A Guide To Finding The Best Menstrual Cup
In the world of feminine hygiene, menstrual cups are more than a little obscure. There are a number of reasons for this, and that obscurity can make it somewhat difficult to choose the right one for you.
Luckily, we’ve taken the time to find the best menstrual cups on the market, and we’ve added a complete guide to help you figure out which one is best for you. All of the menstrual cups mentioned in this guide are available online, too. So, you don’t have to deal with any embarrassing experiences in a store such as Target or Walmart. You can purchase your new menstrual cup from the comfort of your own home.
Without wasting any more time, let’s go ahead and get you on the road to finding your new favorite menstrual cup!
- What Is A Menstrual Cup?
- Why Should You Use A Menstrual Cup?
- How To Choose The Right Cup
- The Best Period Cups
- Usage And Maintenance
- Inserting Your Menstrual Cup
- Cup Removal
- How To Empty Your Cup
What Is A Menstrual Cup?
With most feminine hygiene products, menstrual blood and other byproducts are absorbed into a cotton-based core. Those are obviously disposable options. However, a menstrual cup is more of a reusable option.
A menstrual cup is a re-usable silicone device that is inserted into your vagina to collect all of the blood produced during your period. It works by forming a very gentle seal along your vaginal walls, and all of the byproducts from your period have nowhere to go except into the cup.
That may sound uncomfortable, but the silicone used for menstrual cups can be made in a variety of densities and hardness levels. This means that you can easily find one that you won’t even notice when it’s inserted.
Why Should You Use A Menstrual Cup?
In general, menstrual cups have a number of advantages over other feminine hygiene products. They’re re-usable, they last a very long time, and they’re more eco-friendly than any other menstruation product. This means that you can save your hard-earned money, and you can help save the environment at the same time!
Now, we can go over the advantages and disadvantages of menstrual cups. That way, you’re informed before you choose to make the switch to a menstrual cup.
There are many different advantages to using a menstrual cup:
- Less expensive than pads and tampons
- Healthier than other products
- Easier to manage than pads and tampons
The average woman has to purchase new pads or tampons on a monthly basis. They’re typically inexpensive up front, but that monthly cost adds up. It’s estimated that most women will spend nearly $6000 on feminine hygiene products before they hit menopause. However, you don’t have to spend all of that money. A menstrual cup is reusable, and a single cup can last more than a decade if you take proper care of it.
Menstrual cups are also extremely safe to use. They can even be healthier than other products. Menstrual cups don’t contain any dangerous chemicals, they’re completely hypoallergenic, and they don’t have any annoying adhesives that stick to your skin. Also, products like tampons are known to present the risk of toxic shock syndrome. TSS is a dangerous condition that is caused by tampons allowing bacteria to grow inside of your vagina. Menstrual cups prevent that.
Finally, a menstrual cup is a lot easier to manage than pads and tampons. Pads and tampons can get really uncomfortable, and you have to constantly swap them out for a new one. A menstrual cup can hold a lot more period blood than a tampon can absorb, and it’s safe to leave it in for longer periods of time. So, you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to change your pad or tampon again and again. Also, they’re a lot easier to carry. This is especially true if you travel a lot. It’s a lot easier to pack a small, silicone cup than it is to carry a whole pack of pads. They’re easier to carry during your day to day activities, too. Why should you pack five different tampons in your purse? You can simply slip your trusty menstrual cup in, and it’ll take up a lot less room.
Another great reason to use a menstrual cup over other options is the comfort that they offer to athletes. If you’re an athletic woman, you’ve probably felt the discomfort of a pad jostling around in your pants while you’re running. A cup doesn’t present that issue.
This guide wouldn’t be complete or honest if we didn’t mention the negatives that are involved in using a menstrual cup. Don’t worry, we’re still very pro-cup usage. However, we want you to fully aware of everything involved in using a menstrual cup before you make the big switch and order one.
The disadvantages are:
- Finding the right size
- More clean up
- Routine maintenance
It can be difficult to find the right sized menstrual cup for you. After all, we all have different vaginas. This is an issue that’s easily remedied, though. You can easily find a menstrual cup size chart online, and a lot of the online stores that sell them will have sizing guidelines. One thing that’s not as easy to fix is virginity. Women and menstruating teens who haven’t had sex may find it harder to insert the menstrual cup into their vagina. The reasoning for this is fairly obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. If you’ve had sex and don’t have any abnormalities in your vagina, using a menstrual cup is as easy as finding the right size, though.
It may seem like common sense, but menstrual cups can be a lot messier than pads and tampons. This is especially true when you’re getting over the initial learning curve involved in using a menstrual cup. It’s not really a big deal, and it’s completely remedied by simply washing your hands after you remove your cup. However, if you’re not the type to enjoy washing your hands frequently, you might want to pass on menstrual cups.
Finally, you have to maintain your menstrual cup. With pads and tampons, you can simply remove the item and throw it away. With a menstrual cup, you have to take the time to wash it. Besides that, you also need to fully sterilize it every time that your menstrual cycle finally ends. That’s not a big deal, and you can do it within a few minutes, but some women don’t want to spend the time sterilizing their cup each month. In our opinion, it’s a necessary sacrifice. Pads and tampons may not require maintenance, but they contribute to a lot of the world’s pollution due to their disposable nature. A few minutes cleaning your cup is a lot better for the environment than tons of tampons rotting away in a landfill for years.
How To Choose The Right Cup
There are a number of things that you need to look at when choosing a menstrual cup. If any of these aren’t the right match for you, your cup will perform poorly, and you might be turned off of using them. So, it’s important to see if all of your cups factors meet your needs.
You should consider:
- Cervix position
- Menstrual flow
You want to find a cup that is easy for you to use. Most menstrual cups have a stem that you can use to pull the cup out when you need to, but it’s important to make sure before you purchase one. You should also make sure that it’s not too soft or hard for your liking. You’ll be using your menstrual cup for a week or so every month. So, it’s important to make sure it’s comfortable.
As everyone knows, your vagina changes as you age. You become more developed, you have sex, and you may give birth. All of those variables factor into which cup you should choose. Teens that are not fully-developed, virgins, and people with small vaginas, in general, should take that into account and buy a smaller cup. If you have a larger and more developed vagina, you probably need a bigger cup.
Childbirth changes the anatomy of your vagina drastically. Your muscles stretch, your vagina gets larger, your cervix may be positioned differently, and any other number of changes may have taken place. Make sure to get to know your own vagina before you go buying a menstrual cup. It may be a bit different from before you had children.
A menstrual cup works by making a seal around the opening of your cervix. Naturally, you’ll have to choose a cup depending on where your cervix sits.
The general guidelines go like this:
- If your cervix is high during ovulation, you need a longer cup that can reach the opening of your cervix.
- If your cervix sits at its normal position, you can use just about any length of the cup. You should still avoid extremely long and extremely short cups, but your options are a lot more varied.
- If you have a low sitting cervix when you menstruate, you need a shorter cup. Otherwise, you’ll either insert the cup into your cervix, or you’ll have the end of the cup sticking out of you. Neither of those possibilities is comfortable. You should definitely get a short cup.
Different cups can hold varying amounts of blood. If you tend to bleed a lot, you need a cup that provides plenty of room for your heavy flow. However, you don’t want a massive cup if you don’t bleed much. That might entice you to ignore your cup far longer than you should. It’s not a complicated variable to take into account, but it is one that you should be honest with yourself about. Then, make a choice that matches your flow.
The Best Period Cups
The following paragraphs are dedicated to informing your about the very best options on the market. We’ve personally vetted these cups, and we have made sure that they are of the highest quality. You can purchase all of them online, and there’s bound to be an option for everyone.
Ruby Cup Menstrual Cup
The Ruby Cup is meant to be a one size fits all solution that minimizes your need for size comparisons and volume measurements. It’s a little more expensive than other options, but it’s a very solid little menstrual cup that takes the guesswork out of purchasing it for most people.
- Fits most women
- Very effective
- Made from 100% safe materials
- Lasts for 10 years
- Online purchasing available
- Small suction holes and a hollow stem make it harder to clean.
- There’s a larger than average learning curve that may create messy situations.
MeLuna Menstrual Cup
The MeLuna menstrual cup brings the luxury of custom-made items to the production market. Everything about the cup is able to be changed upon ordering, and it’s extremely easy to pick the right cup for you. You can pick the size, color, volume, and several other options when you order a MeLuna. The MeLuna Cup is the best menstrual cup all around as far as shape, size, and firmness. They make a version called the Melua Shorty (cute name) that’s specifically for low cervixes.
- Possibly the softest menstrual cup on the market. You shouldn’t even notice that it’s there.
- The custom-made theme of this product means that you get exactly what you want.
- It’s one of the most beloved cups on the market, and customers praise it.
- There are different models for different women. Do you run track? They’ve got you covered. Do you live a sedative lifestyle? They’ve got you covered, too.
- Some companies don’t invest enough in their customer service. MeLuna is a welcomed change from that trend, and they offer some of the best customer service available.
- The material that MeLuna uses tends to absorb odors. This is remedied by simply cleaning it, but you might be in for a surprise if you’re not the type to follow cleaning instructions.
- It stains easily if it’s not taken care of properly.
Lunette Menstrual Cup
The Lunette cup is one of the most expensive options available. However, it’s essentially a luxurious menstrual cup, and its high price is completely negligible when compared to the long term cost of pads and tampons.
- Extremely comfortable
- The company has an amazing reputation.
- It’s more durable than most options.
- It’s easier to clean than most cups.
- The upfront price tag makes it inaccessible to people that can’t spend a relatively large amount of money on a cup at one time.
- It only comes in two different models. This leaves a lot of women searching for other options.
Yuuki Menstrual Cup
The Yuuki cup comes in several sizes, and it’s one of the best options for those who are new to menstruating. They’re made from medical grade silicone, and they’re specifically made to be unnoticeable. If you’re a teen that has just started menstruating, this is probably your best choice. That doesn’t mean that adults won’t find a new best friend in the Yuuki, but teens are the most likely people to appreciate its gentle nature.
- Extremely soft
- Great for teens
- It has an abnormally large rim. This makes it possible for women with a high cervix to use it comfortably.
- The only real negative to using this product is that its effectiveness is extremely reliant on its size. If you get the wrong size, you’re liable to end up with blood in your pants.
The Diva Cup
This is probably the most worry-free menstrual cup on the market, and it’s cheap, too. The Diva Cup won’t set your wallet back more than a fancy cup of coffee, and you barely have to worry about it. You can insert the diva cup and leave it in for around twelve hours. That’s without worrying about dangerous bacteria. If you compare that to the most expensive tampons, you have four extra hours of protection before you risk hurting yourself. The Diva Cup is the best for long vaginas.
- You can leave it and forget it for twelve hours.
- It’s the most cost effective cup on the market that isn’t built poorly. Even low income families can afford it.
- It’s design prevents you from having to painstakingly clean it.
- The main con to using the Diva Cup is that it is not built for women who have had children. It’s possible to use it. However, there is more of a learning curve involved when you’ve already had children.
EvaCup From Anigan Menstrual Cup
The EvaCup is a great option for those who don’t need a short cup. It’s made from high-quality materials, it’s comfortable, and it’s the cheapest cup on this list. However, if you have a low cervix, you will probably want to pick one of our other options. There are only two different models of the EvaCup, and neither of them is great for women with a low cervix.
- Easily affordable
- Great for women with an average cervix
- 100% safe for 15 years
- The lack of options leaves women with a low-sitting cervix looking for different options.
Lena Menstrual Cup
The Lena cup is perfect for women who are new to using cups. This includes teens. It’s inexpensive, and it’s fairly easy to remove the cup after use. It’s a fairly simple, yet effective design that makes it perfect for you if you’ve never used a cup before. The Lena Menstrual Cup is best for wide vaginas.
- Easy to use
- Great price point
- The stem is designed to make removal a breeze.
- Despite being easy to use, some women have trouble folding the unit. This can make it harder to insert for women with small vaginas.
Usage And Maintenance
Of course, knowing what cup is the best isn’t going to help you if you don’t know how to use it. That’s what this section is for. It’s a complete guide on how to properly care for your menstrual cup.
How To Fold
There are several different ways to fold your menstrual cup. Each way can be used with similar efficiency, and it all comes down to personal preference.
You can do the:
- C Fold
- Punch down fold
- 7 Fold
The C fold is the simplest way to fold your menstrual cup before inserting it into your vagina. It’s a simple process:
- Pinch the cup flat.
- Fold the cup in half.
- Hold the base, and slide it in.
The Punch Down Fold
This folding method is great for those who can’t handle the width of their cup. It’s not complicated to perform, but you have to watch out for the cup popping open in your vagina.
All you have to do is:
- Pull the rim down to the base.
- Fold the cup in half.
- Push it inside your vagina.
The 7 Fold
This folding method is great for when you can’t get your cup to open properly. It’s similar to the punch down fold, but it allows for the cup to open easier.
To do it, all you have to do is:
- Pinch it flat like the C fold.
- Grab the corner and fold it down to the base. It should resemble the number 7.
- Hold the cup at the base, and gently slide it in.
Inserting Your Menstrual Cup
Inserting your cup isn’t a difficult task. It just takes a little bit of practice. To begin, make sure that you’re very comfortable. You’ll get used to the insertion process as you use your cup, but that first time is always awkward.
After you’re in a comfortable position, fold your cup in the most comfortable way possible. If you can’t manage to insert it with the first fold you try, start again, and try a different folding technique.
Now, all you have to do is slide the cup into your vagina. Push it in until the stem is inside of your vagina. You don’t want it protruding. You’ll probably feel it pop open, but don’t worry. You can still keep pushing it in until the stem is fully inside of you.
There are people who like to use lube to insert their menstrual cup. Just make sure that your lube works well with Silicone. Try to avoid silicone lubricant as it does not play nicely and it could cause the menstrual cup to become gummy and blistered.
This is the easiest step. All you do is keep the cup inside of you, and pay attention to whether or not it’s uncomfortable. If it is uncomfortable, you can simply remove it to try another folding position. After several fold techniques, you’ve probably got the wrong size if it’s still uncomfortable.
You can wear your cup for a pretty long time. The usual maximum time limit is about 12 hours. That’s a lot longer than tampons and pads. If you have a heavier flow than your cup can handle, you might need to change it more often.
Cup removal is simple. All you do is push as if your pooping, grab the stem, pinch it slightly, and pull it out. The only real difficulty involved in this step is not positioning the cup at an odd angle. If you do, you’ll have quite the mess to clean up.
How To Empty Your Cup
Emptying your cup is as straightforward as it gets. All you do is pour the fluid out. Preferably, you’ll pour the fluid into a toilet. It’s really that simple. Just don’t try to make a period blood waterfall. The higher you hold the cup; The higher your chance of splattering the walls with period blood.
Cleaning your cup is pretty cheap and easy. The company that sells you your cup will probably demand that you use some brand name cleaning tablet, but that’s not even remotely necessary.
The cups are made from medical-grade silicone. That’s a material that does not allow bacterial growth. While you probably want to use soap every once in a while, it’s perfectly safe to rinse your cup off after emptying it. Then, you can reinsert in without worries.
However, it’s a good idea to fully sterilize your cup after your cycle ends. To do so, you can simply boil your cup for a couple of minutes. Again, this isn’t necessary while you’re on your cycle. Just do it after your period ends.
Most cups come with their own storage bag, but if yours doesn’t, you can simply use a fabric bag. You don’t want to leave your cup sitting around. While silicone is naturally unable to grow bacteria, bacteria can still land on it and enter your vagina the second you insert your cup.
Q: Can I have sex with my menstrual cup in?
A: You should probably not have sex while wearing a menstrual cup. You definitely can have sex while wearing one, but it’s going to be awfully uncomfortable for you and your partner.
Q: Can I use a menstrual cup while I have an IUD?
A: Of course you can! It’s just like using a tampon. It will not affect your IUD.
Q: Can I feel the menstrual cup while it’s inserted?
A: Most women can’t feel their menstrual cup. Those who can aren’t usually bothered by it, and the feeling is quite faint.
Q: How long can I wear my menstrual cup?
A: You can wear your menstrual cup for up to twelve hours. That’s about twice as long as the highest quality tampons.
Q: Does a menstrual cup hurt?
A: No they do not. Cups are made to be inserted, and they are extremely comfortable.
Q: Can I still play sports and stay active?
A: Menstrual cups are great for athletes. You won’t have any pads rubbing your legs and jostling about. Not only are cups okay to use, but they’re probably the best to use for athletic purposes.
Q: Do I have to take my cup out before bed?
A: A menstrual cup is capable of being inside of you for about twelve hours. You should probably empty it before you go to bed, but it’s perfectly safe to wear your menstrual cup to bed.