Firmness is not something that most, if any, menstrual cup companies mention. At best, it is described as a cup that is made out of a “soft silicone”. However, we all have different interpretations of what “soft” is and to what degree. There is “soft” as a marshmallow, or “soft” as a bruised apple – which can still be quite firm!
Why Is Firmness Important?
For some individuals, firmness makes no difference. Soft, medium or rigid – they have no issues with getting menstrual cups to open or have any sensitivities to the pressure.
While softer cups may be a little more difficult to open, they’re great for individuals who have a sensitive bladder, urethra, or bowel. Softer cups won’t apply as much pressure to a sensitive area.
You either have a sensitive bladder, urethra, or bowel, and/or the cup that you’re using is too firm if you ever:
- Need to urinate more frequently
- Don’t feel like you emptied your bladder completely after using the toilet
- Have a slow urine stream
- Experience constipation
Some individuals may prefer softer cups even if they don’t experience any sensitivities. If you find the base of the cup firm enough that you can still feel it when you sit, a softer cup might eliminate that. A shorter cup may also be an option.
Some cups that are considered soft are the:
- Bella Cup,
- Lily Cup
- Si-Bell Cup
- Super Jennie Cup
* For full list of soft menstrual cups click here
Firm (Rigid) Cups
Firm cups tend to pop open without any assistance. This is great if you’ve ever experienced issues with a cup that has been difficult to open. It might take some practice holding the firm cup in a folded position, but afterwards, this should get easier. If you find that a cup opens prematurely, try a different fold that is easier to hold. This short guide will explain how to fold a menstrual cup effectively in different ways.
Make sure you have a secure grip on the folded cup while introducing it into the vaginal canal. If it opens before you’re ready, it could pop open and snap against sensitive areas. Also, if you find that a cup pops open against your cervix, which can be painful or cause cramping, allow it to open lower in the vaginal canal or use a finger to block your cervix from the blow.
People who do vigorous activities, sports and workouts, may find that a firmer cup holds its shape better and eliminates leaking. Not all, but the majority of menstrual cup users who perform some type of extreme activity prefer a firmer cup.
Some cups that are considered firm are the:
- Lena Original Cup
- Lunette Cup
- MeLuna Sport Cup
- Yuuki Classic Cup
Some cups that offer different firmness options are the:
- Lena – Original or Sensitive
- MeLuna – Soft, Classic, or Sport
- Saalt – Original or Soft
- Yuuki – Colored Cups, Soft, or Classic
* For full list of firm menstrual cups click here
Soft or Firm Menstrual Cup? How to Spot the Difference
Without ever having used a menstrual cup, it’s hard to have any idea of how soft or firm any of the cups are. Since the Diva Cup is one of the most popular and readily available cups that can be found in several stores around the world, it’s a great baseline to work with.
The Diva Cup can be called the “medium” firm cup. There are different levels of softness and firmness of alternate cups when comparing them to the Diva Cup. When reading reviews, you may see this comparison often made.
Most people who stumble across menstrual cups and are interested in trying one will buy the Diva Cup on impulse. For some lucky individuals, this will be the perfect cup – size, shape, capacity, and firmness. But for those of us who are not as fortunate, this cup can either make or break your desire to try another.
Don’t be discouraged, there is a cup out there for you! If you are not completely sure which one to go for, read these reviews and choose the menstrual cup that you think will suit you best!