Menstrual Cup 101: Benefits, How to Use, Clean, and Store

Table of Contents
What is a Menstrual Cup?
Benefits of Using a Menstrual Cup
How to Choose the Right Menstrual Cup
How to Use a Menstrual Cup
Cleaning and Maintenance
Common Concerns and Troubleshooting

In the realm of menstrual products, the menstrual cup has emerged as a game-changer. As an eco-friendly, cost-effective, and health-conscious alternative to traditional products, its popularity has surged in recent years. But what exactly are menstrual cups, and why is it garnering such attention?

Menstrual Cup - How to use

What is a Menstrual Cup?

A menstrual cup is a flexible, bell-shaped device made primarily of medical-grade silicone. Designed to be inserted into the vagina during menstruation, it collects menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it. While the concept of the menstrual cup dates back to the 1930s, modern designs and materials have made it more accessible and user-friendly.

Benefits of Using a Menstrual Cup

a. Environmental:

Every year, billions of disposable menstrual products end up in landfills. Menstrual cups, with their reusable nature, drastically reduce this waste, offering an eco-friendly alternative.

b. Economical:

While the initial cost of a menstrual cup might be higher than a pack of tampons or pads, its longevity (up to 10 years with proper care) results in significant long-term savings.

c. Health & Hygiene:

Menstrual cups pose a lower risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) compared to tampons. Additionally, being free from chemicals, fragrances, and bleaches, they maintain the vagina's natural pH balance.

d. Convenience:

With the capacity to hold more fluid than tampons or pads, menstrual cups require fewer changes, making them ideal for long days and active lifestyles.


How to Choose the Right Menstrual Cup

Selecting the right cup is crucial for comfort and functionality. Factors like age, flow intensity, cervical position, and activity level play a role. For instance, the Nyla Selene Menstrual Cup and Nyla Hera Menstrual Cup both offer different designs and are suitable for different ages and preferences, with each offering different size options to give you as many options as possible.

To find out more about which cup is right for you, check out our Nyla Selene Cup Size Guide as well as the Nyla Hera Cup Size Guide, to give you a better idea as to which one will suit you best. Alternatively, take our Nyla Cup Quiz and we'll help match you with the best cup for you!

How to Use a Menstrual Cup

a. How to Insert a Menstrual Cup:

Step 1: Preparation

      1. Wash your hands: Before handling the cup, ensure your hands are clean to prevent introducing any bacteria.
      2. Inspect the cup: Check for any damage or wear. If the cup appears compromised, it's time to replace it.
      3. Wet or lubricate (if needed): If you're finding the cup difficult to insert, you can wet it with water or use a water-based lubricant to ease the process.

Step 2: Find a Comfortable Position

      1. Some women prefer standing with one leg elevated, others find squatting or sitting on the toilet most comfortable. Experiment to find what's best for you.

Step 3: Fold the Cup

      1. C-fold or U-fold: Hold the cup with both hands and press the sides together, then fold it in half so that it forms a "C" or "U" shape.
      2. Punch-down fold: Use one finger to push the rim of the cup down towards the base, creating a narrow insertion point.
      3. There are other folds too, like the "7-fold" or "triangle fold." Experiment to find the one that's easiest for you.

Step 4: Insert the Cup

      1. With the fold pointing upwards, guide the cup into the vagina. It should be positioned lower than a tampon but still high enough that you can't feel it.

Step 5: Ensure Proper Placement

    1. Once the cup is inside, it should pop open. You can check by running a finger around the base to ensure it's round or oval and not folded in on itself.
    2. Rotate the cup to ensure it's fully open and has formed a seal. This will prevent leaks.

b. How To Remove a Menstrual Cup:

Step 1: Wash Your Hands

      1. Always start by cleaning your hands to ensure hygiene.

Step 2: Find a Comfortable Position

      1. Just like with insertion, find a position that allows you easiest access, whether that's squatting, sitting, or standing.

Step 3: Relax Your Muscles

        1. Tension can make removal more challenging. Take a few deep breaths and relax your pelvic muscles. If you’re struggling you could try bearing down gently with your pelvic floor muscles, as this will help to lower the position of the cup, making it more accessible.

Step 4: Break the Seal

        1. Pinch the base of the cup using your thumb and forefinger. This action will break the seal the cup has formed with the vaginal walls.

Step 5: Gently Remove the Cup

        1. While maintaining the pinch, slowly wiggle the cup from side to side as you pull it out. Ensure you're pulling from the base and not the stem to prevent spillage.

Step 6: Empty and Rinse

      1. Empty the contents into the toilet, rinse the cup with cold water first (to prevent staining), then with warm water. If you're in a public restroom and can't rinse immediately, you can wipe it with toilet paper or a dedicated wipe and reinsert. Ensure you rinse it thoroughly at the next opportunity.

Cleaning and Maintenance

a. During Your Cycle:

Rinse the cup with cold water first to prevent staining, then wash with warm water and a mild, unscented soap. Ensure the air holes and rim are clean.

b. After Your Cycle:

Boil the cup in water for 5-10 minutes for sterilisation. Once cooled and dried, store it in a breathable pouch or container, away from direct sunlight.

Common Concerns and Troubleshooting

a. Leaks:

If your cup leaks, it might not be positioned correctly or might not have formed a proper seal. Ensure it's fully open and try rotating it to position it better.

b. Difficulty in Insertion or Removal:

Relaxation is key. If you're struggling, change your position or try a different fold. Lubrication can also assist in insertion.

c. Discomfort:

If the cup causes discomfort, it might be too large, or the stem might be too long. Ensure you have the right size, and if necessary, trim the stem (following manufacturer guidelines).

Transitioning to a Menstrual Cup

Switching to a menstrual cup can be daunting. It's essential to be patient and allow yourself time to adjust. Remember, every body is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another. Reading testimonials or watching tutorials can provide additional insights and tips.

The menstrual cup represents more than just a menstrual product; it's a movement towards sustainability, health-conscious choices, and economic savvy. As with any change, there's a learning curve, but the myriad benefits make it a worthy consideration.