Evofem's Softcup Review

Evofem's Disposable Softcups
Squeeze box. Taco. Poontang. Sugar Basin. Honey Pot. Vertical Bacon Sandwich. Whisker Biscuit. Crotch Waffle. Velcro Love Triangle. Sausage Wallet. Apple Pie. Salami Garage. Pound Cake.

Now that we got that out of the way... is anyone else hungry? I swear some of these euphemisms for vagina make me crave food. Is that wrong?

Guys, you might want to get the hell out of dodge for this post cuz I'm going to be talking about my vagina. A LOT. And its not going to be in the "oh my pink pearl is so pretty" kind of way. No. This post is more of a "my axe gash is bleeding like a stuck pig" today. Yeah. Consider yourself warned. Its going to be another one of "those" posts, and since its a review of a very useful feminine product I'm not sure you'd wanna stick around for that anyway. But, if you decide to stay and read (for your "wife" or "girlfriend") you have my deepest respect for braving all my girl shit. I will definitely be impressed. Good luck with that.

Ladies, on the other hand, I demand your attention. Especially if you are an ultra runner, trail runner, backpacker or rock climber. The following review is for a product that I find immensely convenient for those of us who enjoy the challenge of long stupid miles or who are in love with being outdoors or who well... just want to be liberated from our period. I'm assuming you can hang with my coochie convo for a bit. Afterall, girls talk about, well, everything. Even our girl parts and what we put in them.

So I have decided to do a review of the Softcup. A menstrual cup for women. I found out about this review challenge through a fellow blogger Tina Plantamura over at For The Love of The Run. She asked if I would like to participate and after finding out what the product was I couldn't resist. I love to give my honest opinions on things and as you know, I'm not afraid to talk about my girly bits either. It was a perfect fit.

You should know that by doing this review the company has offered to pay up to $125 towards my next race registration. That's a pretty decent deal to me. And since I'm a seasoned cup user I have experience with this sort of menstrual technology and am eager to review the alternatives.

You should also know that my opinions are mine alone and in no way influenced by the company offering me a cash incentive to do this review. I will be brutally honest. That's just the way I roll...

So... on with the review!

You know me. I can be graphic honest. Enough said. Look away now if you are squeamish.

Evofem sent me a box of 14 disposable Softcups to review. Call me crazy, but I almost couldn't wait for my period to start. As a loyal user of a competing brand's silicone version I was ready to try something new to see how it compared.


Disposable Softcup
For those of you who aren't familiar with a menstrual cup, its a flexible cup made out of healthcare grade silicone or polyethylene. It's placed internally inside your vaginal canal and collects the menstrual flow as opposed to absorbing it like a tampon or a pad. Typically, cups are designed to create a seal inside the canal and hold a larger capacity of flow than a super tampon, which is one of the things that appeals to me about using a cup.

Here are my initial observations...


SOFTCUP WAS EASY TO USE
This was BY FAR my most exciting discovery with the Softcup. After several months of a very messy learning curve with my current menstrual cup I eventually mastered properly inserting it so it didn't leak, but it was a long and arduous process that involved LOTS of kegels and learning how to assist the cup into proper position using what might be best described as a "making love to the cup" technique. Lets just say this technique just confuses my sense of what's appropriate and what's not appropriate to be doing while inserting a menstrual cup. So I was happy to learn that the Softcup was SUPER EASY to insert and didn't resemble foreplay in any way shape or form. In fact, it was as easy as inserting a tampon. Softcup even has video tutorials to help you understand how its inserted, which was really helpful.

SOFTCUP CAN'T BE FELT AT ALL WHILE WEARING
Similar to a tampon, I couldn't feel Softcup inside me at all. But with no strings to remind me it was easy to forget it was in there.

SOFTCUP WAS COMFORTABLE
Lighter days with a tampon just sucks. I feel dried out and like I'm about to pull my entire uterus out through my vag when I pull on the string. The plastic of the Softcup was easy to slide into place and wasn't irritating even on the light pre-period/post-period days.

Removing it wasn't too bad either because it sits just behind your pubic bone. Though, it can be slightly tricky to remove. I was able to bear down just slightly in order to push it out just enough for me to hook my finger under the rim and pull it out.

My current menstrual cup, on the other hand, can be just a tad uncomfortable if I don't insert it just right and I have to go back in and try again. Not once did I have to remove the Softcup and try again to get it in just right. I was able to insert it correctly the first time every time.

SOFTCUP WAS LEAK-PROOF WHEN IT MATTERED MOST
This goes along with how easy this was to use. I was happy to discover that Softcup was pretty darn leak-proof. Having experienced a bloody learning curve when I transitioned from tampons to "The Cup" I was sort of expecting a similar experience with the Softcup.

That being said, I did have some leakage while I was in the right place... the bathroom. I noticed that when the cup was pretty full it would leak if I beared down even slightly. At first this concerned me a little because I worried about lifting heavy while at the gym and nowhere near a toilet. In fact, I was worried enough to bring backup tampons with me on my first heaviest day. It turned out to be a non-issue. I made sure to change the cup before my workover and I think that was key.

SOFTCUP CAN BE WORN UP TO 12 HOURS
I wanted to know the true limits of the Softcup. This is good info to have if I should every be caught running stupid miles while on my heaviest day. I have worn my current menstrual cup for almost 12 hours on my heaviest flow day and it leaked, which was sorta expected around hour 12. I haven't worn it that long on a heavy day since, but its good to know the limits of the cup with my typical flow.

I had a similar experience with Softcup. I REALLY pushed the limits on my heavy day with it and wore it for almost 11 hours with no problem until one brief moment of chuckling gave me a bit of a shock. I happened to be at a party (yeah... I take risks like that) and found that even laughing when its full will produce unfavorable results. My advice: DON'T WAIT THAT LONG TO CHANGE YOUR CUP ON A HEAVY DAY! That's a no-brainer though.

Something interesting that I discovered was that instead of dumping the contents and disposing of the cup every 5-6 hours (by the way - dumping and disposing can be a bit messy. If you're not OK with seeing your own blood the cup is probably not for you) I found that as long as I could bear down just enough to empty the contents in the toilet (there was no touching involved) my Softcup was good for another few hours. I'm not sure that the company would recommend this, but this trick gave my eco-friendly conscience peace of mind since I was putting less product and plastic into the landfill. The Softcups that I was using were disposable unlike the current cup I use which is completely reusable from cycle to cycle.

SOFTCUP CAN BE WORN ANYTIME, ANYWHERE AND DOING VIRTUALLY ANYTHING
I wore Softcup while swimming, biking, deadlifting 120lbs, during 125lb heavy squats, pushups and running with no problem. The only thing I didn't do while wearing it was have sex, which the company says you can do. This is something I'm eager to learn about because its is the ONE activity that seems questionable. Not only am I curious about how it would feel internally, but I'm curious about my husband's perspective on it as well. I also want to evaluate the messiness of the event.

SOFTCUP IS MADE OUT OF BODY-FRIENDLY MATERIALS
Disposable Softcup is BPA-free and contains no latex, silicone or dioxins. There are no residual fibers to worry about and it contains no bleach, pesticides, carcinogens or PCBs. This makes me happy. Its FDA approved (which means nothing to me these days) and, like most other menstrual cup brands, there has been no link recorded to Toxic Shock Syndrome. However, women who wear an intrauterine device are cautioned to consult with their doctor before using a menstrual cup since there could be a chance of dislodging the device.

Softcup packaging

SUMMARY
Overall, I was ecstatic about this product. In fact, I LOVED IT even compared to the cup I've used for years. I can't say enough good things about this product. I highly recommend that every woman try a cup at least once and this would be be the perfect cup to try. There was virtually no learning curve and it allowed me to put it in and forget about it for the entire day which is one of the best reasons to wear a cup.

So am I sold? Will I use disposable Softcups again?

Probably not.

Shocker huh?

Why? The environment.

[ok. I might be stepping up onto my soap box right about now]

I switched to a menstrual cup in the first place because I choose to take small steps in my everyday life to reduce my consumption of disposable products. Here are just a few of the things I've done over the last eight years to reduce my landfill contribution. This is the short list.
  • I gave up shaving for waxing and epilating so I wouldn't have to use disposable razors.
  • We use linen napkins instead of paper ones.
  • I used flushable G Diapers instead of disposable ones when my boys were babies.
  • I use recycled ketchup and mayo bottles for storing my homemade cleaners in (we are a bleach-free household.)
  • We repurpose A LOT. For example, rather than buying the Swiffer disposable cloths we repurpose old cloth diapers and burp cloths for the same use.
  • We use reusable tupperware and glass containers instead of plastic baggies in lunches and for storing leftovers.
  • We use and buy only rechargeable batteries.
  • I avoid buying any food products that come in individually packaged portions and try my best to avoid buying products that contain excessive packaging.
  • We try to reduce our consumption in general, but if we want something we try to buy second-hand or gently used items.

I was happy to learn that Softcup has a reusable cup that can be reused for an entire menstrual cycle.
If you consider that the average woman dumps 250 to 300 pounds of tampons, pads and applicators into the landfill during her lifetime, using a reusable menstrual cup is one step in the right direction to being kinder to the environment.

I understand this may not appeal to a lot of women. It seems the "ewwwww" factor is the biggest roadblock the reusable menstrual cup is up against. But think about this... how many women are mothers who change dozens of dirty diapers, wipe snotty noses, swab
ear wax, clean up spit-up and vomit? And we can do this with hardly a gag reflex. Yeah. Mothers are pretty tough. We can hang. Reality check: If you're a mom and you can't handle rinsing out a cup that contained 1 oz. of your own blood, then motherhood must be a bitch.

In my opinion, though, Softcup's reusable version is still a far cry from the completely reusable cup I use right now. I've had mine for over four years now. That's 48 Softcups I would have otherwise thrown in the garbage. [update: I recently found out that reusable Softcup may be even more eco-friendly than I thought and if taken care of properly *could* last for more than one cycle. This just proves that the company is thinking progressively about the impact of its product on the environment, which is something I can support] I would definitely be willing to put a reusable Softcup to the test, but honestly, until there's a long-term eco-friendly option available I'm perfectly comfortable with sticking with my status quo.

That being said, menstrual product technology is changing and I will be keeping a pretty close eye on the future of these products. Brand loyalty is no match for what just plain works. No woman wants to be caught with a menstrual product fail. Period.

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Comments

  1. Good review chica! I think I wil give it a try :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay, I am a dude and I read this.

    I must say your review style is very good. My takeaway from this: you are obviously not the corporate shill I didn't think you would ever be AND....after reading your reasons for not recommending it I felt pretty bad about my social consciousness. I think all I do is use rechargeable batteries. I'll have to revisit my attention to my consumption of resources.

    I obviously will never use this product so I'll let the ladies be the ultimate judge.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dude. You are a brave soul. Then again, you've carpooled to races with me so you are even braver. Ha!

      Delete
  3. Great review. I read another review before but I wanted to know how it compares to the Diva Cup. I love my DC for all the reasons you mentioned and I've been using it for 4 years. But I read on the DC website that they recommend replacing it every year !?

    Every women should give the cup a try or two. If inserted right it is so much comfortable than tampons, and with no chemicals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My understanding is that you need to check the Diva Cup for signs of deterioration and replace if you see any of those. They mentioned if it starts to get a powdery film on it you should replace it. I'm not replacing mine unless I see a real need to. So far mine is still good.

      Delete
  4. Hi zapmamak,
    I loved reading this piece about Evofem's Softcup Review! Well written!

    Merlen Hogg
    ekspansjonsfuger

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your review. I recently started swimming again, and missing out that week or so really interferes with my motivation.
    Although I do a lot of walking, I find I actually really like swimming (most of my pursuits are computer orientated) and I've been concerned about swimming with a tampon.

    I'll probably have to try a few brands, but I wanted to see what peoples experiences have been like, and few reviewers mention swimming!

    I'd also like to thank you for highlighting the eco issues - I am slowly changed years of bad habits, but this area I hadn't even considered.

    I may not be brave enough to try this time around, but hopefully it'll be 24/7 swimming soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so welcome! Glad you were able to glean some valuable info from my review. :-)

      Delete
  6. Ive just started using softcups (they do work during sex and my boyfriend says he couldnt really tell it was there) but ive only been using them at night so far because of one small concern. I noticed the same thing with them being emptied while on the toilet but it concerns me that it may happen at other times while just sitting. Did you experience any problems with this?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ive just started using softcups (they do work during sex and my boyfriend says he couldnt really tell it was there) but ive only been using them at night so far because of one small concern. I noticed the same thing with them being emptied while on the toilet but it concerns me that it may happen at other times while just sitting. Did you experience any problems with this?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I use the same softcup for my entire cycle. I just rinse it off n warm water. I have had no issues reusing this product. In fact I've used the same cup for my last three cycles. At the end of my cycle I rinse it in a weakvvinegar solution then with warm water and let it air dry. Before using it again I rinse it off with plain water. I think this product is great.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I find tampons to be completely uncomfortable, and all the recent stories about contamination of the cotton menstrual cup

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for your nice informative post on the menstrual cup. I am confused about one thing and asking for your advice. I found many eco-friendly menstrual cups but are those really eco-friendly?? Hope to see more post on it. I have found another article on the menstrual cup. In this article, I found eco-friendly menstrual cups review. After reading the review the question comes to my mind. Please advise if possible. You can check it for more information: http://besttopreviewsonline.com/blog/10-best-menstrual-cup-for-beginners/

    ReplyDelete

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