When you’re looking to buy your first menstrual cup (or maybe you’ve already made a purchase!) It can be difficult knowing where to start.
We’re big fans of these sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives to more traditional toiletries like pads and tampons, but we understand that making the switch can be a bit overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve put together this handy guide on how to choose, insert, remove, and clean your menstrual cup – plus everything else you might want to know!
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a small, flexible, bell-shaped product that can be conveniently inserted into the vagina to “catch” your flow during your period. Menstrual cups are washable and reusable, which means they can be used every month over and over again. Their reusability makes them an inexpensive and environmentally friendly alternative to disposable care products such as pads and tampons!
How to choose a menstrual cup
When choosing the right menstrual cup for you, you need to think about your body and your flow. In general, the most important determining factors are your age and whether or not you gave birth vaginally. It is also worth considering whether or not you have a high or low cervix / long or short vaginal canal as it can help you choose the most comfortable menstrual cup for your body – Juju, one of our favorite brands, has a great guide online for Determine your cervical position and make sure you choose the best menstrual cup model for you.
How to insert a menstrual cup
You will receive detailed instructions on how to comfortably insert your menstrual cup with the cup itself. However, inserting the cup is surprisingly easy. First, wash your hands thoroughly (some people find it easiest to use their mug in the shower!). Next, flatten your cup, then fold it into a C shape and keep it closed in that shape. Find a comfortable position (this can be sitting, squatting, or standing with your legs raised) and insert the cup up into your vagina, tilting the cup towards the base of your spine. Check to see if the cup has opened as this will create a “seal” to prevent leakage, then wash your hands. Done!
Other frequently asked questions about the menstrual cup
All you need is one menstrual cup, and that cup needs to be emptied and cleaned two to four times a day depending on the flow (this varies from person to person and depends on the day of your period). You cannot wear a menstrual cup for more than 12 hours straight, which means you can safely wear it overnight. We recommend emptying and cleaning them immediately before going to bed and immediately after waking up. It is perfectly safe to use your menstrual cup while exercising. However, the cup should not be worn during penetrative sex.
How to remove and empty your menstrual cup
To remove your menstrual cup, get into a comfortable position and try to relax. A tense body makes it difficult to remove your mug. So remember to breathe! Loosen the suction seal by pinching the bottom of the cup for a few seconds. Gently rock the cup out of your vagina and work slowly but steadily to avoid spilling (we recommend removing the cup in the shower so you are less stressed!). Take the cup out at a slight angle and empty it before rinsing it with soap and warm water.
How to clean and disinfect your menstrual cup
After your cycle is over, it’s time to sanitize your menstrual cup more thoroughly than above. To do this, we recommend placing the cup in boiling water for about 3 to 5 minutes or purchasing a disinfectant specific to the menstrual cup.
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