Menstrual cup – the ultimate guide for beginners

Menstrual cups (also menstrual cup, menstrual bell, menstrual cap, menstrual cup, period cup, or period cup) have come to symbolize sustainable period products. Because environmentally conscious living is becoming more and more important to many people. And rightly so; the consequences of years of overconsumption can already be seen.

For years good advice was expensive when it came to periods. Surely you have already noticed that you could go on vacation with your expenses for tampons and pads after 2,3 years already. Plus, these disposable products are anything but environmentally friendly in their manufacture and disposal; not to mention the chemicals that spread through your vagina thanks to tampons.

And although there are organic pads and non-bleached tampons, the resulting waste does not significantly reduce the burden on the environment.

All the better that menstrual cups are on the rise and are already being used by millions of women as a sustainable alternative. Most of these little cup-shaped period helpers are made of medical grade silicone and collect up to 50ml of blood. The cups are then emptied 1 to 2 times a day, cleaned and reinserted into the vagina. Sounds great – or?

In our article we introduce you to the topic and answer frequently asked questions. You can’t avoid your period, but you can choose to get your body and the environment through your strawberry week with as little waste and chemicals as possible.

Since this post is a bit longer, here’s an overview:

How does the menstrual cup work?

You can think of a menstrual cup like a tampon. It prevents blood from leaking uncontrollably from your vagina. Due to the shape and the material, a slight vacuum is created when inserted correctly, which prevents blood from flowing past the cup.

The subtle but important difference is that your cup only collects your period blood, not recites it. That’s why you can reuse your cup over and over again to help the environment. At the beginning of your period, you insert your cup into your vagina (more on this later) and empty it 2-3 times a day. Hygiene is the key.

What are the advantages of a menstrual cup??

A menstrual cup is full of benefits. In addition to the positive impact on the environment that we have already discussed, the Cup will also have a positive impact on your life.

You will save money

In the long run, buying a menstrual cup will save you a lot of money. On average menstrual cups cost CHF 35.-, which in one fell swoop is not exactly little, especially for teenagers. But in the long run it is an investment that will pay off.

Are you aware of how much money you spend on pads and tampons in a year? On average, you pay CHF 120 a year for these disposable products (at CHF 0.5 per tampon and and 20 tampons per period) . Your cup is anything but disposable and can be used for up to 10 years.

So CHF 35 looks quite different compared to CHF 1,200, doesn’t it?? And even if you don’t find the right size right away and have to buy two cups, you’ll still be cheaper – and more environmentally friendly – by doing so.

No more worries while exercising or sleeping

If you choose a menstrual cup, you’ll never have to worry about your clothes or bed sheets again.

Because menstrual cups draw a slight vacuum in your vagina, which means that the blood is safely trapped and collected in the cup. This way you can enjoy sports and sleep relaxed through your period.

menstrual cups advantages

What are the disadvantages of a menstrual cup??

As good as the MensCup is for the environment, it can have some drawbacks.

It could cause allergies

Many models are made of medical grade silicone, which is not a problem for most women. Silicone intolerance is rare. But don’t worry, there are plenty of alternatives.

Some manufacturers use natural rubber (latex) or TPE instead of silicone. Latex is a natural substance can be completely degraded by nature. TPE is also generally harmless. It’s made of thermoplastic elastomers, which means it contains no plasticizers and is recyclable.

Plastic with plasticizers is also an often used material for cheaper menstrual cups – but it becomes less sustainable with this material. You should take your time when choosing your cup and rather spend a few euros more. After all, you’ll be using it for years and can add pollutants to your body from cheaply made cups.

The size does not fit

The highest quality menstrual cups can quickly cost upwards of €35. All the more annoying if you get the wrong size and have to buy a new cup. But the right fit of the cup is crucial for whether it offers you enough protection or whether you have to worry about your pants every time you get up from the table.

Manufacturers offer help online, as well as on the packaging, in choosing the cup size. And we will not let you down either. Scroll down a little bit and learn more in the section What size menstrual cup?

The menstrual cup can become discolored

Cups come in all sorts of shapes, colors and fabrics. Some are colorless, others have delicate or bright colors.

However, most cups are made of colorless silicone and therefore tend to turn yellowish to reddish over time. But you don’t have to worry, the quality of your cup will not be affected by this. Many find it just unsightly.

If you want to restore your cup to its pristine condition, take a container filled with 400ml of water, add baking soda, teeth cleaning tablets or citric acid and let the cup soak in it for a day.

You can’t get past your own blood

While the cup is great for you and the environment, you might be bothered by the direct contact with your own blood. What is absorbed by a tampon and quickly disappears in the trash, must be dumped into the toilet with a cup. Depending on the intensity of your period, you will also have a lot of blood on your fingers when changing and wiping off the cup. Practice changing them in the shower if you are unsure.

Disadvantages of menstrual cups

How to clean my menstrual cup?

If you want to empty your cup in the morning or in the evening, it is sufficient to rinse it under clear water, dry it briefly and put it back in.

Cleaning is also super easy when you’re on the go. If you don’t have a washbasin in your toilet, it is enough to wipe the menstrual cup with toilet paper before using it again.

To keep your cup as clean and hygienic as possible, you should boil it at least before each period – and especially before the first use. It’s very quick. Place your cup in a bowl filled with water and heat it at 1000 watts for ca. 3 minutes in the microwave. Alternatively, you can boil them on the stove for 20min.

It is important that you use enough water and that the cup is still covered with water after 20 minutes of boiling.

Small tip: put your menstrual cup in a whisk and put it in the cooking pot. So your cup is always 100% in the water and boils out without residue. (Note – the whisk does not belong in the microwave!)

Which menstrual cup suits me?

In general, there are three types of menstrual cups.

The classic

Classic menstrual cup

The classic menstrual cup

The classic menstrual cup is cone-shaped and the most commonly used shape. It sits securely, draws a reliable vacuum and holds everything that should not leak out.

The round

Menstrual cup round

Round menstrual cup from Merula

This cup is best for women with heavy periods. Due to its round shape, it catches more blood and therefore does not need to be changed as often as a cup with a smaller volume.

The ergonomic one

ergonomically shaped menstrual cup

ergonomically shaped cup

If you have sensitive vaginal muscles and tend to have strong cramps, this ergonomic menstrual cup might be right for you. It is modeled on the female anatomy and thus adapts to your pelvis. Your muscles are relieved, which prevents cramps.

But there is another feature that distinguishes cups from each other.

Stem or ring?

Left with stem, right with ring

According to experience reports, the cup per se does not change anything – whether it ends in a ring or not. Some women find it more comfortable to remove the cup if they can simply pull it out after releasing the vacuum with the ring. Others pay more attention to the cup itself and even cut off the stem or ring.

What size should my menstrual cup be??

When buying a cup, many are faced with the riddle: Which size suits me??

Maybe you have already stood in front of the shelf and put back your chosen cup because of uncertainty.

But the guesswork is over now, because all you really have to do is look at the following five categories and weigh them up against each other.

I am still a virgin

Especially teenagers wonder Can you use menstrual cups as a virgin?

If you are not yet sexually active, you can still use a menstrual cup. Like a tampon, MensCups can be inserted normally to collect your period blood.

It is important to know that as a virgin your vagina is still very tight and inserting the cup can be uncomfortable. However, this is quite normal and, like everything else, purely a matter of practice. It is best to use a small cup to make it easier for you to get started.

I do not have children yet

In this case your vagina is still relatively narrow. A small to medium size (depending on the length of the cervix, see below) is therefore completely sufficient for you.

I have children

As a mom, you have probably already noticed that your vagina has changed after birth and is a little wider. Although this is not always the case, most mothers resort to other period products after giving birth.

If you want to have a classic cup, you should take at least size M. Even with round cups you should go one size larger if you have used menstrual cups before your pregnancy.

The location of my cervix

If you have to insert a whole finger to feel your cervix, it tends to be deep. In this case, you should go for a larger menstrual cup, as it fits more securely and no blood can spill.

If, however, your cervix is located further forward, e.g. in the front, you should use a small cup.B. half a finger wide in your vagina, you can rely on small cups.

This is how heavy my period is

If your period is average, classic cups are the best choice. The size depends, of course, on the factors mentioned above.

If you have heavy periods, the classic MensCup is not the right one for you. Round cups are more suitable thanks to their large collection volume and therefore need to be emptied less often.

Of course, these cups are also available in different sizes to fit the volume of your vagina. Mothers and women with low lying cervix can safely rely on round large cups.

I am sporty

Athletic women have a trained pelvic floor and therefore tend to have a tighter vagina. Whether you’re a mom or not, as an athlete you can probably go for smaller sizes.

But as I said, these are guidelines. Every manufacturer offers different shapes, sizes, and volumes – which is great, because no two periods are the same.

If you need further advice, it is best to contact the gynecologist you trust. Many gynecologists are already prepared for the topic of menstrual cups and have different models in their practice. This is a hygienic way to find the right size for you – and your doctor will be able to help you insert it for the first time.

Mensturation cup what size

Which menstrual cup for beginners?

If you have gone through the points described above, you should now have a good overview of which cup is best for you.

In general, classic menstrual cups made of medical silicone with a handle are the easiest cups to start with. Few women suffer from silicone allergies and are most comfortable with the reliable protection of the classic cup. This cup is also the easiest to fold and insert.

What happens if the menstrual cup is too small?

Well – what happens if you put a lid that is too small on a container and then shake it? Right, it spills over.

Similarly, if the cup is too small. Your cup should always be slightly wider than your vagina. This allows it to draw vacuum properly and collect your blood.

A cup that is too small would not be able to draw a vacuum and would literally slip out against your vaginal wall. Accordingly, your period blood would not be collected safely and would simply flow out of your vagina.

Conversely, a cup that is too small can also go too deep into your vagina. Of course, it can’t do its job and is very difficult to remove. This is the exact opposite of what you want to avoid with a menstrual cup.

Do you lose your virginity by using a menstrual cup?

In fact, it is possible that your hymen can be damaged by using a menstrual cup. This should not worry you, because tampons or sports can also tear the delicate membrane.

However, this does not mean that you are no longer a virgin as a result. You lose your virginity only through sexual intercourse.

How to insert the menstrual cup?

Every woman develops her own folding technique with the use of her MensCup. This technique not only makes insertion easier, but also guarantees a proper fit.

Here are the three most commonly used folding techniques:

The 7

Hold your menstrual cup securely with your index finger and thumb and squeeze the rim flat.

Now fold one end of the rim down 90 degrees.

Hold the cup together again with your index finger and thumb and insert it.

Menstrual cup - the ultimate guide for beginners

The 7 folding

The S-fold

Hold your menstrual cup securely with your index finger and thumb and squeeze the rim flat.

Fold the rim into an S-shape by pressing your left index finger and right thumb towards each other.

Hold the cup together again with your index finger and thumb and insert it.

Menstrual cup - the ultimate guide for beginners

S-fold

The C-fold

Hold your menstrual cup securely with your index finger and thumb and press the rim flat.

Now press the two ends of the rim together and fold into a C-shape.

Hold the cup together again with your index finger and thumb and insert it.

Menstrual cup - the ultimate guide for beginners

C-folding technique

No matter which method you choose, the important thing is that the menstrual cup opens properly so that it fits securely. With a short plop, the cup will pop into its original shape, creating a slight vacuum in your vagina. So your blood can’t get past the cup and is collected safely.

How do I know that the menstrual cup fits correctly??

As mentioned above, your MensCup protects you from leaking period blood by creating a vacuum in your vagina.

When you insert your cup using your chosen folding technique and it pops open, meaning it springs back to its original shape, it should usually fit properly. Don’t worry, over time you’ll develop a sense of whether your cup is fitting properly.

You can test with your finger on the vaginal wall if the cup has pulled vacuum and can be moved.

If you are sure that everything fits, you should do one more test before you leave your bathroom. Because even if the cup seems to fit properly, it can press uncomfortably on your muscles when you walk.

So just stand up for a moment, dance or squat down and feel if you feel a strange pressure. Re-insert your cup if you are unsure of the fit.

What if the menstrual cup does not fit properly?

If your cup is not in the right position, you risk blood passing by it and leaking out of your vagina.

If it doesn’t pop open, a few quick pinches will help:

  • Grasp the cup at the bottom and twist it slightly. Once it is in the right position, it will pop up on its own.
  • Run a circle around the cup with your finger. This is how you help her to find the right position.
  • Make sure the cup is not inserted too low or far down.

And if nothing helps, take the cup out again and put it back in. Maybe a different folding technique will help?

How to notice that the menstrual cup is full?

Generally, you can assume that you should empty your cup twice a day.

Your cup catches about three times as much blood as a tampon does. If you know your tampon usage, you can use it as a guide to help you a bit.

Whether you actually notice that your cup is full depends on your vagina. Some women feel a slight pressure when the cup is full.

But don’t worry – even if your cup is full, it won’t just overflow. Normally your blood will run out of your vagina in droplets. Ideally, it will be collected by a washable pad.

How often do I have to change/empty the menstrual cup??

& whenever it is full. Basically, you can expect to empty the cup twice a day. As a rule of thumb, your cup will hold about 3 times as much blood as a tampon. So if you need 6 tampons a day, that’s about 2 cups.

How to remove my menstrual cup?

It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before inserting your fingers into your vagina.

The easiest way to remove your cup is to use a toilet, because then you can flush away the collected blood right away. The sitting position is also the most comfortable for most women and helps to take the cup out without further ado.

First you should release the vacuum. If you can’t reach your cup, you can push it down by gently squeezing your bottom muscles. Now either run one finger along the vaginal wall and press the edge in or press the cup together with two fingers.

Do not pull out the cup by the ring or the handle while the vacuum is still there! Your vagina is very sensitive and then get hurt by the increased pressure.

How is a menstrual cup sustainable??

On average, a woman throws 400 tampons, pads and their packaging into the garbage can per year. That’s a lot of waste to be processed, reprocessed or incinerated.

However, if you replace these disposable items with a menstrual cup, you’ll not only be saving your wallet immensely, but also the environment in the process. Because your cup is only emptied, cleaned and continues to be used.

When should I replace my menstrual cup??

If you always clean your menstrual cup hygienically before and after your period, remove it properly and store it, you can use it without worry for a good 10 years.

The smooth surface of the cups makes cleaning easier and keeps germs from settling in. That’s why you have absolutely no need to worry about your cup having a negative effect on your health – quite the opposite in fact!

The only thing that can harm your cup is direct sunlight. Silicone loses elasticity through UV radiation and becomes porous. Although some women swear that sunbathing makes odors disappear that can be caused by improper hygiene in the cup, you should refrain from doing this. Or clean your cup properly.

Can I do sports with the menstrual cup??

Absolutely! Especially during sports menstrual cups offer you a safe protection.

Unlike tampons or pads, silicone conforms to your body and movements despite being a vacuum. So you don’t feel your cup at all! Whether you’re swimming, working out at the gym, or jogging, your cup will safely contain your period blood.

And a little bonus: With a menstrual cup, cramps that can result from improperly fitting and inflexible tampons are finally a thing of the past!

Where can I buy a menstrual cup?

Of course with us here in the shop&

12 comments on "Menstrual cup – The ultimate guide for beginners"

I read everywhere that you should run your finger once around the cup while it is sitting in it. I can’t even fit a finger in there additionally. I am 28 years old, have a child (cesarean) and was sexually very active, if you can say that. And have used different sizes. Even with the smallest size, no finger can go through it.

so if the menstrual cup fits and does not slip and you have a good feeling about it…then all is surely well.

Hi Jana!
I know exactly what you mean, it’s the same for me too. Am 30, have no children. A fingertip can feel only very limited whether the fit is good so far. It is also a bit difficult for me when pulling it out, because already one more finger reaches the limits in terms of space. For me it is best in a sitting position, then I tense the abdominal muscles and give a pressure on my abdomen, so the cup comes down a bit to be able to remove it well.
When inserting the cup, I push it in with one finger as far as I have room, pull lightly on the ring and press into the lower abdomen – this way I can actually feel whether the cup is sitting well. I repeat the tightening every now and then and when I don’t feel anything anymore, I know that the cup is in a good position.
Maybe this will help you somehow.
Love greetings

Attention, TSS can also occur with the Menstasse! The cause of TSS is not chemicals, but bacteria, which find ideal growth conditions when worn for too long, i.e. when the collected blood begins to decompose in the body. That’s why good hygiene is so important. Please correct as TSS can be life threatening.

Thanks for the input, which is of course correct. We have corrected accordingly.

Dear team, thank you very much for all the interesting information! Allerding please add: The hymen does not exist like that. So it can not tear or break during the first sexual intercourse. That is a myth.

Now. There is certainly this hymen. In terms of shape, though, it’s often different than the classic notion of a closing membrane. There are many different forms. Sickle-shaped, perforated, each on the sides, barely there etc.

My gynecologist recently advised me to menstrual cups and since then my interest is aroused. Since I am not familiar with it, I deal with it more online. Now I know that you can think of it as a tampon, creating a slight vacuum that prevents blood from flowing past it!

I am very interested in a menstrual cup. I’m completely out of my depth about the size though.
I am 35 (which speaks for the medium sizes) but still a virgin (consciously, so save your stupid commis)… the virginity speaks for the smallest size. What are your tips regarding the size?
Rather look at s age or virginity?

Dear Kezia
We would recommend size A.
Since you haven’t given birth to a child, but are no longer a teenager, the A size is probably the most suitable.
We hope to have been helpful to you with our answer.
Love greetings
The Simply Less Team

I have a question for people who are super familiar with menstrual products. I currently deal on my outdoor magazine u.a. with the topic of separation toilets. I would like to create an informative video about this and would like to u.a. also deal with menstruation. There are many menstruating people who also use a separation toilet and I wonder how to solve this well if you want to use sustainable menstrual products. So e.g. a menstrual cup, menstrual sponges, tampons without chemicals, etc.?.

For me, difficulties arise here, where I am looking for answers how to solve this well.

Who uses a separation toilet, has as a rule no water at the disposal. The use of wet wipes tends to be out as they do not break down well. Do you have a good idea, solution to this? How, where to wash out the menstrual cup, sponge? Put a bucket of water next to it?

If you use tampons without chemicals, you can dispose of them in the same container as the c**? Or even here, just put a trash can next to it and dispose of it in the household trash?

Here my article in addition, whereby I did not bring up the topic menstruation here yet, since here still good solutions are missing to me.

I would be very happy about serious tips, solutions. The topic is still taboo for many and I have the expectation that this is wonderfully well placed here on this site.

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