Introduction: How to Use a Menstrual Cup
I recently got a new menstrual cup. My first one lasted me about 15 years, saved me at least $1,000 (US). I also avoided creating about 100 pounds of garbage, that would have resulted if I had been using conventional 'feminine hygiene products' for all those years.
A lot of friends who I have turned on to The Keeper or Moon Cup have had trouble using the cup at first. There should be no problem if you do it right, so I hope this little instructable will help as this is a very sustainable solution to our monthly blessing.
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Step 1: Before Using the Keeper
A couple people I knew had trouble when they first got the keeper, the little gripping bit that sticks off the base of the cup is generally a bit long. Different women are different sizes and the piece is made a bit long to account for this.
This piece is important because if it is too long it will be uncomfortable, but if it is too short or cut off completely it will not be as easy to get a grip on to remove the cup.
One of my friends cut this piece off entirely before using it, this can be scary because, especially for a first time user you will have to push down with your muscles to help to push the cup out far enough to get a grip on the bottom of it. With the little piece sticking out it is easy to grab and pull down on.
So just cut off enough so that you can still get a good grip on it, but will not get poked by it. Start cutting off less rather than more and see how it feels.
Step 2: Folding the Cup
In order to insert the cup you will need to fold it up tightly. Run it under warm water to help to lubricate it. Then fold it in half.
Step 3: Folding
Take the cup and fold it in half again so that it is folded up as tight as you can get it. You will have to hold it quite strongly to hold it in place.
Step 4: Inserting the Cup
Unfortunately I cannot show photos of this next step or this instructable will become XXX rated and we don't want that.
Sitting over the toilet, spread your legs open, hold your labia open with one hand and quickly push the folded cup in with the other. It will open up and create a vacuum.
Push it up a little until it sits comfortably. If you try to push it in too far you will soon know when to stop and if you don't push it in at all it will be very uncomfortable as well.
Don't be scared that it will stretch out your muscles or anything, actually it can help to work them out ;-)
Step 5: Removing the Cup
At times if you have a heavy flow or when you wake up in the morning, you may feel the cup move a bit. This probably means that it is full and you need to go and dump it out. It is also good to just check on it until you get to know what your flow is like and how often you need to change it.
Get in the same position on the toilet as you were in to insert the cup. Pull down on the gripping bit of the cup mentioned earlier. I always get nervous here that the vacuum created by the cup will have a suction so great that my uterus will come out as well. This never happens. But I recommend pulling down gently, not with a vicious twist.
As soon as the base of the cup can be gripped use that to pull down with. Slip one edge of the cup out first and then the next. This menstrual fluid is great fertilizer for plants so I usually try not to waste it by dumping it in the toilet, but some people are grossed out by this.
Step 6: Cleaning the Cup
Wash the cup in warm water, fold it up and reinsert.
When done with your period for the month, give the cup a good wash with soap and warm water and let it dry. Put it back in it's bag for the next month.
If you think the cup smells you can soak it in vinegar and water to clean it up. The only reason that I had to get a new cup was because the little gripping bit was starting to come off and I had had it for 15 years, so it seemed it was a good time to get a new one.