Tampax Menstrual Cup Review – Slam Dunk or Try Again?
When I saw a friend announce that a Tampax menstrual cup would be released in October of 2018, I had mixed feelings. For starters, menstrual cups are not a new invention. The first menstrual cup was patented by Leona Chalmers in 1937 and even the Moon Cup has been around since 2002. (1,2) So, why now for Tampax/Proctor & Gamble?
Menstrual cups have been growing in popularity and my guess is that they saw an opportunity to make money. Is that a bad thing? What does it mean for a large company to have a reusable menstrual product? For starters, their reach is as big as it gets. This cup may be more accessible to menstruators than any other cup out there.
Currently, unless you want a Diva Cup or Lunette Cup from Target…if your Target carries them… or Lily Cup from CVS…again if your local branch even carries it…you have to shop on the internet to buy a menstrual cup. What if you don’t have the internet or a credit card/PayPal account to shop online? You’re out of luck. However, the Tampax cup may be on the shelves everywhere Tampax is carried! Which is…everywhere.
So now you’re wondering how the actual product is. How does the Tampax Cup compare to the Diva cup? I started using these cups this week and I’ll tell you!
When I first saw the Tampax Menstrual Cup on Amazon I was a bit surprised at the amount of packaging and inclusion of disposable “scented wipes” and disposable panty liners. I mean, the whole point is to go reusable and environmentally friendly, right? However, when I received my Tampax Menstrual Cup Starter Kit in the mail it had the scented wipes and zero liners. So, I’m not sure if they’re still including the disposable liners too, I suppose time will tell.
How I got these cups: It was a struggle to get these samples. I was told that I could not receive samples three times by the Tampax. I obtained these through She Speaks, a social media company offering samples in exchange for a review on the Tampax site (not my own website) and I’m thrilled to have them. I do purchase some of the items you see on this site, however, as you can imagine, that gets expensive and I don’t have a bottomless wallet.
I later learned that Tampax/Proctor & Gamble invited bloggers on a trip to see the cups, I believe it was a few months ago. Just to make it clear: I am not one of the bloggers courted by Tampax if you were wondering or care either way. I’m just happy to have samples.
Tampax Menstrual Cup Review – Initial Impression
The Tampax Menstrual Cup includes two sizes. Regular and Heavy Flow and you can purchase the cups individually or in a double pack like the one seen here.
I was initially surprised by how flared the cups look and feel in my hand. If you’re not familiar with a flare, picture the front of a trumpet. I do have some other cups with a flare but not any this dramatic. To be honest, I thought…I’m going to get this menstrual cup stuck! I’ll spare you the suspense…I did not.
I took some comparison shots below:
Photos are the property of The Green Vagina.
While just about every other menstrual cup I own comes with a cloth bag, the Tampax Cup comes with a solid case. The kit seen here contains 1 case for 2 cups and as you can see below the case is not as tall as the cups are. To close the case, you have to squish the cups. They are resilient and it hasn’t harmed them but I thought it was odd that it required cup-squishing to close it.
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Tampax Menstrual Cup Features:
- Available in single cup or double pack
- Double pack (seen here) includes one Regular flow menstrual cup, one Heavy flow menstrual cup, one carrying case and ten wipes.
- “Ships in a beautiful, discreet box that includes a free trial of ALWAYS Thin” Disposable Daily Liners.
- I didn’t get liners. I’m not sure if everyone or anyone will.
- A menstrual cup that’s designed to be more comfortable for more body types
- P&G put research into cups, vaginas and users
- Co-designed with a female OB-GYN
- Soft Curve shape for a snug, soft fit that reduces pressure on your bladder
- Wear for up to 12 hours so you don’t have to watch the clock
- Pronounced ridges at base of cup and stem for removal
- 4 Air Holes on each cup
- Proctor & Gamble Product
Tampax Cup Sizes
According to Tampax, the Tampax Cup is the same length for both sizes. The difference is in diameter, the heavy/large cup is bigger around and wider.
(I received these via e-mail to the company’s customer care)
Tampax Cup Size Small/Regular: Diameter: 47mm / Cup Length: 42mm / Total Cup Length (Cup + Stem): 65mm / Volume 16 – 24 ml
Tampax Cup Size Large/Heavy: Diameter: 53mm / Cup Length: 42mm / Total Cup Length (Cup + Stem): 65mm / Volume 24 – 37 ml
(Pinterest Image Below)
Tampax Menstrual Cup Compared to Diva, Lena, Lunette Cup
One of the first things I wondered was how the Tampax Menstrual Cup compares to the Diva Cup. I picture both of these cups on the shelf at Target and people standing in the aisle wondering which cup to purchase.
If you were my friend and asked me to pick one or the other. I would first ask you to check your cervix height during menstruation (it can lower quite a bit during your cycle) and then to go for the Diva if you have a high cervix and need one right away.
If you had to buy one that day I would ask you to check the shelf for the Lunette Cup too (the size 2 is just a gem in my collection)
As you can see below, the Tampax menstrual cup’s body is not quite as long as the Diva, Cup, however, it does have a series of pronounced ridges to help you grasp and remove it and a significantly wider top. I imagine the top is wide to help prevent leaks.
From left to right:
Tampax Menstrual Cup Comparison Below
From Left to Right:
- Tampax Cup Heavy/Size 2
- Diva Size 2
- Lena Size 2
- Lunette Size 2
- If you can tell, the Lena and Lunette have a flatter stem, the Diva has a hollow stem and the Tampax Menstrual Cup’s stem is more rounded. You can see how much wider the cup is at the top in the photo of these cups turned on their sides. Again, I imagine this is to help prevent leaks however, I found it unpleasant to remove.
Tampax Cup Review – My impression the first few days:
A few days ago, when I started craving a cheeseburger I knew my cycle was around the corner. The only time of the month I seriously think about stopping for a triple cheeseburger is right before my cycle lands. I was really excited because I wanted to test these cups right away and get my first thoughts out to you!
I started with the small cup. I used the punch down fold (my go-to fold seen below), inserted the cup and found that the cup wouldn’t open for me near the rim. So I tried all the tricks to get it to open: I turned it, ran my finger around the top, tried to reposition and still didn’t have luck. I took it out and put it back in 3 times and still could not get the cup to open around the top. I’m over 30 and have had 4 babies, typically a size 2 cup user but I am active and also wear size 1’s.
I decided to go for the “C” fold. Now, with a rim like this, the C fold is not a gentle way to insert this cup. There was spreading of the opening with one hand and a wiggle here and there…I slid the cup up and bam. It opened. I do find that the design of the lower half of this cup is comfortable. However, as someone with a sensitive cervix I felt that tinge on the right side of my cervix as I do with some firm cups.
I reached in with one hand (I have a high cervix) and pulled it down a bit and folded it to remove with the other hand. It was collecting and didn’t seem to have leaks.
Well, now I couldn’t wait to try the size 2 or Heavy cup. I had to use the punch down with this cup. I didn’t want to try to C fold this one to insert it because of the large rim size. Again, the top of the cup would just not open all the way. I squatted, bent, lunged and moved my pelvic floor muscles around to try to get it open. I reached back in and gave it another turn and…still nothing! Finally, I pulled down on it a bit with a twist and it opened! Wa-la.
I had the same issues with the size 2/Heavy Tampax Menstrual Cup that I did with the size 1/Regular. My cervix had that twinge of possibly nerve endings that I can sometimes feel up into my abdomen and it was not fun to remove. The first few times I couldn’t completely squeeze the rim closed when I was pulling it out and it tried to flip open on-exit of my vaginal canal like a fish out of water. As I mentioned, it took some trickery to open when I inserted it.
As I suspected, the rim is not my friend. I’m also a little irritated by the ridges on the base of the cup and stem but I also don’t want to cut it off just yet because I need to grab the stem at the base to help remove the cup.
Is the Tampax Menstrual Cup a hit?
I don’t feel like they reinvented the wheel here and they don’t surpass my favorite cups. The rim size and grips have been overshot. I think if the rim wasn’t so large and the ridges weren’t so large…this would be a better fit for me.
Ouch on the price point. Currently, Tampax cups are listed at $39.99 each…which is higher than many other reputable menstrual cup brands. They are selling the double kit seen here for $54 and change but individual cup prices are high. I do think that P&G will put out a coupon in their Sunday Clipper to make these a better in-store price and I’m waiting to see it in the paper.
Are they bad cups? No. Are they great cups? No. However, I don’t think they’re the most new-user friendly and wow on that rim…but perhaps they will solve some leaking issues and help increase awareness and excitement about reusable menstrual products.
Find them on Amazon currently at $39.99 for an individual cup or $54.04 for the double cup kit!
Best Price: I did find the best price Regular Tampax Cup for $33.79 at Walmart but they also have the Heavy Tampax Cup at Full Price and seem to have taken the Regular off of sale also. See their selection here.
Shop other menstrual cup brands with a 10% off coupon code GREENVAG with Worldwide Shipping Here.