Rosie (steelmagnolias) wrote in menstrual_cups,

Newbie looking for advice on selecting a cup... quite confused!

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 (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!
Tags: brand comparisons, buying decisions, cervix position, first time use, fleurcup, lunette, sizes/size issues
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