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How To Use A Menstrual Cup

Updated: Mar 25

A downloadable version of the following information can be found here:

How To Use A Menstrual Cup Downloadable
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Before You Start

  1. Menstrual cups can be worn by girls and women of all ages during menstruation. Women using IUDs can wear menstrual cups but they should consult their doctor first.

  2. Choose the correct size. Menstrual cups come in at least 2 different sizes. Older women and women who have been pregnant usually need the larger cup. (Please note that height and weight can be factors when selecting your cup size but they are less important than age and pregnancy.)

  3. Every woman is different – we all have different anatomies and menstrual cycles and our bodies change as we age. Stress, diet and exercise all play a part in how we feel from month-to-month.

  4. It can take a few months to get used to a menstrual cup. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. It is normal for the insertion process (and the removal process) to feel strange at first.

  5. We recommend that you use a pad or reusable period underwear for the first couple of months, until you are confident that your menstrual cup fits correctly and there won’t be any leaks. This will also help you gauge how often you need to change your menstrual cup.

  6. Most women can leave their cup for 12 hours without any leaks. However, if you have a heavy flow you may need to check it sooner.

  7. Menstrual cups are comfortable, you should not be able to feel it if it has been inserted correctly.

  8. You can sleep, swim and play sports while wearing a menstrual cup.

  9. Like a tampon there is no need to remove the cup before urinating or before you have a bowel movement.

  10. The stem is there to help you remove the menstrual cup (see removal section). If you don’t need to use the stem you may trim it but don’t cut it until you know you can remove the cup without using it.

  11. Menstrual cups MUST be removed after 12 hours. Like a tampon, don’t leave it in between periods. Leaving cups or tampons in your vagina for too long can lead to Toxic Shock Syndrome which can be fatal.

  12. NEVER share your menstrual cup with another woman. See the section on cleaning your menstrual cup for tips on how to use a cup safely.

  13. Menstrual cups should only be used during menstruation. They do NOT provide protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.



Cleaning A Menstrual Cup & Some Hygiene Points

  1. Before you use the cup for the first time, clean it with soap and warm water. If you wish to sterilize it, soak it in boiling water for a few minutes.

  2. If you are emptying your cup, rinse with clean water before re-inserting. If you do not have access to a faucet while in the bathroom then fill a clean container with clean water and emerge the cup into the container to clean it.

  3. Empty your cup into the toilet to dispose of the menstrual blood and debris.

  4. Wash your hands EVERY TIME before AND after inserting and removing the cup.

  5. At the end of your period, wash your cup in soap and warm water. DO NOT place it in an air tight container. If there is any bacteria on the cup it will multiply and may damage the cup. Instead place it in the small cloth bag and store it away until your next period.


Inserting A Menstrual Cup

  1. Try to relax when inserting (and removing) your menstrual cup.

  2. Urinate (pee) before inserting the cup as this will help to prevent urinary tract infections.

  3. Wash your hands (and genital area if you can)

  4. Find a comfortable position for inserting the cup:

    1. Stand with one leg raised on the toilet seat

    2. Sit on the edge of the toilet seat with legs apart.

    3. Squat

  5. If you are in a full bathroom, you may wish to stand or squat in the shower so any menstrual blood can be easily washed or wiped clean.

  6. You may lubricate the rim of the cup with KY jelly or coconut oil.

  7. Fold the cup. There are three (3) ways to fold your cup.

  8. Insert the cup very slowly. It will open up once inside.

  9. Don’t worry if the cup disappears. If you squat and bear down (as if you are having a bowel movement) you will be able to reach the stem of the cup (see removal instructions).


Removing A Menstrual Cup

  1. After 12 hours (or sooner if you have a heavy flow), prepare to remove your menstrual cup.

  2. Find somewhere you can relax – a bathroom with a toilet or some women prefer to remove their cup in the shower.

  3. If you will not have access to a faucet when removing your cup, then fill your clean container with water and take it into the bathroom with you (before you remove the cup).

  4. Wash your hands (and genitals if you can).

  5. Bear down (as if you are having a bowel movement).

  6. Find a position (as for insertion this may be squatting, one leg on the toilet seat or sitting on the edge of the toilet with legs apart).

  7. Insert your thumb and first finger into the vagina until you can feel the sides of the menstrual cup. Use the stem of the cup to guide you.

  8. IMPORTANT. DO NOT SIMPLY PULL AT THE STEM. The cup has formed a seal around your cervix and you need to break this seal before you can remove the cup. You can cause damage if you try to remove it without breaking the seal, especially if you are wearing a coil.

  9. To break the seal, gently squeeze with your finger and thumb until you feel the cup release.

  10. Slowly guide the cup out of your vagina, attempting to keep it upright so the contents do not spill out of the cup.

  11. Empty the contents into the toilet. There may be blood clots and other period debris (more than simply blood). This is normal.

  12. If you are re-inserting the cup, rinse it in clean water (either under the faucet or in your container) before re-inserting it.

  13. If you are not re-inserting the cup immediately, clean it with warm water and soap and allow to dry. Store it in the bag provided.


We hope this was helpful!


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The Flow World

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