Menstrual cups are, in my humble opinion, one of the best ways to go when it comes to convenient, truly inconspicuous, and environmentally responsible sanitary products…at least in theory.
In practice, I was shocked to find that some menstrual cups are actually tested on animals and, yes, those tests can be as graphic and intrusive as you might imagine.
It was armed with this knowledge that I was forced to cast my old favorite menstrual cup aside and found myself swimming in a sea of ‘Well, shit, what the fuck do I do now?’
Menstrual cups are, incontestably, significantly better for our bodies and the environment than disposable sanitary products, after all. They contain no problematic ingredients, they don’t use an absorption tactic that dries up internal vaginal fluids, they don’t rub, they don’t end up in landfills after only one use, and they allow us to get a better idea of how our own cycle works. All while lasting up to 8-10 hours between each insertion, making them a worry-free option for those on the go. So, what’s a reviewer to do?
Thankfully there are a lot of environmentally and morally responsible menstrual cups on the market, and I’ve made it a personal mission to review as many as I can for you.
Among these the first I approached was Ruby Cup and, let me just say, if they were also the last – the one and only – I would be completely and 100% satisfied with the cup I opted to review.
The Ruby Cup is the little menstrual cup that makes a big difference, on a global as well as personal level, and I am quite the fan.
The Ruby Cup
Ruby Cup is a company with a vision and that vision is to make a world of difference.
This is done, in large part, through the actual Ruby Cup itself: which is (in the company’s own words) a healthy, sustainable, cost-effective, and eco-friendly product. But Ruby Cup also achieve their goals through their ‘Buy One, Give One’ programme.
Put simply, if you do choose to buy a Ruby Cup then the company will also donate one of their products to a girl or woman who lacks access to menstrual care products. For that one individual, this can change so much. It’s literally the difference between a monthly struggle, and care-free living for the lifetime of the Ruby Cup. And, yes, the Ruby Cup will last a long time.
If you’ve never used a menstrual cup before you might currently be wondering just how long they last. A single Ruby Cup can last for up to 10 years if cared for correctly. That’s 10 years’ worth of menstrual care for £25.77.
One study found that women spend, on average, about £18,000 on their period over their lifetime. Imagine cutting that down to about £105 instead. That’s what Ruby Cup can offer in terms of economical savings.
How is this even possible? Well, it’s all due to material. The Ruby Cup (like most menstrual cups) is made from 100% medical-grade soft silicone, which is latex-free, phthalate-free, toxin & bleach-free (unlike some tampons), and is completely non-porous, hypoallergenic, and body safe.
The softness of the Ruby Cup’s semi-smooth silicone allows it to be folded in to a C-shape for easy insertion and the Ruby Cup does fold with relative ease. As with most menstrual cups, I find lube always helps a heck of a lot, but it isn’t always necessary. If you are a lube-lover though and need to empty and fill your cup on the go then I recommend a small bottle to take with you or emergency sachets.
Once you’ve worn the Ruby Cup for as long as you personally feel is suitable (it may take a few trials to get a real feel for your capacity, but you’ll get there), all you need to do is grab the stem of your cup, then push it down with your kegel muscles until you can grab and squeeze the sides, breaking the cup’s vacuum (the reason it works) and allowing you to take it out, empty it, and rinse it clean with soap and water.
And, there you go, a product that’ll last 10 years.
The stem of some menstrual cups can be infuriating or even irritating, but I personally found Ruby Cup’s stem to be a complete breeze to grab hold of and to sit comfortably in the body for long periods of time. In fact, the same ease can be said of most of my Ruby Cup experience.
Some menstrual cups have done the trick for me but they’ve just left me with horrendous pressure and, as a result, extreme cramping. The Ruby Cup posed no such issues and it was so unobtrusive that, at one point, I even forgot it was inserted and almost went to test an internal toy with my cup still sitting inside me.
Nothing bad would have happened (the Ruby Cup can’t harm you and your cervix would stop it from going anywhere) but it certainly would have been a snug fit!
Ruby Cup say that their product has about 3 times the capacity of the most absorbent tampons and can last for up to 12 hours per time, depending on the heaviness of your flow. I don’t have the heaviest period but I do have quite a strong flow, which is why I opted for the medium size cup, and I’m happy to report that, so far, I’ve been easily able to last long bouts of use without issue.
Oh, and might I add a huge kudos to Ruby Cup for not going on age or childbirth as a marker for cup size (and for giving a reason as to why). What champs.
The only times the Ruby Cup ever posed any issues were during removal and during exercise.
Personally, I found the Ruby Cup to be a bit more stubborn with its seal than a few cups I’ve owned. This is great, in some ways, because it means the Ruby Cup is less likely to leak, but it might scare a menstrual cup newbie.
I wouldn’t consider this to be a reason to advise against the Ruby Cup but I would advise any beginner users to really relax when removing the cup. If it doesn’t budge at first don’t panic – it will – every cup is a new experience and you’ll get the technique down with practice.
Then, as a personal quirk, I found that when doing crunches the motion would cause the Ruby Cup to clench in a certain way that caused minor pinching and cramps for me. This happened only during crunches (no other exercise move) so isn’t a huge issue but might interest fitness fanatics to know.
The bottom line is that I am thrilled with my Ruby Cup. The way that it effortlessly bridges practical comfort and longevity of use with social and environmental responsibility is a complete dream come true and I always wear it with pride.
My periods are never an issue when I have a good menstrual cup to hand, and the Ruby Cup meets that criteria with extra capacity left over. I highly recommend it.
People wanting a comfy cup.
People wanting a cup for strong flows.
People who want a responsible cup.
Do Not Recommend to:
People who prefer collapsible cups.
People who dislike the shape of this cup.
People who do a heckuva lot of crunches.
The Ruby Cup was provided to me by Ruby Cup in exchange for an honest review. I approached the company with a request to review because I truly support their ethos. If you want to support me then please feel free to use the affiliate links included in this post.