How to Choose, Use and Remove Menstrual Cups?
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Menstrual Cups - How to Choose, Use and Remove Them?

Published on Jul 22, 2022 and last reviewed on Jan 23, 2023   -  5 min read


Menstrual cups are gaining popularity as reusable menstrual hygiene products. Read the article to know more about menstrual cups and their proper use.

Menstrual Cups - How to Choose, Use and Remove Them?


Menstrual cups, otherwise called period cups, have become a popular choice among women as an alternative to tampons and pads during their periods. Menstrual cups are reusable and sustainable as compared to other menstrual hygiene products. Plastic waste produced from disposable menstrual products like pads and tampons contributes a major share to plastic pollution and environmental damage. Thus growing concern over the plastic pollution caused by menstrual hygiene products boosted the shift towards using reusable period products like menstrual cups. Compared to other options like pads and tampons, menstrual cups are able to hold more blood and avoid concerns regarding leakage during periods.

What Are Menstrual Cups?

A menstrual cusp is a flexible, funnel-shaped cup made from rubber, latex, or silicone that is placed inside the vagina to collect blood during periods. They are usually bell or funnel-shaped with a ring or stem. A ring or stem is used for proper insertion and removal of the cup. The bell-shaped cup placed inside the vagina collects menstrual fluid. Several popular menstrual cup brands are available in the market, which provides cups in different sizes and colors based on customer needs. Menstrual fluid flow rate and frequency are different for each woman depending on their body conditions. Menstrual cups are able to collect comparatively more blood than pads and tampons. It can be used for long durations ( 4 to 12 hours) as compared to other menstrual hygiene products. Depending on the product quality, the majority of menstrual cups can be reused for up to ten years (if used carefully). Thus they are cost-effective and also help to reduce solid plastic waste generated from menstrual products.

How to Choose a Menstrual Cup?

Every woman has a unique body. Every woman has different periods flow rate and duration. Menstrual cup size is selected based on the menstrual flow, cervix height, and some other factors. It includes the following.

  • Menstrual Flow - First thing to consider in selecting menstrual cup size is menstrual blood flow. The amount of blood lost during periods is different for each woman, depending on their body. It can be identified based on the number of tampons and pads that one uses during each period. Based on the rate of blood flow, it is divided into two.

    • Heavy Flow - In a woman with heavy menstrual flow, they change their tampons and pad every one hour. These women usually use large maxi pads and super size tampons. Most menstrual cup brands offer cups in two sizes, and some brands have three sizes. It will be labeled as small, medium, and large. Every brand will have its own sizing chart for the cup sizes they are providing. For a woman with heavy blood flow, a cup with higher capacities is needed.
    • Light Flow - Some women will have light menstrual flow, and they use normal pads and regular tampons. For those, a menstrual cup with a normal capacity is needed (small size).
  • Cervix Height - It is an important factor in choosing a menstrual cup. Menstrual cups are placed in the vaginal canal, below the cervix. Thus cervix length plays an important role in the proper fitting and placement of menstrual cups. Cervix height is usually measured during periods or a few days before it (this time, the cervix will be in its lowest position). One can measure her cervix height by placing the longest finger inside the vagina and feeling the cervical wall. Based on that, it is of two types.

    • High Cervix - In a woman with a high cervix, the longest finger will go all inside the vaginal wall to reach the cervix. A menstrual cup with a long length is recommended in high cervix cases for proper fit.
    • Low Cervix - For a low cervix, the longest finger will touch the cervix around the middle knuckle mark region. A shorter model menstrual cup will give more fit in low cervix cases.
  • Bladder - In women with bladder irritation and sensitivity, softer cups are suggested to avoid discomfort.

  • Active Lifestyle - Women with an active lifestyle will have strong vaginal and pelvic muscles. A firmer menstrual cup is suitable for them for a good seal.

How to Use a Menstrual Cup?

  • Clean Your Hands and Menstrual Cup - Before using, the menstrual cup must be cleaned and disinfected to avoid infections. Clean your hands thoroughly using soap and water before placing the menstrual cup.

  • Fold the Menstrual Cup - The wide opening portion of the menstrual cup is made small by folding it, with the rim portion facing up. Two types of folding are commonly used.

  • C - Fold ( Half-Fold or U Fold) - In this type of fold, the top rim of a menstrual cup is folded in half to create a tight U or C shape.

  • Push Down Fold (Tulip Fold or Tip Fold) - A narrow point is created by pushing one side of the rim down into the menstrual cup.

  • Insert the Menstrual Cup - Achieve a comfortable position by standing or sitting on the toilet. Hold the folded menstrual cup using one hand and, with the other hand, locate the vaginal opening and try to slowly insert the menstrual cup into the vagina. Try to maintain the folded position during insertion.

  • Open and Rotate the Menstrual Cup - After placing the cup inside the vagina, the folds are opened and slightly rotated for a tight seal.

  • Check for Proper Placement - Once inserted, we can check for proper fit and seal to avoid leakage and irritation.

How Can We Remove Menstrual Cups?

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before removing the menstrual cup.

  • After achieving a comfortable position, gently pull the stem portion of the menstrual cup down the vagina until you reach the base portion of the menstrual cup.

  • Pinch the base portion of the menstrual cup to break the seal.

  • After breaking the suction seal, it will be easy to gently remove the menstrual cup by pulling it down.

  • Once it is removed, empty the menstrual blood into the toilet or sink.

  • Wash the menstrual cup thoroughly with soap and water and clean the edges.

  • Menstrual cups must be cleaned and sterilized properly to avoid infection. After periods, it must be cleaned and kept in a sterilizer or boiling water for a few minutes.

  • Most menstrual cups are sold with a bag or pouch for storage. After proper sterilization, cups must be placed in these storage bags and kept in a safe, dry location.


A menstrual cup is a reusable and sustainable alternative for other menstrual hygiene products. Compared to other menstrual hygiene products like pads and tampons, they are cost-effective and can be used for a long period of time. Based on their needs, one can select the perfect menstrual cup size by using the cup size chart available in the product description (it differs based on the brand we are using). Proper handling and storage of menstrual cups must be done to avoid vaginal infection.

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Last reviewed at:
23 Jan 2023  -  5 min read




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