A menstrual cup is a type of cup or barrier worn inside the vagina during menstruation to collect menstrual fluid. Unlike tampons and pads, the cup neither absorbs the flow nor catches it outside the body.
There are two types of menstrual cup currently available. The first is a soft, flexible, disposable cup which is made of latex-free polyethylene and resembles the contraceptive diaphragm (although it is not a contraceptive device). The second type is a bell-shaped cup made of rubber (latex) or silicone. It is reusable and designed to last for up to 10-15 years. Current brands include "DivaCup" (manufactured in Canada), "Femmecup" (United Kingdom), "Keeper" (USA), "LadyCup" (Czech Republic), "Lunette" (Finland), "Miacup" (South Africa), "Moon Cup" (USA), "Mooncup" (United Kingdom), "Softcup" (USA) and "Yuuki" (Czech Republic).
The majority of women in Western countries do not use menstrual cups, but rather disposable tampons or disposable sanitary napkins (also known as pads) to absorb menstrual flow. A number of different companies have attempted to promote the use of menstrual cups during the 20th century; many of these products were withdrawn when they failed to gain enough market share.
None of the early cups stayed in production for long . Advertising restrictions, social taboos on discussing menstruation , the reluctance of women to use an internal device and the fact these products required washing and reuse (in a time when disposable products were becoming available) all had a role in the products not becoming successful .
Commercial tampons that started production at this time tackled the problem of touching the body for insertion by inventing the applicator, which greatly improved their market position. They also brought out a new marketing strategy that allowed women to take a box of tampons off the counter themselves (placing the money in a tin beside the display), rather than asking the pharmacist for them.
In 1987, another rubber menstrual cup, The Keeper, was manufactured in the USA. This proved to be the first commercially viable menstrual cup, as it is still in manufacture today. The first silicone menstrual cup was the UK-manufactured Mooncup. Most menstrual cups are now manufactured from silicone because of its hypoallergenic properties.
|Brand||Capacity||Width||Length (w/o stem)|
|Mooncup (UK)||Size B: 15ml Size A: 20ml||Size B: 43mm Size A: 46mm||Size B: 50mm Size A: 50mm|
|Diva Cup||Size 1: 20ml Size 2: 25ml||Size 1: 42mm Size 2: 45mm||Size 1: 57mm Size 2: 57mm|
|Keeper||Size B: 13ml Size A: 13ml||Size B: 42mm Size A: 45mm||Size B: 54mm Size A: 54mm|
|Ladycup||Size S: 15ml Size L: 26ml||Size S: 40mm Size L: 46mm||Size S: 46mm Size L: 53mm|
|Lunette||Size 1: 25ml Size 2: 30ml||Size 1: 41mm Size 2: 46mm||Size 1: 47mm Size 2: 52mm|
|Miacup||Size 1: 25ml Size 2: 30ml||Size 1: 43mm Size 2: 46mm||Size 1: 53mm Size 2: 53mm|