How to find the best menstrual cup for you?

Menstrual cups have really become a trend in recent years and more and more menstruating people are giving them a try. Once “Team Cup”, there is no going back for most people. The menstrual cup fan base is therefore large and, above all, loyal. You have heard only good things about menstrual cups and now you would like to try one out as well? The search for the perfect menstrual cup can quickly become overwhelming. You probably have questions upon questions: How do I find the best menstrual cup? What is the correct one? What should I look for when buying one? Where can I buy them and how expensive are they? Unfortunately, we don’t have a very simple answers to all of these questions either. However, we will give you a variety of information and tips that you should consider when looking for the right menstrual cup.

‘One size fits all’ does not exist for menstrual cups

There is no such thing as ‘The best menstrual cup’ that is perfect for all menstruating people. Because all vaginas, periods and needs are different. Every vagina is unique! And that is a good thing. That’s why there are no standard sizes of menstrual cups in the sense of ‘one size fits all’. Instead, you should look for the best version for you. And even if your girlfriends or sisters keep telling you about their amazing cup, it doesn’t mean that you’ll like it as well. And if you can’t just rely on recommendations for a cup, you really have to start getting to know your own body.

What you should know before searching for the best menstrual cup:

There are some questions that you should answer for yourself at the very beginning of your search for the best menstrual cup for you. The more you know about your period and your body in general, the quicker you will find the perfect cup for you. By writing down your personal characterics once, will spare you aimless research. 

  • Do you know how high or maybe how low your cervix is? Probably you have never dealt with it before and don’t really know how to measure it? It is done easier than it seems at first sight (see INFO-BOX below). It is best to measure the height of the cervix during your menstruation, because it changes during the cycle. The height of the cervix is one of the most important pieces of information when looking for the best menstrual cup. The length is particularly important, because the cup must fit completely into the vagina. And how do you know which is the right length for you? Here the height of your cervix plays an important role.
  • How athletic or how (in)active are you? Depending on your level of activity and especially the strength of your pelvic floor, the consistency of your menstrual cup can be important. If you are more active and have a strong pelvic floor, a firmer cup is probably better for you. Correspondingly a softer cup if your pelvic floor is not yet well trained.
  • How old are you? Having you giving birth? How is your menstrual flow? These are also all questions that play a role in choosing the best menstrual cup and what the recommendations of brands are often based on.

INFO-BOX: How do I measure the height of my cervix?

First of all, you need clean hands. So it’s best to wash them thoroughly beforehand. To feel for the cervix, insert a finger into the vagina. The walls of the vagina probably feel soft and the cervix is smooth but firm. It is either rounded or slightly pointed with a small opening or indentation at the end. It may also feel like the tip of your nose to you. So the cervix extends into the vaginal canal and you can feel all the way around it. If you have difficulty finding your cervix, or can only reach it with difficulty, you probably have a high cervix. When you have found your cervix, put your thumb against the inserted finger from the outside. In this way you mark the entire (finger) length that fits into your vagina without any problems. While you pull your finger out of the vagina, hold onto it with your thumb until where the finger had been inserted. Now you can easily measure the length of your inserted finger with a ruler. Et voila, done! The table sizes from different manufacturers of menstrual cups will hopefully be easier for you to understand now.

  • High cervix: more than 55mm
  • Average cervic: 45 – 55mm
  • Low cervix: less than 45mm

How many sizes are there for menstrual cups? 

Nowadays there are period products in very different sizes, shapes and also colours. Unfortunately, there are (still) no standardized size guidelines for menstrual cups, so that each brand can define its own sizes. Most companies offer two different cup sizes: small and large. Some brands also offer three, four or more menstrual cups. Generally speaking, smaller menstrual cups are shorter. In contrast, menstrual cups with a larger volume tend to be longer and wider. It is important to remember that the vagina can dilate or stretch, but does not cling to the menstrual cup. A firm fit of the cup in the vagina is crucial for successful use. If you are inbetween two versions, the larger version may be a better choice. If your cervix is rather high, you can probably use almost all menstrual cups. This is because you will have no problem inserting the cup fully. Just make sure that you don’t insert it too far and that it gets ‘lost’ inside you.

Recommendation based on your age or children

Many brands recommend a menstrual cup based on your age and/or whether you have given birth before. The smaller size is for people who are under 30 years old and have not yet had children. This is because the pelvic floor muscles change both with age and with pregnancy. As a rule, both factors cause the muscles of the pelvic floor to relax and become somewhat looser. Of course, you should always consider how you perceive your own body. Does your birth canal feel rather narrow and small or normal to wide? And do you do exercises for your pelvic floor? If you have a stronger pelvic floor, a smaller size is probably recommended. Once you have given birth or are over 30 years old, a larger menstrual cup is suggested. 

Capacity as a decision-making method 

Some companies also differentiate the menstrual cups according to possible capacity and base their recommendation on the heaviness of the menstrual flow. Smaller menstrual cups for light bleeding and a larger version for heavier bleeding. The smaller cups can usually collect at least 25ml of menstrual blood and larger cups hold up to 40ml. However, if you don’t have a very heavy bleeding, the collection volume can be somewhat neglected. With an average bleeding, the smaller volume is often sufficient, as the cups have to be changed after twelve hours at the latest anyway. 

Where can I buy menstrual cups? 

Nowadays menstrual cups can be bought in various drugstores, selected health food stores and of course on various online platforms. Online, the selection of brands and models is considerably larger. Online you need to be a little more careful, because not all brands are equally good and/or pursue the same quality characteristics. In smaller shops the personal advice can be very helpful. For example, I bought my menstrual cup at the summer party from the birthing center in Hamburg. And I am very satisfied with my OrganiCup size A, which I chose after a personal recommendation from the saleswoman.

How much does a menstrual cup cost?

The prices for a menstrual cup can vary greatly. Most menstrual cups vary in price between 15 and 40 euros. At first, the price is of course a little higher than buying a simple pack of tampons or pads. But since menstrual cups can be used for years, you will definitely get the slightly higher purchase price back quickly. And the environment will also thank you that your era of plastic menstrual cups are finally over.

Do you have any other questions about the menstrual cup?

Choosing the best cup for you can be quite confusing because the range is simply so vast and varied. Often the differences between the individual menstrual cups are not as big as they seem. The most important thing is that the cup can be inserted completely, fits well and does not move. And we are here for you and try to give you as many tips as possible to help you in your search. If you have any other questions about menstrual cups, these articles in particular may be of interest to you:

Of course you are always more than welcome to message us your questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Du kannst uns natürlich auch immer gerne mit deinen Fragen schreiben. Wir freuen uns von dir zu hören!

The look into your cycle

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January 28, 2020
Britta Wiebe ist die Co-Gründerin von Vulvani. Am liebsten recherchiert, schreibt und konzipiert sie den ganzen Tag neue Artikel oder innovative Bildungsformate rund um Menstruation. Wenn sie nicht in der weiten Welt unterwegs ist, genießt sie ihre Zeit mit lieben Menschen im schönen Hamburg. | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter

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