Menstrual cups are by far the most comfortable product that a woman can use as her period product.
Due to its numerous advantages, it is loved by most women.
However, if you are a first time user, you may feel a little uncomfortable by the thought of inserting a cup inside your body, especially if you are a young girl.
In this article, you’ll know how to use a menstrual cup, step by step and some really helpful tips that will make your experience with this cup super smooth.
Also, I have some bonus tips for you.
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a small cup-shaped container that needs to be inserted inside the vagina where it collects the menstrual blood.
So this cup fits inside your vagina. Since the vagina is right underneath the uterus all the blood that comes out of your uterus gets straight in here.
After the cup gets filled you can take it out, throw the blood in the toilet, rinse the cup, and put it right back in your vagina.
They are reusable which is a great thing and it is made from medical-grade silicone which is 100% safe to be put inside your body.
How to use a menstrual cup?
Using a menstrual cup is very easy if you learn the insertion and removal process.
Both are a little tricky and will need practice.
Let’s get started!
Correctly inserting a menstrual cup is tricky and certainly the most important part.
You may need some practice to get hang of it.
Here is the step by step process.
Step 1- Wash your hands
The first and foremost thing is to wash your hands and don’t use strong perfumed hand wash or soap.
Do not apply any kind of lotion before insertion.
Make sure your cup is sterilised, you can also wash it once before using it.
Step 2- Relax yourself
When we are in a relaxed mode, our muscles are also relaxed and hence insertion becomes easy. Whereas in a state of nervousness our muscles get contracted, therefore the insertion process can become difficult and painful.
Step 3- Choose a comfortable position
Use your free will and choose whatever position you like.
You can lie down, sit in a squat position or simply stand up. Experiment and find out which position works best for you.
Step 4- Fold the cup
Fold the tip of the cup tightly, again as per your will.
Step 5- Place it inside the vagina
Now, Insert the cup with the rim facing upwards in the vagina.
After placing the cup, rotate it a little. The fold will open on its own on rotation and it will create a vacuum.
Tips for insertion
Here are a few tips that I want to give you if you are a first time user of menstrual cups.
- Read the instructions carefully that comes with your cup.
- Choose the correct size. A wrong sized cup will make you uncomfortable.
- For first-time users, the process may be a little uncomfortable so it would be great if you lube the rim of the cup with water (natural lubricator). A wet menstrual cup is much easier to insert.
- Practice before the actual day arrives. It will take 2-3 cycles for you to get pro at it.
- If you are using the cup for the first time, wear a pad or a pantyliner, until you get comfortable.
- Big and False nails can hurt you while inserting and removing the cup so consider removing them or handle them very carefully.
- Ensure that the holes on the sides of the cup are clean (it helps create the seal) and while inserting it do not apply perfume based lotion. (disturbs ph of the vagina)
- Before using the menstrual cup make sure it is sterilized.
How to remove?
Now comes the other tricky part. Some women find this step more difficult.
Step 1- Wash your hands
Wash your hands with a non-scented, mild handwash or soap, just like you did while insertion.
Step 2- Calm down
Again calm yourself this will help in the easy removal of the cup.
Step 3- Choose a comfortable position.
As per your wish choose a comfortable position. You can lie down, squat, sit on the toilet or stand up.
Step 4- Remove
First, you have to break the seal of the cup. To do that find the stem of the cup.
Use the stem to guide you to the base of the menstrual cup.
After finding the base gently pinch it, rotate it a little, pinching it will release the seal and then you can pull it out.
Do not try to yank the cup to remove it. This might cause a lot of discomfort.
Step 5- Empty and wash
Now that you have successfully removed the cup, empty the menstrual blood in the sink or toilet and wash the cup.
Your menstrual cup is ready to be reinserted again.
Tips for removal
As we all know that a menstrual cup can be worn up to 10-12 hours straight. However, if you are a beginner, I would recommend that you remove the cup after 6-7 hours of insertion.
Don’t wait till your cup gets filled because then removal can be a little messy and the sight can be overwhelming for you as a beginner.
How will know that the cup is inserted properly?
You will hear a pop sound or a suction sound, this ensures that the cup is rightly placed.
If you still have doubt, reach out to the base and feel it, it should be round and there should be no noticeable folds.
Make sure the cup is not visible outside. If you find the stem long, you can cut it with a clean scissor.
A bonus tip
- Choose your size correctly
It is very important to choose the correct size otherwise your experience with a menstrual cup can be nothing less than a disaster.
Here is how you can choose the correct size for yourself.
There are 3 sizes available
- It is for teenagers
- People who are not sexually active
- And those who have not given birth vaginally
- It is for sexually active people
- It is for people who have given birth vaginally
(If you have had a c section you are supposed to use a medium size)
Is it important to choose the correct size for yourself otherwise you won’t be satisfied with the product?
A detailed size chart is provided by the respective companies of the cup make sure to check it out before buying.
- Wear a pad or a pantyliner for extra protection
No matter how perfectly you have inserted the cup but somewhere you will have this fear of leaking.
I completely understand your point, as a beginner, it is pretty common.
So to rule out your constant worry, use a sanitary pad or a pantyliner along with menstrual cups.
- Try to locate your cervix
A menstrual cup should be placed right below the cervix.
We all have differently positioned cervix and how you can locate yours?
Insert your finger gently and try to find a slightly firmer area of tissue.
That’s your cervix.
Once you have located the cervix, try to place your cup just below it, otherwise, it is most likely to leak.
Pros and Cons of using a menstrual cup
|It lasts overnight||Can interfere with IUD|
|You can swim and do any physical activity|
with utmost ease
|Insertion and removal can be tricky|
|Odour-free, Rash- -free||Removing a menstrual cup can be messy|
|Long-lasting and budget-friendly||Disturbs the pH level|
|Environment friendly||Can result in vaginal infections|
I hope this will help you to understand how exactly a menstrual cup is used.
Don’t expect that you are going to become a pro at it at the very first time.
It will require a lot of hit and trial with sizes, brands, material, and many different things and of course 2-3 months of practice.
Just be patient with yourself and be calm. You will surely get it very soon.
And once you get hold of it, you are sorted for life.
This little cup is going to be your best period friend forever.
Frequently asked questions
Will I lose my virginity?
This is completely safe to use concerning virginity.
Having said that if the hymen is something, that is very important to you, you may not want to use the cup because you may tear your hymen a little while using a cup.
When or who should not use a menstrual cup?
Menstrual cups have made periods simple for so many women.
However, there are a few conditions under which you must not use a menstrual cup before consulting your gynaecologist.
The conditions are:
1. You have delivered a baby recently.
2. You are suffering from a yeast infection.
3. You have an IUD.
4. Your skin is sensitive to silicone.
At what age one can start using a menstrual cup?
From whatever age you feel comfortable, you can start using a menstrual cup. Age has got no relation to it. If you are comfortable, you can start using a menstrual cup.
Does it come down when you pass urine or motion?
No, the menstrual cup is stuck inside due to suction. So when you are passing urine or motion, the cup will not come down.
Can the blood flow back to the uterus from the cup?
No, the blood can’t go back to the uterus because there is a very tiny opening in the cervix. So there is no possibility that the blood can actually flow back into the uterus.