What Is a Menstrual Cup?
The best menstrual cup is sustainable, easy to use, and comfortable. But what is a menstrual cup exactly and how does it differ from pads and tampons? After you've chosen the ideal period cup size for you, knowing how to use a menstrual cup may seem complicated. How do you insert it, when do you remove it, and how do you clean it properly?
If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, don't sweat it. Not only is EverCup comfortable, eco-friendly, and FDA-registered, but we're also dedicated to helping women learn how to use a menstrual cup. Follow these simple steps, and you'll never look back.
- What Is a Menstrual Cup?
- The Problem with Pads and Tampons
- How to Choose a Period Cup
- How to Use a Menstrual Cup in 6 Steps
- The Best Menstrual Cup For Your Health
What Is a Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup is a flexible, small cup that collects your period flow rather than absorbs it like a tampon. 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, healthy, and more comfortable alternative to pads and tampons.
The following is not medical advice. If you have any questions about our products please contact a gynecologist.
It's Healthy and Comfortable
When it comes to comfort, menstrual cups are the best choice a woman can make. 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.
The Best Menstrual Cup Is Chemical-Free
More importantly, pad and tampon use may pose health risks. Notice how your pad or tampon is bright white. That is because it has been bleached with chlorine. It may also contain other chemicals.
One of the primary ingredients in tampons and pads is cotton—one of the most pesticide-intensive industrial crops on the planet. The vast majority of tampons are non-organic, meaning that the cotton they source may contain traces of pesticides.
The vagina is one of the most sensitive and absorbent parts of the human body — so much so that some medical studies have tested vaginal membranes as a way to administer medicine. This suggests that the chemicals used in tampons may be absorbed into the bloodstream through the vaginal walls.
Organic pads and tampons still end up in landfills. Though they may be better for a woman's health than conventional products, they do little to reduce the enormous impact that the feminine product industry has on our environment.
Pads and Tampons:
- 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.
- Pads and tampons, many of which contain plastic, may take hundreds of years to decompose.
- EverCup lasts up to 10 years. That's approximately 120 cycles.
- 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.
Why Am I Only Hearing About Period Cups Now?
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.
Tampons May Chafe and Cause Vaginal Dryness
What is a menstrual cup's advantage in comparison to organic tampons and pads? Though organic tampons are thought to be healthier than conventional brands, they may contribute to vaginal dryness, which increases as a woman approaches menopause. Tampons may also chafe uncomfortably against the vaginal walls, which may cause thinning.
By contrast, EverCup is made from soft, supple silicone guaranteed not to chafe or cause discomfort. And because our period cup collects, rather than absorbs, your flow, it does not cause vaginal dryness. This makes EverCup the best menstrual cup for women of all ages.
How Do You Choose the Best Menstrual Cup?
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.
Look for 100% Medical-Grade Silicone
What is a silicone menstrual cup? The best 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.
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.
Avoid Latex Period Cups
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.
Find Your Size
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.
The Best Menstrual Cup Brands Are Transparent
Menstrual cup products that are made in China and are not subject to American-health and safety regulations. They may also be made from lower-quality, non-medical grade silicone or latex.
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 Administration's (FDA) quality and consistency standards.
ISO stands for the International Organization of Standardization. When a factory is ISO-certified, it follows stringent third-party quality, environmental, and safety regulations. You can read more about these standards on their website.
How to Use a Menstrual Cup: 6 Simple Steps
- 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.
- Fold your cup and insert it in whichever way is comfortable. We have a few suggestions on how to fold it later on.
- Make sure the cup unfolds within the vaginal canal. This will prevent leakage and ensures that your cup is firmly in place.
- Enjoy its security and leak-free capabilities for up to 12 hours. Sleep, swim, dance and live life to the fullest without worrying about changing a tampon.
- 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 its end. If you do not break the seal, this process may be less comfortable. Remember to wash your hands first.
- 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.
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.
- Start with the right sized cup. Take this menstrual cup quiz to find the right size for you.
- Relax. The tenser 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.
- Worried that you didn’t put it in properly? Wear a panty liner until you’re comfortable knowing how to use a menstrual cup.
- 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 IUDs.
How to Insert a Menstrual Cup
How to insert a menstrual cup is the big question for women new to sustainable feminine care. Though it may take a few tries to get the hang of it, inserting your EverCup will soon become 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.
Step 2: Fold It
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 recommend squatting to aline the vaginal canal. This helps you insert it 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.
This means that the stem should be approximately 15 mm 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 shouldn't feel your cup at all. If you experience discomfort or leaks, remove it and re-insert.
Step 5: 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—having regained 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: Enjoy Period Freedom for up to 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, or at least 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 you may need to empty it more regularly depending 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. This will also help you adjust to inserting it and removing it. 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.
Step 1: Wash Your Hands
Use a gentle soap to wash your hands again.
Step 2: Relax your Muscles to Remove a Menstrual Cup
Removing a menstrual cup is harder when your body is tense. The best thing to do is to 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 It 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 It 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 Your Period Cup
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 all menstrual cups 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:
- 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.
- No matter how you clean your menstrual cup, make sure that the four holes are clean.
Feminine Product Storage
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:
- 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.
- 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 Is Convenient, Sustainable and Comfortable
With FDA-approved quality and a comfortable, soft design, EverCup makes sustainable feminine care easy. Not only do we believe that the period cup is the way of the future, but we're dedicated to giving all women access to healthy, eco-friendly and comfortable feminine hygiene products. For every purchase made, we donate our premium-quality menstrual cup to a woman in need in the United States or India.
Help us change the stigma surrounding feminine care for the world's 2 billion menstruating women.