Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Menstrual Cups, But Were Afraid To Ask

General Questions


What is a menstrual cup?

Hello ladies! If you've landed on this site but have no idea what a menstrual cup is, you’re in the right place. Take off your heels, relax with a nice cup of tea, and let's get to it.

A menstrual cup is a reusable cup that you insert inside your vagina. Simple, right? We have a lot of options for managing our periods, but menstrual cups provide an alternative to expensive, disposable pads and tampons. Cups are environmentally friendly, healthy, and comfortable - even if you experience a heavy flow.

Who can use a cup?

Any woman with a vagina. There are cups for every level of activity, every shape, and every size. Whether you have a low or high cervix, light or heavy flow, or other unique issues, you can find a cup that works for you.

How does a cup stay in place?

A menstrual cup opens up after you insert it into your vagina. It forms a seal and fits snugly under your cervix. Your vagina holds it in place.

Are menstrual cups messy?

Certainly not as messy as your toddler or husband… but we digress. In general, menstrual cups aren't any messier than other menstrual products like tampons or pads. There might be more of a mess while you're learning how to insert and remove the cup, but once you've got the hang of things, it’s a pretty tidy choice.

Is it difficult to insert and remove?

As with all things, there is a learning curve, so you might need to try a few positions and folding methods to find what works best. Don't give up if you struggle at first—that's totally normal! Once you get used to it, menstrual cups are quick and easy to insert and remove. You'll find it just as easy as using other products, but with WAY more benefits.

Will I be able to feel my cup?

If you have the right sized cup for your needs and shape, you shouldn't feel it much, if at all. If you can feel the cup, try removing the cup and re-inserting it. If the stem is bothering you, carefully trim it down until you can no longer feel it.

If it's working and collecting your menstrual flow but still doesn't feel "right," you may want to contact DaisyCup Support for guidance.

How do I...


Insert the cup?

Before you insert your menstrual cup, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly.

Find a comfortable position to insert your cup. This could be standing, sitting on the toilet, or propping up a foot. Fold the cup and insert it as described in our Cup Insertion Tutorial.

Rotate the cup to ensure you have a good seal. If you are unsure, run a finger around the rim to make sure the cup has opened completely and there aren’t any folds

Fold my cup?

There are several ways you can fold your cup. The most popular methods are:

  • The C-fold or U-fold. With this method, you pinch the sides of the cup together and then fold the ends of the cup together, making a "C" or "U" shape.
  • The punchdown fold. With this fold, you push one side of the cup down to the bottom, then pinch the ends together. This makes a smaller insertion point.
  • The 7 fold. Pinch the sides of the cup together. Fold down the right side so it makes the shape of the number seven. This also provides a smaller insertion point.

Use lube to help?

Nope, it’s not just for the bedroom, ladies! Yes, you can absolutely use lubricant to help insert your cup, especially if you aren’t yet on your period (the blood acts as a lubricant). Just make sure to use a water-based lube instead of a silicone-based one, which will break down your cup.

Remove my cup?

To remove your cup, first, wash your hands. Find a comfortable position. If you're new to using cups, you may want to sit over the toilet just in case there is any spillage. Reach in and gently pinch the base to break the seal. Use the stem to pull the cup down until you can reach the cup, then pull it out. Rinse and clean the cup, and then re-insert it.

Can I lose my cup inside of me?

Unlike your car keys when you're running late and need to get the kids to practice or finally catch up on errands, your cup cannot get lost. Your vagina is like a cul-de-sac; there's only one entrance and one exit.

Get my cup out if it gets stuck?

First, take a few deep breaths. Your cup cannot get permanently stuck, so it's just a matter of getting it within reach. It can only go as far as your cervix, or the end of your vaginal canal. Relax and breathe to help unclench your muscles.

Once you're ready, bear down with your vaginal muscles to push down the cup. If you're still having trouble, prop up your leg or try standing up. If this is an ongoing issue, you can look for a cup with a longer stem.

Get stains off the cup?

Stains aren't harmful, but if they worry you, you can soak your cup overnight in hydrogen peroxide.

Clean my cup?

You can clean your cup using soap (not anti-bacterial) and water. You should clean it once every 10 to 12 hours. You can also use a wash designed for cleaning menstrual cups.

Change my cup in a public restroom?

You have a few options for dealing with your cup in public. You can remove the cup, dump the contents, and wipe the rim with toilet paper before reinsertion, and then wash once you're in private. You can also purchase wipes to use or bring a bottle of water with you into the stall to rinse your cup.

Sanitize my cup?

You should boil your cup before your first use, but after that, it's completely up to you. Some users prefer to boil it regularly, but it's not necessary unless you've had a vaginal infection.

If you prefer not to boil, there are menstrual cup sanitizers you can buy or you can use sterilizing tablets.

Boil my cup?

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and carefully place your cup in the water for two to three minutes. You may want to place it inside a metal whisk or use tongs to put it in water and remove it.

Store my cup?

Your cup should be stored in a container that provides airflow, like a cotton bag. You can also store it on an open shelf in a medicine cabinet.

How do I know...


What size to use?

(DaisyCup Sizing Chart)

In general, if you are under 30 and haven't given birth, you should use a smaller size. If you're over 30 or have given birth, you should use a larger size. That said, different bodies do better with different shapes.

One method for finding the best length for you is by determining the height of your cervix. To find the height of your cervix, you can measure it by inserting a clean finger into your vagina.

If you can't feel your cervix, you have a high cervix. If you can insert your fingers partway and feel your cervix, you have an average cervix height.

If you just insert your fingers and you instantly feel your cervix, you have a low cervix. You can use a larger size for a higher cervix or a smaller size for a lower cervix if desired.

If I put it in right?

If you put the cup in correctly, you shouldn't be able to feel it much, if at all. The cup should be open, and nothing should be poking out of your vagina. If the stem is poking out, you can trim it until it fits. If the bottom of the cup is poking out, you may want to consider a smaller cup or gently push the cup higher inside your vagina.

If I need to trim the stem, and by how much?

You can definitely trim the stem, but try the cup first to determine how much to cut off. You may want to trim a little at a time until it sits just inside your vaginal opening, and be careful not to cut the cup itself.

When to empty it?

Since you can't feel the cup, there isn't any sort of signal to tell you when to empty it. Start with checking it every four hours, give or take, until you have a sense of your flow. At a minimum, remove, empty, and wash your cup every 4 to 8 hours.

When to get a new cup?

You should get a new cup when your cup seems worn, chalky, sticky, or if it is cracked or damaged. Stains are normal and not necessarily a reason to replace your cup.

Can I use a cup if?


If you are new to using a menstrual cup, you may want to use backup until you're confident in your menstrual cup's ability to get the job done. Once you're comfortable, you don't need to wear a backup like a liner or pad.

My period hasn't started yet?

Yes! If you think your period is about to start, you can go on stain control by wearing the cup. Blood helps lubricate the cup, so if your flow hasn’t started you may want to use a water-based lubricant in its place. Remove it every 10 to 12 hours and wash it, just like you would on your period.

I have irregular periods?

Yes! Since the cup doesn't absorb anything, it is safe to use even if you're not on your period.

I'm not even a teenager yet?

Yes. If you've started your period, you’re old enough to give it a try. There is no minimum (or maximum) age for using the cup. That said, we don’t see a reason to use a cup before a girl begins menstruating.

I'm a virgin?

Absolutely, and we recommend it. Beat anyone else to your own vagina and become familiar with how your body functions! You may want to try the Small DaisyCup for comfort.

Inserting a cup could affect your hymen, which is a crescent-shaped piece of skin around the vagina, but this does not equate to losing your virginity and is a natural process that will happen at some point - be it during active sports, inserting a tampon or cup, or sex.

My cervix or uterus is tilted?

Yes. The cup sits below your cervix, so even if your cervix or uterus is tilted, you can still use the cup.

My cervix is low?

You can definitely use the cup. In fact, there are cups made specifically for those with a low cervix. In general, you'll want to look for a shorter cup with a wide diameter.

I have endometriosis?

Yes, in fact some women with endometriosis have found that using a cup helps to relieve symptoms.

I have Vaginismus?

Yes. A softer cup in a smaller size may be better suited to you, and water-based lubricant can ease insertion.

I have an IUD?

Yes, but ask your doctor to trim the strings as much as possible on your IUD before using the cup. Because a cup is sealed by suction, make sure you break the seal before you remove it so you don't dislodge the IUD.

I use a vaginal ring for birth control?

Yes, but insert the ring before you insert the cup. Break the seal before removing your menstrual cup so that the ring stays where it is. If the ring moves or comes out, just move it back into place.

I get large clots?

Yes! You may want to try may want to try the regular size DaisyCup to accommodate larger clots.

I can't use tampons?

It's very possible. Cups and tampons work differently. A tampon is dry and absorbs liquid. A cup is smooth and holds your flow rather than absorbing it, so you may find the cup less irritating. Many users who couldn't use a tampon have used cups successfully.

I have postpartum bleeding?

Unfortunately, no. Due to the tearing experienced during delivery, an internal device like a cup could cause an infection. Stay away and seek your doctor’s guidance.

I have a latex allergy?

You can use a cup if you're allergic to latex. Just look for a cup made from medical-grade silicone, like DaisyCup.

I have a silicone allergy?

You can. Look for cups that are made from natural rubber or TPE.

I have an STI?

Yes, you can use the cup if you have a STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) or a STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease).

I have long nails?

Yes. Be careful as you're inserting so as not to scratch yourself, and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands, and under your nails, before and after inserting or removing your cup.

I'm not on my period but I want to use the cup to catch discharge?

Yes. Be careful as you're inserting so as not to scratch yourself, and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands, and under your nails, before and after inserting or removing your cup.

I don't have potable water to use when cleaning the cup?

If you can, use bottled water or just wipe your cup and clean it at your next opportunity. If boiling water is an option, you can do that as well to clean your cup.

Can I use the cup while...


I'm having sex?

That's up to you. The cups aren't technically designed to accommodate penetrative sex, but some couples do anyway without any problems. The cup could be squeezed during sex, though, so keep that in mind. It's perfect for receiving oral sex, though, and there's nothing poking out of the vagina to make you feel self-conscious.

I'm masturbating?

Sure! You can use external stimulation to your heart's content. If you're using anything penetrative, be careful. This could squeeze the cup or break the seal, so you may want to avoid penetrative masturbation until you're no longer using your cup.

I'm peeing?

Yes! You can use the restroom normally and leave your cup in. Urine comes out of the urethra, which is a tiny hole that is your not vagina, so nothing will be affected. If you have a bowel movement, the cup may shift as you push. You may want to double-check your cup's position and push it back into the right spot if needed.

I'm sleeping?

One of the perks of using a menstrual cup is that you can use it for long periods of time, including overnight. You should be able to sleep through the night without any issues, but if your flow is particularly heavy you may want to use a pad as a backup, just to be on the safe side.

I'm underwater?

Yes, you can swim, scuba dive, or do anything else you like to do while using your cup.

I'm at high altitude?

Yes, but we really hope an Everest climb doesn’t coincide with your period.

I'm on a plane?

Yes. Air pressure is regulated in planes, so it’s just like being at high altitude. However, fast changes in air pressure (ascending or descending) can affect the suction, so you may want to just check once you’re up in the air or back down on the ground.

I'm running?

Yes. Cups are great choices for athletes.

Photo credit: @paloma_prudhomme and @tarkaat

Will my cup...


Help my cramps?

Some cup users have reported that using a cup has helped to ease their cramps. There isn't any research that confirms this, though.

Give me TSS?

No, you can't get TSS from using a menstrual cup. The risk of TSS associated with tampons is due to their absorption, which can harbor bacteria.

Give me a yeast infection or UTI?

Nope! In fact, menstrual cups may lower your risk because they don't change the pH balance of your vagina.

Prevent STIs?

Using a cup does not prevent STIs, so you should still use other means of protection.

Leak?

If your cup is leaking, first make sure it has opened completely and is sitting under your cervix (sometimes the cup can rest beside your cervix). If it's opened completely and sitting in the right spot, check the cup for damage. You may want to try a different size DaisyCup to see if it works better for you.

Fall out?

If you feel like your cup is falling out, first take it out and re-insert it. Check to make sure that it's open and has a seal. If it continues to feel loose, you may need a cup of a different size or shape.

Survive the dishwasher or laundry machine?

Menstrual cups should not be washed in the dishwasher or laundry machine, although they may survive the ordeal.

Does my cup...


Have silicone?

Yes, it’s made entirely of silicone, but the type of silicone used to make menstrual cups is not harmful. Most menstrual cups are made from a solid piece of medical-grade silicone which can't leak into your body.

Contain Phthalates or BPA?

No. They are made from natural rubber, TPE, or medical-grade silicone, which don't have those chemicals.

Have cadmium, should I be worried?

Cadmium naturally occurs in the stones used to make silicone. There is cadmium in many of the foods and drinks we enjoy regularly. The amount of cadmium in menstrual cups is low and less than the cadmium found in food and drinks.

I have a silicone allergy. Can I use a cup?

You can. Look for cups that are made from natural rubber or TPE.

Is silicone bad for me?

Not the type of silicone used in making menstrual cups. Most menstrual cups are made from a solid piece of medical-grade silicone which can't leak into your body.

Do menstrual cups have phthalates or BPA?

No. They are made from natural rubber, TPE, or medical-grade silicone, which don't have those chemicals.

I have an STI. Can I use a cup?

Yes, you can use the cup if you have an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) and an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease).

Can using a cup prevent STIs?

Using a cup does not prevent STIs, so you should still use other means of protection.

What will happen if I keep my cup in too long?

If you leave your cup in longer than recommended, simply remove and wash it as soon as you remember. The risk of anything adverse happening is low because the cups don't change the environment of your vagina.

Do menstrual cups have cadmium? Should I be worried?

Cadmium naturally occurs in the stones used to make silicone. There is cadmium in many of the foods and drinks we enjoy regularly. The amount of cadmium in menstrual cups is low and less than the cadmium found in food and drinks.

Can you reassure me that...


My cup is made is made of safe materials?

DaisyCup is made from 100% medical-grade silicone. 100% safe.

My cup will stay in place?

A menstrual cup opens up after you insert it into your vagina. It forms a seal and fits snugly under your cervix. Your vagina holds it in place.

Blood wont flow back into my uterus?

Once your menstrual blood flows out of your uterus, the blood cannot flow back in. The cervix is essentially a gate that won't allow anything back into your uterus.

My cup or vagina won't smell?

There typically is no odor when you use a cup. Menstrual blood only has an odor once it's exposed to oxygen, and since your cup holds it internally, there should be no smell.

I won't need to use a backup like a pad?

If you are new to using a menstrual cup, you may want to use backup until you're confident in your menstrual cup's ability to get the job done. Once you're comfortable, you don't need to wear a backup like a liner or pad.

It won't hurt to take the cup out?

Removing the cup shouldn't cause any pain. In some cases, it can feel uncomfortable or a little painful because it's not folded down when you remove it. Make sure to break the seal before you remove the cup by gently pinching the base. Remove the cup at an angle, rather than pulling it straight out. If you are doing these things and still experiencing pain, contact DaisyCup live support.

I won't lose the cup inside of me?

Unlike your car keys when you're running late and need to get the kids to practice or finally catch up on errands, your cup cannot get lost. Your vagina is like a cul-de-sac; there's only one entrance and one exit.

My money will be worth it?

The cost of menstrual cups can seem high compared to pads or tampons. Keep in mind, menstrual cups last for years. But you have to buy pads or tampons regularly over the span of your menstruation lifetime. When you look at the average cost over time, menstrual cups will save you thousands of dollars.

Since cheap cups are often thinner and less durable than more expensive cups, you won't get a real sense of how well a cup would work for you. A better bet is to do your research to find a cup that will meet your needs longterm.

I won't leak while I'm washing my cup?

We can’t give you 100% assurance. It doesn’t usually happen if you wash and reinsert it quickly, but it depends on how heavy your flow is. If you are concerned, you may want to wear a liner and pull up your underwear while you wash your cup.

How many...


Times per day do I empty my cup?

At a minimum, you should remove and wash your cup every 4-8 hours, max 10-12 hours. If you have heavy flow during your periods, you may need to remove and empty your cup more frequently.

Cups hold more blood than a tampon or pad, so you will be able to wear it longer without having to remove it. When you are first starting out, you may want to check it every four hours or so until you get a sense of your individual flow.

Cups do I need at once?

You don't need more than one cup, although you might need to try a couple before you find the perfect fit for you.

Times do I need to replace my cup?

With proper care, cups can last a really long time. Most brands say they can last up to 10 years. Your mileage may vary, of course.

Little holes does a cup have and what for?

The number of holes in a menstrual cup varies by manufacturer. They are there to help create suction, which helps make the seal. They will not cause leakage - just the opposite, actually.

How else can using a cup benefit me?

Menstrual cups can help you get a better sense of your cycle. It's easier to track changes in your flow throughout your period. Menstrual cups are also environmentally friendly since they're reusable.

Other Questions


What should I do with my old cup?

If the cup is still usable, you can boil it and give it away. If that’s a weird idea to you, you can burn it or look for someplace that will recycle it for you.

I'm under eighteen. Do I need my parent's permission to buy a cup?

No, you don't need anyone's permission to buy and use a cup.

Does using a cup benefit me in any other, less obvious ways?

Menstrual cups can help you get a better sense of your cycle. They make it easier to track changes in your flow throughout your period. They are also environmentally friendly since they're reusable and don’t contain any toxins.

Will (insert something unpleasant) happen if I keep my cup in too long?

If you leave your cup in longer than recommended, simply remove and wash it as soon as you remember. The risk of anything adverse happening is low because the cups don't change the environment of your vagina.

Try DaisyCup Risk-Free

For each cup purchased, we will donate 1 cup to a women in need. Try DaisyCup today risk-free and help another person experience safe and comfortable menstruation.