Search Request Roundup #6 – Instead Softcup Removal
I haven’t done a “search request roundup” post in a very long time, but one recent search caught my attention: “I can’t remove my Instead softup.”
Here is what the Instead FAQ has to say about removal:
“To remove the INSTEAD® Softcup® we recommend sitting on the toilet with your knees apart. Insert your finger into the vagina and locate the pubic bone; the INSTEAD® Softcup® rim will be right behind it. Hook your finger under the rim. Don’t worry; your fingernails cannot puncture the cup. (Some women use their middle finger to remove the cup, as the middle finger tends to be longer than the index finger.) Very slowly pull the INSTEAD® Softcup® out, keeping it horizontal and level to the floor. Do not pull down like you do with a tampon, as this can cause spillage. Do not twist; just pull steadily. If you have trouble hooking your finger under the rim, bear or push down with your pelvic muscles and try hooking your finger under the rim again. You can also insert your finger over the rim and into the cup but it will be slightly messier when you remove it. It is not unusual for first time users to make more than one attempt to remove the INSTEAD® Softcup®. You may want to practice removing the INSTEAD® Softcup® for the first time when you are not on your period and when you are in the privacy of your own bathroom. It is important to remain relaxed because tense muscles make it harder to remove INSTEAD® Softcup®. Don’t worry; the Cup cannot be lost inside your body, it can be worn safely up to twelve hours. Other removal tips: You may want to try removing the INSTEAD® Softcup® for the first time when you are having a light flow day or no period. WE recommend your first try to be when you are in the privacy of your own bathroom. Removing the INSTEAD® Softcup® can be awkward until you have more practice. It is important to remain relaxed because tense muscles make it harder to remove the cup. It may make you more relaxed to know that the INSTEAD® Softcup® cannot be lost inside your body and that it can be worn safely for up to twelve hours. Some women find that crouching in a warm shower makes removal easier because they are relaxed and less concerned about spillage. Always remember to remove your last INSTEAD® Softcup® when your period is done, and NEVER WEAR AN INSTEAD® SOFTCUP FOR MORE THAN 12 HOURS!”
The bottom line? It’s too big to get “lost,” and if I remember correctly it has a thick rim that is at least a centimeter wide. To put it bluntly, reach in, find the firm rim, hook it with your finger and pull gently. Or, if you’re anything like me when you tried the product, sneeze while on the toilet.
Now, I don’t know why, but I went looking for the patent documentation for the product, just out of curiosity. I believe this is it. Patent language amuses me, especially for menstrual products. Behold: “A vaginal discharge collection device, comprising: an elastomeric rim having a first generally circular configuration for creating a collection space for collecting vaginal discharge, said rim being compressible from said first configuration to a second generally figure-eight-shaped configuration for insertion of said device into position for use, wherein diametrically opposed portions of said rim…” Heh.
In poking around, I also found patent docs for an ““anal region pantyliner,” “an apparatus and method for assisting a customer with the fitting of a bra,” and “An intravaginal inflatable member impermeable to fluids adapted to collect upon inflation, menstrual blood and also capable of provide sealable closure of the vaginal canal for the prevention of vaginal exit of menstrual blood.” Interesting