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Menstrual Cup Basics- How to choose a cup

Disclosure “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through the links below or I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Reusable Menstrual Cups

What is it and why should I use it?

A reusable menstrual cup is made from medical grade silicon. There are many benefits to using a reusable menstrual cup instead of tampons or pads.

  1. Can be reused for 5-10 years with proper care.

2. Money saving option

3. Non toxic

4. More comfortable after learning to use

5. Better for you

6. Better for the planet

7. Less waste

8. Easy to bring with you

9. Can stay in for 12 hours

10. Available in fun colors

 

There will be a learning curve when switching to a reusable menstrual cup. Learning to insert and remove the cup will take a little bit of research and patience. After you get past the learning curve hopefully you will love menstrual cups and continue to use them.

For a review of my first time experience with a reusable menstrual cup please read http://www.theclassybrokegirls.com/2015/07/10/eco-classy-period/

There are many different brands of reusable menstrual cups. The one that most people know is the Diva cup.

The first thing to know is that not every reusable menstrual cup is the same. There are different sizes, capacity, firmness, stem types, colors and shapes.

What cup should I choose?

Sizing

Each brand of reusable menstrual cup is slightly different. The ones I attached pictures to have a more unique design. Most menstrual cups range in price from $21-$40 and almost all cups come in two different sizes. The #1 size or A size depending on the brand is normally the smaller size for women/teens under 30 and who have not had children but these are also good for lighter flows. The #2 or B size is recommend for women who are over 30, have had children, have a heavier flow or a weaker pelvic flow. This is just a guideline to go by and may or may not be helpful in picking which cup size which work for you.

Capacity

Lily Cup has a capacity of 32 ml for the #2 size and the #1 size has a capacity of 28 ml. The lily cup compact on the other hand has a capacity of 18 ml for size 1 and 23 ml for size 2, these I believe would be good for young girls just starting their period or very light flows. The lily cup compact seems to be the smallest cup on the market.

The brand I currently have, the EVA cup has a capacity of 30 ml in the #1 size and 37 ml in the #2 size. https://www.anigan.com/pages/evacup-size-selection

They may have changed the size of their cup since I bought my size 1 since my EVA cup is only 25 ml capacity. I have a heavy flow for at least 2-3 day and can not go 12 hours without emptying my current cup.

The largest capacity cup I could find is the Super Jennie, the #1 size capacity is 32 ml and the #2 is 41 ml and at $29.95 this was a great purchase for me. I bought the size 2 and was skeptical at first when I compared it to the size 1 Eva cup. It was way bigger but worked great and the larger capacity is wonderful. I highly recommend for those with a heavy flow.

The diva cup is the cup that many people find at the drug store and may start with. This cup may or may not work for you, just as the cup that your friend or sister likes may not be the right one for you. It is important to remember that the first cup you try may not be the right one for you. There are various shapes, firmness and cup capacity.

Picking a cup

Some of finding the right cup for you will come down to trial and error but there are some things to take into consideration.

  1. Your flow

       2. Your cervix height (a low cervix means you will need a shorter cup or have to cut the stem off)

       3. Beginner or experienced with menstrual cups 

       4. Stem preference

      5. Firmness of cup ( this matters to some people who can feel the cup when inserted)

6. Shape

Flow

The heaviness or lightness of your flow is important to take into consideration when choosing a cup. Even if you are under 30 and have never had a child this does not mean that you can only use size 1 cup. If your flow is heavy try a size 2 cup. You may find that the larger size works better since you won’t have to change it as often and it might even fit better.

Cervix Height

Cervix Height may play a factor in what cup will work for you.

If you have high cervix then longer cups like the Diva cup and the Super Jennie will work great for you.

If you have a lower cervix then shorter cups or a disk shape will be better for you. You may find that even with shorter cups you have to cup the stem off.

Beginner or experienced Menstrual Cup user

If it is your first time trying a menstrual cup or still a beginner then the smaller cups may be easier. Teens will also find the smaller and shorter cups easier to insert.

After a few cycles of using a cup you may want to try a different brand or shape or size. It is great to have more than one cup. The more you use a menstrual cup the more confident you will get and may notice what you would like in a cup. The best way to learn about different cups besides actually trying them is to watch or read reviews on them. I love watching reviews on Youtube about the various cups.

Stems

The stem on the cup may not be important to you or it may be very important.

There are stems that are just straight, stems that are round with a hole, stems that are a ball and stems that are more or less stretchy.

 

Firmness

Each brand of cup is different. Some are more or less firm.

Some women find that a firmer cup pushes against their bladder or feels uncomfortable. A firmer cup will pop open easier after insertion though.

For those that are sensitive to firmness they may want to look for a cup that is a lighter firmness or labeled as sensitive. A softer firmness may not open as well and may require more adjustments after insertion to fully open.

Shape

Bell Shape- The most common shape but length of the cup can vary.

Bowl Shape- The Femmycycle cup

Disk- The Intimina Ziggy Cup or the Nixit Cup 

Image result for shapes of menstrual cups

Photo Credit: The Eco Friendly Family

As you can see each cup is slightly different.  In general they are a bell shape. But the bell shape may be longer or shorter, fatter or skinnier.

Popular brands of reusable menstrual cups

“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through the links below”

Lilly Cup

Lily cup compact cup

Lunette

Diva Cup

Eva Cup

Femmy Cup- There are 3 versions- Regular, Petite and Low Cervix

Lena

Intimina Ziggy Cup – Extra-Thin Reusable Menstrual Cup (This is disk shape)

Supper Jennie

 

 

Disposable Menstrual Cups

There are a few options in the disposable menstrual cup area if the reusable option is not your cup of choice. Although I do love that the reusable menstrual cups can last for up to 10 years if properly taken care of, sometime the disposable menstrual cups are useful.

Disposable Disks

The Flex Cup

When it was first announced that the flex was going to be released I though it was going to be this cool new menstrual product but it looks just like the Instead Soft Cup that you used to be able to buy at the drug store. According to the Flex company website there is a small difference.

They offer a free 1 month trial and then it is $20 per month after that and they ship a new monthly supply of 8 flex disk each month for that $20 monthly fee.

I have a box of Instead Soft Cups that I use occasionally with my EVA Cup. My personal review of the soft cup is that it is good for lighter days. I will use one on the second to last day or last day of my period. It is comfortable, it is actually easier to put in and take out but I feel it is slightly messier and leaks a little when using the bathroom when not ready to be removed just yet. My box of 12 has actually lasted me over a year which is also why I don’t see the need to pay $20 a month for the Flex subscription.

There are also 2 disk options that are reusable the Intimina Ziggy Cup and the Nixit cup if the bell shape of the other reusable cups doesn’t work for you but you still want to use a reusable cup.

If you want to try it from amazon see the link below.

They also have their own version of a reusable menstrual cup. They claim that it has a unquie pull stem design. I have never used this design. If it works it may be good for those you struggle with getting their cup out but remember there is a learning curve with using a reusable menstrual cup.

Comparison between a reusable menstrual cup and a disposable menstrual cup

From the Flex Company FAQ

https://flexfits.com/pages/faq

FLEX is a single use device and was created to be discarded after each use as a more convenient alternative. Reusable Menstrual cups are meant to be rinsed and reused for every cycle.

  •  Discs are soft and fully collapsable with a thin membrane center and flexible outer rim; reusable menstrual cups are firm and bell-shaped with a stem
  • Menstrual discs are worn in the vaginal fornix, at the base of the cervix; menstrual cups are worn in the vaginal canal
  • Discs have one method of insertion and removal; reusable menstrual cups may be folded and inserted in a variety of ways
  • Menstrual discs generally have a similar size and shape; menstrual cups come in a variety of shapes and size

Conclusion

 My personal observations are that the soft cup/ flex disk has an easier learning curve than a reusable cup but the disposable cups have a smaller capacity then reusable cups. I find both to be equally comfortable and depending on your needs one might be a better option than the other. As mentioned above there is now a reusable disk option. I also feel that if you are looking at it from a money saving and eco-friendly perspective that a reusable cup is the better option.
To read all about my first experience using a reusable menstrual cup click this link http://www.theclassybrokegirls.com/eco-classy-period/
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