Best menstrual cup to buy? Top 12 brands (+ how to insert, remove and clean)

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What is a menstrual cup? How should you insert and clean it? What is the best menstrual cup to buy? And what should you pay attention to? We look at it all in this blog.

What’s a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup (or period cup) is a small bell-shaped silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina to receive the menstrual flow. It is held in place by suction and can be worn for up to 12 hours before being emptied. It is an alternative to tampons or sanitary pads.

A menstrual cup is made of medical silicone so that it does not irritate the vaginal flora.

Inserting a menstrual cup

How do you insert a menstrual cup? Well, it’s actually very simple. You take the cup, fold it and insert the cup into your vagina. What? It sounds a bit complicated, I know, but the women who have been using these for years will tell you that it is certainly not as complicated to use as it sounds. By the way, if you buy a menstrual cup, there is a manual with several ways how you can fold the cup.

The menstrual cup is soft and flexible, making it easy to insert. It collects blood instead of absorbing it like a tampon. Most cups have small holes on the side. This will allow the cup to absorb well so that you do not have any leakage.

For some, inserting a menstrual cup goes very smoothly and it works well right away. Others then have to get used to it. That is why you can practice it before your period starts. This way you can rest assured that you have mastered it well. There are different ways how you can fold the cup and one way can fit you better than the other.

To insert the menstrual cup, you can simply stand up, squat, sit on the toilet or put your foot on a platform. It is important that you are completely relaxed. You can also use lubricant to make it easier to slide in. However, for most women this is not necessary.

How to remove the menstrual cup?

When you insert the menstrual cup, it creates a vacuum so that it stays in place. If you want to remove the menstrual cup again, you must first break the vacuum. This can be done, for example, by squeezing it or pushing it on one side. As soon as the cup is no longer vacuumed, you can pull it out.

Then empty the cup into the toilet and then rinse it with water before replacing it.

Such a cup can remain in place for up to 12 hours (with some brands slightly less). In the beginning, you can remove the cup more often so that your own body gets to know it well. If you know on which days how much blood you lose, you also know how long you can leave the cup in place without any problems.

How to clean a menstrual cup

Sterilize the menstrual cup before using it for the first time. You also do this after each period. This way you certainly prevent any contamination.

After use (for a maximum of 12 hours), clean the menstrual cup. It is best to clean your menstrual cup before inserting it into the vagina. Many women choose to wash the cup with mild soap and water.

Sterilization can be done in several ways. You can boil the cup in a pan of water for a few minutes. You can also put it in the microwave for 5 minutes. Some brands have a special sterilization jar for this that you can buy separately.

Or you can use a special device in which you can put the cup together with some water. By pressing a button, steam is created, making your cup sterile.

After disinfecting, you must let the cup cool down before you use it.

Why would you choose for a period cup?

A menstrual cup has several advantages over sanitary pads or tampons. The biggest reason why people switch is because it is a sustainable solution.

Plus, it catches menstruation instead of absorbing it, so it doesn’t cause dryness and irritation.

A menstrual cup collects 3 to 5 times more blood than a tampon. This means you have to replace it less often.

How long you can use the menstrual cup depends on the brand. Some say you can use it for 1-2 years. If you take good care of it, it can last even longer. Other brands indicate that you can use it for up to 10 years. So you don’t have to buy a new one every time.

If you use (washable) sanitary towels, you may experience a non-fresh smell. This is because blood comes into contact with air. A menstrual cup seals off a vacuum so that no air can enter and you will therefore not experience any unpleasant odors.

Menstrual cup benefits

  • Ecological: less waste because reusable
  • Cheaper: the purchase is more expensive than a tampon, but because you can always reuse the cup, you ultimately save a lot.
  • You can keep the cup in for up to 12 hours, so you don’t have to worry about it much.
  • Feels very hygienic as you don’t notice a lot of bleeding.
  • No chemical mess you do get with tampons.
  • No nasty odors: what is the case with sanitary towels
  • Very suitable for sports.
  • Can be worn at night.
  • Prevents dehydration of vaginal walls.

What to look for when buying a menstrual cup?

If you want to buy a menstrual cup, there are a few things you should or can take into account. The most important thing is the size, but the color and shape are still things to keep in mind.

Size

Every brand of menstrual cup comes in multiple sizes. Some have 2 sizes, others 3. For each brand below we list the sizes and who is suitable for which. For example, teenage girls will have to opt for a smaller one. Women who have already given birth vaginally should choose the largest model. It also often looks at women over or under 30 years of age. Do you lose little blood or do you have heavy bleeding? That is also something you should take into account when choosing the size.

Colour

Menstrual cups are available in different colors. This makes using an annoying period a bit more fun. Sometimes there may be some discoloration after using it for a while. If you don’t want that, you can opt for a neutral item without color.

Form

Most cups are bell-shaped, but there is also a round one, for example. Choose one that you think is the most practical to use. There is also a rod at the bottom of the cup so that you can easily remove the menstrual cup. They are different for the different brands. For example, you have one with a straight rod which may be a bit annoying, but also a bit more difficult to grip. Some have a ball at the bottom so that your fingers don’t slide off and there are also some with a loop that you can put your finger through so that it is very easy to remove.

Best menstrual cup

Cora

Cora menstral cup

Available in sizes:

  • Size 1
  • Size 2

Divacup

The Divacup, made of medical grade silicone, is a Canadian brand, but it is sold worldwide. It has been around since 2003 so it has already proven itself well. It carries the B Corporation certificate. A vegetable cleaning agent is also available from Divacup.

DivaCup - menstrual cup

Available in 3 sizes:

  • Model 0: for girls under 18
  • Model 1: For women between the ages of 19 and 30 with mild periods
  • Model 2: For women over 30 or who have heavy bleeding.

One experience with this cup is that it is quite long compared to some others. It is therefore best to check the distance to your uterus during your period so that the cup does not press against it. The majority of women are very satisfied with this cup. The cup also stays in place during exercise.

Dutchess

Dutchess cup

Available in sizes:

  • Small
  • Large

Ecoblossom

Ecoblossom - Reusable menstrual cups

Available in sizes:

  • Small
  • Large

Femmycycle

The Femmycycle menstrual cup looks a bit different, more spherical and transparent in color. The shape keeps it in place and it has a large volume. If you have problems with other menstrual cups that touch your cervix, the Femmycycle can help you further. Other cups often have holes, but due to the design and the soft silicone, this is not necessary for the Femmycycle, making it more hygienic.

Femmycycle menstrual cup

Because it has a ring on it instead of a rod, it is also easy to remove.

You can boil it to clean the Femmycycle, but that will shorten its lifespan. You cannot clean these in the microwave. The best way here is to wash it with warm, soapy water and then soak it in water with 10% vinegar for half an hour. Finally, you can rinse it.

Available in sizes:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Normal with low cervix

Flex

Available in sizes:

  • Small
  • Large

Intima Lily cup

Intimina Lily cup - collapsible menstrual cup

Available in sizes:

  • One
  • Compact
  • Ultra soft

Lena

Lena menstrual cup

Available in sizes:

  • Small
  • Large

Organicup

Organicup has been around since 2012 and is a colorless menstrual cup that is used by more than 700,000 women. The cup has been awarded product of the year twice and won the BuyMeOnce Excellence Award (2019) in the sustainability category. They also donate cups to NGO partners.

OrganiCup - menstrual cup

Before use, you can boil the cup for 3-5 minutes to sterilize it. The Organicup can be combined with an IUD, but you may have to cut it a bit shorter.

A cleanser is also available from this brand.

Organicup is available in 3 sizes

  • Mini: this one is for teens or those who need a smaller cup
  • Small: for women who have not given birth
  • Medium: for women who have given birth

Pixie cup

Pixie Cup

Available in sizes:

  • Teens
  • Small
  • Large
  • Extra large

Saalt

Saalt - soft menstrual cup

Available in sizes:

  • Small
  • Regular

Menstrual cup FAQ

Can you use a menstrual cup with an IUD?

Some brands advise against it if you have an IUD, others say it can be combined with an IUD. It is best to consult with your gynecologist as the cup draws a vacuum and can pull the IUD loose. If you try it with an IUD, you can ask your gynecologist to cut the string of your IUD shorter. It is important that you always break the vacuum before removing the cup.

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