What is a menstrual cup?

A lady holding a menstrual cup

A menstrual cup is a soft, pliable silicone or rubber cup which is inserted into the vagina to collect period fluid. Cups come in various shapes, colours and sizes.

How to insert a menstrual cup

We always recommend that you follow the guidelines and advice given after purchase as each cup may be slightly different.

However, we can provide some general tips to get you started. Just follow these steps:

Wash your hands thoroughly.

Apply water or a water-based lubricant to the rim of the cup.

Tightly fold the menstrual cup in half, holding it in one hand with the rim facing up.

Insert the cup, rim up, into your vagina (similar to inserting a tampon without an applicator). It should sit a few inches below your cervix.

Once the cup is in your vagina, rotate it. It will spring open to create an airtight seal that stops leaks. If you’ve inserted the cup correctly, you shouldn’t feel your menstrual cup. You should also be able to move, jump, sit, stand, and do other everyday activities without your cup falling out.

While many get the knack of using the cups fairly quickly, it can take time, so patience is key. Remember, your reusable menstrual cup should last for years and years. Once you’ve got it, you won’t look back.

If you have trouble putting in your cup, speak with your doctor.

When to take your menstrual cup out

You can wear a menstrual cup for 6 to 12 hours, depending on whether or not you have a heavy flow. This means you can use a cup for overnight protection. To avoid leaks, our advice would be to always remove your menstrual cup by the 12 hour mark or before it becomes full.

How to take your menstrual cup out

To take out a menstrual cup, just follow these steps:

Wash your hands thoroughly.

Place your index finger and thumb into your vagina. Pull the stem of the cup gently until you can reach the base. Pinch the base to release the seal and pull down to remove the cup.

Once it’s out, empty the cup into the sink or toilet.

Cup aftercare.

Reusable menstrual cups need to be adequately washed or sanitised and cleaned before being reinserted into your vagina.

Be sure to follow the wash and care guidelines given.