how does it work?
The Concept Insertion Removal & Reuse Questions

Why is it so expensive?

Over its useful life, Miacup is actually much, much cheaper than conventional menstrual products. While it may seem expensive at first, you only buy it once: it's a different way of looking at costs associated with menstrual products. Tampons or pads cost less to begin with - but you would need to buy thousands of them in your lifetime.

Why is it more expensive than your competitors' products?

This is a fair question - Miacup isn't the cheapest menstrual cup available. It's also a difficult question to answer without being biased. Certainly, there are a number of great menstrual cup brands available, and they are all functionally quite similar.

The truth is that we aren't trying to compete with anyone on price: we're trying to compete on quality and on service.

Having said that, we feel that Miacup offers very good value for money despite its cost - particularly in our domestic market.

Our packaging is hand-made from (mostly) 100% recycled materials and is carbon-offset 100%. Our carry bags are high-quality, lined, embroidered and hand-made. Our retail units are sold with a bound user guide, again, produced with 100% recyled materials.

The material and pigments used in our manufacturing are among the finest available anywhere in the world - our pigments costing more per unit then some other manufacturers are spending on their entire cups. We use a platinum-based curing process, superior to the peroxide curing that some competitors use.

We offer a unique no-questions-asked return/exchange guarantee for all orders placed at our online store and normally offer free worldwide shipping.

In short: we're proud of our product and believe that we're offering it at a very competitive price, taking everything into consideration. Because of our guarantee, we even give women the chance to decide for themselves if Miacup is "worth it".

Why does Miacup have so much packaging (e.g. a user's guide) when it's being touted as environmentally friendly?

Our packaging (including our user's guide for retail units) is produced with 100% recycled, 100% TCF-free materials - much of it derived from post-consumer waste. Despite the fact that these materials costs us more than 8 times what "regular", virgin materials would, we feel strongly enough about the issue to spend the extra money.

As far as the quantity of material is concerned: we've thought about it a great deal. The truth is that a fair number of menstrual cups sold, end up not being used out of frustration - because of easily-avoided difficulties.

We've found that including detailed instructions and attractive packaging can help to persuade otherwise reluctant women to try Miacup - usually successfully.

If the additional packaging means that even one additional young woman stops using disposable menstrual products, the net environmental benefit easily outweighs the environmental cost of the packaging that we produce in several months.

Update, 17 July 2008: In addition to our above comments, our product packaging is now also 100% carbon neutral. That is, 100% of the CO2 produced as the result of our product packaging (paper used, etc.) is being offset with donations to environmental projects that directly contribute to the elimination/reduction of CO2 (like the planting of trees or the production of clean energy sources).

Update, 8 April 2009: We have now also launched a new, reduced-packaging design for all orders placed at our online store. In particular, infrequently-used support materials have been migrated to an online support centre. The reduction in packaging has also helped to minimize shipping weights.

Which Miacup model should I be using? What is the difference?

There are two Miacup models available.
"Model 1" is generally appropriate for women who fall into either of the following two categories:
1. Women younger than 30 who have never had children.
2. Women younger than 30 who have given birth by Caesarean section.

"Model 2" is generally appropriate for women who fall into either of the following two categories:
1. All women older than 30.
2. All women that have given birth vaginally.

For Miacup to work as effectively as possible, it is important that you use the correct model. Model 2 is very slightly larger in the diameter to account for the natural loss of vaginal elasticity that can occur with ageing or with vaginal birth.

It is worth noting that, occasionally, a woman will have greater success with a model not recommended to her by the above categories. In these cases, the return/exchange guarantee (provided with every Miacup purchased directly through this website) may be used to swap for an appropriate model.

What if I am supposed to be using a Model 1, but I have a very heavy flow and would therefore prefer the capacity of a Model 2?

Unfortunately, the models are prescribed for their ability to create a reliable seal - not for their capacities. This means that, even though you may prefer the capacity of a Model 2, a Model 2 would more than likely cause you discomfort and/or provide an unreliable seal, leading to unnecessary leaking.

Keep in mind that even a Model 1 is able to collect far more menstrual fluid than most tampons.

Why do some other brands have only one model? Is their design universal?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a "universal" menstrual cup. Because of the way that menstrual cups work (namely, by way of a vacuum seal), it is necessary for them to obtain a good fit to prevent leaking.

Since women's bodies vary, especially as they age or give birth, it is usually necessary for women to adjust the size of menstrual cup that they use, in order to provide the maximum possible reliability.

The costs of developing different sized models is often prohibitive to new or smaller companies, so some brands elect to offer only one model until they're able to properly invest in more manufacturing equipment.

How do I make use of my return/exchange guarantee?

Every Miacup purchased directly from our online store, ships with a 6-month return/exchange guarantee (click here for terms and conditions).

To make use of your return/exchange guarantee, click here to contact our Customer Service Department. For the quickest possible assistance, please make sure to quote your full name and original order code.

What happens with returned Miacup units?

Since there are currently no suitable recycling facilities in South Africa, all returned units are destroyed. Exportation for recycling would be environmentally counter-productive given the small number of returns that we receive.

Update: we're currently investigating the possibility of fully sterilising and then donating returned units to young women in rural townships. More information will be made available later.

What colour is Miacup exactly? The photographs seem to be inconsistent.

The colour could probably best be described as "dark pink". Honestly, it's a bit difficult to say - some people prefer to call it "light purple". The inconsistencies are a result of different lighting conditions and of natural variation between cups (because of the way our pigment works, they're not all exactly the same). It might help to know that the colour was modelled after the darker part of our logo.

Is Miacup a new idea?

Miacup is a new brand: not a new idea. The first bell-shaped menstrual cup was invented in 1937. World War 2 rubber shortages, the squeamish sensibilities of the time and superior marketing by tampon corporations resulted in the quick demise of the menstrual cup.

The first successful menstrual cup was developed in the USA in 1987. Now, with modern materials and designs, there are several competing producers around the world. Of course, we feel that we're offering something better than the rest... but we'll let you decide.

The menstrual cup is an idea whose time has finally come: we truly believe this. Modern women are more comfortable with their bodies, more concerned with living their lives and more informed about their health and the health of their planet than they have ever been before.

How is Miacup shipped? Is the packaging descreet?

Absolutely. All orders are shipped in a plain brown (domestic) or white (international) padded envelope. While our return address is clearly marked, there is no mention made of our company name and no other branding of any kind is visible.

On customs documents (only for international orders), the contents will be described as "silicone cup(s)".

Is Miacup available in retail stores or only via your website?

We are currently working on getting Miacup into retail stores and into the hands of independent agents, both inside and outside of South Africa - but it's going to take us some time. As reliable suppliers become available, we will be listing their information at our online store, here. In the meantime, Miacup is vailable directly from our website.

Can you send me any promotional material to give to family/friends?

Of course! We appreciate any help in spreading the word about Miacup. Contact our Customer Service Department and we can arrange to have some goodies posted to you.

Can I wash the Miacup storage bag?

The Miacup storage bag is made of satin and should be hand washed (cool to warm water) to protect the embroidery.
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