A menstrual cup is very easy to use, both to insert and remove it. But to be ready on the big day, I still advise you to do some tests beforehand.
And to understand everything, here are 10 detailed points to become familiar with this periodic protection ! Enjoy
First of all, read the instructions for use carefully… well, but if you are here, you should normally find all the information you need without having to delve more deeply than the on the package insert!
The article is composed of several parts, click on the desired part to quickly access it:
- Sterilization / disinfection and cleaning
- How to put on a menstrual cup?
- How long to wear your cup? And how to maintain it?
- Folding the cup : 2 easy folds
- Help with choosing the cup : several tested and approved cups
How to sterilize the menstrual cup? And how to clean it?
Start by sterilizing – or disinfecting to be completely correct – the cup before the very first use. To do this, you can use several methods:
- The simplest: boil it for a few minutes in water;
- You can use the sterilization box that some manufacturers sell with their menstrual cup
- Cold sterilize it using tablets;
- Or – if you are equipped – sterilize it in the microwave with a bottle nipple sterilizer.
At the end of your cycle, this step will not necessarily be necessary: a good cleaning with clear water is sufficient in my opinion between each cycle (because I assume that everything that goes into my vagina is not necessarily sterilized. first ).
Moreover, we will talk more about disinfection than sterilization. We will talk more about sterilization in the environment of an operating field, for example
Clean the cup preferably with a neutral olive oil soap – such as Marseille soap or Aleppo soap – rather than with perfumed creams that irritate the skin and the vagina.
See also 3 different methods of sterilizing / disinfecting a menstrual cup .
How to put on a menstrual cup?
It is advisable to calmly prepare to use the cup if it is your very first time (some preliminary remarks for young virgins to read ).
Ideally, do a test a few days before your period, in a quiet place where you can feel comfortable.
Relax and don’t get discouraged even if you fail on the first try !
And for those who are wondering because they have a retroverted uterus , know that there is no problem using a cup.
1- Integration: what position to take?
Find the position that suits you best:
- on the toilet,
- in the bathtub or shower
- lying on the bed with a towel under the buttocks,
- squatting, one leg raised… it’s up to you!
It doesn’t matter, but you need to feel comfortable . You can also use a small mirror if you find it useful.
Personally, I prefer to “feel” with my fingers rather than seeing, and I will mainly sit on the toilet or squat in the shower.
To insert the cup, part your lips and gently insert the previously folded cup on the funnel side (see folding techniques ).
Once you have found the opening of your vagina, insert the cup and you can rotate it a few times until you feel a certain comfort … Once inserted, release it slowly so that it unfolds.
Check by sliding a finger all around the cup that it is fully open.
2- Use a lubricant with my cup?
Already, you should know that the rules themselves are a very good lubricant.
Now, a little advice, especially for the first few uses, do not hesitate to lubricate your vagina with a little water in order to facilitate the introduction of the cup.
Generally, passing the cup under water will suffice, but if necessary, you can also use an intimate water-based lubricant (available in pharmacies or on online cup sales sites). This is what most cup manufacturers recommend.
Finally, we could possibly think of using oils – such as coconut oil for example – but sparingly: the silicone could be modified by this fatty product and become more porous.
For information, we will not use oil at the same time as the wearing of condom because the latex would be damaged.
So, really in very light touch with the cup, to facilitate the sliding, not to make it bathe in it
3- Positioning of the cup
The menstrual cup is generally placed much lower than a tampon , limited to entering the vagina for some.
She can then move a little bit to spontaneously position herself in the best place according to your anatomy.
However, this can be quite variable depending on each one, and some quickly find that the cup will go to position itself very high.
All this actually depends on the height of the collar:
- women with a medium to low neck will not see their cup go up much,
- for those with a high neck, the menstrual cup will have a tendency to go up a lot
So don’t panic: this is all perfectly normal !
To avoid leaks , make sure your cup is under (or around) the cervix.
To identify the cervix by touch, it will look like a “tip of the nose” at the top of your vagina… and it can move according to the phases of the menstrual cycle.
4- To help the deployment of the cup
For those who do not manage to deploy their cup, my advice: put it just at the entrance of the vagina, and make it deploy by sliding your fingers up to the bead to let in air if necessary.
Then “screw it” to reassemble it if necessary in a comfortable place.
Putting on and taking off will come more and more naturally the more you use it (if not already the 1st time).
Don’t worry about it!
And if you need more information or just to reassure yourself, do not hesitate to read the following article: “ Help! My cup does not deploy “
5- The removal of the cup
The menstrual cup produces a kind of “suction cup effect” when properly placed (for information, this suction cup effect only exists on insertion and removal).
You should therefore not pull directly on the rod to remove it, at the risk of feeling some discomfort – or even hurting yourself a little for some (personally, this has never happened to me).
Don’t panic, it will NEVER look like the inconvenience caused by removing an almost dry tampon ^^
First of all, relax as much as possible by breathing deeply: there is no point in tensing up, it will not help
The best solution is to squat down and start by pushing with your pelvic muscles (perineum, abs… like when you have a clear bowel movement).
Gradually, the cup will come down close to the vulva and you can grab it.
Then you have to “take off” the cup. There are roughly 3 ways to do this:
- either by pinching the bottom of the cup to “send air” and cancel the suction effect,
- either by gently pulling the rod from one side then the other , so as to send a little air and to take it off easily,
- or by inserting a finger up to the rim / bead of the cup to allow air to enter.
And from there, extracting it is child’s play: it is no longer “sucked” and goes down very easily.
Besides, this part which seems to worry more than one has never given me a problem.
So I repeat once again because apparently, some “nag” anyway: DO NOT PULL DIRECTLY on your cup to remove it , first start by “taking it off” by letting air in.
How long to wear your cup? And how to maintain it?
When you collect the menstrual cup, hold it straight and empty the blood (in the toilet for example). Depending on the abundance of periods, it is advisable to empty it 3 times a day .
But at most, it must be emptied
every 12 hoursevery 8h * .
* Following the various controversies surrounding the wearing time of a cup, the manufacturers, after announcing that the wearing of the cup was limited to 12 hours, revisited this period.
Claripharm, following a study carried out by a laboratory approved by the French Ministry of Research, arrived at a limited wearing time of 6 hours.
However the tests were carried out in “Worst Case”, that is to say from a slightly dirty cut, which – at least I hope for all of you – is not the case.
In short, it remains a precautionary measure, do not forget it.
For my part, limiting the wearing of the menstrual cup to 8 hours seems quite reasonable to me .
Before reinserting the cup, it is obviously advisable to rinse it well with clean water by rubbing it with your fingers.
At the end of your period, before putting it away for use the following month, you can disinfect it, but this is not an obligation: a good cleaning is more than enough in my opinion (purists advise to disinfect it before each reintroduction in the vagina).
You are now ready to start the cycle again!
If necessary, do not hesitate to consult this article which summarizes everything you need to know about cleaning and maintaining a menstrual cup .
Different folds of the cup: 2 easy techniques
There are different folding techniques. Feel free to try a few to determine which one is right for you.
Personally, I find 2 relatively easy:
- 1st method: crush the cup on itself and fold it in half
- 2nd method: you press with a finger on one side of the funnel, it forms a tulip
Whatever technique you choose, the cup will then unfold inside your vagina .
In any case, I advise you to train a little in advance… and in peace!
To help you, you can also look at the article presenting the 9 different techniques of folding a cup .
Help with choosing a cup: how to choose / several tested and approved cups
Now that you have fully understood how this hygienic protection works, are you unsure of the model and / or the brand?
Don’t panic, here is an article that explains the questions to ask yourself, and offers you the Easycup form to choose the right brand according to a few well-targeted questions: How to choose the right cup?