Menstrual Cup Sizing Guidelines
While each brand of menstrual cup may differ slightly (please refer to the specific sizing guidelines for your specific brand), when it comes to sizing your menstrual cup, there are two main factors to consider:
- Are you under or over the age of 30?
- Have you had a vaginal birth?
These two factors are important, since as we age, and after having a baby, our pelvic floor tone becomes weaker. If you have not had a baby but are over the age of 30, it is still recommended that you purchase the larger size menstrual cup. This is due to the fact that as we age, our hips widen and our pelvic floor muscles begin to lose their elasticity. Since it is our pelvic muscles that hold the menstrual cup in position, you don’t want to use the smaller one, and then risk having it leak!
- If you are over the age of 30 and have had a vaginal birth, most brands will recommend you select the large model cup.
- If you are under 30 and have not had a vaginal birth, you will usually select the smaller model cup.
- If you are under 30 years of age and have had a c-section, consider the smaller size cup.
- If you are over 30 years of age and have had a c-section, consider the larger cup.
Occasionally, you may need to consider other factors before determining your correct cup size. These include:
The tone and strength of your pelvic floor
Perhaps you are one of those very dedicated women who heeded the advice of your care giver to ‘regularly do your kegel exercises’! If so, or if you regularly undertake Yoga or Pilates routines, you may have developed particularly strong pelvic floor muscles. In this case, many menstrual cup manufacturers will recommend you select the smaller size cup – regardless of whether you have delivered vaginally or not.
Where your cervix is located
Before using a menstrual cup, we recommend you check the position/height of your cervix. If you have a low cervix (short vaginal canal), then you may find that the smaller cup model provides a better fit. Conversely, if you have a high cervix (long vaginal canal), then you will most likely find the larger model more suitable.
Are you a teenager or not had penetrative sex?
Most brands will recommend the smaller size menstrual cup for teenagers or women who have not had penetrative sex. This is due to having a potentially un-stretched hymen and/or tighter pelvic floor muscles. A smaller cup is generally recommended for young women wanting to reduce the risk of stretching their hymen. At this point, it is worth mentioning that the hymen can also sometimes be torn or stretched while participating in various forms of sport and also when using tampons. In some instances a woman may in fact be born without a hymen at all. An un-stretched hymen may make the insertion of larger cups more difficult and sometimes painful. The hymen and pelvic floor tone will begin to stretch and weaken as a women ages, even if she has not had penetrative sex. In this instance a larger cup may be a suitable option.
Level of flow
While even the small size menstrual cups will usually hold a substantial amount of menstrual fluid, women with exceptionally high period flows, may wish to use the larger cup. So, if you are under 30 years of age, have not had a vaginal birth, but do have a very high level of menstrual flow, you may wish to select a larger model cup.
The Ruby Cup is one brand which specifically recommends choosing a size based on your level of flow combined with your cervix height, rather than your age or stage of life.