Think You Can’t Use a Menstrual Cup? Think Again
I received the Lunette cup earlier this year for free to review. I purchased the other cups myself. I was not asked to write, nor was I compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. Fair warning that if you don’t want to know about the state of my cervix or hear about vaginas & menstruation, it is in your best interest to click away now. Earlier this year, I published my size 2 Lunette Cup review. Unfortunately, it was just a smidgen too long for me, and I’ve been on the hunt for the right cup for me.
Quick note since my update has been missed: At the time I purchased my cup & began work on this post, there was only a mini MeLuna. There were no “shorty” cups and I was unable to find a USA website. While completing the writing of this post, I found the USA website and the “shorty” cups. I found no explanation, nor any mention of them on the EU website, so assumed these were for the U.S. market. I created the charts comparing the sizes of what I purchased and the new “shorty” cups. After finalizing this post I received an email from MeLuna stating that the shorty was replacing the mini & added an update below. This update seems to be missed as evidenced by MeLuna’s comment correcting my “error.” Yes, I’m feeling a little crabby about that since I’m not interested deleting the post that I’ve worked on for months because the product has been changed. Particularly since someone might find the comparison of the mini and shorty helpful if they’ve used or shopped for one in the past. So please note: The MeLuna mini is no longer being made. These cups have been replaced by the shorty. (On a not completely unrelated side note, I’m pretty sure I have PMS based on how annoyed I am by this. Checking my chart…and yep.)
If you don’t have short vagina problems, you will know that a menstrual cup is meant to sit low in the vagina, not up high near the cervix. You can trim as much of the stem as needed to make you comfortable but still able to reach it. If you have a low cervix, you may just hope to be able to get the whole cup inside! To fill you in on the full “TMI,” I’ve always had a rather low cervix, and I also have a retroverted uterus. During my second child’s birth, I also acquired a mild bladder prolapse (cystocele.) As a result, even trimming the stem completely off the Lunette left it a bit too long to be comfortable for me.
After many years of trying to conceive (TTC), followed by charting to avoid pregnancy, I’m quite familiar with my body. If you’re not aware (hopefully you all are) having a “short vagina” is just my little joke and a low cervix doesn’t mean you can’t engage in sex with an average size man. In fact a woman’s body is pretty incredible and the vagina expands during intercourse/arousal. In addition, cervical position can vary greatly based on the point in your cycle. Retroverted (tipped) uteruses result in a varied cervical position, and based on experience, the specific position isn’t necessarily the same throughout life. I’ve found my cervical position changes based on my hormonal levels, whether I am newly postpartum, breastfeeding, or if my fertility is returning, in addition to the normal changes throughout my cycle. As my estrogen levels have returned to normal as my son gets older & nurses less, my cyctocele is less noticeable and my cervix is a smidge higher on average. I was able to make the Lunette size 2 work my most recent cycle, but it wasn’t as comfortable as the others I’ve found. If you’re searching for a shorter cup, hopefully this will help you!
Many of the most popular brands have just 2 sizes, and generally your age and birth status determine which you need. Older women and/or those who have given birth, don’t have super-strong vaginal muscles to hold the cup in place. Therefore the cups typically have a wider rim, longer length, and are sometimes slightly firmer than their young woman/no-birth counterparts. This can be a problem for women like me, who need that wider/firmer cup but also need a shorter length.
Here I’ve pictured the Lunette size 2 (left) the MeLuna mini Medium (purple) and the Moon Cup UK Size A (right.) There is a Moon Cup in the U.S. therefore the U.K. version is referred to as Moon Cup UK or MCUK here in the U.S. Don’t confuse the two – they are totally different brands.
MCUK size B is only for women under 30 who haven’t given birth vaginally. Otherwise, you are a size A. The A has almost exactly the same size rim as the Lunette, but the cup itself is narrower, and I find it more comfortable. It is barely shorter than the Lunette, but that smidgen does make a difference for me. The stem is hollow, which seemed a bit unsanitary, but since I trimmed it off completely I didn’t worry much.
MeLuna is another European company (cups are made in & ship from Germany) and they have a mind boggling array of cup choices. In addition to their classic silicone cup, you can choose a sport version, which is 25% firmer. The company says this is a good choice for very active women whose pelvic muscles are in great condition. The soft version is softer & gentler than the classic, but might be a bit more difficult to get it to pop open.
Cups are available with a trimmable stem, a ring, a ball, or no “handle” at all. The small-XL sizes vary from 38-47 mm rim width and 45-56 mm cup length (excluding the stem.) I purchased their mini version in a size medium, which has a 45 mm rim and 45 mm length. This mini option is what makes them really stand out to me. The rim width is approximately the same size as the large (which is 44 mm), but is the same length as the small. According to their website, “The MINI M is mostly used by middle-aged women who have had vaginal births and whose body is somewhat corpulent.” Sooo, I’m old, fat and have had several children’s noggins in my “cup holder.” Ha. They’re also available in lots of pretty colors. I wanted the cyan/ring but since it only came in soft, I settled for the purple/ball. The short cone shape pops open easily and seals well.
The mini small is a mere 40 mm by 40 mm and would be perfect for a petite teen finding most small cups to be too long. These short versions of course hold less, so if you also have a very heavy cycle, you may need to change it more often. MeLuna recommends that you empty your cup every 8-12 hours, and I found that I was able to empty/clean mine in the morning, before bed, and once in the afternoon without any leaks, even on the first day of my cycle.
I loved that with the MeLuna, it was small enough for me to place it a bit lower. It’s quite short so if you place it too high, you may need to reach for it, even with a shorter vagina. With the Lunette and MCUK, in my attempts to make it high enough, I occasionally ended up with the rim beside my cervix instead of below it. Even so, the MCUK worked quite well for me and I’ll continue to use it along with the MeLuna.
The MeLuna cost me $25.78 at the time (19.41 Euro) and the MCUK was $30.
The MeLuna USA site has classic cups in clear available now & shipping from the USA for $24.95 (plus postage), and will be getting both the sport version, and a “shorty” similar to the mini in S, M, L & XL. The “shorty” cups will have exactly the same diameters as the S, M, L & XL cups, but with a shorter length. It seems that the large shorty would be most comparable to the mini medium I purchased. They have a menstrual cup size calculator on their site to help you choose the correct size which says M or L for me. Based on my experience with the mini M, if I were purchasing from the USA site I’d go for the large shorty. Update: After writing this post, I received an email from MeLuna that the shorty cups are in fact replacing the mini.
If you’ve had a hard time finding just the right cup size, want something other than the usual stem, prefer a softer or firmer cup, or if like me, you have 99 problems and a short vagina is one, I highly recommend looking into MeLuna. Whether you buy from their European site or the US site, you’re sure to find the perfect cup.
Do you have a low cervix? Have you found a cup that works for you? Have you tried MeLuna? Which one?
Thank you for this interesting article. Very useful.
Thank You so much for writing this article! I have been so frustrated with finding the right size cup that doesn’t leak or hurt that I almost went back to tampons! I have a prolapse, and varying cervix heights which makes it very difficult. Plus a “short vagina” like you 🙂 I have ordered the Meluna shorty tonight, and feel hopeful
Fingers crossed that it’s the magic cup for you!!
Hi! So… We’re vagina soul sisters. I have a low cervix, and a retroverted uterus. I’ve only pushed 2 children through my cup holder, but I’m hoping for a 3rd huge head to push through there 😂 I’m using a Diva cup, and I was looking for something shorter. Did the short end up being the best one you’ve tried, or just of the Luna brand? Thanks
The Meluna was definitely the best one for me!
I have heard that menstral cups are ideal for women with prolapsed uterus’s to support the uterus; is that true?
I haven’t heard that! Pessaries are sometimes fitted & prescribed for prolapse. I suggest checking with your doctor.
Have you heard any advice for women who have weak pelvic floors? I have a diva cup, as that is all I can buy from a store rather than online. I got one for older women, as I most certainly am not a teen!
My pelvic floor is slowly, slowly improving but I cannot get my cup to open, it just stays closed, my fingers slip around and can’t even grip it to try to get it to open much, or seal. My patience runs out quickly as it is so uncomfortable. One time I wore it for about 5 whole minutes before ripping it out!
A firmer cup might pop open more easily (see this helpful chart: https://putacupinit.com/firmness/) or you may want to try a few different folds to see if it helps it pop open when inserted.
I was prepared to purchase the MeLuna shorty until I found out that instead of being made with silicone it is now being made with plastic. Can you recommend another very short cup that is made with pure silicone? I was interested in the FemmyCycle cup, but it says specifically not to use it with any degree of prolapse (I also have a mild bladder prolapse), so. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Wow, I didn’t know they were making them with plastic now!
Check out Put a Cup In It’s quiz. They have some great comparisons and charts too. http://putacupinit.com/quiz/
Wait,how do you know that they are made of plastic? Did you read it or do you have the cup but you suspect it isn´t silicone?
LOL! Plain old plastic and medical grade TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) are two completely different things…..worlds apart from one another. Please research and educate yourself.
I hope others don’t read your comment and become scared off from the wonderful menstrual cup that is MeLuna!
Thanks, Jes! I hadn’t heard anything negative about MeLuna and I definitely didn’t think they were made of “plastic.” 🙂 I assume you are referring to the commenter above. I appreciate your insight!
I know this is a very old post but after having great success with my MoonCup UK but finding out that i have to ‘pop’ my cervix in the cup to avoid leakage, I emailed them and they have advised me to stop using as my cervix should not touch the mooncup! Yikes! I have ordered a MeLuna Shorty to see if I have success with this and am trying a large as I’ve had 3 kids and have a very weak pelvic floor as well as a low cervix and the width of the MoonCup seemed similar to the width of the L MeLuna! Thanks so much for the tips… I’ve only recently discovered these but would hate to go back to pads now!
I have only ever had one successful month with a menstrual cup. Subsequently they have never stayed in place (I’ve spent quite a lot of money trying different brands and sizes) often doing a 180 degree turn and ending up sideways!! The other thing which no one ever mentions is that they stop urination. If I insert it low down as per instructions it immediately starts interfering with being able to pee, but most of the time it just works its way all the way up and turning around!!! I really think there are some people who can’t use these things and should give up trying before going bankrupt.
I’m looking for a cup I could use even using IUD. I have low cervix and I’m afraid to pull the IUD string. Ive tried once, but I believe my cup is too big. Is there any cup you would recommend? I like the idea of MeLuna. Thank you very much.
I think MeLuna is great because they have the short option in so many diameters. I do think it’s a good idea to check with your doctor first to be sure. 🙂
I currently use the MeLuna shorty cup Large Classic and I love it. My cervix is very low and prominent (which displaces cup volume) so there is leakage on my two heaviest days, no leakage on my lighter days. I use the Blossom cup Large (which I bought before I had a clue about cervical position) overnight on my heavy nights because it holds more and is firmer. The Blossom cup does protrude quite a bit which doesn’t bother me as much overnight, but during the day it is unusable. I think I may get the shorty cup in Sport firmness to see if it helps with leakage on heavy days.
Let me know how it works for you. Fingers crossed!
Hi, I have given up not wanting to waste money on a third cup – low cervix most likely the problem. I tried a L size as have given birth, but absolutely could not get it out. Then I ordered the very smallest Me Luna cup, and found it leaked, was painful as seemed to push the cervix open by pressure on the vaginal walls near the cervix AND it also suctioned to the cervix making it very hard a n painful to remove. Have gone over to reusable pads. Wish me luck. 🙂
How frustrating! You will love cloth pads though!
Today i tried to remove it for the first time. I had ladycup, size is probably like the XL according to the sizes on this page. I have already a traumatic experience – 1 hour of removing, it was even painful, desperation not to remove without a doctor at all. The cup was so deep that i completely couldn’t take it by the fingers. When the desperation was on the top, I pushed the cup from the bottom by the longest finger and folded it once. And even after the folding and pushing the cup out I hardly removed….. Does it mean that I have too deep cervix for the cups? The tampons have never made me such problems and fear… 🙁
Until I started shopping for a menstrual cup, I never realized how low my cervix was. I bought the MeLuna Shorty M, but my cervix is so low that it actually sits in the cup and I lose a lot of capacity/volume! I had to empty it every few hours on my first three days due to overflow. I’m still glad I got it, as it’s so much morse eco-friendly; I’m just bummed that it won’t be giving me the freedom to go the whole day without worrying. Should I get the L size??
Thanks for this post.?
*more eco-friendly!! Haha
The large would have over a third more volume but I’d be afraid that the extra size might be too much for you. (About 3 mm in each direction).
Have you tested the femmycycle low cervix? My freind has had a prolapse and she is going to try it but there is not as much information on them for the low cervix.
I haven’t used it. It does look to be a different shape but comparing lengths it seems to have a smaller diameter but longer length than the MeLuna shorty. The nice thing about MeLuna (in my opinion) is the ability to choose a short length but whatever diameter you need. 🙂
I have the FemmeCycle for low cervix. It’s perfect. It’s also the 4th one I’ve purchased in my attempt to find one not too long. It’s comfortable and spill resistant. I love it.
Thanks so much for this!! I had no idea there were so many sizes! I bought a lily cup which only has two sizes. I wanted to love it so bad I was trying to bear the sometimes discomfort rubber that seemed to hit my chair before I did when sitting down. I think I have a small vagina since I am a small person and I have an inverted uterus make getting the cup to sit right a challenge. My search continues…
Look into a Nixit. Website letsnixit.com. I had the same problem with my diva cup and it looks like the nixit will work for me!
I’m not sure if I have a low cervix but I have some sort of prolapse for sure (based on my online research it isn’t bladder but it is prolapse) so my lunette is not terribly comfortable. I have a lot of discomfort and some leaking the first day or two of my cycle and then the remaining days my cervix seems to get higher and it becomes more comfortable. I had to quit using tampons with applicators because the prolapse made it difficult to insert. I used OB exclusively before I won my lunette. I think I need to try a Meluna as soon as I can afford it.
[…] use cloth diapers, which eliminates a huge source of waste for a family with little ones. I use a menstrual cup and cloth pads and our kids’ lunches are waste-free with reusable water bottles, cloth snack […]
Thanks so much for including MeLuna in your write up.
I do need to correct an error though.
The Mini is our older version of a low cervix cup. It has been discontinued worldwide and was replaced by the new Shorty cups. The first batch was manufactured in October 2014.
This is true worldwide. The chart you see on the MeLuna-USA website shows the same range of cups that are available in Europe.
Both Europe and the US offer the MeLuna in 4 standard sizes and 4 low cervix sizes. 🙂
With the new Shorty sizing will be a bit easier since the diameter is exactly the same as with the standard sizes. A Large in Standard has the same diameter as a Large in Shorty. The only difference is that the Shorty is 30% shorter than a standard cup.
So if you know you’d wear a Large but the Large is too long, you can order the same size in Shorty.
Hope that helps!
Karin with MeLuna USA
PS: Our Shorty Giveaway starts November 3rd
Yes if you notice, I noted above that after I wrote this post, I received an email stating that the mini was being replaced by the shorty. This post was written before that announcement was made.
“Update: After writing this post, I received an email from MeLuna that the shorty cups are in fact replacing the mini.”
thanks for the info! Ive had a friend ask about these and from now on I will share this with anyone that asks. Im so glad I didnt give up on using my Lunette. It was tough to choose a brand and size with all the options out there but thankfully what I got works great. Im glad there are options for all kinds of women!
The tough thing is you don’t necessarily know what will work for you until you try it! I love the menstrual cup calculator on their site. Definitely a good starting point!
[…] Think You Can’t Use a Menstrual Cup? Think Again – Cup suggestions for women with low cervi… […]
“The MINI M is mostly used by middle-aged women who have had vaginal births and whose body is somewhat corpulent.” – HAHAHAHAHA! I wonder how many different ways they tried to word that to be as polite as possible? 😉 That is hilarious! I’m so glad you put this together, though. I haven’t had a menstrual cup discussion in a while but the last few times the topic came up there were definitely people who would have benefited from your experiences, so I’ll be sure to send people your way in the future! (In fact, off to add a link to our Diva vs. Lunette post right now ….. linky love heading your way!) 😉
Made me laugh – I was definitely pickin’ up what they were layin’ down. 😉 Thanks!