Hello there ladies!
This is a review for the Instead Softcup Menstrual Cup. If you’re a woman who is interested in menstrual cups for yourself or a loved one then please read on. Guys, if you are interested in what some women use during their monthly cycle, then please read on. I would like to warn you that I will be discussing menstruation and more specifically, my own cycle, so if you are squeamish about these matters then please mosey on to more fun stuff…
I included Men in that paragraph above because I know some men may have questions, I am blessed with a partner who is very aware of what my body goes through and the products I use. I believe that if he wants to play with it, he should know how it works. 😉
Now about me, I have been using a silicone menstrual cup for the past 7 years or so and I definitely won’t go back to what today’s society consider “traditional” products. My reasons are as follows:
1. I am very sensitive (read: borderline allergic) to most bleached, cotton, chemical laden products on the market today such as pads and tampons. I cannot wear more than 1 in a row or I suffer from irritation and well, let’s face it ladies, no one needs that!
2. Medically speaking, I am an extremely heavy bleeder. Don’t believe me? I soak through the combination of super plus tampon & pad in about 30 minutes on my heavy days. Not exactly convenient if you want to function in society!
The popular claim is that a woman releases 1 oz – 3 oz of fluid and tissue during her entire cycle. I can fill a 1 oz menstrual cup in a couple of hours on heavy days. I have been on hormonal BC pills to regulate and lighten my flow, but even those have never helped, and I refused to keep putting pills in my body that do nothing. Before using a cup, I had to set my alarm to wake me every hour while I slept so I wouldn’t have an ‘accident,’ after cups, I could wait an extra hour or two lol.
I run, bike, swim, hike and pretty much anything that gets me outdoors I will try. I am definitely in need of a product that can keep up with all that. So, now you know my reasons for seeking out alternative products. There are other benefits, but honestly, for me those listen in #s 1 and #2 were the most important factors.
Now, as a cup user I have to say that I may have been skeptical about liking the Instead Softcup since I have been using a couple of other brands of re-usable cups for years. I can honestly say that I have not set foot in the feminine hygiene aisle in a very long time. I had been happy with my choice thus far.
I decided to try the Instead Softcup before my cycle actually started so I would know what to expect when the time came. I have to be honest, when I opened the individually wrapped package I was concerned about how large the rim of the cup appeared. However, insertion was flawless on the very first try! The instructions were so easy to follow. Also, I was pleasantly surprised that I could not feel the cup at all.
Now on to my usage, remember those heavy days I mentioned? As much as my other product was a life saver and made things easier and more manageable, I still had issues on these days. At night for instance, if I shifted a certain way or the cup was too full I would have leakage issues which occurred when the air tight vacuum seal broke. (Yes, reusable cups seal themselves to prevent spills) This results in needing to wear a pad at night, which results in irritation. A vicious cycle!
Here’s the great thing about Instead, no vacuum seal means no worries about spillage and leaks especially at night! This blew my mind to be honest. I have spent years thinking that I had it as good as it was going to get. Then, Tina from For The Love of The Run gave me the opportunity to try out something that I wasn’t really interested in trying years ago when I first made the choice to use a cup. I am actually sorry that it has taken me this long. For the first time in my life, during the nights of my heavy flow days I didn’t have a single leak! This is incredible for someone like me. After a few months of use, I actually felt confident enough to sleep through the night and not worry about getting up.
On my early morning runs, I did have to be more careful with insertion as I had a few minor leaks due to incorrect placement, but I got the hang of it eventually. I am assuming that I bounce and jostle around a lot more while running. Swims and bike rides were flawless. I was very interested to find out that this product was developed by a female triathlete. That definitely gave me confidence in the reliability of the Softcup! I am looking forward to taking on a tri in the future.
I am very happy that I gave this product a try. It has made a huge difference to me and dare I say improved my nights quite a bit. While there are some design things I am not sure about, I am definitely a fan of Instead Softcup now.
- Comfortable! Once inserted correctly, you don’t feel a thing!!
- Can be worn up to 12 hours (for those with a lighter flow or Me on lighter days lol)
- Can be worn during SEX! (My husband felt it a couple of times, I adjusted and it was just fine. I did make sure to start with an fresh, empty cup)
- Eco friendlier than tampons and pads as you use less (there is a reusable one that can be used 1 entire cycle)
- Can be worn for swimming, or in water without the risk of bacteria and other nasties traveling up a string into your body
- No vacuum seal means no sudden spills for me
- I have used it while running, swimming and cycling so far with NO ISSUES on comfort or leaks!
- Affordable and available at a lot of local retailers.
- Not completely reusable as the medical grade silicone cups
- Fits further inside your body which may mean a little bit of mess
- not a rigid material so doesn’t maintain it’s shape for full capacity
All in all I am very happy with Instead Softcups. I recommend any woman who is interested in an alternative to pads and tampons to give them a try.
I won’t go into the Hows of using this product as I have already written quite a bit and I would be a poor substitute for the expertise of the Softcup website. There have amazing tutorials and videos on their site as well as FAQs and more about the product! Be sure to check out the links.
I would like to say that for some people, there can be a steep learning curve. It took me a long while as a young teen before I was completely comfortable with tampons and using a cup is no different. Women should be comfortable with there bodies and needs so there should never be an ‘ick’ factor. Too many women have been taught that they should be ashamed of their bodies and hide the fact that they are menstruating. It’s part of our glory as women and you should find what works best for you. Don’t be squeamish about your bodies; take care of them and celebrate them. If you want to have success with this product, follow the instructions. Please read them before you proceed! This is not inserted like a tampon.
If you have any questions for me about my personal experience with Instead Softcups, or anything I have written here, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can leave a comment or email me through the ‘Contact’ page.
As I mentioned, I was given the opportunity to try the Softcup and was sent the product for free via the For The Love Of The Run Softcup Challenge, despite that fact the opinions are 100% mine and are in no way influenced by compensation.
If alternative feminine product are of interest to you then please visit the menstrual cup community on Livejournal
I will be giving away a box of Instead Softcup to someone who is interested in trying this product for the 1st time. Keep an eye on this space for the chance to try it for FREE!