15 tips for first-time menstrual cup users
You finally took the plunge and bought a menstrual cup, now what? Switching from traditional disposable menstrual products to a menstrual cup can be intimidating. There is a steep learning curve, but do not worry, we are here to give you our pro tips for first-time menstrual cup users.
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tips for first-time users before using a menstrual cup
1. Be Patient
Learning something new can be difficult, which is especially true for something as personal as menstrual products. It will take time for you to get used to using a menstrual cup. Do not be hard on yourself for not getting it right away. Many of our readers report that it took at least 3 cycles for them to get comfortable using a menstrual cup. Don’t be scared of your menstrual cup, you will get it.
Remember, this is the time for you to learn your body as well as your menstrual cycle. Using your menstrual cup will get better and easier with time.
2. Personal Hygiene
The #1 rule when using a menstrual cup is, wash your hands. You must always wash your hands before and after inserting or removing your menstrual cup. Practicing personal hygiene will decrease the chances of avoiding the transfer of bacteria or viruses to the vagina, vulva, and urinary tract.
3. Create a Period Kit
We all know your period can sneak up on you some months. Always be prepared with a period kit. Instead of carrying tampons or pads, all you need is your menstrual cup and sanitary items.
4. Always Read the Instructions
Although all menstrual cups serve the same purpose, there are some key differences. The major difference is how to care for your menstrual cup for long-term use. Depending on the specific brand, there are cleaning instructions that must be followed.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
It is easier to try to insert your new menstrual before your cycle starts. This does not mean you should wear it if you are not on your menstrual cycle. We recommend practicing interesting and removing the cup to build your confidence. This will take the pressure off when it is time to use the menstrual cup for your cycle.
6. Work your Pelvic Muscles – Kegel Exercises
I started doing Kegel exercises while I was pregnant before our son popped out 4 weeks early. They helped me push him out in less than 30 minutes. Kegel exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can make it easier to insert and remove your menstrual cup. It is recommended to do three sets a day for 10 to 15 repetitions a day. If you make them part of your daily routine, you will be an expert before you know it.
7. Trim your Nails
If you like to wear long nails, this may be the time to trim them. As a first-time menstrual cup user, you will likely be digging inside of your vagina for a while. You may scratch inside your vagina, and trust me it does not feel good. I have a few battle scars.
tips for first-time using a menstrual
8. Use Lubrication (Water)…If Needed
If you need to lubricate to insert your menstrual cup, water is the best option. Putting warm water around the rim will make it easier to insert your cup. Traditional lubrication cannot be used because it can degrade the menstrual cup material.
Some women use a water-based lubricate, but that is not recommended because it can cause the cup to slowly slide out of place. Other women report using coconut oil to help lubricate their menstrual cup. I do not recommend using anything besides water for lubrication.
9. Relax your Body
It is easier to insert the menstrual cup if your body is relaxed. I know, I know, it is easier said than done, but it will make it a lot easier to insert the cup.
10. Try Different Folds
Different folding techniques can be used to insert your cup. The chart above shows the different folding techniques. It looks intimidating but is easier than it looks, once you get the hang of it.
I practiced the different folds before my menstrual cycle started. It helped me learn which folds work for my cup brand.
Once you figure out the technique that works best for you, inserting your cup will be a breeze. The best technique will not only make inserting the menstrual cup easier but will ensure it is open and sealed properly
11. Wear Backup Protection – Just in Case
I recommend using back up protection like cloth pads or period panties for the first few months. This will not only put your mind at ease but help boost your confidence in the menstrual cup. After a few months, you should no longer need to use backup protection.
12. Empty Menstrual Cup More Often
Although menstrual cups can be left in 10 – 12 hours a day; I recommend emptying it more often in the beginning. This will allow you to get to know your flow. Many women believe they bleed more than they do.
Take the time to get to know more about your flow and body.
13. Get Low (Squat)
It is easier to insert the menstrual cup if you squat; this will help open your pelvis to slide the menstrual cup into your vagina. After inserting the cup, squatting will help ensure the cup is properly sealed. You should feel or hear the suction if you do, remove and insert it again.
14. Don’t Panic – It’s not Stuck
One of the most difficult things for first-time menstrual cup user is removing the cup. A lot of women panic when they cannot get the menstrual cup out the first time. Do not panic or overreact when you cannot get the cup out. The menstrual cup is not stuck, it is doing what is suppose to do.
The easiest way to get it out is in the shower, in case you make a mess. This is where doing Kegel exercises will pay off. Bear down and use your pelvic floor muscles to push the menstrual cup, while you use the finger to break the seal. You can break the seal by pulling on the rim or squeezing the cup. Do not try to just pull the menstrual cup, it will hurt like hell and leave you will a bad impression. Remember, break the seal, then pull the cup.
15. Trim the Stem or Turn Inside Out
If you are feeling uncomfortable, but not in pain it is likely because the stem is too long. Remove the cup, trim the stem, and reinsert the cup; that should make it more comfortable for you to move around without discomfort.
If you re still uncomfortable, a woman on a Facebook group gave me a great tip. Try inserting your menstrual cup inside out. She says this helped her and now she doesn’t feel the cup at all. Just be careful, you do not want to leave it in too long.
Trying something new can be frustrating, but following our tips for first-time menstrual cup users will help you over the hump. Just remember, it takes time and practice to become good at something. You may need to try different cups or sizes and that is okay. Once you become an experienced menstrual cup user, your relationship with your menstrual cycle will change.