The Cup Reviews: Lunette Menstrual Cup

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The first cup that I wanted to review today was the size 1 clear Lunette, simply because I’m awful at saving the best for last. Of all of the cups that I’ve tried, this was by far my favourite! It turns out that it may actually be a good thing that this review is so delayed – the Lunette site has gotten a facelift recently, which should make picking one up a lot easier. (They’re hard to find in-store, at least in Canada.)

The shape: I wanted to give you ladies a really good idea of the size of the Lunette, so it went on a bit of a photoshoot with some popular beauty products ;) The Lunette is more pear-shaped than the DivaCup – it’s the parabola to the DivaCup’s absolute value function, if you will. To each her own, I know, but I personally find that this helps it sit more comfortably (and makes removal a fair bit easier!)

It also has more of a “tail” than many other cups, but don’t let that scare you away (it’s actually a good thing). I find the longer end makes guiding the cup out easier, and despite my initial worries, you can’t feel it. It doesn’t stick out much, and if it does, you can trim it yourself at home. (Plus, you’ve already got fold-y stuff going on down there. A bit of soft silicone doesn’t make much of a difference!)

The dimensions: The size 1 Lunette…

  • Is 41 mm by 47 mm, with a 25mm stem
  • Holds 25ml (that’s about 4 regular tampons, three super tampons, or 2 super plus tampons)
  • Is appropriate for most body types (the model 2 is usually for those who have given birth, and/or have particularly heavy periods.)
  • (I’m thinking I should probably try out a model 2 sometime, seeing as I bleed like mad and the DivaCup #2 fits me decently. The Selene is tempting, and hey – it would give us another photo op! Hmm…)

A cost breakdown: I wasn’t kidding when I said that I bleed a lot; for the first two days of my period I go through about seven extra super tampons in a day, plus two pads and then another extra super and an overnight pad while I sleep. After that, I use about two regular tampons and one pad for the next three days or so.

Now. The Lunette is $39.99, which seems pretty pricy… at first. However, you can keep a cup for three years according to the FDA (though most cup users say that they’re good for about 10; the FDA’s probably just covering their arses!) so let’s do some math. AURGHHH I hate math.

Tampons: 1 box of Extra Super Tampax per month ($5 for 20), plus two packages of Always pads ($9 for 28) per year. Assuming 13 periods per year. TOTAL: $249 over three years

The Lunette: 2 cups (just in case), plus… say, six boxes of disinfecting wipes (2 per year) and a bottle of Feelbetter? TOTAL: $80 over three years

I rest my case.

Other stuff worth knowing: (more…)

The Cup Reviews: instead Softcup

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For a bit of background information on menstrual cups, read this post.
Oh, and also:
TMI alert! TMI alert! Alert alert alert!

What it is: instead Softcup disposable menstrual cups

What we love

  • The Softcup is a lot less icky than other menstrual cups! There’s no washing/scrubbing/boiling involved, and removal is quick, painless, and relatively clean. It takes a bit of practice, but I can get it out with just a bit of blood ending up on my fingertips; no messier than a tampon.
  • It’s also a lot easier to get in (and out) than other cups — you pinch the two sides and insert it like a tampon. The pink plastic is very malleable, so they really do pinch right together. It’s no harder to get in than a regular tampon (and way easier than supers and extra supers!)
  • There are a bunch of “side benefits” that come along with using this kind of cup. For starters, there are no strings attached, literally! Nothing… hanging out of you. (Ahem.) And while I can’t vouch for it, they do say you can wear the Softcup during sex while you’re on your period for less, erm, mess.
  • The Softcup can be worn for up to 12 hours, unlike tampons (which run 4-8 if I’m not mistaken.) Of course, I have to change mine more often, but my lighter-flow friends (aka every single !@)#!@$ person I know; it’s just not fair!) should be fine.

What we don’t

  • These cups are one-size-fits-all, and unfortunately… we’re not all the same size down there. I found it to be a touch too long for me; it slips too low every now and again and can be hard to get all the way in. So, make sure to sample them first! If they fit, you’ll know: when they’re in properly, you can’t feel the cup at all.

Tips and tricks
As I’ve mentioned, I find inserting the Softcup to be a breeze. It’s awkward the first time, but the process is just so easy to get the hang of. Anyone who can insert a tampon should be fine! (And to be honest, it’s easier to insert a Softcup than it is to insert an extra super tampon, or anything by OB…)

However, I know not everyone is as utilitarian about their female reproductive system comfortable with their ladybits as I am. So I asked Tracey Croughwell (Evofem’s Marketing VP) if she had any tips of her own! She had a ton of incredibly helpful ones to share, so here are a few of them:


  • To insert the Softcup, sit on a toilet and relax. Compress the Softcup, then push it into the vagina. Push it back, not up. You should feel the Softcup go past your pubic bone, and when it’s in place it will be tucked up behind the pubic bone. Once it’s inserted correctly, you won’t feel it.

  • If you can feel the Softcup, it probably is not in place. Simply remove it and try again. To remove it, insert your finger into your vagina. When you bear down with your muscles (like you’re pushing out a baby), the rim will come down and be easier to hook your finger around. Hook your finger around and gently pull it out.

  • When removing the Softcup, remove it slowly and keep it horizontal (so it’s less messy).

  • Removing the Softcup will be messy at first. You’ll eventually get used to taking it out, and the whole insertion/removal process will become quicker, easier, and less messy… and it’s totally worth the freedom and comfort you experience with the Softcup!

Psst — did you notice the “How-To” tab at the top of the Sofcup site? Definitely worth checking out if you’re not sure how to go about using your cup!

Other things to note

  • The Softcup is just over $10 for 24, but the samples are available for $2.50.
  • Because they’re non-absorbant, the Softcup doesn’t cause irritation or dryness. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I love tampons just as much as the next gal (most days)… but there’s nothing worse than inserting a tampon when the last one wasn’t totally soaked!
  • For the same reason, menstrual cups aren’t associated with TSS. And on a health-related note, they’re also free of things like bleach (used to get your tampons that clean-looking white-white,) and latex.
One last thing: we decided to do this review in point-form, just because there was so much information we wanted to share. (And we didn’t want to force you to read three and half hours of text!) If there’s anything we missed, though, don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments :)

P.S. Purple packaging? We approve!

TMI Time: an introduction to cups that go "down there"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Menstrual cups. That’s right. I said it. Intrigued, aren’t you?

Well, everything else is hiding behind a cut so that we don’t scare the ability to reproduce out of passerbys. So click on through if you think you can take it!


The basic facts 

Menstrual cups are soft, malleable pieces of silicone or rubber (no, not like the “dimethicone” kind of silicones, and no, not the “elastic band” kind of rubber) made to hold, rather than absorb, the sloughing off of unfertilized endometrial tissue your period. They’re shaped like closed funnels (don’t scoff; you totally know it’s true) or small bowls (in the case of the disposable cups.)


(Or should that be disposa-bowl?)


[rimshot] 


The first cup was patented in 1932 (!!!) and was made from rubber. Most menstrual cups are not associated with high frequencies of TSS, unlike tampons. There are a few questions, and by this we mean like, “one question by one study one time,” being raised about the relationship between cups and endometriosis, but there are questions being raised about everything… I mean, your sunscreen can give you cancer, gluten will kill you, and your dog secretly wants to eat your brains.


(Sorry if I’m offending anyone. I just don’t buy into irrational worries until someone else* does.)
*Someone else, like maybe… the federal health authority. Which for the record, still supports cups being on the market. So there! 

[gets off soapbox]

Why they’re gaining popularity

Greenliness! (I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me today.) But no, seriously — reusable menstrual cups mean that you buy one cup and it lasts you anywhere from one to ten years. So sure, they’re synthetic, but so are many tampon applicators and pads. Plus, the durability of cups means a greatly reduced amount of wastes associated with pads and tampons: plastic wrappers, rayon-cotton absorbencies, bleach used to make them white, transport fuel, packaging…

The point is, overall, reusable menstrual cups reduce waste. Also awesome? The fact that many of them can be worn in anticipation of your period (no more washing your undergarments in the sink!) and they can (but don’t always) hold much more than the average tampon — while a regular absorbency tampon will hold 6-9ml, and an extra super absorbency will hold 12-15ml, cups start at 10ml and go right up to 30ml. 30ml!!!


The disposable

“Well, okay,” you say, “but what about the disposable? They don’t reduce waste!”


They sure don’t. And you know what I have to say to that? Pthooey!


…I’m just kidding. (Seriously, what is wrong with me today?!) Disposable cups come with their advantages as well! For instance, they’re much more portable (you have to wash and sanitize a re-usable menstrual cup completely before re-inserting it,) they can be worn during intercourse (yes, that kind of intercourse… stop your snickering!) and they’re much easier for some (no, not all) women to insert and wear comfortably.

Plus, they look like very short, overweight condoms, which makes for a great conversation starter.

What peaked my interest

All of the above! But more specifically, here are some stats about my own period that might help put future reviews and babble into perspective:

  • I feel incredibly guilty each and every period because of the amount of waste I produce. It’s obscene!
  • I always carry my bag into the washroom with me (must… have… lip balm!) so the whole “sneak in a tampon” thing isn’t an issue — but I always worry about when I do need to go change it. Always.
  • My flow is incredibly heavy, especially for someone my size. During a good cycle, I can use about three extra supers on my heaviest day (that’s about 45ml,) but on most of my cycles, I go through seven. Think about that for a second — SEVEN extra super tampons, plus a few pads. That’s A LOT OF FLUID.
  • Seriously. Think about that for a second. I bleed like a medium-sized animal being drained for– I should stop talking.
  • The point is, if I can use something that doesn’t mean having to change a tampon every hour and a half, I’m so in.

Still interested?
That’s good, because I’ll be posting more about them shortly, with a few reviews and thoughts. This post isn’t going up real-time, don’t come crying to me about why I’ve been oh-so-bitchy recently (that’s just my winning personality,) but as I write this, I’ve just finished using cups for my (entire!) period. And you know what?


…I loved it!

A great resource for information on menstrual cups that I’ve recently stumbled accross is the livejournal page of the not so creatively named “Menstrual Cups” community. So maybe the name is a snoozefest, but I kid you not: this page is likely the most helpful page you’ll ever come across, relating to cups!

Would you ever think about trying a menstrual cup? Have you already? Let us know in the comments!

all images credit the sites they link back to. honestly, these three were chosen at random, and there are many many others! they just happened to have the types of images I was looking for. 
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