Most women have the awkward task of dealing with being outdoors all day whilst they are on their period. A quick pee behind a tree becomes a debate on whether to change your tampon/pad and how to do so discreetly in the wild without a family of four bumping into you or a wild racoon hissing at you while you desperately try to run away with your pants around your ankles. Also you need to bring extra bags to store the used items before disposing when you get home and that can be a right pain, especially when that space could be used for an extra Cliff bar. For this reason I jumped at the chance to test out the Ruby Cup.
What is the Ruby Cup and how do you use it???
Take a look at the film to find out more:
The Ruby Cup is one of a number of menstrual cups out there as an alternative to traditional sanitary products. They’ve got an informative website that gives the lowdown on what it is and how to use it.
At first the cup felt a bit awkward to use but you very quickly get the hang of inserting it and retrieving it. There are a few different methods and I felt that the “C-fold” method was best for me. You have other options too. On occasion it can take a couple of minutes to spring back and that can feel a bit odd, but it doesn’t hurt. It is made of medical grade silicone so you can’t feel it at all when in properly. When using tampons it’s easy to get it at the wrong angle and hobble around in discomfort or worry about having a heavy period and needing to change it; with the Ruby cup, once it’s in it stays there – all day if you want! Of course you can empty it as often as you like but it holds up to 34 ml and this can last all day, even on a heavy period. Night time use and sports use is also fine but they caution on doing sports where you find yourself upside down!
The “stem” can be trimmed for comfort depending on your own body shape; this makes it feel very personalised. Tampons are discreet but they still have an external string. The Ruby Cup is totally undetectable.
How does the Ruby Cup affect the Environment
The environmental benefits of using this type of sanitary product are immense. Apparently women use around 12,000 tampons or pads in their lifetime – imagine the effects of that waste on our sewage systems and landfill! In fact I felt rather smug knowing that I was using such an eco friendly product; it was one less thing for my environmentally conscious mind to worry about.
I have used the Ruby cup at work, travelling, on long days out at the crag and even for a few days camping. I have also used it during vigorous and sustained exercise. The only downside to this product is that some stains are left on underwear while you are getting used to or if you don’t catch your period quite on time however once it is in it acts as like a suction and seals off the source of blood so this will only be from residual blood left on the outer bit and actual leakage is not possible.
They cost around £23 – about the same as 3 months worth of sanitary products, but they last for a minimum of 10 years! (Of course it is important to adhere to the advice on sterilising and keeping it clean). I can honestly say I am never going back to using tampons or pads. This is by far the product that every woman should know about and try out for themselves. Plus the little bag it comes in is lovely, too bad they have stuck a bright pink ribbon on it!
The Social Mission
One great thing about the Ruby Cup is the amazing social mission at its heart. Originally designed for schoolgirls in Africa, to enable them to attend school during their period, what the Ruby Cup organisers found was that the cost of the Ruby Cup was just prohibitive. So… When you buy a Ruby Cup, one goes to a girl in Africa, meaning she can go to school, get educated and get herself out of poverty. We really love this idea – we recently met the Ruby Cup team and can’t tell you how motivating and inspirational they are. We’re hoping to sell the Ruby Cup on our Womenclimb online shop very soon. Here’s another film to show you a bit more about the mission:
Review Written by Beth Thomas, Edited by Emily Pitts.