Science

Menstrual cup FAQ - Frequently asked questions and answers

Find my perfect menstrual cup

How do you put in a menstrual cup?

See our picture and video guide.

How do you take out a menstrual cup?

See our picture and video guide.

My menstrual cup won't unfold?

This can be due to tighter/stronger vaginal muscles in combination with a softer cup.

The cup could also be too small or too large.

You may need to use a firmer cup for it to unfold properly.

If you’d prefer to try using the menstrual cup you already have, try the following tips:

  • Try to relax
  • Lie on your bed and try to put it in lying down
  • Try squatting
  • Wiggle the cup side to side
  • Press in the sides
  • Try a different fold method
  • Grip the bottom of the cup and twist it one rotation
  • Grip the bottom of the cup and rotate it in both directions
  • Swirl your finger around the cup
  • Angle it at the same time
  • Any combination of the above points
  • If nothing helps, try a new menstrual cup – compare sizes, dimensions, firmness as well as measure your cervix – this should be done during menstruation as the cervix may change position during this time.

Don’t give up.

Like with anything worth doing, it can take a while to master the art of the menstrual cup.

You’ll appreciate it later!

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Where can I buy a menstrual cup?

There are lots of menstrual cup distributors out there, both online and in physical stores.

Even the manufacturers themselves tend to have an online store so customers can buy directly from them, although these often go for a higher price than via distributors.

We recommend comparing brands, sizes, materials, firmness and price before purchasing.

Check some customer reviews as well, these are worth their weight in gold!

Here are some places you can find menstrual cups:

  • Pharmacies (online/physical locations)
  • Grocery stores
  • Online retailers
  • Manufacturers’ own websites

Remember, Google is your friend!

What are menstrual cups made of?

Menstrual cups are made of medical grade silicone, thermoplastic elastomers, or latex.

Medical grade silicone is a type of silicone designed to be safely used in contact with living tissue, a property known as bio-compatibility.

The majority of menstrual cups are made of medical grade silicone.

TPE is a type of rubber-like material.

Latex is a liquid extract from a type of tree.

The word latex refers both to the extract itself as well as the natural rubber made from this extract.

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Where are menstrual cups manufactured?

Different brands are manufactured in different countries.

Want to find out which brands are made in which countries?

Visit our database.

Want to know where Nordic brands manufacture their cups?

Check out our article 6 Nordic menstrual cup brands you should know about.

Are there any toxic materials in menstrual cups?

According to a report by Kemikalieinspektionen in 2018, there’s no reason to worry about chemicals in menstrual cups.

However, there are over 100 different brands around the world, as well as fake replicas, so it would be impossible to test them all.

Therefore, you should be extra careful when, for example, purchasing from an online store in China.

Can I get TSS from using a menstrual cup?

TSS or Toxic Shock Syndrome is a very rare bacterial illness that can result from tampon use.

Two cases of TSS connected to menstrual cups have been reported globally.

Good hygiene is important, so make sure to wash your hands before using a menstrual cup.

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Can I use menstrual cups in combination with an IUD

Yes, although we recommend speaking with your gynecologist for more personal advice regarding contraceptive devices and menstrual cups.

Can I go horseback riding while using a menstrual cup?

Yes, but we recommend waiting until you’re comfortable with your cup.

Can I swim and/or bathe while using a menstrual cup?

Yes, but we recommend waiting until you’re comfortable with your cup.

Can I play soccer while using a menstrual cup?

Yes, but we recommend waiting until you’re comfortable with your cup.

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Can I do yoga while using a menstrual cup?

Yes, but we recommend waiting until you’re comfortable with your cup.

Can I work out while using a menstrual cup?

Yes, but we recommend waiting until you’re comfortable with your cup.

Can I play sports while using a menstrual cup?

Yes, but we recommend waiting until you’re comfortable with your cup.

Can I sleep with my menstrual cup in?

Yes.

Can I have sex while using a menstrual cup?

Menstrual cups should not be left in during intercourse and cannot be used as a contraceptive.

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How often should I buy a new menstrual cup?

This depends on how you take care of it.

Technically a menstrual cup made of medical grade silicone can last for over 10 years, but the recommended length of usage varies from brand to brand.

Normally you can expect to use the same menstrual cup for a couple years.

Some people use them for several years while others prefer to switch each year.

If your cup gets damaged, buy a new one.

Hear it from the manufacturers themselves.

Visit the minmenskopp.se database.

I have never had sex, can I still use a menstrual cup?

Yes, a menstrual cup can be used regardless of whether you have had sex or not.

Can I use lubricant with my menstrual cup?

Yes, it’s okay to use a water-based lubricant if you think it’ s difficult to put in your menstrual cup.

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Do menstrual cups prevent sexually transmitted infections?

No, menstrual cups are not contraceptive devices and do not protect from sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

Why are there small holes in menstrual cups?

These are to allow air to pass through when putting the menstrual cup in or taking it out.

As the menstrual cup unfolds after insertion, it forms a kind of vacuum between the menstrual cup and the cervix.

This is to make sure that the menstrual cup fits properly.

Conversely, when taking out the menstrual cup, pinching the base of the menstrual cup allows air to pass through the air holes - this breaks the seal, and allows you to remove the menstrual cup.

My menstrual cup has become discolored, is this normal?

Your menstrual cup can become discolored after a period of use, due to hemoglobin in the blood.

This is totally normal.

There are also ways to remove the stains from your menstrual cup.

For example, some companies have developed specially designed wipes just for menstrual cups.

Or, you can leave your cup to soak in 3% hydrogen peroxide or vinegar.

Lemon juice works too.

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Can I trim the stem of my menstrual cup?

Most menstrual cups have a ball, ring, or stem at the base of the cup.

You can shorten this piece if it’s too long or if you find it uncomfortable.

Can a menstrual cup get stuck in my vagina?

No, they cannot get stuck.

However, they may slide up higher, for example at night.

If this happens, it’s best to remain calm, leave it for a while, and try taking it out again.

Squat or sit on the toilet, relax, and remove as usual.

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