Growing up my momma bought me pads. Not only did she by me and my sister pads, but she bought us the huge overnight pads. Talk about awkward! I learned about tampons on my own. I figured them out on my own. As I had my own family and learned about cloth diapers I began to think about all of my contribution to the landfills. Those pads and tampons have to go somewhere. I began to research other options and learned about menstrual cups. The jump was so scary. What if I paid all of the money and it didn't work for me? What if it leaked everywhere and I just ended up using pads all over again! That is when I discovered Instead Softcup.
Environmentally tampons break down after about six months. Pads last forever because of the plastics. According to the Softcup website, they are made of "polymeric material that has been used safely for more than 20 years in health care products such as catheters and baby bottle nipples". I couldn't really find info on how long it takes for these materials to decompose. The point here is that it is a disposable product that will end up in landfills. Why did I chose this option if I am looking to reduce my waste? I thought of Softcup as a reduction in waste because you only use one softcup every 12 hours compared to a tampon every four hours. Right away less is being thrown away. Second I don't see this as a permanent product. After becoming familiar with a menstrual cup I plan on purchasing a reusable cup sometime in the near future. For me this a transitional product in my journey to reduce waste.
Softcup did take some getting used to. You insert it very differently than a tampon. While sitting down you pinch it together and then insert it downward behind your cervix and put the top up. You can wear it up to 12 hours and to remove while sitting; just stick one finger up underneath and pull it out. You empty it in the toilet before disposing. I usually wrap in a little toilet paper because I have usually already thrown the wrapper away. At first I was having some leaking. I went online to the Softcup website and read about fit and adjusted the way I was inserting the Softcup and there was a huge difference.
The Softcup website claims you can wear it during sex and this was something I had to try out. I have used Softcup for four months. During my periods my husband does not prefer to have "quality time." Mostly because it is so messy. But during one of these weeks I didn't tell him and he had no idea that I was wearing it. He frequently hits around in that area during "quality time" so you would think he would be able to feel it. The second month I told him we had test it out and once again he said he couldn't feel it. We had no mess and still were able to have "quality time." I don't like having to give up my "quality time" so this was a selling point for me.
Softcup comes in two models; a disposable and a reusable. Right now I am using the disposable. At first I was concerned about having to empty this and change it while at school (I am a high school teacher), but have had no problems. The thought of a student coming in while I was rinsing a reusable cup is one of the reasons I haven't already made up my mind about purchasing a reusable cup. I think I may continue to use the disposable cup until at least summer when I can get used to a reusable.
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