A guide to finding your “goldilocks cup”.
Everybody is different! Whilst we may have the same body parts, they come in different sizes and shapes, and the same goes for our reproductive organs. There is a wide range of variance in both vagina size and shape and unfortunately, when it comes to menstrual cups, you can’t try before you buy to check it’s the right size.
Luckily menstrual cups come in a range of shapes and sizes so knowing a bit about your anatomy can help you choose the right size menstrual cup. Menstrual cup users often refer to finding their perfect cup as “finding their goldilocks cup”.
Here are some tips on what to look for when assessing what brand and size menstrual cup may be right for you;
Different brands of cups are available in different materials including; thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), rubber and silicone and medical grade silicone. Check with the menstrual cup manufacturer what their cups are made from and do a bit of research on that material to see if it is safe for use in the human body. JuJu is made of medical grade silicone which is produced in a Grade 8 clean room environment and carries independent certificates of biosafety.
Cups come in various shapes. Some are cone-shaped, some more bulbous and some tulip shaped. Rims, and stems on cups can vary across brands too so take this into consideration too.
Most stems can be trimmed to your preferred length but check this with the brand you are considering.
The stem on the JuJu cup is solid, yet flexible and has tear-drop shaped nodes, which can be used as trim points if you find the stem is too long for you.
JuJu Cup Models 1, 2 and 3 are conical in shape whilst Model 4 has a more rounded base. The Model 4 shape may be better suited to people who have a lost some pelvic floor tone as it is more bulbous in shape and tends to sit above the pelvic floor better than the cone-shaped cups. Please only select the Model 4 if you are comfortable with the removing a menstrual cup as this model may be harder to remove if you have a higher cervix or are new to using a menstrual cup.
Some cups are long and some cups are short to suit different vagina lengths. Use our guide to check your cervical position prior to purchasing a cup to ensure you get the best length cup for your anatomy.
The Model 1 and Model 2 JuJu are suited to people with mid-height cervix with the Model 1 being suitable for people who are under the age of 30 who have not given birth and the Model 2 to people over the age of 30 or anyone who has given birth.
A person with a high cervix or long vaginal canal would be best suited to a Model 3 JuJu Cup whilst a person with a low cervix or short vaginal canal, is best suited to a Model 4 JuJu Cup.
Model 1 and 3 are the same diameter whilst Model 2 is slightly wider and Model 4, yet wider again.
The technical term for the measure of how hard or soft a menstrual cup is called the durometer or shore. People with a sensitive bladder may prefer a softer cup whilst particularly active people with a strong pelvic floor may prefer a firmer cup, as softer cups may not fully open and form a seal.
JuJu is a Shore A, 50 durometer cup which is a medium soft on the durometer scale.
Some companies recommend different size cups based on your menstrual flow and the capacity or volume of fluid it is able to hold, however, we believe is more important that you get a cup which fits you correct before considering this. If a cup is too small it may not form a seal with the vaginal walls and leaking may occur. Conversely, if a cup is too large, it may not fully open and also cause leaking.
So firstly, choose your cup size based on childbearing history, age and cervical position, then, if you feel you may be able to use either Model 1 or 2 successfully consider your flow. If you have a heavy flow you may prefer to choose the Model 2 which has an increased cup capacity and if you have a light flow, the Model 1 may hold a sufficient capacity for a lighter flow.
7. Surface Finish
Menstrual cups are manufactured with different finishes (i.e. matte or smooth) and menstrual cup grips patterns and stems also come in different finishes and profiles (e.g. raised or more low lying). A more pronounced grip pattern makes removal easier but may also irritate the delicate skin of the vagina whilst a smoother finish provides may be more comfortable and easier to clean but more difficult to remove, particularly for novice cup users.
JuJu is available in the original smooth finish in a Model 1 and 2 or the newer grippy finish in a Model 1, 2 3 and 4. The newer model has a more pronounced grip pattern in a matte finish on the base of the cup and a thicker stem with ‘nodes’ which act as trim points if you prefer a shorter stem on your cup.
This should be the last consideration. Whilst some of us can get a little hung up on being colour coordinated, the truth is that once your cup is inserted, it isn’t seen so dying of cups is purely for cosmetic purposes.
We’ve chosen to exclude additives such as pigments/dyes in our menstrual cups and keep them simply 100% medical grade silicone. We do allow for a little personalisation though – you can choose your storage pouch colour.
Remember there is a wide range of “normal” and what works for someone else may not work for you. Take some time to do your research, compare menstrual cups size and recommendations and try the JuJu Cup Size Selector Quiz to find the right size menstrual cup for you.
User Experience Designer
Brenda Tootell is the founder of Freedom Products. She has a background in User Experience Design and is involved in the research, design and development of JuJu products. Brenda is passionate about providing individuals with sustainable product alternatives, improving the interaction customers have with JuJu products and maintaining environmentally conscious and socially responsible business practices. Brenda is a wife and mum to two teenage boys and a ball-crazed border collie. She loves getting out in nature, travel and good product design.