Menstrual cups are gradually taking over the market from pads and tampons – if only because there are practically no contraindications to their use. A menstrual cup, or mouthguard, is a small bell-shaped container with a stem or “tail” that can be used to remove it. The stem comes in a variety of shapes and in most cases it can be shortened with scissors to a comfortable length. Each bowl has ventilation holes for air: they are located so that blood cannot flow through them – but thanks to them, the bowl cannot create a vacuum and “suck.”
Trays are made of medical silicone or thermoplastic elastomer. Despite the apparent compactness, their capacity is serious: 25-37 milliliters. This is quite a lot, because the average volume of menstrual flow is 35 ml for all periods, and menstruation with a loss of 80-100 ml of blood is considered abundant. Unsurprisingly, the average menstrual cup is advised to empty every 12 hours by cleaning it with soap and water.
The choice of the mouthguard depends on the tone of the vaginal muscles. For example, soon after childbirth or at an older age, it can be reduced – and then it is better to choose a larger bowl. Any woman can use such a device if it is convenient for her – and if there are proper conditions for this, for example, a toilet equipped with a sink in the office. We have selected popular, beautiful and innovative options and reviewed their features.
This is the first menstrual cup to hit the market and has received many statuses and awards; for example, the Mooncup has been recognized by the international organization Vegan Society as an environmentally friendly “green product”. Even the mouthguard storage pouch is made from unbleached organic cotton. In 2014, Mooncup has been included in the list of the fifty most ethical brands in the UK; it is the first manufacturer of hygiene products to have a certificate of ethics.
The main differences of the Mooncup are the small (compared to other mouthguards) air holes and a rather narrow rim. The bowl is available in two sizes (A and B) and is only transparent.
This medical grade silicone bowl is especially hygienic – because it has a very smooth surface, which reduces the risk of bacterial colonization. The top and rim of the cup are tighter and more resilient, although the silicone thickness is the same along the entire length. It turns out that the soft base is easy to grasp when removing, and the elastic rim provides easy and quick deployment. There are pimples at the base and on the stem, which should help to remove the bowl – however, some women admit that this is not done very conveniently here.
LadyCup can be chosen from two sizes (S and L) and as many as seventeen colors – including black and gold. In addition to the menstrual cups, LadyCup manufacturers offer reusable pads LadyPad organic bamboo and an unusual device LadyP , literally allows you to write standing up – for example, to avoid any contact with the toilet in a public toilet.
The Czech brand produces bowls of different hardness options – Classic and Soft in two sizes; you can also choose a set of a pair of bowls – larger and smaller. In addition to the transparent ones, there are rainbow ones, the pattern on which is never repeated. Separately (or complete with a bowl), you can buy a nice container for disinfecting it in the microwave and storing it.
The peculiarity of this bowl is in its ventilation holes: there are four of them, they are under the rim and are chamfered from top to bottom, from the inside to the outside. This helps air circulate faster inside the bowl and makes it easier to open. For those who want to estimate the volume of their menstrual flow, there are two marks on the inside of the cup: 5 ml and 10 ml.
Although it is believed that menstrual cups should not be used by virgins, the smaller of the two Lunette cup sizes is also recommended for girls who have not had penetrative sex. The stems of these bowls are thin, soft and flat, so they can be removed easily and without discomfort. There are two liquid level lines – 7 ml and 15 ml, they are located outside, like the brand name – and this is a significant plus, it is much easier to clean such a bowl.
The Lunette can be bought in different colors and sizes in Russian online stores, but it makes sense for those who read in English to pay attention to their home site – there is a lot of useful information, for example, about female anatomy , and there you can also find an ironic blog about everything related with menstruation, and accessories like a pendant with an imitation of a drop of blood and the inscription “bloody fucking awesome”.
This brand has the same size menstrual cups and only transparent; there are marks on the surface corresponding to 5 ml and 10 ml. The capacity is only 15 ml, so the bowl may not be very convenient for girls with abundant discharge; but due to its small size, it will suit even teenagers.
Femmecup mouthguards are distinguished by an unusual design: in addition to the usual rim, there is also a wide one. Due to this, the bowl is denser at the top and opens more easily. This slightly compensates for the small volume of the bowl: frequent changes will be almost imperceptible. The grappling lines start at the base of the bowl and continue on the stem – they are arranged in a spiral.
The prudent Germans have released a huge range of sizes – from S to XL, as well as options for shortened bowls (shorty). The shorty mouthguard in size S is the smallest menstrual cup in the world, while the size XL is suitable, for example, for women with very heavy periods and significantly weakened pelvic floor muscles. But this is not enough: from the Meluna assortment, you can choose a bowl of a certain level of softness – Soft, Classic or Sport. The softest one is suitable for women with weak muscles – and vice versa, the Sport option is suitable for those who have retained (or developed through exercise) strong muscles.
Finally, this is the only manufacturer that allows you to choose the most convenient type of gripping element – in the form of a ring, a ball or a stem – or an option without it at all.
The American bowl has a very unusual shape, which has a lid and a grip ring. It is very easy to remove, and you can not be afraid of leaks neither during extraction, nor during sleep or activity. Available in three sizes: for adolescents, for women with a low cervix and for everyone else.
This mouthguard does not need to be straightened into the vagina, like the rest of the cups, which are rotated around their axis for this; thanks to its intuitive design, it unfolds itself. FemmyCycle bowls are delivered all over the world, but when ordering to Russia from the official website, the cost of delivery exceeds the cost of the bowl itself; you can buy it from the company’s representatives in Eastern Europe for 32 euros.
This bowl is a product of a Chinese couple’s family business; according to the official website, it was invented by Mr. Tang, and the first testers were Mrs. Tang and her friends. The peculiarity of the bowl is in its tail. More precisely, in a ball, which is inserted into this tail and works like a cork. If you slide it down, holes will open through which the contents of the bowl are drained – that is, it is not necessary to remove it every time.
Such a bowl is not suitable for women with a low cervix, because a long enough tail cannot be cut off. Victoria’s Love comes in two sizes and is exceptionally transparent. A steam sterilizer can be purchased with the bowl or separately .
This is a Russian-made bowl – and, according to manufacturers, the only one that has been researched and tested by a large number of women in Russia. You can choose from two sizes and many colors – the series ” Russian Patterns ” is perhaps especially impressive . The upper part of the bowl is denser than the lower one, due to which it opens quite easily. Inside the bowl itself there are sealed rings – it is believed that this also facilitates opening.
LilaCup are relatively inexpensive cups, but you can buy them even cheaper: there is also a super – economical option on the official website for 249 rubles. Such a bowl differs only by a small cosmetic defect – uneven coloring, but this should not affect the efficiency.
Things from the future
In addition to more or less conventional caps, there are a number of innovative devices; some of them are not yet delivered to Russia, while others are pre-ordered worldwide. For example, the “smart” Looncup, which we have already written about and which, thanks to the built-in tracker, will help you keep track of your period – and the application will notify you of the start date of a new cycle, analyze the color, volume and duration of discharge, remind you that it is time to empty the cup and, when if necessary, recommend seeking medical attention. The Kistarter campaign has raised more than one hundred and sixty thousand dollars, and now you can sign up for the waiting list.
In Europe, you can buy bowls with insertion applicators – such as the British Amycup or the Spanish Enna – as well as, for example, a bowl with a wooden cleaning brush . Already sold (so far only in the US) Flex discs that allow sex during menstruation; but the absorbent briefs of different models, replacing pads and tampons – and, perhaps, bowls – can already be bought with delivery anywhere in the world. The world is finally beginning to recognize that menstruation is normal and part of the life of half of humanity; and we’re delighted to see a growing selection of products to make life easier during menstruation.