The 100% Australian Menstrual Cup
When I first had the idea to do a period feature I knew I wanted to try out and review at least one menstrual cup. More importantly I wanted to review an Australian menstrual cup. One that was 100% Australian owned and Australian made, a claim that is only true of one menstrual cup… the JuJu Cup which is available from JuJu.com.au After receiving this for review I could barely wait to get my next period so that I could try it out.
If you’ve never heard of reusable menstrual cups before you should check out my recent post All About Menstrual Cups… don’t worry we’ll wait patiently for you to return!
Manufacturer: JuJu in Australia
Material: Clear Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes: Like most menstrual cups the JuJu comes in two different sizes which cater to women of all ages and sizes.
- Model 1: a smaller cup for younger women under 30yrs old who have not given birth which has a capacity of 20ml
- Model 2: a larger cup for women of any age who have given birth as well as women over 30 which has a capacity of 30ml
Dimensions: There are 3 measurements here. First the diameter, or the width of the cup at its widest point, followed by the Overall Length from the rim of the cup to the end of the pointy tip and finally the height of the cup portion, not including the tip.
- Model 1: 40mm wide, an overall length of 65mm and a height of 46mm between the rim and inner base of the cup.
- Model 2: 46mm wide with an overall length of 69mm and a height of 50mm between the cup’s rim and its inner base.
Cost: RRP $62Au
Inclusions: Your JuJu cup, satin pouch in your choice of colour blue, green or purple and an incredibly helpful instruction guide.
As I mentioned, the JuJu menstrual cup is Australian made by Freedom Products; A company that is 100% Australian owned – It’s true blue, fair dinkum and dinky di.1 The JuJu is the creation of two amazing Aussie women who are committed to helping women embrace their periods and provide us with environmentally clean, eco-friendly and cost effective alternatives to the disposable menstrual products that have traditionally been our only choices.
This is the perfect example of the kind of company I want to support with my blog – the smaller, more personal company that truly do care about their customers as well as the products they are making. They might only manufacture a couple of items, but they make them to an incredibly high standard!
The Unique name ‘JuJu’ comes from a term used in Western Africa to describe the positive energy and magical powers that can be contained within small object such as a pendant that is worn on the body like a charm. In this traditional sense ‘JuJu’ is created by positive actions such as good deeds and selfless acts and imbued into the item. This positive energy is believed to help heal the wearer and cure any ailments they may have. An ideology that the creators of the JuJu cup strongly believe in.
We strongly believe that every one of us has the ability to heal our world, body and mind – thus the power of JuJu! So why not cherish every day as an opportunity to do a good deed by helping a friend, saving a kitten, and of course, wearing your JuJu – JuJu.com.au
The sale of medical devices including menstrual cups is strictly regulated in Australia. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is a government agency which safeguards public health and safety. JuJu is an approved Australian Registered Therapeutic Good (ARTG no. 180153).
Considering the sort of products I normally review I can tell the difference between cheap, lower quality silicone and the pure, top shelf silicone and am proud to say that the JuJu is made from the premium grade silicone. It is a shiny, high drag style of silicone which is perfect for its purpose. For those who don’t usually read my blog Silicone is by far the best material to make a product which enters the body such as a menstrual cup.
The medical grade silicone used to manufacture the JuJu cup is 100% Body safe and 100% body friendly. It is Phthalate free, Latex free, hypo-allergenic, non porous and very easy to sterilise. The JuJu cup is also made within a clean room, compliant to the strict standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Like all medical and therapeutic devices sold within Australia the JuJu menstrual cup has to meet and adhere to the very strict guidelines enforced by the Therapeutic Goods Administration before it could be sold to the public – So you can feel safe and assured of its absolute safety.
The JuJu cup itself consists of 4 main areas; The Rim, the Ridge, the Stem and the Cup .
The Rim is the uppermost section of the JuJu menstrual cup. This is the bit that seals up against the wals of the vagina. It is thick enough to stay open during use whilst remaining soft and flexible enough to be folded and inserted for use.
The Ridge is the home of what is possibly the most important part of the entire device – the 4 tiny holes that are equally spaced around the ridge. These small 1-2mm wide holes help to create the suction seal which makes the cup work so perfectly. Just like the rim, the ridge has the same balance of firmness and flexibility needed for it to function, but it is still slightly thicker than rim. Being so much more robust and rigid that the rim it is what keeps the cup open once it is inserted and the suction seal created.
The stem is there so that you can locate the base of the cup in order to grab it and pull it down for removal. I haven’t felt the need to trim the stem of mine as I’m quite deep and my cervix sits very high whilst I’m menstruating, but those who have a more shallow vagina or have a low sitting cervix may possibly find the stem feels pokey.
From what I have read online some women trim their stem – but I would strongly warn against this for the first cycle or two as it’s not going to grow back, you could totally trash your cup before you get to reap the rewards. If it continues to poke you after you feel like you have got the insertion and removal down to a fine art then you could trim it back bit by bit until it’s at a length you are comfortable with. I have also read of women who are very shallow or have a low sitting cervix turning their cups inside out to use them as they are able to easily grab the cup without needing the stem.
The Cup is pretty self explanatory, it is this portion of the JuJu that collects and holds your menstrual fluid safely and cleanly inside waiting for you to change it – well empty it and re-insert is a more correct terminology but I think you all get what I mean when I say change in relation to a menstrual cup.
The cup section of the JuJu also features what at first glance simply looks like nothing more than a decorative touch – a ring of the JuJu logo butterflies flying around the stem at the base of the cup. Rather than just being a decorative touch these butterflies act as a grip point. When silicone is wet it is incredibly slick and can be hard to grip, these butterflies which are very slightly raised act as a friction point to help you grip your cup and break the seal in order to remove it.
The two different sizes of JuJu menstrual cup available with sizing being based on age and whether you have or haven’t given birth, same as with many other menstrual cups.
Because I’m over 30 and have squeezed a 10.5lb whopper out of my Vag the model 2 is the one best suited to me. As women age the shape and size of the vaginal canal does change, even more so after you give birth – I mean yes it does go back to normal after giving birth and it’s not going to suddenly turn floppy, but as you get older the vagina is able to stretch further, you know like a well loved pair of jeans. Anyway…
So I have the larger sized cup which can hold up to 30mls which is fan-bloody-tastic (pun intended) for the ridiculously heavy periods I get. While it is the larger cup it still squished down into a size smaller than a bullet for insertion and once in place it springs back open again, forming a suction seal against the vaginal walls up near the cervix which prevents any leakage. From my approximations the 30ml capacity of the cup seems to last around as long as 3 super tampons.(remember though I have seriously heavy periods) The smaller sized cup holds 20mls, but without trying it I can’t say how many tampons it might equal. But just to put it into perspective the average woman looses around 35ml of menstrual fluid during their period, with a range of 10-80ml being normal.
Inserting the Cup
The insertion process does take a bit to get the hang of, however with the leaflet included with my juju in front of me I found it quite easy to get the hang of folding my cup using the popular ‘C’ or ‘U’ fold (named because it looks like a C or a U). After pushing it up and into position a few quick kegels will help suck it right up in there and get it to fully open and create a tight seal. To ensure it is fully opened you just run a finger around the edges and give the stem a tiny tug to double check the seal.
It is easiest to first try the cup out before you get your period for quite obvious reasons. It is also far easier to insert a wet cup than a dry cup, so running it under water before insertion does help. Similar to tampons it can be easy to insert a cup whilst sitting on the toilet (unless you are clumsy like me!!) or with one leg up on the edge of the bath or on the toilet seat. But best of all is simply changing your cup in the shower. You can simply empty in down the drain, rinse and re-insert. It really culdn’t be easier. As it can be worn for up to 12 hours (dependant on how heavy your flow is) you may never need to change it at school, work or anywhere other than home.
The information pamphlet included with the cup contains really great instructions on how to fold and insert your cup. It wasn’t until I was typing up my review that I discovered their educational online user guide along with some really amazing instructional videos that JuJu have available on their FAQ page . Although I managed quite fine without these they do show numerous other useful ways of folding the cup for insertion.
Removing the Cup
I find insertion way easier than removal but this is honestly simply due to my anatomy. With a rather deep vagina it can be a bit hard to get a hold of the stem sometimes, usually at the beginning of my period when my cervix is highest. I’ve found that squatting down and giving a bit of a push, aka bearing down will push the cup low enough for me to be able to grab a hold of it. Sometimes I can’t get a good grip on the steam because it’s wet and slippery, but I’ve found using a single sheet of toilet paper between my fingers helps to dry the stem so I can grab the slippery little sucker. Once I’ve got it down low enough I can grasp the butterfly area and pinch it to break the suction seal and out it comes.
If ever you have trouble removing a cup just remember not to freak out. It isn’t going anywhere. Your vagina isn’t a black hole and getting tense can make the process harder – it’s the same deal as with tampons If you have trouble take a chill pill and try again.
Once out you simply empty it down the drain or toilet, give it a wash and then re-insert. It couldn’t be easier.
At the end of your cycle it is a good idea to sterilise your JuJu cup. You can boil it for up to 5 minutes, soak it in a disinfecting solution such as Milton, or give it a good wipe over with isopropyl alcohol followed by a good wash with straight water once the alcohol has dried – my favourite method of cleaning silicone products. Once fully dry pop your JuJu away until next month!
As it is silicone and non-porous you do not need to worry about toxic shock as you do with tampons so you are able to pop a cup in before your period starts so as to ensure you don’t miss the start of it. As long as you check and change it every 12 hours you’re good.
The only cases in which I know of that a menstrual cup is ill advised is if you have an IUD or have recently given birth. I’m guessing the suction could mess with your IUD and its string, and I know that after giving birth the cervix takes a while to properly close up. So in both of these cases one should check with their doctor before using any style of menstrual cup.
The expected life of your JuJu cup is around 10 years. If the fact that a menstrual cup is kinder to your body and the environment than disposable pads and tampons isn’t enough to make someone consider switching maybe the cost implications might help. At a once off cost of $62AU+p&h for a product that can easily last you ten years compared to the cost of at least $5 a month – within a year, if not earlier you will begin saving money.
It may be worth mentioning that unlike many of the other silicone products I review it is strongly advised that you do NOT share your JuJu cup.
As the JuJu cup is a very environmentally friendly product made by a company dedicated to being eco-friendly it should be no surprise that the packaging is made from 100% recycled paper in a process that is carbon neutral. There is no wastage or superfluous crap – like badges & stickers etc included. Even the inside sections of the box go unwasted as the cube shaped cardboard box opens up like a flower to reveal your JuJu cup along with extra information about the product with some great tips for use included. And if you can bare to part with the adorable box the packaging is also fully recyclable.
There are many reasons why women choose to switch over to menstrual cups and ditch the disposable products, one of which is because they are a far more environmentally friendly. For Australian women JuJu is the most environmentally friendly menstrual cup as they are made in Australia rather than being flown halfway around the globe in a very heavily polluting transportation process. For those of us wishing to cut down our carbon footprint this is an important factor to consider. It is also important to help buoy up our local economy.
Like all other products I review I guess I should award a rating out of 5 possible stars. It doesn’t take much thought as I feel the JuJu has completely revolutionised my period – I strongly doubt I will ever waste another cent on disposable products, nor do I think I’ll ever abuse my poor vag with another tampon. So the JuJu Menstrual Cup fully deserves a full 5 stars out of 5 stars and eco-friendly green stars at that!!
The JuJu cup is currently on sale for $55.99 in JuJu’s online store but the lovely ladies behind the JuJu have been incredibly kind and are offerring a further $6 discount off of the sale price for my readers who use the dicount coupon code ‘redoctober‘ at the checkout up until the end of the month.
A few Tips for using menstrual cups
During my first cycle I had a few fumbles – my fault not the cup’s. I managed to drop it in the loo, closely avoided a major flood and completely freaked my son out, so I have a few tips of my own
❤if changing it over the toilet flush between emptying it and re-inserting just in case you get a case of the fumbles!
I stupidly fell asleep for12 hours after the very first time I inserted my cup. This was before I realised on super heavy days I need to change it every 8 hours or so. But thankfully as I had used a re-useable pad as backup so no sheets became involved.
❤use a pad as backup until you get used to how often you need to change on certain days of your cycle. As a cup is so different from a tampon you can remove and reinsert it as often as you like whilst you learn the ropes.
And because blood truly is thicker than water one time when I emptied it, the blood didn’t all flush away on a single half flush and my son thought I had developed some kind of cancer!!
❤ so if you have dual flush toilets, such as are very common here in Australia be sure to use a full flush after emptying your cup. I have also read that popping a sheet or two of toilet paper into the loo prior to emptying your cup will help to ensure a completely clean flush.
If you’ve got any questions feel free to ask away…
This Post is Part of my Red October Feature
- Translation: It’s the real deal, genuinely 100 percent Australian [↩]