Menstrual Cup FAQ

Our menstrual cup FAQ is designed to help answer some of the most common… and obscure (but important and valid!) questions that we hear. Learning to use a menstrual cup can be exciting but also overwhelming; we hope that you find this resource helpful in your journey.

Stated simply, a menstrual cup is a reusable tampon alternative worn inside the vagina that collects flow rather than absorbing it. Cups come in all sizes and shapes to fit the wearer best and are most often made from medical grade silicone (but not always.) They are a safer, healthier, and more comfortable way to manage your period.

YES! Luckily there are all sizes, shapes, and styles of cup. We believe everyone can succeed with a cup as long as they find the right one (with VERY few exceptions). 

Not at all! Even when removing the cup you should have little to no blood on your hands- remove while over the toilet or in the shower.

When you have a cup that fits your needs (that’s where our quiz comes in) it should be entirely undetectable (or at least very close!) If you do notice the cup, it is most commonly that the cup is not inserted properly (remove and try again) or the stem that you are feeling (which can be easily trimmed or removed). If neither of these things helps, you may have a cup that will work (catch your flow) but isn’t the best for your shape. If it doesn’t bother you, you can keep on using it. If it does, we recommend trying another cup that is softer than your current cup (we also have a firmness chart).

No. At the end of your vaginal canal is the cervix (the opening to the uterus) and it won’t allow anything past it… except sperm. 

If your cup is “lost” and you can’t reach it, again, remember it’s not going anywhere. Use your muscles to work the cup down low enough to reach by bearing down, the same strain you use to poop. Once you can reach it pinch the base to break the seal and remove. 

No. The cup has no where to go but “out” and can’t possibly remain inside you or travel farther than the cervix. If you go to remove your cup and it feels stuck the first thing is to remain calm. Panic only worsens removal due to tense vaginal muscles. Be sure you are pinching the base of the cup to break the suction the cup likely has then pull out.

No. As mentioned before, the cervix is an exit only. Your flow cannot go back inside the uterus or other areas of the body.

No. Blood typically only has an odor when it comes into contact with oxygen. That said, if you wear your cup for longer than 12 hours you may notice it has a scent once removed.

The general guideline is as follows: Size 1 (or A, Small, etc per brand) for those who are under 30 years old and who have not given birth. Size 2 (or B, Large, etc) for those over 30 years old or who have given birth either vaginally or by Cesarean. 

These guidelines are helpful but it’s important to note that you know your body best. Things such as your activity level may mean a smaller diameter size 1 cup fits you better, even if you land in the “Size 2” area. For this reason we suggest taking our quiz for further guidance. 

We do believe that knowing your cervical height is the most important aspect of picking a cup (one based on length) since the vagina can stretch but cannot create more length.

Yes. Cups come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Be sure to check out our menstrual comparison chart (which is sortable by both diameter and length) for help choosing a cup that will work for you.

YES! If it weren’t possible we would not be cup users. Both of us actually chop all stems – no questions. For us, and for many, the stem can be annoying and isn’t required for removal.

That said, be sure that you can reach the cup before the big chop. If you have a high cervix (if when placing a finger fully in, you cannot feel anything but the walls of your vagina) removing the stem will make the cup difficult to reach if the body of the cup is not long enough on its own. Also consider grip rings — if you have a higher cervix and no grip rings, that can also be an issue.

When inserted properly, you should be able to feel around the cup and notice no pronounced puckering. The cup can form to your shape a bit, so not being perfectly round is okay. The cup should be comfortable and not protruding from the vagina. If the stem protrudes, it can be trimmed. If the bottom of the cup protrudes, the cup needs to be placed higher, or is too long for you.

No. Most users wear no back up at all (that’s part of what makes them so amazing and convenient) however, we do recommend wearing backup when you first start wearing a cup for peace of mind and extra protection while you are learning to use the cup.

Every 10-12 hours your cup must be removed and washed. This reflects the experience of someone with an average menstrual cycle (30-60ml total per cycle). If you have a heavier period you will want to remove the cup and empty the contents more frequently. Cups do hold 4-6x more than a single tampon or pad so you will still get to wear it for longer stretches.

It will make a sloshing noise. JUST kidding. Cups can be worn safely for up to 12 hours but we recommend checking it after 4 or so when you first start using a cup. Within a few cycles you’ll have a better understanding of your flow and how often you need to empty it.

Not usually. In some cases removing the cup causes discomfort or even some pain since it’s not folded the way it is on insertion. If this happens try removing the cup (while over a toilet or in the shower) at an angle. The opening of the cup should be diagonal as you remove versus straight up and down. This reduces the overall width at removal.

Fuck yes! Because the cup doesn’t absorb fluids, it is perfectly safe to put in if you think your period could show up. We might argue that this is one of the best things about a cup.

There is no right age to begin using a menstrual cup- it’s completely up to the user’s comfort.

“Breaking your hymen” or “popping your cherry” is a bit of a myth. The hymen is just a piece of skin that can stretch and also heal… so to speak. The hymen can be altered by regular activities and the usage of a cup is no different. See video below for more about the hymen myth.

Yes. As we answered in the question above about hymens you can wear a cup even if you haven’t yet had penetrative sex or even tried penetrative forms of masturbation. 

Uhhh… not really but also some people do. Helpful, right? The short answer is no. The cup is not designed to be worn during penetrative sex… however, the vagina is magical and can accommodate quite a lot when aroused.

Oh yes! In fact, we highly encourage it. External clitoral stimulation of all kinds work great (and orgasms relieve cramps we hear). You may find that some internal methods work as well but cups do occupy most of your real estate and were not designed to be worn during penetrative intercourse or toy play.

Play safely friends.

Yes! Cups do not inhibit any normal functions — with exception to sex (as seen above). If you find that your cup moves down from having a bowel movement, it can be nudged up to be back in place. Cups with a firmer base are great for this.

Yes! One of our founders is the proud owner of a retroverted (or tipped/tilted) uterus. So long as the cup can sit below the cervical opening to catch flow, you are all good.

Yes. Depending on how low your cervix is, you will want to choose a cup with a shorter length and possibly a wider diameter to accommodate a cervix that likes to dip into the cup. Our menstrual cup comparison chart is a great tool for this.

Yes. Not sure how this weird rumor got started, but we have heard that cups cannot be work with endometriosis because of menstrual backflow. That is a myth and we’re sad to know it exists because there is anecdotal evidence that cups may actually help relieve some symptoms (perhaps simply by not further irritating the area like other products do).

Most likely, yes, but it may require some patience (and well worth it). We have heard from users that a softer cup in small to medium size works best. Firmer cups may be painful and the muscles may cause them to pucker and leak. When inserting, a silicone safe lubricant will help. For removal, bearing down (like a bowel movement), pinch the base of the cup, and then gently pull down while rocking it back and forth.

It’s worth noting that users who were unable to wear tampons, due to discomfort, have reported being able to successfully use a cup.

Yes, however it is very important that you remain aware of your strings and pinch the base of the cup when removing to break the suction/seal. This should be done for all cup users but it’s especially important for those with an IUD.

Yes. When looking for your cup you may want to consider a cup with a higher capacity to accommodate larger clots.

We don’t know of any studies to support this, but we have heard from lots of happy cup users that their periods have either lightened or shortened in length.

We have heard from cup users that say they experience less painful or no cramps.  This would make sense because cups don’t introduce anything that would further irritate the area but we don’t know of any studies to prove this as fact.

Most likely, yes. Cups and tampons are both internal devices, but that’s where the similarities end. Tampons are rough, drying, and irritating – which can be painful when worn and removed. Cups are smooth, do not absorb vaginal moisture, and do not have irritants to leave behind. Many people have told us that they were unable to use tampons but comfortably wear a cup.

NO WAY! Due to internal tearing during labor and delivery any internal device is a risk for infection. Besides…. OUCH.

Absolutely! And because menstrual cups have no strings you can feel confident knowing that nothing is hanging out. Some people do report that water gets into their cups (likely due to the muscles used during their watery exercises pushing the cup enough for some to get in) but this won’t harm anything and can obviously be emptied easily.

We can’t speak from experience, but we have heard from several people who have either taken scuba lessons with their cup in or gone diving (both cases under high pressure) with no issues.

Yes! Running (and any exercise) is great while wearing a cup. If you are very active you may prefer a firmer cup, as these stay in place better against any muscle contractions made while exercising.

A select number of brands are available at pharmacies, grocery stores, and health food stores. Online you will find a wider variety of cups but it can be harder to know which brands are legitimate. If shopping online your best bet is to use our Compare and Shop Tool which also includes discount coupons for some brands.

Compared to the price of a box of tampons, we understand that there can be some sticker shock. Menstrual cups range in price from $15 – $40, making it possible to try a couple of cups for under $50 (if your first one isn’t a winner). Keep in mind your cup lasts several years, which will pay for itself multiple times over. Be sure to take our menstrual cup quiz to reduce your chances of having to buy more than one cup.

You only need one cup at a time. Simply remove, dump contents, wash, and replace.

Generally speaking one cup will work for an entire cycle. In some cases a person will opt to have two cups either because their cervical height changes drastically or their flow is extremely heavy at one point of their cycle.

Absolutely not! If so we wouldn’t exist. Every person’s needs are different and luckily the menstrual cup market has something that will work for just about everyone, which is where our resources come in!

Yes. Be sure that you are aware of the brand and ask the seller to boil the cup before sending (if they haven’t already stated it). Once you receive it, boil again and it’s good to go.

No. Both devices are worn internally and catch flow, but the shape and fit are entirely different. We suggest taking our quiz before purchasing a cup. This will help you narrow down your choices and minimize your financial investment.

No. Softcups and FLEX are menstrual discs. They fit very differently.

Very cheap menstrual cups do exist (Rebel Kate “free for shipping” or cups less than $5 on eBay) but these prices are too good to be true. Those cups are not using FDA cleared silicone and/or are often so flimsy and thin they don’t work as well as better quality brands. We know budgets are real but trust us, stick to reputable cups. Try our Shop and Compare tool.

We do not recommend this as most of these cups are not made with FDA cleared materials and may not be safe (even for short term use). These cups are often thinner and flimsy and therefore do not work as well as better made cups.

Most brands boast that their cups last 10+ years (which is true!) and others suggest you replace yearly. We suggest replacing your cup only when it shows signs of deterioration, like becoming chalky, cracked, or sticky. A stained cup does not need to be replaced simply due to discoloration.

We suggest replacing your cup only when it shows signs of deterioration, like becoming chalky, cracked, or sticky. A stained cup does not need to be replaced simply due to discoloration.

No. You may be familiar with the risk of TSS associated with tampons, which is due to their materials and the environment for bacteria that they can foster. These conditions are not created with cups. TSS is a risk if the bacteria (most commonly Streptococcus pyogenes (group A strep) or Staphylococcus aureus (staph)) can enter the bloodstream. There have been just two reported cases of TSS alongside (not caused by) the use of a cup when a woman scratched the inside of her vagina and the cup was not worn as directed. You can read a lot more about TSS and menstrual cups here.

No, and they may even help alleviate the risk. These conditions can be response to an upset in the vaginal environment. If you do get an infection, be sure to boil your cup to prevent reintroducing the infection.

Yes. Silicone is not a form of rubber or latex and is safe to use for those with a latex allergy. Avoid rubber and latex cups, like The Keeper.

Yes. Avoid silicone cups and opt for TPE brands (like MeLuna, Oi, or Hello) or natural rubber (like The Keeper).

Yes! Because the cup does not absorb or disrupt the vaginal environment it is safe to wear before your period starts — or when you’re having particularly heavy fluid days.

Cups can be safely worn for up to 12 hours. If you do forget and wear it longer, change it as soon as you remember. Cups do not create the toxic environment that tampons can but they still need to be changed as directed.

You may be interested to know that medical grade silicone refers to silicone and dye that has been tested to be safe for implantation in the human body for several weeks. Basically this means that they are thoroughly tested for safety at extreme lengths that you would never intentionally replicate.

This is up to you, but we would like to point out that cadmium levels can vary widely in the foods and beverages we consume daily. According to cadmium.org, “Leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach, and certain staples such as potatoes and grain foods, exhibit relatively high values from 30 to 150 ppb. Peanuts, soybeans and sunflower seeds also exhibit naturally high values of cadmium with seemingly no adverse health effects. Meat and fish normally contain lower cadmium contents, from 5 to 40 ppb.”

The levels reported by one helpful, but sometimes alarmist, website are between 11 ppm and 22 ppm, which are considered low and trace. Silicone is made from stones, where cadmium occurs naturally. If you’re interested in how silicone is made, this video https://youtu.be/YxiNp7oQtuA?t=34s goes into great depth on the subject.

No! The myth that we’ve most often heard is that there is some form of menstrual fluid back-flow caused my menstrual cups that leads to Endometriosis. The exact cause of endometriosis is not known and ‘retrograde menstruation’ is one theory, however it’s not possible for menstrual blood to flow back into the uterus from the menstrual cup. It’s perfectly safe to use a cup and avoiding the toxins in traditional products may actually help and be less aggravating for your whole pelvic region. All of this said, if you have any concerns at all, you should talk to your physician.

Soap and water, that’s it! You should be washing your cup at least once every 10-12 hours (if you empty the cup more often than this you can opt to simply replace the cup without washing but it’s up to you). Use hot water and a vagina friendly soap or look for washes specifically formulated for cups.

No. Boiling cups is not necessary for normal use as long you are properly washing your cup. If you’ve had any sort of infection then you would want to sanitize the cup before using it again.

To boil your cup we suggest placing it inside of a metal whisk and resting that in a boiling pot of water for 1-2 minutes. There is no reason you can’t use the same kitchen utensils you use for food.

Yes, if you would like to sanitize the cup without boiling you can looks for collapsible silicone menstrual cup sanitizers or use the microwavable breast pump part bags. Milton Sterilizing Tablets are also safe to use and affordable. Do not place your menstrual cup in the dishwasher.

Stains may be unsightly but are part of using a menstrual cup. If they bother you, a hydrogen peroxide soak (3% solution as sold in most pharmacies and grocery stores) overnight should remove all traces of any stains. Use a soft toothbrush to scrub any stubborn spots around suction holes and raised grips. Please note many brands recommend against this, but we feel it’s ok to do infrequently.

Not likely. Unless you have a forceful and very heavy flow it’s very unlikely that any blood will be dripping down in the small amount of time it takes to wash your cup. If you do find this is the case you can wear liners as backup and pull your underwear back up during your washing. Other ideas in this video below.

If you find yourself in a public stall without access to your own personal sink you can remove your cup, dump contents, and wipe the cup rim with toilet paper. Wash as usual when you are back home. There are also portable single use cup wipes available to keep in your purse if you choose. If you do have access to a sink in the public bathroom use only water and not the public soap since you won’t know what ingredients are in it that could potentially be too harsh.

No. Standard body scanners only scan through clothing and do not penetrate the body — so no cup or other internal device can be seen.

The consensus is that you should only wash your cup with potable (drinkable) water. If you have enough to spare use bottled water or if you have a way to boil the water, do this first. See this discussion for other ideas and advice.

If the cup is still usable but it’s just not working for you there are swap/for sale groups (PACII Cup Swap) where someone else may want it. If you’re disposing of your cup because it’s old and in need of replacing you can either burn the cup until it’s ashes (totally safe) or look for a place that will recycle it for you (Ruby Cup accepts cups for this purpose).

Most brands include a small cotton pouch to store the cup in. If you are choosing your own bag be sure it’s breathable for long term storage (PUL waterproof bags are ok for short stints in your purse).

No. You can buy and wear a cup at any age. Your body is your own and you get to decide what period protection you want. Hopefully your parents are supportive but if they aren’t just know we are here to help.

Yes. Even though neither Amanda or Kim are medical professionals they know more than most OB/GYN’s when it comes to menstrual cups. Together they have 15+ years cup experience. They have also collected information from others through years of in person and online classes, appearances, and discussion.

Take all of this advice under consideration but do weigh it against your own good sense. You can also look at other reputable websites (most brands have their own FAQ pages but these reflect their own biases and restrictions) and join menstrual cup groups. 

We hear this from time to time, and the answer is simply, no. Your vagina and all of the tissues in and around it are quite elastic. It’s been a long-held myth that sexual activity (among other things) will stretch you out and make your vagina “loose” — we are assuming that is at least part of where this question comes from. The reality is that all vaginas and vulvas are different. Some are more roomy and have more folds than others because it’s how they were made – not because of your choice of menstrual device.

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74 Comments

  • Are these cups compatible with keurig coffee machines? My boyfriend keeps calling my cup a k cup and that’s what keurigs use right?

    • I would love to try a menstrual cup, but I am having some issues with knowing the height of my cervix. I’ve watched many videos and have tested during my period, but i cant find a definite answer. To sum it up, my pointer is around 7cm long. When measuring, i found that could find my cervix well enough to identify the center indentation, but i had to insert my entire finger in and that the base of my finger, (the final knuckle. I could not insert farther as this is were my finger connected to my fist and allowed for no farther movment past trying to insert part of my palm/knuckle area), rested against the entrance of my vaginal canal. From the wording of the quiz here and in video descriptions, I can’t tell if this is high or regular height for a persons cervix. Please help.

  • I really want a menstrual cup to work for me but I’m struggling. I have the Diva Cup size2, have had a csection. It leaks every time I use it. It turns sideways, won’t stay put and I have to empty it every 2 hours. I was thinking of trying a disc but your video has me doubtful if it’ll be better. Took your quiz and it reccomends the cup I already have 🙁 help!

    • You might want to join our group on Facebook where there are lots of posts already about troublehooting a cup or you can post your own query. vag.life/cupnation. I’m sure others have experienced the cup sideways issue that can help.

  • My sister accidentally put my cup in the dishwasher and now the cup has changed color ,is it safe to still use ?It’s also a brand new cup so i really don’t wanna replace it ,what do you think?

  • THANK YOU for finally answering the one question left holding me back from getting one of these!: “Can I wash my cup without drinkable water when traveling abroad?”

  • Thanks for the info. I have a question which is answered in a roundabout way but I’d like a concise answer. Can you wear a cup for your whole period without breaks as long as you empty and wash it every 12 hours?

    Could’ve lived without the F-bomb. Also what does encouraging masturbation have to do with educating about menstrual cups?

    • I came here to see if I could masturbate with my cup so I’m glad they answered the way that they did. This is a safe space for women without judgement so…

  • Hi, thanks so much for such a reliable information – your site is exactly what I was looking for!
    I have just one note: are you sure that buying a used cup is 100% safe? I was thinking about it but my doctor said I shouldn’t do that even if the cup had been boiled a few times before I would have used it. The reason of that is that boiling process, sufficient in most cases, doesn’t kill some spore forming bacteria that could have been in the seller’s blood. The current sterilization standards are much more restrictive than boiling. That was a piece of sad information for me since I’m a big fan of all good deals and was hoping to make one with that cup but this explanation was convincing for me. We should really be very careful when it comes to things that have contact with another person’s blood.

    • Thanks for the info, Irena! It took a few tries for me to find the right cup, and I was thinking of selling the ones that didn’t work online. Based on your comment though, it sounds like that could be risky for the buyer, so maybe selling isn’t such a good idea. That’s really too bad, as I would hate for the cups to just collect dust in a drawer when someone could be getting use out of them. I’ll ask my doctor for her opinion the next time I’m there.

    • I’m a proud owner of a retroflexed uterus! As long as the cup can sit below the cervical opening to catch the flow,  you’re good!
      Have you taken our quiz to see which cup may work best for you?
      putacupinit.com/quiz

  • Hey PutACupinIt team! So glad I found you guys! I am relatively new to using menstral cups. I have a high cervix, regular flow, and have been told that I am also very narrow by my GP. I originally tried the Diva Cup 1, but had such a difficult time inserting it because it was so stiff. My next cup was the Initimina Lily Cup One, which I loved the first few times I used it, it was really easy to insert, remove, and clean.

    However, I had two instances where the cup became “stuck” and went really far up into my cervix. I was able to remove it myself the first time, after a lot of patience. The second time I ended up going to urgent care, where the nurse told me the cup had actually turned sideways. That put me off cups for a while.

    I took the quiz and ended up with a few options: Diva Cup, Lily Cup, Fun Cup, XO Flo, or Super Jennie Size L. Do you have any advice as to how I should choose? I’m a little hesitant due to my past experience.

  • Hi, I’m new to this whole menstrual cup malarky! Can I sterilise my cup with Milton sterilising tablets in a new Tupperware/plastic food container used solely for this purpose?

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

  • Firstly, I love this site so much! This is such an amazing resource and has taught me so much about cups and about my body. So thank you! I have a question that isn’t answered here though. What’s the best cup for someone who’s both very active, yet has a sensitive bladder? I have the Lena regular (recommended by the quiz), and it’s quite hard to get it to open almost every time. Sometimes I can get it to open, but other times I get so frustrated that I end up just giving up and using a cloth pad. However, when I do get it to work, it makes it feel like I have a UTI. Is there a cup out there that’s firm enough to open easily, yet doesn’t put pressure on the bladder? Would a firm cup with a different shape work for me? Thank you so much in advance! I appreciate you both!

    • I am wondering if you were able to find a cup that opened easily yet didn’t put pressure on your bladder; I am really struggling with this 🙁 I have tried the lunette which is too firm, and the soft salt, which I am struggling to open and often give up
      Thank you in advance!

  • Hi!
    I bought a sensitive lena recently. But I would like to have a softer cup. But with a smaller diameter (or equal) with a capacity of 25 ml for my hard days. What do you recommend to me?
    Thank you!
    PS: I love your website and your Facebook page. It’s thanks to you if I really started to take an interest in the cup and try one!

    • If you haven’t had the chance to check out our comparison chart, you can do so here: putacupinit.com/chart
      It’s easy to sort by firmness, diameter, capacity, etc.
      Thank you!

  • Hi, I took the quiz and it said that the best cup for me would be the Saalt soft, but they don’t sell it here in Japan.
    I’ve found the Meluna though, is it alike? Should I buy the soft one or the classic?

  • I can’t seem to find any mention of prolapses on your website. I have heard that prolapses can stop cups from working very well. Please provide information about this on your website.

  • I just got my first diva cup and I’m having a little trouble with the insertion part. I got it in on the second try, but I can’t get my fingers in with it to push on the sides (to make sure the cup is fully open). It’s too uncomfortable for me- any tips?

    • The instructions on my cup say to insert it and then give it a slight twist to create a better seal, the cup opens up by itself so you shouldn’t need to worry about that.
      This month is my first time using a cup and I have to say that it’s a game changer. I got it in right first time and haven’t had one leak (and my first day I am super heavy) I even had it in overnight. Before, using Super or SuperPlus tampons I would get 4 hours maximum before needing to change and on the first day 4hrs was if I was lucky.
      I got the ‘Hey Girls’ brand menstrual cup from Asda (in the UK).

  • I bought the Lily Cup but I can’t stop myself from leaking and having pain or just being uncomfortable when laying down with it in. Also, I can’t get it to open all the way. :c

  • I can definitely smell my own period more now that I’m using a cup (started for the first time). Is this normal? It always makes me feel like maybe I leaked and thats what I smell but I didnt actually leak and I wash it everytime I empty it.

    • It could be that you’re noticing some of the faint smells from your natural moisture. If you previously wore tampons, they would absorb all of your moisture, whereas the cup will only contain what is above the rim.

  • This may be a weird thing that’s only happening to me but I thought it’s worth a try. I’ve been a cup-user for almost 3 years now and will never go any other way! However, one problem I’ve had (and it seems to be getting worse lately) is some sort of weird leaking.

    I can be sitting on my couch doing nothing and all of it sudden it *feels* like the cup is leaking. I rush to the bathroom expecting the cup has leaked, but find that my underwear are only “wet”. It’s not like usual cervical discharge in that it’s extremely liquid-y – almost feels like water. Sometimes it will be tinged with blood, other times it’s completely clear.

    What the heck is this? and have you heard of it happening to anyone else? I feel like my body is freaking out…

    • I know this is months later, so maybe you already got your answer, but in case not… It sounds like cell slough. Basically, the old cells in your vaginal cavity are sloughing off and flushing out. Usually, if you use pads, that mixes w/ the blood just thinning it out a bit, or with tampons the fluid just gets absorbed along with the blood, so in both situations you really won’t notice it at all. But, with a cup, that’ll catch the blood but not absorb anything w/in the vaginal cavity, so you’re now getting to notice the vagina’s amazing ability to clean itself. 🙂 I hope this helps clear things up a bit for you!

      • Hi Kira, I have literally only been using a cup for 2 days (and I love it) so this may be something similar to what you suggested but I found that when I empty it the liquid inside is almost separated, like the blood is on the bottom and then a watery fluid is on top – is this the same thing as you mentioned, the vaginal cleaning? I’m used to tampons which absorb everything so wondering if this is normal.

  • What sort of troubleshooting is there for a cup that seems to tilt during wear? I’ve made sure to feel around the whole cup for suction, but it’s still leaking. I have even tried two separate cups (diva and tampax) and have had the same problems.

  • Hi, just started using the saalt regular. Have a high cervix, retroverted uterus and The menstrual cup is leading me to believe also just a cavernous helter skelter type of vagina?! Tampons come out bent. Saalty just loves to go on epic odyssey-like journeys upward, sideways, sliding around, being sneezed out. Can pull it out easily using stem which leads me to believe a vacuum has not been created, although there are no gaps in the seal. Cervix definitely not to the side or anything. Do some people just have an anatomy ill-suited to cups?

    • There are some people who find that a cup just doesn’t work for them but there could be other things going on. If you haven’t already, I would definitely suggest joining our Facebook group. It is a wealth of knowledge and you’re certain to find someone who has had a similar experience who can share what worked for them. https://vag.life/cupnation

  • I am transitioning into cups and took the quiz a few months ago and got the Saalt Soft. I find the cup extremely comfortable EXCEPT there are times it is completely impossible to urinate while wearing it. I’ve watched multiple videos and nothing seems to help. I’m close to giving up on this cup, despite its comfort for everything else. Can someone please provide some insight or tips?

  • I had been using a Melinda cup for a couple of years and recently stopped…I’ve stopped taking birth control and my periods are much heavier than when I did take it. The cup contains the blood just fine, but when I remove the cup I’m still bleeding and I just end up with a mess everywhere. I still have to wear pads just for the sake of catching any leftover blood from when I empty the cup. Is this because of the heavy period? Or am I doing something wrong? I love using cups but it seems like for me they’re actually a messier option.

  • Are cups possible for someone like me? Any kind of penetration ranges from extremely uncomfortable and mildly painful to…well, extremely painful. I’ve cried from things smaller than the diameter of a regular pencil, only an inch in, with lubricant. And yes, I’m certain I’m messing with the correct hole. Needless to say, everything is even worse when menstruating. My periods are painful, crampy, very heavy, last for two weeks to a month (and sometimes won’t occur for over six months to a year), and I tend to bleed through two extra large pads worn together within a few hours. I know the obvious advice would be “you should see a gynecologist” – my latest referral was denied. In the meantime, I’d like to explore my options, because pads are expensive (and the thought of tampons scare the crap out of me). Question is, do I realistically have options, cup-wise?

  • Loved learning so much from all of your videos I found on youtube, I’ve had my diva cup for almost a year, love it except that it starts slipping down through the day, never any leaking it just slips down. I’m thinking of trying out the tampax cup since I just learned about it and I’m intrigued by the shape. My real question would be military related. It is great being able to do stuff all day without having to carry around a bunch of passengers or tampons that get damaged in my pockets anyways. The trick comes into play when out in the field and dont have access to a regular sink public or private for several days at a time. What would be the best way to clean it for when my only bathroom in a portapoty and my only sink is out in the open in front of everyone. Would baby wipes work? Or some other idea please.

  • Hi ladies! I love your website and all the information you provide, plus your videos are awesome! I’m trying to start using a cup, so I purchased a Blossom cup that was too firm and too short for me, so I took your quiz and purchased a Lily cup as recommended. I haven’t been able to get any of the two to open once inside me. I have tried many different folds, inserting positions, on different days of my cycle and it’s just not possible, the cup will always stay flat or folded. I really really don’t wanna give up, but it’s getting very frustrating. I wish you guys could help. Thanks

  • This month was my first using Lily Cup. I have uterine fibroids and normally bleed heavy each month. I unfortunately, had to change my Lily cup within 9 hours, is this normal. Did this happen because of fibroids or is the Lily Cup not designed for women with fibroids. The Lily Cup fit well and inserting was fairly easy. I tried the Lily cup to avoid using pads. I had to use pads throughout my cycle for this month.
    I welcome recommendations.

  • Hello, I am having problem inserting cup. Should I push hard to put it inside? I did push it but couldn’t push it harder because it might hurt.

    • I tried a menstrual cup (the Mooncup) for the first time today and it was fine until I tried removing it. The suction was so intense I felt like I was plunging my uterus through my cervix and it was painful. (Hopefully that did not actually happen but I’m a little worried about it now). I pinched the bottom of the cup as instructed to “break the seal” but that just created more suction/plunging action. What am I doing wrong?

  • Thank you for this very exhaustive FAQ!

    Note that we recently had a case of TSS in France caused by a menstrual cup (maybe worn too long). It is therefore possible to have TSS because of the menstrual cup. Do not wear it more than 8 hours to be sure.
    ++

  • hello menscup team,
    is it possible that if u cant reach the cup anymore and u reeaaaly tryed that u can get it out without going to a doctor ??
    And how much does a yellow lunette cup stain over the time? i hope not much.

    • Hello! One way to get it out yourself is to try, and if it doesn’t work, wait 30 minutes, then try again. Also, I have heard that if you wash your cup in cold water first, then switch to warm, you reduce the chance of getting stains. I don’t know if that is true, but it might help!

  • I am using a Diva Cup. I have found it incredibly helpful, especially at night. One thing is, I put it in where I can feel around the rim to make sure it opens. When I go to take it out, about half the time it seems like I have to dig to China to get it out. Is there a way to prevent the cup from riding up? Do I not have a good seal to begin with?

  • Is it possible *no* cup will open if vaginal walls are too strong? I’ve used the Pixie Cup, Lily Cup, and now the Merula. I’ve learned that I have a very high cervix (I cannot touch it), and I have a difficult time feeling the top of any cup to determine if the rim is open. The Merula says that it will catch fluid even if the body of the cup isn’t all the way open, but I’m experiencing leaks even when I hear and feel the cup pop open, I test the seal by tugging on the ladder stem, and I can feel the cup pushing (lightly) on my bladder (especially while peeing). Because the cup itself is so short, I can’t reach the bottom to pinch and/or twist to rotate it to ensure a good seal.

    I could never quite tell if the Lily cup was open or not, so I just twisted, tugged, and hoped. After 12 mos, I had so many leaks that I was just not worth it.

    The pixie cup was too short for my high cervix (and probably too soft).

    Is there another cup or insertion technique I should try?

    • Also, I can feel the body of the cup once inserted, and it never feels round/bulbous/like it’s open. The Lily cup also always felt like it was in a flat position (meaning not open).

  • I really want menstrual cups to work out for me. I’ve only used pads before and they’re so uncomfortable and wasteful. I’m just having so much trouble inserting the cup, and I’m not sure what my problem is. I have diva cup size 1 and I don’t know if it’s too big or firm, if I might have a low cervix, I’m too tense when trying to insert it, or I’m just not doing it right. I took the quiz on here and it said I should use a Lunette cup, but I don’t want to invest in another cup if my cup may not even be the cause of my problems. I’m really confused and frustrated.

      • I bought a cup a couple years ago and only recently figured out how to successfully insert it. I had only ever used pads before and honestly was completely clueless when it came to my own anatomy (didn’t even understand where I would need to insert the cup!). I completely gave up because I couldn’t insert it (started wondering if I needed a smaller cup) until the past few days when my friend randomly reminded me about cups.

        I got mine in by:
        (1) using the punch down fold (to get the smallest point of insertion)
        (2) lubricating with water
        (3) understanding anatomical curvature (inserting angled back towards your butt first, then straightening up once the cup is roughly halfway past your pelvic bone (and maybe even angling forward to get around the pelvic bone))
        (4) being patient and relaxing as much as possible
        (5) recognizing that your vaginal muscles can be quite adaptive and that you don’t have to fear anything–if you feel pain, try adjusting the angle before you keep pushing up!
        (6) once you get it in and opened, simultaneously push the cup straight up while squeezing your vaginal muscles upward and the cup will get sucked up! (The first time it felt very strange and I honestly freaked out and immediately took my cup out; but every time after has been fine, haha. I guess I got used to it really quick?)

        Hopefully that helps you with insertion? I’m no expert (I haven’t even gone through one cycle yet), but the above were steps and encouragement I wish someone had spelled out for me a couple years ago!

        Don’t give up! I don’t think I have the right cup for my body, but I’m still quickly falling for menstrual cups!

    • Maybe buy it from Amazon (but sold by the cup company, of course). If it doesn’t work, you can return it. I have returned to Amazon the Tampax cup, which didn’t work for me. Now I am using the Saalt regular and liking it much better.

  • Hi, I just got my first cup (a small Saalt cup) and while I did a lot of research beforehand and I didn’t feel at all scared, I felt very faint once I got it in. I frequently get that “oh I just stood up and now everything’s dark” feeling, but this was completely different, I removed it as quickly as I could but it still got worse, I was sweating, chilled, and retching a bit and I actually slid off of the toilet somehow and I’m not honestly sure I was conscious the whole time (I think it lasted about ten minutes after getting the cup out). It was very painful and difficult to insert, but so is anything for me (I’m 15 and a virgin, and I’ve only used a tampon twice) so that didn’t surprise me. Has anyone else experienced something like this? I really want to make cups work for me and I’m probably going to try again later, but if anyone knows the reason for this I’d love to know if I have a chance at making this work or not.

  • I have been using a XO flo for a few years now pretty successfully. I almost never have cramps or pain during my period. But today (3rd day of my cycle), I put my cup in (felt like it always does) and went to do yard work. All of a sudden I started to feel really uncomfortable in my pelvic area. I thought maybe I was passing a big blood clot, and went back to yard work. It just kept getting worse and was starting to feel like my cervix was dilating like I was in labor (but there’s 0 chance I’m pregnant). The pain was getting pretty bad, so I decided I needed take my cup out. I go to take the cup out and my cervix is absolutely throbbing and the more I try to take it out, the more it hurts. It feels like the cup won’t stop suction and the more I try the more it hurts. I have a very, very high pain tolerance and this was pretty significant pain, felt similar to labor or stabbing feeling. I finally summon all the resolve I can give it and get the cup out. I thought I would find a big blood clot and the usual thick dark blood at this point in my period. But this blood was bright red and very thin. My cervix still feels a bit tender even though this happened about 10 hours ago. But I haven’t had the severe pain again. Now, I’m afraid to use my cup again because I have no idea what was wrong.
    I do not use social media, and I don’t know anyone who might have an answer to this question. Could you share any insight you might have about this? What happened?

  • I have watched several of your videos, took the cup quiz and compared my options. I have a low cervix and tried two different cups. The quiz suggested the lunette and before taking the quiz, I tried the Diva. So far both cups were unsuccessful because I could not insert them all the way. I just watched the nixit vidéo and you mentioned it would be good for a low cervix. I want to find one that will work. Can you provide more insight on how to find the right cup in this situation?

  • Hi guys, please I need help. I’ve tried to use a menstrual cup (I have the Diva cup – I’m 37, no kids), 4 times, and every time I can’t get it out. Every post I see, everyone seems to do it so easily. Saying things like oh you’ll get the hang of it. But for real, I can’t, every time I have tried it takes me an hour, a LOT of crying, sweating, fear and finally (please don’t judge me, I know it’s dangerous), in my desperation, end up using some kind of “tool” (a crochet hook sterilized with 90% alcohol) to get it out. I’m a conscious person, I care about the environment, I really do. But I just don’t know what else to do. I RELAX, and breathe and all the techniques you talk about. Last time I made a hole in the silicone stem and tied a string to it and it was a bit better (I know the string is not a good idea and it is a culture for bacteria). I’m desperate, please any advice would be very much appreciated. Or is it that menstrual cups are just not for me?

    • What a scary experience! Well done for not giving up.
      It sounds like the Diva cup might not be the right one for you, for whatever reason. My first cup took forever to get out and I returned it to Amazon. I am much happier with my second choice. Maybe do a bit more research to find a cup you think might be best for your anatomy (which you should know pretty well now with all your Diva cup experience!) :-).

    • Sounds like you might want to try the flex cup. It’s got a pull tab to make removal easier. I’ve been using it for months and it’s a game changer.

  • HELP! I have a cup and have tried to put it in so many times with no success. I have tried multiple folds (C, E, S), have run my finger around the edge to confirm a seal (which I don’t get), turned it using the base rather than the stem, relaxed my muscles, tried different standing positions … and nothing! It simply will not seal. What am I doing wrong or is it that a cup is just not for me?

  • Hi, I’ve been using a cup (the organicup size A) for a few months now (about 5 months I think) and I find that it leaks quite a lot, especially throughout the night or if I am exercising it will sort of drop down so that its all the way to the base of my body or often it’s not fully in at all, like it’s kind of falling out of me (sorry a bit graphic). I also feel that when I first insert it (before it drops down) it may not be in/high enough and the base of the cup is only right at the base of my body (if that makes sense) but I can’t get it in any further. I’m 20 and usually have a medium to sometimes heavy flow. I’m guessing i need a different size or type, maybe a different shape? but I’m not sure what would be best for me. Please any help or advise would be so appreciated!

  • I have issues here too. Have only tried it twice and both times it seems super suctioned to me, and I have trouble squeezing it to break the vacuum seal. I have managed to get it out by bearing down and very patiently pushing on it until I feel it kind of collapse but this freaks me out! Especially after hearing from a lady who apparently gave herself a prolapse by pulling on a cup without releasing the suction properly. I want to be sustainable and have the convenience of a cup but I feel it’s really uncomfortable to get out. Any tips?

  • I have used a Diva cup for almost 4 years now. It is sometimes uncomfortable, I already cut the stem, but I feel like when it is halfway full it starts to protrude. I figured this is normal, the blood is taking up space and moving the cup away from my cervix? But I just wanted to ask if this is common. At work the other day I had to very carefully run to the bathroom because it was going to fall out… wondering if I should try another brand or size, but the cost is a concern…

  • I’m very late to this post but I’m having a problem and don’t know where else to ask. My periods are so heavy that using a cup seems useless.

    By that I mean, my vaginal canal gets so bloody that by the time I put the cup in there’s so much blood around the vaginal entrance that it continues to fall out. Wiping after cup insertion doesn’t help because the blood is still internal and I’d have to wait until it all fell out. When I empty the cup, the few seconds it’s out of my body are enough to start the issue all over again. Changing it in the shower didn’t prevent this from happening either and idk what to do. I had to switch back to tampons because the “leaking” which isn’t even leaking was just too severe.

  • What is a good way to make sure the cup has proper suction? I recently trimmed the stem of my cup and it’s much more comfortable now but the way I used to check the suction was to gently tug the stem to make sure the cup didn’t move and now I can’t do that because the stem is so short. I use a finger to make sure it’s open all the way but I was wondering if there’s another way to ensure it is suctioned properly when tugging the stem isn’t an option?

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