How to Use a Menstrual Cup
Using A Menstrual Cup
Menstrual cups might seem like a new trend but they were first invented way back in the 1860s, with the first modern menstrual cup making it’s commercial debut in 1937. Ummm, it was way ahead of its time.
You have to admit; there is nothing worse than taking out your tampon and trying to wrap it up without a messy outcome. Good luck opening up those metal waste dispensers without getting grossed out (if there even is one)! Menstrual cups provide an easier alternative to disposable products like smelly pads and over soaked tampons.
They are shaped like a small bell and typically made of silicone. The cup is inserted into the vagina and catches the menstrual blood, clots, and shedding. As the day progresses, women periodically remove and rinse/wipe the cup clean, before its reinserted for continued use.
Here is the BEST part – menstrual cups can provide leak-free protection for up to 12 hours without being emptied! This is a major convenience for us women. We hate stopping to change a tampon or pad, especially if it is too late. (Boooo, annoying leakage!) How many pairs of panties have you ditched?
Using a cup is not at all complicated, but there is a bit of a learning curve regarding ‘getting the hang’ of inserting the cup. Simply – menstrual cups are suitable for almost all women, comfortable, long-lasting, and an environmentally friendly way to deal with periods.
Parts of a Menstrual Cup and How They Function
The first step in using your cup is knowing how it works. Menstrual cups have a rim, which is what creates a seal and prevents leaking. The body is where your menstrual blood is collected.
Menstrual cups also have a stem, which is what you grip to remove the cup from your vagina. High-quality menstrual cups like Daisy will also have air holes near the rim to help create and maintain a seal around the walls of your vagina. This prevents leaking.
DaisyCups are made of ultra-premium, 100% medical-grade silicone that is hypoallergenic. Medical silicone differs from standard silicone in that it is approved for use in the human body. DaisyCup is BPA free, which means it will not inhibit fertility or cause unwanted health problems.
To recap, most menstrual cups consist of the following parts:
- Rim (with air holes) – Seals the cup and prevents leaking
- Stem – Useful for removing the cup after and during use
- Medical-grade silicone – This is the most common material used in menstrual cup manufacturing
How to Choose a Cup
Menstrual cups come in different shapes and sizes, each with different capacities to hold your flow. The right one for you depends on your age, the height of your cervix, whether you’ve given birth, how heavy your flow is, and your activity level. You may need to try both sizes before you find the right fit for you, and that’s totally normal.
Using Your Menstrual Cup
Now that you’ve had a crash course on menstrual cups, it’s time to learn how to use your new cup. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but once you’ve got your routine down, you’ll find your menstrual cup to be comfortable and convenient as opposed to tampons or pads.
How to Insert Your Menstrual Cup
Make Sure your Cup is Clean! If it’s your first time using your cup, we recommend boiling the cup in water for a few minutes to sterilize it. Just heat the water to a low boil, use tongs to place the cup in the hot water, and then let it cool. Now you’re ready to rock and roll!
Before you insert the cup, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands, including under your fingernails in order to maintain a sterile environment and prevent adding bacteria to the area.
To insert the cup, you’ll need to fold it. The most common fold is a C-shape or U-shape. With this fold, you press the sides together and then fold it to make a C-shape or U-shape.
Another popular fold is called the Punchdown. With the Punchdown, you use your index finger to push one side of the cup down to the base, then pinch the top together. This creates a smaller point for insertion. With this fold, once you insert the cup, you’ll need to squeeze the base a few times for the cup to resume its shape.
Once the cup is folded, you’ll need to insert it. This is similar to inserting a tampon. You can insert the cup while sitting on the toilet. You may find it more comfortable to stand and prop a leg up onto a toilet or tub.
To insert the cup, spread open your labia and push the cup inside. Aim the cup toward your tailbone. Rotate the cup one full rotation to create a seal.
After Inserting the Menstrual Cup, Make Sure It's Opened Up!
After you’ve inserted the cup, use a finger to feel around the rim and ensure the cup is open and that your cervix is inside the cup. To confirm that the seal is in place, bear down a bit with your vaginal muscles to lower the cup, and then give the cup a gentle tug using the stem. If you feel some resistance, there is a good seal in place. If it moves easily, rotate the cup again to create a good seal.
Having Problems Inserting Your Menstrual Cup? Try These Tips!
- Try to Relax: If the insertion is difficult, first of all, try to relax. If you’re tense, your muscles will tense up and make insertion more of a challenge.
- Vaginal Dryness: If you’re feeling dry, try some water-based lubricant to make insertion easier. If you’re already spotting or on your period, the blood can also act as a lubricant.
- It Just Won’t Fit: Try some water-based lubricant. If the cup still doesn’t fit, you might need to try a smaller size. Contact DaisyCup Support if you ordered the wrong size.
How Long Can You Leave the Cup In Your Body?
You can leave your menstrual cup in for up to 12 hours at a time. You may need to remove it more frequently depending on your menstrual flow. Make sure to remove it every 12 hours, even if your flow is light.
Removing the Cup
Congratulations! You’ve just successfully used your first menstrual cup. You’re now well on your way to better periods.
Before you remove the cup, thoroughly wash your hands. Find a comfortable position, which may be sitting on the toilet or having a leg propped up on the toilet or edge of a bathtub.
Once you’re in position, use your vaginal muscles to push the cup downward. Spread your labia and find the stem.
Pull gently on the stem until you can reach the base of the cup. Hold the base and gently pull out the cup.
Pro Tip: You may want to break the seal before you remove the cup. To break the seal, push gently on the rim.
As you remove the cup, try to hold it steady and keep it as level as you can to prevent spilling. Dump the contents into the sink or toilet, rinse the cup with water, and if needed, reinsert the cup.
If you’re removing the cup in a public restroom, rinsing the cup may not be practical. In that case, you can simply wipe the cup with toilet paper or a wet wipe and reinsert it. Rinse the cup the next time you have the opportunity.
Caring for You Cup
Menstrual cups can last for years, so even though they may cost a bit more up front, they save you thousands of dollars in the long run. To keep your cup in good shape, you’ll need to store it in a container that provides airflow when you’re between periods.
A cotton drawstring bag is included in your DaisyCup package to conveniently store your cup. This can work quite well, but you can also store it on a shelf as long as you rinse it before use to remove any dust.
Pro Tip: Wash your menstrual cup with non-antibacterial soap that is free of perfumes or any irritants. This keeps things balanced down there.
To clean your cup, wash it between periods. Use a non-antibacterial soap that doesn’t have any perfumes or other irritants. There are also wipes specifically made for menstrual cups. Make sure to clean the air holes thoroughly as well.
Welcome to the Club!
Now that you’ve read our guide to using a menstrual cup, you’re ready to start saving money and making your periods a little bit easier. DaisyCup’s mission is to help women have better periods. If there’s anything we can do to help you, don’t hesitate to contact us!