How to use a Menstrual Cup
Using a menstrual cup is a learning curve. It takes patience and sometimes a few cycles to become comfortable inserting and removing a menstrual cup, so that it is positioned correctly and does not leak or cause discomfort. You may also want to experiment with different folds to find the one that works best for you. For maximum wearing comfort, it is important to select the correct size.
Before first using your menstrual cup, you should sterilise it by boiling it (a rolling boil) in a large open pot for 2-10 minutes (Depending on the brand). It is important to make sure the cup does not touch the base of the pot, as the heat could damage and/or melt it. Try placing the cup in the middle of a wire whisk to help prevent this from happening. One your cup is sterilised and dry, it is ready for use.
Step 1: Prepare
Thoroughly wash your hands with a mild, scent-free soap and water. You may find it helpful to lubricate the rim of the cup and the entrance to your vagina prior to insertion. Many women find it easier to insert their menstrual cup while in the shower.
Step 2: Which fold?
Decide which fold is best for you. While there are several ways to fold your menstrual cup, the C-fold (or heart fold) is usually the most popular. The Punch down fold (or shell fold) is popular amongst younger women, since it makes the cup smaller to insert, and the 7 fold (or triangle fold) is handy for women who find insertion difficult – again another small fold.
Step 3: Fold and hold
Fold your cup and hold firmly between your thumb and forefinger.
Step 4: Insertion
With a firm hold on the cup, gently guide it rim-first into the vagina (check the position instructions for the particular fold you are using). You can do this while standing, sitting, squatting, or while in the shower. Through practice, you will find the position that is most comfortable and efficient for you. Your menstrual cup should be positioned in the lower part of the vagina, but beyond the pubic bone. Nothing should be protruding from the vagina (including the stem). If the stem is protruding, please read about trimming a menstrual cup stem. Once inserted, rotate the cup 360 degrees so as to ensure the cup has fully opened and formed a correct seal. You are now right to wear your menstrual cup for a maximum of 12 hours. If correctly inserted, you should not feel the cup and will be free to partake in any activity you desire, including swimming, running, horse back riding etc.
Step 5: Removal
Before removing your menstrual cup, thoroughly wash your hands with clean water. Relax your vaginal muscles. Follow the stem of the cup up until you find the cup base. Break the seal by gently squeezing the bottom (base) part of the cup. Carefully rock the cup from side to side while pulling it down and out of the vagina. DO NOT pull by the stem, as this will increase the suction of the seal and lead to discomfort. One you have removed the cup, tip the contents into the toilet, sink, or shower.
Step 6: Cleaning
Rinse your menstrual cup under cold water and then warm water. Ensure it is sufficiently cleaned before re-insertion. If water is not available (such as when in a public restroom), you can wipe the cup with some paper towel, toilet paper, or a menstrual cup wipe, and then reinsert it (note: if using a wipe, the cup must be dry before re-inserting). You can then give it a more thorough wash next time you empty it.
Step 7: Storing
Once your period is finished, thoroughly wash your menstrual cup and then store it in its carry pouch. Storage in the pouch will ensure adequate ventilation. DO NOT store your menstrual cup in an airtight plastic container. It is advised to clean your cup before and after your cycle, as well as after emptying.
All cups sold on MCA Online come with detailed usage instructions. While the above steps give the overall guide for using any type of menstrual cup, the particular brand you purchase may have some additional information or tips for success. Before using a menstrual cup for the first time, we highly recommend your read our first time tips, to help ensure you know the best tips on how to use a menstrual cup.
Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms occur, please consult your doctor/healthcare professional.