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10 December 2012 @ 11:04 pm
I have been reading the information on your site for a while, trying to decide whether I can find a menstrual cup that will work for me. I am hoping that some of you may be able to offer some advice, as I am still confused on the best cup for me.

I am 37 and have never given birth. I am in pretty good shape and think I probably have tight/strong pelvic muscles. I think I am a bit on the short side (between 50.8 - 70mm with the "finger" test), although after reading the various posts, I realize I may have a "dangly" cervix. I have usually one or two days of fairly heavy flow and the rest of the days are moderate to light. I have only ever used tampons, with an occasional panty liner.

When I got fitted for a cervical cup in my teens, my old OB-GYN told me that I had a small cervix. Now, I imagine that the cervix grows as you age, but I am still wondering if I should try a cup with a smaller diameter than is usually recommended for someone my age. I haven’t been able to find a good method for how to determine the best diameter size for the cup, except trial and error and knowing what flow you usually have.

Which cups do you think would work best for me? Also, I just found out that my local store carries the Diva Cup and is willing to give me a refund if it doesn't work for me. Do you think the Diva Cup would be a good option for me?

Lastly, after reading one person's post about using a diaphragm as a menstrual cup, I have been tempted to get fitted for one as this seems like a more exact way to find the right sized cup. Has anyone made the switch from a standard cup to a fitted diaphram, and thought this was a good change?

Thank you very much for your help with choosing a cup!
juliiie87juliiie87 on December 11th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
As you may have found out in your research already, the most important factor is length, not so much width : http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/

Compared with cup size on the charts (which are without the stem, but that you can trim off as needed), 50-70 mm is medium to long, not short, so definitely stay away from the shortest cups. The most accurate time to determine your size is during your period, since that's when you'll be wearing the cup, and your cervix is likely to drop a little at the beginning of your cycle.

In my opinion, having a larger cup doesn't hurt, even for young girls, unless obviously you're having a hard time folding it for insertion/removal and/or a hymen gets in the way. A medium width cup such as large Cuplee or small Divacup should be fine, unless you have a heavy flow, then you may wish for the extra capacity a larger cup provides (again the charts can help you determine that). I don't really see the point in getting the tiniest most narrow cup, at least not if you're sexually active, then you know from experience your vagina can accomodate this kind of size, and even if you're not, that's not really a concern.

Stiffness is more likely to influence your comfort. It is believed that if you have super strong core muscles, you may need a firmer cup, but that's a minority of people. Usually, I recommend starting with a medium to soft cup, to avoid the "feeling pressure on my bladder" issue that's fairly common with firmer cups. So, up to a Divacup and possibly Meluna classic on this chart : http://menstrualcupinfo.wordpress.com/cup-stiffness-comparison-chart/

Also, dangly cervixes usually benefit from U shaped cups vs. V-shaped ones, especially if you're looking to use the full capacity. So Fleurcup, Meluna, Mamicup, Si-Bell and Natural Mamma come to mind. Compare them using the link to Melissa's pictures on the sizecharts page.

Sorry this is all very general info, I just don't feel that I can recommend a specific brand to you just yet.
calicoastgal on January 5th, 2013 01:02 am (UTC)
Thanks and follow-up regarding Diva Cup
Thank you very much for your comments and help in choosing a cup. I got a size 2 Diva Cup at Whole Foods. They did tell me I could return it if it didn't work for me.

First of all, I love using a menstrual cup, as it is comfortable, easy to use, and much nicer than using tampons or pads. I found it very easy to insert and take out, right from the start.

However, I did find the Diva Cup too long for me, as I could feel the bottom of the cup which is ridged and the long stem which poked out. So, I turned the Diva Cup inside out and it seems to work well, except it is much harder to remove and insert as there is nothing to grip.

So, I am leaning towards getting a different cup that is shorter than the Diva Cup, but with still a fairly high capacity. I want to a cup that is as soft at the Diva Cup or softer. I would like something about the same width, as I found at my heaviest; the Diva Cup size 2 was about 3/4 full ( or up to .5 oz or 15ml full) after 12 hours of wearing it. I would like to get something shorter (around 45 mm would be ideal) with no noticeable ridges at the bottom, but a small stem that would make removal easier than trying to remove an inside-out Diva Cup. I also have seen some of the cups have a shiny material, but I think I would prefer a softer, less glossy surface as removal would be easier.

I would love any suggestions on my next cup to try. Thank you!

juliiie87juliiie87 on January 5th, 2013 01:28 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks and follow-up regarding Diva Cup
Have you tried cutting the stem off and filing it down neatly ?

See the charts http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/ and the one I linked in the above comment for stiffness comparison.

The Diva is amongst the longest cups, and the fact that it's V-shaped as opposed to more rounded U-shapes makes it lower capacity by default. So similar width, a bit shorter and slightly softer, with more capacity there's the large Fleurcup currently on sale (real cheap!) at fleurcup.com. Other than that... there's a bunch of cups that are slightly shorter than the Diva, as you will see on the charts, but I'm not sure how they compare capacity wise... they should be about similar.
calicoastgal on January 5th, 2013 03:34 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks and follow-up regarding Diva Cup
Thanks for the response. The Fleur cup looks like a good one, but I was concerned about the ridges. I really noticed the ridges on the Diva Cup, but perhaps this was because it was so long on me.

Have you found that the ridges can make the Fleur cup uncomfortable?

Other cups I am considering are: the femme cup, size A moon cup (from the UK), large Iris Cup, large si-bell, large ladycup.

Do you think these would work? Any of them you think may be a problem for me?
juliiie87juliiie87 on January 5th, 2013 01:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks and follow-up regarding Diva Cup
Have you loked at the charts ? because those cups are as different as can be... I'd rule out the Mooncup and Femmecup because of their thick rim and low capacity design (seriously, the large Mooncup holds as much as a small Diva). Large Iris and Ladycup are very similar if I remember correctly, except the Lady has low holes so potentially a loss of capacity there, and it's known to be slippery. The Iriscup is fairly expensive to ship.

Large Si-bell sounds like a clever choice : it's pretty much identical to the Fleur, only softer and without the grips ! I haven't worn the Fleur, I have one here but it's my roommate's and she has yet to try it ! (Note that some people file down the grips or just wear it inside out.) But I've seen a small Si-bell in person, I'd totally recommend this brand, it's very soft and a velvety frosted texture.

Edited at 2013-01-05 01:44 pm (UTC)
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on December 11th, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
As for using a diaphragm as a menstrual cup, Instead Softcups are very similar in design to them. I've seen diaphragm sizing listed but don't remember exactly -- ranging from about 50mm to 80-90-ish in diameter??? Insteads are 70mm in diameter and the flexible plastic pocket is deeper than diaphragms. They are "one size fits many" (but not all.) They are designed with period sex (PIV) in mind as well as just a menstrual product. Personally, I find them to be much messier to remove than cups. And there's no reason that they can't be washed and reused. Of course they want you to throw them away. They'll sell more that way. Alternate two -- remove the one you're wearing, pop in the fresh one, wash the first one for next time.

Insteads are inexpensive enough to buy a small boxful and try them. They're individually wrapped so you can share a box with curious friends. I don't care for them as period protection but use them to administer yeast infection goop, etc.

On the other hand, there are several here in this community who use and love them.

A menstrual cup is very similar to your cervical cap, but deeper to catch flow. Despite what the directions/illustrations say, they will eventually settle (O) around your cervix but not as tightly as a cap. The seal just needs to be leak-proof, not sperm-proof.

You asked about the Diva. The Diva is the longest of all the brands and it's too long for many. But it is most easily flipped inside out to shorten it if it's only too long on your low-cervix days. It's perfectly OK to wear it that way if you find that's how it fits you best.

Edited (again) for wording.

Edited at 2012-12-11 03:08 pm (UTC)
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on December 11th, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
"Also, I just found out that my local store carries the Diva Cup and is willing to give me a refund if it doesn't work for me."

Really??? They'd take back a USED menstrual product?
nocebo_domingonocebo_domingo on December 12th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
Hey! I was also fitted for a cervical cap as a teen. That was circa 1982 and so far as I can tell my cervix hasn't moved or grown in 30 years. The experience of insertion and removal is very similar and the skills translate. Reach waaay back to insert: check. Bear down hard to remove: check. If your cap experience is like that, you probably have a high cervix, in which case a Diva will be fine as will any cup of at least medium length (say 52 mm) or longer.

The biggest difference is in how they seal. The cervical cap is fitted closely to your cervix. The menstrual cup fits to your vaginal walls. There is more leeway sideways and as someone with a sometimes heavy flow you will benefit from the additional capacity of a larger cup. Since you have plenty of experience with insertion and removal you should have no trouble tolerating a larger cup. So: my suggestion is go with a large, whether it's a Diva or another brand.