Menstrual Cup FAQ’s 2016-09-27T15:05:30+00:00

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 questions is still not answered, please do not hesitate to contact us.

I have heavy periods, can I use a menstrual cup?

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.

Can I use a menstrual cup if I am a virgin?

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 and breaking 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.

Can a menstrual cup be used during any sport or activity?

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 of 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 12 hours, you can enjoy your activity care free.

Will my cup leak?

It shouldn’t. 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.

Removal help

If you are having difficulty removing your cup, try the following:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Insertion help

To make insertion of your cup easier it is important that you:

  • 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
  • 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 out Tips for first use page helpful.

How often should I empty my cup?

Most menstrual cup brands recommend emptying your cup 2-4 times per day. It shouldn’t be worn for more than 12 hours. If you have a heavy flow, you may need to empty your cup more often.

Is it messy?

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!

How do I clean a menstrual cup when using a public toilet?

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.

Trimming the stem

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.

Can I use a menstrual cup as a form of contraception?

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.

Can I use a menstrual cup with an IUD?

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.

Can I use a menstrual cup with a Nuvaring?

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.

How long does a menstrual cup last?

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.

Will I be able to feel it?

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.

I have a prolapse, can I use a menstrual cup?

A prolapse can vary in type and severity. Some women can use a menstrual cup, other 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.

Can I use a menstrual cup overnight?

Yes. A menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 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.

Can I use a menstrual cup following the birth of my baby?

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.

Do I need more than 1?

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.

Can I use a menstrual cup during sex?

No. Reusable menstrual cups are not designed to be used during sexual intercourse. For more on this, and for another alternative, please visit our ‘menstrual cups and sex’ blog post.