You've tried tampons and pads, but you've heard about menstrual cups and are wondering how they work. Using a period cup such as the Ruby Cup is very similar to using tampons. It may look daunting at first, but with a little practice, you'll find it to be much more convenient and less fuss than tampons or pads. We explain the basics below but you may wish to check out our more comprehensive Beginners' Guide to Menstrual Cups.
You can find out everything you need to know about how to use Ruby Cup - we'll explain it all in one video and five simple steps.
How to use a Ruby Cup in 5 simple steps:
This step-by-step guide to using a menstrual cup will take you smoothly through each stage. Here's how to get the very best of your cup, and your period:
1. Fold and hold
Always start by washing your hands. Fold Ruby Cup using a fold that works best for you. Many start with the C-fold. If that does not work for you, try some of the other folds to make insertion easier. Every menstruator's anatomy is unique, so find the fold that works for you.
Details on other menstrual cup folds are explained in our FAQs , to help you find the right folding method.
2. Insert and ensure
As with tampons, gently insert the folded cup into your vagina, tilting it back to the base of your spine. The cup should sit as low as it can comfortably sit inside your vagina, normally lower than a tampon but with the stem fully inside.
When the cup is inside, it wants to pop open, creating a light suction. The suction is how the cup prevents leaks, so use your finger to check if it is fully unfolded. Twist or rotate the cup if you need to.
Do not rush, take your time - it's like learning to use contact lenses.
3. Use it up to eight hours
One of the great benefits of using a menstrual cup is that it can be used up to eight hours. However, most menstrual cup users find they need to empty their cup in the morning and again in the evening.
4. Remove and empty
With clean hands, gently pull the stem of the cup downwards until you can reach and hold the base of the cup. Pinch the base to release the suction and take it out gently.
You may need to use your pelvic muscles to push your lower cup in the vagina to help you reach the base with your fingers.
When you've got your cup, empty it in the toilet, and rinse it with water.
If you do not have access to water, you can wipe it with some tissue or simply reinsert it right after emptying it. But make sure to rinse it at your next available opportunity.
When your cup is rinsed, you can reinsert it, and you're ready to go again! Ruby Cup care, check out our menstrual cup cleaning and storing guide.
Related post: How to clean a menstrual cup
Switching From Tampons to a Menstrual Cup is no big deal
Making the change to another product is easier than you may think. Using a menstrual cup is very similar to using tampons, just with improved health benefits - no irritation, no chemicals and no drying out.
Menstrual cups are the modern alternative to tampons and pads. They are environmentally friendly and super healthy.
Finding the right menstrual cup does not have to be tricky. Ruby Cup comes in two sizes, medium and small. You can find more advice on how to choose the right menstrual cup size here.
Planning your next backpacking trip? Going camping or visiting a festival? Or even if you're just planning a night out, you do not have to worry about using Ruby Cup. Emptying is easy no matter where you are.
If the sink is out of reach, simply wipe the cup clean with dry or damp tissue, or rinse with bottled water and reinsert straight-away. You can simply reinsert it without rinsing it, but make sure you rinse it at your next available opportunity.
More hacks on how to use a menstrual cup in a public bathroom, and what to do when you are traveling, check out our Traveling with a Menstrual Cup article and you'll be ready for anything!