HOW THEY WORK:
Cups are held in place by vaginal muscles and can create a very slight suction. They are inserted by folding them, using your fingers to push them gently into place, then pinching the base to release any suction and gently pull it out, folded, to prevent any pressure or discomfort.
Our webpage has some great tips for folding them prior to insertion:
That page has great resources about using and inserting the cups, and I will provide my two cents on them as well.
I used a menstrual cup for several years, only in the pat 2-3 years have I used sea pearls reusable tampons as my primary menstrual device (with cloth pads for backup on the heavy days). To share a little of my birth history, when my second daughter was born, her forceps delivery did a number on things ( to put it lightly ), and despite practicing kegels at every darn red light in Northern Virginia for 7 years, I have accepted that cups may not be best for my needs.
However, we have worked and spoken to many women over the years who were able to successfully use cups even after trauma to the vaginal muscles. My unscientific conclusion is, like everything, it varies from person to person, and I think a lot has to do with where the muscle damage may occur.
When the cup is in properly, you should not feel it. At all. This is very important to note, as we find some women wear them too low, and it will cause a good deal of pressure and discomfort. You *cannot* lose these cups in your vagina, and it is best to wear them as high as you comfortably can. This may mean having to reinsert after a bowel movement, as your muscle will nudge the cup down. Also, you may find your cup will be worn at different heights in your vagina as your period progresses, because your cervix will rise and fall during the course of menstruation, and that changes where you can wear the cup comfortably and effectively. I say this all not to dissuade anyone from trying a cup, but I feel the education can be power in overcoming common hurdles to make a cup work for you.
When you get your cup, this is how I advice finding how your body needs to wear it:
1. Best to try after a shower or bath, when you are not having you cycle, in order to be fully relaxed and able to take your time.
2. Personal lubricant is great here, it just makes it a bit easier to find the right place to let it sit. Not a lot, you don’t want it to pop out of your hand, but a tad to help insertion.
3. Lunette advises standing, sitting or squatting to insert. If you cannot get it high enough, try these tips:
- Sit down on the ground, legs spread to the sides, almost in a “birthing” position with your knees bent. Aim the cup down. Not back, and not up, it will naturally follow your vagina towards your cervix, which is downwards in that position.
- “Bear Down” while you are pushing it up and folded
- When it is as high as it can comfortably go, stop “bearing down”, when you release those muscles, they will put it up just a tad higher, which can make a big difference in your comfort level