Having a size guideline is helpful while picking a menstrual cup. However, each body has unique anatomy and a one-size-fits-all approach may not be helpful while purchasing the right size of menstrual cup. Here, we will try understanding various sizes of menstrual cups and which size suits you and your menstrual activity the best.
Congratulations! You’re on your journey to a more sustainable and safe period as you choose a menstrual cup. As sanitary as menstrual cups are, they can be intimidating for those who are starting out on this journey.
Menstrual cups are made to fit inside the vaginal canal where it sits below the cervix. There is a vacuum created between the cup and cervix which helps deliver a comfortable and leak-free experience.
How Big is a Menstrual Cup?
Menstrual cups are generically available in two sizes, namely - small, and large.
The small menstrual cup measures approximately 35 - 43 mm and the larger sizes are around 43 - 48 mm in diameter at the rim of the cup. These sizes are determined based on the size of a woman’s cervix.
With that said, the height of the menstrual cups also varies based on the diameter. For cups that measure between 35 to 43 mm in diameter, the height is around 65 mm, and for 43 to 48 mm cups, the height could be around 68 mm.
Some brands have lately woken up to the reality of different sizes of cervixes, different flows, and introduced menstrual cups in a couple of other sizes.
To determine the right size of the menstrual cup for you, you need to perform a couple of tasks at the comfort of your home. These small exercises will help you avoid discomfort the first time you use a cup.
The Examination & Determination
The first task is to figure out if you have a low or a high cervix. Follow the below guidelines to examine the depth of your cervix.
- Find your cervix by inserting your longest finger into your vagina. You may do this lying down seated on the toilet lid, but make sure to thoroughly sanitize your hand before performing this examination.
- If you’re wondering what you’re actually looking for, or how your cervix feels, it is usually felt with your longest finger deep, at the top of your vagina. Located to the front, closer to your tummy rather than your back, your cervix feels round & smooth.
- Feeling similar to the tip of your nose, your cervix will feel like a raised round with a dimple in the center.
- As soon as you feel this, measure how deep you have inserted your finger.
- If the longest finger is reaching in completely, it means that you have a high cervix.
- If the finger finds the cervix within the finger knuckle in the middle, it means you have a low cervix.
You may find your cervix at any depth, and there are various size options in menstrual cups that will surely fit you. Remember, this could be a trial & error phase so don’t give up easily or lose hope in the concept.
Small Menstrual Cups
Small menstrual cups are designed for pre-teens and teenagers. More often than not, it is usually the right fit for women who are yet to undergo penetrative sex or women who do not lead an active sexual life. Since teenagers & pre-teens are still in the growing age, using small size menstrual cups that can fit their smaller uterus and manage their menstrual flow is the ideal choice.
Since teenagers and pre-teens are at the cusp of their menstrual maturity, it is always a good idea to consult a gynecologist for more details before using menstrual cups.
As mentioned earlier, a menstrual cup size between 35 to 43 mm must fit best for younger women, but the flow and the cervix depth determine the size of the menstrual cup.
Some brands even sell menstrual cups especially for teenagers and these are smaller, around 30 mm in diameter.
Large Menstrual Cups
A large menstrual cup may sound intimidating but here is when it gets easier. If your finger could be inserted fully inside the vagina to find your cervix, you evidently need a large menstrual cup.
Ideal for people above the age of 25, a large cup does not only fit snug inside the vagina but also holds heavier flows.
If you’re sexually active, have delivered a baby naturally, or if you have naturally had a high cervix, a menstrual cup of diameter 43 to 48 mm may fit perfectly.
With that said, it is not uncommon for women to use different sizes of menstrual cups based on the flow, the events of the day, and the day of the period. As long as the cup fits snug and doesn’t leak, it is good to go.
How long can a menstrual cup be worn?
A menstrual cup may be worn for up to 12 hours. Based on the flow and the time of the day, it is advised to empty the cup after being worn for nearly 4 to 8 hours.
How do I know when my menstrual cup is full?
The only way to determine if your menstrual cup is full is by taking it out, measuring it, and emptying it. On heavier flow days, the cup will have to be emptied every couple of hours but it is advised to purchase a bigger size cup if yours usually fills up quickly.
How to make sure my menstrual cup is sealed?
Slide your finger around the outside of the menstrual cup once inserted in the vagina. Gently press the cup and if it is not fully open, this should fix it, and allow for a perfect seal.
Can I use my menstrual cup while sleeping, overnight?
Yes. Sleeping with the menstrual cup is often considered a more convenient option. If your cup leaks during the night, try to get a better fit the next night or purchase a bigger cup that fits your cervix as well as hold your flow.