Tampons and pads are fine ways to absorb your menstrual flow, but they’ve been getting some bad rep recently due to the environmental waste they leave behind at landfills and oceans and the harmful chemicals they contain.
Menstrual cups, on the other hand, are a healthier and eco-friendlier alternative. However, there are several factors to consider before you go out to buy one.
It may not be the perfect science, but here are some the things you should take into account the type of menstrual cup you’re looking for:
How To Find The Perfect Menstrual Cup
Most of the menstrual cups come in two different sizes depending on your age and whether you have given birth.
What Is Your Age?<
Age affects the required menstrual cup size because as you grow older, your hips will naturally widen. When this happens, your vaginal muscles will lose some of their elasticity. Due to this, a larger menstrual cup is suggested.
Have You Given Birth?
Menstrual cup manufacturers recommend that women who are under the age of 30 and have never given birth through their vagina to use a smaller-sized cup. On the other hand, women who have given birth and are over 30 should wear a larger-sized cup.
Here’s the thing, every woman is different. There may be some women over 30, who have children but have really strong pelvic floor muscles due to her being physically active. If this is how you are, then you may be more comfortable with a smaller cup. Still, you can make a more proper decision if you know your own body and use that information along with suggestions from menstrual cup manufacturers.
Where Does Your Cervix Sit?
Depending on your menstrual cycle, the position of your cervix may rise or fall. When choosing a menstrual cup that’s appropriate for you, it’s important to know where your cervix sits during menstruation.
High Cervix: If your cervix is difficult to reach or cannot be felt at all, then its position is pretty high during ovulation. For this, a longer menstrual cup is required.
Average Cervix: If your cervix doesn’t sit low but is easy to reach, then your cervix height is average. Fortunately, though, this cervix height can fit with most menstrual cup lengths.
Low Cervix: If your cervix sits right outside of your vagina (barely an inch) then you have a low cervix and a short menstrual cup will do for you.
You can find out where your cervix sits by inserting a clean finger inside your vagina. But be careful here. Slowly move your finger to the back of your vagina, just past the pelvic bone in a zone that can be perceived as “empty space.”
When you feel something that is like a round nub with a decline in the middle, that will be your cervix. Another interesting note is that the cervix feels like the tip of your nose during menstrual bleeding. In fact, you may want to keep measuring the height of your cervix during your period as it does not sit in the same place every day.
How Heavy Is Your Flow?
Even though there are plenty of women who claim they have a heavy flow, this is just not the case. Several studies have shown that a woman’s flow is moderate on average. And by moderate, we mean 1- 4 oz of menstrual blood (or 2 – 8 tablespoons for better clarity) over the entire course of your menstrual cycle. The average menstrual cup is specifically designed to contain an average flow.
But if your flow is heavy, then you should choose a cup with a higher capacity. These kinds of cups will need to be emptied less frequently. Even if you have no idea how heavy your flow is, it is always best to overestimate. This way, you won’t be emptying your menstrual cups too often.
Once you have factored in your age, the position of your cervix and the heaviness of your flow, you will have a clearer idea on how to find the perfect menstrual cup for your period.