Having a plastic-free and sustainable period is really important to me. Firstly because I am always looking for ways to reduce my plastic waste, secondly because reusable products are far better for my vaginal health and thirdly because it saves me money. I have been using cloth sanitary pads and period pants for a number of years now but it took me a little longer to switch over to a menstrual cup. This product is definitely the one that many of us are a little reluctant to try out and I think that comes down to the way the cup looks. I for one was initially put off by the size and my very first purchase proved to be wrong for me which didn’t help. I went on to find another brand and even though it was better than my first experience, I hadn’t ever felt 100% comfortable wearing it. However, having carried out a lot of research on menstrual cups I knew there had to be better cup out there for me so when Ruby Cup asked me to try out and review theirs I was keen to find out if this was going to be the winner.
What is a Menstrual Cup
If you have got this far and are wondering what on earth a menstrual cup is that’s absolutely ok and this is why I like to talk openly about our period product options. A menstrual cup is a cup shaped product made from medical grade silicone which sits inside your vagina (similarly to a tampon) and is designed to catch your menstrual blood. You can wear it for any day of your period, when swimming, exercising, even during sleeping and can be worn for around 8-12 hours. Once you have finished using it, you gently remove the cup and pour the contents down the toilet. You can find out much more in my detailed blog post about them here.
About Ruby Cup
Ruby Cup was founded by Julie, Maxie and Veronica who not only wanted a better period product available for themselves but also for every person who menstruates too. The Ruby Cup is made from ISO 10993 biocompatible flexible medical-grade silicone, it is 100% vegan and plastic-free, it can hold 3x the capacity of a tampon and has a leak-free suction providing you with a comfortable, fuss-free period each and every month.
The Ruby Cup founders know that plastic-free, reusable and toxin-free products are all key to keeping your vaginal health in tip top condition and that even those who perhaps cannot afford a menstrual cup or don’t have access to them shouldn’t be missing out. With all of this in mind, they are committed to donating one cup to a person in need when one is purchased by you/us.
“Our mission is to enable all people to live their periods safely and with dignity, regardless of their income. We provide a sustainable menstrual health solution, we dismantle menstrual taboos and deliver sound education on reproductive health and menstrual care“
On top of this, they also provide a 120-day money back guarantee because, as I mentioned above, not every cup suits every person and sometimes the recommended size just isn’t quite right and may need swapping over. Ruby Cup wants to help people to make a switch over to reusable menstrual products so offering a service like this is really important for both their vision and also for you.
Why Choose a Ruby Cup?
I wanted to include this because I just loved this list from Ruby Cup’s website:
*Protect the environment. You’re leading a zero-waste lifestyle.
*Change 2 lives. Your purchase automatically donates a Ruby Cup to a person in need.
*Breathe easy. Period cups won’t dry out your skin like pads or tampons.
*Stay healthy. Ruby Cup is free from the dioxins and bleach found in tampons and pads.
*Wear whatever you want. Goodbye, bulky pads. Hello, tight jeans.
*Experience peace of mind. Enjoy leak-free nights, travel, and activities.
*Save money. One reusable Ruby Cup can last you up to 10 years.
*Feel carefree. It’s so comfortable you’ll almost forget you have your period.
*Discover newfound freedom. Fewer trips to the bathroom mean more time to enjoy life.
So many great reasons!
Ruby Cup Review
On opening the Ruby Cup I could feel that it was sturdy and yet cushioned. I also liked the fact that the stem has ridges on it for grip which my other cup doesn’t have at all. The cup comes with a cotton storage bag to protect it when you don’t require it. I was also sent one of their sterilisers which I hadn’t ever seen before so I was really excited to give this a try too.
Ruby Cup’s come in 2 sizes – small and medium. The measurements stated on their website are:
- Small (smallest menstrual cup) is 65mm high and 40mm wide.
- Medium (largest menstrual cup) is 68mm high and 45 mm wide.
To help you to make your decision they have this fab quiz you can complete which will give you a better idea. This takes into consideration how heavy/light your flow is, the position of your cervix, your age, whether you’ve had a vaginal birth and whether you’ve had penetrative sex or used a tampon before. You will then be provided with a recommended size. Mine came out as a medium.
Sterilising The Ruby Cup
Before you can start using your menstrual cup, it is important to sterilise it. I have always done this with boiling water but you can also use sterilising tabs… However, with the Ruby Cup there is another, much better option – their menstrual cup steriliser. Made from premium quality and hypoallergenic silicone the steriliser is free of latex, bleach and unwelcome byproducts. It looks like a little pod for your cup and works so easily. You simply fill it 3/4 full with water, pop your cup inside, place the lid down (but do not close it) and put it in your microwave for 3 minutes. Carefully remove it, allow it cool and your cup is ready to use.
Inserting The Ruby Cup
Whenever I discuss menstrual cups the biggest questions that arise are most definitely about insertion, position, losing it and so on. Looking at the cup it is easy to see why people are a little reluctant to try but I promise there are plenty of fold techniques that can help to make the insertion comfortable.
The 4 most popular folds are:
Take your cup, fold it in half so that the lips touch together, then slowly bend the cup in half again lengthwise. You will see that the point of insertion looks like a C.
Punch Down Fold
Holding your menstrual cup use your thumb to push the lip of the cup down towards the base. Then remove your thumb as you squeeze the edges together.
Fold your menstrual cup in half so that the lips touch. Now pull down the right side, so as to form the shape of a ‘7’ with the lips of the cup.
Holding your menstrual cup upright, push the front lip halfway down inside the cup (not quite as far as in the Punchdown fold). Now take the right corner of the cup and bring it down to the base of the left side.
**Please note that it is anatomically impossible to “lose” a menstrual cup in your vagina. Your cervix provides a barrier between your vagina and uterus plus the cup creates a suction that holds it in place.
I personally find the C fold to be the easiest to make and to remember but just have a play and see which one suits you. Also, bear in mind that a newer cup will be a little stiff to begin with but will soften over time so folding does become easier.
So, on having my C fold, I carefully push the cup up into place – your cup will sit lower than a tampon. One thing that surprised me that my other cup didn’t seem to do was that this cup immediately took its place, it suctioned well and it felt instantly comfortable. I had been so used to feeling a little something, that I had no idea that with the right cup you actually feel nothing. I almost skipped out of the bathroom!
Wearing the Cup
I usually would only wear my old menstrual cup on a swim day or on a heavier day as I hate tampons but didn’t ever feel comfortable enough to wear the cup for the whole period. The first day I used the Ruby Cup it was in fact a swimming lesson day for my youngest so off we went and I didn’t notice I was wearing it at all. Fast forward to 8pm and I had forgotten I had it in! Given that this was day 2 of my period so I was at my heavier stage, given that this was a new cup to me and given that I’d usually have noticed my other one causing pressure on my vaginal walls by now I was completely shocked but also overjoyed.
I continued to wear the cup for the next few days until my period became very light and with each use, I felt comfortable and my period was definitely hassle-free.
Removing the Cup
Whereas most people worry about the insertion, it is the removal part that has always been a little tricky for me. I know it is all my mindset which then causes me to tighten up a little so I was eager to work on this with my new Ruby Cup. The first thing which made removal easier was the stem. I didn’t cut mine (you can do this if you feel it is in the way) so it was right where I needed it to grab it and as I mentioned above, it has a grip to it which makes the process smoother. When removing a menstrual cup it is very important that you first release that suction by squeezing the sides of the cup. This will prevent you from injuring yourself. Once you have felt or heard it move away from your vaginal walls, you can then gently ease the cup out. The key here is to relax and just allow your body to do what it needs to do whilst the cup moves down. I tend to use one hand to release the cup and the other on the stem. On the first go, I must admit I was a little nervous as this cup is slightly bigger and thicker than my other one but it honestly didn’t change anything and the cup came out with no hassle. And of course, the more you do it, the more natural this all becomes. I think the main thing to note here when comparing a cup to a tampon is that a cup moves smoothly, leaving no evidence behind that it has been there whereas a tampon is rough and can leave your vagina feeling dry and sore.
To take a look at their products and packages you can head over to their website here.
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