The Biggest Mistake You're Making With Your Menstrual Cup

Forget tampons and sanitary pads, menstrual cups are quickly becoming a popular choice for menstrual management. Slightly different from the two more traditional methods, they're reusable, meaning they're better for the environment, and ultimately, cheaper over time. However, there is a right and wrong way to use menstrual cups and they can take some getting used to. As Meagan Brockway, customer service manager for GladRags, explained to Racked, "It's hard to get used to inserting a menstrual cup and finding out the best way to do it for you, what works best for your body." 

As a result, the biggest mistake you're making with your menstrual cup is simply not giving it chance, just because it can take you some time to get used to how to use them.

Firstly, you need to know how to insert it correctly — and make sure you only do so with clean hands. "Insert it toward the back of the vagina with a little push," Dr. Julie Lamb, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Pacific NW Fertility in Seattle, advised Bustle. And basically, like a tampon, once it's in place, you shouldn't really be able to feel it. You also need to make sure you've bought the right size and shape for your body, which can take some experimentation.

It's important to clean you menstrual cup after every use

Secondly, you need to remember to empty it every so often — cups can be worn up to 12 hours, but this will depend on your body and your flow, so more frequent emptying may be a good idea while you're getting the hang of using one (via HelloClue). Just as you would remove a tampon to ensure no leaks, you need to do the same with your menstrual cup. But the difference here is that you should really be rinsing it each time you empty it out. 

And at the end of each cycle, you need to give it a deeper clean. "Cleaning a menstrual cup according to the manufacturer's instructions is important to maintain the integrity of the material of the cup — so it doesn't develop cracks or holes and result in the leakage of the menstrual blood," Dr. Felice Gersh, M.D., founder, and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, told Bustle

Ultimately, like tampons and sanitary pads, menstrual cups have their pros and cons. But if you give it a chance, experiment until you find the right size and shape for your body and ensure you clean it properly, there's no reason why you'll ever give it up.