A Newbie’s Guide to Wearing a menstrual cup
by Parmi Savla on Apr 10, 2023
After a lot of contemplation, discussion, and gathering of courage, I finally bought a menstrual cup. It looks different, not as intimidating as I thought it would be but the question remains. How in the world am I actually supposed to use it?
Are you in the same boat as me? Welcome aboard! Let’s figure this out together.
Buying a menstrual cup itself takes a lot of thinking and it happens to everyone so don’t be demotivated. There are different kinds of menstrual cups out there and choosing one depends on your flow, your age, even whether or not you’ve had a baby! You have already gone through the tough part and now you just have to understand how to use the cup. It is just a matter of time and after some practice, you will find a way and never look back.
“Wait up, are you saying I actually have to explore my vagina to insert the cup! Wouldn’t it hurt? What if it doesn’t fit properly? Or worse what if it gets stuck?
Calm down and let’s go through it one step at a time.”
There is no need to feel intimidated, a menstrual cup like Lemme Be’s ZCup is made from medical grade silicone. It is soft and can easily be folded as you want and taken out. It won’t hurt, you just have to relax and try it on.
Here’s a demonstration of how you can use a menstrual cup:
- First, before using the cup you should sterilize it in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Once, you have sterilized it, wash it with a mild hand wash and lukewarm water.
- Second, you need to know that the menstrual cup should sit inside as low as possible without its stem sticking out.
- For inserting the menstrual cup, you should find a comfortable position. You can either squat or put one foot on the toilet seat, you can sit on the toilet seat or you can stand up by parting your legs. The key while inserting the cup is to relax.
There are multiple ways of folding a menstrual cup,
- Push the rim of the cup down on one side into the middle until it is the size of two fingers,
- Then hold it while it's folded down and insert it inside until it’s completely inside your vagina without its stem sticking out.
C/ U fold
- Fold the rim of the cup in half and then fold it in half lengthwise again. It will look like the letter ‘C’/ ‘U’ (this helps the cup to properly pop up when you insert it inside).
- Fold the cup in half and then fold it halfway diagonally lengthwise down, to make it look like ‘7’.
- Push the rim of the cup just halfway down in the middle (shallow punch-down fold),
- Then take one side and fold it all the way diagonally until the tip is the size of a finger, it will look like a rosebud.
- Fold the rim of the cup in half then push the left side of the cup forward and the right side backward to make it look like the letter ‘S’.
M, E, or Squiggle fold
- Pinch one side of the cup horizontally and push it towards the other side making it look like the letter ‘E’/ ‘M’ (this shape is a bit difficult, although you can try if you find it comfortable)
- Fold the cup in half and then fold it diagonally lengthwise down, to make it look like a triangle.
- Pull one side of the rim of the cup down to touch its outer base,
- Take your other hand and squeeze the left and right sides of the rim together vertically.
- You can then fold it in half if you want to make it smaller, it is called a half diamond fold.
Sometimes, the menstrual cup doesn’t open up completely. In such a case, before pushing the cup all the way inside, check if its base is circular or oval. If you can feel folded dents on its base then by using your index finger and thumb gently try to hold the cup’s base and twirl it a little. If you are not able to insert it properly or find it painful, you can use a water-based lubricant for the ease of inserting the medical grade silicone cup inside.
*Please note that not all menstrual cups are made of similar material. Most of them are made from medical grade silicone and hence they are non-toxic and non-porous. There are also a few menstrual cups that are made of TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) which are non-toxic but are porous and can harbor bacteria - that would be harmful.
Don’t worry if it’s your first time like me just try it out at home. With a few trials and errors, you will definitely find your own way of using your menstrual cup. Now let’s go ahead and try it out. It’s a brand new world and we can bleed freely without any constraints!