Sub of Use of Menstrual Cups FAQS: Insertion
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How do I insert a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup is inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual fluid, when performing the task of insertion a person should:

  1. Wash their hands thoroughly. Apply water-based lubricant if necessary to cup and vagina.
  2. Sit or stand in a position with the feet apart or Prop on leg up on toilet.
  3. Fold the cup (more on menstrual cup folds, preference & options below)
  4. Hold the folded sides with the bell upward and stem down, and insert.

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How do I know if I inserted the menstrual cup properly?

Menstrual cups give off certain indications that they are not inserted properly with the first huge indicator being leakage. If the cup is leaking, it most likely is not inserted adequately and you may have to remove and reinsert it several times before knowing your body and the right fit.

Another indicator of a menstrual cup not being inserted properly is discomfort. If you feel something poking, or if it is not far enough in your vagina, you could have it incorrectly positioned. Inserting a menstrual cup properly takes practice, but you will know when you have it down as your cup will not leak and you will not even be able to notice it is there.
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What’s the best position to be in when inserting a menstrual cup?

Different women prefer different menstrual cup insertion techniques. However from our research we have found that the best optimal position for easy menstrual cup insertion is when you prop your leg up on the toilet or tub so that your legs are apart and you have better access to insert the cup into your vagina.
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When I insert the menstrual cup, the stem is hanging out of my vagina- what do I do?

In some cases the stem of a menstrual cup sometimes protrudes outside of a woman’s vagina. This could be caused by the stem being too long (it can be trimmed down), the cup’s design is too long for a short vagina, or the menstrual cup has not been inserted far enough into the woman’s vagina. The best strategy to take with this issue is to trim down the stem or to reinsert to be certain that you have inserted it deep enough.
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What are the best folding techniques for inserting a menstrual cup?

Women use all types of folding techniques for insertion of a menstrual cup. Each fold is unique and has its benefits, and some work well for specific cup brands while others do not. You will have to discover and try different menstrual cups insertion folds, to see which one works best for your preference, cup brand, size, design features and bell shape.

The “C” Fold:

The 7 Fold and Triangle Fold:

The Punch-down Fold:

The “S” Fold:

The Origami Fold:

The Diamond Fold and Half Diamond Fold:

The Double 7 Fold:

The “E” Fold:

The Labia Fold:

The C fold is the most popularly recommended fold among users and manufacturers of menstrual cups (see C-fold instructions here). And if you are looking for other menstrual cup fold options, you can research them here (menstrual cup folds.)

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Can I use a lubricant to ease the menstrual cup insertion process?

Yes you can use a lubricant to help ease the process of insertion, however you should only use a water-based, non-toxic lubricant approved for use with intimate products (something like KY-Jelly is suggested.) You should not use vegetable oils or any other unnatural lubricant as it can damage your menstrual cup and also cause you risk for a variety of vaginal infections.
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I am having difficulty getting the insertion technique perfected, is it normal to have problems first using a menstrual cup?

Yes. It is perfectly common and very normal for a new menstrual cup user to experience a few issues with inserting the cup for the initial uses. This is the menstrual cup learning curve that is often noted in menstrual cup reviews and among the most asked questions on menstrual cup products. It is important that you understand that this is a brief kickback of menstrual cup use that is remedied with patience, trial and error, and practice.
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It feels like the menstrual cup is going to fall out, what do I do?

If you are experiencing a sensation with the use of a menstrual cup that feels as if the cup is loose or going to fall out, you need to ask yourself a few things. Do you have the cup inserted far enough into the vagina? Is the cup you bought perhaps in the wrong size? Do you have a shorter cervix and use a long cup with a larger height?

You can try inserting the cup again to make sure you have it far enough and that the cup opened correctly (this may resolve it immediately.) If you have indeed inserted it right, then you need to decide if you did choose the cup in the wrong size and exchange the cup for a proper size or buy a new menstrual cup that features a different design that is more, well-suited for your body.
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Best way to trim the stem of a menstrual cup?

Menstrual cups that feature a stem that can be trimmed down and customized for a better fit, are very beneficial. However, there is a risk you take when trimming your menstrual cup stem of compromising and damaging your cup permanently.

The best way to trim your stem is to do it in small increments on a bit by bit basis so that you do not get the stem too short in one swoop of the scissors. This can spare you damaging your cup and also help you adjust your stem to the ideal size.
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The menstrual cup is uncomfortable, am I doing something wrong?

If you have looked at the main causes of menstrual cup discomfort (wrong size, inserted wrong, too firm etc), then you can chalk this type of unresolvable discomfort up to the menstrual cup brand being the wrong one for you. If this is the case, then you will have to select another menstrual cup model to get the best experience from it.

But do consider what you think it was about the menstrual cup that caused it to be uncomfortable such as the softness/firmness, diameter, length, texture, stem, bell shape and design- in order to select the features in another menstrual cup that may be more comfortable for you.
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I have long nails, is it still safe for me to insert the menstrual cup?

Long nails are fine and safe for you to have when using a menstrual cup, period. You do need to be careful to not scratch yourself during the process of insertion, but taking insertion slow and steady will help you in this matter.

Additionally, it is important for health and hygiene reasons that you wash your hands and underneath your nails to certify that you do not transfer any bacteria from them to your lady parts which can cause infections, irritation, and discomfort.
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