Tampax Joins the Menstrual Cup Game
To say we were surprised the day we received an email from a PR agency about working with a large brand on the launch of their new menstrual cup would be an understatement. I suppose we always knew it would happen, but that didn’t lessen the shock and excitement. We didn’t know who at first, but our first guess was Tampax. Why? Well perhaps somehow it felt right. In 1936 Tampax brought the first tampon to the marketplace and in 1985 they were the first to call “that time of the month” a period on American television. It only made sense that in 2018 they would be the first large brand to introduce a menstrual cup. Of course, our hesitations (which we’ve found many of you share) largely revolved around “Why are they entering this space?” and “Will they put care and intention to the design and function of the cup… or are they just here to have a bite of the pie?”
In June of this year we were invited to join the Tampax Cup team in Cincinnati. We learned a lot, but perhaps the most important takeaway, for us, was that their team was passionate about this project and they put so.much.thought into designing this cup. We were able to hear from team members who shared their experiences with us and showed us graphs of cervical heights as well as MRIs showing cups in place after extended wear — and so much more. It was clear to us that Tampax was entering this space with the intent to bring a cup to the market that they believe will work and that will bring a quality menstrual health option to more people. They didn’t just slap their name on a generic design to have a market share and they also didn’t hide it under a sister brand name — both things that (in our minds) add clarity to their intentions.
We took all of this into consideration when ultimately deciding if and how we would proceed with working with such a large brand on such an important launch. We still believe firmly that there is no one cup for everyone – that’s why our menstrual cup quiz is so important and dear to us — but having a cup in this landscape from a brand that more women and menstruators have grown up trusting opens up a lot of potential to reach more people in a way that they relate to and are receptive to. Our hope is to see more cups on store shelves and it possibly opening the door to having menstrual cup information distributed alongside tampon and pad pamphlets in schools as part of puberty education — further helping to encourage bodily education, normalizing periods, and further removing the stigma of a life-changing way to manage periods.
The bottom line is that we feel this is a positive for the menstruating population. We could go on… oh wait, we did! So much so that our review has been broken into two parts. You can catch all of our thoughts on the announcement and our trip to Cincinnati in part 1 of our review, and dig into our review of the Tampax menstrual cup in part 2!
The Tampax Menstrual Cup Review
Tampax Menstrual Cup Overview
The Tampax Cup is co-designed with a female OB-GYN with the goal of fitting more bodies more comfortably. They note that they didn’t create the menstrual cup, but they hope to perfect it with their Soft Curve shape. The cup is made in the US from 100% medical grade silicone (in clear only) and is available in two sizes — Heavy Flow (their large) and Light Flow (their small). As you may have seen in the review, or know from our other resources, we do not consider this to be the best way to choose a cup. Both of us have a very light flow, but found that the Heavy Flow cup fit us best due to the shape of our anatomy and cervical height. To be sure you’re getting the best fit, we recommend checking out our quiz and referencing the cup dimensions below or on our chart. Keep in mind that the Tampax cup has a much wider rim that you may have seen with other cups. The purpose of this is to help ensure the cup holds its position higher in the vaginal canal to keep pressure off of the bladder and to keep the cup from rubbing against the lower portion of the vaginal canal where there is the most sensitivity.
|Brand||Size||Length||Diameter||Capacity (To the Holes)||Capacity (Listed)||Stem||Sizing / Misc Features||Firmness|
|Tampax||S||1.65″||1.85″||20 ml||24 ml||.91″ Flat Solid||Light Flow||4|
|Tampax||L||1.93″||2.09″||30 ml||37 ml||.63″ Flat Solid||Heavy Flow||4|
You can compare the Tampax cup to others on our menstrual cup comparison chart.
In the Box
The Tampax Cup starter kit comes with 10 Always wipes, (the single cups do not). While we can totally get behind some liners to help you get through the learning curve (backup is always a good idea — even if just for peace of mind), we don’t really love the wipes. They aren’t environmentally conscious and contain fragrances, which we feel only reinforces the idea that we are unclean. We also feel that it may be confusing, as they may be confused for cup wipes which are meant to clean your cup. While we have been told they can be used to clean your cup, we wouldn’t recommend it. Though we can certainly see where they could be handy for cleaning your hands on-the-go. That said, we are told that they may be reconsidered moving forward and we appreciate that they are taking feedback on all of this to heart. Aside from these, there is a hard carrying case (that will fit both cups) and the usual instructions that you would expect to find in a cup box or box of tampons.
Looking to Try the Tampax Cup?
The Tampax cup is available now at Amazon and we hope to see it in stores soon *fingers crossed* (Check out tampaxcup.com for an updated store list.) Lastly, you may also want to join our closed Facebook group.
Have thoughts? We’d love to hear what you think about the news, the design… all of it, and we’d be happy to pass along your thoughts to the Tampax team as well.