Menstrual Cup 102: How to Insert and Tips for First Time Users #PlasticFreePeriod

Feb 26, 2020

Trigger warning: Blood, mensuration, periods.




The first thing that pops up in one's mind when she sees a menstrual cup (primarily if they have never used a tampon like me) - how is this thing going to go in? Won't it hurt? How will it stay in? What if it goes inside my uterus? Will I need surgery to get it out?....

Here is the post to answer it all. [I hope you have already read part 1 of this series on Menstrual cups. If not, then read Why You Must Switch.]

How can a menstrual cup go in?

Several folds can help you. I tried the shell fold (also known as touchdown fold) because the tip is slimmer/smaller than other folds. When you try it for the first time in your life, make sure that you are relaxed. I was horrified because I had never even used tampons. Switching from pads to menstrual cups felt like a big jump.



For the first time I wanted to try, things started at the office. When I went home, I took a long shower - body scrubs, shampoo, and the lot. It went in smoothly. I was not sure if things were right, so I took it out before going to sleep and inserted it back in for the night. However, in the morning, I could not reinsert it. My cab was waiting downstairs. I started to panic, and that was making things worse. I was almost about to give up, and then I tried something that helped me to get things smoother.

How to insert and remove? 

Use the Breathing technique.

Insert: When you insert the cup, breathe out. Squat/bend your knees and keep your legs apart, creating a bigger angle with your legs. Separate your labia gently. Gently push the menstrual cup in, keep the base pinched so that the fold does not open mid-way, as you breathe out. Your body will automatically place it correctly without causing any issue or pain. After it is in, check that it has created a vacuum by touching around the base. You should be able to feel it when it is open. If things don't feel right or feel uncomfortable, then take it out and try again. This will become smoother in two-three cycles. Though I won't lie - I had used a pad at times when I was stressing about things and could not help relax.

Remove: Release the vacuum by pinching the base. Breathe in as you pull it out. If you are reluctant to see your blood, do this while sitting on the toilet - Keep a firm grip of the stem and without looking down (if you are scared of blood, then flip the cup upside down and clean it with water or tissue papers. Reinsert.

Keep nails short. That region might be unknown territory for you. It is better not to hurt yourself when your hormones are already trying to kill you.

Is lube necessary?

Some do use lube. I had plans to get that if things did not work for me. Interestingly the breath in and out technique works like magic. So, no lube for me.

Can a menstrual cup get stuck inside?

A big NO. First of all, your body is pushing out things. That cups, in fact, slide down a bit in case it gets full. Second, it is biologically not possible. Check with the anatomical diagram, and you will know.


Please switch. It is excellent for you and the planet.

Love,
Shayoni

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