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Listen up ladies, this one is for you! After three years of blogging about breastfeeding, I can now talk about any body part and bodily function with ease. My three girls know the proper names for all their body parts, and the older two watched their baby sister be born. We’re not shy about our bodies, is what I’m saying. It’s that kind of openness that allows me to review the Instead Softcup. It’s a menstrual period protection product (say that three times fast!) that you use instead of a tampon, pad or other kind of protection. It’s a natural fit (no pun intended) for endurance athletes like runners and triathletes as it offers 12-hour protection. As part of the Instead Softcup Challenge, I received 14 disposable softcups to try out.

Instead Softcup

Why yes, I photograph all my feminine protection products in my backyard.

Let’s just say that little box arrived in the nick of time, and I got down to business reading the instructions and watching the video tutorial on how to insert and remove the softcup.

I have to say, when I first tore open the individual wrapper and saw the size of the flexible pink ring, I was a little . . . intimidated. I should not have feared, it was super easy to pinch the sides of the ring together into a long, thin shape that’s not at all uncomfortable to use. First try for the win! Immediately I was happy that I could not even tell I was wearing the softcup. I went for several training runs during my period and had no problems with the softcup.

Cons?

– Takes a bit of practice for some people to get the hang of it.
– It’s not biodegradable or reusable (although the reviews on Amazon tell another story — I will leave it at that). There is also a “reusable” Instead Softcup that can be reused for one menstrual cycle. In the past I’ve used a different type of silicone menstrual cup which can be reused for more than one cycle. I also liked that one but I can tell you that since I’ve had three kids, the Instead Softcup fits better and works better for me.
– The logistics can be a little tricky when you’re using a public restroom. You might choose to take a water bottle or hand wipe into the stall with you to clean your hands again before coming out of the stall. However, that likely will not be an issue for many women given that you can put in the softcup at home in the morning and forget about it until you get home at night!

One thing I cannot comment on is how well the softcup works for heavy flow. I used to have horribly heavy periods, to the point that I needed iron supplements due to the blood loss. My guess is that I would have loved to use the softcup, especially at night when I used to have to get up once or twice to change tampons.

Pros?

– Very easy and quick to use once you’ve mastered the technique, and I found that that did not take long at all.
– Individually wrapped and easy to store in your purse or bag.
– The price per use is comparable to tampons, given that you can wear these for up to 12 hours.
– Love that you can safely wear it overnight without risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
– It can be worn during physical activity (perfect for my swimming, biking and running) and even during sex (Fit Fun Mom tested, husband approved. The lengths I will go to for this blog!)
– Comfortable to the point that you forget it’s there. If it’s not comfortable, try again until you get it right.
– Best of all — it can be worn for several hours at a time, making it ideal for endurance events. Nice not to have to worry about it for a long race!

So, would I recommend the Instead Softcup? Absolutely! Will I use it again? Yes! I found that I very quickly got used to the benefit of putting in the softcup in the morning and forgetting about it for the rest of the day.

As part of the Instead Softcup Challenge, I received one free box of Instead Softcups and sponsorship of my race entry fee for the Santa Barbara International Marathon. This review is 100% my own opinion and believe me, I would tell you if I didn’t like the product (or more likely, I wouldn’t review it if I really didn’t believe in it).

What do you think ladies? Have you ever tried a softcup?

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