The Sileu Menstrual Cup – A Sustainable Eco Friendly Alternative To Tampons and Sanitary Pads

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If I sat and worked out how much money I have spent on my periods over the last 40 years I think the resulting number would horrify me. Menstruation has probably cost me thousands of pounds in my lifetime, and there is no wonder that ‘period poverty’ is a real problem around the world. Plus, the amount of plastic in the pads and tampons that I have used over the years is a big issue. I really do feel that it is about time that we promoted a cheaper, more sustainable and much more ecofriendly solution to all these problems. So when I was approached to try the Sileu menstrual cup, I was delighted to accept the chance to see for myself this alternative to mainstream sanitary products.

#AD – We were gifted the Sileu Rose Travel Set for this review. All opinions are our own.*This is a collaborative post – for more details, see my Disclosure Page  

The Sileu Menstrual Cup

What is a Menstrual Cup?

A menstrual cup is a bell shaped cup with a stem, usually made from medical grade silicone. They were devised  to take the place of mainstream sanitary products. And are designed to catch menstrual blood within the vagina. They are also created to be reusable. The idea is that you sterilise them between uses.

The Sileu Menstrual cup is indeed made from red silicone, and is shaped as a rose.

Menstrual cups come in many sizes and shapes and there are other sizes in the Sileu range. The Sileu rose, though, comes as two sizes. The small size is more suited for ladies under 30 who have not given birth vaginally. The larger size is better for ladies over 30 or those that have had a vaginal child delivery. It may be that you do need to try a few different ones, particularly if you have an unusual vaginal shape or a low cervix for example.

How Do You Use One?

As with any personal sanitary product, it is important to use a menstrual cup properly and hygienically to get the best results.

Like anything it will take some getting used to. I remember using my first tampons. And how it was difficult at first to get used to inserting and using them. But now it is just second nature. And the same will be true of menstrual cups.

In theory, a menstrual cup can take about 3x the amount of blood as a standard regular tampon (30ml for the cup vs 12ml for a tampon). So in theory one cup can last 6-12 hours. But I would still be tempted to use the back up of a sanitary towel. For me, that would have to be a reusable sanitary towel (see my post on how to make your own here).

Before Using It

Boil it before use. The Sileu menstrual cup is made of medical grade silicone, so you can boil it for a few minutes to sterilise it before each use. The travel kit comes with a cup to use in a microwave. Or you can boil it in a pan.

The Sileu set comes with a collapsable silicone cup for sterilising, and a travel case

Then let the cup cool before drying it. And wash your hands.

How Do You Insert It?

As with anything new, the key is to relax. Apply water or water based lube to the cup, and use one of the diagrams to show you the way of folding the cup before insertion. The most popular are the C-fold or the punch down fold.

Inserting the cup is very like using a non-applicator tampon. Push it up as far as possible. You may need to rotate the cup slightly to get a good seal and let the cup open. Then pull the stem to ensure it is properly inserted.

This is where I think it is useful to have a sanitary towel or panty liner as a back up. Especially during the first few wears, overnight or when you are on your heaviest days. Though once it is in properly there should be no chance of leaks.

How Does It Feel In Use?

If it is inserted properly, you should not really feel it in place. It should feel comfortable and you should be able to go about your day in total peace.

How Do You Remove It?

After washing your hands, the cup is removed by pulling slightly on the stem of the cup, whilst inserting a finger up the side of the cup to break the seal. Then you can remove the cup and pour the contents into the toilet.

It is recommended to wipe or wash the cup before reinsertion. So you will probably want to do this stage at home in a private bathroom at first rather than out in a public convenience. But because the cup is designed to be only emptied twice a day this is perfectly feasible. And again, this whole process should get easier and more natural the more you use the cup.

I actually found removing the cup to be quite tender. As a perimenopausal woman in her late 40s, I put this down to being quite dry. But I am sure again it becomes more easier with use.

In Between Uses

You do need to sterilise it by boiling for a few minutes at the end of using it, and store in a clean cool place. The Sileu menstrual cup we were sent had a handy storage bag and case. Furthermore, the travel set had a silicone cup that could be used in a microwave.

The Sileu Menstrual Cup - find out why I think menstrual cups are the future for feminine sanitary products. How to use them. Why they are an eco friendly, sustainable alternative to sanitary towels and tampons. #menstrualcup #zerowaste #ecofriendly #sustainableliving #sustainableperiod #femininesanitaryproduct

So What Did I think Of The Sileu Menstrual Cup

I was incredibly impressed with the set. I think it provides anything you may need to get started with menstrual cups.

But , I do think that using a menstrual cup has positives and negatives.

On The Plus Side
  • Menstrual cups hold more than tampons, so you don’t need to check them or change them as often
  • They are far more eco sustainable if correctly used
  • They are safer if used properly, as there is no risk of toxic shock syndrome. Toxic shock syndrome is a rare condition that comes from bacterial infection when a tampon is kept in too long. Because the cup holds blood rather than soaking up blood, bacteria do not accumulate in the same way.
  • Even though their initial cost is more, the cup quickly will pay for itself. Tampons and towels are quite expensive. So even with a retail of approximately £25, the Sileu menstrual cup set will pay for itself within a year. As the cups can last up to 10 years this means a considerable saving.
But (And It’s A Small But)

They do need to be treated hygienically and may take some getting used to. They can cause irritations and infection if not used correctly.  However, if you are sterilising and using them correctly this should not happen.

A very tiny number of people can have a silicone sensitivity. And certainly you should avoid latex versions if you have a latex sensitivity or allergy.

But still the risks are smaller than those associated with the current mainstream tampons and towels that we are all using. Menstrual cups are a very safe alternative.

The rose shaped design and cup storage bag

In Conclusion

I actually do think that menstrual cups are the future of sustainable sanitary wear for the planet. Even if they are made of silicone, your average cup could last up to 10 years if used correctly. Compare that to 10 years of buying tampons and towels…and there really is no contest. Plus when you think of all the plastic waste that is prevented by using menstrual cups, it really is a no brainer.

It is maybe a little late for me to be getting on to using menstrual cups. But certainly I would have no hesitation of advising my daughter to use one. To buying one for her and showing her how to use one properly.

After all if it

  • saves her money,
  • is safer for her
  • and more sustainable for the planet,

then products like the Sileu mentstrual cup are definitely the direction to be heading.

*Find your Sileu Rose Travel Set and lots more information over at the Sileu Website*

Found this interesting? I’d love to hear your comments or thoughts. And why not pin this post for later?

The Sileu Menstrual Cup - find out why I think menstrual cups are the future for feminine sanitary products. How to use them. Why they are an eco friendly, sustainable alternative to sanitary towels and tampons. #menstrualcup #zerowaste #ecofriendly #sustainableliving #sustainableperiod #femininesanitaryproduct


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

21 Replies to “The Sileu Menstrual Cup – A Sustainable Eco Friendly Alternative To Tampons and Sanitary Pads”

  1. Kaye Gambles says:

    Hi Jo
    Both my daughters swear by their moon ups, and although the initial expense is high they both know they have saved loads of money. My eldest daughter stumbled across them at the age of 19. She is now 23 and has never looked back. Youngest tried them at the same time and agreed with her sister. Comfortable and environmentally friendly. Both been using them for 4 years and no complaints x

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Hi Kaye! Yes, certainly for me the money saving aspect is just so important too! It is just a no brainer.

    2. Ella @ Typical Mummy says:

      I’m really interested in these. I’m just not sure I have the guts to make the switch yet…although I’d really like to try! #KCACOLS

  2. Anne says:

    I think I may have a chat with my daughter about this (it’s too late for me..yay!) She uses tampons and gets through a lot, I’ve never been a fan of tampons myself but she finds them comfortable so I figure that using a cup would be easier for her. She’s an adult but never had a child. I like the rose shape.

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I too have used tampons for 30+ years, and this just seems a logical step. I would probably start with the smallest.

  3. Sarah-Marie says:

    I’ve been thinking about trying a menstural cup for a while as a way to be a little kinder to the environment. I guess my biggest worry is not getting the insertion right! #MMBC

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      That may be the trickiest part, but with practice it does get easier. I actually didn’t find even the first time too difficult. Possible because as I said I have used non applicator tampons so the insertion isn’t too different.

  4. Kate Holmes says:

    I am just about at the end of my periods but like you may well recommend to my daughter. I do believe these will replace alternatives in time with us considering the environment that bit more #PoCoLo

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I agree, I think that hopefully these cups and reusable products will overtake disposable pads and tampons in the future.

  5. Lydia C. Lee says:

    They scare me a little, to be honest – but I swear by those pants they make now so I’m still all good, environmentally wise….:) #KCALCOLS

  6. Veronica Lee says:

    I am with you. Hopefully these cups and reusable products will help save our planet. Every effort counts!


  7. Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs says:

    I have heard lots of good things about these! Although I haven’t tried one myself. I would fear that my flow is far too heavy for it. I do use the period pants though and they are fab! x

  8. Malin - Sensational Learning with Penguin says:

    I’ve never tried a menstrual cup but would like to. I have several friends who have been using them for quite a long time now and who swears by them. Thank you for your down to earth and comprehensible review, it’s really helpful and informative! And thanks so much for linking up with #KCACOLS, hope you’ll join in again next time x

  9. Meghan says:

    Yay! I love my cup!

    It did take some getting used to… and that’s because it took me several years of on-and-off-again trying to get good at inserting it to realize an easy trick:

    When you are re-inserting, put a little water-based lubricant jelly around the top lip and it will go in really easily and open right up!

    For newbies, I do recommend changing it in the shower the first few times because it take a bit to get used to. But it will hold up to heavy flow days — I usually only change mine 2x a day on heavy days (morning and night) and rarely have overflow problems. =)

  10. Mea Cadwell says:

    I’m post-menopausal now but I started using cloth pads 2 decades ago, when they were a ‘hippie/tree-hugger product’ (at the time) and found how good they were – less sweating down there, no crinkle noise, inexpensive, and always available without needing to go to the store. Sewing them is very easy – I made mine so I could wear one to two pads depending on the flow.

    Like many women, I was leary of using the menstrual cup, but was glad when I finally did about 15 years ago. I got The Keeper (there were a LOT fewer options back then as opposed to nowadays). Using a cup reduced my monthly cramping a ton, the cup was more comfortable than tampons, it can be healthier (if hygiene is preserved), and the learning curve was minimal. The Keeper lasted the entire 15 years with no problem at all and still has a lot of life left in it.

    I saved a lot of money and hassle going this route and recommend it to every female out there.

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you for this. Certainly I can see all these benefits with my cup too. And using my own sew sewn pads.

  11. Jenni Glenn says:

    I haven’t needed a tampon in almost 30 years. Yay! My daughter, 24, has used the cup for a few years. Me, being me, used a sea sponge, sewn through with dental floss, for years. It worked marvelously. I never had a really heavy flow: maybe this had something to do with that? I boiled it occasionally and changed it out a few times over the years. I never ran into another sponge user though.


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