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Using a menstrual cup is unlike any other feminine hygiene device. Try to imagine back to your first period, how scary and nerve wracking it was. Now you're probably a pro with pads or tampons and it is hard to think you ever weren't. Cups have a steep learning curve. There is a common fear that something may get lost in your vagina and never come out, but anatomically that is impossible, though that does not make first use less scary.
Please anticipate and welcome the uncharted territory of using a menstrual cup for the first time. It is a learning experience that each and every cup user has gone through. The first removal might be terrifying and take you upwards of 10 to 20 minutes, that is normal. The first day you use a cup you might be worried the whole day if it will leak, that is normal. You may even actually leak if your placement is off, that is normal. Once you have mastered placement and removal of your cup, you will fall in love with it and wonder how you ever had a period without it. Eventually you will get to a point where insertion and removal takes about 5 seconds tops and you can trust your cup to be there for you for a whole 12 hours. The learning curve is scary, but worth it.
In order to make sure the cup is placed properly please follow these directions:
1. Wash hands before insertion or removal, make sure your cup is properly sanitized before use.
2. Fold cup with preferred folding method. If you are having a hard time getting your cup to form a seal, try a different folding method. Our guide to cup folds can be found here.
3. Insert folded cup into vagina
4. Make sure the cup is open properly. You may feel a distinguishable "pop" in your vagina, but if you do not then run a finger around the cup to make sure the rim is open. A gentle tug on the stem will allow you to see if a seal is made. If the cup moves when tugged on gently, a seal is not made.
When the cup is not placed properly inside the vagina you may experience leaks, discomfort, or in rare cases even the cup falling out. Here are specific troubleshooting for why your cup is causing you an issue.
My cup is leaking
If your cup is leaking then a seal is not properly made. In order to avoid this, you must make sure your cup is properly sealed around your vaginal walls. Try a different fold on insertion, and run your finger around the cup inside your vagina to make sure the rim of the cup is open. If a seal is properly made and you still experience leaks, you may need a larger size regardless of birth status or flow.
My cup is causing me to have cramps
If your cup is causing a noticeable increase to the amount of cramps you are experiencing, then the cup may be suctioned onto your cervix. This is usually a result of placing the cup too high in your vaginal canal. In the case that you have a very low cervix, you may cut off the stem of the cup making sure not to cut into the base of the cup.
My cup is irritating my vaginal opening
Not every vagina is the same size and length, but our cups' stems are. Some people may find that they need to trim the stem of their cup to avoid any irritation on the vaginal opening. If you trim your stem take care not to cut into the base of the cup. We recommend only cutting to the closest grip ring on the stem.