The members of the Period! Test Panel examine a different product every time. This time: Softcups from the web shop of Menstrual Cups.
The test panel consists of:
N = Nynke (34, disability carer)
H = Henriëtte (47, nurse practitioner)
K = Kim (30, nursery leader)
F= Fleur (22, marketing student)
L = Laura (47, freelance journalist)
A Softcup is a soft and flexible cup that is worn internally. It doesn’t absorb the menstrual blood, but collects it instead. It’s made of non-irritating, non-absorbing thermoplastic material which is softened by your body temperature. That’s why it molds to your internal shape, forming a personal fit which helps preventing leakage and odours, according to the manufacturer.
There are two different types. A disposable Softcup for a one time only use (no need to clean as you’ll be throwing it in the trash after wearing) and the Softcup Reusable (which should be cleaned after use). This time we’ve tested the disposable Softcup: a one size fits all cup which you can keep in for up to 12 hours. Want to test the Softcup yourself? The action code ‘periodsoftcup’ gives you 10% off on all Softcup products at Menstrualcups.eu.
Is the instruction manual clear and easy to follow? How about inserting the Softcup?
N Inserting it the first time was a bit of a struggle, but after that it went easy.
H The instructions were clear.
K The instructions are clear and if you’re still not sure after reading then there’s a useful You Tube-movie. Inserting takes a bit of practice.
F The manual tells you exactly what to do. In the end it’s all about feeling where it should be placed so it’s comfortable.
L Inserting was surprisingly easy. Way easier than a normal cup, which is more rigid. That’s probably why it’s called a Softcup.
While wearing it
N You don’t feel a thing! I’ve even worn it while swimming and spinning. I didn’t test the cup at night time though. I prefer sanitary pads during the night.
H It was very comfortable. I didn’t feel the cup and therefore I was free to move around. I’ve also used the Softcup when sleeping, which didn’t cause any particularities.
K I swam and – euh – had sex while wearing it. That went fine although there was some leaking during sex. Sleeping with it didn’t cause any problems. Removing the cup is a little bit harder in the mornings because I’m a bit drier and the cup seems to be placed a bit higher up.
F In the beginning I felt it a bit when sitting down, but you soon get used to that. It’s probably also because you’re paying a lot of attention to what you feel in the beginning. Also I was a bit nervous when removing it because I have an IUD but according to the GP this wasn’t a problem. It didn’t bother me while moving or exercising. Swimming went fine as well.
L If it’s in place you don’t feel a thing. I really love this during exercise, when sanitary pads chafe and tampon strings cause irritation too. The cup is also a perfect solution for in the sauna.
Advantage of a Softcup is that you can wear it for up to 12 hours. How many cups did our panel members need? And how did the removing and changing process go?
N If you’re menstruating heavily then it’ll be a bit of a mess to remove. On the heaviest day of my menstruation there was some leakage, probably because the cup wasn’t placed correctly. I only needed 7 cups for my entire cycle: 2 a day and 3 on the heaviest day.
H I needed about 3 a day. I’m positive about the product right up to the point of changing it for a new one. Removing, however, turned out to be a mess; I was really dreading it after a while.
K I needed 8 in total.
F Changing cups in a public toilet still seems a bit unhygienic to me. It’s not that your hands are full of blood, but you need to touch the cup itself in order to remove it. In those cases I miss the string of the tampon. In the end, I used 10.
L I had to get used to the fact that you don’t know exactly when to change the cup. It’s way easier to notice with tampons. In the end, I felt comfortable wearing it for 8 hours. Changing the Softcup is much easier than changing a normal cup; hook your finger under the rim, pull softly, empty the cup in the toilet, throw it in the trash and you’re done.
What’s good about Softcup?
N The fact that you don’t notice it when wearing.
H They’re comfortable to wear.
K That they’re easy to use and fit every woman.
F That you’re less afraid of leaking when you’re used to the cup.
L You can keep them in for longer and thus don’t have to find a toilet as often. I also think they cause less irritation down under.
What’s not that good about Softcup?
N A small disadvantage is that’s it a bit of a mess when changing.
H The mess when removing it.
K Nothing. I’m very pleased with it.
F That removing the cup in a public toilet is a bit of an unhygienic mess.
L Well, that they’re disposable. Of course you also throw away your tampon after every use. But somehow this feels more polluting to the environment. The question is: what’s better? Good question for an environmental specialist.
Will you keep using Softcup?
N Yes. I think they’re very handy and will use them alongside sanitary pads.
H No. It’s very comfortable to wear, but I experience the same comfort level when wearing a tampon. I think tampons are easier and more hygienic to remove.
K Yes. First I always carried sanitary pads in my purse, now I make sure to take a Softcup!
F Yes. The Softcup is ideal for night time and the heavier days. During the other days I’ll keep using pantyliners or small tampons as that’s less fuss.
L Yes. I think they’re easier to insert than a normal cup. Also it’s an advantage that you can throw them away when on the road.
If you’d have to rate this product, what number would you give it? (10 = extremely good, 1 = extremely bad).
Final common verdict: 7+
Reaction of Menstrualcups.eu: ‘Currently we’re busy re-introducing the Softcup in Holland and Belgium and we’re really happy with the result! The Softcup is a different type of menstrual cup. You wear it more in the back of the vagina, directly under the cervix. It has the same health benefits as for example the Divacup. Extra advantage is that you can keep it in when having sex. The Softcup is less sustainable than the Divacup. But keep in mind it only has to be replaced every 12 hours: you’re producing a lot less garbage than with tampons or normal sanitary pads.’
Want to test the Softcup yourself? The action code ‘periodsoftcup’ gives you 10% off on all Softcup products at Menstrualcups.eu.