The Aunt Flo Show

Episode 2: How to Choose a Menstrual Cup

June 25, 2019 Episode 2
The Aunt Flo Show
Episode 2: How to Choose a Menstrual Cup
Chapters
The Aunt Flo Show
Episode 2: How to Choose a Menstrual Cup
Jun 25, 2019 Episode 2
Jackie Bolen
Jackie and Tracy share all the information you need to know to choose the right menstrual cup for your body type.
Show Notes Transcript

Jackie and Tracy give you all the details you need to know about how to choose the right menstrual cup for your body type. Factors to consider including vaginal birth (or not), cervix height, cup materials, stem types, firmness and more.

And don't forget to take the menstrual cup quiz.

Email us: auntfloshow@gmail.com

Speaker 1:
0:01
Hey everybody, this is Jackie and welcome back to episode two of our and flow show. Hi everyone, it's Tracy here. So Tracy, what's going on with you these days? Oh, not much. Not much. How about you? I'm also not much. I just went on vacation to Spain in Portugal, but I just got back and yeah, I'm excited to record some podcasts episodes for you guys to listen to. All right, so today's topic, we're going to talk about how to choose the menstrual cups so it can feel pretty overwhelming. There's a ton of choices. Um, probably about a hundred cups on the market today. And of course they all have different sizes and stem options, et cetera. So we're going to get it kind of into all the small details about how to choose the best one for your body type. But first it's time for the TMI.
Speaker 1:
0:48
Alright, so Tracy is going to get that for us. Just a sec. Okay. So thank you. And for all of you who want to contribute a TMI moment, you can go to the podcast site and flow show.com. So F, l o, no, w on that aunt flow show.com and submit your TMI moment and we will read a one per episode and um, also send you a little thank you in the mail. So today's TMI moment comes from lady in red tights. So here is what they had to say. Being a Newbie in using menstrual cups, I was a bit scared and skeptical. So when I inserted it correctly the first time, I was really impressed with the cup and myself of course. But then it was time to remove it, feeling around for the little stem. Took a while. Eventually I got hold of it.
Speaker 1:
1:40
I pulled it downwards and pinch the bottom, trying to break the seal. I began feeling very nervous thinking that I am never going to get the cup out. So when the seal eventually broke, I was so elated that I pulled it out in one quick movement. And apart from the very loud suctioning sound ended up spilling the contents, which unfortunately was quite a lot all over my light gray tights. All of this happening while in a bathroom, in a public restroom. Uh, it looked as though the bottom half of my body took part in a mass secure massacre. What was worse was that I was all alone in the mall. I had to call my mom and she came all the way from home with a fresh pair of tights in the 30 minutes. It took my mom to get there and my emotions were jumping between shock, horror, amusement and disbelief.
Speaker 1:
2:31
Definitely learned my lesson. All right, thanks. So thanks lady red tights. So Jackie, um, so I'm thinking there's some things that you've said about choosing a cop, but, um, I guess I'm wondering like what are the different things like different parts of the cup and things to consider anyways, like before we actually get into the, the, uh, the details? Yeah. Oh yeah, that's a great question. So basically cubs differ in a few different. So one main one is the diameter. Uh, so probably like a small cup would be something like 38 or 39 millimeters. So that would be great for a teenager or like a very, very small person, especially if you haven't had sex before, vaginal penetrative sex or um, if you haven't given birth, you'd want a small one. And then, so the diameter, does that refer to the top part of the cup?
Speaker 1:
3:24
Ah, yes. Like basically the length across the rim of the cup and then larger ones would get up to say like 45 or 46 millimeters. So if you've given birth vaginally multiple times, and then, um, also the length is kind of key. Um, yeah, so the height of there's different length, different length. Okay. And then you can also, um, have different stem options. So, um, just pro probably you're familiar with the flat stem or the ball or the rings. We'll talk a little bit about that later. And then also the materials, there's a few different types of materials for Munster Cups. So yeah, that's kind of how they differ. So are they all kind of, I don't know if you mentioned this already, but like sort of like more firm or more soft as they're different kind of, yeah, sure. So within that material or the different materials, there's definitely firmness options.
Speaker 1:
4:12
So some are thinner, some are thicker and yeah, so. Okay, cool. All right, so do you want to get into it? Yes. So what's the first thing? So the first one is if you've given vaginal birth or not. So if you've given a vaginal birth, you'll want to stick with one of the larger diameter cups. And then if you haven't, um, you'll probably want one of the smaller diameter cups. So, okay. So I've seen on some cups they'll say, um, that, uh, I, if you're like, they'll go by age. So is, uh, it's more important if you've given birth vaginally, then your age. Um, I mean like each Menstrual Cup company has a different opinion about this. And Yeah, some companies like the diva cup for example, recommends that if you're over a 30, even if you haven't given birth vaginally, you use their larger cup.
Speaker 1:
4:59
So I should, that's personally what I did. And when I first started out with monster cops, that's the one I started with. I'm Canadian and they're a Canadian company. So it's just a kind of a natural, uh, one that we would try out. So I used it and it was actually too big. It just didn't fit. It never opened up inside me. And, um, yeah, when I like switched to a smaller one, I was much happier. It just didn't leak. It didn't hurt. It was much easier to insert and remove. So, um, yeah, I'm just not really a big fan of the going by age thing. I think vaginal birth is kind of a more accurate indicator I guess. Which, uh, because it would affect your vaginal tone and uh, the stretchiness of your vagina, I guess. Yes. All right. All right. So the next one is, um, whether or not you have a low or high cervix heights, so, so how would you know if you've had low or Jackie?
Speaker 1:
5:48
Well, there's kind of a small test I guess that like the bloggers would, um, talk about. So, um, or even the Menstrual Cup company, so you can like use index finger and then you can put it into your vagina. And if it reaches to your first knuckle, that means you have a very low cervix. So in that case, you'd want a short Menstrual Cup and if you put it in and then it reaches most of the way in, and then you can touch your cervix, that's Kinda like a medium height, a cervix. So you'd want kind of like just an opera's length cup, probably around like 70 millimeters or something like that. And then if you can't reach your cervix at all, even with your index finger, fully inserted a, then maybe like a cup that's a little bit longer, like slightly over 70 millimeters, would probably work better for you just because you can remove it more easily.
Speaker 1:
6:32
When you reach up in there, you can grab the stem so it doesn't get lost in, well, it never will actually get lost. It will just be easier to get out, I guess. Yeah. Okay. All right. So then the next one are the different materials in them. So they have, um, latex, thermoplastic elastomer and silicons. So, ideally all of these should be medical grade, so you can definitely get some cheapy cups, um, that aren't medical grade silicone. So you'll find them on Amazon for like two 99 or something crazy like that. And they come from China and you'll often see things like food grade or platinum grade or diamond grade silicon for example. And those are kind of not the key buzzwords that you're looking for. You're actually just looking for medical grade. So whatever you choose to kind of, that's the number one requirement.
Speaker 1:
7:22
But besides that, um, it doesn't really matter what material your Menstrual Cup is made from. I mean, there's a few small differences, but unless you have allergies, which some people actually do to latex, then it's not a big deal. So, but currently if you had a latex allergy, then you can choose the silicon or the TPE, weren't you? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. But actually the latex one was the keeper cup that was around. It's been around since the 19, I dunno, seventies or something like that. And it's actually not really in, I'm not sure if it's in production anymore or not. And it's actually quite difficult to find. So that's the only Latex Cup. That's the only latex hop as far as I know that was ever in production at like kind of in the current days. So, um, it would be actually quite difficult for you to find a Latex Cup.
Speaker 1:
8:05
I would be surprised if you could, could even buy one these days. So, uh, yeah, you'll find TPE or, um, silicon and both are fun. Yeah, they'll work great for you. Okay, so the next one is the stem types. So I've had Tracy and Wilkinson's. Okay. So Tracy, tell us what you think about, uh, the first cup I used actually had a very, very firm stem and um, no matter what I did or what position, I could always feel that hard stem. And the cup that I've settled into now has a very, very soft and flexible stem and I never feel it. So I actually, for me, the stem is a huge, um, huge, uh, thing that I look for. And so you have, it sounds like you have kind of a low cervix. It would be my, my guess if you could feel the stem, that's for me to know.
Speaker 1:
8:54
Okay. And so besides like the firmness of the stem, I guess there's a few different options. Um, there's like the bowl and the ring and the flat stems. So do you have a preference Tracy or the what? Oh, there's like, like some cups have just like, like the a ball on the end. Oh yeah. Some of them have like a ring, like the Meluna Cup is the one, for example, that will have a ring or the Marula Cup also. And there's just like the diva cup for example, has like the very flat, like skinny, skinny stem. So what are you saying to me? As long as I can get ahold of it. Uh, yes. How about you? Um, I kind of prefer the ones that are like, have little ridges or balls or something on them. I just find it easier to, Oh yes. You grabbed them when you're taking it out.
Speaker 1:
9:36
Yeah. Yes, yes, yes. So, and are there longer stems and shorter stems? Are there definitely are longer in shorter. So, um, yeah, my cervix is not low. I'm willing to tell everyone about my cervix sites. So I have kind of a high cervix. So, um, yeah, I prefer like a little bit of a longer cup. Um, I just find them easier to remove or longer stem and a longer overall cup. Yeah. So it's just easier to use to remove. Hmm. Right. And then the last one is the firmness. So, um, you can get like some very, very firm ones. Like the Latex Cup that we mentioned to keep your cup is so firm and um, yeah. Then there's very, very soft cups too that you can buy. So, uh, what do you prefer Tracy? Or like what do you think about that? I think medium one, and actually, um, I remember one of the cups that you used was quite firm and you were getting quite bad cramps.
Speaker 1:
10:27
So I think, excuse me. Um, if you do have, um, a farmer cup, then, uh, if you are getting really bad cramps and it might be something to think about. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I was using like the large diva cup and um, I was getting cramps from it. I think it was like maybe part of the problem was just that the cup was too big for me. And then perhaps the other problem was that it was quite firm. So I switched to the small school cup is kind of my, I get lots of cups for stuff as samples from companies. So I've tried pretty much all of them. But the one I kind of use when I'm not testing one is a small spoon spoon cup and it's a very soft small cup. And I love it. I'm super happy. I have to change it out a little bit more often.
Speaker 1:
11:12
Um, just because it doesn't have a high capacity. But yeah, I'm generally happy with it for sure. Ooh, I have capacity. How do we not write that in on our little chart? All right, so have we covered, I'm firmness. Well, let me just say one more thing about firmness. So, um, it's kind of like, companies will recommend if you play like sports, like kind of very dynamic active sports like say weight lifting or power lifting or do something like that or wrestling. Um, then they recommend a from cup because um, they say that like when you're moving like that you can collapse the cup and cause the suction seal to break and then the result will be leaking or something like volleyball or even tennis where you have like those like kind of powerful movements where you like clenched your muscles are pitching. Pitching. Tracy is a pitcher in softball.
Speaker 1:
11:59
Um, she has a game tonight that I were going to go watch I think. But anyways, so, um, yeah, so that's just kinda the what reason why I guess you would get a firm one and it's also a little bit easier to insert cause they kinda just pop open a were softer cops. You kind of have to like play around with it a little bit. Um, yeah. To get them to open harder to get them open. No, yes. Yeah, a little, I've never tried a super soft cup before. Hmm. You use you currently, you like the XO flow, right? Or is that a secret? Oh No, I just gave away your secret.
Speaker 1:
12:34
And so flow I guess. Yeah, it is kind of like a medium, medium firmness cuff, dead pen. So Tracy has no response. She's not confirming or denying which one she uses. Okay. So what was the thing we were going to talk about? Oh yeah, the capacity. Okay. It's actually a big one for me. Here's the detail I am willing to share. My period is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very heavy. And uh, that's one of the reasons as I mentioned in a previous podcast of why I tried the cup in the first place was because I was not really getting much done. And so capacity is a huge, um, qualifier for me. So high capacity is great in my world, but, and so by high capacity we kind of mean like just, well for example, the Diva Cup has a capacity of 30 milliliters. And so that's kind of, I guess the average or the standard.
Speaker 1:
13:24
And then you would consider a cup that has more than that to be high capacity in lower than that to be low capacity. So I think there's awful large that you're currently maybe using is something like 38 milliliters. Just off the top of my head, I'm not looking at that in my business. And then, um, for example, the small Spoon Cup that I use I think is, I'm going to guess about 23 milliliters. So you guys can look that up and tell me if I'm correct or not in those. But, um, so yeah, you prefer a high capacity in my period is actually not that heavy. So, um, yeah, I use a smaller cup and find that, um, it's not a big deal except maybe on the night of my heaviest flow I have to wear a cloth pad is like backup. And that's Kinda my only, only small issue that I have.
Speaker 1:
14:06
Here's a question for you, Jackie. Yep. You know how with Tampons, how a, there's always a note about trying to use the most appropriate absorbency for your flow. So if you had a higher, um, a heavy period, I guess, no, actually opposite if you had a lighter period and we're using a high capacity or large volume capacity cup, is that bad? No, not at all. It's quite different than tampons actually. So I'm kind of the only recommendation with regards to tss and menstrual cups is that you take out your cup and then you wash it well every 12 hours. So. Okay. So then it doesn't matter if you're malaligned aligned with, uh, with the capacity and your flow. Yeah, not at, so you don't have to like switch out cops. You could actually just use one. Some companies actually saw like packed as the two cups, like the small and large, which I don't really understand that the small fits you well the large probably is not going to and vice versa.
Speaker 1:
15:04
So, um, yeah, just use one cup for your entire period, find one that works for you and then just use it for all the situations and just to be sure to clean it well every 12 hours. If people have any questions for us with regards to any of this, what can, how can they get ahold of us? Oh, well they can just head over to aunt flo, show.com. So a u n t f l o s h o w.com. And there's a little comment box and a TMI moment. And then you can find all the podcast episodes and just all the information you need to know. I remember when I was trying to choose a, the cup that I was using, um, you had an amazing quiz that I took that uh, helped me get, uh, get to what I needed. So, uh, can you tell me about that?
Speaker 1:
15:50
Yeah, sure. So, um, if you want to some help finding the perfect cup, there's more than like a hundred cups of shoes from, so it can be pretty tough. So yeah, I recommend just going to my website, reusable Menstrual cup.com/quiz and yeah, there's like about, I think there's five or six simple questions, and then at the end you'll get a recommendation for two or three menstrual cups, uh, that would probably work for you. So yeah, you can use that as kind of the basis of your further research into which one will work. So, um, yeah, I think is there anything else that we didn't cover, Tracy, or anything you'd like to mention? No, that's it for today. All right. Everyone was, so we'll catch you next time. Take care and have a good day. Thanks for tuning in.
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