How to use a menstrual cup
This Earth Day, the Cora team is so excited to introduce Blood + Milk readers to our most eco-friendly period product yet: The Cora Cup.
Created for the woman exploring new and sustainable ways of managing her period, the Cora Cup was designed to be comfortable and easy to use. Its tapered, textured base allows for a slip-free grip and mess-free removal. A super flexible material and bell shape conforms to your body and moves with you, no matter what you’re doing.
All cups are made differently, and these rules of thumb regarding how to use a menstrual cup are most applicable to the Cora Cup. If you use a different menstrual cup, these might be generally helpful but we always advise you to read the instructions that came with your cup! But before we jump into how to use a menstrual cup, let’s chat a little bit about why you may want to!
Why should I consider using a menstrual cup?
There are many different reasons a woman might consider using a menstrual cup to manage her period. Women are becoming increasingly aware of the waste created by a lifetime’s worth of period products. Since a cup can be worn every month for up to 10 years, it’s the most environmentally friendly, waste-free period option currently available—and the most cost-effective. By purchasing a cup one time, you won’t have to purchase pads or tampons for 10 years.
Now that we’ve covered the why, here is how to use your menstrual cup:
Choosing the right cup size for your body
First off, most cups come in two sizes, so you’ll want to make sure you choose the right size for your body. The Cora Cup comes in two sizes. Most users can wear either size, though the large cup has a higher capacity for a heavier flow and the small cup is recommended for first-time cup users or those with a regular flow.
Not sure if your flow is heavy or light? If in the past, you’ve used high absorbency pads or tampons and/or needed to change product at least every 2–3 hours, you probably have a heavier flow and should consider the large cup. If you have a sensitive bladder, strong vaginal muscles, or a low cervix (you can ask your doctor if you don’t know!), you might be more comfortable with the small cup. If you’ve given birth, your cervix may have changed position and/or your flow may have changed, so be sure to keep that in mind and ask your doctor if you’re unsure.
How to Insert a Menstrual Cup
1. If it’s your first time using your Cora Cup, you’ll need to sterilize it. Bring a pot of water to boil, place your cup in the water and let it boil for 5-7 minutes. Remove the cup with tongs and allow it to cool completely before use.
2. Wash your hands with soap and the Cora Cup with pH-balanced soap (if unavailable, simply rinse with water).
3. Fold your cup using one of the folds shown below. The fingerprint indent will help guide your fold.
4. Sitting, squatting, or with one leg raised, gently separate your labia with your free hand.
5. Relax your pelvic muscles and guide the cup into your vagina, slightly upward and toward your tailbone. Keep the cup folded until it is entirely inside of your vagina.
6. Gently release your folded cup, allowing it to pop open and seal to your vaginal walls.
7. Using your finger, feel along the entire circumference of the cup’s base to check for folds and gently try to rotate the cup to make sure that it’s sealed.
How to Remove a Menstrual Cup
1. Wash your hands with soap and water
2. Standing, sitting, or squatting, insert your fingers into your vagina and locate the base of your cup. If you cannot reach it, gently pull on the stem until you feel the base of the cup
3. Once you grab the base of the cup, pinch the bottom in order to release the sealing suction
4. Holding the base of the cup, wiggle it from side to side while guiding it out. Keep the cup upright to avoid spillage.
5. Empty and wash your cup, either with cold water or with pH balanced soap.
6. Either re-insert your cup or if your period is finished, store your cup in its original carry case.
Menstrual Cup FAQs
Help! I can’t get my cup out.
Don’t panic; it happens! First, relax your pelvic muscles and allow the cup to drop lower in your vagina. Squatting or sitting might help the cup move lower. To remove, gently use your pelvic muscles to push the cup down until you can reach the stem and then the base of the cup. Do not pull on the stem for removal as the seal is only released once you pinch the base of the cup.
Uh-oh, my cup is leaking.
This is totally normal when you’re learning how your body works with the cup. Be patient and experiment with different folds and placing the cup higher or lower in your vagina. After inserting your cup, use your finger to check for gaps or folds and gently try to rotate the cup to test that it is sealed. If the cup is sealed, you won’t be able to rotate it.
Use the code EARTHDAY to get $5 off the Cora Cup