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I recently bought an iriscup, because it's almost identical size to my previous cup (rainbow) and seemed to be soft and have large airholes. It's also clear which i think is safer. As soon as i took it out of the box i noticed a plasticy/chemical smell. I boiled it and washed it and it faded but still has a smell. This worries me, it's supposed to be medical grade silicone that is platinum cured (instead of peroxide).

So...should i be worried? Is it possible for medical silicone to have a smell and be safe? I'm worried there are phthalates, bpa, or other chemicals that are unsafe. How do you know if cups are really safe and made of what the manufacturers claim? I've tried flame testing on my previous rainbow and icare, but that doesn't tell me if there are additives. I haven't flame tested this one. My rainbow had a faint plastic smell that never went, and when i forgot it in the boiling pot it turned into a pile of white ash...it did cause very slight irritation for me. i'm not sure what to make of that.

Any idea about safety in general, or specific to the Iris cup? It otherwise seems like a well made cup. Thanks :)
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on February 13th, 2016 09:03 pm (UTC)
No, I don't think you should be worried. But if you don't trust it, then don't use it. Don't let anything or anyone in there that/who you don't trust.
mossmorton on February 16th, 2016 04:24 am (UTC)
I don't think it should smell plastic like at all. Sometimes there is a faint smell, but it's different, and should only be faint. I can only describe it as a silicone smell (sorry). This might not a be a very high quality cup, and if you have had irritation before from a cheaper cup, you might want to consider investing in a brand that can provide it's certifications or more details about its materials.
liz_rah on February 17th, 2016 07:11 pm (UTC)
Hey... my cup (Lena) had only a very faint smell when I first got it--that disappeared immediately after sterilization. So... I don't think that medical grade silicone should smell like plastic.You might want to pay attention. If you notice any irritation, then it could be a good idea to get another cup, but if not (and if you trust the brand), then go ahead and use it.
dandylillies on February 18th, 2016 03:10 am (UTC)
i tried boiling in salt+ water, and soaking in baking soda. That helped significantly. Now i have to stick my nose inside and barely smell it...i probably shouldnt have called it a plastic smell, it's not, it's more of a chemical smell that i dont know how to describe...like a VERY faint ammonia or nail polish remover smell? I should also mention i do have a really good sense of smell, others may not be sensitive.

I contacted iriscup and they shared their fda registration document, so i feel better about that. I also just smelled the box and am beginning to wonder if it absorbed that smell it reeks of a chemical smell.

In general, i am nervous about menstrual cup safety, i think most people make huge assumptions that they're safe and that what the companies claim is honest. sure, they're probably healthier than reusables, but i would still like more assurances that they're safe and actually go through testing (which they don't). If someone can help me pinpoint how silicone smells that would be so helpful, i haven't the slightest clue.

Anyway, thank you all for sharing.
djehutys_wisdom on February 18th, 2016 04:30 am (UTC)
suspicious smell
Unfortunately, that FDA registration doesn't prove much. Menstrual cups are pretty much all grandfathered in from the original one that got approved. Individual brands do not have to "prove" their cup is safe anymore.

If it smell like nail polish or ammonia, I wouldn't use it. That's just weird.

All my cups are Lunette or Sckoon, made in Finland and the USA, respectively. None of them (5 total) have ever had a smell like you describe.
dandylillies on February 18th, 2016 11:06 pm (UTC)
Re: suspicious smell
Oh i agree. The FDA registration is better than nothing, but i know there is no testing or safety implied. I wish i could use a cup from a company that i could trust...because that is what it boils down to. None of us, nor the fda are regularly testing cups. Most people just assume that the box is accurate and companies are honest. Did any of your 5 cups have any smell?

Lunette seem to be a good company, the problem is i have a strong preference for soft cups of a smaller size (about 40 mm wide and 50 long is as big as i'll go). That limits my options. Since you've had 5, does any cup ring a bell as being a good one for me to try? I've heard rumors about the Sckoon company's integrity, not sure if they're trustworthy or not.

thank you
djehutys_wisdom on February 18th, 2016 01:52 pm (UTC)
Rainbow Cup
I wanted to add, I did some research on the RainbowCup, and it appears to (like the seemingly identical Monzcare) be made in China. I also went on the Menstrual Cups Wordpress site (which has reviews of basically every cup out there), and other people have clearly reported smell issues and irritation with that cup. I'm guessing it's either NOT being made with medical-grade silicone (which, unfortunately, is a distinct possibility with Chinese-made cups), or it's been made with something (dye, cure, whatever) that is not in higher-grade cups.

IrisCup appears to be from Spain, but I can't find anything to say it is manufactured there. There are quite a few cups being designed in Europe but manufactured in China, which means there's a higher possibility of adulterants.
dandylillies on February 18th, 2016 11:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Rainbow Cup
Thanks for looking into the rainbow cup. It seemed to always have a light smell even after several uses, and it did irritate me a bit. The iriscup is made in korea, i don't know if that makes it any safer than the china made cups. I really like cups, but feel like women are being taken advantage of by these companies and their claims...who knows if all of this "medical grade silicone" is safe? It would be awesome if there was a way to test it.
djehutys_wisdom on February 20th, 2016 09:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Rainbow Cup
The Lunette Small should fit your specified dimensions (it might be 41 mm wide instead of 40, and it's shorter than your limit, also). You can trim the stem if it is too long for you. Lunette is designed and made in Finland, which is one of the most honest and least-corrupt countries on the planet. I use clear cups because there is no long-term data on the safety of colored cups, whereas clear medical grade silicone has been in use for decades.

The small SckoonCup is within your specified measurements. It, too features a longer stem, which you can trim. The stem on the Sckoon is quite a bit softer and more flexible than the small Lunette. I have never used a small Sckoon.

The large SckoonCup is wider than you like, at about 45mm, but it's quite soft and I really like this cup. I use this and my small Lunette. If you are a virgin the width might be an issue, but otherwise I suspect it will be comfortable.

I've not heard of the issues you describe with Sckoon. I ordered both of mine off Amazon from Sckoon on there. There are other suppliers on Amazon that sell cups of many brands, including SckoonCups, but I don't order from them because there's a chance of getting a counterfeit cup.

No, my five cups have never had more than a very faint whiff when I got them, and it went away as soon as they were washed. I use the Lunette Cup Wash because it rinses very clean and makes the cup nice and fresh. Even when my cup has gotten stinky from being left in too long, it always smells nice and clean after washing it.