Sunday, June 9, 2013

Switching Cups?

Menstrual cups have been on the market for awhile now and many customers are coming to this site to consider a different model to achieve a better fit than what they get with the cup they have.
Since Diva is a fairly affordable cup, is widely available and has been around forever I am including the Diva cups in our chart - even though we don't carry Diva and I don't feel it's a cup that's a great fit for most people.

But Diva often ends up being a woman's first cup so it's helpful to include it to give you an idea how our brands compare with what you are used to.

Why may people want to try a different cup?

Quite often the cup you have does not stay sealed well enough.
This could be due to either the diameter being too small (solution: consider a cup with a larger diameter) or the material not being rigid enough so the cup gets dislodged during vigorous activity (solution: consider a firmer cup like the MeLuna Sport).
Of course the seal will also open if the cup has filled past capacity (solution: empty cup more frequently of consider a higher volume cup)

The cup you have is uncomfortable
Discomfort at the entrance of the vagina:
Especially after child birth the internal anatomy may change enough to require a shorter cup to avoid having the cup sit too low and be noticeable at the entrance of the vagina (solution: consider a cup with a shorter cup length. Alternatively you may also consider a cup with a very wide rim so that you can wear the cup higher up).
You will notice here that the Diva has a really long cup length so if your Diva feels too long, please know that there are plenty of cups in shorter lengths available.
Another reason for discomfort can be the stem. Again I really dislike the Diva here with its rigid round stem. (solution: consider a cup with a different stem or remove the stem of the cup you have)
If you like long stems then the flat, flexible stem of the Lunette is a much more comfortable choice. The MeLuna comes in a multitude of stems but we currently carry it only in the round 'ball' stem (it's actually more like a flattened ball) because this stem type seems to work well for the majority of people. It is round and short, meaning it doesn't add much to cup length and is less prone to irritating you.
Speaking of irritating:
Some people suggested you turn cups like the Diva, that have very uncomfortable stems, inside out. We do NOT recommend this. Depending on the shape and location of your cervix you can have that stem now irritating and pointing right at it (in the inside out position). It is probably safer to simply trim an uncomfortable stem off.
I would also consider the stem more of a guide as far as where the cup is located than a handle to pull the cup out by. If the cup's seal has not yet released (due to filling to capacity) it will be much more comfortable to grasp the cup's bottom and break the seal first, rather than try and removing it by pulling on the stem.

Discomfort further up:
One of the most important things to keep in mind when placing your cup is that your vagina slants to the back - it does not go straight up. So when you insert the cup point it towards your back. (solution: Think 'back' rather than 'up' when inserting).
If you have it in the right place but it is still uncomfortable it could be due to the cup being too large for you -specifically the diameter could be too big. This can cause for the cup to not open completely -at that point is is uncomfortable AND it leaks! If it is too big but does open fully,  it can still give you an uncomfortable feeling of pressure. (solution: consider a cup with a smaller diameter)
Another possibility is that the cup is the right size but doesn't unfold completely. (solution: Be sure to turn the cup a few times -especially if you have a cup made from very soft material- to ensure it pops open. Also consider trying different folds.)
The manufacturers provide some guidance on different folding techniques but you can also find videos on youtube.

IMPORTANT: Do not continue to wear a cup that causes you discomfort. Cups that fit well and are positioned well will not be very noticeable to you while you wear them. If it hurts, it's an indication that either fit or position are wrong. Please listen to your body!

Let's have a look at the cup dimensions:
Cups highlighted in blue are cups that we will carry in our webstore starting Fall of 2013.
In fact we already have the Lunette cups in stock. The MeLuna cups have been on the market in Europe for several years, where they have passed stringed testing and the European certification process. They are undergoing now a similar certification process in the US and will ship to us as soon as FDA clearance is completed.

I highlighted the cup length column purple since cup length can be such an important factor for fit for women after childbirth.

As always: if you have any questions or concerns about your specific cup, the cup's manufacturer is your best resource. Both MeLuna and Lunette have wonderful customer service and are happy to assist you in trouble shooting.
This web post is intended to give you some ideas of things to consider when shopping for a new cup. It does not replace medical advice or supercede the manufacturers' recommendations for their cup use and selection.
If you have any medical concerns, please address them with your medical care provider.