Menstrual cup options are hard to find in Canada. The selection is slim compared to the many brands available in the US. Menstrual discs available in Canada are even harder to come by since these are newer products. Menstrual cups and menstrual discs are Class II medical devices and must be approved by Health Canada. It can be frustrating as a Canadian to find the cup or disc that fits you best from the small selection available; this resource aims to help. Visit our “How to Measure Your Cervix” guide and reference our “Menstrual Cup Firmness” article; we will reference cervix height and firmness frequently in this guide.
Why Are There So Few Options In Canada?
Menstrual cups and menstrual discs are Class II medical devices and each product must be registered with Health Canada. The process can be lengthy in reality despite the claim of “15 days for approval”; several unnamed sources who have gone through it report a timeframe of 2 years or more to complete registration. When compared to the FDA registration process for menstrual cups/discs in the US, Health Canada’s process is more strict on product and material quality. Health Canada requires that brands sold in Canada hold ISO certification. According to one rep familiar with the process, …“one of the reasons why other companies’ cups might not have been approved for sale in Canada is that many include dyes, which also need to clear these regulations.” Brands also must register each model (size) individually instead of seeking registration for all products below the umbrella of their company. To be sold in stores all products must have French and English on their packaging as well.
If a brand wants to be sold in Canada the cost/benefit analysis for even a mid-size company with millions in sales might just not be worth the time/cost/labor to sell in Canada. The population of Canada is around 37 million, while the US population is 332 million. For specialized menstrual cup designs that address niche needs, such as low cervix options, the pool of users is already small. You can see why some brands simply don’t have the resources or bandwidth to justify launching their product in Canada. So often when I talk to brands about selling in Canada they respond that it’s not possible “at this time” but something they hope to pursue as their company grows.
US Menstrual Cup Market Versus Canada
The FDA lists about 200 brands and models of registered menstrual cups/discs as of October 2022. This is compared to Health Canada, where currently only 15 are approved. Of the 200 FDA registered listings about 70% of US menstrual cup and discs are “generic” designs* sold under various brand names that are manufactured by multiple private label manufacturers in the US, China, and other countries around the world*. These brands are primarily found on websites like Amazon, eBay, Instagram, or sold direct to consumers. For US shoppers, Period.Shop curates a selection of brands that meet stricter standards; we only carry proprietary designs that meet our own standards that go beyond FDA requirements.
Thousands of Canadians lack access to the product they need. Some users have found loopholes such as 3rd party mail forwarding services, but this can often double or triple the final cost. The US suffers from an overabundance of FDA-registered menstrual cups and discs; we have an overcrowded, repetitive market that is flooded with private-label imports. Many of those manufacturers infringe on the intellectual property of other brands while simultaneously undercutting them with lower-quality products. The stricter process of Health Canada has benefits as well; a stricter and more regulated process keeps bottom-tier brands and drop shippers from flooding the market.
In a perfect world, the US would better regulate the reusable menstrual products they sell to make our markets safer and less confusing. Meanwhile, in a perfect Canada, the process for Health Canada registration would be adjusted to better allow for more competition and options for menstruators who are not having their needs met. There needs to be a balance that keeps products safe for users and enforces their quality while also allowing smaller brands that cater to niche needs in Canada.
What Menstrual Cups are Available in Canada?
The following menstrual cup brands are Health Canada approved and available to buy via Amazon.ca, the brands directly, or through retailers that sell locally and ship in Canada such as larger pharmacy chains. Due to the import fees and customs, it’s best to buy these brands within Canada. I have done the due diligence of checking the registration of each brand on this list. Be advised that most of the menstrual cups sold on Amazon.ca are not actually registered with Health Canada. Yes, there are brands who will ship into Canada that don’t have Health Canada approval or brands that are simply uninformed, but you as the buyer will be assuming all risks which include inflated costs and potential seizure of items if you knowingly purchase non-approved brands.
I will provide some context about these menstrual cups and who they potentially work well for. For even more help deciding watch the video that goes through all of these brands. Bottomline? If you have a low cervix (44 mm/ 1.4″ or lower) it will be hard to find a suitable menstrual cup in Canada. If your cervix is low a menstrual disc is currently your best option in Canada from an availability standpoint. I will cover menstrual disc options in Canada further in this post. Until 2021 the only menstrual cup brands available in Canada were suited for high cervix users.
Health Canada Approved Menstrual Cup Brand Index
DivaCup – first approved in 2002, DivaCup is the most widely available menstrual cup brand in Canada and had a monopoly on this category in Canada for over a decade. It can be found online and in many local stores. DivaCups work best for users with an average high – high cervix. This means users with an average cervix or low cervix are often unable to comfortably wear a DivaCup. Trimming the stem can help but it’s usually not enough. If your cervix is high it’s a great first-time menstrual cup and the firmness is average at a “3” on the Period Nirvana scale.
Best For: High Cervix, Teens with High Cervix (Model 0), New Users
Aisle Cup – first approved in 2020, Aisle is the maker of reusable period underwear and cloth pads. Their cup design is approved and for sale in Canada. This same design is available at Shopper’s Drug Mart as the brand LifeCup. These cups are essentially a generic version of the DivaCup but are a softer firmness. This means these cups are best suited for users with a high cervix. If your cervix is high and the DivaCup is too firm for you, this cup is softer coming in at a “2” on the Period Nirvana scale.
Best For: High Cervix, Experienced Users In Need of Softer Cup
Where to Buy: Aisle
Saalt Cup – first approved in 2021, Saalt’s original menstrual cup is available in Canada. Saalt Cup is offered in two sizes, Small and Regular. The bodies of these cups are shorter than the DivaCups; with their stems trimmed entirely off users with a lower cervix have a better chance of using one of the Saalt Cup options than other brands in Canada. Saalt Cup is a “4” on the Period Nirvana scale, making it best for users who are more active.
Best For: Active Users, New Users, Average – High Cervix
Saalt Soft – first approved in 2021, the Saalt Soft menstrual cup in both sizes are available in Canada. Saalt Soft menstrual cups are the same size and shape as Saalt Cup, but in a softer firmness, a “2.5” on the Period Nirvana scale.
Best For: Average – High Cervix, New Users, Users In Need of Softer Cup
Flex Cup – first approved in 2022, the Flex Cup with the seal-breaking removal stem is available in Canada. Flex Cup is available in two sizes, a Model 1 (small) and Model 2 (large.) The stem has an adjustable length and even at the shortest length, this cup is best for users with an average high – high cervix. The design is more accessible for users with certain disabilities that affect hand strength or dexterity and will break the seal during removal. Flex Cup is an average firmness of “3” on the Period Nirvana scale.
Best For: High Cervix, New Users, Users In Need of Easier To Remove Cup
Where to Buy: Amazon.ca
Lily Cup – first approved in 2015, The Lily Cup has two size options available in Canada, A (small) and B (large.). Both sizes are best for users with a high cervix. This is a rimless cup so users who experience bladder pressure may prefer this design. It has a firmness score of “4” making it firm on the Period Nirvana scale.
Best For: High Cervix, Users Experiencing Bladder Pressure
Lily Cup Compact, first approved in 2015, is a collapsible menstrual cup design with a size A and B option. These cups are rated a “4” on the Period Nirvana scale. Their novelty design has some fans but the design can also be a frustrating one to insert and requires some practice for new users.
Best For: Experienced Users
Lily Cup One, first approved in 2017, is a collapsible menstrual cup design intended to work for first-time users. It’s very similar to the Lily Cup Compact design.
Best For: Average – High Cervix
Where to Buy: Amazon.ca
Tampax Cup – first approved in 2019, the Tampax cup is available in two sizes in Canada. The Tampax Cup’s design helps prevent the product from slipping caused by muscle movement and activity. It ranks as an average firmness “3” on the Period Nirvana scale.
Best For: Low- Average Cervix, Experienced Cup Users In Need Of A Wider Cup To Stay In Place, Active Users
Where to Buy: Amazon.ca
Ultu Cup – first approved in 2021, the Ultu Cup is available in Canada. Ultu cup is a very slightly modified version of the Casco Cup and made in the US. Ultu is as a “3.5” on the Period Nirvana scale.
Best For: High Cervix (Model 2), Average Cervix (Model 1), Average Cervix (Model 0)
Where to Buy: Amazon.ca
Liberty Cup aka Claricup – first approved in 2020, the Claricup line of menstrual cups offers multiple sizes. It’s also sold under the name Liberty Cup in Canada and as other brand names across the world. While Claripharm has 4 sizes available elsewhere, the Liberty Cup only offers Size 1 and Size 2.
Best For: Average Cervix – Average- High Cervix, Users Who Experienced Bladder Pressure
Where to Buy: Amazon.ca
Green Umbrella – first approved in 2021, the G.U. line of cups comes in 3 sizes are the only TPE option available in Canada. It rates as a “3” on the Period Nirvana scale.
Best For: Average – High Cervix, Teens (Size S), Users with Silicone Allergy
Where to Buy: GetOnly.ca
Health Canada Approved Menstrual Disc Brand Index
In the US the selection of reusable menstrual discs has exploded but due to the length of time it takes for Health Canada approval it will take longer for more options to make their way to Canada. As with cups, not every menstrual disc brand will decide to pursue this option but I do expect we will see a few more reach final approval in the next 1-2 years.
Ziggy Cup– first approved in 2017, Ziggy Cup 2 (the new model name) is available in Canada. Ziggy Cup is a “One Size” reusable menstrual disc and was the first reusable menstrual disc available in Canada. The new Ziggy Cup 2 offers a size A (small) and size B (large/one size) and this option is also available in Canada.
Best For: Low Cervix (A), Average Cervix (B and One Size)
Where to Buy: Amazon.ca
Nixit – first approved in 2020, Nixit is registered and advertised as Nixit Cup however the product is a menstrual disc in function. Nixit Cup is one of the softest reusable menstrual discs (“2”) available worldwide and is “one size fits most,” however some users with a very low cervix may not be able to successfully use Nixit.
Best For: Average Cervix, Users Experiencing Bladder Pressure
Where to Buy: Nixit.ca
Saalt Disc – first approved in 2023, Saalt Disc is now available in Canada. Saalt Disc offered two sizes, a Small and Regular. Their Regular is similar to other brands’ One Size. Saalt Disc has a removal notch and is average (“3”) firmness. While it works well for many the removal notch can sometimes rotate during wear.
Best For: Low – Average Cervix (Regular), Low Cervix (Small)
Other Ways to Shop in Canada
This resource is intended to help Canadians find a menstrual cup or disc within the country that will work best for their needs. If none of these products listed will work, or you’ve tried several without luck and have your heart set on something from the US your best avenue is taking advantage of friends or family in the states. You can also utilize 3rd party shipping services with a US address that forward your mail, but these can be very expensive. Many people will do or pay almost anything to find their period nirvana when it’s not a product available to them.
If you’re on a tight budget but determined my advice is to look at the newer menstrual disc options in Canada since discs are less finicky in how they fit and work for more users of varying body types. There is always the waiting game; as more time passes new models and brands will slowly find their way into Canada.
Establishment Registration & Device Listing Database – all menstrual cups and discs, considered Class II devices, sold in the US must be registered with the FDA in this database. To utilize this tool yourself look for the brand or device code HHE. A menstrual cup or disc can not be “FDA Approved.”
Health Products Canada Database – all menstrual cups and discs must be registered with Health Canada individually. All new models and sizes must be registered and approved before they can be sold in Canada. To find all currently listed cups and discs in Canada I used a combination of websites selling to Canada including Amazon, Well.ca, Shopper’s Mart, etc, and cross-referenced those listed brands by searching this database. Most of the brands on Amazon.ca were not found (meaning they are not registered with Health Canada) when searching for their brand or company name.
*The statement that 70% of all FDA-registered menstrual cups and discs are “private label” is my own rough estimate. I went through all 100+ registered listings and the “brands” listed beneath the manufacturer’s registration to reach this number. Many brands have duplicate listings, these were not included in the total. Of 196 menstrual cup and disc models, 136 listings and sub-listings are private label models sold under various names. Manufacturers such as Xi’an Furuize Biotechnology and Casco Bay Molding make up the vast majority of the private-label cup and disc models sold in the US. Learn more about the practice of private labeling menstrual cups.
This data was sourced in October 2022 and is accurate as of that timeframe. The most recenet update was made on September 25, 2023. To look up the status of any menstrual cup or disc you can use the linked eFDA Database or Heath Products Canada Database.