How to use a menstrual cup for beginners

Just like trying anything new, using a menstrual cup for the first time can be a confusing experience.

That’s why we’re here to help you understand everything you need to know about how to use your menstrual cup.  

first things first, what is a menstrual cup? 

A menstrual cup is an insertable period product that collects rather than absorbs your period flow. It sits inside your vaginal canal and can be used for up to 12 hours.

It is a highly economical and sustainable alternative to sanitary pads or tampons as a high quality menstrual cup, such as the Asan cup, can last for 10 years! 

step 1: deciding which size to buy  

Many menstrual cup sizing guides depend on your cervix height, whether you’ve given birth or your age - which can be complicated and confusing to figure out. So you may be wondering how do first time users know what size menstrual cup to use?

That’s why at Asan we’ve designed our cup in just two sizes and our sizing guide is simply based on your period flow.

If you change your sanitary pad or tampon every 6+ hours on the heaviest day of your period, then the light/medium cup will be perfect for you. 

If you change your sanitary pad or tampon every 2-6 hours on the heaviest day of your period, then the heavy flow cup will work for you. Please rest assured that the heavy flow cup can also be used on your lighter flow days. 

step 2: cleaning the asan cup

Before you use your menstrual cup for the first time, and between each cycle, you need to sterilise it. 

There are two ways you can clean your cup prior to inserting the cup when you start your period:

1) Asan One-Drop Cleanser 

Designed to be portable, the best soap to use for your menstrual cup is the Asan One-Drop cleanser. This solution is made from natural ingredients and was formulated by scientists to be gentle and perfume free.

This ensures that it is completely safe for you to use on the Asan cup and then insert it inside your body. 

The One-Drop cleanser is very concentrated so you only need a few drops. Simply squeeze a few drops into your cup, dilute it with tap water and use your fingers to swirl it around your Asan cup. Then you can just give it a rinse and it’s as clean as new! 

You can buy your One-Drop cleanser here now.

2) Boil your Asan cup to sterilise it

Another way to sterilise your Asan cup before each cycle is to boil it in hot water for 10 minutes. 

Please ensure you don’t leave the stove unattended as the cup may burn if left to boil for too long. 

If it is difficult for you to do so on the kitchen stove, you can place the Asan cup in a mug filled with hot water for 10 minutes. 

step 3: inserting your asan cup 

When you’re preparing to use a menstrual cup, make sure you have clean hands and plenty of time. 

If it's your first time using a menstrual cup, the easiest position to insert your cup is either by getting down in a squat (like you are using a squatting toilet) or resting one leg up on a toilet. 

There are three types of folds you can use - the C-Fold, the punch-down fold, and the 7 fold. The best way to put in your menstrual cup as a beginner is the punch-down as that has the smallest insertion point.

To learn more about the three different folds, read our blog on the ultimate guide to folds.

Use your fingers to keep the fold in place while you gently push the cup into your vagina. If you are wondering how deep to put your menstrual cup, you should push it in until the ring is sitting at the base of your entrance.

The cup should be inserted towards the direction of your tailbone, not upwards. You can also follow our step-by-step guide on inserting the cup.

Once the cup is inserted, you should hear it pop open. Gently tug on the ring to ensure that the seal is created.  

Please rest assured that it takes time to get used to a menstrual cup and can take a few tries to get it right - a great beginners tip is to remember to stay calm and take deep breathes throughout the process. 

step 4: removing your asan cup

Make sure you have clean hands before removing the cup. Get down into a squat and insert a finger to locate the ring. Once you have found the ring, gently tug on it to pull the cup down to the entrance of your vagina. 

Use two fingers to pinch the base of the cup to release suction. Once you have released suction, gently pull the cup out. 

Remember that the ring is there for you to locate your cup - never pull out the cup using the ring as this can cause discomfort.

For a more detailed guide, read our blog for the ultimate guide to removing your Asan cup.

step 5: rinse and repeat! 

Please keep in mind that no matter how light or heavy your period flow is, you need to remove the cup and reinsert it every 12 hours to ensure hygiene. 

During your cycle you don’t need to boil or use the One-Drop cleanser to clean your Asan cup - simply remove it, empty the period blood into the toilet, rinse it with tap water, and reinsert your cup.  

frequently asked questions 

Are menstrual cups good for beginners? 

Yes absolutely! 

Menstrual cups are great for beginners. They're super comfortable, rash-free and a great step towards a sustainable lifestyle. 

At what age should you use a menstrual cup? 

You can start using a menstrual cup at any age - it doesn’t matter whether you’re a 12-year-old using a menstrual cup for your first period, a 17-year-old who has recently learned of menstrual cups, or a 40-year-old looking to switch to a more sustainable period product. 

There is no age limit to using a menstrual cup. In fact, we have many teen users who absolutely love the Asan cup. Read our blog about Kaashvi, a 15-year-old teen using the Asan cup.

Can a virgin use a menstrual cup?

Yes absolutely! In some cultures, the hymen breaking is a sign of losing your virginity. As Asan we don’t associate the hymen with losing your virginity. For many of us, the hymen will be torn before we have penetrative sex, through and sort of physical activity. In fact some of us are born without a hymen! 

It is completely normal for the hymen to tear while inserting a menstrual cup for the first time. The Asan cup is simply a safe way to manage your period and has nothing to do with your virginity.  

Can I sleep with my menstrual cup inside me? 

One of the best things about the Asan cup is you can use a cup overnight. You can sleep peacefully without worrying about leaks and discomfort. 

Just remember to remove and reinsert your cup every 12 hours. 

Can I use a menstrual cup if I have a UTI? 

A UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) can cause pain and discomfort in your vagina and may require medical treatment. You cannot use a menstrual cup if you have a UTI as you should avoid inserting anything to prevent further infection. 

Can I use a menstrual cup after giving birth? 

Yes definitely! You can use the Asan cup whether or not you have given birth. 

However please keep in mind that you cannot use a menstrual cup for your postpartum bleeding straight after giving birth. Please use regular pads for that as the Asan cup is designed to be used for your period. 

Ready to buy your Asan cup? Shop here now.