12.26.2011

Reusable Resolutions & Reusable Instead Softcup

Hello lovelies! With the New Year just around the corner, it’s a good time to reflect about areas of our life that we could improve upon. I’m focused on important things like increasing my GPA and maintaining relationships as my college friends continue to shuffle around the country and the globe, but I also want to work on decreasing my negative impact on the environment. One way I could do that is to cut out a lot of disposable things that I use and toss out everyday.  I can easily generate a long list of disposable stuff that I could replace with reusable items, most of which I already own.

  1. drink cups – water bottle, thermos
  2.  razor blades – epilator
  3. tissues – hankerchief
  4. grocery bags – nylon shopping bags
  5. cotton swabs – wash cloth
my envirosax.com bag that is really cute and portable!

We really live in world full of disposable products, but there are alternatives to almost every option. So I am going to try to make a conscious effort this year to bring my shopping bags with me when I go to the store, or my water bottle when I go to the dining hall, and in general reduce the amount of waste I generate with my reusable resolutions.   Because although a lot of the stuff we throw away may be biodegradable, nothing decomposes very fast in landfills. Things need the proper space and time to decompose, like a compost pile, or else we will end up like the crummy garbage filled world pictured in Wall-E.



Where am I going with this? Well, I think this time of the year is a good time to try new things, and for you, reader, one of things might be a reusable menstrual product. One woman will dispose of thousands of tampons or pads in her lifetime (and spend a fortune on them too), and we make up half of the population so that's a lot of used tampons. (Yuck!) These are usually made of some combination of cotton and plastic, and like I said, nothing decomposes in landfills. Nothing. In the future, archaeologists are going to be able to learn everything about our lives from them, because it will also still be there to get dug up. But anyways, this New Year, why not try something new that will help the environment and save you money? Like... reusable menstrual products, perhaps?

my Lunette menstrual cup


There are lots of options under this category: silicone menstrual cups, cloths pads, sponges, etc. but today I am going to be discussing the new reusable Softcup, which I was very excited to try out and compare to the disposable Softcup which I have used before. For those of you that don't know, Softcup is a menstrual cup composed of a crinkly plastic ring and a firmer plastic rim.( For more information about the Softcup see my original review.) The new reusable Softcup comes in green packaging and was designed to be used for one cycle. I have yet to see this in a drugstore, but they are available to buy from the company’s website.


reusable Softcup and packaging

The disposable Softcup and the reusable Softcup are exactly the same size, but they both differ from the Softcup that was on the market when I last did a review of disposable Softcup.  The rim for both disposable and reusable versions of Softcup has gotten thinner, which I think will improve comfort during sex, but the diameter has stayed exactly the same. The sac that holds the menstrual fluid also seems shorter now, although I did not notice any difference in capacity.  So if Softcup didn’t work for you before because of its size, then I am betting it still would not work for you with this slightly different model. They have also changed the packaging on the disposable Softcup from a purple to a pink box, although the wrapper on an individual Softcup is still purple. The box is also much smaller. For some great comparison pictures of the new and old Softcup design check out this livejournal post.


new design disposable Softcup and packaging

As a regular user of disposable Softcup, I have personally reused one cup whole period and then thrown it away, even though that’s not recommended by the company. I started using Softcup after trying out the Lunette and DivaCup, which are menstrual cups designed to be used for years and years, so it seemed weird to throw out a cup.  They are easy to rinse with water after removal and reinsert. Women have done this before, and they will do it again. If you’re a menstruation nerd like me you might know about one of the earliest menstrual cups, Tassaway, which you were supposed to toss away after each use, but many women reused them because their wear time was longer.  Regardless of my tangent, I am glad that the Softcup company came out with this product, because it sounds like they are listening to their customers.


green wrapper for reusable Softcup

The packaging for this product is literally very "green" and super cute. It came with some instructions, which are easy to read and very helpful for troubleshooting. I tried the reusable Softcup out for about three days of my last period, and it did not leak once, even though I wore it for long periods of time and slept with it in.  (It did “leak” a little when I peed, but that’s only because I move my pelvic muscles at the same time which slides the Softcup down a little.) The Softcup seems easier to insert, now that the rim is a teensy bit thinner. The firmer rim was noticeable during and just after insertion, but I could not feel it after about a minute or so.  


reusable Softcup


The Softcup rinsed clean fairly easily with water and a little elbow grease, and there was no menstrual fluid that got caught in any crooks or crannies of the rim or sac. However, this cup seems like it would be rather hard to clean without running water—i.e. in a public bathroom stall. Unlike a bell shaped menstrual cup, where all the fluid pools in the bottom and pours out easily, the fluid is always spread out across the bottom of the sac with this cup. Since I have rather gelatinous fluid it doesn’t slide easily off of the cup and into the toilet, which means I would have to spend a lot of time wiping out the fluid with TP, which is just not my favorite thing to do.  I think bell shamed cups are just easier and faster to use on the go.





The materials, which include a slightly firmer rim and a thicker, more durable looking material for the sac, held up the whole time, and I was not afraid that I would accidentally puncture the cup with a fingernail or something like that. Removal was simple and as non-messy as possible as long as I kept the Softcup upright, which is easy as long as you are careful and paying attention to what you are doing. I generally only spill fluid when I'm either tired or not thinking about what I'm doing with my cup.


disposable Softcup (left) and reusable Softcup (right)

I also tried out the new design of the disposable Softcup for the last two days of my period, which is very similar because it has the same dimensions but different materials. 




It also performed just as well and did not leak. Again, It has the same dimensions as the reusable Softcup, so it does not seem any different when inserting, besides having a less firm rim that was slightly more comfortable during insertion. The major difference I found that when I tried to rinse it clean, the menstrual fluid was prone to getting stuck between the rim and the sac.  I genuinely do not think this cup is as durable as the new reusable version or as easy to clean, although it’s almost identical in other aspects.The sac material feels less durable and is clear and shiny, while the rim is light pink and softer than that of the reusable Softcup.




The only caveat I have to this review is that I disagree with this new Softcup being described as “reusable," because honestly I don’t consider a product that you throw away after 5-10 uses to be truly reusable, at least in the way I think about the meaning of the word.  In my humble opinion, I think reusable things should be reusable... for pretty much forever. I am going to continue to use the same Softcup (after sanitizing with rubbing alcohol of course) and see how long one cup can hold up. And while I think this product is a great way to ease yourself into trying alternative menstrual products if you are leery about the prospect of them, it does not help the environment as much as using a Lunette or the DivaCup does. Reusable Softcup does technically produce less waste when compared to tampons or pads, but it seems like the waste that is produced would be harder to get rid of in the end.  That is my only serious beef with the new reusable Softcup, and otherwise I really like it. 





Overall I think it’s a definitely a step up from the disposable version, and I will probably repurchase this instead of the disposable Softcup. And for me the Softcup is still far superior to any tampons or disposable pads, because you can wear them while having sex, for longer amounts of time, without the risk of TSS, without odor, and while sleeping, exercising, or whatever.





Anyways, I hope y’all have a safe and relaxing holiday season! I am going to reward myself with some new thong cloth liners from etsy with my Christmas money as my first step towards being reusable (to eliminate some disposable liners I have been using with my sexier undies). I might also buy a few more nylon shopping bags in cute prints, which I will place in each purse so that I am never without. I am also determined to become one of those people who are constantly attached to their water bottles. What about y’all? Do you have any reusable resolutions? Leave a comment below if you do.

FTC: The company provided me with these products to review on my blog, and I am being compensated for these blog posts on Softcup. However, I always write with my 100% honest opinion about products on this blog.

14 comments:

  1. I love theses and I really want Instead to do a completely reusable softcup that last as long as a mooncup. I prefer the idea of the softcup over the mooncup and I think they are completely revolutionary.
    I Have no idea why someone else has not jumped on the band wagon and made a full reusable cup in the style of the softcup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right! Someone needs to make one in this shape! The femmycycle cup comes close, but is not quite the same.

      Delete
  2. The very original Instead cup was made much like the reusable cups. And women I knew would use them up to 3 years. Seriously. I'm built awful small and have tried the diva cup. Where you place it and the size of the Diva is uncomfortable for me. I've even cut the entire end off (the little bit you use to pull it out) because it kept rubbing my urethra. Talk about lame. But the Insteads|Softcups? Awesome.

    A little cool trick when you're in public.... Bear down. You will at least partially drain the cup. Then do a kiegel and it will pull that sucker back up. Sometimes I will also get a finger in there to make sure it's back where it belongs but it almost always is. A much less messy way of emptying it. ;) I would love to see a truly reusable version of this. Honestly, I'm just going to keep reusing the ones I have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! I always reused the regular soft cups too.

      Did you try any others cups? The diva cup is one of the longest cups! I like my stouter lunettes.

      Haha yes I always empty them a bit in the restroom that way. I feel like it doesn't leak all the fluid though.

      Delete
  3. Hi, I see this blog post is a couple of years old now... Just wondering of there are any developments you know of? Looking for a fully reusable softcup type of cup!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! As far as I know of there are no fully reusable cups int he shape of the soft cups. There are a lot of new cups on the market though. Check out the Femmycycle cup for a bell shaped cup, much squatter than other cups. :) HTH! Sorry for the late reply

      Delete
  4. I'm guessing instead has some kind of patient on the design and they won't make a truly reusable one. Even though it would be good for the environment, they would make less money selling one then continually selling disposables πŸ˜•

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true. :( I have heard of some people using cervical caps that were a similar shape as menstrual cups. The reusable ones are pretty durable though. I bet if you took care of them they would last a long time, but not as long as medical grade silicone.
      - Sarah

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. OMG I was STRUGGLING with my period, I just turned 45 and have increased menstruation (perimenopause). There is one day of my period where I bleed through tampons almost every hour and of course I can't sleep with a tampon in, so I have special towels I use to put on the bed and pads and things, still sometimes my sheets get ruined. I'm not willing to take any pills or shots or anything, I'm going through my perimenopause naturally. So this cup saved me! I bought a pack of the disposable and tried one out last month but didn't "get it", so went back to tampons. This month I saw the package just sitting there so I decided to try it again. This time I stumbled on the secret of putting it in correctly. Wow! No leakage. That's awesome. After throwing away 2 disposable ones, I just decided to rinse the same one out with hot water. So far so good. I am SO GRATEFUL not to have tampon leakage even with super tampons, the terrible stains and smell associated with that, etc. Perimenopause is a terrible time for some women, and this makes it a lot easier - thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I tried a diva cup. It was horrible for me. Now they don't have the reusable on Amazon. So I'll just buy the regular and clean them. Don't get why they don't make one with this shape. The diva didn't feel right at all! Love insteads

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ilovegenerationme.com has the reusable ones!

      Delete
  8. I reuse the disposable ones, just because I never think to order the others, and have never seen them in a store. I clean mine with a peroxide solution, usually let it soak while I take a shower. I also will use wedge makeup sponges instead of panty liners in some situations. They will slide in against the cup sack, and press firmly against the rim, absorbing any leaks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello ladies!
    I was looking for the softcup brand and I couldn't find it anywhere but I did find a very similar product called flex. You can order off of line, they will actually send you a pack every month or how often you need them for $20 a month (for 8 of them). I know that at least for now (because that's how I got mine )they have a special free month trial where you only pay the shipping cost for the first month and they will send you a box of 8. The shipping is $3.95 so I ordered it and it literally arrived in like 2 days- I was impressed! You have to sign up for the subscription to get the first free but you can always cancel it as soon as you get your free product while you try it and if you like it reactivate your account.
    Personally 8 is too many for me for one month- I was scoping out the website and you can choose on there to do every other month or if you want to skip a few months you can. This was important for me because hubby and I are trying to have a baby so I might not need these for a while (hopefully soon!)
    I'm not sponsored or anything but I just wanted to share because I had a heck of a time looking for softcups- apparently the company was sold and they are not really making any right now? There were some on eBay but the prices were high and personally I get a little iffy about buying something's off of eBay... lol
    But so far so good ladies!
    :)

    ReplyDelete