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How to use a menstrual cup

Young Women
 Menstrual cups can be very convenient when used the right way (Photo:Courtesy)

That time of the month can be a very uncomfortable season for lots of women. Some are battling painful cramps, mood changes and the last thing you want to deal with is the added discomfort of a leakage.

The two main solutions that ensure you stay comfortable all day are pads and tampons. Although they have come in handy, there are still some gaps especially when we talk about affordability.

A new invention that has changed everything is the menstrual cup. So far, they’re getting some great reviews and people are even choosing to ditch the pads and tampons for good.

Although they might be able to do a better job than other products we have available, they’re still not widely used. Part of the reason is, people aren’t sure of how to use them.

The key to having a comfortable, leak-proof experience is to learn how to use it the right way. Here is how you can do that with these easy to follow steps:

Ensure everything is clean

Hygiene is a top priority especially when you’re using tampons and menstrual cups. There is a higher risk of contamination and you should never skip this step.

Therefore, wash your hands and don’t forget to reach under your fingernails and wash your cup with soap and water too.

You should also sterilize the cup before first use by boiling it for about five minutes. Make sure you don’t boil it for too long though, it might damage the cup.

 First find a position that works for you whether sitting, squatting or standing before inserting your cup (Photo: Courtesy)
Insert the right way

Now here is the tricky part that many people are curious about.

First, find a comfortable position that works for you whether it is sitting, squatting or standing.

Next, hold the cup into the fold that will help you insert it better. You can fold it into a C-shape fold where you flatten and fold your cup into half or a 7-fold where you flatten the mouth of the cup.

Then push one edge down diagonally to form a seven or the punch-down fold where you place your finger on the rim then push it to the inner base of the cup and fold.

You need to experiment with different methods to find which one works for you. When you’re done, relax and gently insert the cup.

Adjust it

Once you have inserted the cup fully, the next step is to check if it’s secure. You will know it’s in the right position when there are no folds.

Run your index finger around the cup and if there are any folds, gently adjust at the base so it can fully pop open on its own. Slightly tug at the stem and if you feel that it’s secure, you’re good to go.

 After use, sterilise your cup and store properly in its bag (Photo: Courtesy)
Remove gently when full

A cup can be worn up to eight hours. When you want to remove it, wash your hands properly with gentle soap and water.

Once you’re ready, find a comfortable position again and feel for the stem of the cup. You can use your abdominal muscles to push it down if it’s too far up.

Once you feel the stem, don’t pull quickly. You can pull it slightly then locate the base of the cup. Once you do, press the base and gently pull the cup out.

Clean and store

Pour the flow into the toilet and clean the cup with mild soap and water. If you’re not using it anytime soon, sterilise it and store properly in its bag.

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