How to Buy a Menstrual Cup
A menstrual cup is a silicone, TPE, or latex cup that collects menstrual fluid instead of absorbing it like a tampon. There are many different brands, so there are several factors to consider before purchasing a cup.
Get informed and learn a little bit about cups.If you are brought up in a society where cups are not widely available, they may seem strange to you. However cups are healthier, more economical, and more convenient than conventional menstrual products. See How to Decide About Using a Menstrual Cup for more information about cups.
Measure your cervix to determine the length of cup you should buy.Your cervix is the part of your vagina where your menstrual fluid leaves. It's important to measure how far up your cervix is in your vagina before you buy a cup, because some cups are longer and some are shorter, so they work worse or better with people who have lower or higher cervixes. If you have a low cervix you will want a shorter, stouter cup so that it does not ride down or poke out of you while you're wearing it. So before deciding which cup to buy, find out how high or low your cervix is using the following process.
- Wait until you are on your period, because your cervix will be in different positions at different times of your monthly cycle. Also, you may want to measure on a couple of different days of your period, because it may not be exactly the same each day.
- Gently and slowly insert a clean finger back, not up, into your vagina, past your pelvic bone, some muscles, and a kind of 'empty' space. Lubricant may be helpful to use for this part.
- Wander around to find the bit that feels a bit like the tip of a nose. Your cervix is a round nub, with an indentation in the middle.
- Note how far your finger went before touching your cervix, and measure your finger with a ruler to find out how many centimeters or millimeters back this was. If it's so far back you can't find it at all, just estimate a bit longer than your finger.
- Now what to do with this information! Some brands make cups as small as 4 centimeter (1.6 in) long or as large as almost 6 centimeter (2.4 in) long. Your cup will sit below your cervix when in use. If it is low, you will probably find a shorter cup such as Ladycup, Lunette, Fleurcup, or Yuuki more comfortable. If your flow is light, the MeLuna is also a good option -- however, if your flow is heavy and you want to use this brand, you may need to choose one of their larger sizes. If you have a low cervix, the cup without the stem should not be too much longer than the distance from your cervix to your vaginal opening (but you have a bit of slack there, because your cervix can be partially in the cup). If it is high, a longer cup such as Divacup, Naturcup, or Shecup would be better so that it will be easy to reach when you want to remove it, but in this case you can comfortably use most cup lengths.
Take into consideration how heavy your flow is and cup capacity.Some cups only hold about 11mL and others up to 29mL. Observe on a general day of your period how many tampons you use and how often you change them. Then, using the tampon capacities listed below, calculate your flow volume for twelve hours. This would be the target capacity you want in your cup. In general it's best to overestimate than underestimate so you are not changing your cup too often. Pads have capacities ranging from about 100-500 ml, but the pad would be fully saturated and leaking by this point. If you use pads, there is not a precise way to calculate the capacity you need, so just consider a light flow capacity cup (10-16ml), medium (17-22ml), or large (23-29ml). Tampon capacities:
- Light/Regular: 6-9ml
- Super: 9-12ml
- Super plus: 12-15ml
- Ultra: 15-18ml
Take aesthetics into account.Cups come different colors. They have frosted or slick finishes, grips rings or no grip rings. Stems can be hollow, flat, or cylindrical; some even have grip rings or ball stems instead. All of these things depend on the brand, and this is another characteristic to consider when purchasing your cup.
Decide on the brand of menstrual cup you would like to buy.Once you have figured out the length and capacity you would like to have in your cup, check the size charts below. Cups are not one size fits all, because although you maybe able to make any cup work, a little premeditation as discussed above before buying will ensure your cup is comfortable and has the correct capacity for you.
Purchase your cup online or in a store.Most menstrual cups can be purchased over the Internet and delivered to your home address. Also, check the store locator on the brand's website to see if the brand is sold near you. (Look for a cup manufactured near or in your country.) For example in the USA, Lunette, DivaCup, and Keeper brand cups are sold in stores. In the UK mainly Femmecups, DivaCups, and UK Mooncups are available. South America has InCiclo and Maggacup; Africa has Luvur Body, MPower, Ruby Cup, Lunette, and Mooncup UK; Australia has JuJu, Lunette, and DivaCup. See the list of "Major Brands" below. You can also check the to see if there is a store near you that sells cup.
QuestionCan you sleep with it in?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. You can usually leave cups in for 12 hours, longer if you have a light flow.Thanks!
QuestionI'm 12 years old. Am I old enough to use a cup?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Age doesn't matter when it comes to menstrual products. Virgins, non-virgins, and people who have had babies can use these too. So if you're comfortable with your body and can handle a tampon (or if you're trying these because they might work better than a tampon) you will be perfectly fine.Thanks!
QuestionCan I sit while the menstural cup is in?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you can definitley sit with a menstrual cup inside of you. You can do any type of sports with them without noticing a thing, but they don't get dry like a tampon does.Thanks!
QuestionDoes putting in a menstrual cup hurt?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGenerally, it should not. It may only hurt a little when you have a light flow or if you are putting it in when you don't have your period.Thanks!
QuestionI asked my mom for a soft cup, but she thinks I cannot use one because I am only 14 years old. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerExplain to her that many girls your age use a cup, there is nothing dangerous about it, and it's really quite simple. Look up the directions for use on a website and show it to her. She'll probably come around eventually, but you might have to wait a little while.Thanks!
QuestionWhen I am measuring my cervix, I can put the first knuckle of my finger easily. But when I put my finger more, I think the place down there feels really tiny. Am I going past my cervix?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis does not sound like your cervix. The cervix feels firm like the tip of your nose and is a small lump.Thanks!
QuestionCan menstrual cups only be found online?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, they can be found in stores as well as online. Go to your preferred brand's website and look up your address through their Store Finder. If you buy online, you can have it shipped to any address.Thanks!
QuestionIs there a way to accurately determine the size I need if I cannot measure my cervix?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. If you do not measure your cervix, you may have a low cervix and buy a cup far too big for you.Thanks!
QuestionDo menstrual cups smell?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis almost always depends on the different vaginal flora that is present in each individual. Sometimes they can even get a little discolored, and this can be due to certain birth-control pills you are using or just naturally varying levels of pH. At any rate, it is mostly the smell of you and your blood, so it shouldn't be much of an issue.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the optimal material to look for in a menstrual cup?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSilicon is the best material, as it is durable, long lasting, and doesn't grow bacteria.Thanks!
What are some tips to help me achieve proper insertion and to avoid leakage with my menstrual cup?
How can I find an ad you had?
Below are basic descriptions and pictures of all the cup brands. Click on the brand's name to visit the company's website. Images are not scaled to real life sizes, and, unless stated otherwise, cups are made of medical grade silicone. Measurements are in millimeters (WxL) and stem length must be added for total length. Capacities are the functional capacity of the cup to the holes.
- Russian brand; only available locally at present
- Cylindrical, hollow stem with grip rings that extend to cup base
- Transparent finish and shiny texture
- Available in green, blue, pink, yellow, and clear colors
- Four suction release holes below rim
- Includes satiny pouch and wooden case
- Small (not currently available): 44x53mm, 17mm stem, 25-30ml capacity
- Large: 40x47mm, 21mm stem, 20-25ml capacity
- Canadian Brand; available in US, Canada, and many European countries
- Measuring lines in ounces and milliliters; brand name inside
- Grip rings and hollow, cylindrical stem
- Four suction holes, placed up near the rim
- Translucent, frosty appearance
- Model 1: 43x57mm, 10mm stem, and 20-23ml capacity; recommended for women under thirty who have never given birth.
- Model 2: 46x57mm and 10mm stem, and 26-27ml capacity; recommended for women over thirty and/or women who have given birth vaginally or through cesarean section.
- UK Brand
- Clear finish and squishy silicone
- 4 slanted suction release holes under lower rim
- Firm rim and squishier base
- Spiraling grip ring on base and stem
- Solid, cylindrical stem
- Measuring lines inside the cup at 5 and 10ml
- No writing on inside rim
- Only one standard size; 45x50mm, 25mm stem, and 15ml capacity
- French Brand
- Four slanted suction release holes; placed up near the rim; two on each side
- Almost opaque finish and "peach skin" texture
- Grip rings on stem, which is flat instead of round.
- Softer than some other brands; often recommended for first-time users.
- Available in clear, red, pink, violet, green, grey, orange, blue, and black
- Small: 41x47mm, 23mm stem, and 15ml capacity; recommended for younger women or those with a light flow.
- Large: 46x52mm, 18mm stem, and 29ml capacity; recommended for women who have given birth or for those with a heavy flow.
- Australian Brand
- Clear, shiny silicone cup
- Green, purple, and black satin finish pouches
- Four suction release holes, slanted second rim
- Easily cleanable logo on cup's inside
- Pyramidal shaped stem and butterfly shaped base grips
- Model 1: 40x46mm, 20ml capacity
- Model 2: 46x50mm, 30ml capacity<</ref>
- Adisposablecup; positioned differently than the other reusable cups mentioned
- Available at most drugstores
- Composed of a plastic sac and heat-sensitive ring
- Recommended for use during sexual intercourse
- See Use an Instead Softcup for more information
- Spanish Brand; only available in Spain
- Available in clear or pink
- Hollow, cylindrical stem with grip rings
- Slanted suction release holes at alternating heights
- S: 40x45mm, 20mm stem, and 15ml capacity; recommended for women under 25 who may have given birth by cesarean section.
- L: 45x50mm, 15mm stem, and 20ml capacity; recommended for women over 25 and/or women that have given birth vaginally.
Keeper & US Moon Cup
- US brand
- The Keeper is opaque and composed of natural gum rubber (aka latex). The Moon Cup, which is the same size, is composed of translucent silicone.
- Hollow, cylindrical stem
- Smooth finish, no grip rings
- Double spill proof rings on the inside
- Six suction release holes under the second rim
- Style A: 44x54mm, 25mm stem, and 15ml capacity; recommended for women who have given birth vaginally (After).
- Style B: 41x54mm, 25mm stem, and 10ml capacity; recommended for women who have not given birth vaginally or have given birth through cesarean section (Before); slightly firmer and smaller.
LadyCup & Color Cups
- Czech Brand
- Clear glossy finish and very smooth texture
- 6 slanted suction release holes at alternating heights
- Bumps along base for gripping; hollow, cylindrical stem
- The clear cup is referred to as a LadyCup, while the other colored cups are referred to as LilacCup, PinkCup, BlueCup, OrangeCup, GreenCup, and YellowCup. There is also the limited edition LOTOS Cup in a pink/orange color.
- Small: 40x46mm, 19mm stem, and 11ml capacity; recommended for women under 25 who have not given birth.
- Large: 46x53mm, 13mm stem, and 20ml capacity; recommended for women over 25 and/or women that have given birth.
- Finnish Brand
- Four suction holes, placed up near the rim
- Grip rings on base and flat, tab-shaped stem
- Brand name on outside of cup
- Translucent finish; available in clear (Lunette), blue (Lunette Selene), light green (Lunette Diana), purple (Lunette Cynthia), coral red (Lunette Áine), and yellow (Lunette Lucia).
- Model 1: 41x47mm, 25mm stem, and 20ml capacity; recommended for women with a light to moderate flow, virgins, or younger women; made of a softer silicone.
- Model 2: 46x52mm, 20mm stem, and 25ml capacity; recommended for women with a normal to heavy flow; made of a stiffer silicone.
- German brand
- Made of TPE (thermoplastic elastomer); a rubber that is as safe to use as silicone
- Suction release holes near the rim
- Grip rings at base; foggy, textured finish
- Different stem styles:
- Basic: no stem; best for experienced cup users
- Ball: ball-shaped stem
- Traditional: long stem composed of gripping balls
- Ring: a tab-shaped stem
- Limited edition glitter cups are available
- Available in red, clear, violet, orange, green, blue, and black colors
- "Softcups" are also available in cyan and pink. They are made of 25% softer TPE.
- "MeLuna Sport" is a slightly stiffer cup made of 50% harder TPE, designed for women with a strong pelvic core. This is an alternative for women who may not be able to get their cup all the way open, or 'squash' their cup due to core strength.
- Sizing (stem length varies for all):
- Small: 40x40mm and 10ml capacity
- Medium: 45x45mm and 15ml capacity
- Large: 45x54mm and 24ml capacity
- Extra large: 47x56mm and 30ml capacity
- South African Brand
- Mauve/deep pink color and glossy, opaque finish
- 2 suction release holes under top rim
- Small logo on inside rim of cup (no writing)
- Grip rings on base and stem; flat, tab-shaped stem
- Model 1: 43x53mm, 17mm stem, and 21-23ml capacity; recommended for women under 30 who have not given birth vaginally.
- Model 2: 46x53mm, 17mm stem, and 26-27ml capacity; recommended for women over 30 or women who have given birth vaginally.
- Brazilian brand (ships worldwide)
- Long, narrow bodied cup
- Slick finish and opaque silicone material
- Size B: recommended for womenbefore 30 that haven't had children; 40x56mm, 16mm stem, and 30ml capacity
- Size A: recommended for womenafter 30 that haven't had children; 43x56mm, 16mm stem, and 30ml capacity
- UK brand
- Because of a naming dispute with the Keeper company they are now sold in the US under the name MCUK.
- The original Mooncup had a distinctive yellow tint, but the latest version has a whiter colour
- Grip rings on base and stem (Newer version has grips the full length of the stem); hollow, cylindrical stem
- Measuring lines
- Six suction release holes under the lower rim
- Size A: 46x50mm, 20mm stem, and 12-13ml capacity; recommended for women who have given birth vaginally or are over 30.
- Size B: 43x50mm, 20mm stem, and 14ml capacity; recommended for women who have given birth by cesarean section or are under 30.
- South African Brand; only available in South Africa because of legal dispute with Lunette company
- Nearly clear, soft finish
- Flat, tab-shaped stem
- Grip rings on base and stem
- Two suction release holes under rim
- Only one standard size; 47x54mm, 15mm stem, and 27ml capacity
- Italian brand
- White, opaque finish
- Cone shaped and soft silicone material
- Suction release holes
- Grips on base and stem
- only one standard size; 44x56mm, 15mm stem, 27ml capacity
- Spanish Brand; only available in Spain
- Four sizeable suction release holes
- Three subtle grip rings on base and ball-shaped stem
- Three measuring lines and cup size printed on the inside of cup
- Firmer ring and softer base
- Size 0: diameter of 40mm and length of 56mm; recommended for women under 18 who are not sexually active.
- Size I: diameter of 43mm and length of 65mm; for women ages 18 to 30 who have not given birth vaginally.
- Size II: diameter of 47mm and length of 65mm; for women who have given birth vaginally and/or are older than 30.
- Indian Brand
- Light pink
- Nub shaped stem
- Suction release holes under lower rim
- Writing on inside rim of cup and measuring lines
- Vertical grip lines at base of cup and one horizontal grip line on base
- Only one standard size; 44x54mm, 5.5mm stem, and 16ml capacity
- French brand
- Translucent, white finish
- Bell shape and soft silicone material
- Grip rings on stem and ball at base
- Four suction release holes under rim
- S (small): 41x47mm, 27mm stem
- L (large): 46x52mm, 22mm stem
- Czech Brand
- Clear and glossy finish
- Grip rings on base and stem; hollow, cylindrical stem
- Brand name on inside of cup
- Four slanted suction release holes
- Measuring lines and spill proof line inside the cup
- Cup 1: smaller; 42x49mm, 20mm stem, and 19ml capacity
- Cup 2: larger; 47x55mm, 20mm stem, and 29ml capacity
||This video compares a few brands of menstrual cups: DivaCup, Lunette, Instead, Ladycup and Femmecup.|
- If you want to keep track of how much you bleed during your period, you can choose a cup with measuring lines.
- Cups sold on ebay may be listed with incorrect brand names, depending on the seller. Most are usually repackaged Green Donnas (a copy of Lunette). Make sure to compare the picture of the listed product with other pictures before purchasing.
- A hollow stem will be harder to clean than a solid stem. Similarly, any writing on the inside of a cup will be harder to clean than a smooth inside surface because most of the menstrual fluid collects inside the cup.
- If you find the stem on your cup to be uncomfortable, you can always cut part or all of it off. Make sure the end is filed down so it doesn't poke you however, and remember you will have to work solely with the base of the cup during removal.
- A firmer cup will pop open more easily, but you may be able to feel it inside of you. This of course depends on your sensitivity and body shape.
- The glossy, slicker cups can become quite slick during removal; however, this is easily resolved by wiping off your hands with some toilet paper.
- If you use a short cup with a high cervix, your cup may seem to get "lost" in your vagina. Don't panic; instead, take a bath and relax your muscles before attempting to remove it. Squatting may be helpful, as it shortens the vaginal canal.
- Some women choose to boycott the Keeper brand because of unethical business ethics. The Keeper Inc. trademarked the Moon Cup name, even though the UK Mooncup used the name originally and used this to bar the UK Mooncup from the American market. The UK Mooncup company did manage to sidestep this by selling their cup under the acronym "MCUK" in the US.
- If you are a virgin with a heavy flow, a large, wide cup can be very uncomfortable to use. Look for a cup with a high capacity, but smaller dimensions.
- If you are allergic to latex, you should not consider using a Keeper, because it is made out of natural gum rubber (latex). Also if you have any allergies (i.e. dust, pollen, foods, etc.), you are more likely to develop a latex allergy from using the Keeper. (This company's Moon Cup (US) is made of silicone and has the same shape.)
- If you wish to avoid plastic products with BPA look for a cup made of silicone. Silicone naturally has no BPA.
Sources and Citations
- - Take this quiz if you are having trouble deciding, although it does not contain all the brands.
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