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  • Official Website: Lilova.com
  • Price on Company’s Website: $24 – $34
  • Limited Offers:
    Use coupon code “MCR20” to get 20% off your order!
    Free US Shipping over $50.
    Free International shipping over $75.

Lilova is a new period-proof underwear brand that offers several different styles for women who want a comfortable, stylish alternative to tampons and pads. Are these period-proof panties right for you? Read on for our complete, unbiased Lilova review!

About Lilova

The concept for Lilova period-proof underwear was born when the company’s founder and CEO gave birth to her first baby in May of 2018. The challenges associated with postpartum bleeding made her long for a comfortable, eco-friendly alternative to pads.

 

While period-proof panties are nothing new, Lilova distinguishes itself by offering products that are sleeker and more elegant than some other brands. During the research and development phase, the company had 100 volunteers replace tampons and pads with its period underwear during their cycles. After a 3-month testing period, a full 94 percent of the women were eager to switch to Lilova.

Sustainable, comfortable, reliable, discreet, and sexy are some words Lilova uses to describe their period panties. Every style is designed by women for women. As Lilova says, the idea is to #bleedinpeace.

Every pair of Lilova period-proof panties is made with leak-resistant technology. There are four layers built in, and even though each pair can hold up to two tampons-worth of discharge, these undies are only 3mm thick.

What’s Available?

Lilova period-proof underwear come in seven fashionable styles, with sizes between extra-small and 2X to 3X depending on the style. There are thongs, cheekies, two different bikinis, hipsters, hip-huggers, and high-waisted briefs. Most styles are only available in black, but a few can be ordered in other colors.

How They Work

Besides looking fab even when Aunt Flo is at her worst, Lilova period-proof underwear work all alone, with no need for backup in most cases. You can add a pad, tampon, or period cup if you feel like you might need more protection overnight, while traveling, or on your heaviest days, but most women find that’s not necessary with light to average flow.

Lilova period-proof panties are made with four layers of natural and synthetic fabrics that work together to keep you feeling comfortable and dry while locking moisture away so leaks don’t cause trouble for your wardrobe.

The inner layer is made with moisture-wicking cotton that pulls the liquid in so that you never feel damp. The second layer is made with anti-microbial fabric that keeps bacteria from growing so you don’t have to worry about “those” odors.

A super-absorbent fabric makes up the third layer. This is where the real work takes place; the absorbent layer locks moisture into place and holds up to 2 tampons’ worth of fluid so you feel comfortable and secure all day long.

The outer layer is made with soft, leak-resistant nylon that looks sleek and attractive, and that doesn’t bunch up or interfere with your clothing.

This isn’t the most absorbent period-proof panty brand we’ve tried, but the panties have a thinner, lighter feel than some others. Let’s face it – that’s definitely appealing!

Just like most other period proof underwear, Lilova panties are easy to care for. Rinse them right after you take them off, wash them in cold water, and hang them up to air dry. With proper care, these period panties will keep you protected for years to come.

Lilova has a generous 30-day return policy on your first pair, so if these panties don’t work out for you, you can send them back for a full refund. This doesn’t mean that you can’t order multiple pairs at once; it just means that you should try one pair and leave the rest in their packages until you’re sure that Lilova period panties are right for you. All unworn products still in their packages are eligible for refunds.

What’s the Best Thing About Lilova Period-Proof Panties?

Some of the first period-proof underwear to hit the market was disposable, or heavy, or even weirdly crinkly – kind of like wearing rubber pants made to fit over babies’ cloth diapers. Lilova faces none of these challenges. They’re super-stylish, they are made with the best technical fabrics currently available, and they don’t make weird noises or bunch up. Comfortable, good-looking, and absorbent, they’re a very lightweight alternative to disposable period products.

How Well Do They Work?

Since they can hold about 3 tablespoons worth of fluid, Lilova period proof panties do a great job of keeping menstrual flow, postpartum bleeding, and even minor urine leaks contained. It’s very important to know about how much fluid your body releases so that you can plan for a panty change or wear a backup period product.

Special Features:

  • Made with four light, thin, layers of technical fabric
  • Available in a many attractive styles
  • Odor-free, leak-proof design keeps you feeling confident and comfortable
  • Easy to care for; long-lasting with proper laundering and air drying
  • Available in sizes XS – 3X depending on the style

Style 1 – Lilova Olivia Thong

The Olivia Thong is best for spotting or light days since it holds just ½ tampon’s worth of fluid. With a light coverage fit and the classic thong style that keeps you free from panty lines, this style features a pretty lace waistband. Choose from all-black or pick a contrasting lace color. This style is available in sizes XS-2X.

Material:  75% Nylon, 25% Elastane

Inner & Middle Material: 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane, Breathable PUL

Colors: Black/Black, Black/Red, Black/Pink

Estimated Price: $24

Customer Reviews:

Lilova customers love how pretty and discreet this style is, often choosing it for their lightest days or as backup for a menstrual cup.

 “I wear it on my lightest days when I don’t want to wear a tampon and it’s been great so far. I love the material and the lace is so cute and high-quality. Very happy with my purchase!”

“I used this product as backup with my menstrual cup and then for “final day” protection as my period always seems to have a last day of spotting just to spite me. On this point these period panties did great. They looked nice, felt good, didn’t leak or stain anything I was wearing. And I didn’t have to wear a panty liner for that last annoying day. Also their customer service was impressive and personal. They have a few new products coming out shortly and I will certainly be purchasing again as I believe they are a company that values the integrity of their product.”

Limited Offers! Use coupon code “MCR20” to get 20% off your order!
Free US Shipping over $50. Free International shipping over $75.

Style 2 – Amber Bikini

Lilova’s Amber Bikini features full coverage front and back, with attractive lattice-style band details on the sides, either in black to match the front and back panels or in a contrasting color. This is one of the company’s most popular styles – probably because it’s so stylish, and because it holds a full 2 tampons worth of fluid. This style is currently available in sizes XS-2X.

Material: 75% Nylon, 25% Elastane

Inner / Middle Material: 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane, Breathable PUL

Colors: Black/Black, Black/Pink, Black/Red, Black/White

Estimated Price: $29

Customer Reviews:

These period-proof bikini underwear are a customer favorite, and quite a few Lilova reviews mention how comfortable and sexy they are.

“I was very pleased with this style! It was comfortable, flattering and fun. And not only did it look nice but it did its job well too. No leaks or staining through, no odor, no worries. I was very impressed. I rinsed it in cold water first per the instructions and then with my regular load of clothes, not using fabric softener (which I don’t use anyway). Line dried, not put in the dryer. Was ready to go the next morning. It’s held up to several washes now and for the price I will probably purchase a few others to have in rotation. Being allergic to standard feminine products it’s been a very expensive “time of the month” for me with having to purchase all natural 100% cotton pads. Now with these period panties I am not having that monthly expense. Very satisfied.”

“I’m in love with this product!! Supersoft stretch cotton meets ultra-cool comfort! Can’t believe I will still feel sexy during my periods!!! Seriously, this product is revolutionary and also helps the planet. We should all be concerned about that.
Might get more of these for my girlfriends and sisters!!! Everybody should try it!”

“I strongly recommend it for multiple reasons:
1. Super effective for periods, this will keep you dry all day and night. It is super absorbent (even for heavy flow) and comfortable.
2. You can finally throw out your granny panties and wear this under any pants (even tight ones!) it is INVISIBLE and very well cut!
3. I actually also find this panties great for a daily wear against leaks this is why i ordered more today.
4. This is awesome for the environment and will help you save money !
Looking forward to more products from Lilova!”

Limited Offers! Use coupon code “MCR20” to get 20% off your order!
Free US Shipping over $50. Free International shipping over $75.

Style 3 – Mia Cotton Bikini

Lilova’s Mia cotton bikini period-proof underwear look similar to the Cheeky style, with semi-coverage and cute, matching lace trim. These panties run true to size and hold up to two tampons’ worth of fluid. They come in sizes XS-2X.

Material:

  • Inner: 95% cotton, 5% elastane
  • Middle: 95% cotton, 5% elastane, breathable PUL
  • Outer: 95% cotton, 5% elastane

Colors: Black

Estimated Price: $27

Customer Reviews:

The Mia Cotton Bikini isn’t as popular as other styles but it looks like this design is newly introduced. Reviews are one hundred percent positive.

“I love this period underwear. I love that it’s in cotton. It’s so soft and comfortable. And I can wear it all day alone without any leakage every. It’s easy to wash. Just rinse and put in the machine then hang dry.”

Limited Offers! Use coupon code “MCR20” to get 20% off your order!
Free US Shipping over $50. Free International shipping over $75.

Style 4 – Mia Hipster

This comfortable, full-coverage period panty manages to look as nice as it feels, thanks to sleek material and petite lace trim. It holds up to two tampons’ worth of fluid and is available in sizes XS-3X.

Material: 75% Nylon, 25% Elastane

Inner / Middle Material: 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane, Breathable PUL

Colors: Black

Estimated Price: $32

Customer Reviews:

Reviewers like the fit and feel of Mia Hipster period underwear as much as they like the stylish appearance. Quite a few women mention their appreciation for the full coverage as well as the absorbency these period panties offer.

“I love this hipster style! It feels so secure and stretchy. I bought 3 pairs from their brand and this one is the one I can use all day during the heaviest days of my period. They hold so much, and always feel dry!”

“Jury’s out on absorbency, but they feel nice and fit a plus sized lady. I have an EXTREMELY heavy, crazy flow so I’m curious to see how these actually perform on a heavy day and for how long. What I’m most surprised about is the sizing. I am a plus sized woman and looking at the chart, I would barely fit into these. My hips are 47.5 inches and these are actually ALMOST borderline not really snug on me. I was shocked, because I’m usually too big for things when I look at any chart. So I can’t believe this, but these actually may be sized a little bigger than the chart says, at least for 2XL, but about and inch to half an inch at the biggest setting/measurement.”

Limited Offers! Use coupon code “MCR20” to get 20% off your order!
Free US Shipping over $50. Free International shipping over $75.

Style 5 – Olivia Hip-Hugger

If you love the comfortable, secure feeling of a full-coverage period panty, then you’ll probably like Olivia Hip Huggers. Offering a classic hip-hugging style with full coverage, these period underwear hold up to two tampons’ worth of fluid. They are currently available in sizes XS-2X. The look is sleek, basic, and uncomplicated, with pretty black lace trim to keep you feeling feminine.

Material: 75% Nylon, 25% Elastane

Inner / Middle Material: 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane, Breathable PUL

Colors: Black

Estimated Price: $29

Customer Reviews:

It looks like this is a newer style – so far, there’s just one customer review.

“I got these panties a few months ago and I couldn’t be more happy with my purchase. The lace is so beautiful, it’s a very cute underwear and it’s period proof!! It usually wear it during my 9-5 shift even on my heaviest day. It holds so much!”

Limited Offers! Use coupon code “MCR20” to get 20% off your order!
Free US Shipping over $50. Free International shipping over $75.

Style 6 – Stella High Waist

Lilova Stella period panties feature full-coverage in a classic high-waisted design that keeps you feeling secure. The waist sits right at your natural waistline, directly below your belly button. Lace trim at the waist and leg openings adds a pretty, feminine touch to these panties. They hold up to two tampons’ worth of fluid and are currently available in sizes XS-2X.
* Protection goes from all the way in the front to all the way in the back.

Material: 75% Nylon, 25% Elastane

Inner / Middle Material: 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane, Breathable PUL

Colors: Black

Estimated Price: $34

Customer Reviews:

Like other high-waisted period-proof panties, these get top marks for comfort, particularly when cramps are an issue. These aren’t the most popular period-proof underwear Lilova has to offer but they’re perfect for anyone who wants to feel secure particularly when dealing with heavy flow.

“I really wanted to find a high waist style because that’s usually what I wear and to me it feels even more secure and helps with my cramps during my periods. The padding goes all the way in the front to all the way in the back which is really amazing especially at night. I can wear it all day without anything else.”

Limited Offers! Use coupon code “MCR20” to get 20% off your order!
Free US Shipping over $50. Free International shipping over $75.

Style 7 – Mia Cheeky

The Lilova Mia Cheeky holds 1.5 tampons’ worth of fluid. This style has a fun, flirty cheeky bikini style with semi-coverage and petite lace trim. Lilova mentions that this style tends to run a size big, so if it’s your choice, order a size smaller than you usually wear.

Material: 75% Nylon, 25% Elastane

Inner / Middle Material: 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane, Breathable PUL

Colors: Black

Estimated Price: $29

Customer Reviews:

Reviewers like the way these cheeky bikinis look, and more than a few use them as a backup for menstrual cups.

“I forget I’m on my period. I love this underwear! It’s just magical how it absorbs the liquid without feeling anything. I really wonder where everything goes! I was quite uncertain about this new technology but I decided to give it a go and bought myself a pair while they were having a sale and I don’t regret it! It’s such a nice replacement to pads.”

“I love Lilova, I love everything they do and everything they stand for. I bought one of each style they have and I am happy with all of them. They have the hipster for overnight, the amber bikini for heavy days, this mia bikini with tight jeans and leggings, and a thong for the last days where youre never too sure if you’re done with your period yet or not.”

Limited Offers! Use coupon code “MCR20” to get 20% off your order!
Free US Shipping over $50. Free International shipping over $75.

Customer Feedback

In addition to the videos below, please look at the individual customer review summaries for each style of Lilova Period Proof underwear.

  • I TESTED PERIOD UNDERWEAR | Lilova Review

 

The Bottom Line: Are Lilova Period-Proof Underwear Worth It?

Lilova period-proof underwear are thoughtfully designed with high-quality materials and quality workmanship. They manage leaks and odors alike, and though less robust than some other brands, they offer an average capacity of two tampons’ worth of fluid. There are styles to suit different tastes and the color combinations are attractive, when they’re available.

Price-wise, these period panties are right in the middle of the road, with some styles offering lower price points than others based on production costs. The return policy makes it easy to try the products without worrying that you’ll be stuck with something that doesn’t work for you.

Lilova is a newcomer but so far, customers are thrilled with the period-proof panties on offer and with so many different styles to choose from, it’s easy to see why the brand is becoming more popular. We’re excited to see what happens for Lilova in the future!

 

  • Official Website: Lilova.com
  • Price on Company’s Website: $24 – $34
  • Limited Offers:
    Use coupon code “MCR20” to get 20% off your order!
    Free US Shipping over $50.
    Free International shipping over $75.

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  • Official Website: MyAdira.com
  • Price on Company’s Website: $5 – $10

Adira intimate wear is part of the Adira brand and a subsidiary of the Yashram Lifestyle brand. This company was founded by Deepa, an engineer who is passionate about issues surrounding women and girls. Deepa invented her own line of period panties to make that time of the month stain-proof!

About Adira

Adira’s founder, Deepa, is a mother of two, a triathlete, and an engineer who puts her all into creating innovative products designed to help women live their best lives. We’re focusing on Adira’s period panties here, but it’s well worth noting that the company offers leak-proof nursing bras, nursing kurtis, shapewear, and other innovative garments that make life more comfortable for the women and girls who wear them. Adira period panties are patented in the USA and India.

Deepa is joined by her Operations Director, Priya, along with her Customer Success Director, Jai. Together, the trio continues to design high-quality products.

Fun fact: In Hebrew, “Adira” describes someone who is noble, strong, and powerful.

What Makes these Period Panties Different?

Where many period panties contain quite a bit of synthetic material, Adira period proof panties are made with breathable cotton and a leakproof, breathable inner layer that catches leaks. These panties are value-priced, since they’re designed to be paired with traditional period products like pads, tampons, or a menstrual cup. The main feature is the leakproof layer, which acts as a backup for your main form of period protection. This layer prevents stains from reaching the outer layer and damaging your clothing and other items.

How Do They Work?

All Adira period panties offers a stain-proof crotch, and some styles provide added support in case pads are your period protection choice. Please note that these don’t hold fluid like other period panties do. Instead, they act as a backup and protect any spills or leaks from causing stains. If standard period-proof underwear seems strange to you, this brand offers a happy medium.

  • The inner layer is made with absorbent 100 percent cotton. It’s breathable so you feel fresh and clean.
  • The middle layer breathes, but it’s leakproof so any spills are kept in the inner layer, away from clothing, sheets, and upholstery.
  • Like the inner layer, the outer layer is made with breathable cotton to keep you feeling cool and fresh.
  • Some styles have added support for pads as well as a larger protected area so stains won’t be an issue even if you have a leak in front or back.

Adira period panties are designed to offer protection during your period, but they’re useful anytime you need a backup for a pad, i.e. if you have postpartum bleeding, or if you’re worried about mild incontinence that can happen when you laugh or sneeze. These panties are very affordable, making them a great choice for every day of the week in case you’d like a convenient way to stay protected and fresh no matter what.

When you’re done wearing Adira period underwear, simply launder them using your machine’s normal cycle.

Hipster Style:

 

Boxer Style:

What’s Available?

Adira period panties come in a few different styles and colors. These panties are unique since you choose the style based on the expected amount of flow and the level of stain protection you’d like. The lightest style is for uncertain days when you might have spotting. Other styles provide more protection for days when you expect heavier flow. These are suitable for postpartum use as well as for urinary incontinence.

Depending on the style you choose, you’ll find Adira period panties come in sizes from XXS to 3XL. There are several attractive color options available, and you can purchase multi-packs if you’d like to save a little money. Most of these period panties are 100 percent cotton but some have a small amount of Lycra or Spandex  added for a stretchy feel.

Adira period-proof underwear are designed to combine comfort with extra protection based on your needs for the day. The lightest style has a leak-proof crotch and a breathable design, while more robust styles incorporate additional leakproof material in front and back to keep you feeling dry and comfortable while protecting your clothing, upholstery, bedding, and privacy! The girl shorts style has added leak proof material along the inner thigh area, plus special attachment points to keep pads secure.

Hipster Styles (For medium flow days):

Boxer Styles (For high flow days):

Special Features:

  • 100 percent cotton inner and outer layers
  • Three practical, attractive styles to choose from
  • Breathable design
  • Easy to care for
  • Available in sizes XXS – 3X

Style 1 – Adira Leakproof Panty

Adira leakproof panties are designed for “unsure days.” The classic bikini brief style offers a good level of coverage, and the leak-proof crotch catches spills so nothing makes its way onto your clothing. These panties are a great choice for everyday, plus they’re a good backup for your pad, tampon, or menstrual cup, especially on lighter days.

Material:  100% Cotton

Colors: Black, Navy Blue, Magenta, Dark Pink, Grey, White & Blue Stripes

Estimated Price: $5.08

Customer Reviews:

“I was looking for something like this for my daughter and I ordered a pack of three. She says it’s an awesome product, no flow leaking out during heavy days, comfortable to wear, and very soft. Thank you Adira!”

Style 2 – Adira Period Hipster

The Adira Period Hipster is the perfect choice for anyone who prefers a lean, lightweight panty style. These period underwear feature a leak proof crotch that’s designed to provide extra backup for your tampon, menstrual cup, or pad. They’re best for medium flow days as well as lighter flow days. Like other period panties from Adira, this style is made with comfortable cotton. It is available in sized XXS – 3XL.

Material: 100% Cotton

Colors: Black, Magenta, Pink

Estimated Price: $5.93

Customer Reviews:

“They keep you stain-free day and night. I can sleep stress-free during periods because of Adira. Thanks for a good product!”

Style 3 – Adira Period Boxer

If you like the coverage, comfort, and casual look of boyshorts, then you’re probably going to like Adira’s period girl shorts, which offer high-waist protection. These panties are specially designed to provide full coverage while supporting pads with wings. The inner layer has a spot just for the wings to attach, so any leaks on the sides stay contained. Loops prevent pads from shifting or crumpling so you never have to wonder if you’re covered. The front and back areas have extra protection from leaks too, so anything that isn’t contained by your pad, tampon, or menstrual cup stays away from your clothing, sheets, and upholstery. This style is recommended for heavy flow days, overnight, and sports, since it provides 12 hours of protection from stains.

Material: 100% Cotton

Colors: Black, Magenta, Pink

Estimated Price$6.78 – $10.18

Customer Reviews:

“I am a heavy bleeder, need to change every four hours. For the first time I slept at night very comfortably without any stains though changing after 6 hours only. I recommend this product!”

Customer Feedback

So far, Adira period panties don’t have any customer feedback. We’ll be sure to update you if we learn more.

 

The Bottom Line: Who Will Appreciate Adira Period Panties?

Adira period panties aren’t designed to replace traditional period products like pads, tampons, and menstrual cups. Instead, they’re meant to provide you with reliable backup from leaks, so you never have to worry about stains. These panties are breathable, natural, and easy to care for. They’re very inexpensive, which is great news for anyone who is keeping a close eye on their budget.

These panties might not be right for everyone, but they’re ideal for pairing with menstrual cups that might spring an occasional leak and they’re perfect for pairing with pads and tampons. With lots of sizes, beautiful colors, and appealing styles from which to choose, they’re attractive as well as practical.

 

Where Can you Buy Adira Period Panties?

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What do I do if I only have access to a public toilet?

A menstrual cup holds more than a tampon and should keep you dry for a longer amount of time. Depending on your flow, you may even be able to use your menstrual cup for the full 12 hours, or the brand’s suggested length of time, before needing to remove and rinse it.  For some, this means emptying their cup only twice a day: when they start their day and again before going to bed.

 

 

It’s possible to find a cup with a higher capacity that will allow you more time if needed. However, if you do find the need to empty your cup while you’re out, here are a few things you should know:

  • Empty your menstrual cup before you leave for the day. This way, you have a fresh cup with full capacity to start.

  • If possible, find a family restroom. These are usually much larger and only consists of one toilet and a sink. This gives you some space and privacy to spread out if you need to, and easy access to a sink if needed. However, if these private restrooms are not available, a public stall in a shared restroom can still be used.
  • Some people find it perfectly fine to remove, empty, and re-insert their cup while out, and giving it a good wash later at a more convenient time. Others may use some toilet paper to clean off any excess blood that they can before re-inserting their cup.
  • You can take a water bottle or small pocket-sized spritz bottle with you to rinse the cup.
  • Carry some baby wipes or wet wipes in a pocket or bag to wipe the cup and your hands before leaving the stall.
  • If your school or workplace provides paper towels, you can wet a couple of pieces before entering a stall and use them to clean off.
  • If it’s feasible, you may also carry a spare cup and wet bag (a bag that stores wet items without leaking) to store the soiled cup while you replace it with a clean one.
  • And one more tip while you’re out and about: before you sit down on the toilet, lay a couple of squares of toilet paper on the water. When you empty your cup, your blood will be enveloped in the squares and won’t stick to the bottom of the bowl!
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Stems are not like tampon strings!

Menstrual cups are designed with many different features from one cup to the next. One of those features that may vary between brands is the stem. A cup may have a long stick, tab, ball, ring, no stem at all, or may have a mixture of these. They can be long or short, solid or hollow, thick or thin.

Most brands have a specific stem; however, some brands offer an option to choose the stem that you prefer.

Purpose of the Stem

The purpose of the stem is to locate the cup and, if needed, helps you to reach and wiggle the cup down low enough so that you are able to get a good grip on the base of the cup.

The stem is NOT meant to be used to completely remove the cup. The stem itself will not support the weight of the cup, especially if it contains extra weight from your flow. Instead, use the stem to bring the cup lower until you can pinch the base of the cup securely.

 

Trimming The Stem

The stem can be trimmed down if the cup feels too long, if it’s uncomfortable or poking you, or if the stem is hanging outside of your body. To do this, use a clean and sharp pair of scissors, nail clippers, or knife. Do NOT cut the complete stem off all at once. You may find that you need a bit of that length to reach and/or remove the cup. Rather, trim off small sections of the stem at a time. Insert the cup and see if it feels comfortable and if you can still remove the cup without any problems. If the stem still feels too long, you can trim off a bit more. Continue to try the cup on after each cut to ensure that you will still be able to reach it easily.

Most – but not all – stems include grip rings. This makes for an easy cutting guide.

CAUTION! For those of you who choose to cut the stem completely off, be sure that there is enough connection that you do not cut into the cup base.

Some cups, such as Venus Cup, are designed with an extra piece of material (e.g. silicone) or a “seal” that can be found typically inside of the cup where the stem meets the base. This acts as a reinforcement so that the stem is attached securely. It also gives the user a safe area to trim without cutting into the cup.

On a side note, if you would rather keep the stem intact and it doesn’t bother you while wearing the cup, it’s perfectly fine to leave it as is.

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Now that menstrual cups are becoming more popular, more stores and online shops have been popping up. You might even be able to find either a physical or an online store that is locally-owned. However, they’re still not as widely popular as disposable tampons and pads, so you might be doing some hunting.

You can directly check the website of the brand that you are interested in and see if they ship to your country or if they have distributors local to you. Sometimes it’s not stated, so you might benefit from contacting them if you cannot find that information on their website.

 

So Where Can you Buy a Menstrual Cup?

1. Online Stores

There are also a few shops that offer to ship worldwide and carry several menstrual cup options as well as other menstrual hygiene products; however, they all operate differently.

Sites such as:

Stock their products and ship directly to you. The benefit of making a purchase through a site like this is that you are able to purchase your cup(s) and other menstrual items from a single shop. Some of these shops might also offer products that are otherwise unavailable in your country. 

Other sites such as MenstrualCup.co do not stock their items; rather, it acts as a middleperson who accepts an order and places it with the manufacturing company, which then ships the order to you. The downside of purchasing items from a site like this is that the order will be shipped separately from different countries, and you may be waiting longer than expected for all of your items to arrive. Some cup companies listed may not ship to certain countries even if the rest of your order does. Lastly, if any issues occur with your order, you may need to contact the cup company directly because the site owner is not the one who packaged or shipped your order.

ClariCup, DivaCup, EvaCup, FemmyCycle, JuJu, LadyCup, LaliCup, LoulouCup, Lunette, MeLuna, Merula Cup, OrganiCup, Super Jennie, and Yuuki Cup are a few cups that can be commonly found through these sites.

 

2. Buying in Person

If you would rather buy a cup in person, you can check a local big-chain store, drug store, health food store, pharmacist/chemist or even a Planned Parenthood. 

Where to Buy Menstrual Cups in The USA

In the USA, several big-chain stores such as WalMart and Target stock the Diva Cup, Lily Cup, and Tampax Cup. Drug stores such as Walgreens and CVS may have the Diva Cup.

Health food stores have been reported to carry a some cups including the Lunette. I, myself, have seen the Lunette at my local Planned Parenthood.

Although it’s great to have access to a cup on demand through a physical store, they normally do not have a wide selection of shapes and sizes to choose from, so the most variety will be available online.

 

3. Amazon

If you live in the USA, Amazon is probably one of the best places to buy a menstrual cup. The variety is large – you can find dozens of menstrual cups such as Venus Cup, Lena Cup, Diva Cup, Dutchess, Saalt Cup, Luna Cup and many many more.

Many of these cups are can be shipped internationally. For example, Venus Cup is sold on Amazon and can be shipped to Australia, Canada, India, most of Europe and many other countries.

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CBD oil for menstrual cramps is a sizzling hot topic. If you haven’t heard of CBD yet, brace yourself. Several states have legalized marijuana use, and hemp-derived products are now legal in the U.S. on a federal level, and the market for CBD is exploding. Everyone from Whoopi Goldberg to Martha Stewart and luxury department store Barneys New York is getting in on the game.

If you get period cramps, there’s no doubt you’ve tried everything in the name of pain relief. Here’s what you need to know about the hottest menstrual pain solution out there: CBD oil.

 

What is CBD Oil?

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, which is one of the many chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids, that are found in the cannabis sativa plant. The cannabis plant is chemically complex; it’s made up of more than 400 chemical compounds, and 60 of those are CBD compounds.

The three most famous cannabinoids are:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)

THC is the compound that makes you feel stoned, whereas CBD does not create a high. CBN has mildly psychoactive effects, is known for making you feel relaxed and is formed when THC degrades or breaks down.

Cannabinoids bind to the receptors in your brain and body and produce a range of potential benefits, including calming anxiety and providing pain relief for menstrual cramps. The CBD that you’ll find in CBD oil is found naturally in both hemp and marijuana, which are considered sister products since they are both derived from the cannabis plant. For a cannabis product to be categorized as hemp, it must contain less than 0.3% THC. Most of the CBD products you’ll find on the market are derived from hemp, which is a good thing, since hemp products are legal in all 50 U.S. states.

 

How CBD Oil Can Help? Does it Actually Work?

Science still doesn’t understand 100% how CBD works, but they know it impacts special receptors in the body and brain and balances out the endocannabinoid system, which is vital to functions like eating, sleeping and relaxing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve ever used cannabis products or not; all of us have that endocannabinoid system that also plays a role in mood regulation, digestion and fertility. Your body already produces chemical compounds that are very similar to the CBD found in cannabis plants. There are two types of cannabinoid receptors that we know about:

  • CB1 receptors: These are found in the parts of the brain that deal with memory, high-level thinking, emotions and motor coordination
  • CB2 receptors: These are located all throughout the central nervous system and the immune system

You can think of these receptors as doors that can be locked and unlocked with cannabinoids. For example, if you’ve got menstrual cramps and you take CBD oil, the “door” will be opened that sends messages to your body to reduce its production of prostaglandins, which are hormones responsible for inflammation and pain. That’s important for women who experience period pain because research is showing that menstrual cramps are probably caused by acute inflammation.

Regardless of exactly how it works, several studies have shown that CBD oil has anti-inflammatory effects. As a bonus, CBD products are used to treat depression, and PMS is thought to be linked to serotonin imbalances. So, you could experience reduced cramping and pain as well as less anxiety with the right CBD oil product.

 

Dosing CBD Oil for Cramps

How much CBD oil should you take for relief from menstrual pain? Not many human studies have been done with CBD, and it’s available in myriad formulations and delivery methods, so it can be hard to pinpoint the dosage amount and delivery method that’s the most effective. But, it helps to take a systematic approach to figuring out the right CBD oil dose for you.

Everyone’s body reacts differently to CBD, so it’s best to start with a low dose, like 10mg, and move up from there. Keep in mind that when you take CBD through smoking or vaping, you’ll get the effects almost immediately. If you ingest it orally on a full stomach, it could potentially take a few hours before you feel it.

 

 

Side Effects of CBD Oil

Most sources agree that CBD has very few side effects. However, some negative symptoms have been observed during clinical trials, such as diarrhea and drowsiness. CBD also has the potential to interact with medications, so, as always, it’s smart to chat with your doctor before taking CBD if you’re taking meds.

Most of the negative side effects reported by users of medical marijuana products seem to be linked to THC.

For example, THC can lead to:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure / lightheadedness
  • Increased appetite
  • Depressive feelings

If you’re taking CBD products that contain THC (assuming you live in a state where that’s legal), you can reduce those side effects by looking for CBD products that are lower in THC and higher in CBD. But overall, most side-effects of CBD are minor compared to the ones you can experience from synthetic prescription drugs.

 

How to Take CBD Oil for Period Pain

CBD products come in a wide range of formulations:

  • Drops that you put under your tongue.
  • Lotions you smooth on your skin.
  • Gummies that you chew and swallow.
  • Oils you inhale in a vaporizer.
  • Capsules that are easy to drink down with water.

And that’s not all: What would feel better during your period than soaking in a warm CBD-infused bath courtesy of CBD bath bombs? CBD lube is on the market and so are cannabis vaginal suppositories—often described as CBD tampons—that promise a speedy delivery of menstrual cramp pain relief. What it comes down to is that the right way to consume CBD depends on your personal preference.

 

What You’ll Pay for CBD Oil

You can find tons of CBD products online. A typical price is 10 cents to 30 cents USD per milligram of CBD oil. That price is expected to go down since the Farm Bill has been passed and hemp products become even more widespread.

 

What to Look for Before Buying

Just like any product, CBD oil formulas are produced by lots of different companies. Products derived from organic hemp grown in the United States is generally a preferred choice, so look for organic certifications. Also, the extraction technique that the manufacturer used can make a difference. CBD oil obtained through CO2 extraction obtains a pure form of the oil that doesn’t contain chemical residues. The maker of the oil should be able to provide a guaranteed analysis that provides a number showing exactly how much CBD is in each milliliter of the oil.

  • CBD products described as “full spectrum” contain small amounts of all the other cannabinoids found in marijuana, including THC.
  • CBD isolate is just what it sounds like: pure CBD that’s been extracted and isolated from other cannabinoids.

Some people say that full-spectrum products provide an entourage effect that makes the CBD more effective, but scientists remain skeptical about whether the entourage effect makes any difference.

 

The 2018 Farm Bill and CBD Oil for Cramps

The Farm Bill was signed into law at the end of 2018 by President Trump. It makes it legal to cultivate and produce industrial hemp in the United States. It removed hemp-derived CBD oil from the federal list of controlled substances. That’s a big reason why you’re now seeing this huge explosion of CBD-containing products. As long as a cannabis product contains 0.3% THC or less, it is legal on the federal level.

 

The Bottom Line on CBD Oil for Menstrual Cramps

Do you think you might try CBD oil for menstrual cramps? While there’s still a lot of research that’s yet to be done on CBD, the anecdotal evidence is persuasive and customer testimonials are impressive. Unsurprisingly, there is still a lot to learn.

When you’re looking for a product, do some research, look at the ingredients, find out more about the brand and make your final selection accordingly.

 

Here’s a list of companies that make or sell CBD oil to get you started:

  1. SelectCBD.com
  2. NanoCraftCBD.com
  3. SolCBD.com
  4. ReceptraNaturals.com
  5. CBDfx.com
  6. VapeBright.com
  7. DiamondCBD.com
  8. https://store.draxe.com
  9. https://elixinol.com
  10. https://cbdmd.com
  11. https://greengardengold.com
  12. https://medterracbd.com
  13. https://naturesoilsonline.com
  14. https://www.royalqueenseeds.com
  15. https://purekana.com/
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Some people are fortunate enough that it doesn’t matter what shape or design of a menstrual cup that they use.

For others, they may experience difficulties reaching their cup to remove it, or finding it uncomfortable while wearing.

V-Shaped Cups

  • Whether it is a small or a large sized cup, a cup that is V-shaped normally has more length in the body. Depending on the type of stem, it could also add a considerable amount of length.
  • V-shaped cups don’t tend to ride up and sit as high as a bell-shaped cup.
  • Those with a medium to high cervix might find it easier to reach the cup, break the seal, and remove it.
  • If you have a medium to a low cervix, this style of cup may feel too long. It may even be exposed at the opening of the vagina. The stem may be trimmed but if the base of the cup is positioned low, it still might be uncomfortable.
  • However, someone with a medium to low cervix may find that the small size of any brand will be comfortable depending on how low the cervix is positioned.
 

Bell-Shaped Cups

  • Bell-shaped cups are great for those who have a medium to a low cervix. These cups normally have a rounded base, are shorter than V-shaped cups, and have a flared rim.
  • Depending on how low the cervix sits inside of the cup, the capacity can be compromised. A cup with a rounder body will add back some of the capacity that is lost with a longer cup. A rounded base and being slightly shorter may be more comfortable as it lacks the point that a V-shaped cup has and will not be as close to the vaginal opening. A flared rim will allow the cup to ride up and sit higher, spreading into the vaginal fornix (the area around the cervix) and snuggling up closer to the cervix.
  • For someone with a medium to a high cervix, this may make it difficult to reach.

 

Knowing the locating and height of your cervix can reduce some of these issues prior to making a purchase.

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Some people are fortunate enough that it doesn’t matter what shape or design of a menstrual cup that they use.  For others, they may experience difficulties reaching their cup to remove it, or finding it uncomfortable while wearing.

 

Wider

  • The vagina might look and feel wider than before. It can also feel looser and softer. Your body went through a lot to deliver your baby (or babies)! Even if you didn’t give birth vaginally, your body still went through a lot of changes to prepare for it. Your vagina will probably never return to its original shape, but it will start to reduce a few days after giving birth.
  • The difference might be more noticeable for someone who had a baby that was large or had a large head, experienced complications during delivery, or have had several vaginal deliveries.
  • Pelvic floor exercises such as Kegel exercises may help get some tone back.
  • People who experience this may find that a larger or wider menstrual cup stays in place better.

Dryness

  • Estrogen helps keep vaginal tissue lubricated. When you’re pregnant, certain hormones, including estrogen, are elevated. However, estrogen levels drop after delivery and may cause the vaginal tissue to dry out. The lack of estrogen can also cause vaginal tissue to shrink and become thinner. Breastfeeding may also contribute to loss of estrogen.
  • This will happen no matter what type of delivery is performed, whether it is a vaginal delivery or a caesarean section (c-section).
  • People who experience dryness may find that using a narrower menstrual cup might be more comfortable to use along with a lubricant. If you are using a lubricant, make sure that it is water-based so it does not ruin the cup.
  • You should speak with your doctor if you experience extreme dryness.

Pain 

  • If you gave birth vaginally, your perineum can feel sore, especially if the skin was torn or cut and stitches were put in place to repair the area.
  • For those who had a c-section, the incision site will be tender. Pressure or muscle contractions may be uncomfortable at this time.
  • You may resume using your menstrual cup after your doctor gives you the OK to use internal protection and/or to have penetrative sex; however, you may still feel some discomfort. Don’t rush it. Everyone heals at different speeds.
  • People who experience slight pain may find that a narrower or softer cup is more comfortable to insert and wear.

Change in flow

  • As mentioned previously, pregnancy causes the hormones to be unbalanced. It will take time for your body to get back on track. During this time, the menstrual flow may be lighter or heavier than you had experienced prior to pregnancy.
  • People who experience a change in flow may find that a menstrual cup that is smaller or has less capacity is sufficient, while others may need a cup that is larger or that has higher capacity.

Incontinence

  • Childbirth can damage your pelvic floor. These are the muscles and other tissues that stretch like a hammock to help support the uterus, bladder and bowel. The pelvic floor also keeps them in the correct position so that they function properly. Pregnancy and childbirth can affect these muscles and nerves, which can cause issues. Common complaints include urine leaks while walking, jumping, laughing, sneezing, coughing, heavy lifting, etc.
  • Kegel exercises may help tone the pelvic floor muscles and keep leaks at bay. However, if the issue does not improve or they are extreme, you may want to speak with your doctor to go over your options.
  • Someone who experiences stress incontinence as described above may find that a firmer cup will apply slight pressure to the urethra, which can help stop small leaks. However, it is important to push out as much urine as you can when urinating so that a urinary tract infection (UTI) does not develop.
  • While not everyone notices a difference from before pregnancy, others can feel a definite change in their body. Therefore, if you need to change your menstrual cup, you may need a softer or a firmer cup, a shorter or longer cup, or a narrower or wider cup depending on each personal circumstance.
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Menophobia is the fear of menstruation. Just like any other phobia, the symptoms can vary based on personal levels of anxiety. It can also affect someone whether or not they are the one menstruating. Someone with menophobia may have anxiety because they lack the information about menstruation; they may not understand why they’re bleeding, why it isn’t stopping, or what to do. They may fear that it will be painful, or feel like they can’t control their emotions, for example. There may also be a fear of the blood itself, which is called hemophobia.

Others may have had an early traumatic experience that triggered the phobia.

As with all phobias, there is no quick fix treatment or cure for menophobia. If you feel that you suffer from symptoms of this condition, talking to a therapist may help you understand the root of the fear and how to work towards improving it. There are also anti-anxiety medications to help reduce the symptoms, but there are always risks and the anxiety may become worse if the medication is suddenly stopped. Medication alone will likely not be enough to treat the phobia. Please see a medical professional for the best advice regarding your situation.

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1. Menstrual Cup Folds

Here are some of the more popular and practical folds that you can do while inserting your menstrual cup. Some of them are easy, and some are a little trickier and take more time to get the hang of doing. If you are having trouble with one fold, are finding that your cup isn’t opening easily, or are having some comfort issues while inserting, you might want to experiment with another fold.

Some folds create a small insertion point and others create a smaller body overall. Some people find that certain folds help them open a particular cup more easily, especially when used with a softer cup. If you have more than one cup with various levels of firmness, you might find that different folds work best for different cups.

The order in which the folds are listed is from the easiest to the trickiest. But remember that the easiest fold may not be the one that works best for you or with a particular cup.

1. “C” Fold

A quick and easy fold to do with most menstrual cups. However, the point of insertion may be too large to be comfortable for some. The fold may make it easier to get a softer cup to open.

2. “Punchdown” Fold

A pretty quick and easy fold that creates a small insert point. This fold is easy to hold while inserting but may cause some difficulties with softer cups.

3. “7” Fold

A one-motion fold that is easy and quick to do, but the insertion point and body of the cup may feel too large to be comfortable for some. You can use a finger between the crease to “nudge” the rim open.

4. Triangle Fold

This fold is similar to the “7” fold; however, it creates a smaller insertion area.

5. “Labia” Fold

This fold can be tricky when first learning it. You may need to practice it a few times before inserting it. It can also be hard to hold if the cup is very firm. However, this fold is great for cups that don’t open easily because it allows you to use a finger to press the rim open.

6. “Origami” Fold

This is another fold that you might need to practice before it’s time to insert. It creates a small insertion point and allows you to “nudge” the rim open.

Final Say

Folding your menstrual cup is going to be a process of trial and error until you find what works for you with a specific cup. If one particular fold doesn’t work or feel comfortable for you, try another. Once you figure out which fold works for you, it’ll become second nature and you won’t have to think about it!

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2. How to Insert & Remove a Menstrual Cup

For some people, inserting and removing their cup comes easy. For others, it can be a challenge when you’re still new to it. We all have different experiences when it comes to using a cup for the first time. We were all new to it at some point, so don’t be discouraged!

Tips Before You Begin

  • Relax! If you’ve been researching cups, you’ve probably seen it many times, but it’s crucial to relax! If you have any anxieties, you may be tensing your body without even knowing it. This causes your muscles to clench up and can make inserting and/or removing your cup more difficult.
  • Take a break! If you’re getting frustrated, take a break and try again later. I know that you’re determined to get this to work, but we commonly start making mistakes when we’re in this state of mind. It will do you no good to force the process. Your cup isn’t going anywhere!
  • Practice! Practice makes (almost) perfect! You can practice inserting and removing your cup even when you’re not on your period. This will help you figure out which position feels most comfortable, which folds work for you, and how to get the cup to open, all without worrying that you need to use the cup RIGHT NOW.
  • Water-based lube is your friend! If you’ve been practicing for a while and you’re starting to feel dried out, use a water-based lube to help ease your cup in.
  • STOP! If you’re starting to get frustrated, dried out, and feeling swollen, it’s really time to take another break!

Inserting Your Menstrual Cup

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Find a comfortable position.
    • For example, you can:
      • Sit on the toilet and scoot back
      • Prop a foot on the toilet
      • Prop a foot up on the side of the tub
      • Squat down
  3. Fold the menstrual cup (click for details).
  4. Gently spread your labia.
  5. Insert the cup aiming towards your tailbone, until your hand rests on your body.

  6. Release the cup.
    • If your cup was not inserted completely, you can use a finger to maneuver the cup up and into place.

Tips After Inserting Your Cup

  1. Insert a finger and “swipe” around the rim.
    • Check that the cup is open.
    • Make sure the cervix is inside or below the cup.

      • If you are unable to reach the rim with your finger, feel as high up on the cup as you can.
      • If you notice any indentions, it could mean that the cervix is keeping the rim from opening.
      • Gently pull or wiggle the cup back and allow your cervix some room to drop in.
  2. After your cup is in place, bear down with your pelvic floor muscles to bring the cup closer to the opening of your vagina. Use a wet wipe or cloth to clean the grip rings and/or stem of any excess blood. This will help eliminate any “residual slobber” spotting.
  3. Give your cup a gentle tug to check if it sealed.
    • If there’s a slight resistance, chances are your cup created a seal/suction around your cervix.
    • If it slides easily, you may want to give the base a pinch or spin your cup to hopefully create a seal.
    • Note that not every cup may seal! It depends on your cup and your body.

Removing Your Menstrual Cup

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Find a comfortable position.
    • For example, you can:
      • Sit on the toilet and scoot back
      • Prop a foot up while in the tub
      • Squat in the tub
  3. Bear down with your pelvic floor muscles to bring the cup closer to the opening of your vagina.
  4. Gently spread your labia and locate the stem of the cup.
  5. If needed, slightly wiggle the cup down by the stem until you can reach the base of the cup. The base is the area you’ll want to hold when the cup exits your body for stability. The stem will not be able to hold the weight of your cup upright, especially if it’s filled.
  6. Holding the base of the cup, wiggle or slide your cup down and out, keeping it level to avoid spilling.
  7. Dump the contents into the toilet or drain.
  8. Rinse (if possible) and re-insert or store.

Tips for Removing Your Cup

  1. Break the seal/suction: If your cup has created a seal around your cervix, you don’t want to pull your cup down without first breaking the seal. If you don’t, you might tug too hard on your cervix, causing discomfort, cramping and/or pain.
    • Either pinch the base of the cup
    • Press/collapse the side of the cup
    • Press/collapse the rim of the cup
  2. Protect your urethra! Even if you don’t normally have a sensitive bladder or urethra, you might find it uncomfortable or even painful if your cup rim brushes or hits it on the way out. This is more common with a firmer cup.
    • Bring your cup down to a comfortable position – approximately half way out
    • Slide your thumb higher up the body of the cup
    • Slightly compress the side nearest to your bladder
    • Continue to hold until the cup completely exits your body

Remember, it may take some practice before you’re completely comfortable with inserting and removing your menstrual cup. I can’t promise that it will “click” on your first try – or even your second and third, for that matter.

Don’t give up and don’t be discouraged. If it’s still not working after a few months of trying a particular cup, you have many other options to choose from. Maybe that particular cup just isn’t the right one for you!

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3. How to Store Your Cup

Most menstrual cups arrive with some sort of storage case, such as a pouch or a container with holes. A simple cotton drawstring bag is the most common. After you have become confident in your cleaning process, you can store your cup in whichever storage case was included with your purchase.

Pictured left to right, top to bottom: AmyCup “Original” storage container; Cup Spot; Sckoon bag; Lumma Collapsible Sterilizing Container; Casco Cup storage container; Fun Cup Tyvek Pouch; Moskito bag; LaliCup bag

If your cup didn’t come with a bag, you can either purchase one that was specifically made to hold menstrual cups or you can use any small fabric bag that allows airflow.

If you’re comfortable with leaving your cup out in the open, you can place it on a shelf or counter. Just make sure you give it a good wash prior to using it again. A medicine cabinet is fine.

Never store your menstrual cup in an airtight container or a Ziploc-type bag. Moisture has no way to evaporate. If your cup doesn’t have a breath of fresh air, bacteria can start to grow and can also create a foul odor!

4. Creating a Good Seal

Whichever menstrual cup you choose, it’s a good habit to check that you have a good seal.

After you insert your cup, give the stem a gentle tug.

  • If the cup slides down easily, chances are that the cup is not properly sealed.

    Things to do to create a seal:

        1. Pinch the base a couple of times

        2. Pinch the base and rotate the cup.

        3. Pinch the base and rock the cup back and forth.

        4. Insert a finger against the body of the cup and swipe your finger around the sides.

  • If the cup has some resistance, it should be sealed well and properly in place.

However, it is best to double-check that your cervix is not on the outside of the cup. There is always a chance that you have missed your cervix and that the cup has sealed to your vagina wall.

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5. When to Empty Your Cup

Many of us are sold on the idea that we can use a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours – I know I was! But if you have a heavy flow, you might find yourself needing to empty your cup every 6, 4, or even 2 hours.

When you need to empty your cup totally depends on how light or heavy your flow is.

Some people think that you can use a cup until it fills to the rim. In reality, it doesn’t work this way. Once you fill the cup to a certain point, there is a possibility that it could overflow. You’ll want to leave at least a little space from the collected fluid and the rim of the cup so that, when you pinch the base, there’s some wiggle room for the fluid to occupy instead of overflowing onto your hand.

Furthermore, if the air holes are large and/or low, you might find yourself spotting or leaking sooner than you had expected.

So, how do you know when you need to find a bathroom?

Well, the only safe way is to schedule a time. I know it seems silly, but you can’t see what’s going on when the cup is placed, so you’ll need to anticipate an overflow.

It’s probably best to do this experiment in the safety of your own home. You may need a change of clothes!

Start off on your heaviest day and insert your cup. Set a timer for three hours. At the end of the three hours, remove your cup and try not to spill. Take notice of how much menstrual fluid is in your cup and adjust the timing for your next check.

 

If the cup is ¼ full

You can probably use your cup for another couple of hours.

 

If the cup is ½ full

Add one hour – instead of 3 hours, you can wait until the 4th hour.

 

If the cup is ¾ full

This would probably be the best time to schedule.

 

If the blood is at the air holes or above

You’ll want to drop the time down an hour – instead of 3 hours, you would empty it at the 2nd hour.

If possible, continue to do this until your period lightens up. This will give you a good idea of when you need to empty your cup on your heaviest days. As your period starts to taper down, you can add more hours.

Remember that everyone is different, so we’ll all have various schedules between emptying sessions.

6. How to Trim Your Cup Stem


7. Menstrual Cups in Public

First of all, you can do almost anything your heart desires while you’re wearing a menstrual cup. You can ride a bike, hike, run, swim, skydive, camp, hula hoop, and so much more!

Because a menstrual cup holds more than a tampon and keeps you dry, unlike a pad, you can spend more time doing what you want and less time finding a restroom!

Depending on your flow, you may even be able to use your menstrual cup up for up to 12 hours before needing to remove and rinse it.

If you do find the need to empty your cup while you’re out, here are a few things you can try or do.

Quick Return

Empty as needed and reinsert

Some people don’t have a problem with emptying their cup and reinserting it without a rinse. Although, you’ll probably want to wipe yourself again just to make sure you didn’t leave any blood behind.

Dry Wipe

Empty as needed, wipe with toilet paper and reinsert

After you empty your cup into the toilet, wipe the majority of blood away (clotting) before you reinsert.

Find a Private Bathroom

(E.g. family restrooms)

Most public family restrooms are larger and normally include a toilet, a sink, and a baby changing station. This will give you space and privacy with a sink handy.

Quick Rinse

You can take a water bottle or even a small pocket-sized spritz bottle with you into the stall if you feel the need to wet your cup or rinse yourself.

Grab n’ Go

Wet paper towels

Before entering a stall, grab and wet some paper towels (normally already provided in restrooms). Use them to wipe your cup and/or yourself down. You might want to grab an extra one to wipe your hands of any blood before unlatching the door!

Baby/Wet Wipes

Pick up a travel-sized package of baby/wet wipes. These will fit in a small handbag, clutch purse, or even pocket! If you have a large container at home (which is normally cheaper to buy), you can fill a “snack” baggie with a few and carry that. 🙂

Reusable Cup, Why Not Reusable Cloth?

If you’d like to stick to eco-friendly products, you can invest in some cloth wipes, or make your own out of scrap flannel. They can be carried wet or dry and stored in a waterproof bag or pouch.

And one more tip for when you’re not in the comfort of your own home

Before you sit down on the toilet, lay a couple of squares of toilet paper on the water. When you empty your cup, your blood will be enveloped in the squares and won’t stick to the bottom of the bowl! No evidence left behind! 😀

8. Penetrative Sex & Menstrual Cups

First of all, because we all walk different paths in life, this portion is only referring to penis/vaginal penetrative sex.

You’re probably wondering, “Why?!” Quite simply, some people don’t like to wait.

You might say, “Just put a towel down!” And someone might respond, “I’m lazy, and I don’t like to clean more than I need to, especially after a good time!” Using a menstrual cup while having sex may allow for a mess-free experience.

“Shower sex!” – Lucky you! I sadly don’t have an en-suite (yet) and the only shower is between BOTH of my children’s bedrooms.

“It’s only 7 days! Can’t you wait!?” – Not everyone’s periods ONLY last 7 days or less.

If you are looking for a menstrual cup that is specifically designed to be used while having penetrative sex, you can check out the SoftCup or Flex, which are actually menstrual discs.

I have actually contacted several menstrual cup companies (the ones that answered are listed at the bottom) to ask for their exact reason why we “can’t” have penetrative sex while using their menstrual cup. I was very surprised that a few of them asked me HOW it was possible or told me that it was IMPOSSIBLE.

A couple companies asked me to elaborate, and a few more said that they don’t have any problems with people having penetrative sex while their menstrual cup was inserted as long as we remember that:

***A menstrual cup will NOT prevent an unwanted pregnancy or protect you from STDs***

First of all, the vagina can expand by 200% when sexually aroused. Remember that the vagina was made to give birth to a small human. Even if your lover’s member is the “size of a baby’s arm”, it still doesn’t equal the WHOLE baby.

If you and your partner are comfortable with having penetrative sex while using a cup, then there should be no reason that you shouldn’t at least try it. If you or your partner experience any pain or discomfort while having sex with the cup inserted, you need to communicate that. Maybe it’s not the right cup for it or maybe it’s not the right position.

Like anything else, COMMUNICATION is the key.

Your partner will want to be gentle during the first insertion. It’s a new experience for both of you, so neither of you yet knows where things are going to fit. I have found that no matter what size the cup is, or how soft or firm it is, my husband and I are able to enjoy this time, pain-free.

However, a softer cup might be easier to manipulate for a “first timer”. A softer cup will collapse to the penis as it does when your finger is against it while inserting or removing your cup.

Start off slow at first. Get to know the feeling and test to see if there’s any pain for either of you. Let your partner move around and see if there’s another area that feels more comfortable. Maybe it feels better with the cup above or below or even to the side of his penis.

Once you both are comfortable, you can gain some speed and momentum.

People always ask, “Won’t the cup stem stab him in the pee-hole?” Hmmmm… well:

  1. You can trim the stem if you are able to remove your cup without it.
  2. Not all men exit the vagina with each thrust. If your partner doesn’t, then he will likely keep the stem pressed off to the side.
  3. The stem is usually soft enough, even on a firm cup, to get pushed to the side.
  4. If the stem is long, then it has more area to bend when it’s “poked”.
  5. If he gets “stabbed”, it’s very doubtful that it will enter further than a few millimeters. He will probably feel it, but not be bothered by it.

Again, COMMUNICATION IS KEY!

Some tips for success:

  • Empty your cup prior to having penetrative sex. This will eliminate leaks.
  • Make sure you have a good seal on your cup, also to eliminate leaks.
  • Because your vagina expands and your cervix normally moves higher when aroused, your cup might be harder to reach. Allow your body and vagina to return to its normal state for an easier removal. If you had emptied your cup prior to having sex, you should be all set until the morning anyhow.
  • If you have more than one cup, experiment with them. You might find that you and/or your partner enjoy one cup over another. Some allow for more sensations, others dull it.

You never know if it’ll work for you unless you try it. If it’s not something you feel comfortable with, then that’s totally fine too! There are so many other ways to enjoy each other while your cup is inserted; penetrative sex doesn’t have to be one of them.

While not all of these companies agree with using a menstrual cup while having penetrative sex for one reason or another, these are the companies that took time to reply and answer me. Thank you all very much!

Venus, Sckoon, Yuuki, EvaCup, LaliCup, Ruby Cup, Super Jennie, Lady Cup, Lunette, and LuvUr Body.

9. Can I Use the Bathroom While Wearing a Cup?

For most people, the answer is YES!

You insert the menstrual cup into the vagina, you urinate through your urethra, and defecate (poop) through your anus. These are three separate entrances/exits. It is impossible for urine or fecal matter to collect into the cup unless you’re “going” while you remove it.

Although these are separate areas, they are located close in proximity with only a thin wall of mucous membrane and connective tissue between them.

Some people have no issues using the restroom as normal. Others may experience some difficulties with either a slow stream of urine, feeling like they need to urinate more frequently or that their bladder didn’t empty all the way when they do. They can even feel like they’re constipated.

If a menstrual cup is too firm for you, it may be pressing against your bladder, your urethra, or your rectum causing you to feel this way. It may cause some people to cramp or to have pains even when they don’t feel the need to relieve themselves.

People who experience this may find it frustrating and a hassle to remove their cup each and every time they need to use the restroom.

Some things that may help your situation and make you more comfortable are:

  • Trying a softer menstrual cup
    • A softer cup will ease the pressure off of those sensitive areas
  • Trying a different cup shape
    • A different cup shape may shift the pressure of the cup to an area that isn’t sensitive
  • Trying a different size
    • Like changing a different shape, a different size may also shift the pressure of the cup to another area

10. Cleaning Your Menstrual Cup – Odors & Stained Cups

*Also see Menstrual Cups in Public and/or Menstrual Cups in Developing Countries

Cleaning your menstrual cup doesn’t have to be a huge chore. In fact, some people just use plain tap water to clean their cup before storing.

The way that you clean your menstrual cup and what means you use to do so are totally up to you and how comfortable you are.

  1. Boiling: Most menstrual cup companies suggest boiling their cup when you initially receive it, before the first use. They also suggest boiling the cup after each period has ended, before you store it away.
    1. On the stove: Using a pot, make sure that the water comes to a rolling boil first and then submerge your cup completely for at least three minutes. You can use a tool of some sort, like a whisk or a slotted spoon, if you feel more comfortable keeping the cup from touching the cookware.
    2. In the microwave: Using a microwave-safe container or a container specifically made to sanitize your cup in the microwave, insert your cup and fill the container with water. Set the microwave to 2-5 minutes.
      1. DO NOT place a lid completely over the container. Steam needs to be able to escape!
      2. You may want to set the container on a plate or bowl to catch water that may boil over.
      3. Allow the water to cool completely before removing.
  1. Cup wash or wipes: There are soaps and wipes specifically made for cleaning your menstrual cup, like the DivaWash, Lunette Feelbetter Wash or Lunette Cupwipes. These are supposed to take the guesswork out of which soap is safe for you and your cup. However, not everyone wants to buy a specific wash, or may have sensitivities or allergies to ingredients in those washes.
  2. Mild soap: Any mild soap or intimate wash that does not contain perfumes, oils, or anti-bacterial ingredients should be fine to clean your cup.
  3. Tablets: Cleansing tablets such as Milton tablets are safe for menstrual cup cleaning. These work like denture cleansing tablets – some people use those too!
  4. Water: Some people are very sensitive and/or allergic to soaps in or on their genital area. They prefer to NOT wash with any type of soap. Plain water is all they use to rinse their cups and themselves the best that they can.

Odors

Blood itself has an iron-y odor. Our bodies have an odor, too. While cup companies mention having “no odor”, this is typically referring to the odor that arises from having blood sitting on a pad either in your underwear or in the trash, or a disposed tampon sitting in the waste can. When blood is exposed to air, the bacteria (from your vagina) and old blood start to give off a foul odor.

Sometimes this odor can cause your cup to smell as well. If you find this happening, there are a few things you can try to eliminate it.

  1. Shortening the time that you use a cup between rinses.
  2. Baking soda: Add water to make a paste consistency, then use an old toothbrush to clean your cup. Make sure you rinse well or boil before using it.
  3. Soak your cup for at least an hour or more in one of the following soaking solutions, and then wash your cup as normal or boil to remove the soaking solution.
    1. Rubbing alcohol
    2. White vinegar
    3. Lemon juice 
  4. Sun bathe: Place your cup on a sunny windowsill for a couple of hours. This can also be done after a soak if needed.

Stains

If you find that your menstrual cup is taking on a brownish-reddish hue, then your cup is starting to get stained. Although it doesn’t interfere with how the cup performs and isn’t harmful, some people just don’t like looking at a stained cup. Either it isn’t pleasing to see or it makes the person feel as though it’s not clean.

Whichever the reason may be that you’re seeking cleaning tips for stained cups, here are a few that might help:

  1. Always rinse your cup in cold water first. This makes sure that the stains don’t set. After all traces of blood are gone, you can use hot water for a good rinse.
  2. Hydrogen peroxide: Most over-the-counter hydrogen peroxides* are safe to use straight from the bottle but you can dilute it if you wish. A 50/50 mix will still do the trick. Soak your cup overnight to get rid of any stains.
  3. Sun bathe: Place your cup on a sunny windowsill for a couple of hours. The sun will bleach your cup.

*Note: Hydrogen peroxide breaks down when exposed to light (which is why it’s stored in a brown bottle) and will turn into water.

Please use these methods at your own risk and visit the manufacturer website for the specific cup that you purchased. Some companies suggest certain cleaning methods and others advise against them.

Some feel that using some of these methods too frequently may shorten the lifespan of a cup. If a cup is a “cheapie”, there’s a greater chance that it will deteriorate quicker because the cup materials are unknown.

If your cup has a sticky, slimy, tacky or gummy feeling that won’t wash off, chances are that your cup’s integrity has been compromised. It’s time to buy a new cup!

Air Holes

Pay special attention to the air holes (if your cup has them). Clean them thoroughly to ensure that blood is not left behind in them and allowing bacteria to grow. An easy way to clean your cup is to fill it with water, place a flat palm over the rim and squeeze the body. This will push anything through the air holes out as the water is forced through. Make sure to do this carefully or you will get splashed! 😛

You can also use an old toothbrush, dental brush or toothpick for any stubborn blood bits.

Related pages:

11. Cups & Lubrication

The vagina releases its own natural lubrication. This allows for easier and less painful penetration. If there is insufficient lubrication, penetration of an object, including a menstrual cup, may be difficult.

We all have that feeling of dryness from time to time. If you feel the need for a supplement while inserting a menstrual cup, you can find a water-based lubricant in the hygiene aisle at almost any drug or grocery store.

Make sure that the lubricant is WATER-BASED. This will ensure the longer lifespan of your cup.

Why Not Silicone-Based Lubricants?

  • The silicone molecules in a silicone-based lubricant will bond with the silicone molecules of a silicone item, such as a menstrual cup, sex toy or other.
  • The silicone item will then start to deteriorate.
  • The item may have a slimy, sticky, or gummy feeling that will not wash off.
  • Tiny holes may start to form, allowing bacteria to fester and making the item unsafe to use.

Try to find a lubricant that is free of glycerin, propylene glycol, and parabens.

Even after weeding out all the silicone-based lubricants and the ones that lack glycerin, propylene glycol, and parabens, there is still a huge variety of lubricants that you can use.

Many companies offer sample packs for under a dollar. Some of them even have a sample kit of the different varieties that they offer, from gels to liquids, and sensitive to gentle to extra gentle!

Oils

Vaseline, mineral oil, baby oil, vegetable oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and many others are said to be safe to use on any item EXCEPT those that contain latex. However, these may not be ideal for some to use INSIDE the body because they may increase the risk of urinary or vaginal infections.

Some say that oils break down silicone. Although silicone is pretty resilient to many things, the risk is up to you.

I would suggest against using any oil lubricants on “cheapie” cups because the materials are unknown.

Related pages:

12. Troubleshooting a Menstrual cup

Leaking

  • Spotting: If you’re experiencing light spotting on your underwear while using the cup.
    • This might be “residual slobber”. This is when the blood coating your vaginal walls, even after inserting your cup, slides down and out.
      • To help eliminate this extra blood, bear down after you insert your cup and wipe the stem and/or grip ring with a wet wipe, toilet paper or cloth.
    • Insert a finger to check the rim of the cup or as high up as you can.
      • Make sure the rim isn’t sitting partially on the cervix.
      • Make sure the cup didn’t push the cervix to the side.
        • If you are unable to reach the rim, insert a finger as high up as you can.
        • Take notice if there are any indentions. If there are, then your cervix might be keeping the rim from opening.
        • Gently wiggle or pull back on the cup to allow your cervix to drop in.
    • Check if the cup has created a seal.
      • Gently tug on the cup.
        • If there is a slight resistance, chances are you do have a proper seal.
        • If the cup slides easily, pinch the base to create a seal and gently tug again.
        • Not everyone experiences a seal or suction with their cup. It depends on your body and the cup.
  • Overflow: Either invest in a cup with a higher capacity or empty your cup sooner than you have been doing. You may also want to try a cup that’s a little firmer if you don’t have bladder sensitivities.

You may also find that your cup is only half full when you remove it but you experienced overflow nonetheless. If so, consider the following possibilities:

    • Your cup may be sitting higher within your vaginal fornix, allowing your cervix to sit inside of the cup and compromising the capacity.
      • You might want to try a cup that has more length, like a V-shaped cup.
    • If you have a low cervix, it may also be sitting inside of the cup.
      • Try a cup with a rounded body, such as bell-shaped cups or cups like the FemmyCycle, Merula, or Formoonsa.
    • If your cup is soft, it may be compressed, which will cause the fluid to be higher than when a cup is completely expanded.

Collapsing

If you find that the body of the cup is collapsing or staying “smashed”, you might want to try a cup that is a little firmer. This will keep the cup fully expanded during use.

Trouble with Opening Soft Cups

If you’re having trouble getting a softer cup to open, there are a few things that you can try.

  • Run your cup under cold water to firm up the silicone.
  • Use a different fold.
    • Some folds may allow the cup to open more easily.
    • The “Labia” fold allows you to press on the rim to help it pop out and expand completely.
  • Inserting the cup halfway.
    • Sometimes adjusting the position of where you release a cup will help it open.
    • If halfway doesn’t work, try sliding it in or out a bit and try again.
  • If you find that after several attempts, folds, and positions, the cup still does not open easily, you might want to try a cup that’s firmer.

Painful Removal

People normally experience a painful removal when they don’t break the seal their cup has created, when they hit their urethra, or when the cup is firm and applies pressure to other sensitive areas.

  • Breaking the seal: If you give your cup a gentle tug and there’s resistance, the cup probably created a seal around your cervix. You’ll want to pinch the base, press on the side of the cup, or collapse the rim of the cup to break the seal before removing it any further.
    • If you pull the cup down without breaking the seal, you may cause yourself some discomfort, pain or even some cramping.
  • Urethra: Even if you don’t normally have a sensitive urethra, the cup or the cup’s rim may brush, hit, or apply pressure in that area during removal, causing some irritation.
    • When you remove your cup halfway, slide your thumb up the body of the cup to compress the side nearest to your bladder. This will collapse the side of the cup/rim and avoid hitting the sensitive spot.
  • Some people find their cup or rim to be causing too much pressure during removal. You can pinch the body of the cup to collapse it for an easier removal, but make sure to empty your cup before the capacity gets too high. You may also consider purchasing a softer cup.

Migrating Cup – Sliding or Rotating Cups

First of all, make sure that the cup fits you correctly. If you have a low cervix and your cup is too long, it might just be pushing or sitting outside of your body.

If you feel comfortable reaching your cup without a stem, you can try turning your cup inside out to see if it fits better. If that works, you can continue to use it this way, or you can take note of the size when shopping for another cup.

If your cup is, in fact, sliding down, turning to its side or rotating completely, you might want to consider checking the following.

  • Cervix: Check that your cervix is either right above or sitting inside of your cup.
  • Seal/suction: Gently tug on the cup and see if there’s resistance. If there is, you should have a good seal. Note that some people don’t create a seal depending on their body and the cup.
  • Consider a softer cup: Some find that a firm cup will slide out more easily for them. A softer cup may stay in place better because it can collapse and move with the body more.
  • Pelvic floor muscles (PFM): If you know for a fact that you have weak PFM, consider doing Kegel exercises at least a couple times a day for a few minutes each session. PFM don’t actually “hug” your cup to keep it in place. They are more like a hammock of muscles that your cup sits on. If they’re not toned, your cup may slip beyond them.
  • A cup with a flared rim: These tend to ride up and sit higher for people. This might help you keep the cup in place.

13. Other Menstrual Cup Tips

Related posts:

 

FAQs – Common Menstrual Cup Questions

Q:  What are menstrual cups made of?

Most menstrual cups are made using some type of silicone. Medical grade silicone is the only type that has been tested to be safe for use on or inside of the body for an extended amount of time. There are a few menstrual cups that are made of TPE and at least one that is made of gum rubber (i.e. latex).

Q:  I’m allergic to latex, can I still use a menstrual cup?

If you’re allergic to latex, you should research the cup(s) you’re interested in and make sure that they are from respectable companies. Beware of companies that claim to use medical grade silicone when they actually don’t, or they add fillers to cut costs. You never know what materials they used to create a “cheapie” cup.  You’ll also want to stay away from the cup made of gum rubber (read more).

Q:  Can I use a menstrual cup if I have an IUD or am using a birth control ring?

  • Most menstrual cup companies claim that you can. However, you’ll want to double check with the specific company from whom you intend to purchase your cup. It’s suggested to let your doctor know that you’re planning on using a cup.  They can instruct you when it’s safe to start using a cup after IUD insertion and they can also trim your IUD strings so that they don’t get in the way. Make sure to pay attention to the height of the strings on a normal basis. If they feel lower than normal, it could be a sign that you’ve dislodged your IUD. Also make sure to break the seal before tugging on your cup because this can also cause your IUD to be dislodged.
  • If you are using a birth control vaginal ring, the ring is inserted first and then your menstrual cup is inserted after.

Q:  How does a menstrual cup stay in place?

  • The vagina is an elastic muscular canal; it can expand and stretch like a balloon to accommodate various items and objects including a menstrual cup. It will also hug against the item and return to its normal size when the item is removed.
  • Menstrual cups may create a slight seal/suction around your cervix.
  • Toned pelvic floor muscles create a “hammock” for the cup to sit upon and keeps it from sliding out.

Q:  Can you feel the menstrual cup while wearing it?

  • We have very few nerve endings in the vaginal canal. If a cup fits you and is positioned correctly, you shouldn’t detect it at all.  
  • If you feel any pressure (after getting used to using the cup), feel like you need to urinate more often, feel as though you didn’t empty your bladder completely when you do urinate, or have a slow urine stream, the cup might be too firm. I would suggest trying a cup that is softer, or trying the cup again with it turned inside out (as long as you’re comfortable retrieving it without a stem).

Q:  Can my cup get “lost”?

  • No. Your vagina is NOT a never-ending canal. It is more like a balloon from which the menstrual cup only has one way out. However, if you have a long vaginal canal or a very high cervix, your cup may slip out of reach. It is also possible to place your cup into the vaginal fornix (the area around the cervix), which may also put it out of reach.
  • Bear down with your PFM to bring the cup closer to the opening of your vagina. You may need to do a series of pushes, but your cup should eventually be close enough to reach.
  • I would suggest trying a longer cup or one that’s V-shaped, if needed.

Q:  Can my cup get stuck?

No. When you’re new to using cups, you might think that it’s stuck. The cup can and may create a seal/suction around your cervix. If it does, don’t panic. Bear down with your muscles to bring the cup closer to the opening of your vagina. Locate the stem and rock/walk/wiggle your cup back and forth to bring it down enough to reach the base of the cup. Pinch the base to break the seal. If it doesn’t break, use a finger to press on the side/body of the cup. If you can reach the rim, you can also press down on it to break the seal.  

Q:  Will airport security detect my menstrual cup?

No. Security will not detect a menstrual cup with their machines or wands.  

Q:  Will my cup feel different while I’m on a plane?

No. Cabin pressure will not crush or cause your cup to feel different in any way.  

Q:  Does it hurt to use a menstrual cup?

  • A menstrual cup should not hurt while you insert, use or remove it.  If it does cause you discomfort, pain or cramping, you might want to troubleshoot the reason for it.  
  • If a cup fits you, you should not be able to feel it while wearing it.

Q:  Is using a menstrual cup messy?

I’m not going to lie – it can be, especially when you’re new to using it. Once you get the hang of it, it will become less messy and a lot easier to insert and remove. Wet wipes are your friend!

Q:  How do I know which size to use?

There are a few things you can use to help determine which cup(s) might work for you. Finding and measuring your cervix is the best place to start. If you have a low cervix, you don’t want to get a cup that will be too long for you and vice versa for a high cervix. You can also use your flow amount to determine if you prefer the lower capacity with a small or the higher capacity with a large-sized cup (read more).

Q:  Will a menstrual cup stretch out my vagina?

It may, but not permanently. Your vagina is an elastic muscular canal. It’s like a balloon. Fill it with air and it will expand. Let the air out, and it returns to its normal shape.

Q:  Can I use a menstrual cup if I’m a virgin?

Honestly, that is totally up to you and depends on your beliefs or religion. But, yes, virgins are and have been able to comfortably use a menstrual cup. However, a larger cup may be too large to feel comfortable during insertion. You might want to try a smaller size or a cup that’s narrower, and some water-based lube to help ease the cup in (read more).

Q:  Can I use my menstrual cup to sleep?

YES! Because a menstrual cup holds more than a tampon, many people find that their cup gives them a longer period of rest time. Make sure to empty your cup before you go to bed. It will give you a fresh cup with full capacity to fill while you catch some zzz’s!

Q:  Can I use a menstrual cup to swim?

Definitely! The great thing about using a cup is that it only collects your menstrual flow and will NOT absorb pool or ocean water!

You can swim, wade, dive, and even scuba dive while using your cup! It has been reported by a scuba instructor that pressure changes while diving do not cause the cup to collapse.

Q:  When should I empty my menstrual cup?

  • Depending on your flow, you can use a menstrual cup safely for up to 12 hours.
  • Because a menstrual cup typically holds more than a tampon, you can probably wear your cup for two extra hours on top of the time you normally need to change a tampon. So, if you would normally change your tampon every 2-4 hours, you might want to check your cup every 4-6 hours. If your cup is only half full, you can probably add another hour next time. If it’s to the rim, subtract an hour next time (read more).

Q:  Can I use a menstrual cup for sports?

Of course! In fact, many people that play sports or do physical activities such as Jiu-Jitsu, weight lifting, yoga, aerial silks, bike riding, hiking, etc., find that they prefer using a menstrual cup over other menstrual products because it’s comfortable, holds more, and can’t be detected. They have more time to do what they love doing rather than worrying about their period! (Read more.)

Q:  Can I use a menstrual cup while I have sex?

Most menstrual cup companies recommend against using their cup while having penetrative sex. However, not all companies are against it. Contact the specific company that made your cup if you have any concerns. Use a menstrual cup at your own risk if you choose to engage in penetrative sexual activity, and remember that a menstrual cup will NOT prevent an unplanned pregnancy, and will NOT protect you against STDs!

Read more on Sex & Menstrual Cups

Q:  Will a menstrual cup prevent me from getting pregnant?

  • A menstrual cup will NOT prevent an unplanned pregnancy, and will NOT protect you against STDs.
  • Some claim that a menstrual cup has actually helped them GET pregnant when they were TTC (trying to conceive).

Read more on Sex & Menstrual Cups

Q:  How do I clean my menstrual cup?

  • Here are some popular methods:
    • Plain water: Rinse out all the menstrual fluid first to prevent stains, and then give it a hot water wash.
    • Mild soap, including “feminine” washes and/or menstrual cup specific washes
    • Sanitizing tablets
    • Boil, either on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe container
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Hydrogen peroxide
    • Lemon juice
    • White vinegar
    • Sun bathe
  • Everyone has their own cleaning methods. Use these at your own risk. It’s up to you to be comfortable with your routine.
  • Some companies suggest against some of these methods. Visit the cup company’s website or contact them by email if you have any concerns.

Read more on Cleaning Your Menstrual Cup

Q:  How long should I boil my menstrual cup?

If you feel the need to boil your menstrual cup, make sure to bring the water to a rolling boil and fully submerge your cup for at least 3-5 minutes.

Read more on Cleaning Your Menstrual Cup

Q:  Will the blood go back into my uterus if I turn upside down?

Highly unlikely. The opening of the cervix is very tiny. Our blood trickles down through it with gravity and our muscles are pushing the unused lining down and out. Even if you’re standing on your head for a few minutes, it’s very unlikely that it will have enough time to trickle back into your uterus.

Q:  Why did my cup turn to the side/upside down!?

  • There’s really no solid answer for this. However, it does seem that everyone who has experienced this has also trimmed the stem completely off. They feel that maybe the stem helps anchor their cup in the correct position and, without it, the cup flipped.
  • Others feel that the cup might be too small and not placed correctly to create a seal/suction, allowing the cup to become dislodged and turn with body movements.
  • I can’t tell you for sure why it’s happening, but I would suggest maybe trying a cup with a different size or a different shape to prevent it from happening.

Read more on Troubleshooting a Menstrual Cup

Q:  Can I use a menstrual cup if I have long nails?

    • YES! It might take some getting used to, but it’s still possible.  
    • When inserting your thumb and pointer finger into your vagina, tuck one nail into the other so your nails are not pointing outward to your labia. When your fingers reach your cup, you can separate them and grasp your cup.
  • If you start with shorter nails and then grow them out (or get any type of artificial nails applied), it can make the adjustment process easier.
  • Using gloves or finger cots may feel more comfortable when inserting or removing.
  • Make sure you use a nail brush before and after you insert/remove your cup.

Q:  Do I have to be on my period to use my menstrual cup?

  • NOPE! That’s one great thing about having a menstrual cup: you don’t have to be bleeding to use it.
  • Some people use their cups on a daily basis to keep dry from discharge. Others use it to help against stress incontinence (it pushes against the bladder to prevent leakage).  
  • If you’re expecting your period, you can use your cup and not have to worry about it, packing or carrying extra supplies for “just in case”.

Q:  Why is my menstrual cup leaking?

First of all, determine if your cup is truly leaking or if it is residual blood.

  • Residual blood:
    • After you insert your cup, squat down and bear down with your muscles.  
    • Wipe the stem and base of the cup with a wet wipe or cloth.
    • This will remove any excess blood that may be finding its way onto your underwear.
  • Leaking:
    • Make sure cup is completely open.
    • Check position of the cervix – it should be right above or inside the cup.
    • Check the seal/suction:
      • Give the cup a gentle tug.  If the cup has resistance, it has created a seal.
      • If not, pinch the base of the cup and gently tug again.
        • Not all cups will create a seal with your body.
    • Empty your cup sooner to avoid overflow.
    • Seek a higher capacity cup.
    • That cup may be the wrong size/shape for you.

Read more on Troubleshooting a Menstrual Cup

Q:  Why is my cup sliding down?

That particular cup may be the wrong shape or size for you.

Read more on Troubleshooting a Menstrual Cup

Q:  My cup feels too long! What do I do?

  • You can try to turn your cup inside out and see if it fits better.
    • Only do this if you’re comfortable retrieving your cup without a stem.
  • Trim the stem.
  • Find a shorter or smaller-sized cup.

Q:  I can’t reach my cup! What do I do?

  • Don’t panic!
    • The vagina is like a balloon. There is NO way for a cup to travel from the vagina into other parts of your body.
  • Squat down, part your knees and sit your bum on your heels.
    • This will roll your pelvis forward for you to get a better angle.
  • Bear down with your muscles like you’re having a bowel movement.
    • This will bring your cervix down closer to the opening of your vaginal opening.
    • You may need to do a series of pushes, like giving birth.
  • Insert your fingers and locate the stem.  
    • You may need to push your fingers in deeper to reach.
  • If you still can’t reach, continue to do another series of pushes.

If you can reach the cup with your longest finger (normally the middle), you can nudge the base of the cup to release the seal/suction and bring it down.

Q:  What do I do with my menstrual cup when I’m not using it?

Give it a good wash and store it away for your next period.

Most cups come with some sort of storage bag or container. If not, you can use any bag that allows air flow. NEVER store your cup in an airtight container! It needs fresh air to allow any moisture to evaporate.

You can store your cup in the open, sitting on a shelf or in a cabinet.  You can also tuck it away in a sock or underwear drawer.

Make sure to keep your cup out of the reach of pets! Some pets think they’re chewing toys!

Q:  How long does a menstrual cup last?

Most companies state that their cups last up to ten years with proper care.

Q:  When should I replace my menstrual cup?

  • Make it a habit to inspect your cup before storing it away.
    • If there are any tears, nicks, or scratches or feels tacky, sticky, or gummy even after washing it, it’s time to go shopping!

Q:  Can I use a menstrual cup if my cervix/uterus is tilted?

  • Definitely! There are many people who are successfully using a menstrual cup with their tilted/prolapsed, cervix/uterus.
  • Shorter cups may be a more comfortable fit for you.

Q:  Do I have to remove the cup to use the bathroom?

  • NOPE! However, there are some people who feel safer removing it so they don’t lose their cup while they go! It’s totally up to you.
  • If you feel like you need to urinate more often while using a cup, feel like you don’t empty your bladder completely when you do, have a slow urine stream or feel constipated, your cup may be applying too much pressure in a sensitive area. You might want to look into a cup that’s a tad softer.
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Both a menstrual cup and a menstrual disc collect your menstrual flow instead of absorbing it like a pad or tampon. An average large-sized menstrual cup will hold approximately the same amount as a menstrual disc. They each can be worn safely for up to 12 hours before needing to be removed, thrown out or rinsed and reinserted, depending on your flow. All types of internal birth control can be worn at the same time, including the IUD and ring. Neither the cup nor disc will interfere with the delicate pH balance of the vagina.

The similarities between the two end there.

Menstrual cups are normally bell or funnel/V-shaped.

Menstrual discs are shaped more like a diaphragm. They have an outer ring with a soft center.

Menstrual cups come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes, diameters, firmness, and even colors, to suit many different people. 

Menstrual discs follow a “one size fits most” system and, therefore, may not be comfortable for all people because the diameter of the rim is quite large.

 

 

Here are some more key differences between menstrual cups and menstrual discs. 

Menstrual Cup

 

Menstrual Disc

  • Most are made of some type of silicone. You can find a few that are made of TPE (thermoplastic elastomer), and at least one made of gum rubber.
 
  • Made using a polymer blend.
  • Can be folded several different ways, allowing the user to control how small the insertion point will be. Some find that holding a certain fold allows the person a better grip while inserting it. Others feel that a certain fold with a particular cup will help it to open more easily within their body.

 

  • Folded by pinching the rim together at the center, making something like a taco.
  • Can be worn below the cervix, or it can sit higher with the rim completely nestled in the vaginal fornix. A slight seal or suction may be created depending on the cup and your body, which may help the cup stay in place better.

 

  • Placed under your cervix to rest in the vaginal fornix closest to your anus, and then tucked behind your pubic bone. Because the disc does not create a seal, some find that certain movements such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or bearing down in any way, may dislodge the disc and allow menstrual fluid to leak or gush out.
  • A single menstrual cup purchase can last up to ten years with proper care. It is meant to be washed and reused, which means no need to restock your disposable menstrual products each month.

 

  • While most, if not all, menstrual discs were created to be a one-time use item that is thrown out after each use, there was at least one disc in the past that was reusable for the duration of your period. However, it was still meant to be thrown out when your period ended. With a disc, you will need to continue to restock your supply each month.
  • Most menstrual cup companies recommend against using their menstrual cup while having penetrative sex. However, not all of the companies are against it. Use cups at your own discretion and at your own risk. Many have successfully used a menstrual cup during penetrative sex without any issues. If you have any concerns about it, check with the company to see what they recommend.

 

  • Menstrual discs were created to be worn while having penetrative sex during your period.
  • Because menstrual cups are more like a cup, some find it easier and less messy. Using two fingers to pinch the base, the cup is walked or slid out and held upright with the contents contained. The contents are then emptied into the toilet.

 

  • Can be a little trickier and messier for some. When removing the disc, a finger is inserted to hook the ring that was tucked behind the pubic bone. The disc needs to stay parallel to the ground to avoid spillage. Some find that as soon as they dislodge the rim, it allows blood to gush over if the “bag” of the disc did not expand fully during use.
  • Washed and stored or reinserted, so there’s no chance that blood and odor will linger in your trash.

 

  • If not rinsed well before being discarded, it can potentially cause a foul odor until the trash is emptied.

 

While using either the cup or the disc, practice will be needed to figure out the best way to insert and remove the device FOR YOU.

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Menstrual cups are a great idea for anyone – as long as they have access to clean water. Otherwise, it can cause some problems.

We’ve all seen companies advertise that they donate menstrual hygiene products to developing countries or those in need, including menstrual cups. This is awesome and I stand behind them 100%. I’ve donated money and items, and purchased items from companies that donate and distribute. I’ve done both online and locally.

If you’re interested in being a part of this, there are many organizations online that have a hand in supplying these items, as well as menstrual cup companies.

Some menstrual cup companies offer a “Buy One, Give One” program, where every cup purchased equates to a cup given to someone in need.

Normally cup companies hold local classes to teach the people how to use a cup and how to care for it.

If water is available, it can be boiled to drink and can also be used to clean a cup, as long as the water has not been contaminated with chemical toxins.

However, if the person or area does not have access to clean water on a regular basis, a menstrual cup may not be the best idea.

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Every person with a vagina will have vaginal discharge, mucus, and secretions on a normal basis. These are a normal part of vaginal functions and self-cleaning.

Discharge

This fluid is made by glands in the vagina, which help prevent infection by carrying away dead cells and bacteria.

The amount of discharge, the odor, and the color will change depending on where you are in your cycle.

The color usually ranges from clear to milky white-ish.

It’s normal for the amount of discharge to increase during ovulation, breastfeeding, or sexual arousal. It may also increase if there is a lack of personal hygiene.

 

Mucus

This fluid is secreted by the cervix and plays a part in nourishing and protecting sperm as it makes its journey to meet with an egg.

The amount of mucus will fluctuate during ovulation and will peak during the most fertile days in your cycle. Cervical mucus is normally lowest immediately after your period, which can cause a feeling of dryness.

The normal consistency of mucus is clear and stretchy, similar to that of egg whites.

 

What’s Normal?

Taking note of what’s normal for you in both discharge and mucus will help you keep your vagina healthy. If there are any changes in odor, color or texture, or if you experience itching or burning, it’s a sign that you may have an infection and that it’s time to contact a physician.

Some of us experience the extra wetness while either of these are exiting our bodies. It can make moving around uncomfortable, and cause chafing, irritation or rashes. Some people experience an accumulation of wetness that seeps through to their outer clothes.

Using a pad on your underwear to collect mucus is safe but it is not suggested to regularly use a tampon during these times. Because tampons absorb all moisture, you may experience vaginal dryness, micro-tears, and vaginal ulcers, and have an increased risk of infections – or even more serious, toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

Menstrual cups are perfect for collecting excess discharge and mucus, and are safe to wear for up to 12 hours before needing to be removed and washed. They can be emptied and re-inserted immediately afterwards. Unlike tampons, you can use any size menstrual cup to help reduce the amount of excess moisture.

Menstrual cups do not absorb or interfere with the delicate balance in your vagina, so you can use one even when you’re not on your period!

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Many people experience at least one, and sometimes more, of the several types of pelvic organ prolapses.

These include:

  • Bladder Prolapse – Cystocele
    This is the most common kind of pelvic organ prolapse. This happens when the bladder presses against the wall of the vagina.
  • Urethral Prolapse – Urethrocele
    This is when the urethral tube, which carries the urine from the bladder to the outside of the body, curves and/or widens.
  • Uterine Prolapse
    This happens when the uterus drops from its normal position and allows the cervix to press further into the vagina.
  • Vaginal Vault Prolapse
    This type of prolapse normally only happens after a hysterectomy. When the vagina no longer has the support from the uterus, it may drop into the vaginal canal.
  • Small Bowel Prolapse – Enterocele
    This is when the small bowel presses against the wall of the vagina.
  • Rectocele
    If the tissues separating the vagina and rectum are too weak, it can cause a bulge in the back wall of the vagina.

All of these prolapses are caused by stretched or weakened ligaments, tissues, fascia and/or muscles (pelvic floor muscles) that support the pelvic area.

It is most common for someone who has been pregnant or has given birth to experience one or more of these prolapses due to the strain from pregnancy or delivery.

Breastfeeding can lessen estrogen levels and contribute to weakening the vaginal walls.

Aging may be another factor in experiencing a prolapse: with falling estrogen levels during and after menopause, the pelvic floor may lose some of its strength and elasticity.

Many people who have a pelvic organ prolapse do not have symptoms and may not even realize the prolapse occurred. These are minor and do not cause any issues or pain.

Others have found them quite bothersome and have reported symptoms such as:

  • Pelvic pressure
  • An abnormal bulge inside their vagina
  • Feeling as though something is protruding out of their vagina
  • A pulling or stretching in the groin area
  • Lower back pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • Spotting or bleeding
  • Urinary problems or incontinence
  • Problem with bowel movements

A prolapse rarely gets better on its own. Speak with your doctor if you’re unsure. They may recommend that you see a special physical therapist to correct the prolapse and get your organs back to where they belong!

Things that can worsen your prolapse include:

  • Obesity
  • Chronic cough/allergies or sneezing
  • Constipation
  • Heavy lifting

Even with a prolapse, many people have been able to use a menstrual cup successfully and without pain. The key here is to find a cup that doesn’t cause any discomfort and is still effective.

Because a prolapse will cause the vagina to be shaped differently than a “normal” vagina, it may take some trial and error to find the right cup, position, and angle. However, with the right one, it should be both possible and comfortable.

The majority of the people with a prolapse of any kind have reported that a shorter and/or wider cup tends to fit better. Firmness depends on the individual, but some feel that their cups actually help support their vaginal walls rather than worsening the prolapse. 

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Many people have been successful with using internal birth control, such as an IUD or a NuvaRing®, alongside using a menstrual cup.

Because it’s common for some people to experience spotting or daily bleeding while fitted with an IUD, a menstrual cup can be invaluable. A cup, even a small-sized one, should be sufficient to continue to collect the flow for a full 12-hour duration.

If you’re thinking about using internal birth control with your menstrual cup, speak with your gynecologist prior to the procedure. Your doctor can trim the IUD strings and make them shorter to minimize the chances of the IUD becoming dislodged.

Get to know where your IUD strings are and their normal length. Monitor them regularly, both during your period and off your period when you aren’t wearing a menstrual cup. If the strings suddenly feel longer than normal, it might be a sign that your IUD has migrated and you’ll want to check with your doctor.

After your cup is inserted and correctly placed, use a finger to swipe around the rim and make sure the strings are not between the cup and your vaginal wall. The IUD strings should be inside the cup.

Make sure to break the seal/suction of the cup before removing it. If the seal is not broken, there is a chance of dislodging the IUD.

If you’re using a contraceptive ring: insert the ring first and then the menstrual cup after.

Again, be sure to speak with your doctor about using a menstrual cup prior to starting any internal birth control methods (or vice versa). 

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Menstrual Cup

 

Disposable Menstrual Products

  • Most menstrual cups are reusable. With proper care, a menstrual cup can last up to ten years. This means you spend approximately $40 on a menstrual cup once every ten years.
 
  • Used one time and then tossed in the trash. You spend money every month on disposables.
  • A menstrual cup can be worn safely for up to twelve hours at a time, depending on your flow. An average-sized cup normally holds at least 30 ml.

 

  • Most tampon companies state that you should replace a tampon at least every 8 hours whether you need to or not. A super absorbency tampon holds approximately 9-12 ml of menstrual blood.
  • All you need is a single menstrual cup when you’re out of the house – and you’ll probably be wearing it, so you’ll always have your menstrual cup handy.

 

  • When you use disposables, you need to make sure to carry extras with you! Frequent trips to the store are also necessary to make sure that you’re well-stocked.
  • When your menstrual cup fits and is placed correctly, it disappears inside of your body and cannot be felt or seen.

 

  • Tampons may not be felt when inserted, but you’ll always have to deal with the string. Pads are always worn outside of the body. They may be bulky and may be seen through clothing.
  • A cup doesn’t remove your body’s natural secretions, which means it stays lubricated and removal is easy.

 

  • The same cannot be said for removing a tampon. If your tampon is not saturated, it may be dry and scratch, burn or create micro-tears on the way out.
  • Menstrual cups collect your flow and do not interfere with the pH or bacterial balance in your vagina.

 

  • A tampon absorbs your flow and everything else, leaving you feeling dry.
  • Although a menstrual cup may end up with an odor after being worn, it can be washed and cleaned before being stored.

 

  • Tampons and pads are placed in the trash, where they will dry and start to give off a foul odor.
  • A cup can be worn during almost any activity, including swimming.

 

  • Tampons can also be worn during almost any activity. However, some find that tampons will absorb pool or ocean water while swimming. Pads inhibit you from swimming altogether.

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That’s a great question! I think we all wonder this when we are introduced to them.

  • “Why didn’t my mom tell me?”
  • “Why didn’t they discuss this option in Sex Ed at school?”
  • “Why are there no commercials?”

Moms

First of all, the early versions of menstrual cups weren’t very successful. Our mothers and grandmothers probably didn’t even know about them; my mother didn’t until I told her about them.

 

Schools

Schools are very selective about what they can and can’t discuss. Everyone has different cultural and religious beliefs, so people felt that those topics should be taught by parents; some felt that certain topics were inappropriate to discuss between a teacher and their students.

I remember learning about periods, pads and tampons in 5th grade. In 7th grade, teachers went over them again. The teachers didn’t really go into describing these things or teaching us how to use them, but they were mentioned.

For both of my children, a son and a daughter, sex education was merely a discussion about hygiene. The only mention about menstruation was that it happens with no real explanation of why and how to care for it. Sex, in this sex education class, was brushed off; they were only told to abstain.

 

“Ick” Factor

It seems that menstrual cups have larger followings in certain parts of the world for one reason or another. It’s like those parts of the world broke through the “ick” factor before many of us. The “ick” factor is one big reason why we haven’t heard about menstrual cups.

Many of us were raised to be quiet about our periods and that it was something we needed to keep a secret. We’re taught to think that our periods are “gross” and that knowing about or touching our “private parts” wasn’t something we should do. We’re taught that all of it is shameful.

When I first got my period, I lived in my grandmother’s house. She raised my sisters and me to keep everything surrounding our periods as discreet as possible. Our tampons and pads were kept under the sink and we had to wrap our soiled items in a specially-folded newspaper to be thrown out. Period blood was “gross”. Our bodily functions were “gross”. So, even at home, it was something I felt I needed to be ashamed about.

It wasn’t until my dad moved us out of my grandmother’s house that I felt a little more at ease about my period in my home life. I have to give my father some big props! He was a single parent of three bleeders. He did well to not make it anything out of the ordinary. He snaked tampons out from clogged toilets without complaining and never asked if we needed “stuff” – he just bought it. I love you, dad! You’re awesome!

However, at school, we hid our tampons in our sleeves if we needed to change ourselves. Sometimes we would just go to the nurse’s office because it had a private bathroom. We were embarrassed and/or teased by our schoolmates if they knew. Years and years of this “shame” carried over to adulthood.

 

Commercials

Most menstrual cup users will probably tell you that they found out about cups from word of mouth, either from a friend or family member, or that they happened across something online.

To date, there’s only one company that I know of (at least in the USA) that has a television commercial, and I’ve only seen it a handful of times – if that.

I’m not exactly sure why more companies don’t make commercials. The reason that comes to mind is that their budget is a lot smaller than the big brand name pad and tampon makers.

Because a single menstrual cup can last upwards to ten years, cup companies don’t continue to make sales from one person every month.

 

Stores

I don’t know about all stores but I do know that some stores charge more for “prime real estate”. The cost for having a product on a shelf in a specific, well-seen area can be very costly. Plus, what store wants to carry a product that doesn’t need to be purchased more than once every ten years?!

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