How To Use a Menstrual Cup – a guide for beginners
Whether you’ve bought a menstrual cup or are considering one, the first question you likely have is how to use it.Switching to a menstrual cup can feel challenging to say the least. Fortunately, it’s easier than most people think, but like anything else, it’ll take some time to get used to.In just five simple steps, you can begin using your menstrual cup and enjoy a healthier way to period. So let’s get started!
Step 1- Find Your Cervix
In order to position your menstrual cup properly, you need to locate your cervix.Your cervix connects your vagina and uterus. It’s a small nub of tissue you’ll be able to feel a few inches in the vagina.Your cervix changes position during your cycle, so don’t worry if it’s not in the same spot the next time you look for it.
Every woman is different and while some women have naturally high cervixes, others will have lower cervixes.After washing your hands, simply insert your finger into your vagina.
Depending on the height of your cervix, you may or may not need to use your longest finger to locate it. If your cervix is higher, squatting can help you find it.Your cervix is small, approximately two to three centimeters, and feels firm yet squishy, much like the tip of your nose. Once you locate your cervix, you’ll know where your menstrual cup needs to go, as the cup needs to be positioned under the cervix—where your menstrual blood comes from—to catch your blood and not leak. See the reasons why a menstrual cup could leak.
Step 2: Prepare the Cup
Now it’s time to prepare your cup for insertion.It’s important that both your hands and your menstrual cup be clean before attempting to put the cup in your body.
Cleanliness helps prevent urinary tract infections and other bacterial infections that can happen as a result of unhygienic practices.You have a couple options for cleaning your cup.
First, you can use the sterilizing container that comes with elacup. You simply fill the container water to cover your menstrual cup, loosely cover with the lid, and place in the microwave for two to four minutes at medium power.Using the sterilizing container effectively cleans your cup and prepares it for insertion, no soap necessary! Remember to still wash your hands before handling the cup or attempting to insert it.If you’d prefer not to use the sterilizing container or don’t have a microwave, you can wash your menstrual cup by hand.To wash your cup, use any type of soap (although plant-based soaps with no harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances are preferable). Use enough soap to create a lather and thoroughly wash the entire cup, including the stem, inside, and outside. You can also wash your hands while doing this, therefore completing two steps in one.
Finally, rinse all traces of soap off the cup and your hands.
Now, you’re ready to use your menstrual cup!
Step 3: Folding
In order to comfortably and effectively insert the cup, you’ll need to fold it.There are different folds you can use depending on which one works best for your unique anatomy. Folding allows the cup to open properly once inside the body and creates the seal that holds it in place and prevents leaking for effective period protection.
Some of the most popular folds you can choose from are:
The C Fold. Fold your cup in half to make the shape of the letter “C”.
The 7 Fold. Push the cup closed and fold one side down to the opposite corner to create a rough shape of the number 7.
The Punch-Down Fold. Push the lip of the cup down into the cup then squeeze the top of the cup together.
There are other folds you can use; however, these are the easiest to start with. Once you’ve folded your cup, you’re ready to insert!
Know more about folds.
Step 4: Insertion
You’ve washed your hands. You’ve found your cervix. You’ve washed your cup and your hands again. You’ve folded your cup. Now, you’re actually going to insert your menstrual cup (finally!).
Get in a comfortable position—this position won’t be the same for everyone. You may choose to squat, sit, or stand. It’s really about what you feel is easiest.Push the folded menstrual cup into your vagina past your pubic bone and back towards your rectum.
The cup should be fully inside your vagina; the stem should not be sticking out. If the stem is sticking out, the cup is either not in far enough or you may need a smaller-sized cup.Release the fold—you may hear the cup “pop” open inside you. You may need to tug on the cup, rotate the cup, or otherwise reposition it to be sure it’s sitting under the cervix and securely in place.If the cup is open and positioned correctly inside you, you shouldn’t feel anything—it shouldn’t be uncomfortable or painful in any way. If it is, remove and try again.
Step 5: Removal
You’ll need to remove and empty your menstrual cup when it gets full or up to 5-6 hours. Depending on how heavy your flow is, your cup may need to be emptied before the 12-hour mark.
Before removing your cup, be sure to wash your hands first. Then, get into a squatting position—many women find the squatting position easiest for removal as well as insertion and locating their cervix.
Next, insert your fingers into your vagina to locate the cup’s stem. While some women will be able to remove the cup by stem alone, others will need to grip the base of the actual cup.
You may need to pull down on the stem first and then grab the base of the cup with your fingers, pinching to break the seal and carefully removing the cup completely from the vagina.
Now you can empty your cup, clean, and re-insert. It’s that easy!
Congratulations! You’re now on your way to having a healthier body and a better period. Be patient while following the above five steps and don’t give up if you’re having trouble. We’re here to support you throughout this journey. Soon, using the cup will feel easy and natural—and you’ll be so happy you finally got it!