How to use a menstrual cup?

Tutorial on how to use a menstrual cup, how to fold it, insert it, remove it and clean it. Find out more on how to use it and read FAQ for more information. Menstrual cups are quite simple to use, the concept is the same no matter what menstrual cup brand you are using. You fold it, insert it, remove it, wash it and reuse it over and over. You’ll find below 6 simple steps to follow.

Step 1 – Wash your hands

First, wash your hands with a mild, un-perfumed soap and water like you would do before inserting a tampon without applicator. When using the cup for the first time, you can lubricate it with water or a water-based lubricant to aid insertion.

Step 2 – Flatten your cup

Flatten your menstrual cup as illustrated between your thumb and your other fingers to prepare for the fold (step 3).

Step 3 – Fold your cup

Once your menstrual cup is flattened, fold it in half with your other hand so that the rim makes a “C”. Hold the cup firmly with the hand you are the most comfortable with. The folded part should face toward the inside of your hand as illustrated. There are several ways to fold your cup, see video further down. Hold the cup firmly in its folded position and prepare for step 4.

Step 4 – Prepare to insert

Spreading your legs, gently separate your labia with your free hand. Guide your folded cup rim first with the rounded end of the “U” shape facing you toward your vagina as illustrated. You can insert the cup while sitting, standing or squatting; spreading your legs will facilitate insertion.

Step 5 – Insert the cup

Once you inserted the rim of the menstrual cup, the cup will start unfolding itself inside the vagina. All you need to do is to push it slightly with your finger until the whole cup is inside including the stem. It shouldn’t sit too high, the bottom of your cup should be about half a finger away from the entry. Unlike a tampon, the cup is positioned in the lower part of vagina, but beyond the pelvic bone.

Step 6 – Rotate your cup

Lightly pinch the base of the cup (not the stem) and gently try to give it one full rotation in either direction. Doing so helps to avoid leaks by ensuring that the cup has opened fully. The cup should rotate easily when properly open. As an extra measure, though one that is usually unnecessary, you can check that it is fully opened by sliding a finger up next to the cup and feeling all the way around it.

Remove your cup

You can wear your cup safely up to 12h, if you have a heavy flow, you might want to empty it sooner. To remove the cup, first wash your hands in clean water and relax your muscles. Spreading your legs, gently separate your labia with your non-dominant hand. As if having a bowel movement, bear down lightly with your internal muscles. Doing so can help lower the cup, making it easier to grasp. Break the seal by squeezing the bottom part of the cup until you feel or hear the suction release. Now gently rock the cup from side to side while pulling down. Be sure not to pull it out by the stem alone, this will cause the contents to spill and may be uncomfortable. Always pull the cup out while pinching the ridged bottom of the cup. Tip the contents into the lavatory, the toilet, bathtub, in the nature, anywhere you see fit.

Rinse and Reuse

Wash the menstrual cup carefully in warm water and soap to clean it sufficiently before reinsertion. Use mild soap for washing (intimate soap is ideal). The cup should first be rinsed in cold water, so that menstrual blood does not stain the cup or make it develop an odor. When water is not available, it is okay to wipe the cup with toilet paper and/or a disinfecting wipe. You can give it a proper wash the next time.

How to clean and care for your menstrual cup
more in the FAQ section of this website.

After its last use of your period, wash your menstrual cup carefully and store it in its own pouch or box provided with your cup. Do not store it in a hermetic container or plastic bag. The menstrual cup should be cleaned before and after your cycle and after emptying.

You need to sterilise your cup only once per cycle, at the end or at the beginning. While you are having your period you can simply rinse your cup with water and mild soap when available. You do not need to sterilize it every time you reinsert it. The material of the cup has natural antibacterial properties, as long as your hands are clean it is perfectly safe.

You can also use sterilising tablets such as Milton which is most commonly used for babies feeding utensils. Dip your cup in water with a tablet for 15min and you are done. Some also recommend to clean it with a solution of 10% vinegar and water.
Now we hope we have left you with no doubts about how to use a menstrual cup. Should you have more concerns, feel free to comment below or contact us via our contact us page.


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Artwork by Celine Leroy

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