Myth: Your cup must sit low and should never touch your cervix
As a first time cup user it's scary enough learning how to correctly insert a menstrual cup, and some cup companies make the process that more difficult by making generalized, unrealistic statements. On the Q & A page of the Keeper's website they make the claim that the cup does not touch or come close to the cervix.
Oh really! Tell that to all the ladies with a low or medium cervix. Some of our cervixes are so low that we actually have to make sure the rim of the cup covers our cervix, and on heavy flow days the cervix may partially sit inside the cup. Believe it or not, this normal.
When I first inserted my cup, I placed followed the manufacturer's instructions and positioned the cup low without worrying about anything else. Guess what happened... it leaked. It was only after following the instructions of other ladies with low cervixes that I was able to insert my cup correctly. If you have a low-medium cervix, your cup will become very well acquainted with your cervix.
If you have a high cervix, you may position your cup to sit low then find that it has moved higher up on its own when it's time to remove it. As long as you don't experience any discomfort or leaking after inserting your cup, everything is a-OK.
Myth: You must rotate your cup to create a seal
This is the most popular technique recommended by cup companies to ensure you've created a seal. However, depending on the shape and texture of your cup, spinning it may be near impossible. Luckily its not the only option available. To prevent leaks there are 1-2 things you need to check depending on the height of your cervix:
1.) Make sure the cup is fully opened
After inserting and positioning the cup, run a finger around the middle of the cup of around the rim to check that it's opened fully.
2.) Make sure you haven't missed your cervix
This step is very important if you have a low-medium cervix. As you run your finger around the rim of the cup, you should only feel your vaginal walls. If you feel the tell-tale bump of your cervix, you'll need to re-position the cup so that it covers your cervix.
Myth: It's only safe to clean your cup with our specifically formulated products
This is simply a sales technique by cup companies. If you think about it, we really can't blame them. Unlike disposable menstrual products, we don't need to buy a new cup every month. You can choose to further support your cup company by using their cleaner or you can use another product.
Whether you boil your cup, use a mild soap, hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar... the choice is yours.
Myth: It's not safe to use lubricant with your cup
Another unrealistic statement. As convenient as it would be to use water to "lubricate" the menstrual cup for easier insertion, it's definitely not the best option for some of us. It's safe to use any water based lubricant with your menstrual cup, just make sure that it doesn't contain any oil-based ingredients which can degrade the silicone.
*Never use silicone-based lubricants, as like dissolves like.*
Myth: You need to buy a new cup every year
As DivaCup eloquently put it, this is only a general guideline. Menstrual cups are made from very durable materials, and have the potential to last 5+ years once properly cared for. There is no set expiration date, instead you'll learn to rely on the cup or your body to signal when it's time.
If you notice a sticky or powdery residue on your cup, this means it's time to replace it. Likewise, if your stain removal methods no longer work and there's a stubborn odor you can't control, it may be time to upgrade your cup. Alternatively, if you begin to experience irritation (vaginal, not the emotional kind 😉 that can be linked to using your menstrual cup, then it's definitely time to invest in a new one.