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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The “C” Fold:

The 7 Fold and Triangle Fold:

The Punch-down Fold:

The “S” Fold:

The Origami Fold:

The Diamond Fold and Half Diamond Fold:

The Double 7 Fold:

The “E” Fold:

The Labia Fold:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additionally, it is important for health and hygiene reasons that you wash your hands and underneath your nails to certify that you do not transfer any bacteria from them to your lady parts which can cause infections, irritation, and discomfort.
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  1. Reply
    Anindya October 10, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Hi, this is my first period with a menstrual cup after about two months of unsuccessfully trying to put it in. But I have a problem. I can’t seem to push it deep enough. The whole stem still sticks out of my vaginal opening and I do feel the cup inside of me whenever I move. I also have no issue with leakage at all so at first I thought I was doing alright. Is it okay if I just cut off the stem? Or should I try to push the cup deeper first until I can’t feel it anymore?

  2. Reply
    Crystal September 8, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    There is no way I can rotate the cup. I THINK I felt the cup pop but I’m not sure. And there is absolutely no way I can reach my cervix. I have a really hard time with tampons causing bad cramps. Should I expect the same with the cup?

  3. Reply
    Rhiannon March 29, 2018 at 5:03 am

    First time Diva user here managed to get in twice, i also cannot rotate it to open as the instructions suggest.
    Shall persevere with this darn thing sure I’ll learn to love it eventually.
    Right now it’s a mission.

    • Reply
      Red Herring April 30, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      Hi Rhiannon!
      I can never rotate my cup as they instruct to do by pinching the base. I normally insert a finger next to the cup, press the body of the cup in a bit and swipe around. This allows me to feel if my cervix is on the outside of the cup, that the cup is open, and it also makes the cup turn a bit.
      You might find something helpful here:

      Good Luck!!! <3

  4. Reply
    Nikki February 14, 2018 at 1:41 am

    Am I the only one that cannot rotate the cup once it is inserted??

    • Reply
      Red Herring February 15, 2018 at 7:46 am

      I can’t rotate my cup either. At least not how the instructions explain! I have never been able to pinch the base to spin it.

      What I found that works for me is to insert one finger, press it against the body of the cup to cave it in just a bit and then swipe my finger to one side and then the other. At first, I was just checking if my cervix was hanging on the outside and that my cup was completely open, but I noticed that it also made my cup spin.

      Maybe it’ll work for you too 🙂 Good Luck!

  5. Reply
    Emma February 1, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Hi! I love my Diva Cup but even after 7 months of using it I’m not 100% at it. I put it in fine and it opens but I’m still leaking. I dont know if I’m putting it in too high, but when I try and leave it low it moves up on its own. And I don’t know if I’m putting it in at the wrong angle? Some months I can nail it and others it’s like my first time! Please help because I really want this to work for me!!

    • Reply
      Soni April 25, 2018 at 5:19 am

      I face same problem ..after tired a lot its still leaking so I have to wear pad with it as well…

    • Reply
      Red Herring February 15, 2018 at 7:43 am

      Hi Emma!

      Do you make it a habit to double check the position of your cervix after you’ve inserted the cup? Sometimes a cup can push the cervix to the side, or the cup can pass the cervix and be inserted on the side of it into the vaginal fornix.

      After you insert your cup, squat and bear down with your muscles to feel around the rim or as high up on the cup as you can. If you feel any indentions, it could mean that your cup isn’t open completely. Wiggle it down and allow your cervix to drop in.

      There’s a photo on this link that shows what I’m talking about. There’s also a video with some tips that might be helpful 🙂

      You also might not be actually leaking. If you’re experiencing some spotting, it could be from residual blood that’s coating your vaginal walls even after you insert your cup.

      If this is what’s happening, squat and bear down with your muscles and use a wet cloth to wipe the stem and/or grip rings of any excess blood.

      This link might list some other things that you can check/try.

      Good Luck <3

  6. Reply
    Megan January 31, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Hi, I am having trouble with leaking. The cup opens fine once inserted, and I check that the cervix is not down the side but still have trouble. Is it possible to insert the cup too low? I have read everywhere to make sure the cup sits beneath the cervix but still find it leaks! I am coming up to cycle 7 now and really want to get it down pat!

    • Reply
      Red Herring January 31, 2018 at 8:43 am

      Hi Megan!

      Are you “leaking” or spotting?
      If you’re just spotting, it could be from excess blood. This is the blood that’s coating the walls of your vagina even after you insert your cup. This blood pools down and ends up on your undies. Many people think that they’re leaking or spotting out of their cup when this happens.
      See if this doesn’t clear it up for you:
      After you insert your cup, squat down and bear down with your muscles.
      Wipe the grip rings and the stem (if it’s intact) with a wet wipe or cloth.
      Doing this will get rid of some of the excess blood and hopefully eliminate any “leaking” that you’re experiencing.

      You are correct, the cup can sit below the cervix OR up and around it. I personally feel more comfortable when it’s sitting up and around it, but to each their own….whatever feels more comfortable to YOU.

      This might have some answers for you:

      as well as this video:

      Good Luck and I hope you can get your cup to work for you! If there’s more that I might be able to help with, don’t hesitate to ask!

  7. Reply
    Sara September 7, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Like Dillon, I am also having trouble getting the cup to open once inserted. Any advice?

    • Reply
      Ellie September 12, 2017 at 5:23 am

      Have you tried different folding techniques? Some will open easier than others. Also, once it’s inserted if it doesn’t open correctly sometimes when you rotate it, it will open up. Also did you feel to make sure your cervix isn’t what’s keeping it from opening because you’ve inserted too far? You can try letting it open before it is fully inserted then gently and slowly rotate while pushing it into the proper position. My cervix is kind of low and that is how I solved my issues with it not opening properly.

  8. Reply
    Dillon July 30, 2017 at 4:29 am

    I am having trouble getting my cup to open up once inserted. How do I resolve this issue?

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