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!

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
Co-Foun­der Vulvani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-foun­der of Vul­vani. She loves rese­ar­ching, wri­ting and designing new arti­cles or inno­va­tive edu­ca­tio­nal con­cepts about mens­trua­tion all day long. When she is not tra­vel­ling the world, she enjoys spen­ding time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.