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Serpent
01 October 2015 @ 11:43 pm
To choose the right cup, it's highly recommended to know where your cervix is. However, one trend I've noticed is the obsession with measuring the exact distance, most likely because nowadays there are so many cups to choose from.

It's important to understand that cups aren't like bras or shoes. There's not just one specific size that fits, nor a standard sizing across the brands. Most can use several cups, or could theoretically use them if they existed in the needed range. Some *absolutely* need to switch between cups depending on their flow and cervix position, but that's not very common. Most of those who have a separate light days cup either originally purchased a cup that was too small/low capacity, or couldn't resist trying out a different brand/colour/stem type that they didn't technically need.

The "goldilocks cup" is generally the best fit from what exists on the market. But for a vast, vast majority of cuppers, any first cup they got was better than disposables.

For many folks, especially with a low cervix and/or heavy flow, finding the right cup is really more about finding the limits of their range, finding the best combination of length and capacity, possibly making tradeoffs sometimes. This is further complicated by the fact that your cervix can sit in the cup and reduce the capacity, or a specific cup may just be a poor fit for no obvious reason, causing leaks and/or discomfort.

The limit is also exploited by the companies, most of which recommend the small(er) sizes to anyone who can wear them, regardless of whether they can also wear the large/wider cups. (Yes, being able to wear different cups also often applies to different sizes of the same brand) Pre-Internet, the expectation was that you'll get the large of the same brand if your flow is too heavy or after you give birth. Nowadays people are very likely to research online and switch brands when getting a second cup.

As it's been said repeatedly, you need to choose by the dimensions, disregarding the official guidelines and especially all the buzzwords like medium/teen size, "XL" or "low cervix version". For each of these, there are other cups that fit the description better. And teens don't necessarily need short/narrow cups, especially if the stem is also short/unusual (ball or ring).

If you have a heavy flow, obviously you need a high capacity cup. But if your flow is light or average, you don't have to choose a low capacity cup, the way you choose pads or tampons with a lower absorbency. (The Mansfield-Voda-Jorgensen scale might be useful)

So, don't stress too much about getting the size "just right". If you have any special needs, you probably know what they are, or you'll know when you look for your cervix. Use the glossary and consider browsing the relevant tags. If you're confused, ask in the community (not in the comments to this post). To answer one of the most common questions, virgins and folks who've had a C-section can typically wear a wide cup if they need it.

Use the size charts to find out which cups are considered short, medium and long. Generally, very few need their cup to be shorter tham 50-52 mm, no matter the exact distance to their cervix. However, a cup may also be too long without actually sticking out (this seems more common with the cups that are 55 mm long or more)

Similarly, cup reviews are of limited usefulness. They're mostly good for the photos, videos and visual comparison, as well as details like stiffness, stem, the number of holes. But quality concerns aside, there's no such thing as a good or bad cup. It all depends on your needs.

The best-known brands are usually the ones that have been on the market longer, or the easiest to get in a particular region, such as the Diva, Keeper, Mooncup (UK/US), Lunette. But actually, since these were the pioneers of cup design, they all fit a limited scope of people. Especially Diva is about as far from one-size-fits-all as you can get.
 
Sarcasticia Nitpickersontisiphone on October 2nd, 2015 07:18 am (UTC)
Quite helpful, thanks for this.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on October 2nd, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
glad you liked :)
Sal McGhostface Killahbeuk on October 2nd, 2015 03:55 pm (UTC)
And I think I bought my Diva before even looking through this comm too much and it turned out fine because I happen to have a high cervix and I only needed to trim one segment of the stem. Not that I think anyone should rush headlong into making a purchase like I did!

I definitely had the thought about how cups are not like shoes when it comes to fit with some of the posts we've had recently. Thanks for this!
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on October 2nd, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
:)
yeah, no need to rush but no need to overthink either :)
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on October 2nd, 2015 05:56 pm (UTC)
Nice!

I might also include a note on how you'll want to determine if you happen to be one of those with a VERY high cervix. If you don't know this and go for a smaller cup (oh hey I am small and or a virgin and or I haven't had kids maybe I should get a Meluna!!!111) you will be looking at hours attempting to remove it or a possible trip to the doctor.

I'm one of those who has very few viable cup options due to my cervix height and "twistiness" of my canal.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on October 2nd, 2015 07:56 pm (UTC)
done, thanks for pointing it out :)
citrinesunset: Fountain pencitrinesunset on October 4th, 2015 06:35 pm (UTC)
I definitely agree! This is why I'm not crazy about how a lot of cups are sized (or at least how the sizing is marketed). When I first started looking for a cup, I was so nervous about it being too big, so I gravitated a lot to the smallest brands. I'm glad I read advice about checking your cervix height, because I really doubt I'd be able to reach a cup like the small (or even medium) Meluna.

I wish there were more small cups (in diameter) that are long in length, but given the choice between a small cup that might be really hard to reach and a bigger cup that's reachable, I'll take the latter.
Kathlynekathlyne on October 2nd, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
Very well said.

Age/number of children/height/weight/sexual experience are not the main factors when choosing a cup, but people seem to focus on those things. Maybe because they are easy to measure relative to cervix height/length of vaginal canal/flow/dangliness of cervix.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on October 2nd, 2015 07:55 pm (UTC)
my point was more that when people do look for the cervix, there's an obsession with the exact length. i miss the good old days when it was a binary question, rather than "my cervix is at 50 mm, is it high?"
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on October 2nd, 2015 08:41 pm (UTC)
And that also begs the question... "XXmm from where?" Their pelvic floor? Their vaginal opening? The exterior of their vulva? Their knees? I think if we asked a dozen different people, we'd get a dozen different answers.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on October 2nd, 2015 09:05 pm (UTC)
haha the knees :D
yeah, it's all confusing :/
m03m on October 4th, 2015 04:38 pm (UTC)
If my cervix was at 50 mm from my knees, I'd be worried, for sure. :oD
trejoytrejoy on October 4th, 2015 08:49 pm (UTC)
LOL!!
margalee on October 4th, 2015 10:48 pm (UTC)
*applauds*
Awesome post!

Would also like to add that some cups might just going to leak for you, *and there won't necessarily be a clear reason why*. I went through so many cups and every troubleshooting tip I could think of that promised to solve my leaking problem--but to no avail. I widened holes, flipped cups upside down, rotated, double-checked that the cup was open, double-checked cervix location... and still they leaked!

What it really took was patience, money, and trying out lots of different brands. I still don't understand why my "goldilocks" doesn't leak. But I'm really glad that I pressed on. The troubleshooting tips are useful, but sometimes it's just a matter of finding a cup that gels with your body.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on October 5th, 2015 12:01 pm (UTC)
Re: *applauds*
aww good point! done.
found this post now http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/3468363.html and the follow-up. wow, so many cups!
shame that i still haven't updated this post with luv ur body http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2761581.html :/