User Guide Menstrual cup
Why a menstrual cup?
Our menstrual cup is an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use tampons and plastic sanitary towels. The cup is placed in the vagina and collects blood from menstruation instead of absorbing it. The cup is quickly and easily emptied out into the toilet and can be used again and again.
Will a menstrual cup work for you?
For most people menstrual cups work a treat! The cup is available in three different sizes, allowing you to choose the size that fits you best. Unlike a tampon, a menstrual cup doesn't dry out and is therefore preferred by people with sensitive vaginal mucous membranes. Should you have questions about what size to use, don't hesitate to get in touch!
Is it complicated or messy?
It can take a little time to get the hang of it but once you do, it’s pretty much hassle free! Empty the cup out into the toilet or into the shower.
What does using it feel like?
Menstrual cups are designed so that you won't feel them at all! Providing you're wearing the right size, and it's inserted correctly, you won’t feel a thing.
Which size should you choose?
Imse's menstrual cup comes in three different sizes:
Small: For young people or those with a low cervix.
Medium:The medium size is suitable for most people with a medium-level flow who have not given birth.
Large:For people who have given birth or have heavy periods.
Do you need to use several different menstrual cup sizes during a menstrual cycle?
No you do not have to. One cup is enough for the entire menstrual cycle.
Not sure about which option is right for you? Get in touch and we’ll guide you through it!
Using a menstrual cup
The menstrual cup is suitable for daily use during your period, as well as when exercising and swimming. So, you can perform all kinds of sports and activities while wearing the cup.
This is how you fold the menstrual cup
There are different ways to fold your menstrual cup. Here we show one of the most common methods.
1. Start with an open cup.
2. Squeeze the cup in the middle.
3. Fold the cup so that it forms the shape of a U, C or heart shape.
How do you know the menstrual cup is inserted correctly?
When the menstrual cup is inserted correctly you shouldn't feel it. Owing to its soft, flexible properties, the cup molds perfectly to your body shape. If the tip and the bottom of the cup stick out, the cup you are using is either too big or it needs to be positioned further up into your vagina.
If you’re having trouble getting the cup to sit right, here's what you do!
One of the advantages to a menstrual cup is that, unlike a tampon, it doesn’t soak up bodily fluids and is therefore easier to insert into the vagina. If you still think it feels dry and isn’t going in properly, you can use a water-based lubricant to help get the cup in place. After just a couple of periods you’ll have got the hang of the technique, albeit it may require a bit of extra time and effort to get it right the first few times you use your menstrual cup.
If you’re having trouble removing the menstrual cup here’s what to do!
If you are having trouble removing the cup, there's no need to worry. The cup can’t get lost in your body and can stay inserted for up to 12 hours. Relax and try removing it again after a few minutes. When you are stressed all the muscles in your vagina and pelvic floor tense, which can make it harder to remove the cup. Take a breath, relax, squat over the toilet, and push gently. Drying the tip off a little, so that it's easier to get hold of, may also help.
If the menstrual cup isn’t opening, here’s what to do!
If the cup doesn’t unfold properly it can become dislodged and leak. When the cup is inserted properly a light vacuum is created that, in conjunction with your vaginal muscles, helps it to stay in place. In order to be sure that the cup has opened properly, you can use these quick and easy tricks:
Twist the cup.
Push gently and carefully pull on the tip.
Hold your finger around it to be sure it has unfolded properly.
There are various ways to fit a menstrual cup - it's all about finding the one that works for you!
If the menstrual cup leaks
The most common reason for leakages is that the cup hasn’t opened properly. This may be because you have the wrong size or that the cup is full.
This is how you notice that the menstrual cup is full
Although our menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours, we recommend that you pay extra attention when you start using the menstrual cup. After a few cycles, you'll get a better handle on how your flow looks like and how often you need to empty your menstrual cup.
This is how you empty the menstrual cup
After emptying the menstrual cup in the toilet, rinse it with cold water from the tap. Then it is ready to use again! You don't have to use soap, but if you do, make sure the cup is completely free of soap residue! Residues of soap can create an imbalance in the vagina's natural bacterial environment. Use a mild and perfume-free soap with a low pH value of around 3.5 - 4. Oil can destroy the material of the cup so do not use oil or products containing oils.
How often do you need to empty the cup?
t depends on the size of the menstrual cup and how heavy your flow is. Most people need to empty the cup about 2 times a day, but if you have heavy periods you may need to empty more often. Do not leave the cup in your body for more than 12 hours. After 12 hours you need to take it out and clean it even if it is not full.
Clean the cup between periods
The cup should be boiled once a month - before or after the period does not matter.
This is how you store your menstrual cup between periods
Your menstrual cup is in a fabric bag made of organic cotton. When you are not using your cup, store it in the bag.
If your menstrual cup changed color
Blood contains hemoglobin, which causes the menstrual cup to become discolored over time. By rinsing the cup in cold water before washing it, you reduce the risk of discoloration. You can also lightly scrub the cup with a soft sponge and some unscented soap on both the inside and outside to remove some of the discoloration. Discoloration does not affect the function of the cup.
How do you know when you need to buy a new menstrual cup?
Our menstrual cup can be used for up to ten years. Amazing, isn't it! If your menstrual cup starts to show signs of ageing, such as cracks or similar, it is time to replace it. However, you do not need to replace the cup if it has been discolored by blood. It's completely natural and doesn't affect function.
If you have endometriosis, vaginismus, vestibulitis or other vaginal conditions
Many who suffer from endometriosis and vestibulitis find that it works well with a menstrual cup because the cup is not absorbent and therefore gentle on the body and mucous membranes. Changing to a menstrual cup and/or cloth pad can alleviate the problems for people with vestibuli, we have many users who testify to that! When it comes to vaginismus, it can be more difficult. Here the difficulties with inserting something into the vagina are unfortunately often included, and this also applies to the menstrual cup. For people with vaginismus, we usually recommend cloth pads that are both gentle on the body and environmentally friendly. If you still want to try, try the smallest size and feel free to consult your midwife or gynecologist!
Menstrual cup in case of urinary tract infection?
It's fine to use a menstrual cup for a urinary tract infection, but remember to be extra careful with hand hygiene so that no bacteria gets into the urethra.
If you easily get yeast infections
Many people who have problems with yeast infections find that they get better with a menstrual cup. Make sure your hands are completely clean when handling the cup (use a perfume-free hand soap) and make sure no soap residue is left on the cup.
Imse's menstrual cups are made of high-quality medical silicone. Completely free from dyes and chemicals. Silicone consists of silicon, which is a mixture of sand and carbon, which are natural materials. Our menstrual cup does not contain any other materials or coloring agents.
Imse answers to frequently asked questions
Does it smell?
No. Since blood only smells when it comes into contact with air, using a menstrual cup will be odorless. You may however detect a light odor when you remove the cup. This is completely normal, with the odour intensity varying from person to person.
Is a menstrual cup leakproof?
If you have the right size menstrual cup, and it’s fitted correctly, then it won’t leak! If you do however experience leakage, you may need to empty it out more often.
Do you need to use pads or panty liners at the same time?
In most cases no extra protection is needed, but some may experience leakage, such as when asleep during the night, since the cup isn’t able to be emptied when full. Sometimes using the cup in combination with a panty liner can give added security and peace of mind. And by panty liner we mean a washable one of course!
How old do you have to be to start using a menstrual cup?
There is no age limit for using a menstrual cup but rather it comes down to your own personal choice, irrespective of how old you are.
Can I go to the toilet when my menstrual cup is in?
Yes, absolutely. Going to the loo with the cup in is no problem at all. When doing a number two, the menstrual cup can get pushed down due to your muscles tensing. You may then need to reposition the cup - once you have washed your hands.
Does taking it out hurt?
No, usually not. In certain cases, you can experience light discomfort or pain when you take out the menstrual cup. This is due to the menstrual cup being open and therefore bigger than when you inserted it. If you experience this it’s often helpful to squat over the toilet or the shower, relax and try to breathe slowly. This way your muscles will relax, and it will be easier to remove the cup.
Can I wear a menstrual cup when I’m expecting my period?
Yes. Because the cup is non-absorbent it is fine to have it in when your period is soon due.
Can you use a menstrual cup if you have an IUD?
It’s absolutely fine to use a menstrual cup if you have the coil fitted but it's best to wait a while after you have had the coil fitted. Insertion of the coil can cause minor bleeding but you shouldn't use a menstrual cup to this end - it's made specifically for your period. If you have the coil fitted be sure to ease the pressure on the menstrual cup before you take it out by inserting a finger along the side of the cup before you take it out. Be careful not to accidentally pull on the threads of your coil and make a habit of, at the same time, checking if the coil is positioned as it should be. You can ask your midwife or gynecologist to shorten the threads to reduce the risk of pulling on them when removing your menstrual cup.
Why are there small holes in the cup?
The holes highest up the cup are there to gently regulate the pressure when you insert it. If the cup fills up to where the holes are it will start to leak, so you should empty it out a bit before it gets that full. If you think it's hard to clean the holes properly, we recommend using an interdental toothbrush. It should help with any hard-to-reach areas.
What do you do when using a public toilet?
Since the cup can stay in for up to 12 hours, you might not even need to empty it when you’re out. If it’s full, you should of course empty it but the most important thing to remember is that your hands should be clean when doing so. So wash your hands before you go into the toilet cubicle in case there are no sinks in the cubicle itself. Empty the cup out as you normally would into the toilet and reinsert it. Remember to wash it as soon as you can afterwards!
Can you use a menstrual cup if you can't use tampons?
It's highly possible but it depends on the reason you can't use tampons. A single-use tampon will suck up all the fluid, including vaginal fluids and discharge. Both menstrual cups and cloth tampons are designed for a healthier environment. Because single-use tampons also suck up bodily fluids this can lead to dryness, as well as discomfort and pain during insertion and removal. A menstrual cup isn’t absorbent but rather collects blood from your period without causing vaginal dryness or imbalances.
Can you use the menstrual cup during postpartum bleeding?
No. During postpartum bleeding, owing to the potential risk of infection, no object should be inserted into the vagina.