One of the topics that comes up a lot for us is:
Why does For Flo only stock a few different brands of menstrual cups when there are many others out there?
It’s actually really simple! Because it’s the law.
In Australia, products like menstrual cups are regulated by the Australian Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA for short). Menstrual cups themselves have been classified as “therapeutic goods” and as such have mandatory requirements they must meet in order to be listed and therefore allowed to be sold within Australia. The process to get registered is long and costly and not many cup manufacturers have gone through it yet.
What cups can I buy in Australia?
The following four cups are the only ones which you should see for retail sale within Australia:
- The DivaCup
- The Keeper Cup (not available at For Flo)
These brands have an extensive reputation and the cups themselves are well designed and of high quality materials.
As a consumer, you are allowed to purchase other menstrual cups for personal use from outside of Australia.
Why might you prefer a different menstrual cup?
Like our anatomy, cups come in all shapes and sizes. While the ones available here have different features, they may not meet a specific user’s requirements. A cup user might be after something that has a different:
- Firmness (be softer or firmer)
- Capacity (hold more for heavy bleeders)
- Length (for a very high or low cervix)
- Width (fit more snugly inside the vaginal canal)
- Shape (be more comfortable)
Or an alternative combination of these features.
There is a type of cup out there to fit the needs of almost everyone.
Isn’t the TGA process making it harder for people in Australia to access the awesome world of reusable menstrual cups?
Well, yes. It can feel frustrating to those of us that love reusable menstrual products and want everyone to know how making the switch is both better for our bodies and drastically reduces the massive problem of waste production. BUT it makes sense that we need to have an official regulating body to ensure the object you are putting in your body is made out of what it says it is made out of. The TGA is a division of the Australian Government’s Department of Health and is responsible for the safeguarding and enhancement of health within the Australian community through the regulation of therapeutic goods.
What does a cup being registered mean to you?
It ensures that the object you are putting in your body is made out of what it says it is made out of. All of the cups available at For Flo and made from medical grade silicone. Other reputable cups can be made from TPE or natural rubber.
As menstrual cup use gains momentum and the reusable community grows, we hope that more brands will register in Australia and be more accessible to us down under.
What can you do to help?
Tell all the people who get periods in your life how much you love your cup! How their convenience can seriously change your life and menstrual cycle for the better. You might find it awkward to talk about, but it really shouldn’t be (a topic for another day!).
Share the cup love.
How menstrual cups are regulated in Australia (Therapeutic Good Administration) – https://www.tga.gov.au/how-menstrual-cups-are-regulated-australia