You did your research; hopefully used the PeriodHacks 4-step guide to choose your menstrual cup, and now it’s here… So what now!?
I spent the first 15… make that 30 minutes marvelling at finally being able to see my cup in real life. After watching so many YouTube videos it’s surreal holding the cup in your hand, feeling the texture and playing with it’s ‘squishiness’.
Stare at it long enough and eventually something strange begins to happen… your heart rate increases, the room suddenly feels warmer and the butterflies in your stomach awaken as you remember exactly where this cup is supposed to go. Can I do this!
Have no fear, you have the support of thousands of women who’ve been there, so let’s begin this journey together.
First Step: Find Your Fold
Clean your cup using any of the methods here, then start practicing your menstrual cup folds. Start with the basic folds, your aim is to get the cup inserted as easily as possible.
Step 1: Flatten cup
Step 2: fold in half
Step 3: Pinch cup to maintain C-fold
Now it’s time for what we like to call a ‘dry run’, however these steps should NEVER be taken without using lubricant. Liberally place lubricant on the vaginal opening. Take a deep breath, relax your pc muscles and try to insert the rim of cup into your vaginal opening. Aim the cup towards your rectum, as the vagina naturally tilts at this angle.
Tensing your vaginal muscles can make cup insertion 10x harder than it needs to be. An easy trick is to place your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This will help keep you relaxed.
If you were successful in getting the rim of the cup through your vaginal opening, great! Keep pinching the base of the cup and push it as far as you can. Once the base is in, see if you can push the cup higher to insert the stem.
Couldn’t get the cup inserted? No problem, the C-fold didn’t work for me either. A fold with a smaller opening may be better. Let’s try the punch down fold.
Place index finger on cup rim
Push rim into cup body
Pinch cup to keep rim inside
Reapply lubricant to your vaginal opening if necessary and try to insert the cup again now that it has a smaller opening. If successful, keep moving the cup higher until the stem is no longer outside your body.
During insertion, if the cup unfolds before you were ready just pinch the base of the stem to release the suction and continue pushing the cup higher.
Not 100% happy with the punch-down fold? Let’s take a look at my favorite fold.
Flatten cup until rim touches
Pull one side of rim down to cup base
Pinch cup base to maintain 7 fold
Repeat the steps above to insert the cup. With an even smaller opening than the punch-down fold, the 7-fold is my go-to fold for easy insertion. Holding the rim of the cup towards the base allows you to keep the cup closed as you push it higher into the vaginal canal. When you’re ready to remove the cup, simply pinch the base of the cup and slowly work it down and out of your vagina.
The #1 thing you need to remember is : Be Gentle With Yourself
Take things slowly. Some women get the hang of menstrual cups in one go, but for most of us it will take multiple attempts before truly learning what does and doesn't work for our bodies. Frustration is a normal part of trying anything new and when dealing with such a sensitive part of the anatomy it’s ok to take a break and try again tomorrow... or next week.
If you were successful in inserting the cup, well done! If you weren’t and need to try again later, no shame in that, it took me 2 months before I tried again and I haven’t looked back since.
No matter how long it takes, after you successfully insert the cup here’s the next step:
Customize The Stem Length
In my personal opinion, the stem of the cup serves more of a function if you have a high cervix. If your cup has the tendency to drift up throughout the day, the stem can be used to tug it down slightly. If you were able to fully insert the stem, your cervix may be high. Feel free to leave the stem attached until you learn how your cup behaves throughout your cycle.
If you don’t have a high cervix, your cup may have fit something like this:
Menstrual Cup Stem Protruding
In this situation, for maximum comfort it’s best to trim the stem. But before reaching for the scissors, learn why removing too much of the stem can be a bad idea, and find out how you can avoid making this mistake. Go Here to find out.