I'm sitting here writing some code for my menstrual cup website and started thinking - why is it that I haven't seen any menstrual cup applicators on the market?
Inserting a menstrual cup can be very difficult.
Especially if you're a beginner.
And inserting it manually seems to be the only way to get it in.
And by manually I mean using your bare hands without any tools - such as an applicator.
So I did a little research.
I'm going to be honest with you - I haven't been able to find an answer to my question.
So I can only speculate.
But I think one of the main reasons is that there just isn't enough demand.
The menstrual cup industry is still in its early stages and just because a menstrual cup applicator seems like a cool product to sell it has to be well-designed and profitable in order for a business to start making them.
Another reason why we're not seeing more menstrual cup applicators out there I think is because designing a good product that is supposed to make it easier, and not harder, to insert a menstrual cup, is super hard.
What is a menstrual cup applicator?
I checked Wikipedia and consulted Google for a definition of the term "menstrual cup applicator" but unfortunately I couldn't find one.
So I'm making up my own definition based on my research:
A menstrual cup applicator is a small reusable health or medical device designed to aid with the insertion of a menstrual cup. It does so by holding and pushing the menstrual cup into the vagina and putting it in place.
Voilà - short and to the point!
And regarding product material:
Later in this post, I'll cover all the menstrual cup applicators that are available for purchase that I could find, namely Fleurity Aplicador de Coletores, AmyCup In&Out applicator, and the aforementioned Enna Cycle Applicator, and make a small comparison between the three.
Applicator or No Applicator: Which is right for you?
Now that you know a little bit more what a menstrual cup applicator is, it's time to check out the pros and cons of both "menstrual cup with applicator" and "menstrual cup without applicator".
- Applicators help to do the hard work by pushing the menstrual cup in for you.
- If you're new to menstrual cups, using an applicator can be a way to know your menstrual cup will be in properly and securely. At least that's the idea.
- Using a menstrual cup applicator can be less messy as the applicator deals with the blood, rather than your fingers.
- It can be a great alternative for curvy women or a person with e.g. musculoskeletal conditions. Using a menstrual cup applicator would make inserting a menstrual cup easier.
- Compared to applicator tampons, applicators for menstrual cups are reusable.
- A menstrual cup plus an extra applicator use more materials ultimately mean that using an applicator puts out more unnecessary waste into the world.
- You need to spend a few extra bucks if you want to buy one.
- Once your menstrual cup is in there and it feels uncomfortable, readjusting means you’ll have to use your fingers, which makes the point of using an applicator redundant.
- There’s a slight learning curve.
- Save a few dollars by only having to buy a menstrual cup.
- Less stuff to carry around when on the go.
- Less packaging and waste, which is more environment-friendly.
- You’re in total control of how a menstrual cup goes into your vagina and can adjust how it sits based on what's most comfortable for you.
- Using a menstrual cup without an applicator can get messy – your finger’s got to go right inside your vagina for it to fit in properly, meaning more blood gets on your hands.
If you know Portuguese and want to check out more pros and cons go see these videos on YouTube - it's a two-part video (if you don't know Portuguese, you can use the translation feature on YouTube):
Menstrual cup applicators on the market
I'm going to list three menstrual cup applicators that I found while researching.
There might be more but I checked the most obvious places online.
One interesting fact that I would like to share is that when I went to two very well known sites on the Chinese market I ended up with zero results!
Surely there must be at least one company making menstrual cup applicators in China?
Fleurity: Universal applicator for menstrual cups
Fleurity is a South American brand with its headquarters in Brazil.
Their main focus is menstrual cups.
But they also offer some other women hygiene products, such as a menstrual cup sterilizer and a urination device.
And then, of course, we have the menstrual cup applicator.
The applicator is universal - meaning it can be used with any menstrual cup brand.
It's reusable and it's sold either separately, or bundled in different kits.
The announcement of this product was in November 2019, so it's a pretty new item that we have in front of us here:
Enna Cycle Applicator
Next, we have the Enna Cycle Applicator.
It can be used with Size S and M of Enna menstrual cups.
If you have Size L, then you're out of luck.
You can probably use it with other menstrual cup brands as well - they just might not fit as well as Enna menstrual cups, but with some hacking, you should be able to get the job done.
It is recommended to not sterilize the applicator since it could be deformed because it is made of medical-grade polypropylene.
Just use intimate soap and water and you should be fine.
AmyCup In&Out applicator
The AmyCup In&Out applicator has been developed by an Italian company.
The product is no longer available so information about it is really limited.
But I managed to find some images and their old Amazon product page.
I also went to their official website but I couldn't find any information about the AmyCup In&Out applicator there either.
Menstrual cup with applicator concepts
As a side note, I wanted to share with you two cool and interesting projects that I found during my research.
Other Cup concept
The first one is a project called Other.
It's a menstrual cup concept developed by Mary Suttle.
She is an Industrial Designer from Nashville, TN based in New York City.
You can check out her site here.
In her designs, Mary demonstrates some of her ideas, and one of them is a menstrual cup applicator:
"The Other Cup is inserted with an applicator, then opens once inserted to collect menstrual fluid once inserted. After twelve hours the cup is removed with the same reusable silicone applicator, and a new clean cup is inserted. The cup and applicator are then deposited into hemostatic packaging that absorbs the menstrual fluid as you go about your day, and the cup can be rinsed later at your convenience at home."
Keela Cup Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign
Another cool project that I found is the Keela Cup.
The Keela Cup is a menstrual cup with a pull string stem.
The pull string stem is what's unique about it compared to other menstrual cups.
And they seem to have some ideas for an applicator as well:
"We want to hear from you whether or not an applicator or remover tool would be useful, as we have prototyped tools for these functions as well."
I later found out that menstrual disc startup Flex acquired Keela in October 2018.
Menstrual cup applicator comparison chart
|Menstrual cup applicator||Price|
|Fleurity: Universal applicator for menstrual cups||R$ 34,90 (Brazilian Real) ~ $ 8.4 (US Dollar)|
|Enna Cycle Applicator||~ 10-20 € (Euro) ~ $ 11 - $ 22 (US Dollar)|
|AmyCup In&Out applicator||Discontinued|
Where can you buy a menstrual cup applicator?
Enna Cycle Applicator
The ones that I've seen on Amazon come bundled with a menstrual cup.
I haven't been able to find just the applicator there.
But if you're planning on buying both a menstrual cup and applicator then you can check the current price here (link to Amazon UK).
If you live in Spain, then you have plenty of options - I searched their where-to-buy-database (the content is in Spanish) and there are a huge amount of retailers selling their products.
Fleurity: Universal applicator for menstrual cups
A quick search on amazon.com.br revealed nothing.
There are a few Fleurity products on the giant's website but I got zero results for the applicator.
https://loja.fleurity.com.br which is Fleuritys e-commerce section of their website lists the applicator, I can add it to the shopping cart and all of that but when going to the checkout I can only select a Brazilian shipping address.
Sometimes e-commerce sites have a FAQ-page about international orders/shipping but no luck there either.
It's a pity menstrual cup applicators are not more widely available.
However, I'm hoping that will change with the introduction of Fleuritys applicator, Enna still pushing theirs and maybe we'll see a new one from Flex.
If you've scanned the article and are only reading this section please note that the AmyCup In&Out applicator has been discontinued.
CUP-FIGURATOR™ - The Ultimate Menstrual Cup Finder
Applicator or no applicator, you still need a menstrual cup before you can use one.
And if you don't already own one, then you can find your perfect cup by using our online tool CUP-FIGURATOR™.
My recommendation is, try it out, buy a menstrual cup based on the results, give it a couple of cycles, and then, but only then, consider if you really need an applicator.
I hope you found this useful. See you in the next article!