The menstrual cup has grown in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason. They’re environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and offer women the freedom to do virtually anything during their periods. And, yes, that includes period sex. But which is the best menstrual cup for sex? Let’s dive in!
Why Use a Menstrual Cup for Period Sex?
When it comes to period sex, many women and their partners feel more comfortable having mess-free period sex. Menstrual cups and menstrual discs can provide a solution. Unlike tampons, which can become displaced or create discomfort during sexual intercourse, a menstrual cup, specifically a menstrual disc, can be used during penetrative sex without being felt by either partner.
A menstrual disc fits snugly into the vaginal canal and collects menstrual blood, unlike a typical menstrual cup which sits lower and might be felt during sexual intercourse. This makes menstrual discs, like the Ziggy Cup, a top choice for those wanting to enjoy period sex without the mess.
Different Types of Menstrual Cups and Their Uses
Most menstrual cups are made of soft silicone or medical grade silicone, which means they’re hypoallergenic and great for those with sensitive skin. There are also firmer cups available which can be great starter cups for those new to menstrual cup use.
- Menstrual Discs: As mentioned above, these are perfect for mess-free period sex. Ziggy Cup and Flex Cup are popular choices.
- Soft Silicone Cups: These include brands like the Diva Cup and Lena Cup. They offer comfort and flexibility, but might not be the best choice for sex.
- Firmer Cups: Great for heavy flow days, firmer cups like the Cora Cup and Meluna Cups provide a secure seal against the vaginal walls to prevent leaks.
Most cups work by creating a seal inside the vaginal canal, collecting menstrual fluid. To insert, many women use the “punch down fold,” and upon removal, the cup’s seal is gently broken, making cup removal straightforward.
Considerations for Picking the Best Menstrual Cup for Sex
- Your Menstrual Flow: A heavy flow might require a larger or firmer cup. On medium flow days, a medium-sized or softer cup could work.
- Cervix Height: High cervix or low cervix? This plays a role in how comfortably a cup fits. A Diva Cup is generally better suited for those with a high cervix, whereas the Lena Cup could be more comfortable for a low cervix.
- Vaginal Delivery: Those who’ve had a vaginal delivery might opt for a larger or firmer cup for a more secure fit.
- Sexual Activity: If penetrative sex is a primary reason for using a menstrual cup, then a menstrual disc is your best bet.
- Sensitivity: Some women experience bladder sensitivity or vaginal dryness. Soft silicone cups or those made of medical grade silicone can be beneficial.
- Frequency of Cleaning: Some might prefer a reusable menstrual cup, cleaned with mild soap after use, while others might lean towards disposable discs for convenience.
Sex Toys and Menstrual Cups
When considering period sex, another aspect to consider is the use of sex toys. Many women wonder if it’s safe to use sex toys while wearing a menstrual cup. The answer largely depends on the type of toy and how deeply it’s inserted. Generally, external toys are totally fine. However, penetrative toys might interfere with the cup inside the vaginal canal, so proceed with caution.
Exploring the Best Menstrual Cups for Period Sex
Diving into Menstrual Discs
Menstrual discs, such as the Ziggy Cup and Flex Cup, stand out as top contenders for period sex. Unlike most menstrual cups which collect blood in a bell-shaped container, menstrual discs are flat and form a barrier just below the cervix. This positioning is key; it allows for penetrative sex without the risk of the cup being dislodged or felt by either partner.
Ziggy Cup: The Ziggy is often hailed as a pioneer in the menstrual disc world. Made of soft silicone, it’s reusable and can be worn for up to 12 hours. Its oval shape ensures a comfortable fit, and its thinness guarantees discretion during intimate moments.
Flex Cup: Unlike the Ziggy, the Flex Cup boasts a hollow stem, making it easier to remove. While it also promotes mess-free period sex, some users feel it’s a tad firmer than other discs, which might be a plus for those with a heavy flow.
The Dynamics of Penetrative Sex with a Menstrual Cup
For those who want to use a menstrual cup during sexual intercourse but are concerned about potential discomfort, it’s crucial to understand how the vaginal canal accommodates both the cup and a partner.
During penetrative sex, the vaginal canal expands, and the cervix moves slightly. With a menstrual disc in place, there’s room for both the partner and the disc, resulting in a seamless experience. However, when using cups like the Diva Cup or Lena Cup, it’s essential to ensure they are positioned correctly, seated below the pubic bone, and not in the pathway of penetration.
Understanding Your Anatomy for the Best Fit
Your cervix’s position, whether high or low, can significantly influence your menstrual cup choice. For instance, if you have a high cervix, cups with longer stems like the Diva Cup might be a better fit. On the other hand, those with a low cervix might find shorter cups or discs more comfortable.
Vaginal Canal Shape
Just as no two human bodies are identical, vaginal canals vary in shape and size. Some women might find certain cups more comfortable based on their vaginal anatomy. For example, if the vaginal walls are more parallel, a firmer cup might offer a better seal. However, for those with a more conical shape, softer cups or discs might be ideal.
Safety and Hygiene Considerations
Period sex, while natural, introduces menstrual fluid into the mix. Using a menstrual cup or disc can significantly reduce the mess, but it’s crucial to prioritize hygiene. Before and after sexual activity, ensure your hands are clean. If you decide to remove and re-insert your cup, ensure that menstrual cup cleaning is thorough, using mild soap and water.
When using sex toys, it’s advisable to opt for those made of non-porous materials and to clean them before and after use. Additionally, if you experience vaginal dryness, a water-based lubricant can enhance comfort during intercourse and when using sex toys. Remember, silicone-based lubricants can degrade silicone cups, so always opt for a water-based product.
Navigating Menstrual Products and Period Sex
Broadening Your Menstrual Product Horizons
While menstrual cups and discs are gaining traction, there are a plethora of menstrual products available. From period underwear to disposable discs, women have more choices than ever. Understanding these options can help you tailor your period sex experience.
Period Underwear: These are great backups for any menstrual product. They’re absorbent and can handle occasional leaks. When paired with a menstrual disc, they provide an extra layer of security during period sex.
Disposable Discs: For those not keen on cleaning a reusable menstrual cup after each use, disposable discs might be a solution. They function similarly to their reusable counterparts, providing mess-free period sex, but can be thrown away after use.
Navigating Menstrual Cramps and Sex
Menstrual cramps can be a significant deterrent for many women when it comes to sexual activity during their period. However, sexual intercourse can help in alleviating menstrual cramps for some. The act can increase blood flow to the pelvic region, release tension, and prompt the release of endorphins, which act as natural painkillers.
If you decide to engage in period sex to help with menstrual cramps, softer cups or menstrual discs are typically more comfortable. A Cora Cup or a Ziggy Cup might be ideal in such scenarios.
For The Menstrual Cup Newbies
Starting with a menstrual cup can seem daunting, especially if you’re considering using it during sex. Here are some tips to ease your journey:
- Practice: Before using a menstrual cup during sex, practice inserting and removing it a few times. Familiarity can help reduce any apprehension.
- Start with a Menstrual Disc: If the primary goal is mess-free period sex, menstrual discs like the Ziggy or Flex Cup are designed specifically for this purpose. Their flat design ensures they stay out of the way during penetrative sex.
- Choose the Right Size: Menstrual cups come in a few different sizes. If you’re younger or haven’t given birth through vaginal delivery, a smaller cup might be ideal. Conversely, post vaginal delivery, or if you’re over a certain age, a larger cup might provide a better fit.
- Stay Relaxed: The vaginal muscles play a crucial role in how comfortably a cup is inserted and removed. Staying relaxed can make the process smoother.
- Listen to Your Body: Every body is different. If a cup feels uncomfortable, it might be too big, too small, or not positioned correctly. Re-adjust, or consider trying another brand or type.
Menstrual Cups and Vaginal Health
Unlike tampons, which can sometimes lead to toxic shock syndrome if left in for too long, menstrual cups hold a lower risk. They collect blood rather than absorbing it. However, maintaining cleanliness is paramount. Ensure regular cleaning of reusable cups and avoid wearing any menstrual product longer than the recommended duration.
Comfort and Sensitivity: Achieving the Best Menstrual Cup Experience
Natural Lubrication and Period Sex
Menstruation often brings about an increase in natural lubrication. This menstrual fluid, combined with the body’s natural lubricant, can make sexual intercourse feel different, and for some, even more pleasurable during their periods. This added lubrication can also make inserting and removing menstrual cups a bit easier.
Bladder Sensitivity and Menstrual Cup Use
Some women might notice increased bladder sensitivity when using certain menstrual cups, especially firmer cups. This sensitivity can manifest as a feeling of pressure or an increased urge to urinate. If you experience bladder sensitivity:
- Reposition the Cup: Sometimes, simply adjusting the cup’s position can alleviate any discomfort. Ensure the cup is seated below the pubic bone and not exerting pressure on the bladder.
- Consider a Softer Cup: Soft silicone cups or those made from more pliable materials might be gentler on the bladder. The Meluna Cup, for instance, offers various firmness levels to cater to sensitive users.
- Empty Your Bladder Before Inserting: Having an empty bladder can sometimes make the insertion process more comfortable and reduce any subsequent sensitivity.
Ensuring Comfort During Sexual Activities
Using a menstrual cup during sexual intercourse requires a bit of understanding and adaptation. Here are some guidelines:
- Choose the Right Product: For penetrative sex, menstrual discs, such as the Ziggy Cup or Flex Cup, are typically recommended. Their design ensures they lie flat against the cervix, remaining unobtrusive.
- Discuss with Your Partner: Open communication is key. Let your partner know if you’re using a menstrual product and discuss any apprehensions or boundaries.
- Lubrication: While menstruation often increases natural lubrication, if you experience vaginal dryness, opt for a water-based lubricant. Remember, silicone lubricants can degrade medical-grade silicone cups.
- Be Prepared for Removal: Depending on the intensity of the sexual activity, there might be a shift in the cup’s position. Always be gentle during cup removal and use your pelvic muscles to assist in bringing the cup lower for easier access.
The Role of Sensitive Skin in Menstrual Product Choice
Sensitive skin can react to certain materials used in menstrual products. For those with such sensitivities:
- Opt for Medical-Grade Silicone: Most menstrual cups, like the Diva Cup and Cora Cup, are made of medical-grade silicone, which is hypoallergenic and less likely to cause skin irritations.
- Avoid Fragranced Products: Some menstrual products come with added fragrances. Stick to unscented versions to reduce the risk of skin reactions.
- Wash with Mild Soap: When cleaning your menstrual cup, opt for a mild, unscented soap to ensure no irritants are left on the cup.
Getting It Right: Techniques, Seals, and Tailoring to Your Flow
Mastering Cup Insertion Techniques
Achieving a comfortable menstrual cup insertion is pivotal to your overall experience, especially if you’re considering period sex. Let’s dive into some methods:
- Punch Down Fold: This technique involves pressing one side of the cup’s rim down into the base, creating a small point for insertion. It’s often favored for its smaller insertion point and ease of unfolding once inside.
- C-Fold: Fold the cup in half so that the rim forms a ‘C’ shape. It’s one of the simplest and most commonly recommended folds.
- Positioning is Key: Regardless of the fold you choose, positioning the cup correctly is essential. Make sure to insert it angled towards the tailbone. Once the cup is inside, it should pop open. If not, rotate it slightly or run a finger around the base to ensure it’s fully unfolded.
Ensuring a Good Cup Seal
A secure seal ensures that the cup won’t leak, especially during activities like sexual intercourse. Here’s how to check and ensure a good seal:
- Rotate the Cup: After insertion, gently rotate the cup. If it turns easily without resistance, it’s likely sealed correctly.
- Check the Rim: Insert a clean finger and feel around the rim. It should be round or oval without any noticeable folds.
- Tug Test: Gently pull the cup’s stem or base. If there’s resistance, the seal is likely good. If it moves easily, the cup might need repositioning.
Tailoring to Your Flow: Light, Medium, or Heavy
Your menstrual flow can vary, and choosing a cup that matches your flow can make all the difference:
- Light to Medium Flow: For those with a lighter flow, a smaller cup or a cup with a smaller capacity might be enough. The Goldilocks Cup, for instance, is a great starter cup for beginners or those with a light to medium flow.
- Heavy Flow: If you experience a heavy flow, especially in the initial days of your menstrual cycle, opt for a cup with a larger capacity. Brands like the Lena Cup and Diva Cup offer versions tailored to heavy flows. These ensure longer wear times without leaks, even during period sex.
- Very Heavy Flow and Menstrual Cramps: For those dealing with a very heavy flow and menstrual cramps, menstrual discs like the Ziggy Cup or Flex Cup can be ideal. Their design can handle more fluid, and their placement might offer some cramp relief.
Your Body’s Anatomy and the Menstrual Cup Journey
High Cervix, Low Cervix: Knowing Your Body
The position of your cervix can influence the comfort and efficacy of your menstrual cup. It’s essential to understand where you stand:
- High Cervix: If you have a high cervix, you might need a longer cup or one with a longer stem for easy removal. The Diva Cup is often recommended for those with a high cervix due to its longer design.
- Low Cervix: For individuals with a low cervix, a shorter cup or one designed specifically for a low cervix might be more comfortable. Brands like the Meluna Cup offer short versions tailored for this anatomy.
- Finding Your Cervix: To determine the position of your cervix, wash your hands, and insert a finger into your vaginal canal. If you can reach your cervix easily, you might have a low cervix. If you cannot feel it or need to insert most of your finger, you likely have a high cervix.
The Long-Term Benefits of Menstrual Cup Use
Using a menstrual cup for over a decade can yield multiple benefits:
- Economical: One cup can last several years with proper care, making it a cost-effective solution compared to disposable menstrual products.
- Eco-Friendly: Reusable menstrual cups significantly reduce waste. By switching to a cup, you’re contributing to a decrease in the disposal of pads and tampons.
- Fewer Shopping Trips: With a menstrual cup, there’s no need for monthly trips to the store for period supplies. You have everything you need, month after month.
- Less Dryness: Unlike tampons, which can absorb the vagina’s natural moisture, menstrual cups only collect menstrual fluid, preserving your natural environment.
Choosing Between Brands and Types
With numerous brands on the market, it can be challenging to choose the best menstrual cup for your needs:
- Read Reviews: Many women share their experiences online. Reviews can give insights into the comfort, ease of use, and any challenges with particular brands.
- Try a Few: Given the personal nature of menstrual cups, what works best for one person might not for another. Don’t hesitate to try a few different sizes or brands to find your perfect fit.
- Consult a Gynecologist: If you have specific concerns, like a vaginal prolapse or if you’ve recently had a vaginal delivery, consulting a gynecologist can provide tailored advice.
Next, we’ll address common questions about menstrual cups, especially concerning their use during sex, and provide guidance on maintaining your cup’s hygiene and longevity.
Understanding and Maintaining Menstrual Cup Hygiene
Cleaning and Storing Your Menstrual Cup
Ensuring your menstrual cup is clean is crucial for vaginal health and optimizing the lifespan of the cup:
- Regular Cleaning: Every time you empty your menstrual cup, rinse it with cold water first (to prevent stains), followed by warm water. Use a mild soap that’s free from fragrances and harsh chemicals to ensure no irritants linger on the cup.
- Deep Cleaning Between Cycles: Once your period is over, it’s good practice to give your menstrual cup a thorough clean. This can be done by boiling it for 5-7 minutes in water. Ensure the cup is fully submerged and avoid letting it touch the bottom of the pot directly as it can cause damage.
- Air Drying: After cleaning, let your cup air dry completely. This helps prevent bacterial growth. Some cups come with breathable pouches, which are great for storage.
- Storage: Store your menstrual cup in a clean, dry place. Using the cloth pouch provided by most brands is an excellent choice as it allows the cup to breathe.
Addressing Common Concerns: Toxic Shock Syndrome and Vaginal Health
- Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS): TSS is a rare but serious condition often associated with tampon use. While there have been fewer cases linked to menstrual cup use, it’s essential to maintain good hygiene, avoid wearing the cup for extended periods, and choose cups made from medical-grade materials.
- Vaginal Flora Balance: Menstrual cups, when cleaned and used correctly, maintain the delicate balance of the vaginal flora. However, always ensure that any cleaning agents used don’t disrupt this balance.
- Replacing Your Cup: While many menstrual cups can last for over a decade, if you notice any tears, changes in texture, or an unusual odor, it might be time for a replacement.
Sex and Menstrual Cups: What To Be Mindful Of
As we’ve discussed, certain menstrual products, like menstrual discs, are specifically designed for mess-free period sex. But when it comes to other cups, a few things should be kept in mind:
- Potential for Displacement: Engaging in penetrative sex with most menstrual cups can result in the cup getting displaced or causing discomfort.
- Communicate with Your Partner: Openness is crucial. If you’re planning on keeping your cup in during intimate moments, ensure your partner is aware and comfortable.
- Post-Sex Check: After intercourse, make sure to check the position of the cup and ensure it’s still correctly placed and sealed.
- Considering Other Products: If period sex is a regular part of your life, consider investing in products specifically designed for it, like menstrual discs or period underwear as backups.
Selecting the Right Cup: Factors to Consider and Popular Choices
1. Understanding Your Flow and Cup Capacity
Your menstrual flow—whether it’s light, medium, or heavy—is a crucial determinant in choosing the right menstrual cup.
- Light Flow: If you tend to have a lighter flow, smaller cups or those labeled as ‘small’ or ‘mini’ might be your best bet. The Lena Cup, for instance, offers a small size that’s ideal for light days.
- Medium Flow: For an average flow, most standard-sized cups, like the Diva Cup, will work well. They offer a balanced capacity that’s neither too little nor excessive.
- Heavy Flow: For those with a heavy flow, especially on the initial days, choosing cups with a larger capacity is vital. The Cora Cup and Meluna Cups offer variants that cater to a heavier flow, ensuring fewer trips to the restroom.
2. Understanding Your Cervix Height
The position of your cervix can change throughout your menstrual cycle. However, generally, it’s classified into:
- Low Cervix: If you have a low cervix, shorter cups or those explicitly designed for a low cervix position would be the best menstrual cup choice. Cups like the Goldilocks cup are tailored for this.
- High Cervix: Those with a high cervix might need longer cups or ones with a longer stem for easier retrieval. The Diva Cup is a popular choice among those with a higher cervix, given its slightly elongated design.
3. Factor in Your Lifestyle
Your daily activities can influence your menstrual cup choice. For instance:
- If you’re active or engage in sports, firmer cups might be a better option. They stay in place even during vigorous activities.
- If you have a sensitive bladder, softer cups like those made of soft silicone might be preferable.
4. Personal Physical Considerations
Factors like vaginal dryness, vaginal delivery, bladder sensitivity, and even vaginal prolapse can influence your choice. Always consult with a gynecologist or a menstrual cup expert to understand which cup will suit your unique needs.
5. Introducing Some Popular Cups
- Diva Cup: Made from medical-grade silicone, this is one of the best menstrual cups that’s been in the market for over a decade. It’s known for its quality, durability, and various sizes catering to different cervix positions and flows.
- Ziggy Cup: A menstrual disc variant, it’s perfect for those who don’t want to abstain from penetrative sex during their periods.
- Flex Cup: Another menstrual disc, it’s flat and disc-shaped, allowing for period sex while offering a different insertion method compared to traditional cups.
- Lena Cup: Known for its bell shape and high-quality silicone, it’s a great starter cup for many.
- Meluna Cups: Recognized for its TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) construction, it provides an alternative for those sensitive to silicone.
6. The Bonus: Considering the Aesthetics and Features
While function is paramount, some prefer cups in varying colors or with unique features like a hollow stem, which can be trimmed for a customized fit. Companies like Lena and Meluna offer a range of colors, making periods a tad bit more colorful!
When considering the best menstrual cup for you, it’s essential to remember that everyone is different. What works for one might not work for another. It’s always advisable to try a few different sizes and brands to find your ideal fit. Remember, the journey to finding the perfect menstrual cup is a personal one, often filled with trials, but the rewards—environmental, financial, and comfort-wise—are immense.
Frequently Asked Questions
Navigating the world of menstrual cups can lead to several questions, especially concerning intimacy. Here, we address some common queries to help guide your choices.
1. Which menstrual cup allows for sex?
Most menstrual cups are not designed for penetrative sex. However, menstrual discs, like the Ziggy Cup and the Flex Cup, are specifically shaped and positioned to allow for comfortable sexual intercourse without removal. Their flat and flexible design sits at the base of the cervix, ensuring mess-free period sex.
2. Can you wear a menstrual cup during sex?
While you can technically wear a menstrual cup during non-penetrative sexual activities, most cups are not recommended for penetrative sex. This is because the cup can get displaced, cause discomfort to both partners, or even result in leaks. Menstrual discs are the exception and are created for use during sexual intercourse.
3. Does the Flex Cup work during sex?
The Flex Cup is a brand of menstrual disc. Unlike most cups which sit lower in the vaginal canal, discs like the Flex Cup sit at the base of the cervix and can be comfortably worn during penetrative sex without causing discomfort or mess.
4. Can you use a menstrual cup after sex?
Absolutely! If you’ve removed your menstrual cup before sexual activity, you can insert it again post-intercourse. Just ensure you clean the cup and your hands properly before insertion. Also, after sex, it’s a good idea to check the positioning of the cup if you kept it in, ensuring it’s still effectively capturing menstrual flow.
"name": "Which menstrual cup allows for sex?",
"text": "Most menstrual cups are not designed for penetrative sex. However, menstrual discs, like the Ziggy Cup and the Flex Cup, are specifically shaped and positioned to allow for comfortable sexual intercourse without removal."
"name": "Can you wear a menstrual cup during sex?",
"text": "While you can technically wear a menstrual cup during non-penetrative sexual activities, most cups are not recommended for penetrative sex. Menstrual discs are the exception and are created for use during sexual intercourse."
"name": "Does the Flex Cup work during sex?",
"text": "The Flex Cup is a brand of menstrual disc. Unlike most cups which sit lower in the vaginal canal, discs like the Flex Cup sit at the base of the cervix and can be comfortably worn during penetrative sex."
"name": "Can you use a menstrual cup after sex?",
"text": "Yes, you can insert a menstrual cup post-intercourse. Ensure you clean the cup and your hands before insertion. After sex, it's a good idea to check the positioning of the cup if you kept it in, ensuring it’s still effectively capturing menstrual flow."