What Is Menstrual Cup and How Do You Use One?

A menstrual cup may seem intimidating at first. How do you choose the best menstrual cup? And once you've made your selection, how to use a menstrual cup may seem complicated. How do I insert it, know when to remove it, and clean it properly?

If you’re asking yourself any of these questions you’ve come to the right place. Millions of women before you once asked, how does a menstrual cup work and how do i choose the best period cup for me. Follow these simple steps, and you'll never look back from sustainable, healthful and comfortable feminine hygiene products.

In this guide, we go over:

  1. How to choose a product so comfortable that you forget it's there.
  2. What sets the highest-quality period cups apart from the rest.
  3. What makes the best menstrual cup sustainable.
  4. How EverCup compares to pads and tampons.
  5. How to use a menstrual cup in 6 easy steps. 

How to Use a Menstrual Cup in 6 Simple Steps

Shop EverCup's FDA-Registered Period Cup Made in USA.

  1. Clean your cup. The most effective and eco-friendly way to do this is to pour boiling water into your 100% medical grade silicone Cleaning Case. Just like your EverCup, this case is FDA-registered and designed to withstand boiling temperatures.
  2. Fold your cup and insert it in whichever way is comfortable. We have a few suggestions on how to fold it further down.
  3. Make sure the cup unfolds within the vaginal canal. This will prevent leakage and ensures that your cup is firmly in place.
  4. Enjoy its security and leak-free capabilities for up to 12 hours. Sleep, swim, dance and live your truth without worrying about changing a tampon.
  5. Remove your cup and empty it in a toilet or sink. There is a technique to this that you’ll get used to. We recommend moving your muscles as if you were having a bowel movement to make the cup descend. Then, squeeze the cup slightly to break the seal and pull on the end. If you do not break the seal, this process may be less comfortable. Remember to wash your hands first.
  6. Rinse your cup with warm water if possible—or wipe with toilet tissue and reinsert it.

Looking for more specifics on how to use a menstrual cup? Keep reading. 

First Things First: What Is a Menstrual Cup?

What is a menstrual cup? Also known as a period cup, a menstrual cup is a flexible, small cup that collects your period flow rather than absorbs it. Since you can rinse it out and use it throughout your cycle and for years to come, the best menstrual cups are an eco-friendly, healthier, and more comfortable alternative to pads and tampons.

They’re Healthier and More Comfortable Than Pads and Tampons

When it comes to comfort, menstrual pads are the better choice. Once you know how to insert a menstrual cup correctly, you can wear your device for 12 hours at a time without leaks or feeling it there. 

By contrast, tampons come with strings and rub against the vaginal walls when you remove them. Pads can feel heavy and messy.

Tampons and Pads Contain Unwanted Chemicals

More importantly, an increasing body of research shows that pads and tampon use comes with health risks. Notice how your pad or tampon is bright white

That’s because they’ve been bleached with chlorine and contain other chemicals.
One of the primary ingredients in tampons and pads is cotton—one of the most pesticide-intensive industrials crops on the planet. The vast majority of tampons are non-organic, meaning that the cotton they source most-likely contains traces of pesticides.

The vagina is one of the most sensitive and absorptive areas in the human body. It’s so absorptive that medical studies consider the vaginal membrane as a way to administer medicine.

Though there is a shocking lack of research on vaginal health and tampons, they can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the vaginal walls.

The Best Menstrual Cups Are Superior to Organic Tampons, too

What about all-natural tampons and pads? Though these are much better for your health than conventional brands, tampons can also contribute to vaginal dryness. Chafing against the vaginal walls also remains an issue, no matter how organic a product is.

The EverCup is made of soft, malleable silicone so there’s no chafing or discomfort. And because our period cup collects, rather than absorbs, your flow, it doesn’t contribute to vaginal dryness, either.

Additionally, organic pads and tampons still contribute to feminine products’ enormous environmental imprint. While it’s only safe to use a tampon for up to eight hours, a menstrual cup is reusable for ten years or more.

The Best Menstrual Cup Devices Are Made from Silicone

The concept behind how to use a menstrual cup is always the same: a device that comfortably catches your period within your body and holds it there until removal. But what your device is made from matters as much as how it works.

The best menstrual cup designs are made from 100% medical grade silicone. This means that it’s the highest quality material and can be used for medical applications. Keep in mind that many medical devices have silicone valves, seals and tubes.

The best menstrual cups will be made from silicone that is of the same high quality.

Why Does Silicone Matter?

When choosing the best menstrual cup for you, remember that the vagina is one of the most absorptive parts of the human body for organic and inorganic compounds.

This means that the materials you put in your vagina matter. Unlike plastics and rubber, silicone is made primarily from silica, meaning sand, and oxygen, not petroleum. It’s also BPA-free and free of other compounds that can affect estrogen.

Latex Devices Can Be Less Hygienic

Despite these dangers, some menstrual cup companies do not use 100% medical-grade silicone in their products. Instead, they use a diluted version that can contain plastic or latex.

Latex is a type of natural rubber to which many people have allergies. Placing lower-quality materials in the vagina is not advisable.

They’re Reusable for Many Years

The best menstrual cup products put the environment first. Keep in mind that period cups have been around since the 1930s. Why are you only hearing about them now? Since you can use these products for 10+ years, large corporations could make more profits by selling pads and tampons.

Here are some facts about pad and tampon waste to put it in perspective:

  • Every ten years, one woman creates 65 lb of pad and tampon waste.
  • There are approximately 2 billion menstruating women in the world
  • Most women menstruate for 30+ years.

By comparison, here are some statistics about menstrual cups:

  • A woman generates 0.2 lb of waste every ten years with a menstrual cup
  • If 1 million women switched to a period cup in the next ten years, we could reduce global waste by 6,400,000 lb.
  • Over the course of 30 years, we could reduce waste by 390 billion lb.

Keep in mind that not only are pads and tampons filling our landfills, but all those women are buying products every month. A menstrual cup can be a one-time purchase.

The Best Menstrual Cup Options Are Made in the USA

Like any e-commerce business, these products can be produced anywhere. Though quality devices can come from many countries, most menstrual cups are produced in China and are not subject to American-health and safety regulations.

Our FDA-registered menstrual cups are produced in an ISO-certified factory in Maine, USA. This means that every menstrual cup that we produce meets the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA)’s quality and consistency standards.

ISO stands for International Organization of Standardization. When a factory is ISO-certified, that means that we meet third-party quality, environmental, and safety regulations. You can read more about these standards on their website.

The Best Menstrual Cup Brands Teach You About Their Product

The best menstrual cup companies are open about where they manufacture their product and how to use a menstrual cup. A big part of best period practices is knowing how to clean your device between uses and at the end of every cycle.

How to Clean Your Cup

The EverCup advises you to clean your device out with clean, warm water between uses. Reached the end of your cycle? Fill your Cleaning Case with boiling water. This will kill all germs.

You Don’t Need a Special Soap

Some companies advertise a menstrual cup cleaning soap. Not only does buying a disposable product that comes in a plastic tube contradict the eco-friendliness of this product, but it won’t be as effective as the age-old cleaning method of boiling water.

Take our menstrual cup quiz to find your perfect size.

They Offer Unique Sizes that Work for Your Body

Just as you and your friend, daughter or mother may wear different shoes, the best menstrual cup could differ for you, too. More specifically, women who have given birth may need a slightly wider, larger sized cup than younger women.
That’s why we make it easy to measure your cervix and determine the size cup you need.

How to Use a Menstrual Cup: Before You Get Started

So you’ve decided to learn how to use a menstrual cup—welcome to the world of comfortable, healthy, eco-friendly and affordable feminine care. Before we get started, here are a few suggestions and tips for beginners.

  1. Start with the right sized cup. Though many women feel comfortable wearing different cup sizes, we recommend the mini for women under 18, the mid for women who have not had children and the standard for women who had delivered vaginally.
  2. R e l a x. The more tense your body is, the harder it is to insert a menstrual cup or remove one. Eventually, you’ll develop your preferred method of insertion and removal, but we suggest squatting above the toilet.
  3. Worried that you didn’t put it in properly? Wear a panty liner until you’re comfortable knowing how to use a menstrual cup.
  4. Always keep your cup clean and dry. We recommend using our Cleaning Case as a way to clean and store your cup. Unlike a cloth bag that dirties quickly or a plastic bag that does not provide airflow and can contribute to bacteria growth, the Cleaning Case is made from 100% silicone and features a unique closure to let your cup breathe and dry in your bag—all while staying protected.

Wondering if you should be using a cup in the first place? Check out our article on IUD use and our FAQ for more specific information.

How to Insert a Menstrual Cup: 6 Steps

How to insert a menstrual cup is the big question on everyone’s mind. Though it may take a few tries to get the hang of it, inserting your EverCup will soon before second-nature.

Step 1: Wash Your Hands before you use a menstrual cup

Remember that you are putting something inside your body. The best thing to do is to keep your hands as clean as possible. This means washing them with mild or unscented soap, if possible.

Step 2: Fold Your Cup.

There is more than one way to do this so experiment to find what works for you. We suggest pinching the opening of your cup and folding it into a C shape. You can make it even smaller by pushing the rim down into your cup.

Step 3: Squat

Though how to use a menstrual cup is up to you, we also recommend squatting to aline the vaginal canal. This helps you insert a menstrual cup at the correct angle.

Step 4: Insert the Menstrual Cup

Hold the cup in your dominant hand while using your other hand to separate your labia. This is when it’s important to relax your vaginal muscles. Slide the cup rim-first into your vagina. Your cup will naturally open as it goes in. Including the stem, it should be fully inside the vagina.

Approximately, this means that the stem is 15mm away from the vaginal opening or within the first knuckle of your pointer finger. It is okay if the cup goes in further as long as you are comfortable. How to insert a menstrual cup depends on every woman’s unique body shape.

Once you’ve learned how to use a menstrual cup properly, you should not feel your cup nor experience any leaks. If you experience discomfort or leaks, remove it and re-insert.

Step 5: Double Check that It Opened Up Inside Your Vaginal Canal

Though your cup should have opened once inserted, feel free to double-check by squeezing it inside your body. It should feel round--regaining its natural shape--inside your body without any folds.

If you do feel a dent, you can rotate it or remove it and try again.

 

 

Step 6: Live Your Best Life for 10-12 Hours

The EverCup was designed to make periods easier. This means that it’s perfect for physical activities like running and swimming, great for going to work or school, and perfect for a worry-free night’s sleep.

Make sure to remove your menstrual use at least every 10 to 12 hours, meaning twice a day.

How to Use a Menstrual Cup: When Do I Remove It?

One of the many benefits of an EverCup is the ability to safely and comfortably wear it for longer stretches of time than a pad or tampon. We advise women to remove it at least every 12 hours, though the frequency with which you need to remove it will depend on your cycle.

You’ll naturally develop a rhythm for how and when to remove it. Start off by removing it more frequently to understand how much it can hold (and get in the habit or re-inserting it).

As women, we bleed less than one thinks. Most women lose between 6 and 8 teaspoons of blood during their period, and no more than 12 teaspoons, according to the National Health Service.

How to Remove a Menstrual Cup

Removing your EverCup is easy once you get the hang of it. Here are some easy steps for how to use a menstrual cup for beginners.

Step 1: Wash Your Hands

Use a gentle soap to wash your hands again.

Step 2: Relax your Muscles.

Removing a menstrual cup is harder when your body is tense. The best thing to do is take a deep breath and relax your muscles. Many women find that that it’s helpful to push as if having a bowel movement to move the cup lower.

Step 3: Pinch the Cup Gently

Feel for the stem with your thumb and index finger. Pinch near the base of the cup to break the seal. Make sure that the seal is broken before pulling to prevent suction. If you are having trouble finding it, see above.

Step 4: Slide Your Cup Out Slowly

Remove your menstrual cup slowly so that you don’t empty the content. Keep the cup as upright as possible.

Step 5: Empty It

Use a toilet or the sink to empty your cup. Rinse it with clean, warm water if you are near a sink and re-insert it.

How to Clean Your EverCup

There are several ways to clean your EverCup. Part of our mission is to provide menstrual products and education to women in the Global South. As part of that, we’ve developed a Cleaning Case designed to make it easy, discreet and affordable to clean your EverCup. It is also compatible with every type of menstrual cup on the market.

How Often Should You Clean It?

It is important to clean your cup with boiling water at least once every cycle, in addition to rinsing it out with warm water daily. If you do not have access to clean water in which to rinse it, make sure that you boil your cup more frequently.

A big part of how to use a menstrual cup correctly is knowing how to clean it. There are two main ways to clean your EverCup:

  1. Fill your cleaning case, which contains your menstrual cup, with boiling water. Let the EverCup sit within the Cleaning Case for 5 minutes. To empty the case, pinch its handles together to pour the water out.
  2. Place your cup directly in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. No matter how you clean your menstrual cup, make sure that the four holes are clean.

How to Store Your EverCup

How to use a menstrual cup also means storing it in a safe, sanitary way. That’s why we invented the Cleaning Case: not only is it best to have a container into which to sanitize your cup, but it’s also a high-quality storage container made especially for your cup.

Just like the EverCup, the Cleaning Case is made from 100% medical-grade silicone. It also features two closure options:

  1. A loose closure is ideal for a damp cup. You want to give it space to dry so as to not produce bacteria but a safe place so it stays clean.
  2. A tight closure is great for when you’re on the go and want your cup to be as small and discreet as possible.

Canvas Bag Storage Isn't a Longterm Solution

Many companies only offer canvas bag storage. These bags get dirty quickly so they are not ideal for long-term menstrual cup storage. We designed the Cleaning Case because we wanted the EverCup to be as sustainable and healthy as possible. 

The Best Menstrual Cup Puts Your Health and the Planet First

There is a reason the menstrual cup is making waves in women’s health. Not only is not more comfortable than a pad or tampon, but it’s much better for the health of your vagina and your bank account.

Made from 100% medical-grade silicone, the EverCup is comfortable, hygienic and easy to insert and clean. And because of our affiliation with Casco Bay Molding, located in Sanford, Maine, we exclusively source FDA-registered, American-made cups held to the highest quality standards.