How to use a menstrual cup

Getting the proper placement and fit for a menstrual cup means taking time to get familiar with your own body. From finding the right cup to practising different folds, you may need to do some adjusting before your menstrual cup feels just right. But don’t worry, that’s not to say you have to figure it out alone.

Here are the steps and a few resources to help you find the right placement for your menstrual cup.

 
 
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Step 1 - Folding

Always start by washing your hands and rinsing the cup.

To insert, fold your cup in the way that works best for you. Here you can see a C-fold, but there are many different folds you can try. Check out this video from Put a Cup in It which walks you through 9 types of folds. Try a few options out. Every body is different so it may take some time finding the right fold for you.

 
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Step 2 - Inserting

Find a comfortable position. It may be helpful to squat or to sit on the edge of a chair.

Just like with a tampon, gently insert the folded cup into your vagina. Menstrual cups sit below your cervix and so it will sit lower than a tampon might. Find a comfortable placement and ensure the cup has opened. If you find that the stem bothers you, you can trim it - please remove before trimming :)

Finding the right placement may take some practice . Everyone’s body is different. You’ve just got to find what’s best for you. For tips on getting the right placement, check out this video from Put a Cup in It.

 
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Step 3 - Opening and positioning

When the cup is in, it should pop open. You may feel a small 'pop' but you may not.  If you're having trouble getting it to open, try holding the base of the cup and turning it one complete rotation.

Once it’s in and open, continue with your day. You can leave your cup in up to 12 hours before emptying - though on a heavy day, you may need to empty it more often. 

For tips on how to get your cup to open and avoid leaks, check out this page from Ruby Cup.

 
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step 4- Removing

Find a comfortable position where you can feel relaxed.

While pushing with your abdominal muscles, pull on the stem until you can reach the base of the cup. When you can reach the base, gently squeeze the cup to release the seal and ease it out.

For more information on removing your menstrual cup, check out this page from Lena Cup.

 
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step 5 - Emptying

Once you've removed your menstrual cup, empty the fluid, rinse the cup and re-insert.

If you're somewhere that doesn't have access to water to rinse it out, you can empty and immediately re-insert. Just make sure to give it a clean the next time you can.

For more information about how to wash your cup in a public toilet, check out this video from DivaCup.

 
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step 6 - Cleaning and Storing

At the end of your cycle, it’s important to properly clean your menstrual cup before storing it.

To clean your cup, you have two options: you can wash it with mild, unscented soap in warm water, or you can boil it in a pot for 1-3 minutes. Make sure to really get the air holes and around the rim.

Store it in a cotton bag, make sure it's not stored in an airtight container. For more information on cleaning and storing your menstrual cup, check out this page from UltuCup.

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