The Dutchess Cup: An Introduction
The Dutchess Menstrual Cup is manufactured in China, but it’s made from the highest quality medical grade silicone according to the highest standards. The company appears to be based in the USA, but for economic reasons, manufacturers their product in China.
Although we don’t generally recommend menstrual cups that are made in China, this is one of our few exceptions. The Dutchess Cup is a decent cup at an affordable price. It seems to be made from medical grade silicone, according to strict standards.
Perhaps most importantly, there are almost 2000 reviews of the Dutchess Menstrual Cup on Amazon, with a good overall rating. There are plenty of satisfied customers, if reviews are any indication.
This is unlike some of the extremely cheap menstrual cups out of China that are very low-quality and not recommended. For example, the Aiwo, OTBBA, Body Bay, or the Vida Cup. These cups are made from sub-par materials, and have some pretty terrible customer ratings.
You can check out the Dutchess Cup on Amazon for yourself:
Two Sizes of Dutchess Cup
The Dutchess Cup is available on Amazon, in both small (size B) and large (size A).
Dutchess Size B (small): 20 ml capacity, 42 mm diameter, 60 mm length
Dutchess Size A (large): 25 ml capacity, 47 mm diameter, 65 mm length
Capacity of the Dutchess Menstrual Cup
In terms of capacity, the Dutchess Cup is a bit below average at 20 ml (small) and 25 ml (large). Compare this to something like the Diva Cup that comes in at 30 ml for both the small and large sizes.
However, unless you have a very heavy period, you should find that a 20-25 ml cup will work well for you.
If you do have a heavy period, you may want to consider one of the higher capacity period cups instead. These ones are able to hold around 40 ml.
The difference between 20 ml and 40 ml is a lot! It can mean the difference between sleeping through the night, or not when your flow is heavy. Yes, you might actuallyb e able to not get up in the night to deal with your period.
One of the Largest Diameter Menstrual Cups
Take a look at this menstrual cup diameter comparison chart. You’ll note that the large size Dutchess Cup, along with the Super Jennie, Lily Cup, and Yuuki Cup is one of the largest diameter cups you can buy.
Consider a very large diameter cup if you fit into any of the following categories:
- You have given birth vaginally (probably multiple times)
- You have a very large frame
- Maybe you’ve tried the smaller/average diameter cups and found that they never really sealed to your vaginal canal walls, and constantly leaked. Perhaps they shifted around a lot, and were hard to keep in place.
Coming in at 47 mm in diameter, the large Dutchess Cup is a full 6-7 mm wider than the more “small-average” cups at 41 mm or so. This can make it a nice choice if you’re looking for one of the biggest menstrual cups on the market today.
The small Dutchess Cup has a more normal capacity, coming in at 42 mm. This can work well for people who’ve never given birth vaginally.
Dutchess Menstrual Cup: A Soft Menstrual Cup
The Dutchess Cup is one of the softer menstrual cups. There are some advantages and disadvantages to this.
In general, firmer menstrual cups are easier to insert. This is because they tend to just pop open easily when you insert them. Softer cups sometimes require a bit of jiggling them around, or twisting and turning to get them to do this.
Some people prefer soft menstrual cups because they can feel more comfortable when inside of you. This is because they don’t press so strongly against your vaginal canal walls or urethra.
In reality, most people, even beginners find that soft menstrual cups are easy enough to insert. And the vast majority of people find that the stiff menstrual cups are not uncomfortable for them.
The choice is yours!
Soft vs. Firm Menstrual Cups
Dutchess Cup vs Diva Cup
The Diva Cup is one of the oldest, most established menstrual cup brands in the world. The name Diva Cup is almost synonymous with menstrual cups. Find out how the Dutchess Cup measures up to the most popular period cup in the world.
Dutchess or Diva Cup?
Dutchess Cup: An Odd Marketing Strategy
The company has kind of a strange marketing strategy in that they sell two cups together-a pink, and a purple. It’s one of the cheapest period cups on the market and it’s half what some of the more expensive cups cost (the Lunette Cup and the Diva Cup, for example). This is especially true if you consider the cost per unit.
However, nobody really needs two menstrual cups as one can last for at least a couple of years, or even longer (see: how long does a menstrual cup last?).
If you can find a friend or family member to share the package with, the Dutchess Cup could be a good choice for you. Hopefully in the future, this company will also start to sell the cups individually which would make it a nice, economical option.
What People are Saying about the Dutchess Cup:
“It’s good for beginners. I found it quite easy to insert and remove. After a few cycles of getting the hang of it, it doesn’t leak anymore.”
“It’s thinner and more pliable than the other menstrual cups. This made it easier to insert and find the correct position. It’s totally worth the initial awkwardness! Just keep trying until you figure it out.”
“I switched from the Diva Cup and I’m much happier with this one. It just feels more comfortable inside of me, I think because it’s not so stiff like some of the other menstrual cups.”
Dutchess Cup: An Affordable Menstrual Cup
If you’re looking for a cheaper menstrual cup, then you’ll want to consider the Duchess Cup. It’s around half the price of some of the older, more established brands like the Lunette Cup, Diva Cup, or MoonCup.
The Dutchess Cup is made in China, which usually indicates a poor-quality menstrual cup. However, the company is based in the USA, and this cup actually seems to work well for a lot of people (based on Amazon reviews).
It’s for these reasons that you might want to give the Dutchess Menstrual Cup a try if you’re looking for a cheaper cup.
Is the Duchess Menstrual Cup Comfortable?
Many people who are new to menstrual cups want to know if the Duchess Menstrual Cup is comfortable to wear. For most people, it’s very similar to tampons, in that once it’s inside, you usually can’t feel it.
When a menstrual cup like the Dutchess Cup can feel uncomfortable is in these two situations:
- The cup is too long for you, and the stem is sticking out. When the stem of your menstrual cup sticks out of your vagina, there isn’t much you can do to make it more comfortable. What you can do is trim the stem a bit shorter. Don’t do too much, because it can assist in removing the cup.
- If your menstrual cup is too firm. In this case, it can push strongly against your vaginal canal walls and/or urethra. Because the Dutchess Menstrual Cup is quite a soft cup, this shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
How to Use the Dutchess Cup
If you’re a beginner to menstrual cups, you probably want to know how to use the Dutchess Cup. Don’t worry, it’s actually not so difficult!
However, the thing to keep in mind is that there’s a learning curve to using any menstrual cup. It takes most people 3-4 cycles before they really begin to feel confident with it, so don’t give up too soon.
As fas as how to use the Dutchess Cup, you can follow these simple steps:
- Wash your hands, and the Dutchess Cup well with mild soap and water. Rinse well.
- Fold the menstrual cup and then insert it. Push it back and down, towards your tailbone, and not up towards the sky.
- It should pop open pretty easily. Remember that a menstrual cup is designed to sit low in your vaginal canal.
- If it doesn’t pop open, jiggle, and twist it until it does. Or, you can try a different folding technique.
- Leave the Dutchess Cup in for up to 12 hours, or empty it sooner in case of heavy flow.
- Remove it by pinching in at the base with two fingers to break the suction seal. Then pull it out. Only use the stem to pull down the Dutchess Cup until you can grab the base.
- Wash and then reinsert it.
My Dutchess Cup is Leaking
Leaking is the most common complaint about all menstrual cups, not just the Dutchess Cup. If this is the case for you, here are a few tips to help you out with leaking:
- Remember that there’s a learning curve. We’d be surprised if your menstrual cup didn’t leak for the first few cycles!
- When you insert the Dutchess Cup, point it back, and down towards your tailbone. A common mistake it to point it up, towards the sky, but this is often not below your cervix.
- Keep the Dutchess Cup low in the vaginal canal, not way up there. It should be placed so that the stem is almost sticking out of you.
- Some folds are better than others. Experiment to see what works for you.
- Jiggle and twist the cup to get it to pop open. Run your finger around the rim to see if there are any folds.
- Is your Dutchess Menstrual Cup too big, or too small? This can cause leaking.
Is the Duchess Cup Messy?
If you use tampons or sanitary pads, you probably know that you can go an entire cycle without getting any menstrual fluid on your hands. What about with a period cup? Is this even possible?
The bad new is that you’ll probably get menstrual fluid on your hands almost every single time you insert or remove your cup. There’s just no way around this.
The good news is that it’s not as gross as you might think. Really. You’ll get used to it and it won’t be a big deal. Just wash your hands after handling your cup and continue on with your day. It really is that easy!
Can the Duchess Cup Get Lost or Stuck?
Okay, it’s certainly a real fear. Maybe you’re worried that your new Dutchess period cup is going to get lost or stuck.
First of all, the opening in your cervix is really very small. Except during childbirth, nothing as big as a menstrual cup is going to get through there. Even a tampon would never fit through there. This means that your menstrual cup is never going to get “lost.”
However, you may have the experience that it seems to be stuck. This happens particularly in the morning. The first thing to do is relax, and try again in an hour. Doing this will solve the vast majority of problems.
Beyond that, try pushing down with your pelvic muscles while reaching up with your fingers to grab the stem. Remember to squeeze in at the base with two fingers to break the suction seal because it’s way easier to remove once you’ve done this.
Still can’t get it out? Ask a trusted partner for help. Or, see a doctor. They’ll be able to remove it in seconds.
More Dutchess Cup Reviews:
The Dutchess Menstrual Cup Pros:
2. Great customer service from this company.
3. Very comfortable and reports of not leaking when other menstrual cups like the Diva Cup have.
4. The small size (B) has one of the smallest diameters and shortest lengths of menstrual cups on the market, making it an excellent choice for smaller people, especially those with a low cervix. However, the capacity is a meagre 20 ml, which doesn’t make it ideal for those with heavier flows.
For our recommendations, check out: How to Handle a Heavy Flow.
5. The large size (A) has one of the bigger diameters of period cups on the market, making it an excellent choice for larger people. This can allow it to take up enough room in the vaginal canal and not leak (hopefully!)
Get the Dutchess Cup on Amazon:
The Dutchess Menstrual Cup Cons:
1. The length is relatively short compared to other cups which can make removal a bit difficult for some.
2. They sell two cups in one package, but nobody needs two menstrual cups! Perhaps if they included one small, and one large cup in a package it would make slightly more sense. Someone might be unsure of which size they need and want to try both.
However, the only difference between the cups is the colour.
3. Reports of difficulties with the cup opening after insertion since the silicone is more pliable and doesn’t just “snap” into place easily.
4. It’s made in China.
People that don’t like it are saying things on Amazon like:
“Insertion was hard. I’m not used to a menstrual cup that doesn’t just snap into place super easily like the Moon Cup or the Diva Cup.”
“Had high hopes but these didn’t deliver. I ended up giving up after a few cycles because it just kept leaking, no matter what I did.”
“Very leaky and hard to take out.”
Can I Have Sex While Wearing the Dutchess Cup?
A common question that many people have is whether or not they can have sex while wearing the Dutchess Cup. The quick answer is that it depends on what kind of sex you want to have.
For anything other than penetrative sex, a menstrual cup like the Duchess Cup makes a good choice. This is because your partner may not even know you have your period because there are no strings hanging out, like with a tampon.
However, for penetrative sex, a traditional cup like the Dutchess Cup will not work. There just isn’t enough room up for everything. It’ll also be very uncomfortable for both you, and your partner because the silicone in the cup is quite stiff.
If you’d like to have sex during your period, we recommend using a disposable menstrual cup, like the Instead Soft Cup. Unlike the Dutchess Cup which sits low in the vaginal canal, this one sits right up under your cervix. It’s also flat, and soft, which makes it a nice choice for sex during your period.
You can check out Soft Cups for yourself over on Amazon:
Do I Need to Take out the Dutchess Cup When Using the Toilet?
Another common question that people have about period cups including the Dutchess Cup is whether or not they can use it while going to the toilet. A quick anatomy lesson.
You have three holes “down there:”
- Urethra (where pee comes from)
- Anus (where poop comes from)
- Vagina (where you insert a menstrual cup)
As you can see, a menstrual cup like the Dutchess should not interfere with either of these two bodily functions. It’s actually better than a tampon because there is no string to get in the way.
However, some people find that it takes a really long time to pee while using a menstrual cup. This is because the vaginal canal and urethra are in close proximity to each other. A period cup can push against the walls of the vagina, which can in turn restrict the urethra slightly, and that’s why it takes a long time to pee.
Tips for Using Menstrual Cups
How Often to Replace the Dutchess Cup
Menstrual cups, even a bit cheaper of a cup like the Dutchess cup are kind of expensive. It only makes sense to ask the question, “How often to replace a menstrual cup” before buying one.
In general, menstrual cups that are made from medical grade silicone can last for around 5 years. Some companies (the Diva Cup) recommend replacing them every year or two. However, most people find that this isn’t really necessary and they can last much longer than that.
If you want to maximize your cost savings, and also be friendlier to the environment, you’ll want your Dutchess Cup to last as long as possible. Here’s how to do that:
- Clean the Duchess Cup with mild, water based soap during your period. Or, use a menstrual cup cleanser.
- You can deep clean it after your cycle by boiling it for 5-7 minutes in a pot of water on the stove. Don’t do it for longer than this or the silicone will start to degrade.
- NEVER store your Dutchess Cup in an airtight container. Keep it in the cloth bag it came in. You can also wrap it loosely in a paper towel.
- If you start to get yeast infections, or bacterial vaginosis, suspect your menstrual cup may be the culprit and consider buying a new one.
- Periodically inspect your cup for signs of wear and tear. If you notice this, replace it immediately.
Can I use the Dutchess Cup with an IUD?
A common question that people have is whether or not the Dutchess Cup, or other menstrual cups are compatible with IUDs or other forms of contraception. You should consult with your doctor before making any decision. But, we can give you some general advice about menstrual cups and IUDs.
- Make sure your cup is the correct length. You want to have space between your cervix, and the menstrual cup.
- Get your doctor to trim the stems on your IUD as short as possible.
- Be gentle! This goes a long way to avoiding any sorts of problems.
- Pay special attention to how you remove your Dutchess Cup. DO NOT just pull down on the stem. Grasp the base of the cup, pinch in with two fingers to break the suction seal and then pull out the cup. Not breaking the seal creates super suction that can pull out the IUD with it.
- Check your strings periodically to make sure your IUD hasn’t shifted position.
Dutchess Menstrual Cup Care and Cleaning
When you compare the Dutchess Menstrual Cup to tampons, it is a little bit expensive! The good news is that you’ll come out even in only a few months, and then you’ll have years of savings.
However, it only makes sense to make sure your Dutchess Cup lasts as long as possible. If cared for properly, most top-quality silicone period cups can last for 5-10 years. Here are a few tips to do that:
- Use only mild, water-based soap and water to clean your cup. Or, consider a special menstrual cup wash. Do this every time you remove your cup during your period. Do this extra thoroughly at the end of your period.
- When your period is done, you can get out an old toothbrush and clean the holes, or any nooks and crannies. This can extend the life of the cup significantly and prevent things like infections.
- If you want to sterilize your Dutchess Menstrual Cup, you can boil it in a pot of water on the stove for 5 minutes. DO NOT walk away from it. Many a menstrual cup has been ruined by this. The pot boils dry, or the cup sticks to the bottom.
- Make sure to NEVER store your Dutchess Cup in an airtight container. Store it in the cloth bag that came with it. Or, wrap it loosely in a paper towel and put it in your drawer.
Dutchess Cup has a foaming cleanser that they recommend using with their cup. You can check it out on Amazon here:
Compare Menstrual Cup Cleansers
There are lots of options for menstrual cup cleaners besides this one made by the Dutchess Menstrual Cup company. You can check them out here:
What about the Dutchess Cup Wash?
Most companies recommend using a mild soap or menstrual cup wash and water for cleaning their cup. The Dutchess company makes their own wash, but is it a good buy? Let’s find out!
Here are some quick facts about it:
- 100% plant-based materials
- Suitable for your face and body as well, and it perfect for sensitive skin
- 100% biodegradable
- Removes odours as well as germs and will keep your cup in tip-top shape
- 90 day money-back guarantee
If you’re looking for a menstrual cup wash to keep your cup in excellent shape, this one from the Dutchess company makes a great option.
Can I Swim or Scuba Dive with the Dutchess Cup?
A common question that people have about the Dutchess Cup is whether or not they can swim, or scuba dive with it. There’s some good news for you!
The Dutchess Menstrual Cup makes an excellent option for either of these activities. Jumbo tampons have a capacity of around 10 ml. The Dutchess Cup holds 20 ml (small) – 25 ml (large), so you’ll have 2-3x more time before you have to deal with your period.
The other reason you might want to consider a period cup for swimming or scuba diving is that unlike with tampons, everything is inside of you. No more worrying about embarrassing strings hanging out of you!
For more details, check out these articles:
Is the Duchess Cup Better than Tampons?
If you’re currently using tampons, you might be pretty happy with them. After all, they work well at doing what you want them to do—preventing embarrassing leaks.
However, there are a few reasons why you might consider making the switch to a menstrual cup. Here are a few of them:
The average person uses more than 10,000 tampons in a lifetime. That’s a lot!
I’m sure you’re aware that tampons are expensive, and it can add up to thousands of dollars over a lifetime.
Although the Dutchess does cost a bit more money up-front, you’ll save thousands of dollars over a lifetime when compared to tampons.
Save the Environment
All those tampons? They go straight to the landfill. In particular, the tampons with plastic applicators are most harmful.
By making the switch to a sanitary cup, you’re making an excellent choice for our Earth.
If you have a heavy flow, you’ll love using a cup. The average tampon holds between 5 and 10 ml, while the Dutchess Menstrual Cup holds 20 ml (small) or 25 ml (large).
2x more capacity = 2x less period hassle! You might actually be able to sleep through the night without having to get up to deal with your period.
Reduce your Risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome
Period cups come with a lower risk of TSS than tampons. See the section below for all the details about this.
Toxic Shock Syndrome with the Dutchess Menstrual Cup?
Lots of people want to know whether or not they can get Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) from a menstrual cup. And also whether or not the risk if higher than with using a tampon.
Let’s talk facts. To date, there has been one reported case of TSS associated with a menstrual cup (the Diva Cup). It happened because the person cut themselves when inserting the Diva Cup at the beginning of their period.
There have been thousands of cases of TSS from tampon use. It should be noted that there are many, many more people who use tampons than menstrual cups so it makes sense that the total number of cases is much higher.
Overall, the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome from either tampons or menstrual cups is quite low. This is especially true if you take basic precautions such as changing your tampon frequently enough.
It can be said, however, that the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome is perhaps lower with menstrual cups than tampons.
Dutchess Menstrual Cup and Yeast Infections
Can the Dutchess Cup cause yeast infections, or bacterial vaginosis (BV)? In general, most people experience fewer of these kinds of infections when switching from tampons to a menstrual cup like the Dutchess. There are a few reasons for this:
- Tampons often contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals in them.
- Menstrual cups collect fluid, but tampons absorb it, which can throw off your pH balance.
- Tampons sometimes leave microfibers behind, unlike menstrual cups.
Of course, there are some people who experience an increase in yeast infections or BV when switching to a menstrual cup. The most likely reason for this is not washing your hands when you insert, touch, or remove your menstrual cup. The other reason is that you are washing your hands or the cup well, but aren’t rinsing off the soap residue.
Between cycles, you can also boil your cup in a pot of water on the stove for 5 minutes to sterilize it. If you use your cup while you have BV or a yeast infection, it’s really a mandatory step for you. Or, even if you’re susceptible to them, it’s really something you should be doing every single month.
Try focusing on these things for a few months and see if your yeast infections decrease. If they don’t, consider switching back to tampons and see how that goes. Menstrual cups aren’t for everyone.
Menstrual Cups and Yeast Infections
Can the Dutchess Cup Cause Menstrual Cramps?
For more details about this, please check out: Are Menstrual Cups and Cramps Related?
In general, menstrual cups don’t cause cramps for the vast majority of people. Most people find that they’re like tampons and they can’t even feel them when inside of them.
This is particularly true for softer cups like the Dutchess Cup. The very firm menstrual cups are more likely to cause cramping or pain because they push strongly against the vaginal canal walls. This can also result in the urethra becoming restricted, which is painful for some people.
If you find that your Dutchess Cup is causing cramping, there are two solutions. You could try the smaller size, or you could try an even softer menstrual cup (we love the Sckooncup).
What about Dutchess Reusable Cloth Pads?
The company behind the Dutchess Cup also makes a line of reusable cloth pads. Like disposables, they also come in a range of sizes and absorbency levels, from a pantyliner to overnight.
If you’re looking to go green for your period, then you’ll want to make the switch from regular pads to cloth ones. They have a number of advantages beyond simply being better for the environment:
- Save money. Although reusable pads cost a bit more up-front, you’ll save money over the medium to long-term.
- Reduce the amount of plastic waste going to the landfill.
- Reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals found in disposable pads.
There are a few disadvantages to cloth pads, the main one being what to do with them when you’re away from home. At your house, you just throw them in the hamper with your regular laundry. But, on the road, you need some place to store your soiled cloth pads. Most people use something like the Dutchess Wet Bag.
Do you want to have a greener, cheaper, and healthier period experience? You can check out Dutchess Cloth Pads here:
Can the Dutchess Cup Get Stuck?
If you’ve never used a menstrual cup before, you may worry that the Dutchess Cup could get stuck. The good news is that the opening to your cervix is very, very small (except during childbirth) and certainly nothing as big as a tampon or menstrual cup could get through.
However, you may have some difficulty in removing your Dutchess Cup. This is especially true if you have a long vaginal canal/high cervix. You may find that the morning is the most difficult time because the Dutchess Cup can move up the vaginal canal due to lack of gravity while you sleep.
There are a few things you can do if you can’t get your Dutchess Cup easily out:
- Relax, put on a pad to catch any leaks and try again in an hour.
- If you can grab the stem, use this to pull down the cup until you can grab the base.
- If you can’t touch the stem, use your pelvic muscles to bear down and push the cup lower in your vaginal canal. Reach with your fingers at the same time, and you should be able to get it.
- Finally, you can ask a trusted partner for help, or go see a doctor. They should be able to remove it in seconds.
The Takeaway on the Dutchess Menstrual Cup:
If you’re looking for an economical cup that is either smaller, or larger than average, the Dutchess menstrual cup may be the one for you. It’s also an excellent choice if you have a low cervix since the length is shorter than most other ones on on the market.
Be prepared, however, to wiggle it around once it’s inside you since it won’t snap into place as easily as some of the other menstrual cups like the Diva Cup. However, this flexibility can ensure a better fit, but it does take a little bit to get it inserted correctly.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for you. There are a million and one ways to fold a menstrual cup so keep trying until you find one that works for you.
Buy the Dutchess Menstrual Cup on Amazon
Does the Dutchess Menstrual Cup sound like the one for you?
The Duchess Cup can make an excellent choice if you’re on a tight budget and you have a friend to share the package with. We know, it’s a little crazy that they only sell two cups together! We hope that they’ll start to sell only one cup, but for a cheaper price.
Despite being made in China, the Dutchess Cup is a solid product made by a reputable company. They have a lot of satisfied customers (based on Amazon reviews) and solid user ratings.
Check out the Dutchess Menstrual Cup for yourself on Amazon today:
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