounded thick stem), ball, ring or basic (no stem)
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP): € 21.00 [Currency Converter]
Been around since: 2016?
silja3

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July 15, 2016 Posted by | The Cups | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coloured Cups – are they safe?

Mooncup (UK) recently blogged about why their cup will never be coloured.

http://www.mooncup.co.uk/about-us/news/all-news/coloured-menstrual-cups.html

“Would you like crushed beetle with your menstrual cup, madam?”
(or Why the Mooncup Will Always be Dye-Free)”

“We are also committed to offering a product that is vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Many natural colourings are animal-derived, such as carmine/cochineal (E120 – red, purple, pink) made from crushed beetles; shellac (E904) from insect secretions; gelatine (orange) made from animal bones and L-Cysteine (E920), sometimes made from hair or feathers.

Call us boring(!), but we’re not willing to compromise our ethical status for a non-essential additive with a dubious health and ethical history.”

(My thoughts about their post are at the bottom of this article)

Which sparked some discussion on the topic here: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2742047.html, given that part of their reasoning included the use of non-vegan things as food colours (despite the fact cups aren’t consumed and some of their examples aren’t actually used as food colours anyway)

JuJu has the following in their FAQ:
http://www.juju.com.au/pages/FAQs.html#coloured-cup

“Does JuJu come in any other colour?

At this point in time, JuJu is only available in a clear/semi-opaque colour. Until such time as we are able to gain an accurate understanding of the effects of the addition of dyes on our bodies, we have chosen to manufacture JuJu without any colour additives.”

But it is an interesting topic..  I have e-mailed some of the the cup companies offering coloured cup (Iriscup, CupLee, Ladycup Lunette, MeLuna, Miacup, and Shecup) to ask them about the colours  and see what they have to say on the matter, and I’ll update this post when I’ve heard back from any 🙂  In the meantime, feel free to discuss!

— edit —

I’ve heard back from a couple of the cup companies.  MeLuna was the only company who actually sent me any information regarding the safety aspect of the coloured cups.

MeLuna

They of course said the colours are safe 🙂  but sent me several pdf files of their test results to help prove this –  which shows the testing of both the colours (first file) and the general cup material.  Interestingly, I believe it’s saying that the plastic the cups are made from was tested on animals (presumably as part of checking the plastic is safe for use with people), as is referenced in the last file.  I’d never thought about that being a component of testing, and I wonder if the other cups have been likewise tested.

Meluna_Masterbatches_Safety sheet – Info on the colours – they are food safe (though that doesn’t mean they are “food colours” like you’d use to make a cake blue)

THERMOLAST_M_englisch – Information on the plastic material the cups are made from (from the manufacturer I presume)

TM4MED_ISO10993-5 -Seems to be a certificate of a testing where the material was left in contact with the equivalent of human tissue and checked to see if it was reactive (it shows no reaction, whereas latex showed reactions).

TM4MED_USP661 – Information on a few tests that were run (I admit, I don’t really understand most of it heh)

TM4MED_USPVI – Test result certificate

———————————————————————————————

LadyCup

Said they would get back to me in a few days.  Never did.

———————————————————————————————

Lunette

Said they will issue a public statement on it (not sure if they did at the time, but they have posted on facebook to say what I’ve quoted below), and that they would contact me again in a few days – which they did, saying they have forwarded my e-mail to their head office.  They say they realise it’s an important issue, so they are gathering information from their experts and will get back to me.  (But they never got back to me)

However, their website says this about the coloured cups:

Are colored cups safe?

Yes, colored Lunette menstrual cups are safe to use. The dye we use in our colored cups is FDA approved for medical and food use. The colors don’t contain heavy metals (e.g. lead, chromium VI, cadmium, mercury) or phatalats. Lunette menstrual cups contain only small amounts of colorpaste. The type of dye used in Lunette menstrual cups are inside the silicone so it’s not possible for the color to leach like with some cheaper dyes which are also used in menstrual cups.

They also say that their coloured cups are FDA approved, but not TGA approved: (Link)

“The colored Lunette cups are not TGA approved. TGA listing is a very long and costly process, and all of our colored cups are limited edition products.”

However I contacted the TGA, who told me that because the coloured versions are still the same product (only difference being the colour), they are covered under the same TGA approval that the clear ones are.  So the coloured cups are TGA approved too.

———————————————————————————————

Sckoon

Said that as far as they know, the colours they were polling people on (see this post) plus clear and grey are the only colours that are already tested and approved by FDA… and that other colours (like purples and whatnot) would need to go through the process of testing and approval.

I believe (from talking to a well respected cup retailer) that while the clear Sckoon cup has FDA approval, the individual coloured cups are made with FDA approved silicone, but those cups are not actually individually FDA approved.

.


My Thoughts

Now, I don’t know the safety aspects of having colourants in cups – which is why I asked the cup companies, and frankly, the fact that so few of them responded, makes me think that nobody is really sure other than a “FDA approves them so therefore they must be safe” type thought. Which may be comforting for some people, it may not help others.

When I was looking up the Animal testing info for medical grade silicone, I did see a chart from one of the companies that showed the colours that the silicone could be made in, and I think they were considered food-safe colours.

There definitely is merit to the argument that a clear cup is safer for you and better for the environment – absolutely.

Be aware though that there is a “white” pigment, so a cup with a more “whitish” appearance than “clear” may actually have a white colour added.  Cups from companies who don’t do coloured cups are unlikely to add a white pigment, but companies who offer colours including a “white” may be adding the white pigment.

.

I’d like to address 2 points of Mooncup’s statements. 

I also did a bit of a rant at the time, on the Live Journal post I mentioned earlier, find my comment here, also one specifically on the beetle/cochineal issue here.

Firstly, yes some synthetic food colours can and have been shown to have adverse effects on the human body.  However there is a difference in how things are absorbed and processed by the body when they are ingested compared to skin exposure.  We’re not eating our menstrual cups, so comparing food and coloured cups  isn’t quite the same thing. 

I’m not saying that food colours are completely safe when used in a cup, but it isn’t the same as directly eating them.  The same sort of argument could also be had for coloured plastic lunchboxes and other products we use regularly.  People talk about the dangers of BPA etc. but what about other things in there like whatever colours them?

The safety issue with coloured cups is whether or not any of those coloured pigments can cause any health problems? can they have an effect when added to the silicone and made into cups? and if those colours are properly embedded into the silicone and can’t leech out?

— that is something I don’t have the answer to 😦

But Mooncup mentions natural colourants too….  basically saying that their product is vegan-friendly so they would not use natural colourant either.

Which some people have interpreted as implying that other coloured cups may contain “crushed beetle” and other animal derived natural colourants.

But the thing is, natural colourants are horrendously expensive compared to synthetic ones. (Cochineal, which is derived from beetles, is quite expensive, much more so than plant based red colourants).  They are also not as vibrant (so you need more of them), and aren’t always as colourfast (can fade/degrade over time).

They simply are a more expensive and far less practical source of colourant than synthetic ones. It is unlikely that anyone would use a natural colourant when a more stable and far cheaper synthetic one exists, unless it’s for food or something where the natural aspect actually matters more than expense and durability.

Silicone may have natural elements, but it is not a “natural” product and is manufactured in a lab.  I highly doubt that as they are pouring chemicals into a vat, they go “ohh, we better add some natural colourant, so our product can be more natural” 😛 Even if they wanted to, it’s going to add more expense, more variance (batch to batch wouldn’t necessarily have the exact same result) and isn’t going to produce something that is as good as if they used the synthetic colourant.  They just wouldn’t do that.

Yes, the coloured cups may (should be) be using “Food-Safe” colourants. But there’s not going to be any crushed beetle in your cups!

— Having said that, there is one cup that claims to use natural colouring.  Pinkcopa.  As you can see though, the colour is unusual.   I did ask what they used as colourant, but they didn’t tell me.

October 20, 2011 Posted by | news, The Cups | , , , | 9 Comments

MeLuna changes their Small cups

Now they are apparently longer than their smalls were before and the shape has changed.  Check this post for pictures and more info

 

http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2744356.html

October 18, 2011 Posted by | news | | Leave a comment

MeLuna Glitter cup

I asked MeLuna for a sample of their softer (preferably a glitter!) cups… since I really wanted a comparison with their original ones.

To be honest, I didn’t like the stiffness of their original cups, and I would not buy one myself, or really recommend them to others (especially newcomers to cups) because of that… but I knew they had brought out a softer version and updated the ring/tab/ball ends, so I wanted to see how these improvements had gone.

I didn’t get any reply back from my e-mail.  Which I was a bit surprised about, since they originally were really good with offering samples to me and replying to my e-mails.

Anyway, Feminine Wear came to my rescue (again :D) and we did a little trade and she sent me one of the blue glitter cups to try.

I love it!

I don’t know why the pouch is so long…. but it is a gorgeous soft purple suede sort of thing.  The first lot of samples I got from them had a blue (shorter) similar bag… I’m thrilled this is purple 😉  I really like the material they use, it seems a lot more fancy and plush than the satin or cotton bags other companies use.  And it has a double drawstring (where you pull both sides to close it, rather than just one), which is awesome.

The new glitter one is a Large.  It’s narrower than the larger cups of other brands. The stem is much thicker than before, being about as thick as a tube stem, but solid.  This might be thick enough to be irritating for those who don’t like stems, so it is good that the MeLuna comes with different stem options.  When I first put it in, I could definitely feel the stem… and it’s… weird lol… It’s not physically uncomfortable, but I’m definitely aware of it being there, and while it’s ok if I’m sitting down/not moving, when I walk I can feel it… but after a while I wasn’t aware of it.  Either I got used to it, or it moved into a better spot… not sure.

A casual comparison (eg just putting the 2 together and going by looks rather than actual measurements) of that and the Lunette show about the same width at the rim, but the MeLuna is narrower in the body of the cup, and overall a little shorter than Lunette.  I don’t have a large Diva, which is another narrow cup, to compare it to.

As for the material.  This one is more like the silicone of the other cups.  In fact I’d never know it wasn’t silicone.  A lot softer than the old cups.  So unlike the old style cups, this folds easily, and doesn’t unfold with a sudden pop like I found the other ones did.  The material is a great improvement

Blue, pink and silver aren’t my most favourite colours (I’ll always pick a purple cup over anything else), but I tell you, if they came out with a purple glitter cup, I might just have to get one!  The glitter feels smooth, it doesn’t feel rough to touch… Such an innovative idea to have a glitter cup – it’s pretty fancy – cup bling!! 🙂


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

June 15, 2011 Posted by | news, The Cups | , | 4 Comments

MeLuna releases new improved stems

With several users having problems with the MeLuna stems being damaged through use, MeLuna have redesigned their cup stems.

See some photos here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/feminine-wear/4716424701/in/set-72157624315291904/

June 23, 2010 Posted by | news | | Leave a comment

MeLuna stems breaking

It seems there have been some reported cases of the stems being damaged or breaking with use.  This could be from users pulling the cup out with the stems, rather than using them to assist the cup coming out…

The statement from MeLuna on the Menstrual Cup Live Journal is

“If a stem rips of we will of course replace the cup. Is possible that a stem rips of if its pulled too hard and the muscles are strong. The handle is to assist you to find and remove the cup, but not to just pull it outside with the handle without removing the pressure. That can happen with other brands as well. If you have to pull hard to be able to remove your cup we recommend to choose a ball style instead. The ball is much more stable than a stem and could not be ripped off. You will not feel the ball inside.

Anyway: because we had some cases with ripped of stems we will react on these and change the stem style to be more stable during the next weeks. We will make a note than on the homepage and new photos when ready.

One again: if you have any problems: don’t hesitate to contact us by email info@meluna.eu”

http://community.livejournal.com/menstrual_cups/2179847.html

May 24, 2010 Posted by | news | | Leave a comment

MeLuna – My Thoughts

I found out about this brand in a post on the Menstrual_cups community. I must say, I found the picture of the dolls wearing the cups as hats to be just waaaaaaaaaay too cute to not have a fondness for this company right there! (I love it when a business has a sense of humour and fun about them).

I wrote to them and asked if they could send me some samples, and asking for some more info on the cups, and I got a reply back straight away saying yes, and giving me the info I asked for (and several pictures). Which I was impressed with.

I was excited about this brand not only because of the cup-hat wearing dolls 🙂 but they are also purple and with a tab stem! I must say though that the plastic composition doesn’t put me at as much ease as it would being silicone, but then that is only because I don’t know much about the type of plastic they use. Apparently the same type of plastic is used in the Instead cups and also in things like baby bottle teats – so I am going to assume it is safe for menstrual cups, as the company says. And to be fair, I was a little wary of silicone when I first started researching cups (hearing stories of killer silicone breast implants [though that is a different type of silicone])… I think sometimes we are always wary of something new, and that doesn’t always mean bad. But I do know that a lot of people (myself included) are a little scared of all plastics, with the things you hear about (chemicals leaching out etc.)

They do however have a “flaw”, which I assume has to do with production, that the silicone cups for some reason don’t have.  It is a round mark on the rim, you can see in the picture below.

ww.clothpads.org_0709_melunamark

The price is certainly good, which is one benefit of using the plastic they do, instead of the silicone.

Testing it out – Firstly, it’s a very stiff material. Much more so than the other cups. It has the same sort of shape and rim as the Lady cup. With the folding tests I did prior to inserting the cup, I was a bit worried about the strength of the “pop” the cup does as you unfold it. But it pops out less violently when doing the “punchdown” method, so I used that.  It is actually nice to have a cup that pops open without problems when I’m inserting it on the toilet – I normally find that position a bit challenging to get the cups to open fully.  Even if once it did pop open too suddenly and give me a bit of a surprise 🙂

I first tried the cup with the tab stem. I found it very hard to grasp that stem. The cup has a lot of suction (more than I have experienced with other cups), so I wasn’t even able to pull the cup down a little to better reach the rim, as I am normally able to do. It took a bit to break the seal (especially since the rim is stiffer than other cups), and it was still more difficult than other stems to keep hold of (it was a bit slippery and thin).  Then I tried the ring stem – I was able to grip that better, so I would prefer this stem to the tab one.

Removing the cup is a little more “uncomfortable” (not painful, just not comfortable) than the other cups due to the stiffness.  I think the smoothness of the inside might make it easier to wipe clean than the other cups – it seemed to clean slightly more easily.  I like the  fact there is no writing or markings on the cup at all, so nothing to collect blood.

I noticed that when you fold the cup fully, little crack-like lines appear in the folds, which doesn’t happen in the other cups, so I assume it has to do with the plastic vs silicone thing? (or perhaps the cups they sent me are different in quality to what you would normally buy?) The “cracks” completely disappear when the cup isn’t being held in the fold, so I don’t think it is doing any permanent damage…. and also I didn’t boil the cup, I just poured boiling water over it and used a mild natural soap….. and I tried to fold it while still warm from the water, and it distorted the shape (oval). I folded it the other way to bend it back to round again, and it was then fine, but I don’t know if it would have stayed in that shape if I’d not folded it the other way.

I was trying the large size, and I had no leaking, though so far I haven’t worn it long enough to get anywhere near the holes.

Gear – I don’t know how they are usually packaged, but mine were packaged in a small plastic bag each, and then put in a mailing envelope. I assume customers actually buying these will get instructions – and I don’t know what other packaging they would use.

included with my samples was a pouch. Which is made from a blue suede-like fabric, with a silvery printed design of the woman and a moon. I quite like the pouch 🙂

Personal Observations – I’ve been impressed with this company. Not only with the fact they offer a good range of colours, but also a choice of stem types! Which is a great idea!!! When I have contacted them, the response was very quick and in good English (useful for us non-German speaking people)… and they have been more than helpful with providing extra images, and a sample of each of the colours and stem types of the cups!

Ratings

I’ve rated all the cups I’ve tried. They can be found here: https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/my-comparisons-and-ratings

July 21, 2009 Posted by | The Cups | , | 8 Comments

MeLuna Pictures

The very generous people over at MeLuna have sent me some of their cups!  So I thought Id take some photos of them.

Melunaset

This is all the colours of the cups, and the pouch.  The pouch is a sort of suede-like fabric, it feels very smooth and nice.  The black is actually black!  solid colour (not transparent) and very black!  I’m sure there will be lots of gals who will love that.

I don’t know how they will show on your screen, but the green is a lime green, the blue is a quite bright blue, the purple is gorgeous 🙂  The “red” is a sort of orangish red.  They are all quite vibrant colours.

Continue reading

July 20, 2009 Posted by | The Cups | | 1 Comment

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

MeLuna

MeLunaFlower

http://www.meluna.eu

Country of origin: Germany
Composition: FDA approved TPE (thermoplastic elastomer)
Sizes: “S” (small), “M” (medium), “L” (large) and “XL” (Extra Large).  Also a range of “Shorty” sizes, which are shorter cups – ShortyS, ShortyM, ShortyL, ShortyXL.
Dimensions & Capacity:
S =38mm diameter, 45mm long without stem. 15mls to airholes, 23ml to rim.
M = 41mm diameter, 48mm long without stem. 20mls to airholes, 28ml to rim.
L = 44mm diameter, 51mm long without stem. 24mls to airholes, 34ml to rim.
XL = 47mm diameter, 56mm long without stem. 30mls to airholes, 42mls to rim.
Shorty S = 38mm diameter, 35mm long without stem. 8ml to airholes, 15mls to rim.
Shorty M = 41mm diameter, 38mm long without stem. 10ml to airholes, 18mls to rim.
Shorty L = 44mm diameter, 41mm long without stem. 14mls to airholes, 22mls to rim.
Shorty XL = 47mm diameter, 44mm long without stem. 16mls to airholes, 27mls to rim.
Stem: “Stem” (cross between a flat tab and a rounded thick stem), ball, ring or basic (no stem)
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP): € 15.00 [Currency Converter]
Been around since: Early June 2009
Unique Design?: Yes (This cup design appears to have been created by this brand and has not been seen used by other brands)
Review – Meluna old: https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/meluna-my-thoughts
Review – new Glitter Cup: https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/meluna-glitter-cup
Other Details: Several Colours available, with glitter versions as well.  Not only offers a choice of stem, but also a choice of how hard or soft you would like.  First cup manufacturer to offer the additional ball/ring or no stem options, and the only manufacturer to offer these different options.

TPE is a (BPA-free) plastic that is used to make medical equipment such as catheters, as well as other products such as baby bottle teats and some vibrators. (It may also be the same material as Insteads disposable cups are made from).

MeLunanew MeLunanew2 MeLunanew3

MeLunarow

Holy Cup are rebranding MeLuna cups in Brazil. Silja are manufacturing MeLuna design cups from silicone

July 1, 2009 Posted by | The Cups | , , , , , , , | 10 Comments