My Comparisons and Ratings – Insertion & Removal
This is part of my comparison chart for the menstrual cups I have tried.
This is looking at:
- How easily the cup pops open
- How comfortable it feels for insertion & Removal
- How comfortable the cups were to use while you are actually wearing them
- How well they worked (if they leaked or not)
Not all of these aspects have been used on the Rating chart because some of them have different variables that makes it unfair to actually score them against the other cups. But I have described my findings here, which you may find useful.
Insertion (Opening Up)
This was not scored on the cup ratings table, because it seems some days I can have troubles with cups that don’t give me troubles on other days….
Using the same folding method (“c”), and the same insertion positions (seated on the toilet, as I figure that’s the usual way people would insert them) essentially trying to keep everything the same, how easily the cups opened for me.
Now I will point out here that I am in my late 30s, I had a child via caesarian delivery, I am a dancer and I reasonably regularly do kegal exercises. So take that into consideration.
Basically speaking I found the very soft cups in the large sizes usually require me to use my finger to stretch out the vaginal wall enough to give the cup room to open properly. Sometimes I find different positions (like lying on my side on the bed) make insertion much easier and give less problems, some days just sitting on the toilet to insert is fine. The hard and very hard cups I sometimes find pop open too quickly on their own, which can give me cramps, so I have to make sure I release the fold gradually to let it open slowly (which is hard to do, especially since I have a weak grip).
Keeping in mind that issues with the cup opening properly can be due to many factors. Often I’ve found a cup will open up fine one time, and not the next time. Also some of the cups I have are small sizes, some are large. I find the large ones sometimes have trouble opening when the small ones don’t, and I also don’t find the small ones leak – so I believe the cups I have trouble opening I should be using the smaller size.
So this is one reason I didn’t score this on the rating chart, because there are too many variables so it’s not really fair to score. However I will comment on how each cup performed.
- Aneer/iClean – While I only tried them twice each, both the small and large sizes would not open up for me. I think they are just too soft for me.
- Bassrose – No trouble opening up (only comes in a small size)
- Blossom Cup – Large has slight problems opening up, small was ok.
- Claricup – Large has slight problems opening up, small was fine.
- Cup Lee – Large has slight problems opening up, small was fine.
- Diva – A few more issues opening up than the other cups (small size)
- Eco Cup – Large has slight problems opening up, small was fine.
- Femmecup – No problems opening up.
- Femmycycle – Shape means it was difficult to tell if it opened properly.
- Fleurcup – No problems opening up.
- Gaia Cup – Had slight trouble getting it to open, no smaller size available.
- Juju – Large has a few problems opening up, small was fine.
- Keeper – Couldn’t test accurately due to the sample being cut
- Lady Cup – Occasional problems opening up with large size, small size opens fine
- Lena Cup – Large has slight problems opening up, small was fine.
- Lily Compact – no problems opening up
- Lily Cup – Slight problem with large size first time I used it.
- Lunacup – No problems opening up
- Lunette – Occasionally slight problems opening up.
- Luv Ur Body – I wasn’t able to get the large one to open at all, not even close. The medium I had slight problems opening. The small opened up fine.
- Mami Cup – I only have the large, and that seemed to open up ok. It felt like it hadn’t, but when I ran my finger around to check, it seemed fully open and didn’t leak. Ideally I’d like the small size though, just to make it quicker to insert so I don’t have to worry about checking.
- MeLuna – New version has no problems opening up, old one popped open a bit too quickly.
- Miacup – Slight problems opening up.
- Mooncup UK – No problems opening up (either size).
- MPower – Couldn’t get it to fully open up, in the 2 tests I did. Not sure why
- OrganiCup – Large has slight problems opening up, small was fine.
- Ruby Cup – No issues opening up
- Sckoon cup – A few problems with large cup opening (small was fine)
- Si-bell – Large has slight problems opening up, small was fine.
- Yuuki – No problems opening up
- Vcup – No problems opening up
Mpower (which is quite stiff) and iClean (in small size) didn’t even open fully with me pressing against the vaginal wall to give it room to open. I’m not sure why.
I find the Lunette usually pops open with no problems, but occasionally needs me to push against the vaginal wall also. Lady Cup can have a few issues depending on the position I am in.
For the original style MeLuna I couldn’t use the “c-fold” as it opens too quickly for me doing it that way, so I used the “punchdown” instead and it still popped open very quickly (perhaps due to the stiffness and the thicker rim). Which was uncomfortable (caused cramps). The newer version I could use the same fold as the other cups, and it opened up normally, like the other cups (not too quickly).
This is going by how comfortable the cups felt being inserted. Basically I found the more pronounced ridges to be slightly less comfortable than the smoother ones (obviously a smooth surface is going to feel less noticeable being inserted than a bumpy one). Not “uncomfortable”, just more “noticeable”…Basically if there were 2 cups otherwise identical, I’d pick the smoother sided one, but I probably wouldn’t let the ridge put me off a cup I otherwise liked. It’s really not a big deal, since inserting the cup is all of a few seconds, but still, it is an important factor to think about….
- Aneer/iClean – Less pronounced ridge, more comfortable than ridged cups
- Bassrose – No ridge, smooth outside
- Blossom – Very slight ridge with bumps, comfortable to insert
- Claricup – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert.
- Cup Lee – very slight ridge, more comfortable than ridged cups
- Diva – Pronounced ridge around the top, slightly less comfortable.
- Eco-cup – No ridge, smooth outside
- Femmecup – Pronounced ridge around the top, slightly less comfortable.
- Femmycycle – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert.
- Fleurcup – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert
- Gaia Cup – No ridge, smooth outside
- Juju – Less pronounced ridge, more comfortable to insert than ridged cups
- Keeper – Couldn’t test due to the cup being cut
- Lady Cup – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert
- Lena Cup – No ridge, comfortable to insert
- Lily Compact – Has a bumpy outside due to the fold-up style, but it’s quite soft so I didn’t feel it.
- Lily Cup – completely smooth outside. No ridges
- Lunacup – Less pronounced ridge, more comfortable to insert than ridged cups
- Lunette – Less pronounced ridge, more comfortable than ridged cups
- Luv Ur Body – Had a rounded “ridge” a little further down the cup than where the other cups have their ridge, but is nice and smooth. More comfortable than ridged cups
- Mami Cup – very slight ridge, more comfortable than ridged cups
- MeLuna – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert
- Miacup – Pronounced ridge, slightly less comfortable.
- Mooncup – Pronounced ridge, slightly less comfortable.
- MPower – Less pronounced ridge, more comfortable than ridged cups
- OrganiCup – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert.
- Ruby cup – Less pronounced ridge, more comfortable to insert than ridged cups
- Sckoon cup – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert
- Si-bell – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert.
- Yuuki – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert
- Vcup – Very slight, more comfortable to insert than ridged cups
I believe the new Divas have a lower profile ridge, almost similar to a Lunette, but I can only go by one picture I have seen of that, so I am judging this based on the cup I personally have. My Keeper sample couldn’t be folded into a proper shape for insertion due to the hacked out side poking up, so was exceptionally uncomfortable to insert like that, so obviously cannot be scored because I don’t have a proper sample.
So for the scoring on my Cup Rating Chart, I’ve combined the comfort of insertion with the ease of keeping it folded (because it’s more comfortable to insert something that isn’t fighting to pop open :P). I’ll give 2 points to the cups in section 1 for being both fairly easy to keep folded and smooth outside for more comfortable insertion. 1 point to the section 2 for also having a smoother outside, but some need a bit more pressure to keep them folded.
So on insertion/removal I’d rank the cups:
- Aneer, Blossom Cup, Claricup, Cup Lee, Femmycycle, Fleurcup, Gaia Cup, iClean, Ladycup, LenaCup, Lily Cup, Lily Compact, Mami Cup, MeLuna (new), OrganiCup, Sckoon, Si-bell, Yuuki.
- Bassrose, Eco-Cup, Juju, Lunacup, Lunette, Luv Ur Body, Rubycup, Vcup
- Diva, Femmecup, Keeper, Miacup,
- Mooncup, Mpower, MeLuna (old)
Score totals after Stems, Grip & Insertion
Aneer 4 | Bassrose 4 | Blossom 1.5 | ClariCup 3.5 | CupLee 3 | Diva 1 | EcoCup 1.5 | Femmecup (new) -.5 | Femmycycle 3.5 | Fleurcup 5 | Gaia Cup 2.5 | iClean 4 | Juju -.5
Keeper -1 | Ladycup 2 | Lena 5 | Lily Compact 1.5 | Lily Cup 1.5 | LunaCup 1 | Lunette 3 | Luv Ur Body 2 | MamiCup 3 | MeLuna 5 | MiaCup 2 | Mooncup UK 1
MPower -1 | OrganiCup 4.5 | RubyCup .5 | Skoon 4.5 | Si-bell 3.5 | Vcup .5 | Yuuki New 2
Wearing – comfort while in use & leakage
In actual wearing (once they are in and not considering the stem issues) they all felt exactly the same…No difference in feel for the different sizes or cups with a smooth outer or pronounced ridge.
I had a little leakage (slight spotting) with the Diva, but it was the small size cup (by age and the fact I’ve been pregnant, cup companies usually say I should wear the large size), and having a hole punched in my sample cup may have effected it (though the mooncup sample also had a hole punched in it and didn’t leak and the Diva hole was up high in the rim so I hadn’t worn it long enough to fill to there).
I couldn’t try letting the cups fill to the rim with the Diva or Mooncup as they have holes punched into them…so I couldn’t test that obviously. I did get slight leakage with the large size Lady Cup when it was filled past the holes and did the “bubbling” feeling… and I occasionally get that with Lunette when it’s filled past the brim too. I haven’t tested the other cups filling past the airholes. The sample Keeper with half its side missing I didn’t bother trying during my period at all.
So I won’t rate this for any of the cups, because some of the cups are samples with holes punched in which can affect whether they leak or not, some are small and some are large – So I can’t accurately tell which performs better, and they all feel the same once they are in.