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Probably for ladies only: The Instead SoftCup Challenge

Posted Nov 29 2012 2:59am
If you've read my blog for awhile you will likely know that I don't shy away from talking about well, almost anything.  Over the year's there's been embarrassing runner confessions , female body part costumes , puddles of pee beside the treadmill , disgusting toes and even nipple sweat .  So when I came across the opportunity to write about periods (yes, those kind of periods) I figured, what the heck!

Warning to male readers: this is where the period talk begins, no hard feelings if you wanna leave now!

A little while back I came across an interesting  challenge hosted at For the Love of the Run .  The makers of Instead Softcup were looking for female running bloggers to test their product and then post about their experience.  In exchange, they would pay the entry fee to one of your races.  And since I am a) female b) a runner c) a blogger and d) have a period, I decided to give it a shot.  I signed myself up and not long after, this is what I got in the mail...

So if you're not already familiar, you might be asking yourself, "What the heck is Instead SoftCup?"
The website describes their product like this:  SoftCup is a flexible cup that is worn internally, around your cervix.  It collects, rather than absorbs menstrual flow.  It's hypoallergenic, latex-free and completely safe when used as directed.  It's essentially an alternative to tampons or pads - in the form of a flexible cup - that works just as well (if not better) and provides a totally different level of flexibility.  This picture from on the box will help you get a better idea of what a SoftCup looks like...

I had used this product years ago and was quite happy with it.  I remember it being easy to use and extremely convenient.  One of the reasons I was excited to do the SoftCup Challenge this time around is because I feel like I'm starting all over from scratch.  If you've read my blog for awhile you might be familiar with the fact that I had to have some pretty extensive reconstructive and corrective surgery "down there" to fix all kinds of problems following the birth of my boys.  I am happy to report that most of the problems have been fixed but ever since giving birth (and even now since my surgery) tampons haven't really worked for me.  Big loss when you're active!

Desperate to find an alternative to my much-missed friend the tampon, I was excited to try SoftCup again because I was hoping it would be the answer to my prayers.  As a runner, it is extremely inconvenient and uncomfortable to have to use bulky products during that time of the month.  So with fingers crossed I gave SoftCup another try.

It took a little while to get the hang of getting it in place but the product comes with a great little instruction book and their website has even more information (they even have video tutorials !) to make sure you get it right.  This product is quite a bit different than what you are probably used to using so it takes some practise but after a couple times, it is easy peasy.

So how does it work anyways?  The SoftCup stays in place by being tucked up in behind your pubic bone.  When done correctly it sits there comfortably and even though it looks big, you really can't feel it when in place.  No strings, no nothing, it's pretty much like not having a period at all.  Awesome.

Unfortunately in my case, the product didn't quite stay in place like it is supposed to.  I guess things are a little bit "rearranged" in there because of my surgery but when I used the product previously I had no issues with it staying in place.  In fact, another runner friend of mine did the Challenge as well and said that it worked great for her, even during high intensity activity.  Now that's what I like to hear!

There are all kinds of great benefits for runners and other active people to using SoftCup
  • With no strings or anything, it's like having no period at all which is awesome when you're active and running and on the go all the time.
  • The SoftCup can be worn for much longer periods of time than traditional products (up to 12 hours!).  This is a huge benefit for when you're busy on race day, participating in long distance races and just busy with life in general.
  • Perfect for swimming too
  • Not that this is related to running or fitness, but you can actually get intimate while using the SoftCup.  Crazy hey?
Anyhow, despite having issues (due only to my ahem, problems) I am still 100% impressed by this product.  As mentioned, I have used SoftCup in the past and had no problems with it at all.  It was easy to use and comfortable to wear.  I really wish that it worked for me now because it truly is a perfect solution for runners who don't want to be inconvenienced during that time of the month.

If you're curious or would like to check it out, visit the SoftCup website and read through all of the excellent information provided there.  You can also search the internet for other bloggers who have completed the SoftCup Challenge to learn about their experiences using the product.  Better yet, why not give it a try, I think you'll be impressed too.

A big thanks to Instead SoftCup for issuing this challenge and providing those of us lucky enough to participate with their product and also for supporting us in our running endeavours.  I love to see companies and brands linking their products to the specific needs of athletic and active people.  Thanks!
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