I've never been a pad girl. I wore them for my first two periods maybe and then graduated to tampons. But after reading more about the incidence of the bacterial infection toxic shock syndrome in tampon users—and then meeting a woman who contracted it and nearly died—I've been looking for a safer alternative. Preferably one that doesn't stick to my underwear and make crinkly sounds if I walk fast.
Enter Softcup, a soft, flexible cup that fits around your cervix. Well, my cervix. I got to test it out to see if I'd found my tampon replacement. And I think I may have. For starters, Softcup has the same benefits of tampons. It's worn internally, and you can't feel it when it's inserted correctly. It's great for active people who swim, exercise, or really aggressively window shop after getting brunch with their friends.
And even though Softcup doesn't have an applicator or string, it's easy to insert and remove. Mind you, the process is a little more hands-on, but that means Softcup isn't going to just slide out or start leaking, like tampons occasionally do.
There are also some added benefits to "just cupping it" (alas, not an official slogan). Instead of absorbing menstrual blood, SoftCup collects it. This means you can change your Softcup every 12 hours, instead of every 4-8, which is perfect for those of us who get sidetracked during the day.
None of your menstrual blood is exposed to air with Softcup, so there's never any odor. And it comes in one size, so you don't have to worry about a medium size not getting the job done or a super being too much.
One benefit I didn't test out: Softcup can be worn during sex, because it goes over the cervix. So you have free reign to do whatever it is that you normally do without having to worry about clean-up.
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