Medical grade silicone or latex rubber makes up the small, flexible menstrual cups. It catches and gathers your menstrual flow rather than absorbing it like a tampon or pad.
Tightly fold the menstrual cup and insert it like a tampon without an applicator just before your period starts. It should not be felt if used correctly. It’s like putting in a diaphragm or a birth control ring.
Your cup will pop open, and you may have to spin it first and rest it against the vaginal walls. To prevent leaks, it forms a seal. The blood drips into the cup after that.
What does a menstrual cup entail?
A reusable feminine hygiene product, a menstrual cup is a small, flexible funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or medical-grade silicone. You fir it into your vagina to trap and collect period fluid.
Cups are a popular eco-friendly alternative to tampons since they can hold more blood than other methods. Depending on your flow, you can keep a menstrual cup inside you for up to 12 hours, and you won’t even feel uncomfortable.
How to use a menstrual cup? When used for the first time, a menstrual cup might cause the hymen to tear or create discomfort in younger or non-sexually active people.
Like any other period product, you may buy them online or over the counter at groceries and drugstores.
How does the menstrual cup work?
Silicone or latex rubber makes up the small, flexible, reusable cup. Unlike tampons or pads, it gathers and collects menstrual blood rather than absorbing it.
How to use a menstrual cup? The cups are easily put in place and are comfortable. Wear it during the night for an optimal period. The cup does not absorb liquids and helps maintain lubrication throughout the cycle. If you want a cup empty, rinse the container and continue the process. It is so easy!
Is the menstrual cup new to the world of feminine care?
Menstrual cups have been around since the 1930s, but they were sluggish to catch on in America. In 1987, the first menstrual cup for menstrual collection usage in the United States was created. Since then, several more have been developed, using various materials ranging from rubber to silicone.
Please continue reading to learn how to use a menstrual cup, how to insert and remove a menstrual cup, and how to clean it.
How to use a menstrual cup: Preparing to use a menstrual cup
It must be bought first. The menstrual cup is made in several shapes, which can cause little confusion in some areas.
Look at pharmacy stores or check online for possible alternative medications. Many menstrual cup sellers offer different-sized items depending on the age or stage, amount of menstrual flow, or anatomy.
If you don’t have any corticoids or lower limbs, a short cup might be ideal. Those who exercise more often might find rigid cups more effective in eliminating leaks.
Choose the best menstrual cup size for you
According to most brands’ rules, “if you’re under 30 years old and haven’t given birth, you’re a size small; if you’re over 30 and have given birth, including any full-term delivery, you’re a size large,” one brand’s smallest size can be the size of another brand’s big!
Other manufacturers size cups according to the amount of fluid they hold, advising you to choose a larger cup if you have a heavy flow and a smaller cup if you have a mild flow.
Choosing a cup size based on age and birth history is more realistic than on flow. If a person over 30 has a lighter than usual flow, it’s extremely likely that if they choose the smaller size for this reason and the cup isn’t wide enough in diameter to stay in position, the user will be frustrated as the cup slips down.
We emphasize that this is not a perfect guideline, but it is a good place to start if you are using a menstrual cup for the first time.
How to use a menstrual cup: How to insert a menstrual cup?
There are multiple menstrual cup folds you can try to insert and use a menstrual cup correctly
1. How to use menstrual cup: Punch down fold
This fold works great for people who have trouble getting their menstrual cup to open because it springs open once inserted.
Hold your menstrual cup in one hand and push one side of the rim down inside the vaginal cup with your other hand’s index finger to utilize the punch down method.
To fix the fold, pinch the rim’s sides together.
2. How to use menstrual cup: C fold
For the C, pinch the cup’s sides to flatten it, then fold it in half to make a ‘C’ or ‘U’ shape.
C fold is the most frequent menstrual cup fold, and it’s better for beginners than the ‘punch down’ fold because it opens more gently.
3. How to use menstrual cup: 7 fold
The goal of this method is to make your cup into the shape of the number 7. To flatten the rim of the cup, pinch it together.
Pull one end of the cup rim diagonally over to the opposing side of the cup once closed to make the number 7.
The steps for the double 7 fold are the same as for the 7 fold method. After that, turn the cup over and bring the second top corner diagonally down toward the center of the opposite side.
4. How to use menstrual cup: S fold
Pinch the cup’s edges together to close or flatten it, then grab the two sides while still closed and press them in opposite directions. When viewed from the top, it forms an ‘S’ shape.
5. How to use menstrual cup: Triangle fold
To flatten the rim of the cup, pinch it together.
Pull one end of the cup’s rim diagonally over the other side to make a triangle once closed.
This fold is similar to the 7 fold, but the corner is folded past the cup’s opposite edge.
How to use menstrual cup: Tips for first-time menstrual cup users
Calm yourself by taking time to focus and not be distracted. If you’re nervous, you may have to tighten the vaginal muscles, making this painful and even impossible.
Make an introduction to yourself. Usually, you should know your own body first. Find your vaginal opening and insert some fingers to find your cervix. You feel it on your finger.
Know where your cervix is, and you may be better equipped with the correct positioning. When you have a large cervix, you can’t feel them with your finger.
1. Maintaining good hygiene is essential
Maintaining proper hand hygiene is critical, especially during your menstrual cycle. Before inserting or withdrawing your cup, wash your hands well with mild soap and warm water to avoid transferring bacteria or viruses to the vaginal, vulvar, or urinary system.
You should also sanitize your cup before using it for the first time and after each cycle.
To successfully insert and use a menstrual cup, you must relax your pelvic muscles. Inserting a menstrual cup might be difficult or uncomfortable if your muscles are tense.
If you’re going to use your menstrual cup for the first time, make sure you’re in a relaxing place and a comfortable position. Because you’ll be calmer in the shower, it’s also a good location to practice inserting and withdrawing your menstrual cup.
If you have vaginismus, you may find using a menstrual cup difficult, and it is recommended to speak with your health care provider about a treatment plan that will make using a menstrual cup easier over time.
3. Find a relaxing position
Standing with one leg lifted, crouching, or sitting on the toilet with the pelvis inclined forward and the tailbone tucked under may be examples for certain persons.
4. Apply lubricant to the rim
Use a pH-balanced organic water-based lubricant to facilitate entrance. Many people find that soaking their cup in water before inserting it provides enough lubricant to make entry easier.
5. Play around with folds
It may take a few tries before you feel confident about inserting your cup. A menstrual cup can be folded in a variety of ways. One fold may suit you better than another, so try out several menstrual cup folding techniques until you find the one that suits you best.
6. Insert the menstrual cup
Menstrual cups should be inserted at a 45-degree angle, backward towards the tailbone, rather than straight up. Allow your cup to open just inside the vaginal opening, with the stem still protruding, then gently push it into place with your index finger on the base of the cup.
Allowing the folded menstrual cup to open low in the vagina guarantees that a suction seal is made with the vaginal walls rather than the cervix. Your cup should sit lower than a tampon, but if you have a long vaginal canal or a high cervix, it is common to migrate and sit higher.
If the stem of your menstrual cup protrudes and your cup sits low, you can cut its node by node until you find the length that works best for you.
7. Examine the suction seal
Make sure the cap is securely in place to avoid leaks. You may feel a popping sensation after inserting the cup, which signals that it has opened and is ready to collect your menstrual blood.
You can also do a physical examination to see if the cup has opened by placing your index finger beside the cup and running it around the perimeter. If you feel any dents in the cup, it hasn’t entirely opened, and you’ll need to reinsert it.
You may also try doing a few pelvic floor squeezes to help it open. Some people like to twist their cup after it’s been inserted to ensure a seal is formed, while others find it impossible to spin the cup once it’s been entered.
8. Make a plan B
When you first start using a cup, it’s a good idea to use it with a pantie liner or reusable cotton pad in case you encounter leaks.
You will no longer require a cushion as your confidence in using your cup grows with time.
9. Be gentle with yourself.
It can take some time for some people to hang out using a menstrual cup. If you’re having trouble inserting or removing your cup, it will only get more difficult.
Take a day or two off from it and return to it when you’re in a better mood.
How to remove a menstrual cup?
Some women find it simple to remove the menstrual cup, while others become overwhelmed and fear it will become trapped. The good news is that once you’ve learned the procedure, most period cups are simple to remove.
1. Squeeze and pinch the menstrual cup
Make sure your hands and fingers are both clean and dry. The dryer your fingers are, the easier it will be to remove the menstrual cup.
To obtain a better grip, reach up and dry the base of the cup with a little piece of toilet paper. After that, reach within the vagina, gently pull on the stem, and bring the cup down until the silicone base of the cup is reached.
Pinch the cup as high as possible near the top rim and squeeze it for a few seconds to allow the suction seal to break.
Pull the cup out at a sideways angle after pressing the base to release the air. This way, more air can enter the vaginal cavity, making removal easier.
2. As much as possible, relax your body
Make sure you are calm during the period cup removal procedure. This keeps your pelvic floor muscles from stiffening up and making it difficult to remove the cup.
If you start to feel tense, take a few deep breaths, step away for a few minutes, and try again.
Removing the cup while in the shower can help you relax while also reducing the clutter.
3. Use your index finger to break the side seal
If the pinch approach fails, carefully insert one finger up the cup’s side and gently press it to break the seal.
It should be simpler to press down the cup’s rim and wiggle it out once the seal has been broken. Because it can be done in one continuous motion, many menstrual cup users consider this the easiest removal method.
How often to empty the menstrual cup
You may be able to wear your cup for up to 12 hours, depending on how heavy your menstrual blood flow is.
By the 12-hour mark, you should have removed your cup. This provides regular washing and prevents germ buildup.
How to use menstrual cup: Cleaning and disinfecting your menstrual cup
1. At home
Even if you’re hand-washing your cup between uses, you should boil it—yes, boil it!—at the end of each cycle.
After washing your cup with hot water and soap, you can properly sterilize it before your next period by placing it in boiling water.
Immerse your cup in a metal whisk and place it in a kettle of boiling water for one to two minutes. It’s a quick and easy way to clean your cup.
But be careful not to leave your cup in hot water for too long; doing so may cause the silicone to weaken or thin over time.
2. In a public toilet
It may be more difficult to rinse your cup if you’re out and about during your period. If you can’t rinse the cup or use a safe cleanser, remove it and empty it usually.
Instead of rinsing, wipe the cup clean with a piece of toilet paper, removing any minute pieces of tissue.
Replace the cup and continue about your business.
When you arrive home, remember to wash and clean it thoroughly.
3. When traveling
You may not always be in an area where the water supply is safe to drink. Bring bottled water with you to rinse the menstrual cup in this scenario.
You should also bring a travel-sized version of unscented and oil-free mild soap. Pour the blood into a cathode, a small hole in the ground like any other organic waste if you’re hiking or camping.
After that, wash the cup with water from a water bottle and wipe it clean before reinserting it.
Don’t forget to bring your storage pouch to keep the cup clean when it’s not in use.
How to use a menstrual cup: What is the distinction between cleaning and disinfecting menstrual cups?
Cleaning the cup with warm water daily gets rid of some of the surface bacteria, odor, and accumulation.
However, disinfecting the cup entirely removes bacteria and prepares it to be saved for future use.
How to use menstrual cup: Storing your menstrual cup
Keep your menstrual cup clean and dry before putting it away. Storing your cup with any remaining moisture on it may encourage the growth of bacteria that aren’t good for your vagina. Make sure it’s nice and dry before storing it somewhere you’ll be comfy.
When it comes to storing your menstrual cup, you have a few alternatives. First and foremost, avoid using a plastic bag or any other fully sealed container. Instead, choose a breathable container that will extend the life of your cup while also improving the smell.
A simple cotton pouch or natural material. Then store it cold and dry, such as in your underwear drawer or a bedside table.