If you’re new to menstrual cups or are reluctant to try them, we’ve got some tips and tricks that’ll take you from newbie to pro in no time! These shortcuts will put you on the inside track when it comes to making the most of this fabulous invention.
Switching from disposable menstrual products to a menstrual cup will put a brand new spin on your menstrual cycle. It’s hard to overstate just how much. When you consider that menstruation is something we usually have to deal with once a month – every month – for the next so many years, it’s easy to see how big an impact a change in products can make. Once you get used to wearing a menstrual cup, you’ll love how much simpler and safer it is to use than disposables! Plus, you’ll be saving money every month because you don’t have to buy packages of one-time-use tampons and/or pads. What’s more, you’ll be doing something good for the environment by keeping disposable menstrual hygiene products out of landfills.
As an experienced menstrual cup user, myself, I’ve had my good days and my bad days. Let my bad days be a lesson to you with some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the years.
1. Fighting Stains
Whether you have just started having periods or you’ve been bleeding for many years, you probably have leaked onto clothing or bedding. You may also have heard the phrase, “Rinse with cold water first”. This is because hot water will set in stains.
This can also be true for light-colored menstrual cups. While it doesn’t impact the performance of the cup, the staining may be off-putting to some. To prevent staining, rinse the cup of all traces of blood with cold water. After that, you can crank up the temperature to get a really good cleaning. Some folks like to boil their cups after each period, but that’s only personal preference and isn’t necessary. If you decide to boil your cup, make sure to set a timer for 3-5 minutes after a rolling boil starts so you don’t burn your cup to a crisp!
Is your cup already stained? Check out some additional cleaning methods that will make your cup look brand new!
2. Grin and Bear it
After the cup is inserted and positioned correctly and comfortably, bear down with your muscles like you’re having a bowel movement. Then use a wet wipe or cloth to clean the base of the cup (where the grip rings are) and the stem (if it’s still intact).
This will rid the area of residual blood that will otherwise leave spots on your undies and make you think that the cup is leaking.
3. Nails on Fleek
Whether you have natural or artificial nails of any kind and of any length, they can be pointy or scratchy and may make inserting or removing a cup a challenge.
When inserting your fingers, overlap your nails. Tuck your thumbnail under your pointer nail and place the rounded surface against your labia before inserting them. As you reach further in, your fingers and nails will separate like a flower in bloom and allow you to pinch the stem or base of the cup.
You can look into finger cots (“gloves” for single fingers) to protect yourself from getting cut. Also, invest in an inexpensive nail brush to use while washing your hands to eliminate the spread of germs and infection.
4. Public Places & Spaces
While menstrual cups hold more volume, depending on your flow, you may find yourself needing to empty it before you reach home.
If there is a private bathroom or family restroom, this may make things a little easier. They tend to be larger and include a toilet with a sink handy.
If a multi-stall restroom is your only option, you can carry an inconspicuous water bottle to rinse your cup and hands; pack some wet wipes in a baggy and place it in a pocket or bag; or grab some paper towels (commonly provided in public restrooms), wet them, and take them into the stall with you.
Furthermore, to keep blood from settling at the bottom of the toilet bowl, lay a couple of pieces of toilet paper on the surface of the water before dumping the contents of your cup in. This will help keep blood from sticking to the bowl when you try to flush it away.
Even though you might not normally have a sensitive bladder or urethra, you may find removing a cup to be painful. Some people describe this as a sharp pain, burning, or stinging feeling. To avoid this, as the rim nears the vaginal opening, slide your thumb a little higher up the body of the cup to collapse the rim a bit (against the pubic bone). This will ease the pressure and keep the rim from brushing, hitting, or dragging against the urethra on the way out.
Now that you’re armed with some tips and tricks, you can go straight to the head of the class; you’ve graduated from menstrual cup newbie status!
It takes time to learn about your body and how it works with your menstrual cup, so don’t be discouraged if you run into some other things you may need to work out.
Check out some other menstrual cup tips & tricks and please feel free to share a few that you’ve picked up with your experience! #happycupping #happyperiod