Heard a lot about menstrual cups and finally gathered the courage to try one? The benefits could last you a decade! But the catch lies in understanding how a menstrual cup is used. Our medical expert decodes it step by step.
Before trying the cup, make sure that you have the following points in check:
- You should have the right cup size which is appropriate for you.
- The cup that you are about to insert should be clean and sterilized.
- Your hands should be clean and your nails should be trimmed.
- You should try to insert the cup only when you are on your period.
Folding the cup
The menstrual cup needs to be folded, primarily to make sure that you can insert it easily inside the vagina. There are many ways to fold it and three of the most common ones are as follows:
The first fold is called a C or a U-Fold. In this fold you just press on the rim or the edge of the cup, flatten it and then fold it to form either a C or a U.
Another way to fold a cup is in the shape of a 7. In this you are going to flatten it into a 7.
The third fold or the Punch-Down Fold is an excellent fold for new beginners. In this, you just use your finger to punch down the edge from one end and pinch the sides together to secure the fold.
Inserting the cup
So when you are ready to insert the cup, make sure you get yourself in a comfortable position. You can either squat down or you can elevate one of your legs to a platform like the toilet seat. Next, fold your clean cup in any of the folds as mentioned above. With your non-dominant hand spread the labial lips and with your dominant hand bring the cup to the vaginal opening and push it up as far as you can.
Remember that the vaginal canal is inclined towards your backbone at a 45 degree angle. So, make sure that you don’t push the cup up but slide it back towards your backbone, as far as your finger will allow. The cup in most cases will pop open on its own. If you feel a fold by running a finger around the cup, you can just give it a nudge and it should pop open on its own.
You can easily keep the cup in place for 6-8 hours depending upon your flow. If your flow is heavier – you can even take it out earlier. When you are ready to remove your cup, again get back in the same position that you were in while inserting the cup. Then, put your fingers inside the vagina and try to locate the stem. If you are not able to find it, just strain like you would to pee and because of that abdominal pressure the cup would shift lower and you’d be able to touch the stem.
Do not pull at it immediately but use the cup as a director and head for the base of the cup with your fingers. Pinch the base of the cup to release the vacuum. Once the vacuum is broken, slide the cup down with its mouth facing upwards so that the blood doesn’t spill.
Dump all the menstrual flow into the sink, wash it properly, rinse it with water and then you are ready to fold and re-insert the cup.
Once your periods are over, after removing the cup wash it with soap and water, and sterilize it. Store it in a clean and dry place until you use it for your next cycle.