How to use a period cup – everything you need to know before taking the plunge

March 17, 2021

By Claudia Light

We introduced our premium quality period cups to our range in the knowledge that, in terms of the impact of our periods on our world, reusable is the cleanest solution. Intelligently engineered, our cup is made from 100% hypoallergenic medical-grade silicon and silky soft to wear – giving you comfortable round-the-clock, stress-free protection.

All sounds great but you’re still not sure, right? We know the prospect of using a period cup can be daunting – trust us. For many of you, we hope using the Grace & Green cup will be love at first use. However, we’re all about complete transparency and, for some, using a cup does take practice.

Learning to insert and remove your cup can take time to perfect, but it will become easier with practice and greater familiarity with your body. If you’re struggling, give our cup a try for at least a few cycles. Experiment using different folds and positions when inserting and removing. Be patient and persevere. After a few cycles, it’ll feel like a breeze.

Before we start – tell me honestly, how does it stay put?

Our period cup fits comfortably inside your vaginal canal. It stays perfectly in place due to a suctioning seal, which is formed between the outside of the cup and the walls of your vagina. When correctly inserted, it will naturally rest there – you most likely won’t be able to feel it. It’s very rare that your cup will ever fully fill up, but if it does, it won’t overflow or leak.

And how exactly do I get it inside my vagina?

GET COMFY – Just as with a tampon, find a comfortable position in which you can relax your muscles. Variations on a squat, sitting or popping one leg up on a bath or toilet can all work well. Tip: it can be easier to insert your cup when it’s slightly wet.

PICK YOUR FOLD – You’ll need to fold your cup before you insert it. There are a couple of ways to do this – don’t worry, they all work, so just pick the one that works best for you.

The ‘C’ or ‘U’ fold

Fold the cup into a C or U shape by flattening the cup and bending it in the middle to bring it together.

The ‘Pushfold’

Using your index finger, press down on the rim to collapse the cup. Pinch to hold it in place.

INSERT – Folded cup at the ready, you’re now ready to go. With one hand, gently separate your labia and with the other, insert your cup slowly, rim-first into your vagina. Slide it up and back at an angle (towards your tailbone) until the body of the cup is completely inside.

POSITION – The cup should sit lower than a tampon, but there’s no harm in jiggling it up a little if that feels more comfortable. As you release your cup, it should gently pop open and sit comfortably in your vagina.

And more importantly, how do I get it out…

You’ll need to empty your cup every 12 hours and ideally every 4 to 8 – though this will depend on your individual flow and cycle.

GET COMFY (you know the drill) – Get yourself back into a comfortable squatting position, e.g. over the toilet. This shortens the vagina and helps make removal much easier.

RELEASE THE SEAL – Insert a finger alongside the cup to do this. You may hear it release and the cup should come away from the wall of your vagina.

PULL – Gently pull on the Node stem, or push down with your vaginal muscles until you can grasp the base of the cup. When you feel that the base of the cup is almost out, tilt the cup slightly sideways to remove half the rim before tilting it the other way to release the other half. This helps the cup slide out smoothly and upright with the fluid inside. Empty the contents into the toilet, rinse and reinsert.

Troubleshooting

Let’s just say, my favourite knickers are never going to be the same again

POSITION. The most common reason for leakage is not wearing the cup low enough in the vagina.

SEAL. Ensure that a seal has definitely formed between the cup and your vaginal wall by running your finger around the side of the cup to ensure it’s fully open, pinching the base of the cup (not the stem) and rotating it, and then clenching your cup with your vaginal muscles.

HOLES UNDER THE RIM. Check the tiny holes under the rim of your cup are clear, as these help to make the seal.

SIZE OF YOUR CUP. If you have our size A cup and it continually moves around or leaks, then you may need the size B. If you find the size B leaks, pelvic floor exercises can be very effective at strengthening the muscles that hold the cup in place.

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I think it’s got lost up there…

First things first, don’t panic. As annoying as this advice may sound, being relaxed is really the key to removing your period cup.

We always find it helpful to remind ourselves that the opening at the top of your vagina into your womb is actually pretty damn small, so there’s no possibility of your period cup getting lost up there – no matter what it feels like.

It’s much easier to remove or insert the cup if you’re in a full on squat, rather than half-standing over the toilet. Try removing your cup whilst squatting in the shower – saving you from the stress of a potential bloody mess on the toilet seat too.

If you can’t reach your cup, you’ll need to use your pelvic floor muscles to ease it down. This is done through a sequence of slow, gentle downward pushes (rather than one long hard push). As each small push is released it may feel as though the period cup is rising again, but keep going and after 5-8 gentle pushes, you should be able to comfortably pinch the lower base or Node.

Do you have any advice for people to help them become more environmentally conscious?

We want you to love your Grace & Green period cup as much as we do, so if you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’ll do our best to help.

You can find our full period cup range here. Made from 100% hypoallergenic, medical grade silicon, our cup is designed to last for up to ten years – the most cost effective way to care for your period and planet.