Testing 1-2-3: I Tried The Instead Cup For My Period


instead cup

I was ready for adventure . . . in the bathroom!

Trying a new a period product is the kind of thing you’ve got to psyche yourself up for. It’s the type of event where you find yourself alone in the bathroom, wondering whether or not you’re seriously going to go through with it. Last week when I picked up a box of Instead Softcups–-little latex cups that you can use to keep your period flow from well, flowing everywhere, I found myself weak-kneed and shy in the comfort of my own bathroom despite my unabashed feminist outlook on the world.

While I was more than ready to kiss bulky pads and expensive tampons goodbye, I still held some reservations about using something so different from anything I had ever put up there before. Unlike hair dye or nail polish, this wasn’t exactly something I could rope a girlfriend into trying along with me and compare notes shortly after!

Finally, I took matters into my own hands!

In the end it was my inner earth mama that whittled away my inhibitions and had me raising a cup to a greener lifestyle. Not only are Softcups and their silicone sisters the Mooncup, DivaCup and the Keeper less wasteful since they’re reusable, but they are also cheaper in the long run, which is a good as gold when you’re a broke gal with bills to pay and kittens to feed.

Putting it in for the first time was pretty awkward. I kept trying to just insert it like a tampon, but it’s not that simple to get it situated comfortably. After a few times, I got the hang of it though, and could really barely feel that it was in there at all. These little cups do fill up quickly though, and although the label said they last for 12 hours, I’d maybe take them out for emptying closer to every four hours. I mean, when those things get full, they can spill when you try to take them out. Hello, disaster! Also, washing them out can be a little weird, especially if you don’t have a private sink to use–I can see how it might be embarrassing or weird in a college dorm bathroom or at a public work bathroom!

That said? I really like my new Softcups and will be sticking with them. They’re so comfortable, good for the earth, and I’ll never have to deal with that horrible crinkle crinkle sound from a tampon wrapper again! Hooray!

Have you tried Softcups? What did you think about them? Tell us in the comments!

Now, check out the Complete Guide to Your Period Options!


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  • Mike Hunt

    The soft cup is terrible compared to the diva cup. The soft cup is flimsy, and does not hold as much as a diva cup, which sucks for long shifts, school days, or a normal nights sleep. I also didn’t enjoy sticking my fingers up my bloody vagina to retrieve the flimsy cup that splashed my uterine lining all over my shirt.

  • lovely_calamity

    Instead Cups aren’t as “green” as rubber or silicone bell cups, because they’re only reusable for up to one cycle whereas the bell cups are reusable for years at a time. The Instead soft cups used to not be resuable whatsoever.

    My experience is that they are incredibly easy to get in. The first time I used one I was slam-hammered and I had no problems slipping it in, nor did anything leak the whole night while I practiced gymnastics. I was good until I rolled myself out of bed many hours later still half in the bag. Getting it out without making a spill is slightly more tricky.

    I personally would prefer to stick with cloths and bell cups when needed, they are just my preference, but the soft cups are the only option you can turn to when you’re dripping and don’t want the hook-up of the night to know about it. So for that purpose I keep them on hand. I have found they can usually feel that something is in there, but only if fingering and it’s easy enough to shrug off. The long and short is that it works and doesn’t create awkward moments when with someone new.

    As far as why reusing anything would be gross when sanitized properly is beyond me. Hospital sheets get reused. The utensils at the dentist’s get reused. Forks at a restaurant get reused. And you’re worried about something you have shared with only yourself? Ridiculous.

  • Hajer

    sounds interesting! but i don’t think i’ll give it a try,it’s just awkward for me to stick up something down there!that’s why i still use pads!

  • Leilabeth

    to weird for me… i don’t think i could use one. plus i’m pat of the 1 to 2 percent of the population that’s allergic to latex

  • anonymiss!!

    hhhmmm.. . odd.. but i will try..

  • September

    I don’t thats 4 me.Yes cheeper and greener, but I don’t like the idea of it. You have to wash it, I’m grossed out that.

  • Alegra

    less noticeable than tampons?

    #1- Somebodyy is on cracccckkk. Tampons will only leave a string out if placed correctly.
    #2- Reusable? EEEEW…..

  • kass1994

    I just got my DivaCup, because they stopped selling my OB tampons in the grocery store (and I have no idea why!) It was a steep price ($39.99 at the local healthfood store) but I’m in love with it… I tried it on for size, and it’s less noticable than tampons! I wrestle, and do judo, and there were no problems with moblity. very comfortable.
    Works amazing, (But use a pantyliner on your first try!)

    and READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!!! I tried to put it in like a tampon , (obviously way too good for instructions… Hell, of course I know what I’m doing…) and there were some terrible suction problems… I’m sure I don’t need to go into the details. Ow. After I read the instructions, problem was totally solved. Moral of the story: I’m never skipping over the instructions EVER AGAIN.

  • Dakota

    I use the DivaCup and love it! It is awkward to use in my college dorm. For me it only fills up every 12 hours so I just take a quick shower to take it out and clean it every 12 hours. It is so much easier than tampons! It is super awkward to use the first time. My mom bought it for me when she picked me up from college last summer and she kept asking what it was like. Soooo awkward. But it works amazingly now that I know how to use it perfectly!

  • Madeline

    sounds painful

  • Anonymous

    I think using cups is a great idea for several reasons. I have one of my own, but don’t use it yet because it didn’t fit (too big and squished up) the first time I tried. But that was before I started having regular sex, so maybe it will be different if I try again. Don’t give up, if you want to try it, there’ll be a way to make it work for you. Like tampons, they come in different sizes.

  • Benzin im blut fan

    Umm Menstrual cups,Not for me i tried one one time and they hurt like hell getting in and out errr,Gives me the chilles thinking about it.

  • Darcie

    That sound interesting!