I was asked to test and review the Sckoon Cup, which is a fairly new addition to the choice of menstrual cups on the market. I’m not really going to discuss why you should switch to a menstrual cup – there are plenty of websites and blogs out there for that purpose – but I do it for a few reasons: less waste, saving money, and specifically for me, general health: I have had two children but had a third degree tear (plus reconstruction work) with the second one. This means I’m generally more sensitive down there than I was before, and tampons had become uncomfortable.
This is not my first menstrual cup – I have used others. Choosing a menstrual cup can be a bit of a minefield; I certainly thought so, because I casually went to buy a Mooncup (a brand name!) and found myself with a choice of more than 50 cups, and had no idea how to pick between them! There is, again, lots of advice on how to do that online, but my view is that on the whole, don’t over think it. I certainly did – I measured my cervix (that was a fun half hour!), checked out all the different sizes of cups, and eventually chose a medium MeLuna. (MeLuna is a brand with lots of different sizes – most brands only do two sizes.) I’m not convinced it was the right choice, and it may have been too small; I never really got on with the MeLuna. I have since switched from the Meluna to the Lunette, and I’m generally much happier with it. To be honest, the only real decision is whether you’re the smaller size – usually under 30 and no children – or the bigger, over 30 and/or having had children. I myself have one additional factor – I don’t like clear ones, because I think they’re too medical looking, so I like a coloured cup. How girly!
So, the Sckoon cup. This is made of silicone, so it is very flexible, and it has a stem, which is also very flexible – far more flexible than my Lunette cup, and the stem is great fun, really wobbly! It doesn’t have much of a rim compared to other cups, and is a slightly different shape – more of a bell, wider at the top. Because it is so flexible, putting it in was easy (in part – more on that in a second) as it folded nicely. And, this is the best bit, on putting it in on my first day, I didn’t know it was there. I could feel NOTHING. You don’t normally feel the cup in any sort of uncomfortable way, but with this I kept panicking and thinking I hadn’t put it in! Really quite amazing. Also, as with all cups, you can trim the stem – but it is so flexible that there wasn’t any need for me: I didn’t know it was there. I had to trim my Lunette stem because it was causing irritation. Another comparison with the Lunette – the Lunette has a definite rim on top, and I can often feel it when I put it in first, as I can slide it up too high basically, and then jiggle it into position. With the Sckoon, there is none of this – I just don’t feel it at all. This really is great.
On my first wear, I did have a bit of a leak – I hadn’t put it in properly. (I’m a light girl, and don’t fill a cup at any point.) Rather, I had put it in, but it hadn’t opened out fully, so I was missing the cup as it were! The instructions say to rotate it so it opens – for the first few wears, I found this quite tricky, and I would be fiddling around in the bathroom for a while, poking fingers about (lovely!). But it seemed to settle down – by day 3 it had settled itself and I could easily rotate it, although it didn’t need much. No leaks from then on, and I was really confident wearing it – went running, cycling and the usual stuff and it really was like I wasn’t having a period at all. Ooh, like those sanitary pad adverts with rock music!!
The other tricky bit to master with using a cup is taking it out. Mostly it’s straightforward, but the first time I tried it with the Sckoon, I had pushed it in too high (!!), and also it hadn’t opened. There was a panicky moment when I thought I wouldn’t be able to get it out at all and have to go to explain that one at A&E (ok, so maybe I’m being over dramatic…) because the stem really stretches quite a lot if you pull on it! The stem on the Lunette and other cups don’t stretch at all. So it did come out, after fiddling again (!), and when I reinserted it properly, without pushing it too high, it was easy to take in and out, although maybe a tiny bit more difficult than with other cups with more solid stems. It has, in fact, made me wonder whether I’m wearing my Lunette too high up – and that’s why I can feel it; but then again, the Sckoon is mega comfy.
So, how did the Sckoon do?
- comfort. Comfort, comfort, comfort – it is the most comfortable cup I have ever used.
- Easy to clean
- It’s pretty! [My 2 year old son was around when I opened it. He grabbed it, and wanted to play with it – he said it was for ‘cooking’!!]
- Good capacity
- Good design
- The bag is really lovely too – all the other cups I have come in a strange synthetic satin style bag; this one comes in a pretty cotton bag which just seems breezier and healthier somehow. Also the bag has a great design, but nothing too feminine – no moon, no flower, no writing. I like that.
- But the biggest plus point is the comfort (so I’m saying it again!)
- I didn’t read the leaflet that came with it, and so had some issues: the company does say that ‘it takes a little getting used to’ which is true even for someone who has used different brands. Because it’s so soft, it’s not just a matter of bunging it in and off you go; it needs to be coaxed a bit. For that reason, I guess it’s not the ultimate beginner’s cup – although the fact that it’s so comfortable *does* make it good for a beginner. So it’s a bit more fiddly – but it is worth it, I’d say.
- Another negative is that it’s more expensive than other brands – but I think you pay for what you get, and this one really is a fantastic cup: all the others I’ve used have been much of a muchness, but this one stands out as being a bit different.
In general, I’d say this really is the sports car of menstrual cups, as it’s very modern, sleek, well-designed, and really does the job well. I don’t think I’ll be going back to the other brands now, simply because of the comfort factor – the Sckoon Cup is amazing. If you’ve not used a cup before, take a chance on this one – but pour a glass of wine and spend some quality time in the bathroom getting it right…!