Even if you’ve used tampons, it’s natural for a first-time cup user to wonder how to insert a menstrual cup and how hard it will be. Cups require a bit more dexterity and practice, plus you’re probably a little nervous if you’ve never used a cup before.
First, you should know that it’s not required that you have a. used tampons or b. had penetrative play/sex before using a menstrual cup for the first time. As long as you feel ready, you can use a cup at any age, regardless of experience.
These tips will ease your mind and guide you through the steps of how to insert your menstrual cup.
Tips for an Easy Menstrual Cup Insertion
Everyone is different, and there is no “right” or “wrong” experience. Some people find inserting a cup to be very easy, while others need more practice.
Menstrual cups look larger and more intimidating than tampons, but once you fold them, they’re only slightly larger, or even the same size. I promise you, every experienced menstrual cup user was once a nervous first-time user. Take advice from this menstrual cup expert on tips for your first time.
Relaxing Is Key
Before you insert your menstrual cup, take a nice, deep breath and exhale. You want your mind and body to be as relaxed as possible.
Tense muscles often go hand in hand with anxiety. Your vagina is a muscle, so it’s only logical that inserting a cup is easier when it’s relaxed. This advice is also good to follow when it’s time to remove your cup as well.
Here’s another relaxing thought: The cup cannot get lost inside you. I found it comforting to remember how many others have successfully used a cup. If they can do it, so can I. And so can you!
Find Your Fold
Menstrual cups can be folded in many ways. Some fold techniques are perfect for beginners. I always suggest the punchdown as a first-time fold — the narrow tip helps with insertion, and it’s very easy to fold and hold. Other petite folds to try include the Labia Fold or the Triangle Fold.
Use Water-Based Lubricant
Adding a drop of cup-safe water-based lubricant to your cup’s rim helps insertion go smoothly. Avoid silicone lubricants, as these are not safe for menstrual cups. Lubricant is especially a good idea if you’re doing a “dry-run.”
Practice With a Dry-Run
You can practice inserting your cup and do a dry-run when you are not having your period. This is entirely safe as long as you follow the wear-times and keep the cup inside less than 12 hours.
A dry-run can help you get confidence with inserting your cup, but just remember that it won’t tell you if the cup will work for you during your period.
This is a good time to try out various positions for insertion, such as sitting, standing, squatting, or propping one leg up on your toilet or bathtub. Everyone has their own preference. Without having to worry about blood, you have more time to focus on your technique and what feels/works best for you.