I’ve tried 62 menstrual cups and discs but only 4 have made it to my “worst menstrual cups” list. Relive the trauma with me while I list out the worst cups I’ve ever tried.
My mantra is this – there are no bad cups, just bad cups for your body. That holds true about 99% of the time because one person’s bad experience with a product is most often the case of the product being a bad match for them more than it being a poorly designed product.
Today I’m going to share with you a little of both. The bad products that just don’t work that somehow made it through human testing to the market – or maybe they did no testing and that explains how these items are for sale. And I’ll also share one well-designed cup that works for others but that didn’t work for me (at least that ONE time.) The list is in no particular order.
Starting with a cup that might not have made my list except that the company (and an employee) got so defensive when I pointed out a design flaw they went HAM on my TikTok comments. The Beppy Cup.
Related Video: Beppy Cup Review
Beppy Cup has marketed itself primarily as the first cup in Europe to be safe to wear during intercourse for the soft body. It also markets the flat loop stem and a no-spill rim.
This cup’s no-spill rim is a design fail. As I showed when I reviewed the product, it makes cleaning the cup cumbersome while providing little to no benefit. The rim also, theoretically, serves to prevent overspill when you use the cup during intercourse. For a product designed to be worn during sex, there are a lot of restrictions on the use which includes it needing to be freshly emptied or using on a very light day. I didn’t see this until it was too late and definitely created a mess that the no-spill rim wasn’t equipped enough for.
What I dislike about this cup wasn’t that it leaked when I tried it for its marketed purpose. I think the design wasn’t executed well for the rim. Other cups, like Femmecycle, have a no-spill rim that pops out for easy cleaning. Beppy’s rim does not. And when I pointed out this flaw on TikTok the brand immediately went on the defensive, got nasty in my comments with me and other commenters, and then created a video guide on how to empty their cup. An employee also directly attacked me in my own comment section. Bad form. Since the video went mildly viral potential customers also noticed the aggression of the brand and many were turned off to the product for that reason alone, judging by a long nested comment thread on my TikTok.
Here is where it goes to this being quite badly designed. You shouldn’t have to watch a video to empty and wash your cup properly. I tried their method and couldn’t even get my own cup to do what they did and if I did the cup opening is so small clots wouldn’t pass through. Even if they have a suggested method, it’s not worth much if people (myself included) aren’t able to They also suggest flipping the cup inside out to clean which, considering the inside is going to be bloody, seems like a bad idea and more trouble than it should be. I found the fancy booklet the cup came with the other day and looked through it. Nowhere do they say to flip it inside out or squeeze it for pouring out. These are afterthoughts based on complaints. A version 2 could probably address this beautifully but they’ve decided to defend the design publicly and lash out against everyone who dislikes it. The cup works fine and I’d even say it’s comfortable, but the cleaning process sucks and after seeing how they treat people online, so do they.
The next worst cup is another foreign brand not sold in the US. Elanee Menstruationstasse was an intriguing design visually. I like trying novelty cups for the sole reason of seeing if the wacky design does something unexpectedly brilliant – always my hope – instead of being as bad as it looks.
Based on the topic of the video you know how this is going. The “stabby cup”, as I affectionately called it, did exactly what I predicted it would and then some. The heart stem was visually a cutesy feature and only one heart could be trimmed off. Why though, is it threaded through the way it is? I guessed the cup was intended to break the suction from the outer rim in the same way the Flex Cup breaks the suction from the inside when you pull the stem.
Related Video: Elanee Menstruationstasse Review
Because it doesn’t do this (I tried in my body and tried to forcefully pull the stem in my vagina cube… leading to a horrible result) there is simply no advantage to this design. It’s perplexing and the way the stem curves means that it WILL stab the inside of your vagina. On top of those issues, it’s incredibly firm TPE, hard to fold, and it suctioned to my cervix. I wasn’t able to sit down while wearing it and barely tested it because of the discomfort and pain. How this product got through testing I will never know.
The Valve Cup
Next is the “Valve Cup.” I was asked about this cup so many times I just had to finally try and see if a valve-style cup worked as intended – to drain period blood without having to remove the cup and empty it.
Related Video: Do Valve Cups Work?
I assumed that the larger clots would either stop up the valve or slow it considerably. My first day with it failed because I’m a dumbass and didn’t stopper up the hole.
When it was stoppered up the flaw of this design was evident. Allowing yourself to drain like a car over an oil pan is time-consuming and annoying. It did work well enough that fluid drained but I found myself milking the stem to get it to go faster. It wasn’t less messy or more convenient than removing the entire cup. So while it technically worked… eventually and slowly… the benefit of the valve is lost. I was super messy and that is supposed to not be the case. I was on the toilet longer than taking a BM so quickly draining at work without leaving the stall was another scenario that didn’t happen. Pointless. Just remove, dump, and replace. Boom. Don’t waste your money on this one.
The Screw Cup
Next is the cup you may have all been waiting for… the Screw Cup. I won’t even call it by its real name. I tried the Screw Cup a few years ago for the same reason I try every weird cup – is it a secret brilliant design that looks dumb as hell?
Nope. It was just dumb as hell. I kept wondering how in the world this product ever made it into the world with such obvious flaws, but it was clear people spent so much time on it. And I was beginning to wonder if I was wrong in thinking it was so horrible? It had to work for someone somewhere right? RIGHT
The screw-in handle is not in any way an applicator so it does nothing to aid insertion. Instead of a cup stem, this handle isn’t worn all of the time so I guess that could potentially be helpful to someone somewhere. Tools are hard to use with cups because your fingers have the sensation of touch and know where they are in relation to your body and the cup. Tools have no feeling. I found the screw hard to insert for the removal portion because it was hard to find the hole. They did think of that with the flange that helps guide it but it’s still quite hard. Then you screw it in.
The guide says to wiggle the cup side to side and in the instruction; it’s depicted as somehow magically breaking the suction. That is not how cups work so it starts to become clear – had anyone on the design team ever used a cup or did they even have a vagina? If I were to go by the instructions I would wiggle and pull out the cup without breaking the seal with my own fingers as usual. Impossible. That cup sealed better than any cup ever in my body and it was a beast to get out. In the process of screwing and wiggling I had blood pouring down my hands. Removing the screw cup was the messiest I’ve ever gotten with a period product. That’s saying something because I use menstrual discs.
I did cave and break the seal with my finger and this was also hard because of the design of the cup. All around, the worst cup I’ve ever tried. I have no idea why it was designed, what problem it truly fixes if any…
The XO Flo
If you’ve made it this far congrats! My last product is one that isn’t a bad design at all. I actually like the product in so many ways and the company that makes it. It’s beautiful, the cup is functional, but it’s not a great fit for my body and resulted in one of the scariest 2 seconds of my life.
I share this story just so that if this happens to you you’ll be aware of cups with this option.
The cup somehow turned itself entirely upside down in my body while wearing it. Luckily I was on a lighter day and wearing back up. I didn’t even notice any leaks.
When I went to the bathroom to remove my cup this is when it became an experience worthy of sharing. I reached in to find the base and nothing was there. My vagina felt empty. It doesn’t matter how educated I am in this NOT BEING POSSIBLE because at that moment fight or flight kicked in and I was instantly sweaty and my heart was pounding. I was frantically digging around more aggressively and that is when I realized. I was INSIDE the rim of the cup. Now what?
A reverse seal was happening and it was difficult but I slowly managed to pull the cup downward. Re-flipping to remove didn’t seem wise or comfortable even though it had managed to do it on its own. It wasn’t a comfortable experience but it was out of my body.
It happened because I have a slightly lower than average cervix and so I trimmed off the stem entirely. The roundish shape of the cup and smoothness allowed it to do a flip inside me. I don’t fault the cup at all, but this moment does rank as one of my worst cup experiences. It was a valuable experience. This helped me understand what it feels like to use a cup that by all accounts should work fine. It made me a better educator and more empathetic to how rational thought can leave your mind when your animal brain knows fear. The feeling of a “lost” or “stuck” cup is a terrifying one. I’d really always had good experiences with every cup I’d ever tried until that moment so I’m glad it happened in a way.
Taking One For The Team
I’ve been lucky in my decade of cup testing; a list this short is impressive! Out of the 62 cups and discs I’ve tried only having 5 to complain about is a good record. You can benefit from my failures and successes and utilize the menstrual cup quiz I designed to help you find a good product for you. Another tip is to shop directly for the best menstrual cups in the US on Period.Shop. The selection is curated so you can trust these are tested and reputable brands.