Menstrual Cups

Tips and Help

It can be a bit daunting using a cup the first few times. If you aren’t familiar or comfortable with your body, it might be helpful to get yourself acquainted first. Don’t be shy! The following are some tips and advice.

Insertion

  • Squatting is a recommended position for insertion/removal, but if that doesn’t work, feel free to try other positions.  You could try lying on your side on the bed, standing with a foot up on the side of the bath.
  • If you need to use a lubricant to help insertion, use one specially designed for silicone.  Some cup companies sell lubricant that can be used with their cups.
  • Some people find running the cup under hot tap water can help warm the cup up (for more comfortable insertion) and soften the silicone.  Conversely, if you feel a stiffer silicone would insert better, try running it under cold water.
  • If you find one fold difficult to insert, difficult to keep folded, or difficult to “pop open”, try different folds – some people find some folds work better for them than others.
  • When releasing your folded cup, release gently to allow the cup to slowly open up – which can prevent it popping open suddenly, which can cause a little discomfort.
  • Make sure the rim full pops out (You can feel this if you run a finger around the cup once inside).
  • Turning the cup (holding the base of the cup and twisting it) can help it get fully open and create a seal.
  • You can do a few kegels to move the cup further up into position.
  • If you can feel it, or its uncomfortable its probably in the wrong spot.
  • It doesn’t go in as far as a tampon, it should sit just inside the vagina.

Removal

  • If you can reach up to the rim, press the rim in slightly to break the seal (you may hear a sound when this happens), then you can bring the cup down.  You may find pressing the body of the cup can do this also, but if the cup is full this can cause the contents to spill.
  • Remove the cup slowly, and make sure you have broken the seal before trying to remove it, don’t just yank it out.
  • The stems are not supposed to be used for pulling the cup out, you are supposed to hold the base of the cup to actually remove the cup.
  • When you have brought the cup down to the entrance of the vagina, tip the cup sideways a little to bring it out.
  • If the cup is not full (or you don’t mind some spillage) you can squeeze the rim of the cup to create a smaller section to pull out.
  • “Baring down” (as if trying to do a bowel movement) can help push the cup down to a position you can grasp it more easily.
  • If it gets “lost” don’t panic. Relax and try “baring down” to push it back out.
  • Emptying it in the shower (while showering) means you don’t need to worry about spills.
  • When emptying the cup into the toilet, flush straight away or put some toilet paper in the bowl first – or the blood will sink to the bottom and be hard to flush out.
  • Don’t be alarmed if the contents of the cup isn’t all liquid blood, or has a layer of clearish liquid on top – menstrual flow is blood and tissue, and sometimes separates.

Other Tips

  • Trim your fingernails before using the cup.  You should also wash your hands.
  •  You may need to trim the stem – But try with it uncut first, and cut small bits off at a time (you can always cut more off, but you can’t stick more back on if you’ve cut too far)  Be careful not to cut into the base of the cup.
  • Don’t let it get overfull, as emptying could then be messier and chance of leaks is greater.
  • If you are having difficulty, try a different fold or different body position
  • Because they don’t absorb like tampons do, you can have a “dry run” to test it out before your period so that you are comfortable using it before you need to. Although until you are bleeding you won’t know if it is working properly, it is helpful for learning insertion and removal and getting to know your body.
  • Sometimes it may be necessary to try a few cups until you find one that is right for you.

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Cleaning – See this topic on cleaning cups

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July 10, 2008 - Posted by | Using a cup

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