|Measures approx 2½" in diameter; |
approx 3½" in length when compressed for insertion.
OK, so this alternative to other feminine products...it's call the Instead Softcup. There are two different kinds of Softcups. There is the original that is meant to be used once then disposed of and typically changed every 12 hours or so; then there is the new reusable type that can be washed and reused for a whole cycle. Now, when you look at the picture on the package and open the package what you see looks similar to a diaphragm (you've all see one of those in sex ed class in grade school, yes?) that has a light pink for the daily use type/dark pink for the reusable type and a clear cup. The rim is fairly flexible with just a comfortable amount of rigidity and is easily compressed for insertion.
|Pink packaging is the disposable daily use. Green package is the reusable.|
Insertion is pretty straightforward and Softcup even has an animated video showing you how to do this. Now, this can be a bit messy depending on at what point in your cycle you are...expect insertion to be a little bit messier the heavier the flow is.
Softcup Challenge - Day 1
So, today is a light flow day...the first day in my very irregular cycle...thank you peri-menopause. The initial insertion went smoothly but yes, it was a little messy but at least I was at home and could easily reach the sink to wash up. I used a panty liner just in case I didn't get the placement just right and thank goodness I did because I noticed some spotting a few hours later. So, to correct this problem I removed, emptied and rinsed out the Softcup and reinserted it plus applied a new panty liner. Now some six hours later just one small spot on the liner and that's it. I can't even tell that I have the Softcup inserted...very comfortable compared to my hatred of tampons which I only use when running. Also, no icky sweaty feeling from wearing a pad especially in this hot weather we're having. So far, so good.
8:35pm - I just changed the Softcup to prepare for the night. No noted leaking, although it is a light day. Easy to remove, just remember to bear down when trying to reach it...makes life much easier. One thing that hit me though is that I keep my nails fairly short...I wonder how comfortable this would be for someone who has longer nails? I think in that case it might be advisable to have some non-latex gloves handy (just in case you have an unknown latex allergy...if you know you're not allergic to latex then go for the cheaper latex gloves).
Softcup Challenge - Day 2
Woke up a little before 6am and changed out the Softcup. No leakage at all, but it's still early in my cycle so I'm still at a fairly light flow. No discomfort overnight...in fact, almost forgot that I was on my cycle. Cool!
7:30pm - Looks like this whole cycle is gonna be light. Still, no leaks and it's much easier/quicker to insert the Softcup now...kinda like second nature.
Softcup Challenge - Day 3
Still a light flow, looks like it's gonna be that way for this whole cycle. Still no leaking at all even with some strenuous manual labor in the backyard this past weekend. Very pleased so far with the products performance.
7:40pm - Hmmm...looks like this may be a short flow. Still no problems, no leaking, no discomfort. I think I've found a new best friend!
Softcup Challenge - Day 4
Well, looks like last night was the last time for me to use the Softcup for this review. Wow, that was a really light cycle! Still no leakage, no pain and no problems.
So, that was my experience with the Instead Softcup. I didn't do any running while using it so I can't attest to how it works during that kind of activity, but like I said I was doing some decent manual labor in our backyard lifting bags of paver base, paver sand and pavers to build some paved pads in front of our gates. If the cup didn't budge while doing all that heavy lifting (which did involve some straining to lift things) then I don't think it would move during a run. Additionally, since my flow was light for this whole test I can't really state how it works with a heavy flow...thanks to peri-menopause I never know if my cycle will be light, moderate (lucky enough I've never been a heavy bleeder) or even have a cycle each month. I never had to rinse out the cup other than the first day when I had to readjust it...it's fine doing at home, but I think it would be kinda gross and rude to rinse it out in a public restroom.
Based on some reading I've done of other bloggers who've done the Challenge, for heavy bleeders there may be some light leakage when urinating or having a bowel movement simply due to the process of bearing down. Some women say that this was the only time they experienced any leakage. Some even went so far as to say that they appreciated this leakage because they had very heavy flows and this allowed some of the contents to escape from the cup and extending the time that the cup could remain inserted since there was more room for new content. However, do be aware that if you do have a heavy flow you may not get a full 12 hour use out of the cup.
Now just some facts from Softcup (please note, all the images used in this post are directly from Instead Softcup)...
So, would I recommend using this product? Yes!! At the very least, try it for one cycle and check it out for yourself. You can purchase a sample 2 pack of the original style on the Softcup website store for the price of shipping (currently $2.50) or you can check your local drug store to see if they carry the product (Walgreens and SuperWalmart seem to carry them). Do be aware that the reusable type is really fairly new so you may not find them in many stores yet but you can also purchase them on the online store. Or if you are a blogger, check out For the Love of the Run to see how you can participate in the Challenge and get a free sample and some other goodies. The online Softcup store even sells a little case that you can carry 2 Softcups in so that you have them handy at all times...as long as you carry a purse or pack of some sort. Really, give them a try!
|Case that holds two Softcup packages so you're always prepared.|
DISCLAIMER: I received one or more of the products mentioned in this post for free to review. Regardless, these opinions are 100% mine and solely mine.