Chances are if you’re reading this then you’re somewhat familiar with the concept of a menstrual cup, but still have some questions you NEED answered before you make the leap (How do I choose it? Use it? Clean it? etc.)
Trust me, I was once in your shoes, which is exactly why I created this guide on the best menstrual cup for beginners.
Because while it can be super intimidating to start using a menstrual cup, once you make the switch I can almost guarantee you’ll never go back to tampons again.
Not only are they much less expensive (think $30 once every 10 years vs. $15 a month), but they’re free of toxins found in conventional period products, including aluminum, alcohol, fragrance and bleach that lead to cramping, painful periods and hormone imbalances like endometriosis.
Add on the fact that they also help to majorly cut down on environmental waste and are extremely low maintenance (change once every 12 hours) and it’s pretty much a no-brainer.
Pro-Tip: Before you add to your amazon cart, there are some things you should know to help make the transition to a menstrual cup as smooth and comfortable as possible. Read below to help you choose the best menstrual cup for your specific needs.
There are a few things to consider before choosing your first menstrual cup as a beginner, which will help to optimize your overall experience.
Most menstrual cup brands will offer guidance on how to select a size based on cervix position. If you’re unsure, your best bet is to check your cervix height right before or during your period (when your cervix is lowest and easier to locate). Standing up with one leg propped insert your finger up your vaginal canal to see where it reaches the cervix (which should feel spongy and somewhat “donut” shaped).
If your finger is all the way in and you can’t feel your cervix, you have a high cervix. If your finger is inserted up to the second knuckle you have a medium cervix. If you can reach it at the first knuckle, you have a low cervix. If you have a high cervix, you’ll want a longer cup, whereas a lower cup would do well for a short cervix. If you’re undecided (or medium) go for a regular size/shape.
If you have any vaginal sensitivity, discomfort, pain or bladder issues, you’ll want to opt for a soft cup, which won’t press against your bladder uncomfortably. If you’re active or have a strong pelvic floor, your best bet is to go for a firmer cup that can hold it’s shape to prevent leaks.
You also want to consider if you have any allergies (i.e. silicone, latex, etc.) that a menstrual cup could potentially contain. Most high quality brands are made with medical grade silicone, but if you’re sensitive to it there are other options (see below!)
You can figure this out based on how often you have to change your tampon or pad during your period. Most brands will offer guidance on the size to select based on your flow in order to prevent leaking. If you know you have a heavier flow, see my top menstrual cup pick for you below.
This IS your vagina we’re talking about, so I’m guessing you don’t want just any old thing up in there, lol. Thus I’ve created this guide to help you pick a high quality menstrual cup that aligns with your needs as a beginner. See below for more tips, but when in doubt, read those consumer reviews!
Saalt’s Soft Menstrual Cup wins this title, as it’s made from super soft, medical-grade silicone, making it a flexible and discreet option (especially if you’ve felt discomfort using firmer cups or have bladder sensitivity). It’s also a bit longer in shape, so it works well if you have a higher cervix or heavier flow.
This is also the cup I personally use, love and can attest to. You can use my code sofresh10 to save 10% off your purchase.
The Honey Pot is one of my favorite non-toxic period product brands on the market, and I love that they offer an affordable menstrual cup option for any beginner looking to try.
A great option for beginners freaked out about removing a menstrual cup, the Flex Cup offers a unique string design that makes removal as easy as pulling out a tampon.
If you want to try a menstrual cup but don’t feel confident washing and reusing it quite yet, the Softdisc offers a good happy medium. This disposable disc can be worn for 4 hours at a time, then thrown away.
This menstrual cup is specifically designed for teens, with a smaller and more narrow shape, making it easier to insert and remove. Use code sofresh10 to save 10%.
One of the very few menstrual cup brands not made with silicone, the Hello Cup uses Thermoplastic Elastomer (still hypoallergenic, medical grade, and BPA-free), making it a high quality option for anyone sensitive or allergic to silicone.
The rounder, squatter shape of this cup works well for both a low cervix and a tilted uterus.
This is one of the smallest menstrual cups on the market, and is also made with super soft silicone, making it an ideal option for anyone with vaginal discomfort or bladder sensitivities.
This menstrual cup brand is designed for heavier flows, with their smaller size holding 32 milliliters and the large holding 41.6 milliliters (on average most mainstream versions hold around 20-30 milliliters).
This menstrual cup is designed for women with a stronger pelvic floor and a more active lifestyle to prevent leaking.
I can personally attest to using this brand after childbirth, with the regular being a bit firmer and larger, making it a more ideal option for postpartum flows. Use code sofresh10 to save 10% off your order.
It’s safe to use a menstrual cup once you start your period, or about 12 years of age.
Yes! If you’re old enough to menstruate then you’re old enough to use a menstrual cup, regardless of sexual activity. That being said, anything being inserted into your vagina can potentially tear your hymen, including internal menstrual products (cups, tampons, etc.)
This may depend on the specific menstrual cup brand recommendations, however in general most menstrual cups on the market can be safely worn for 12 hours before being emptied and rinsed.
Absolutely! However if you have a very heavy flow, you may need to empty and rinse during the course of the night to prevent leaking. If you know you have a heavy flow, I recommend choosing a menstrual cup brand that can accommodate (see above for tips!)
This advice often varies depending on the brand, however most menstrual cup brands on the market recommend replacing every 2-5 years (with some like Saalt lasting as long as up to 10!)
Yes. Because a menstrual cup sits inside the vagina while an IUD is placed inside the uterine cavity they shouldn’t interfere with one another.
Girl, I got you covered on this one. See this guide (diagrams included)!
Samesies, go here.
This guide has it all!
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I’m honored to support you on your journey to optimal hormone health + happiness. Thanks for being here babe.