You’ve been hearing people rave about menstrual cup life but you’re just not sure how they work?
Before we give you the lowdown on inserting and removing your Hello Cup, let’s run through some common questions about what they are and why Hello Cup life is so amazing. Funnily enough the most frequent question we get is ‘why didn’t I make the switch sooner?’ We felt that way too - so if you are fence-sitting - our advice is to just jump on the bandwagon now!
What is a menstrual cup? A menstrual cup is an alternative to pad, tampons and period underwear. It is a bell shaped and normally made from TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) or silicone.
It looks big - how do you use it? It’s folded before it’s inserted. Once folded, there’s not much difference in diameter between a folded Hello Cup and a tampon! Once inside your vajayjay it opens up. You literally don’t feel it when it’s in!
How does it work? Easy - it captures your period blood. Unlike tampons it doesn’t absorb everything else too so say ‘see-ya’ to vag dryness!
Why should I make the change? Because we think Hello Cups are better and more comfortable than tampons. They are easy to use (like tampons there’s a bit of practice required at the start but it’s no biggie).
Why do you recommend using a ‘Shallow Punchdown Fold’ with Hello Cups? We think it’s the best fold to use to ensure your cup opens properly. We have a cute video to step you through how to do it – See video here.
Is it messy when you remove a menstrual cup? Despite the Texas Chainsaw Massacre scene many imagine, removing your cup isn’t going to result in a team of forensics knocking on your door. Removal can take practice, but the aim of the game is to pull your cup out (after you have broken the seal by squeezing the base) upright so the blood stays in the cup. Then you simply tip the contents down loo.
How do I clean my menstrual cup if I’m in a public loo? If there’s no tap to rinse your cup under, it’s fine to just wipe your cup out with loo paper and reinsert. Just remember to wash your hand before you go into the cubical.
How do I know what size Hello Cup is best for me? We are the first to admit that sizing can be tricky. Our sizing guide is based on what works best for users are certain age, body type and fitness levels. As an FYI, unlike many other menstrual cup size guides we don’t believe having had children automatically means you need a large size. Visit our sizing guide for Hello Cups.
Do I need to remove my Hello Cup when I wee (or poo)? No – unlike tampons which have a cotton string that can crash the wee party and end up stinky and wet, the toggle on your cup will repel wees (a bit like when Wonder Woman fights the bad dudes). As for ‘number twos’ – no need to remove your cup for them either.
Can you sleep with a menstrual cup in? Abso-friggin-lutely! You can sleep, swim, exercise and bust out your best Madonna ‘Vogue’ routine in your Hello Cup. Hello Cup = Hello period freedom.
So now we’ve gone through the burning questions you likely had in your mind, let’s get down to the nitty gritty - let’s get you up and running!
Step 1 - Wash your lovely new Hello Cup. Use a mild soap, preferably without fragrance (it can irritate your vagina). Lather it up in your hands and rinse thoroughly in cold water.
Step 2 - Sterilise your cup. We recommend boiling your cup in a full pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Use a timer. We hear disaster stories from time to time and you don’t want to be one of them! Alternatively, you can use ¼ of a sterilising tablet (the most common brand is Milton - you’ll find them in the baby section of the supermarket) in a glass of cold water for 15-20 minutes. After sterilising, make sure your cup is completely dry before you store it in the cotton bag ready for its first use.
Step 3 - Practice the fold. Don’t wait for your period to arrive or rely on the fold you may have done with a previous menstrual cup. We like to do things differently at Hello Cup, but that is not why we want you to practice the Shallow Punchdown Fold. The internal rim and firmer TPE of your Hello Cup demands this type of fold. Make sure your fold doesn't go below the bottom of the 'Hello' letters on the side of the menstrual cup. It might help to check this video to learn how.
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Step 4 - Try before your period. There are 3 parts to this step - the fold, body position and insertion angle. Just as you can practice the fold in advance, you can try inserting your cup before your period arrives, too. This is the best plan if you are worried about your Hello Cup success. If you are a teen or first time cup user, it's ok if you feel a little uncomfortable the first few times you try your cup. Try to relax, or give yourself a break and come back to try later on if needed. Once you have the cup folded and ready to insert you may want to think about how you would like to position your body to insert the cup. Consider trying: sitting on the loo leaning back, squatting, putting one leg up, trying in the shower (this is a favourite with many of our users - they are often more relaxed and the cup can be easily inserted when wet). Insert the tip first and then the rest. Angle it the cup back towards your spine - as the vagina is on more of an angle, rather than straight up. Let the cup open when it is just inside your vagina - and then manoeuvre into place with the toggle. Ideally you want the toggle to end up just inside your vagina. You shouldn’t feel it.
While you are learning to master your menstrual cup - you may wish to back it up with a Hello Cup Liner.
Step 5 - Remove. To remove your Hello Cup, try a few different positions out. You may find that the easiest option is the reverse of how you insert. It’s important to relax your pelvic floor muscles when you remove your menstrual cup. This is because pelvic and vaginal muscles tend to tighten when the body is anxious or stressed. So, if you are at all worried, try deep breathing for a couple of minutes before you try. We suggest that you try breathing in deeply through your nose, while you count to four slowly - and then out through your mouth while you also count to four. Try this for a couple of minutes. This breathing technique is also useful in step 4 when you are practising inserting your menstrual cup. When you’re ready, feel for your cup, then gently squeeze the base of the Hello Cup at the grip rings. This will release the suction - and you'll feel this happen as you squeeze. Then, once the suction is released, gently pull your cup down. Empty your menstrual cup as needed. Before you go out, or every couple of hours, is a good starting point. Don’t leave your menstrual cup in for longer than 12 hours, though.
Step 6 - Wash / Sterilise / Store. Once your period is finished, wash and sterilise your Hello Cup. Then, make sure it is completely dry before storing it in the drawstring cotton bag until next month.
And that, my friends, is your guide to using your Hello Cup! Like tampons, they can take a bit of practice to nail but once you have got it sorted it’s like riding a bike and you won’t look back!
Still have a question? You can drop us a line at any stage on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get a cup expert to help you out.