The menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene tool that owes its name to its cup shape. It is inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual fluids during the period. Menstrual cups have emerged as an alternative to pads and tampons. They have become popular because they are healthier and more practical.
The variety of menstrual cups on the market is wide. This is mainly because there are several aspects that change between models and that modify the profile of the cup. These include the material, the size, the handle, among others. Here we will comment on all these aspects.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Menstrual Cup: Our Picks
- 4 Buying guide: What you need to know about menstrual cups
- 5 Buying and rating criteria for a menstrual cup
- Menstrual cups have emerged as a popular alternative to pads and tampons. It has several advantages that the other methods do not have. Among other things, it is a more hygienic method and has a smaller ecological footprint because it is reusable.
- Because they are reusable, menstrual cups not only have a smaller ecological footprint, but also save money in the long run. A good quality menstrual cup can last up to 25 years, which means 2.5 decades without buying tampons or pads. Even changing it at the recommended time - 2 or 3 years - is a huge financial saving.
- Size and material are aspects that are defined by the physiological profile of the woman. The needs of a woman who has given birth are different from those of a woman who has not given birth, and also different from those of a virgin.
The Best Menstrual Cup: Our Picks
Buying guide: What you need to know about menstrual cups
What are menstrual cups and what are their advantages?
There are positive aspects that result from its use, such as long-term economic savings, a reduced ecological footprint, it is much cleaner than sanitary pads or sanitary towels, and it is also very durable and resistant. The use of menstrual cups has become more and more widespread and their use is becoming more and more common.
When were menstrual cups invented?
The use of menstrual cups declined during World War II, and the product recovered momentarily in the 1960s in the USA. The disadvantages of the cup at this time were that it was very large, very stiff and very heavy. There were also many prejudices about contact with menstrual flow.
In the 1980's, experiments with menstrual cups began, creating more sophisticated, adaptable and modern models. This is how medical silicone was introduced as the material of choice, and various sizes were created to suit the physiological conditions of each woman.
Menstrual cup made of medical silicone, TPE or latex?
Menstrual cups made from medical silicone are the most common, as this is a very convenient material for use in intimate instruments. Medical silicone is a medical grade material and is also non-porous so it does not harbour pathogens that can cause infections later on.
TPE or thermoplastic elastomers also have particular advantages when used as a material for menstrual cups. It was developed for plastic products related to medical procedures. It is excellent for the environment, as it is a recyclable material that prevents allergic reactions.
Latex menstrual cups are the oldest of the menstrual cups mentioned. It is an environmentally friendly material extracted from the hevea tree, and is highly resistant and soft to the touch. Its high elasticity is one of the aspects that have boosted its use, as well as the fact that it is quite hygienic and safe.
|Hypoallergenic||Low toxins||Watch out for possible allergies|
|100% pure silicone||Zero compounds that can cause allergies||Good resistance|
|Easy to clean||Recyclable material||Great elasticity|
|Soft and flexible|
How much does a menstrual cup cost?
The cheapest ones can cost as little as 250 MXN, usually the simplest and with the smallest capacity, but you can get very good quality cups for a little more. The most expensive ones are around 900 MXN, which are usually made of the best materials and with greater durability.
Although there are sets of glasses that can cost up to 1,200 MXN. These are usually special promotions or use kits that include accessories such as cases and wet wipes.
Buying and rating criteria for a menstrual cup
Consider these criteria before choosing a menstrual cup:
The idea of creating different sizes for menstrual cups came about in the 1980s as a way to re-promote the product. Today there are numerous sizes that will depend on brand parameters, but most are limited to two sizes: large and small.
When talking about these general sizes, the large sizes are designed for women over 25 years old or who have given birth. While the smaller sizes are designed for women under 25 who have not given birth. This is determined because the narrowness of the vaginal walls affects the effectiveness of the cup.
The more specific sizes have been determined according to certain parameters. Size S is intended for women under 18 or virgins, usually 38mm in diameter with a maximum capacity of 23ml. The medium size has a diameter of 41mm with a capacity of 28ml. This is intended for those under 25 years of age.
Size L is intended for women over the age of 25 or who have already given birth. It has a diameter of 44mm with a capacity of 34ml. For heavy flow and vaginas that are not very tight there is a size XL, which has a diameter of 47mm and a capacity of 42ml.
The softness or stiffness of a menstrual cup is one of the most important criteria to consider. In order to decide on one, certain needs and preferences must be established, as it is an aspect that depends to a large extent on the personal taste of the user.
Soft and flexible cups have the advantage of not causing any discomfort while inside the vagina. But it has the disadvantage that it can easily become dislodged and cause some leakage. While stiffer cups ensure coverage but may cause discomfort to the user.
To solve this situation, menstrual cups were developed with a rigid mouth while the rest of the cup is soft. However, it is possible to find a cup with the right balance between softness and stiffness.
The style and look of the menstrual cup are features that will help you create a connection with this intimate wear item. There are many shapes and colours available on the market that open up a wide range of options for shoppers. Some are even glow-in-the-dark or fluorescent.
Style has no immediate effect on the efficacy or effectiveness of the cup, but it does affect the way the user feels about the cup. It is more a criterion of personal feeling than practicality.
The handle is an appendage that menstrual cups have on the bottom. It is intended to be pulled to remove the cup from the vagina, and an attempt has been made to develop a design aimed at preventing spillage, leaking or staining. So there are different types of pullers with different methods.
Some cups have handles that are just a bulge that must be pulled to remove the cup. Others are more sophisticated and have a ring into which you insert your finger to pull the cup with more comfort and control. Others have a hook-shaped protrusion into which you can hook your finger to pull out the cup
The capacity of a menstrual cup is related to the size of the cup, as in general larger cups have a larger capacity. But there are also small cups designed for heavy flow. So virgins or women with narrow vaginas who have a heavy flow have an answer to their need.
Whereas if you have a light or light flow you can opt for a cup with a small capacity. This way you can save a small margin of money on the purchase and you will get one that fits properly to the diameter of your vagina.
(Featured image source: Yulia Grogoryeva: 41238209/ 123rf.com)