How to use a menstrual cup
Every beginning can be difficult – including trying out a menstrual cup for the first time. Although it might take you a few days or cycles to become comfortable with the cup, we assure you that there’s nothing to fear! Read all our best tips and tricks below – you'll soon become a dedicated cup convert!
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You can also read about the pros and cons of switching to a menstrual cup, and find out how it compares to pads and tampons.
Inserting a menstrual cup
Remember to wash your hands using clean water and a mild soap, such as our cup wash, before inserting it.
There are many different folding techniques so experiment and find the one that works for you. Two of the most popular are: the Punch-Down Fold and the C-Fold.
When you’re inserting your menstrual cup, you need to keep it folded until it is inside of your vagina.
It’s important to relax your muscles when inserting your menstrual cup, so find a comfortable position.
You can lie down, squat, sit on the toilet or simply stand up. You’ll find the position that works best for you over time!
Insert the folded menstrual cup and once the entire cup (and stem) is inside of you, remove your fingers and let it open up. Comparing to a tampon, the menstrual cup should be placed lower in the vaginal canal.
You might want to use water or a water-based lubricant to make insertion easier.
If the menstrual cup has been inserted correctly, you might hear a “pop” or a suction sound which means that the cup has unfolded and created the necessary suction seal.
If in doubt, reach in and feel around the base of the cup – it should feel round or oval and not have any noticeable folds.
Also try to pull the stem a bit – if you feel resistance, the suction seal has been created and the cup has been inserted correctly!
If you feel any dents or folds on the base of your menstrual cup and you’re not sure the suction seal has been created, then gently grip the base of the cup (not the stem) and rotate to make it unfold.
Once your menstrual cup is in place, try to pull the stem a bit, if you feel resistance, the suction seal has been created and the cup has been inserted correctly!
Wearing a menstrual cup
One of the benefits of using a menstrual cup is that you can use it for up to 12 hours at a time, so once inserted you can leave your cup in all day and night.
Depending on how heavy your flow is, you may have to empty it more often than twice a day.
That’s why we recommend you empty your menstrual cup more often in the beginning to get to know the cup and your flow.
The cup can contain more liquid than 3 super tampons.
According to the NHS (National Health Service, UK), on average, you lose 5-12 teaspoons of blood during your period. Because the cup collects the flow, rather than absorbing it and expanding (like tampons and pads), you might be surprised about how little you actually bleed!
Removing a menstrual cup
Again, start out by washing your hands with warm water and a mild soap.
Find a comfortable position that works for you: lie down, squat, sit on the toilet or stand up. Being relaxed is essential, as removing your menstrual cup will be more difficult if you tense up.
When removing your menstrual cup, pull slightly on the stem until you can reach the base. Give the base of the cup a gentle pinch (or insert your index finger alongside it) to release the suction seal and ease it out.
Avoid removing your menstrual cup by pulling the stem as this might cause discomfort.
Once you have removed your menstrual cup, empty the collected flow into the toilet or sink and rinse the cup with water (remember the air holes) and re-insert.
If you’re in a bathroom without access to clean water, you can use a sanitising wipe or toilet paper to clean your cup and rinse it with water at a later time.
When your menstrual cup is clean, re-insert it as outlined in Step 1.
However, if your period has ended, boil the cup for 3-5 minutes in a pot with water or simply use a sanitising wipe to disinfect it and store it in the AllMatters cotton bag.
Tips for first time cup users
Here are all our best tips and tricks for beginners.
It might seem obvious, but reading the instructions inside the cup's packaging is an important step. Many of us get so excited to try it out, that we forget all about the instructions and jump right in without fully knowing what to do.
Until you feel 100% comfortable with your menstrual cup, you might want to wear a pantyliner so you don’t have to worry about leaking.
We all have differently positioned cervixes and the cup should be placed below the cervix, if not, it will most likely leak. Try to locate your cervix with your finger, you should feel for a slightly firmer area of tissue and position your cup under it.
If you can feel the stem and find it uncomfortable after using the cup a couple of times, you can cut it shorter. However, do not trim the stem while the menstrual cup is inserted!
No one expects you to be an instant menstrual cup expert, so we recommend practicing inserting and removing your cup before you get your period.
You can use water or a water-based lubricant to make insertion easier.