If the idea of a menstrual cup is new to you, it is likely that you have many questions. You will find most of the sizing, using, and cleaning information you need to know in our main menu, however, we have also compiled an extensive list of common menstrual cup questions below. If your question is still not answered, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Yes. Menstrual cups hold more fluid than even the high absorbency tampons. This means you will be emptying your cup and experiencing leaks less often. While you get used to your menstrual cup and how often you need to empty it, try wearing a panty liner. If you have a particularly heavy flow, you may need to empty your cup 3-4 times on day 1 and 2. You may also like to opt for a high capacity cup.
Yes. Many young girls who are first starting to menstruate use a menstrual cup. However, care must be used when inserting a cup if you are a virgin. There is the possibility of the cup stretching or tearing the hymen. While the hymen can break during many forms of sport including horse riding and bike riding, if it is important to you that your hymen remain intact due to cultural or religious convictions, then we recommend you DO NOT use a menstrual cup. We also highly recommend young girls or virgins to start with one of the Teen size cups.
Yes. Whether you are taking a leisurely swim, or going on a full day hike, you will likely find a menstrual cup much more comfortable and convenient than using pads or tampons. A menstrual cup can be used while swimming, running, or during high energy sports like dancing or gymnastics. Since there are no wings, no strings, and the cup can be worn for up to 8 hours, you can enjoy your activity care free.
Leaking while using a menstrual cup is usually due to the following reasons:
- An incorrect seal – try reinserting and ensuring the cup opens completely
- The wrong size – if your cup is too small, it will not seal correctly around the vaginal wall
- Positioned too high – some spotting may occur if the cup is positioned too high or close to the cervix. Try reinserting again and making sure the cup sits just inside the vaginal opening.
You may also find our ‘Tips to solve menstrual cup leaking’ helpful.
- Make sure your read the manufacturers instructions for your cup thoroughly.
- Relax. If you are not relaxed, the vaginal muscles will tighten and ‘grasp’ the cup making removal more difficult.
- Squat. Squatting down low will shorten the length of the vaginal canal and help make it easier to reach the cup.
- Do not pull the cup by the stem. Use the stem to find the base of the cup. Pinch the base to break the seal and then remove.
- If the base of the cup is too slippery, wipe it with some toilet tissue or paper towel, so you can grasp it better.
- Try bearing down (pushing) the cup out with your muscles. Usually, 5-8 pushes will have the cup within easier reach for removal.
- Try pushing your finger up the side of the cup (between the cup and your vaginal wall), then push in on the cup to release the seal.
- Try folding your cup into the ‘C’ fold while it is inserted. This helps collapse the cup and break the seal.
- Insert your cup when you are relaxed (when you are in the shower is a great time)
- Wet the rim of the cup and the entrance to your vagina with water. A small amount of water based lubricant may also be helpful.
- Find the right fold. Different folds have different size insertion areas, and some pop open better than others. Try a few and find the one you are most comfortable with.
You may find our Tips for first time use helpful.
Using a menstrual cup is not much messier than using a tampon. You may come into contact with some blood when inserting the cup. Since the cup collects the fluid inside of it, and is rarely ever full, there isn’t usually much on the outside of the cup when you remove it. By removing it carefully and pulling one side out and then the other as it comes through the vaginal opening, the chances of blood being spilt is very low. You will see the collected fluid, however, using a menstrual cup is much less mess than you might expect!
There are a few options for cleaning your cup when using a public toilet:
- Make sure your wash your hands prior to entering the toilet and (if you wish), use some paper towel to open and then lock the door, to save contamination.
- Take some bottled water with you and rinse the cup over the toilet before re-inserting.
- You can wipe the cup with some paper towel or toilet tissue, re-insert and then wash thoroughly when next able to do so.
- You can use a menstrual cup wipe to clean the cup before re-inserting.
Hint: Put some toilet paper in the toilet first. This will absorb the blood once you empty the cup and reduce the number of flushes you need to do to clear the bowl.
The end of the stem should sit just inside your vagina. Vaginal length varies from woman to woman, so the stem is designed to be trimmed as required. Remember that a menstrual cup is designed to be worn as low as it will comfortably sit.
Start by only removing half a cm at a time. If you find that the cup is uncomfortable when sitting or walking, or pinches the vaginal opening, then you probably need to remove a little more of the stem. It is important to take the time to get this right as the stem can make your vaginal entrance sore if it is too long. Some women find they need to remove the stem completely.
DO NOT cut the stem until you are confident in removing your cup without the use and guidance of the stem.
If you want to get a feel for what your cup would be like without the stem (without actually having to cut it) try turning the cup inside out and then inserting it.
No. A menstrual cup should not be used during sexual intercourse, and is not designed for, or able to be used as a form of contraception.
While many women successfully use a menstrual cup with an IUD, we recommend you first check with your medical practitioner. In some cases, IUD’s have been dislodged when a menstrual cup was used.
It is possible to use a menstrual cup during your Nuvaring-free week. However, if your menstrual cycle continues after the ring-free seven days, we do not recommend you continue to use the cup alongside your Nuvaring, as the combination of the two devices may interact with each other and your contraceptive status may be compromised.
If properly cared for, most menstrual cups will last from 5-10 years. However, if you notice any signs of deterioration on the cup, then it may be time to replace it.
The FemmyCycle is one exception to this, and should be replaced every 2 years or so.
You should not be able to feel your menstrual cup if it is inserted correctly.
If you feel discomfort inside your vagina, the cup may be putting pressure against your cervix. Remove and then reinsert, ensuring the cup is positioned low in the vaginal canal.
If you feel discomfort near your vaginal opening, you may need to trim the stem of the cup.
A prolapse can vary in type and severity. Some women can use a menstrual cup, others can’t, some find it uncomfortable. We recommend you speak with your medical practitioner to determine if a menstrual cup will be suitable for your particular situation or read the following article regarding menstrual cups and prolapse.
Yes. A menstrual cup can be worn for up to 8 hours, making it ideal for overnight use. Just be sure to empty the cup before going to bed and then empty it again first thing in the morning.
If you have a particularly heavy flow, it may be a good idea to use a pantyliner in conjunction with your cup on night 1 and 2.
No. You should not use a menstrual cup for collecting post delivery blood. So that your uterus and vaginal canal have time to heal, it is not recommended that you start using a menstrual cup until at least 3-4 months post delivery. This is another situation in which we recommend you talk to your doctor before using the menstrual cup.
You only need 1 menstrual cup. However, some women choose to purchase a second one as a spare. So that they do not have to carry their cup in their purse all the time, they may keep the spare cup in their car, at their holiday house etc.
You may also like to have a second cup if you will be somewhere where you cannot access clean water at the time it needs changing (if you are hiking or camping somewhere remote). You can place the used cup in the storage bag for washing when you are home, and use the second cup knowing it is clean and ready to use.