If there are wristbands that collect a battery charge from spanking the weasel, why not a smart menstrual cup? Looncup the world’s first smart menstrual cup has nearly tripled its $50,000 campaign request on Kickstarter. Women like the idea of taking back control, which is the idea behind making dumb menstrual cups smart.
As we get older the response to that time of the month goes from “Ugh, I got my period,” to “Yay! I got my period,” for a few key reasons anyone who understands basic biology can guess. Looncup is designed to add another layer to that gratitude by helping women track and analyze their menstruation.
The initial idea was to take the traditional menstrual cup and add sensors that would simply tell the wearer when it’s full. As the project developed, it was clear Loon Labs, Looncup’s creator company could do so much more.
Volume is still covered, of course; that way you know when to change it, but volume offers more insight than that; ups and downs in the amount of menstrual flow can mean there’s something wrong. Fibroids, andometriosis, and endometriosis can cause heavier periods, for instance. The cup also tracks color changes in the menstrual fluid. Color can indicate the speed of blood flow; blood looks darker as it oxidizes, and that usually happens toward the end of a normal period. Looncup keeps track of the amounts and colors over time, so if patterns change you can make a doctor’s appointment.
The info ends up in a calendar in the app, negating the kind of records girls have been keeping for centuries. Looncup’s calendar is more than just a passive recording of trends, though that is helpful for gyno visits. When it’s about that time of the month, Looncup’s app will remind you. There’s even Apple and Android Watch apps to make the least convenient time of the month slightly more convenient.
There are some downsides to the Looncup compared to regular menstrual cups. Looncup’s antenna is one; it takes the place of the hook on the bottom of traditional cups. A lot of women cut the hook off of to make the cup more comfortable, but Looncup’s antenna obviously can’t be cut off. Then there’s the battery; it’s not replaceable and lasts about six months. Once it dies, Looncup becomes just a regular medical-grade silicone cup. To think positive; that still means saving the earth from tampons and pads, and if the battery is dead cutting off the antenna won’t make a difference.
The $30 and $35 individual backer rewards for one Loon Cup are all gone, as are the $55 double cup and the $300 10-cup deals. There are still $40 one-cup rewards available until the campaign ends the morning of Oct. 30. Backers expect their rewards in January.