Before the First Use
Before you use your Period Cup for the first time, you should disinfect it by immersing it in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Make sure to fill the kettle with enough water so as not to damage the Period Cup: it should never touch the bottom of the cooking vessel. The Period Cup creates a tight seal against the vaginal wall which keeps it in place. The tiny holes in the rim of the Period Cup makes it easier to remove. Make sure that none of these holes are blocked.
Before you insert the Period Cup, always wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap. To insert the cup, get into a comfortable, relaxed position.
There are a number of folding techniques that make it easy to insert the Period Cup. To start with, try the C-fold (see images for examples).
You can insert the Period Cup while you are standing, sitting, kneeling or squatting. It`s easier to insert the Period Cup when it`s wet. Make sure it is still folded and insert it gently upwards and towards your back. To check whether the Period Cup is placed correctly, run your finger around the cup to make sure it is unfolded or try a very gentle pull on the stem: if you feel a slight resistance, the cup is sitting in the correct position.
You will easily find the right position for the Period Cup just by trying it out. Some women prefer to position the cup close to the cervix while others place it away from the cervix. Make sure the cup is not sticking out of the vagina, as this will make sitting uncomfortable.
Removing the Period Cup
You can wear the Period Cup day and night and you don`t have to remove it to use the toilet. Usually it suffices to remove and empty it every 4-12 hours. The frequency will depend on what phase of your cycle you are in, the size of the cup and how heavy or light the flow is.
Once you`ve used it a few times, you will have a pretty good idea of how often you need to empty your cup. At the start you may want to do so about as you would change a tampon. You will get a better sense of how heavy the menstrual flow is and how often you actually have to empty the Period Cup.
Before you remove the Period Cup, wash your hands with warm water and soap, making sure to rinse them well. To remove the cup you will have to overcome the seal-effect that keeps the cup in place. To do so, gently squeeze the base of the cup or insert a finger alongside the Period Cup, gently nudging it sideways. Now you can remove it. It`s easiest in a squatting position or sitting on the toilet. If you can`t reach the cup, use your pelvic muscles to gently press it down until you can reach the bottom of the cup with your fingers. Don`t just pull on the baubles of the stem as it may cause pain.
Removing the Period Cup may take some practice. In the beginning, just take your time and practice.
Empty the menstrual fluid into the toilet and rinse the Period Cup (see below section on cleaning and care). You can now reinsert your cup.
Adjusting the Length of the Stem
The stem of the Period Cup should be completely inside of the vagina. Should the baubles of the stem cause you any discomfort while walking or sitting, you can shorten the stem. You can simply cut off one or two of the baubles. Remove the Period Cup from the vagina and use a clean pair of scissors to shorten the stem.
Before you reinsert the Period Cup, you should thoroughly clean it (see below section on cleaning and care). Initially only cut off one bauble, insert the cup and see how that feels. Cut off the second bauble if necessary. Before you shorten the stem you should be well practised in inserting and removing the Period Cup in order not to accidentally shorten the stem too much.
Cleaning and Care
Cleaning and care of your Period Cup is very important. While cleaning make sure the small holes are clear. During your menstrual cycle, you just need to clean the cup with warm water and a mild oil-free soap. Rinse the cup well to remove and soap residue which could lead to skin irritation in the vagina. Should you be travelling in countries where the tap water ins unavailable, make sure to use bottled drinking water for cleaning.
Before and after your menstrual cycle, you should disinfect your Period Cup in boiling water. Boil the cup for 5 minutes at 100°C. Make sure to fill the kettle with enough water in order not to damage the cup: it should never touch the bottom of the boiling vessel. The cotton bag that comes with your Period Cup is ideal for storage. It should then be stored in a dark, clean and dry place.