My four sisters and I have sat around my parents' kitchen table for years wondering why there hasn't been a plug or something invented to stop that annoying menstrual flow, especially since I've had my tubes tied and see no need for my period anymore (I know there's a biological reason, it just annoys me).
*CUE CHOIR OF ANGELS SINGING*
And there it was. The opportunity to try something that seems too simple to not have been around FOREVER fell into my lap. Tina over at For The Love Of The Run shared with her readers the chance to try the Instead Softcup. Instead sends you a one month supply (a 14 count box) of Softcups to try, and the company wants you to share your thoughts and feelings about how they worked for you. For writing your review on your blog, Instead will in return pay for one of your race registrations (up to $125!!)! The company wants to know how their product performs during your cycle, no matter what activity you my be involved in, like running!
Today is the second day of the second cycle I've used the Softcup. This month I think I really got the hang of it. There's definitely a learning curve to this thing, but not unlike when you were figuring out a tampon or the proper placement of a pad to ensure perfect coverage. I'll just tell you right now, the Softcup is A LOT nicer to figure out than experiencing the insane "sensation" of pinching your unbelievably sensitive skin of your nether region between those two plastic cylinders.
The website suggests you try out the Softcup on one of your lighter flow days. Since it can be a bit messy when removing it, you're best not to have a full cup to contend with while you become comfortable with it. I'm fortunate in that my downstairs bathroom is about 4'x4', so the toilet is right next to the sink and clean up is a breeze. Today I did my usual household chores, going up and down flights of stairs, doing laundry, putting it away... and then in the afternoon, I went to the gym. I put in my 15 minutes (3,200 meters!) on the rowing machine and didn't feel a thing. After that, I hit the treadmill to run my mile and continue my running streak. Got 'er done in 9:10! I ran fast, still didn't feel the cup, and when I went to the bathroom after my workout there was no leakage. I still wear a pad, just in case. I'm a creature of habit and also studied at the school of "better safe than sorry."
The only negative thing I could think about the Softcup is that it is messy. Maybe I haven't perfected my "technique" yet and it'll get better, but I don't want to find out what I'd have to do if I wasn't in my own cubby of a bathroom and I had to dump and toss it. It might involve an entire roll of toilet paper.
All of the product information is on the Softcup website at www.softcup.com. You can see instructions how to insert the cup with illustrations, as well as a list of comparisons between the Softcup, tampons and pads. The differences that stood out for me was that the Softcup is not linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome because it is non-absorbent, so it does not change the bacteria in the vagina like a tampon. Because of this and the fact that it is made of hypoallergenic, non-toxic, latex-free plastic, the Softcup can be worn for up to 12 hours and overnight. Instead claims that the cup can be worn during sex. I'll have to take their word for it because I just can't imagine having sex with ANYTHING up there, not to mention I'm just usually not that into it at that time of the month. If you try it, let me know how it goes.
After reviewing Tina's post about the Softcup, I was shocked to read that she has been using it for six years and it has been around for 10! How is it that myself, nor my four sisters have heard of it? Hopefully this Softcup Challenge will help spread the word about a great alternative to tampons and pads.
This review of the Softcup was my own opinion. I received the Softcup free to try. If you would like to put your two cents in and you're a blogger, then fill out the contact sheet on www.fortheloveoftherun.com and see if there's still a chance for you to accept the Softcup Challenge.