Frequently Asked Questions
The information below should help you get started with Softcup. If you have additional questions, please ask the doctor!
Here are some of the benefits of Softcup that our customers rave about:
- Softcup can be worn for up to 12 hours
- Softcup cannot be felt while wearing
- Softcup is great for busy women or women who just don't want to think about changing a tampon every few hours
- Softcup can be worn during sexual intercourse
- Softcup can be worn during any physical activity—including swimming, sports and sex
- Softcup can be worn overnight
- Softcup eliminates menstrual odor, as menstrual flow isn't exposed to air
- Softcup is comfortable and does not cause irritation or dryness
- Softcup is not linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
- You can wear one reusable Softcup through the duration of your period, saving you money and the environment
Softcup is an alternative to tampons. It's a soft, flexible cup that is worn around the cervix to collect, rather than absorb, menstrual fluid. Softcup can be worn for up to 12 hours and is so comfortable you can't feel it.
The length of time you can wear Softcup depends on your level of flow. From a health standpoint, you can safely wear Softcup for up to 12 hours. On heavy flow days, you may need to change Softcup more often to avoid leakage. Just like when you may have learned to use tampons, as you gain more experience with Softcup, you'll learn how frequently you need to change it. Women often overestimate the amount of menstrual flow during a period—the average amount of flow is only about two tablespoons (30 ml) for the entire length of the period, which on average lasts two to seven days.
Softcup has undergone extensive toxicology, biocompatibility and microbiological laboratory testing. It has also undergone human clinical testing and has been used by thousands of women since it went on the market in 1996. All results support the safety of Softcup when used as directed. The cup is compatible with a woman's internal tissues, does not promote infection, and is not likely to cause an allergic reaction. Softcup is made of an inert, hypoallergenic, non absorbent, non-irritating polymeric material that has been used safely for more than 20 years in health care products such as catheters and baby bottle nipples. Softcup contains no latex and does not leave fibers behind in your body.
If you feel itching, redness or swelling after you have inserted Softcup, gently remove it and discontinue use. Just like any period protection product, it is possible that a few individuals could be sensitive to the materials in this product.
Softcup is made of an inert, hypoallergenic, non absorbent, non-irritating polymeric material that has been used safely for more than 20 years in health care products such as catheters and baby bottle nipples.
Like tampons, it will take some time to determine how long you can wear Softcup, depending on your flow. Softcup can safely be worn for up to 12 hours. On heavy flow days you may need to change it more frequently. The first time you try Softcup, we recommend trying it on a lighter flow day, or when you go to bed. You'll soon get accustomed to it and learn how frequently you need to change Softcup.
You may notice some leakage when going to the bathroom. This is normal—when you urinate or have a bowel movement, your muscles "bear down" and can push the rim slightly forward, allowing some fluid to leak out and into the toilet. When you are finished, Softcup moves back into position and the leaking stops; or to be sure, you can use a clean finger to reposition the Softcup.
If you experience leakage during heavy exercise or during intercourse, you may have waited too long to change Softcup. We recommend that you insert a new Softcup before intercourse or before engaging in strenuous physical activity. And of course, as a reminder, Softcup is NOT a contraceptive and does not protect against pregancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Wash your hands and relax. Sit on the toilet with your knees apart. Hold Softcup so the bottom of the cup hangs down. Squeeze the opposite sides of the rim together. Keeping the rim squeezed together, slide Softcup into your vaginal canal, aiming it back and down toward your tailbone. Be sure to push the cup as far back as it will go. Softcup will slide into place under the cervix and behind the pubic bone. Watch a video on insertion and removal.
When Softcup is inserted properly, you shouldn't feel it. If you feel something in the vaginal canal, Softcup is probably not far enough inside you. Just remove it and try again, sliding it back and tilted slightly downward. Remember, it will be much easier if you are relaxed. If you are still unable to insert it until it slides comfortably into place, Softcup may be too large for you. This may be true for a small percentage of women. If you want to double check on the fit or size of the Softcup, take one with you the next time you visit your doctor or nurse practitioner. They can check it for you.
To remove Softcup, we recommend sitting on the toilet with your knees apart. Insert your finger into the vagina. Feel your pubic bone—the Softcup rim will be right behind it. Hook your finger under the rim. If you have trouble hooking your finger, just bear or push down with your pelvic muscles. Slowly pull Softcup out of your body keeping it horizontal and level.
Place the used product inside the wrapper and throw it away. DO NOT flush Softcup.
It is not unusual for first time users to make more than one attempt to remove Softcup. The most important thing is to relax. You may want to practice removing Softcup for the first time when you are not on your period and when you are in the privacy of your own bathroom. Softcup cannot be lost inside your body, and it can be worn safely up to twelve hours.
When Softcup is inserted correctly, you should not feel it. If you feel discomfort after inserting Softcup, remove and try inserting it again. It should stay in place behind your pubic bone.
If you can feel Softcup after you have inserted it, it has either been inserted incorrectly or it may be too large. We recommend you fully read the instructions, and check our FAQs to insert Softcup properly. If Softcup is too large for you, it will not stay in place behind your pubic bone. If after insertion Softcup tends to slide out or you cannot get the rim behind the pubic bone, it's likely too large.
Yes, you can have clean, comfortable sex with Softcup in place. Although individual experience may vary, most likely neither you nor your partner will feel Softcup. To help avoid leakage on heavy flow days, we recommend inserting a new Softcup before intercourse. Remember, Softcup is NOT a contraceptive and does not protect against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Laboratory studies show that Softcup does not promote growth of the bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus, the bacterium believed to cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). To date, we have not had any reported cases of TSS.
Although TSS can occur in men, children and women, it is a disease that mostly affects menstruating women who use tampons. Population studies suggest that the risk of TSS is related to tampon absorbency; the higher the tampon absorbency, the higher the risk of contracting TSS; the lower the absorbency, the lower the risk of TSS. Unlike tampons, Softcup is non-absorbent; it holds rather than absorbs menstrual fluid. However, consumer usage of Softcup has not been extensive enough to date to quantify the risk of TSS, if any, while using Softcup. As a precaution, users must change Softcup after 12 hours maximum wear time. TSS is a rare but serious disease that may cause death. The warning signs include a sudden high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, a rash that looks like sunburn, dizziness, fainting or near fainting and muscle aches. TSS can progress rapidly from flu-like symptoms to a serious illness that can be fatal. If you have any of these signs and you are using Softcup, remove it and immediately contact your physician for medical care.
Yes, you can urinate or have a bowel movement while wearing Softcup. You may notice slight leakage during this time, which is completely normal. When your muscles "bear down", they can push the rim slightly forward, allowing some fluid to leak out into the toilet. When you are finished, Softcup moves back into position and the leakage stops. If this is the only time you observe leakage, it is normal and Softcup is inserted correctly.
You can purchase Softcup at the following stores:
- Fred Meyer
- Rite Aid
If you cannot find Softcup in your store, we urge you to ask the manager to carry Softcup. You can also order Softcup online.
The reusable Softcup is available online at softcup.com
Reusable Softcup is made of the same medical grade elastomer and polyethylene material as disposable Softcup. It has been cleared by the FDA and is the same material as is used in catheters and baby bottle nipples. It contains no latex, silicone, phthalates, Bisphenol-a (BPA) nor dioxins. It contains no residual fibers, bleach, pesticides, carcinogens nor polycarbonates (PCBs).
We recommend that women using an intrauterine device or IUD talk to their doctor before using Softcup as there is a risk of dislodging or removing the IUD by pulling on the IUD string while removing Softcup. Your doctor may be able to help you determine whether there are steps you may take to safely use Softcup and your IUD simultaneously, such as trimming the IUD string.
Women who have had recent gynecologic surgery (such as Leep, Laser, cone biopsy for dysplasia of the cervix) and have been advised not to use tampons, should also avoid use of Softcup for the recommended time.
Women who have ever had TSS should not use any internal sanitary protection product, including Softcup. Women who have just had a child, miscarriage or abortion, or have been told they have a tilted uterus, should consult with a physician before using Softcup. There are no age limitations on the use of Softcup and it can be worn by virgins.
We recommend that women using an intrauterine device or IUD talk to their doctor before using Softcup. There is a risk of accidently dislodging or removing the IUD by pulling on the IUD string while removing Softcup. Your doctor may be able to help you determine whether there are steps you may take to safely use the Softcup and your IUD simultaneously, such as trimming the IUD string.
No, do not sterilize reusable Softcup between uses. To store the cup for an extended period of time, wash thoroughly with water, dry completely and store in a ventilated container. DO NOT store in a closed airtight container or sealable plastic bag. DO NOT boil or microwave reusable Softcup.
Evofem has not studied the post-intercourse placement of Softcup as a method to help improve the probability of conception. The use of Softcup as a pregnancy aid has not been cleared by the FDA.
No. Softcup is NOT a contraceptive. Softcup is for period protection. Softcup cannot be used as a contraceptive nor to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Yes, you can have clean, comfortable sex while wearing reusable Softcup. Softcup is not a contraceptive and does not protect against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The insertion and wear time for reusable Softcup are the same as for disposable Softcup. Please refer to the Softcup FAQs for insertion instructions and information about the advantages of Softcup.
No, Softcup cannot be recycled—nor can other feminine hygiene products.
If you experience discomfort after inserting Softcup, it may be inserted incorrectly (see question on fit). It's important to read the directions fully to learn how to insert Softcup, as it's slightly different from inserting a tampon. For a small percentage of women, Softcup may be too large. If so, it will protrude slightly from the vaginal opening and you may experience difficulty in getting it behind your pubic bone. If you normally experience menstrual cramps, Softcup will probably not change the cramping that you experience.
No, Softcup has no effect on virginity. The vagina (and virginity) is not altered by use of a Softcup, tampon, or other vaginal device. There are no age restrictions to using Softcup.
No, DO NOT flush Softcup or the wrapper, as this can damage plumbing. To dispose Softcup, empty the menstrual fluid into a toilet, and put it into the wrapper or wrap it in toilet tissues, and throw it into the trash.
No, Softcup does not have an expiration date.
Yes, disposable and reusable Softcup is available in the U.S. and other countries. Click here to view a list of international distributors.
No, DO NOT flush reusable Softcup. When you are ready to discard it you will need to place it in the wastebasket in the same manner as other feminine hygiene products.
Once your cycle is complete or if washing becomes inconvenient, you may discard your reusable Softcup in the wastebasket, as you would for other feminine hygiene products. DO NOT flush reusable Softcup.
You can wear Softcup whenever you need feminine protection. If your periods are regular, you can insert Softcup just before you get your period to help prevent accidents or staining clothes. You can also wear Softcup any day of the month that you experience normal irregular bleeding; for example, due to hormonal birth control or peri-menopause.
Remember the first time you used a tampon? Well, Softcup is just as simple once you understand the steps. At first it may seem awkward to insert or remove. That's OK—most women experience that.
Start your trial on a lighter flow day or at bedtime as you get to know how your body works with Softcup.
You may want to wear a pantyliner or pad to protect against leakage the first few times until you feel comfortable placing Softcup. After a few uses you'll understand how your body and Softcup work together, and how often you need to change Softcup. Remember, Softcup must be changed after 12 hours.
Unlike a tampon, when inserting Softcup, push BACK and DOWN, not up, for proper placement.
When removing Softcup, it helps to bear down using your pelvic muscles. This will make Softcup easier to reach with your finger. Keep Softcup level as you pull it out. It can be a bit messy your first few times, so remove Softcup while sitting over a toilet, or you can try removal in the shower. As your practice, removal becomes easier and cleaner.
Stick with it. The benefits of Softcup more than make up for the initial time it may take to learn how to use it. If you have any questions, please email us. We'd be happy to walk you through the process. Or, you can watch tutorial videos here.
No, there is absolutely no latex in Softcup, and it is safe and comfortable for use by women that have latex allergies or sensitivities.
Yes, teenage girls can wear Softcup. There are no age restrictions. Teens should thoroughly review instructions on fit and insertion before trying Softcup. Successful placement and removal of Softcup requires knowledge and a level of comfort with your body.
No, you cannot insert Softcup too far. When properly inserted, the rim of the cup is lodged between the pubic bone (which is just inside the vagina) and the very back of the vagina, and the cup should cover the cervix. The cervix is a fleshy knob that feels like the tip of your nose. The cervix is another name for the bottom of your uterus. The menstrual flow comes out of the uterus through a very small opening in the cervix. The Softcup cannot get lost inside the body since this opening is much too narrow.
Reusable Softcup is designed to be used throughout one entire menstrual cycle, and can be worn up to 12 hours before being removed, rinsed and reinserted. Once the cup is full, or if you have reached the 12-hour maximum wear time, it will need to be removed, emptied, rinsed and reinserted.
You may wash reusable Softcup with lukewarm water. To store for an extended period of time, wash thoroughly with water, dry completely and store in a ventilated container. DO NOT store it in a sealable plastic bag or airtight container. DO NOT boil or microwave reusable Softcup.
Many women find it convenient to use and reuse one reusable Softcup at the start of each period and discard it at the end of their cycle or when washing or cleaning becomes inconvenient. When washing or rinsing facilities are unavailable, Softcup may also simply be emptied and reinserted.
Reusable Softcup is designed to be used throughout one entire menstrual cycle. Like disposable Softcup, reusable Softcup is made from a non-toxic, hypoallergenic, latex-free material. However, reusable Softcup was specifically designed for multiple uses for up to one cycle. Reusable Softcup’s reservoir is more durable than the disposable cup, to extend its use. Once the cup is full, or if you reach the 12-hour maximum wear time, you should remove, empty, rinse and reinsert reusable Softcup.
Disposable Softcup is designed as a single-use menstrual collection cup. Each Softcup is safe for use for up to 12 hours.
is designed for reuse for up to one menstrual cycle. Reusable Softcup is safe for use for up to 12 hours at a time.
Softcup differs from other menstrual cups in both its design and its features.
There are two types of Softcups: disposable and reusable. Disposable Softcup is designed to be discarded after a single use, while reusable Softcup can be rinsed and reused throughout the duration of one menstrual cycle. Each cup is designed to last up to 12 hours of wear time before it should be removed and discarded. If you are using reusable Softcup, after 12 hours the cup will need to be emptied, rinsed and reinserted.
Softcup is worn in a different position than other menstrual cups. Softcup sits high up in the vagina, just below the cervix and behind the pubic bone. Other menstrual cups sit lower, suspended in the vaginal canal where a tampon would sit.
Softcup can be worn during intercourse for mess-free sex on your period. Other menstrual cups, due to their placement in the vaginal canal, do not allow for intercourse while they are being used.
Softcup is made of medical grade material consisting of elastomers and mineral oil. Most other menstrual cups are made of either latex rubber or silicone, with the exception of a few made of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE).
No, Softcup is "one size fits most." This single size was chosen after significant design research showed that it fit almost all women comfortably and securely. A small minority of women may find the cup does not fit.