How The Heck Do I Get THAT 'Up There'? : How To Use A Menstrual Cup
It’s been just shy of two years since I began using a menstrual cup. Now when someone uses the word ‘tampon’ or ‘pad’ I go 'UGH NEVER AGAIN’.
The menstrual cup is by far the most life changing eco-product I’ve ever come across. What started as a mission to reduce my waste, actually turned into a life changing habit.
I’ve been slowly, but surely, winning over my three ‘F’s’ (friends/followers/family) and convincing them to make the switch. But I’m always hearing the hilarious words I also asked over 2 years ago:
How the heck to I get THAT up THERE?!
This is one of the biggest barriers for women sitting on the ‘menstrual-cup-fence’.
“So that huge circle of plastic has to go up my hoo-ha and sit inside me all day? No way ho-zay will that get up there. Nope. Not for me.”
After I continue talking about how to insert it, I get the:
“BUT WHAT IF IT GET’S STUCK!?”
Dude. It doesn’t get stuck. Why would I be recommending something to you if I knew it would get stuck up your fanny?
If you won’t take my word for it, and need a little more visual advice (not of the real thing of course, gosh), here’s a quick guide to getting THAT up THERE:
This is a MyCup menstrual cup:
DISCLAIMER: This is a large size. My normal cup was in use when I took these photos. I have the multipack, so after I have children, I’ll use this larger cup. They’re basically the same, just slightly different sizes as the cervix position/size changes after childbirth.
You’ll see it has measuring lines on the side, to keep track of your flow. You can’t see super well in this pic, but it also has leafy lines at the base of the cup, which make it easier for griping on insertion and removal. The part I’m holding onto, is the stem which enables easy manoeuvring.
The idea of a menstrual cup: fold it, push it, twist it, pop it. The cup then sits in your vagina for up to 8 hours. Remove it, wash it, and repeat the process.
This is my favourite fold. Some people call it the ‘punch down’ or ‘push down’. The idea is to punch the side of the cup into itself. Place a finger on the top rim, and push it down into the cup. Immediately, the circumference of the ring is smaller. This makes the cup more streamlined. The punch down technique is so much easier to pop open when inside your vagina.
The c-fold is also popular. Simply fold the cup in half before inserting. I don’t use this fold as it’s harder to pop open when inside the vagina, but it may work for you!
Read more about the different folds here. I courage you to play around with folds when you don’t have your period, so you’re confident in folding and insertion. Play with the cup when watching TV, YouTube different folds and techniques, run it under hot and cold water. Really get a sense of how your cup works. Then, when your period arrives, trial a few to decide what works for your body.
Now you’ve folded your cup, it’s time to insert.
Relax, take a breath, and insert your cup either sitting on the toilet, or standing. Push your cup into your vagina with your index finger, not placing it too high (it should sit lower than a tampon), but not too low otherwise the stem will poke out. Feel around the base of the cup to ensure it has popped open correctly. If it hasn’t, relax, and try again.
Do a little cup jiggle/dance before you leave the bathroom to make sure its in properly ;)
If a cup is inserted properly, you won’t be able to feel a thing.
Time to remove your cup? Get into a comfortable position, relax, and locate the stem. Grab the base of the cup (where the pretty leaf marks are!) and gently wiggle it out of your vagina, keeping it upright to avoid spills. NEVER (please) EVER pull it out by grabbing the stem.
For everything else you need to know about your cup, check out MyCup’s information page. You can also make use of their menstrual cup support service by calling 0800 692 876 (Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am and 2:30pm) with any cup questions or issues.