Best Menstrual Cup for Beginners
If you are old enough to menstruate and get your period, then you are old enough to try using a menstrual cup! The first few times may be a little tricky but here are some tips to help you get the best menstrual cup for beginners.
Get to know your own body.
If you are new to the menstruation world, or you don’t regularly use tampons, then you may not know what the inside of your vagina looks or feels like. Your vaginal muscles may also be tighter. Take some time to locate the vaginal opening and feel around. You will discover that the vaginal canal (or tunnel) is not straight, bends slightly, and that you'll reach a 'wall,' which is your cervix.
The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus (where the blood from your period, and where a baby comes out from). It is similar to the neck of a bottle. The cervix will generally feel like the tip of your nose, firm but squishy.
High Cervix - if you place a finger inside your vagina, and your finger goes all the way in, or doesn't touch at all, you have a high cervix! You will need a longer, more V shaped menstrual cup.
Low Cervix - if your finger only goes in about an inch before you reach your cervix, then you have a low cervix! You will need a shorter, slightly rounded menstrual cup.
Try a smaller sized cup for your first time
It's better to go smaller initially, and if that doesn't fit, then go up a size. You might also find a softer, more flexible menstrual cup more comfortable when you initially use a menstrual cup. In any case start with the smallest and shortest menstrual cup before reading thousands of menstrual cup reviews. This is often the best way to find the best menstrual cup for teenagers even. Some people find that very flimsy, or soft menstrual cups can leak, so take your time to see what suits you. Some brands will sell at least two sizes, and the difference between these will be your age (under, or over 30 years old), and whether you have had a baby vaginally.
Try different folds to insert the menstrual cup
There are many different 'folds' to help you insert your menstrual cup, and you may have to try several methods before finding the one that suits you best. Here are a few examples:
- C- Fold or U-Fold Use your forefinger and thumb to flatten your cup into the middle and then bend so the rim creates a C or U shape
- Punchdown or Shell Fold Use your finger to push down one side of the cup into the middle to make the rim smaller than the base
- 7 Fold Flatten the menstrual cup and fold one side to the middle, and the other side over the middle, creating a very narrow rim
- S-Fold Use your forefinger and thumb to push your cup into the middle to create a squiggly S shape with the rim
When using any of the above mentioned folds for inserting your cup, you will need to be patient, and relaxed. If you are feeling tense, the vaginal muscles will tense up and be very difficult to get in. Try to have a hot shower, or bath to relax before trying the menstrual cup.
The first few times may not work, and can be frustrating and annoying. The cup may even irritate your vulva as you attempt to place and push it in. Some people have found squatting under the shower helps with inserting and removing the cup. You may even need to push a bit (similar to when passing a motion or peeing, or pushing a baby) when you first insert the cup, and then 'sucking' it up and lifting your pelvic muscles as it goes in.
Remember everybody's body is different and what works for your friend might not work for you. So be patient, relax, and try again.
Check the stem
Once inside, locate the stem of the cup to see if you may need to trim some length off. It should not 'dig in' to any of your muscles so make sure it's not poking you in an uncomfortable way. The stem should also not protrude out, but it also should not be too short as it may help in removing the cup.
So the menstrual cup is in, and it seems to be working. No blood leaking, and no discomfort. But what about when it's time to take the cup out? What if it doesn't come out?
Don't stress. Again, the first few times removing the cup can be awkward, and perhaps messy. You should be able to place you fingers in to locate the stem, to then find the base of the cup. Push the cup so it 'breaks the seal' and then use your fingers to wiggle the cup out.
If it doesn't work straight away, maybe try 'pushing' (like peeing, or passing a motion) and squatting to use your muscles to push it down and out. If you're tensing up again, and panicking, then wait a moment before trying again. Remember, no matter what, the menstrual cup cannot go further than your cervix.
Doing or using anything new for the first time is nerve-wracking, be it driving a car, scuba-diving, eating foreign food, using a tampon etc. but over time it will get easier! The fact that you came to this website to find the best menstrual cup for beginners, and want to learn about menstrual cups, is the first step in changing how you view and deal with your period. If might not be easy, but over time, it will be better for your wallet, your health, the planet, and your body!