15 Menstrual Cup tricks you don't want to miss!
How easy would life be if your menstrual cup is inserted perfectly every time, stays put right in place, and is removed as conveniently as ever? Well, that can be a lot to ask. Every menstruator is different, and using a menstrual cup comes with its very own learning curve. You might get it right in the first try, or it may take you a few extra cycles (which is perfectly normal). In any case, the results are always worth it.
Two of the most common tips you might have heard from fellow cup-verts are:
· Make sure to read all the instructions thoroughly, before jumping right in.
· And relax.
Apart from these, here are some cup tricks that you can experiment with to find out what’s best for you.
1. Get the right size : Go through your period cup size guide to find the best suit for your vagina. With WomxCup, there’s no need of going through the size hassle as the standard regular size caters to all menstruators (who haven’t given birth vaginally).
2. Wet the cup : When a cup is wet, it is easier to insert it. So, you may want to lubricate the entrance to your vagina as well as the rim of the cup with water or a water-based lubricant. Many also find insertingtheir cup while in the shower to be very useful, so make sure to give that a try.
3. Get the right angle : A cup should never be inserted in a straight up (vertical) angle, because that’s not how your vagina is shaped. It must be inserted into the vagina at a horizontal 45-degree angle for proper insertion. Aim for the base of your spine. Squatting with your knees spread open is a popular way to insert your menstrual cup first. When the cup is no longer visible, avoid inserting the cup any further.
4. Wait for the ‘pop’ : To avoid leaking and to form a seal, the cup must ‘pop' open after being inserted. Some people hear a pop, while others don't. Run your finger around the cup's base gently. It hasn't popped open properly if it looks flat or scrunched in some way. Grip the cup's base and attempt to rotate it 360 degrees. Remove the cup and try again if that doesn't work.
Pro tip: You can try a few Kegel exercises/ pelvic floor exercises to make this smoother.
5. Keep it low : If you feel like the cup is touching your cervix, take it as a signal that the cup is inserted too high into your vagina. Re-insert and try again.
6. Trim the stem : Most of you might have already tried this. If the stem irritates your labia, trim away! Having said that, prefer not to directlytrim to a point where it’s difficult to remove the cup. Trim no more than half a cm at a time, then retry your cup to see if it's more comfortable.
Tip: If the stem is cut uneven, use a nail filer to shape it up.
7. When you're a beginner, try going into a full squat to insert it : This helps you relax and opens up your pelvis to make insertion easy. Or try with one foot on the toilet.
8. To get that seal :
· try inserting it slightly more than you think you need to, then pull it down or
· insert it, twist it, and push gently. If you have trouble twisting it once it's inserted, try putting your finger around the edge of the rim to create the seal.
9. Wear a panty liner : Or a back-up pad, until you feel confident enough to avoid leaks
10. Clean the air holes : Make sure to clean the air holes properly with water to get a good vacuum without any blockage.
11. Sneezing or pooping might cause a little shift in the cup’s position. So don’t forget to readjust during your bathroom run.
12. Try turning the cup inside out : This might avoid the stem for you altogether and make the entire process a tad bit easier.
13. Don't forget to pinch : If you have used a tampon, you might be tempted to treat the stem of the cup similar to the tampon string. Don't do it. Remember to pinch the cup's base to release the vacuum and then pull out. You may be able to get it out by simply pulling it, but believe us when we say that it is not a fun experience.
14. In case of leaks, try another fold : Experiment with the punch down fold, C fold, seven fold, origami fold, and others to find the one that works best for you.
15. Always ask questions : There are no silly questions when it comes to menstrual cups. A simple tip, advice, or suggestion can help you get a better hang of it.
Try these to make your cupversion a bit easier and much less nerve-wracking.
Have a bloody good period!
Author : Nibha Patil
Artwork : Khyati Patkar