Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Ruby Menstrual Cup Review


Menstrual cup basics

Now if you don't know what a menstrual cup is then here are the basics. Menstrual cups are the alternative to tampons, you fold them up to make them smaller, insert them into your vagina and then they pop open and create a seal. This seal then allows the menstrual cup to sit up in the vagina and collect your flow, then after 12 hours (yes you read that right, 12 hours!) you remove the cup, empty it, clean it and then reinsert it. These things are game changing when it comes to your period, you can literally put the cup in in the morning, then forget about it for the whole day, then empty it out at night and reinsert. Lets have a quick look at the pros and cons.

Pros

  • They hold around 3 times what a tampon will hold! Most women can wear the cup for 12 hours before needing to empty it.
  • They're healthier! There is no risk of toxic shock syndrome with menstrual cups as there are no fibers. Tampons also dry out the vagina and contain trace amounts of a toxin called dioxin (Pads do too!), which is a carcinogen (it causes cancer). Menstrual cups are carcinogen free and much safer.
  • They're reusable! Once you have your menstrual cup you are set for a long time, if treated well menstrual cups can last 5-20 years!
  • You'll never run out! No more wondering if you have enough tampons or when you'll need to buy more. 
  • They're comfortable! Once you find the right cup for you and learn to put it in correctly, you can't feel it at all.
  • They'll save you money! It will only take a few months for a menstrual cup to have saved you money in pads and tampons you no longer need.
  • You can sterilize them! Menstrual cups can be boiled or soaked in sterilizing solution to completely sterilize them, if you are prone to vaginal infections these might be the perfect thing for you.
  • You can swim! You can go swimming with a menstrual cup in and it is actually more comfortable than using tampons as they don't become waterlogged like tampons do.
  • They're eco friendly! No more filling up landfill with pads and tampons.

Cons

  • They can be expensive initially. Menstrual cups range in price from about £10 (Around $15) to £25 (Around $38) depending on what brand you choose.
  • There is a learning curve. Menstrual cups are easy once you get that hang of using them, but at first it can be tricky to get it inserted and popped open.
  • There are so many different sizes and shapes- Which do I choose? Menstrual cups come in a variety of sizes and shapes, which can be a good thing, but it also means its hard to pick one when you are starting out.

The Ruby Cup

The Ruby cup is a menstrual cup made from 100% medical grade silicone, it comes in 3 colours (Pink, blue and purple) and a clear version. The Ruby cup comes in a small and a medium size and both are priced at £21.95, I opted for the medium as I have a high cervix. The cup itself is 51mm long and the stem is 17mm, the diameter of the cup is 45mm. The small sized cup holds 24ml up to the rim and the medium size holds 34ml. The cup comes with a really nice organic cotton bag with their logo on and a pink pull closure.

The Ruby cup in Medium
Most menstrual cups have small holes near the rim of the cup called suction release holes, these allow you to break the suction when you want to remove the cup. The Ruby cup has 4 equally spaced suction release holes just under the secondary rim, these are pretty small suction release holes compared to my other cups but I didn't find that it made any difference to the function of the cup. 

The Ruby cup stem and grip rings on the base of the cup
The stem on this cup is nice and flexible and soft, it has lots of little bumps which make it easy to grip. The stem is also hollow so when you grab it it flattens to make more surface area for you to grip onto, this really helps when removing the cup. The grip rings on the base of the cup are smoothed over and less pronounced than some of my other cups, but still help with gripping.

This cup is one of my favorites, it is just the right level of firmness so that it pops open super easily but is soft enough that it is really comfortable to wear. With some of my softer cups I have had trouble getting them to open up once inserted but this cup was great. After inserting I just pinched the base of the cup and twisted and it popped open straight away. The Ruby cup is very easy to remove, especially if you don't cut the stems off your cups. I kept my stem on and it is just amazing for removal, the bumps make it super grippy, even when wet. I haven't had any leaks at all with this cup and it forms a nice firm seal. I wish this had been my first cup as it is really easy to use, I started with a medium soft Meluna cup and it almost put me off cups because, no matter what I tried, I could not get it to open.

The Ruby cup is also a great option because of their social mission, the Ruby cup company has a 'Buy one give one' strategy where for every Ruby cup bought, they donate a cup to girls in Africa that don't have access to menstrual products. It is estimated that these girls miss around 20% of their school time every year because they are on their periods (UNICEF, 2013) and are afraid of leaking at school. Having a menstrual cup allows these girls to stay in school, get educated, get better jobs and provide for their families. This is an amazing project and there is no doubt that it is doing a lot of good.

I would definitely recommend this cup, especially to anyone new to menstrual cups. The medium size has a great capacity and would be great for women with heavy periods and the small size is perfect for women with lighter periods. This cup was so easy to use and the ethics of the company are amazing.

Have you tried this cup? Or have you never even heard of menstrual cups? Let me know in the comments.

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