Why The Best Tampon Alternative Is The Softcup Menstrual Cup

Photo: getty
Softcup: The Period Revolution

I've never been a pad girl. I wore them for my first two periods 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 safer tampon alternatives. Preferably one that doesn't stick to my underwear and make crinkly sounds if I walk fast.

Enter the Softcup menstrual cup — 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.

RELATED: The 7 Best Organic Tampons (To Use Instead Of Plastic)

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.

Photo: Amazon

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.

RELATED: What It's Really Like To Use Reusable Menstrual Pads During Your Period

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. 

The biggest advantage of the Softcup for me, though, is the health factor. In more than 10 years of business — and over 120 million Softcups sold — there's never been a reported case of toxic shock syndrome. Now that's something I feel safe wearing.

With the health risks off my mind, my next decision is which Softcup to try next month: the disposable ones I tested, or a reusable one I can wash and wear again.

Softcup® is a flexible little cup that is worn internally, around your cervix. It collects, rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It can be worn for up to 12 hours so it’s great for busy women, or women who just don't want to have to think about changing a pad or a tampon every few hours.  

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Softcup.

RELATED: I Replaced My Tampons With A Menstrual Cup And This Is What Happened

Amanda Green is the Creative Strategy at PopSugar, and formerly worked at Refinery29. She's a contributor to Mental Floss, Marie Claire, and more.