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Do I have to try a tampon before using a menstrual cup?

When thinking about switching to a menstrual cup, you may wonder, “Do I have to try a tampon before using a menstrual cup?”

Well, the answer is no. Tampons and menstrual cups are different period products with their own unique designs and insertion methods. 

While transitioning from tampons to menstrual cups may be quicker, because you will be more familiar with the sensation and process of insertion, it is definitely not a prerequisite to try tampons as a precursor to menstrual cups

Many people switch from externally worn period products such as pads to menstrual cups fairly easily. It’s all about getting used to the feeling of insertion because while pads are worn on the outside, tampons and menstrual cups are inserted inside your vagina. 

The only benefit of tampon usage before a cup is that you will be a little more aware of what inserting something into your vagina will feel like. 

Whether you’re switching from pads to tampons, or pads to menstrual cups, it will take a few cycles to get used to the insertion process. We recommend giving it at least three cycles to get totally confident with inserting a menstrual cup. 

Read our detailed step-by-step guide for switching to a menstrual cup to learn more about the process. 

tampons vs menstrual cups

Tampons 

Tampons are insertable period products that are usually made of absorbent material such as cotton or rayon. They are small and cylindrical in shape, and are inserted into the vagina where they absorb menstrual blood. They can be worn for about 4-6 hours depending on their size but need to be changed frequently to avoid risk of infections. 

Menstrual cups 

Menstrual cups are a sustainable period product that have been gaining popularity in recent years. 

Unlike tampons, once inserted into your vagina, they collect menstrual blood instead of absorbing it, making them way less prone to infections. Not only are they safe for you, they are also safe for the environment because they can be used for up to 10 years. 

The Asan cup is made from USP Class VI  medical grade silicone which is the same material that is used in heart stents and breast implants. It is the highest quality menstrual cup and safe to insert into your body. 

Unlike tampons, the Asan cup doesn’t contain any plastic or toxins, and can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time without having to worry about leaks or infections. 

Which is better for you? 

When comparing tampons and menstrual cups, it is pretty clear that menstrual cups are both better for you and the environment!

Due to the materials used in tampons, they can be uncomfortable to insert and remove, especially on the lighter days of your period when you aren’t as lubricated. Tampons are pushed all the way up to your cervix, which can also feel uncomfortable for some people.

Finally, since one tampon can only be worn for 4-6 hours, you constantly have to dispose of used tampons and buy new ones.

The fantastic thing about a menstrual cup is that it is reusable. It costs more than ₹25,000 to use tampons for 10 years – whereas if you switch to the Asan cup, it’s a one-time investment of ₹1,800 and then you never have to spend again!

Since the Asan cup is made from smooth silicone, it is comfortable to insert and remove and doesn’t chafe like a tampon. You can wear it for up to 12 hours and it will collect approximately three times more fluid than the average tampon.

Menstrual cups also prevent thousands of tampons from ending up in landfills and thus contributes to a greener planet – it’s really a win-win.

using tampons as a stepping stone to cups

If you’re already using tampons and are now looking to switch to a menstrual cup, you shouldn’t be worried at all. As mentioned before, one of the benefits of trying a tampon first is that you’re already familiar with the feeling of inserting something into your vagina. 

Using a menstrual cup after a tampon experience is easy. You will also find transitioning to menstrual cups after tampons is much quicker for you. All you have to do is understand the difference in the insertion and removal method of a menstrual cup. 

There are different ways of inserting a menstrual cup. In order to do it correctly, you have to spread your legs or squat, fold the cup, and gently insert it into your vagina where it will pop open and collect your flow. 

The two most common menstrual cup folds are the C-fold and the punch-down fold, where the latter has a smaller insertion point and can be more suitable for beginners. However, it will take a few tries to find the fold that works best for you. 

Take a look at our ultimate guide of menstrual cup folds to learn more. 

While removing your menstrual cup, locate the cup using our unique removal ring, pinch the base of the cup and gently guide it out. 

The Asan cup has a unique ring that makes the removal process really easy. Unlike other menstrual cups with a stem, the ring helps you locate the cup and have something to grip onto while gently guiding the cup out of your vagina. 

Read this blog to better understand how to remove a menstrual cup

Coming back to the question of whether trying tampons before switching to a cup is necessary, the answer is definitely not. This notion is a myth that stems from misunderstanding rather than necessity. 

If you’re looking to switch to a menstrual cup, we recommend that you find the one that’s best for you and make the switch directly to the cup!

Read this blog for 10 super easy tips for first time users of menstrual cups

frequently asked questions 

What are some things to consider while trying tampons prior to a menstrual cup? 

If you’re already exploring tampons before menstrual cups and looking to make the switch, you should consider the following factors—comfort level of inserting a tampon, the heaviness of your menstrual flow, ease of use, cost, health considerations and reusability. 

These factors will not only help you finally make the switch from tampons to a menstrual cup but also help you in determining which menstrual cup is the best for you. 

Do I need to try tampons before investing in a menstrual cup? 

No, you don’t need to try tampons before getting a menstrual cup. As a disposable product, you’re going to end up spending a lot more money on tampons than you would with a single menstrual cup that lasts you ten years. 

If you’re looking to make a switch, you should directly invest in a menstrual cup and take your time getting comfortable with it.

Would a tampon trial for menstrual cup beginners help with getting better at inserting a menstrual cup? 

Since tampons and menstrual cups are made of different materials, have different shapes and sizes, and different ways of inserting them, people who haven’t tried an insertable period product before will not benefit from a tampon trial before using a menstrual cup. 

However, if you’ve already been using tampons and are used to the feeling of inserting something into your vagina, you will find that you’ll get used to a menstrual cup much quicker than others. 


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