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Everything You Need to Know About Using Menstrual Cups

Menstruation has long been a point of discussion among women. While the world knows sanitary napkins and tampons, menstrual cups are still a mystery to many. If you are struggling with tampons or sanitary pads every month, suffering from unnecessary rashes, or want to try using the menstrual cup for various reasons, this blog is for you.

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What is a Menstrual Cup?

A menstrual cup is a hygiene device for women to use during menstruation. It is small, flexible, soft and made from medical-grade silicon. It is reusable and safe to use regularly. The menstrual cup has existed for many years but has gained popularity only in the last decade. Owing to its convenience and being an eco-friendly alternative to traditional sanitary pads and tampons, many women are switching to menstrual cups.

Period Cup – How to Use?

Unlike the sanitary pads or tampons that absorb the blood during menstruation, a menstrual cup will collect it. You have to insert the menstrual cup into your vagina and take it out for emptying. You can empty it every 8 - 12 hours and reinsert it after a quick rinse. It is not advisable to leave it in beyond the 12 hr mark. For women with heavier flow, you have to empty it more frequently. The frequency can vary from woman to woman, depending on her flow.

When you remove the cup, be careful and pull it out gently. Remember, the cup might be full, and the blood will spill if you pull it quickly.

Do not drop it into the toilet when pouring blood or washing the cup. If you drop the cup on the counter or the floor, clean it thoroughly and sanitise it with hot water before using it again. If you drop the cup into the toilet, reusing it is not a good idea. Toilets breed with germs, and you don't want them reaching your vagina.

How to Choose a Menstrual Cup?

Today, different brands and models are available in the market. It can be quite confusing to choose. You cannot really discuss the pros and cons with the salesperson at the store. So, here are some quick tips to help you choose the correct menstrual cup for you:


The first and foremost consideration is the size. Most brands offer two sizes. Some brands offer three sizes.

  • Teen Size – Only a few companies offer this size. This is the smallest of them all and is made to fit a teenager or a girl who needs a cup smaller than the small size. These cups are smaller around the rim, and the quantity they can hold is also lesser than the rest.
  • Small – Some companies call it small, and some call it medium. This is meant for a woman below 30 years of age or women who do not have biological children yet. It is also for women with light to medium flow.
  • Large – This is for women with biological children or above 30 years of age or those who have a heavy flow. These cups can hold more quantity and are larger around the rim


Next comes the shape of the menstrual cup. Yes, they come in different shapes too.

  • Bell Shape – This is one of the most common shapes you can find in multiple brands. The cup is shaped like a bell with a stem at the bottom.
  • V-Shape – The rim is wide, and the cup tapers into a V shape. It is longer than it is wide.
  • Round Shape – The widest part of this shape is just below the rim. The length is less than the width of the cup.
  • Asymmetrical – The cup has a slanted edge that can sit at a certain angle. The rim is not too wide, but the cup is long enough to hold more liquid.
  • Disc Shape – This is the latest in the market and is similar to the round shape. The cup is not too deep, so you don't feel it when inserted.

How to Insert a Menstrual Cup?

If you are still figuring out how to use a menstrual cup or feel you are not doing it correctly, follow these steps:

  • Step 1 – Wash your hands and your cup thoroughly.
  • Step 2 – Fold your menstrual cup in half near the rim.
  • Step 3 – Insert the folded cup slowly into your vaginal opening like you would a tampon while keeping a good hold on the fold.
  • Step 4 – Once the cup is inside, release the fold and slightly rotate it to release the fold. You will hear or feel a small pop of the fold opening up.
  • Step 5 – Check the cup by gently tugging it or rotating it. If it feels tight and secure, it has opened up and is secure in its place. If it feels loose or comes out easily, reinsert it.

There are different ways for beginners to fold a menstrual cup. You can try the 'C' or the 'S' fold. You can even punch down one edge of the cup, fold the rim into a diamond shape, and push it in. Experiment and find the correct fold for you.

How To Remove A Cup

When you want to remove the cup, gently press the lower part of the cup in the vagina to release the vacuum. Once you hear or feel the vacuum releasing, you will notice a reduction in the resistance. Now, pull it out gently without tipping, to avoid any spills. Ensure you do not remove the cup without releasing the vacuum as it can hurt you.

Advantages of Menstrual Cups

Using menstrual cups can be beneficial in the following ways:

  • You can say no to plastic-covered sanitary pads that give you rashes
  • It is environment friendly
  • You can use the same cup for many years
  • You don't have to carry any sanitary supplies in hand when going out
  • You don't have to empty your cup regularly (like regularly changing pads)
  • You can get into the water or even swim without a worry
  • It cannot get lost or stuck inside your body like a tampon

What are the Disadvantages of Menstrual Cups?

Menstrual cups do not have any clinical disadvantages or dangers to the user. Some women feel menstrual cups can be inconvenient in the following ways:

  • You may not know when the cup is full; sudden physical activity can cause leaks.
  • You will need a clean toilet and soap to wash your hands before cleaning your cup when outside.
  • Emptying the cup in the toilet can lead to blood pooling at the bottom of the closet, requiring you to flush multiple times.
  • If not placed properly, the edge of the cup can poke you when walking, running or even sitting.
  • Finding the correct size can be tricky as different brands offer different sizes and shapes.
  • Learning to insert the cup the correct way can take time.
  • Some women may feel uncomfortable touching their bodies or the blood when using the cup.
  • Some women experience discomfort or pain due to the cup’s suction effect on the cervix.
  • If you are not careful, you can drop the menstrual cup.

Who Should Use a Menstrual Cup?

Any woman of menstruating age can use a menstrual cup. Though teen sizes are available for young girls, many mothers may not be receptive to the idea due to the fear of the unknown.

Who Should Not Use a Menstrual Cup?

Menstrual cups may not be the best option in the following cases:

  • If you are allergic to silicone or latex, these cups can cause allergic reactions. Choose the material carefully.
  • If you just had a vaginal surgery (abortion, childbirth, etc.) or have an intrauterine device inserted into your vagina, you should not use a menstrual cup. It can dislocate the IUD or cause infections in the surgical site.
  • If you are suffering from vaginismus – a condition where inserting anything into the vagina can be painful as the muscles will tense up and not let anything pass through easily. Using a cup can be painful and very uncomfortable.

Also Read : Menstrual Problems: Types and Causes


A menstrual cup is an innovative device to help menstruating women. It aims to make menstruation more comfortable. If menstrual cups do not work well for you, there is no need to force yourself to use one. If you want to use one, you can always explore the market until you find the correct fit.


1. What do I need to know before using a menstrual cup?

You need to know how to clean and insert the cup properly. You need to read the instructions to know the various methods of inserting the cup and find the correct method.

2. What are the rules for menstrual cups?

There are no rules for using a menstrual cup. It is very simple and straightforward to use. You can consult a gynaecologist if you have any concerns or complications.

3. What are the dos and don'ts when using menstrual cups?

Always use a clean, sterilised menstrual cup with clean hands. Ensure you empty the cup every few hours and never forget it inside your body. If your body reacts to the cup, remove it immediately and switch to a traditional sanitary pad or tampon.

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