How to Use Menstrual Cup

Women have been using pads and tampons for years to collect their period blood and protect their clothing from stains. A menstrual cup offers a new alternative to either of these traditional methods and some of these cups are disposable while others are reusable and long-lasting.

To understand how to use menstrual cup, you need to first understand their structure. These cups are shaped in a bell with a small "stem" that extends from the bottom. A menstrual cup is flexible since it is made using medical-grade silicone.

How to Use Menstrual Cup

The cup is inserted into your vagina where it collects blood. Throughout the day, you remove it, empty the cup, wash it out, and then reinsert it. While those are the basics, there are more details of how to use menstrual cup to help you be prepared for your first time use.

Step 1: Fold and Hold

Begin by washing your hands. Then take the cup's walls together and fold it into the shape of a C. For most women, this C shape will make the menstrual cup easiest to insert. Keep in mind, however, that every woman has a slightly different anatomy so there may be a different fold shape that is more comfortable for you.

Step 2: Keep the Pelvic Muscles Relaxed

If your pelvic muscles are tensed, you will find it more challenging to insert the cup, or it may even be painful. It can sometimes help to practice kegel exercises as this lets you relax your pelvic muscles on command, such as when you are inserting the cup. Be patient and remember that the cup will be hardest to insert the first time. If you become frustrated, take a break and then try again.

Step 3: Get Comfortable

For how to use a menstrual cup, you will want to find a comfortable position. Some women prefer to insert their menstrual cup while sitting on the toilet. Others prefer squatting in the shower or tub. You can also try standing with a leg resting up on the tub or toilet edge, squatting with your back against the wall, or lying down with your legs apart and knees up.

Step 4: Find the Cervix

Next you will want to put a finger inside the vagina to feel around for your cervix. This will feel similar to your nose’s tip and it is a squishy, small nub that has an indentation right in the middle. It helps to find the cervix as this is where you want to aim your cup. This prevents you from accidentally poking your cervix using the cup or using up space within the cup by placing it on your cervix. If you don’t find your cervix, don’t worry. It is probably high and unlikely to cause issues. You can also skip this step and simply aim the menstrual cup towards your small of the back.

Step 5: Insert the Cup

Now it is time to truly learn how to use menstrual cup. You want to fold it and hold it in one hand with the stem facing downward. Spread your labia, using your other hand to find the vaginal opening. Push your cup in at a 45-degree angle in the direction of the pubic bone as opposed to straight up. The cup will pop open and you should keep pushing it until you are comfortable. The cup’s base shouldn’t clear the vaginal opening.

Step 6: Make Sure the Cup Is Open Completely

If you felt or heard a pop, this indicates that the cup has opened completely. If you haven’t noticed either of these things, you will need to reach up and feel the cup’s base, making sure it is oval or round. You can open the cup manually with your hand if necessary or do so by rotating the cup in a circle, doing kegel exercises or pressing a portion of your vaginal wall outwards using a finger. Always make sure the vacuum is in place as that holds the cup.

Step 7: Use No More Than 12 Hours

A great thing about the menstrual cup is that you are able to use it for twelve hours. The majority of women only need to empty their cup once in the morning and once again at night, but this varies by person. You may need to empty it more often depending on your flow.

Step 8: Remove Your Cup

To remove the menstrual cup, start by bearing down using your muscles as this pushes the cup further down. Keep up this action until you are able to reach the stem, at which point you can wiggle it back and forth as well as down. When you can, grab the base of the cup as opposed to the stem and keep pulling it out. Many women find it easier to break the vacuum and get the cup out by pinching the vase. Always remove the menstrual cup in an upright position as this reduces spillage. If you can’t comfortably remove the cup because the rim is too wide, you can fold the cup before removing it. Removing the cup over a toilet is ideal as you can let its contents spill from the back.

Why to Use Menstrual Cup?

Now you have a clear idea of how to use menstrual cup, but why use it? Menstrual cups are better in multiple ways; they help your budget, your body, and the environment.

1. Better for the Body

  • They will help your body since tampons can create imbalances in your vagina’s pH and moisture levels. This is because they absorb 35% natural moisture as well as 65% menstrual fluid. Menstrual cups don’t interfere with the vaginal in this way.
  • A menstrual cup also won’t deposit any fibers in the vaginal wall, haven’t been linked to toxic shock syndrome, and don’t have absorbency gels, deodorizers, or bleaches.
  • Since menstrual cups are typically made using medical-grade silicone, they won’t irritate you, making them work for women with allergies, eczema, thrush, or sensitive skin. The silicone is non-allergic and comes from silica, one of the minerals which is most abundant.
  • Finally, the cup helps your body by not absorbing any of its natural defense mechanisms. It lets your mucus membranes in the vaginal walls maintain their protective and cleansing functions.

2. Better for Your Budget and the Environment

The menstrual cup will help your budget and the environment in the same way; it limits waste and the amount of period supplies you go through. Some studies have shown that the typical woman will throw out between 125 and 150 kilograms of applicators, tampons, and pads during her life. Because menstrual cups are reusable, you don’t need to carry spares or replace them as often.

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