Menstrual Cups - how easy are they to use?

Considering the environmental impact of waste and high cost of sanitary products I’m after feedback on women’s experiences in using a menstrual cup. The realities of use and cleaning, ease of insertion and removal and any other feedback appropriate in assisting in making a decision around use. Thank you.

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I did a lot of research on menstrual cups about a year ago as I was considering buying one. The topic often comes up in ‘women’s only’ Facebook groups and almost all of the women who bought one love it and say it was worth the money. Some had trouble with leaking at first as they weren’t inserting properly, but there are videos on YouTube that give insertion tips. It’s a good idea to wear a napkin at first as a backup until you’re sure you’ve got it right. Some made a mess when removing at first and recommend practicing in the shower - again, there are tips and techniques on YouTube.

There are many, many brands and they’re all different but there are websites and YouTube videos that compare them and help you pick the right one for you. There are even brands that are social enterprises and brands that donate one cup to women in developing countries for every cup purchased.

I think they’re a great idea - less bacteria and chance of TSS, better for the environment and cheaper.


I’ve been using one for quite a few years now and they are pretty easy. I stayed at home for the first day I tried it but really didn’t need to.
Easy to clean and remove. Fairly easy to use (really easy now but not too bad to start with). A lot easier than I thought.
You can keep it in a lot longer than tampons too which is great if you’re out all day.
I would definitely recommend them


Jess thank you very much for sharing your experience - much appreciated.

Just started using the Intimina compact collapsible cup and so far I love it. The website has great instructions and I’ve found it very easy to use. I’ve never felt comfortable wearing a tampon but the silicone is much nicer to deal with. Bit messier than a pad or tampon though, need to be OK with that. Best thing is to insert and remove in shower. Since it can be used for 10 + hours (including overnight) you only need to deal with it once a day. You can practice using it while not on period as well. Haven’t had much leaking-including while mowing the lawn!


Agree with other comments. Easy, comfortable, eco friendly, watch the videos, and start at home. For public toilets, bring a water bottle with you to rinse the cup while you are in the cubicle. Also, be sure to follow online guidelines for sizing. Wish I had changed ages ago.

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There’s not much more I can add to what previous posters have said, I just want to be another to put my hand up and say they’re great and I wish I’d made the change sooner.

Emptying and re-insertion are easiest in the shower for me, though on the few occasions I’ve had to use a bathroom cubicle (like at work) or public toilet, I’ve just had to be a little more careful not to make a mess, but have managed just fine. If you are squeamish about menstrual blood this product is a little more confronting and may not be for you.

I do find occasionally I have trouble getting it to open up after insertion, but it has never taken more than a couple of minutes to fix.

Overall, I find them easy to use and less hassle than tampons which have to be changed far more regularly, are prone to more leaks (for me anyway) and in some places inconvenient to dispose of.

Additionally, and not necessarily an answer to your question, I love the fact that I’m not contributing sanitary products to landfill every month, and I feel like my menstrual cup is a nice way to rebel against the GST placed on sanitary products, which I have never been happy about.

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I’ve been using one for a few years and I really wish they taught girls about this in sexual education in school, I reckon I’ve spent close to $1500 on pads and tampons prior to discovering cups! I got mine on eBay for $5 for 2, all you need is to make sure it is medical grade silicon.
In terms of vaginal health, you are 100% better off with a cup! Your vagina has it’s own balance of different strains of bacteria keeping each other in balance and making it happy and healthy, nastier strains of bacteria protect you from powerful invaders, nicer strains keep the nastier bacteria from going power mad and staging a coup! Insertion of absorbent material can raise the temperature and change the acidity, killing off the nicer bacteria and letting some of the nastier strains mobilise the bourjoise mob into seizing the presidential palace, so to speak.
Tampons can be made of bleached cotton, nylon and a bunch of other things that create conditions where bad bacteria will make a home and have an absolute party! Menstrual cups are made of silicon so there is no absorption of fluids, so bacteria looking to make you sick doesn’t have a helping hand to set up shop, this is why TSS is dramatically lowered to the point of being extremely unlikely when using a cup, provided you are regularly emptying and washing it.
I find using a tampon also soaks up your own natural lubrication so insertion or extraction of a tampon can sometimes be painful, you will never get that “inserted sideways” feeling with a cup! Also, sometimes if you don’t get the angle right on a tampon and have to pull it out the top has already puffed a little with absorption and you have to discard it and start with a fresh one - this does not happen with cups, just pull it back out, rinse or wipe it if needed then refold and reinsert it.
In terms of the environment, you no longer have to create landfill and this was actually the main thing that drew me to it. You do have to sterilise it before/after putting it away as it is entering your body and therefore is a possible source of infection. After use I wash it with soap and warm water, then boil it on the stove in a rolling-boil for about 15 minutes then leave it to air dry on paper towel, then it goes into the little bag I store it in when not in use. When I know I need it again I pull it out and boil and air dry it, then insert.
I usually empty it in the shower in the mornings and wash it with soap and water in the shower before reinsertion, then in the evenings empty it in the toilet in the bathroom and wash it with soap and water before reinserting. To be honest I completely forget that I have my period when I am using this and it’s only when I am in the toilet that I remember. You can also empty into the toilet when out in public and just wipe it with toilet paper before reinsertion if you are having a heavy day. I usually use mine with a light liner on my first two days just to be safe but I’ve never had a leak.
They have a little handle on the end you can use to help grip it when pulling out, at first I could feel this when walking around so I trimmed it with scissors and now can’t feel it at all. I’ve even been horse-riding whilst using one of these and I could not feel it and I’ve done lots of swimming using this and no leaks at all
Yes, it is a little gross doing a empty-out, you may get blood on your fingers when you use this. But you’re bleeding no matter which method you use right? I prefer a little blood on my fingers I can wash off straight away to walking around all day with a blood-soaked wad of cotton in my knickers cause I forgot to bring a spare pad or tampon and I’m too embarrassed to ask anyone if they have a spare…
Make the change, you’ll never be stuck somewhere without a fresh pad or tampon as all you need is a quick trip to the toilet and you are refreshed and ready to go. These are great for travel as it takes up less room in your luggage than a single box of tampons!

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It’s great to see this conversation on CHOICE Community! I’m also a cups convert. It wins for me for ease of use, price and environmental impact.

One of the CHOICE investigative journalists has actually been looking closely at a range of cup and environmentally friendly pads products. There’s an article coming very soon!

Has anyone tried any of the alternatives like cloth pads or sea sponges? I haven’t (I’m not giving up my cup - it’s too good!)

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I have used sea sponges. They are cheap, and easy to insert but have a couple of negatives:
–hard to really clean due to the numerous small holes, although once clean, can be microwaved to sterilise (like any sponge)
–The one that comes out needs to be rinsed and reused–so a toilet with a sink is a must.
–Alternatively you can carry spares and bag the used one/s to take home.

I bought a cup 10 years ago but found it very hard to remove–it seemed to suck on like a vaccum! I guess that means it would not have leaked! Due to my shape (including inverted uterus), it was hard to reach to break the seal.

Menstrual cups are very easy to use. I discovered this period product like a couple of years ago. First, I was little hesitant like you but I gave it a try, and it turned out really awesome and comfortable.

In the starting you’ll feel uncomfortable while inserting, plus you’ll find it little difficult to choose the right cup that fits you. Once you get the right sized cup that fits you, you will feel like using it forever :slight_smile:

Menstrual cups are good for the environment too. One cup will probably last up to 5 years if you know how to clean and maintain it properly. Cleaning isn’t difficult at all. Get a cleanser, that’s all. Also, you can sterilize it using warm water.

The biggest benefit is - you’ll save a lot of money in future. Just do the calculation.

In case you are having problems choosing the right ‘cup size and features’, refer to this guide - What Is The Best Menstrual Cup For Me?

Happy period!


Not a fan. Im not well suited for the standard shapes, and unfortunately its not a try before you buy kind of thing, so after trying two (including one purported to fit my particular anatomy better) I couldn’t justify spending the not insignificant amount of money to try another that might also not be right.
Love the concept, and they are definitely easy enough to use. There’s lots to love about them, and I really really did want to love them. They’re worth a go!