Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review: Ruby Cup

Ruby Cup Menstrual Cup and Chocolate

Looking for a healthier  and more eco-friendly alternative for hygiene during your menstrual cycle, or maybe you're just tired of buying pads/tampons every month? Menstrual cups are a great solution, and I definitely recommend that you check out Ruby Cup.

Ruby Cup is a high-quality, 100% top medical-grade silicone menstrual cup that was designed in Denmark by three young ladies, along with experts from Coloplast, a world leading healthcare company. This little cup can be worn up to 12 hours before having to empty it, and is made to last a lifetime (or at least up to 10 years). Plus, every Ruby Cup purchase means a Ruby Cup is given to a Kenyan schoolgirl in need, helping to ensure that she can pursue her education without worrying about her period.

When I saw the “Buy One, Give One” campaign of Ruby Cup, it helped me feel like they really care about women. I like that they’re out to make a positive change in the world, and that’s a big reason that I decided to ask to review their menstrual cup. They were super-sweet about it, and have been very patient with me, as I’ve had some health issues that were slowing the review process down a bit.


Healthier and Eco-Friendly

Why do I say menstrual cups are “healthier”? Well, a lot of menstrual pads and tampons that you can pick up at your local store have been processed with some questionable chemicals to make them pure white. And don’t get me started on the scented items…. Menstrual cups made from medical-grade silicone are hypoallergenic and non-toxic.

The “eco-friendly” bit? Well, you just boil a silicone menstrual cup and reuse it for up to 10 years or more, according to Ruby Cup. No more sending pads/wrappers/tampons/applicators to the dump. Plus, you’re not having to go to the store to stock up on more.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bashing all pads and tampons. There are some great companies that go a more natural route in their processing, and some even make washable pads that can be reused. Since this review is of a menstrual cup, though, that’s what I’m focusing on.


Material

The Ruby Cup is made of medical-grade silicone. This means that it is phthalate-free, totally body-safe, and can be easily sanitized and used over and over.

For those who are wondering about the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, no worries. Menstrual cups, in general, have not been linked to TSS (generally linked to high-absorbency tampons and leaving them in too long). Silicone is not absorbent, and won't dry out the natural fluids that the body creates to help balance your pH. When that's thrown off, you're more at risk for a toxin-producing strain of staphylococcus aureus bacterium. A medical-grade silicone cup like this one can also cut down on the risk of a yeast infection/thrush.

If you need to use lubricant to insert the cup, only use water-based lubricants. Oil-based lubricants and silicone-based lubricants are not a good match, and could damage the cup.


Design

  • Capacity: 34 ml
  • Cup length: 51 mm
  • Total length: 68 mm

  • Diameter: 45 mm

With Ruby Cup, there is only one size. Some companies produce sizes for before and after giving birth (a smaller and a larger version), but this cup is designed to be comfortable for everyone. I can say, as a woman who hasn’t given birth, it’s comfortable for me during insertion, wear, and removal. 

Chocolate and Ruby Cup

The stem has lots of raised dots to make it easier to grip, and can be cut to any length that feels comfortable to you. Since I never noticed the stem at the original length, I never cut mine. I like it longer, as it gives me a bit more to grip and prevents me from pinching the bits that I have that are a bit on the *ahem* curtain-y side, if you get my drift. The dots certainly help with grip, but the length helps just as much, in my case.


How to Use Ruby Cup

Although pictures are great, I learn better by watching someone. So, below is a video on how to use the Ruby Cup.

Like she said, it can take a while to get used to putting it in. I think the trick for me was just figuring out the best technique. You may need to play around with the different folds and position yourself in various ways to find out what works out best for you.


My Experience

I prefer to fold the cup in a “C” shape, but you should experiment to see what works best for you. I’ve found that the best insertion method for me is to stand with one leg out to the side and slightly squat. It might sound a little awkward, but it’s not. Doing it this way, it just pops right in. To make sure that it has opened properly, you might want to give the stem a twist.

Once in, I barely notice it at all. I can move any which way I want to, and it’ll still be comfortable for me. There’s been no problems with leaking, and I love it so much more than menstrual pads. No smell, no constant changing, and no mess in general. Plus, y’know, the money-saving bit is great, too. That means I can stock up on more chocolate and Fox’s Blackberry Hard Pear Cider for my bad days. The first and second days are usually the worst, however….

It may sound crazy, but using a menstrual cup seems to cut down on some of my cramping. I think it has to do with the fact that the walls of the cup prevent the menstrual fluid from flowing over as much of my inner walls, which causes less muscle contractions (IE cramping). Well, at least, that’s my theory, anyway. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but it’s enough for me to notice.

Emptying it is really easy. I just squat like a little frog, bear down a little to get the stem accessible (Be careful if you have longer lips. You may pinch them, along with the stem. Unfortunately, I speak from experience.), wiggle it down a bit to where I can pinch the base of the stem to break the suction-y seal of the cup, and pull it right out. I’ve never had a spill yet.


Cleaning

During your period, you can just empty the cup out and give it a good rinse. Afterwards, be sure to boil it for 5 minutes to sanitize it. You can either do this in a pot of water on the stovetop, or in the sanitizer that Ruby Cup sells. I prefer to boil mine after my period, then once more on the day that I start next period. Although it just sits in a cotton bag for a month, I prefer to make sure it’s sanitized.

To prevent any buildup, use a soft toothbrush to gently clean around the writing and in the tiny holes before boiling. Don’t forget the cavity in the stem.


Storage

Make sure to put the cup back in it’s cotton bag, or something breathable. Since it’s impossible for moisture to evaporate when the cup is stored in a plastic container or the sterilizer, there’s more chance for bacteria to grow.


Lifespan

Ruby Cup states that the cup should last up to at least 10 years, with proper care. Some discoloration may occur, which they say is normal and won’t affect the integrity of the cup. I’ve used it for three cycles, and it hasn’t shown any sign of discoloration yet.


Shipping / Packaging

My Ruby Cup was shipped in a pink environmentally-friendly bag. Since it came from the UK, there was a customs declaration on it that said “silicone cup”. Inside was a little cotton bag with satiny pink ribbon, which held my cup, instructions, and some other info.


Opinion

I really love my Ruby Cup. It’s way less of a fuss. I’ve always been a little cautious of tampons because of the TSS thing, so I generally always used pads. With the cup, there’s no changing, no garbage, no bloody mess, no smell, and no leaking. That’s definitely enough to win me over. Plus, it’s been very comfortable. The only thing that I have to deal with is boiling it, and that’s fine with me. When I have my period, I don’t feel like fooling around with much; the easier, the better. Just keep in mind that it might not be that easy to get used to for your first cycle or so. After you get used to it, though, it’s a breeze.

I also love that the company isn’t just out to make a buck. They really care about women’s health and well-being. They’re the only menstrual cup manufacturer that I’ve seen that will actually donate a cup to someone who really needs it for each cup you buy. And you know what? That’s awesome.

So, many thanks to Ruby Cup for letting me review their menstrual cup, and for caring enough to make a positive difference in the world. ♥

And….. Going through their shop again to get a pic for the end of this review, I noticed that they have some goodies that I didn’t see before that are made of organic Fair Trade cotton. You just had to go and make me love you more, didn’t you? You’re making it very difficult not to fangirl over you….

 

Ruby Cup Menstrual Cup

 

 

FTC Statement: The Ruby Cup was provided to And The Dreaming Moon… for free in exchange for an honest review. No further compensation has been accepted. This has not affected the opinions expressed in the review, and complies with FTC standards.

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