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I try to be as honest as I can when it comes to my position on products, so I rarely use the phrase, "This thing changed my life." When it comes to menstrual cups, however, my life really did change. That’s why I’m a massive advocate for the best menstrual cups for beginners, so even if you’re a little bit intimidated by the process, you can find one that overrides all your worries.
Why use a menstrual cup? For me, the turning point was a monthly issue with painful cramps. I’d used tampons since I was 11, but suddenly, whenever I had one in, my whole abdomen would ache; when I took it out, I’d be fine within the hour. After doing some research about alternatives, I decided to switch to a menstrual cup. Many menstrual cup users (myself included) report fewer cramps after switching, but people also love it for a multitude of other reasons: It’s eco-friendly, saves you loads of money long-term, can stay in for hours at a time, leaks less than most other feminine hygiene products… The perks go on and on.
Of course, everyone’s body is different, so there are a few tips when it comes to finding the best menstrual cup for you. When you’re just starting out, you’ll want something that’s comfortable, flexible, easy to get the hang of, and provides the right fit. Here are a few of the best options, so you can start off your menstrual-cup journey on the right foot — and hopefully become a life-long advocate like me.
The Lena menstrual cup is the most well-reviewed option on Amazon, and it’s also one of the most reasonably priced. It’s available in two sizes (small and large), so you can choose the best fit for your body, but they recommend a small if you’re just starting out. Beginners find it easy and comfortable to insert thanks to its bell-shaped design and soft, flexible rim — plus the textured removal stem adds some extra peace of mind. It uses medical-grade silicone and skips the additives, and you can wear it for up to 12 hours without irritation, dryness, or toxicity. Personally, this is the one I use and I was able to comfortably insert it on my first try, but there are countless how-to videos on YouTube if you’re having some trouble.
According to one reviewer: "I’m 17 and I have heavy periods so I got the large Lena Cup. I’ve never used a menstrual cup so of course I was nervous. I recently got my period so I went to go put it in. I expected to have trouble with it but I tried the 7 fold and it went it with no problems. I check it every few hours and no leaks or problems. Also it’s very comfortable and I can’t feel it at all! Love this! Perfect for a beginner!!!"
The beginners in the review section are loving the Saalt menstrual cup, but even more telling are the buyers who have used other options. They say it’s "softer," "more comfortable," "forms better to [their body]," and "holds more" than the other leading brands on the market. Due to its molding abilities, reviewers say it causes fewer leaks and is more comfortable to insert, which is great news for newbies. Where this cup differs specifically from the Lena Cup (the top pick) is the ribbing, which doesn’t protrude as far on the Saalt cup and can be less irritating to those with more sensitive vaginal walls. It’s also made from 100 percent silicone and skips the BPA and latex, so it’s totally biocompatible and hypoallergenic. It also comes in two sizes, small (best for beginners) and regular.
According to one reviewer: "I was hesitant to buy this at first because i hadn’t used a menstrual cup before and this seems like a fairly new product, but i am so happy i did. i love not having to worry about buying tampons and if i’m going to get my period in the middle of the day because i can always carry this with me, not to mention how beneficial it is for the environment. it takes a bit of a learning curve, but it is SO nice being able to rely on this one cup."
Due to its flat-fit shape and petal-thin body, the Intimina Ziggy is one of the most unique options as far as designs go. Rather than an elongated cup, it’s shaped like a disc, so it’s especially similar to disposable cups if you’re transitioning from those. It’s also the only menstrual cup that you can wear during sex on your period to prevent messes because rather than obstructing the vaginal opening, it slides in under the pubic bone and sits flat. It’s made from medical-grade silicone, you can use it for up to two hours, and it offers up to 12 hours of protection. Reviewers say that once it’s in, you can’t feel a thing — and it won’t rip or dislodge during intercourse, either.
According to one reviewer: "I’ve been wanting to move away from tampons for some time, and decided to try a menstrual cup. I didn’t like that Flex was disposable, and was really intrigued with the Ziggy! I made the investment and have been so happy! It does have a bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to it, it’ll change your life!"
When you do a lot of jogging, swimming, yoga, or endless errand-running, you need something that’s not going to slow (or let) you down. The Super Jennie cup holds more than other brands, but it’s also designed to stay put while adjusting to your movements. It has a very firm rim for an all-day secure fit, but the cup itself is extremely soft and flexible, so it conforms to your body while you stretch, move, and run. That way, you can participate in any activity without having to worry about leaks or pain. It’s made from eco-friendly reusable silicone, and it comes in two sizes for all different fits and flows.
According to one reviewer: "It’s fantastic! If you are new to menstrual cups in general, I would definitely say this cup is good for beginners because it’s one of the easier cups to get open, seal properly, and remove easily. The stem allows you to reposition the cup without being stiff and uncomfortable and it offers great capacity. Even on my heavier days, when I normally can’t use a cup, this one worked perfectly."
When I first decided to stop using tampons, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a product that I wasn’t even sure I would like. As a result, I started out with these Softcup disposables before investing in a reusable one. They use a hypoallergenic and latex-free ring to help you position the disc under your pubic bone, as well as a thin sheet of plastic-like material to catch up to five tampons-worth of blood. You can keep them in for up to 12 hours, and after that, they go straight into the garbage; this is a great perk for someone who’s down with the idea of getting biologically acquainted with themselves, but isn’t ready to start boiling silicone just yet. Plus, because they come in a pack of 14 for just $11, you’ll get tons of practice so you can decide if you like them before fully investing.
According to one reviewer: "I’ve always used your typical feminine products – tampons and pads. Before we decided trying for kids, I thought it would be worth trying other products out of curiosity. These were a great surprise. I cant say I would use them in every instance (I still feel safer with a tampon), but they were really easy to put in and take out and they held up generally well throughout the day. One thing I really loved is I couldn’t feel it at all once inside! Definitely will keep trying these.’
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