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Rosie
Hi everyone!

I am a total newbie both to the community and menstrual cups, although I have been reading through old posts over the past week and it's been very informative and helpful. I hope you don't mind me posting a "what cup should I get?" sort of post, it's just that I could really do with a bit of extra advice as I think I've confused myself with my researching!

I would really like to make the transition to using a menstrual cup during my period. I don't like the waste that tampons produce for both practical and environmental reasons, I hate running out of them at the vital moment or forgetting to take them to work when I'm on my period, and I'm generally just having the feeling that there must be a better alternative out there!

I'm 27, not a virgin, never been pregnant or had children. I'm not a very sporty or athletic person but I think I'm probably an average level of fitness - I wouldn't say there's any reason for my vaginal muscles to be particularly tight or loose. During my period, I think I have a relatively low cervix (although I'm not really sure what "normal" or "low is to be honest!) - when I checked by inserting my index finger and then measuring how far I needed to go before reaching my cervix, it got to the second knuckle of my finger - when I measured this was around 4.5cm from the vaginal opening to the cervix. I had never actually checked this before or felt inside my vagina whilst menstruating (always used applicator tampons), but it does fit with my previous experience using tampons - I often find that during my period, when inserting a tampon, it "hits" my cervix and actually ends up being inserted to one side of the cervix, and sometimes this is quite uncomfortable, particularly if the tampon is sitting awkwardly or low and I can feel it pressing against the thin, sensitive skin by my vaginal opening. I used to have very heavy periods, but started to take the combined contraceptive pill which makes them considerably less heavy - I think I'm probably about average, maybe a little heavier than some on some days. At the beginning of my period when it is heaviest, I change a super tampon around 3 times during the day, and then have one in overnight. On lighter days, I'd say I'd probably change a regular tampon 2 or 3 times a day, and then have a regular tampon in overnight.

I've had a good look at the various menstrual cups on the market, as well as the excellent size and stiffness charts that are linked from this community, but the trouble is, I think I've got myself into a bit of a pickle over what it is I should be looking for!

The main confusion for me is about cup length - I wasn't sure if I should go for a longer or a shorter cup. I've read different things from people with low cervices, so I'm not sure what would be best for me. I have read that some people with low cervices choose a shorter cup (e.g., small Lunette), because if the cervix sits low, it can prevent the cup from sitting further inside the vagina, and a long cup may poke out of the vaginal opening and cause discomfort and be felt during wearing. However, I've also read that for others with low cervices, they prefer a longer cup (e.g., large Fleurcup), because if the cervix is hanging down a lot and sitting inside a cup, it takes up some of the cup's volume and so a longer cup (or differently shaped cup) is preferred to a short cup. I also read that the cup can actually sit perfectly happily around a low cervix so if it's wide enough it can be okay, and not mean it sticks out. So I'm not really sure about this one - I don't know whether I should be going for a short or a long cup!

Regarding cup stiffness, I think I'm looking for a softer cup, rather than a firmer cup. I've read there are pros and cons to both type of cup, but if my cup were to sit low in the vagina, I think I would prefer something softer, because I think it's less likely to be uncomfortable. I find the skin around the opening to my vagina to be particularly sensitive so I imagine if a stiff cup was sitting here it might be quite unpleasant. This put me off the large Lunette which I thought looked really good, but then I read that it's a lot firmer than the small Lunette.

I'm also not particularly sure about cup width. Even though I've not had children and am in my 20s, I wouldn't be particularly worried about using wider cups, particularly if made of softer material. Would the sides of a wider cup touch against the cervix, or would it touch against my vaginal wall? I'm a bit confused about how exactly they would sit with a low cervix.

I don't think I'm particularly bothered about whether or not the cup has prominent ridges etc for ease of removal, because as my cervix sits low I am not particularly concerned about difficulties in removing it. I am generally quite good at relaxing my vaginal muscles so am not too worried about difficulty or discomfort during removal (although I've never tried a cup yet so this may be totally misplaced confidence!).

The two cups I keep coming back to are the small Lunette and the large Fleurcup. What drew me to these two were that they are both soft cups, and the capacity of both looks quite good (even though the Lunette is small it still seems to hold a fairly decent amount, although still 10mls less than the large Fleurcup). I have also looked at the MeLuna range of cups ("soft" and "classic") although I think I would prefer a silicone cup, although to be honest I don't have strong feelings about the material really. My main worry about the small Lunette is that I would have to change it frequently on my heavier flow days (and I'd be worried about it leaking overnight). Ideally, I'd like to not have to change it so much if at all possible. My worry about the large Fleurcup is that it would be too long for me and I would find it uncomfortable to wear. So it might be great having to change it less, but if it's uncomfortable to wear, that would not be good.

So I was wondering, insofar as you are able to make a recommendation based on the information I've given here, which of these cups do you think I should go for? Or, are there any other models of cup you think I should look at? I've only put those two in my post as I've looked at them quite a bit, but am open-minded and happy to try a totally different brand if there's one that you think sounds suitable. I understand it's such a personal experience and it might be trial and error, but I thought I'd just ask as there seems to be some extremely knowledgeable people here!

In case it's useful to know, I am in the UK, so was planning on purchasing either from femininewear.co.uk (they stock a wide range) or direct from the manufacturer if I went for a Fleurcup.


Sorry for such a long post. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated!
 
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on December 4th, 2012 02:07 pm (UTC)
"The two cups I keep coming back to are the small Lunette and the large Fleurcup."

Since the small Fleurcup and the small Lunette are so similar, why not just get a small-large combo pack from Fleur? Personally, I like their blunt rounded bases better than the Lunette's pointy ones -- but we're all different in that regard.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on December 4th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
Now that I've got a few extra moments, I wanted to add that it sounds like you might have what we call a "dangly" cervix. Your cervix is low but the fornix around it might be up higher. Because it dangles, it could take up room in a cup leaving less for flow. Our collective experience here at the community seems to be that a wider cup helps in (wow, this is harder to phrase than I thought it would be) "pulling up" the cervix and allowing more room to collect flow. Therefore despite the relatively high capacity of a small Fleurcup or Lunette, they would probably only be good for light days and a wider cup such as the large Fleur would probably suit you well for heavy days.

The large Lunette would also -- but it's a stiffer cup. I **LOVE** mine but sometimes I think the large Fleur would be more comfortable because it's softer/squishier.
Rosiesteelmagnolias on December 6th, 2012 10:47 am (UTC)
Thanks ever so much for taking the time to help out, it's very much appreciated! Ahh interesting, I had read about "dangly" cervix but wasn't sure what it meant! Yes, I think what you describe is like me - I feel like the cervix hangs down quite low, but then I can feel up around it (to the side of it), which I guess is the rest of the vagina? That's really useful to know that a wider cup seems to be suitable for this sort of anatomy. I'm really glad you told me about the small Lunette and Fleurcup - I would definitely prefer to just get one cup at this stage and so it seems the wider, larger capacity would be better!

Following on from your advice and the advice from the member below, I've gone for the large Fleur (in green - exciting!). Hopefully this will be a good one for me to try out. Now I'm just keen to try it out! Thanks again for your helpful advice.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on December 6th, 2012 03:15 pm (UTC)
I hope and think you'll be happy with your choice. :D

Maybe in the future, you'll want a secondary cup (for light days?) Using what you know and like (or don't) about your Fleur, you'll be able to make an easier decision about dimensions and shape. On the other hand, many are very happy with their one-cup-does-it-all.
juliiie87juliiie87 on December 4th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
I think your reasoning is very sound, and you've got it pretty much figured out on your own ! My experience regarding cup length, is that you can safely add roughly 10 mm to your vag length (up to the tip of your cervix), since cups tend to sit (o) around your cervix, and usually there's a bit of leeway around it. Like, for me, my Cuplee is 53 mm, my cervix sits at two knuckles in (roughly 55 mm) and although I did trim about half of the stem off, I could still leave just under 10 mm of it. Your anatomy may vary, of course.

This is mostly the reason why the large Fleur is *SO* popular with low cervices' folks. Add in the blunt, rounded base shape, which should make it fairly comfy if it sits pretty low by the entrance. The only caveat is some people who are particularly sensitive are bothered by the defined grip rings, in which case you could file them off or just flip it inside out once you're comfortable with removal. Bonus points because it's squishy and fairly easy to pop open according to our member's reviews. A very similar option, minus the grip rings, is the large Si-bell, which supposedly is even a tad softer than the Fleur (and it's on sale from the Si-line website, using coupon code "FETES"!! Though you may want to compare prices considering FW has free UK postage). The medium Meluna (soft ! I like mine! It's very squishy and adapts to your anatomy) and the small Fleurcup would probably fit, too, although they have somewhat lower capacity, it's good that they are also bell-shaped. Unfortunately, I don't think the combo offer is available on the Fleurcup website anymore... If you're looking for a good deal, you might want to sign in to be informed of new posts on mc-sales.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on December 4th, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
GASP! No combo packs!?!?!?! I hope they'll be back. Maybe after the holidays?
juliiie87juliiie87 on December 4th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
... or whenever they feel like de-stashing the less-favoured coulours again ? Hopefully at least the clear ones !
juliiie87juliiie87 on December 7th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
Speaking of which... Now is the day to make your girlfriends switch (or mine, anyway)... Fleurcup is having a manic sale !! :D
Rosiesteelmagnolias on December 6th, 2012 10:51 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your help! This is such a friendly and well-informed community :) That's really interesting about how much you can add to your cup length, taking into account how far in your cervix is. I wasn't sure how far up around the cervix the cup would sit, obviously I imagine it varies from person to person but it's very helpful to have some rough guidelines!

Following on from the advice from you and the member above, I've gone for a large green Fleurcup! I think you're right about the shape - I imagine a blunter end will be more comfortable than a pointy end if it's sitting low! I saw a picture of someone's Fleurcup, where they had cleverly filed off the rings and snipped off the stem - very good to know that that can be done in future if adjustments are needed. I'm just so excited to try it out now, I can't believe I'm actually waiting for my next period with anticipation..! That's great to know about mc-sales actually - will definitely bear it in mind if the large Fleur doesn't suit. Thanks ever so much again for your advice and info about discounts and buying tips!