'Instead SoftCup' is one of the most recent menstrual products to have been developed. Made of modern thermoplastic material it is, however, based on an idea that is not new. Different kinds of menstrual cups have been manufactured since at least the 1930s, but generally have not been a marketing success. 'Instead' cups were first released in the USA in 1996, and the manufacturer's main claims were that they moulded to a woman's internal shape, creating a seal that protected against leakage, making them especially useful on 'heavy flow days' and 'during exercise - even sexual intercourse'. Initial sales appear to have been slow but the product is still available in the USA. It has not been released in Australia.