Everything you need to know about menstrual cups

Menstrual cups… a reusable period product that seems to be gaining popularity every single day!

If you are new to menstrual cups and would like to learn more about how menstrual cups work, the pros and cons of menstrual cups, and the best menstrual cup brands, you’re in the right place.

By the end of this article, you will be an absolute expert on all things related to menstrual cups! 

first things first. what are menstrual cups?

Like the name suggests, a menstrual cup is a bell-shaped device that is inserted into the vagina to collect your period flow.

Most menstrual cups are made from medical grade silicone, although other menstrual cup materials such as TPE (a form of plastic) do exist.

is it safe to use a menstrual cup?

The answer is yes absolutely, for a few reasons:

  • Medical grade silicone is an extremely safe material, which is compatible with the human body
  • Unlike pads and tampons, menstrual cups do not contain toxic chemicals and plastic; therefore, they do not cause any rashes or irritation
  • As cups collect your flow rather than absorbing it, they do not disturb or upset your vaginal flora – which tampons sometimes can

A review in The Lancet has confirmed that menstrual cups are indeed a safe and effective form of period protection.

In terms of who can use menstrual cups, the great news is almost everyone can! Unless you have a known silicone allergy (which is extremely rare), a menstrual cup is perfectly safe for you.

a little bit of history on menstrual cups

If you’re new to menstrual cups, you may be wondering things like – What was the first menstrual cup? Who discovered menstrual cups?

While they have only gained popularity in the last decade or two, the reality is that menstrual cups have been around since the 1930s!  

In terms of who invented menstrual cups, the idea for a menstrual cup dates back to American Actress Leona Chalmers, who in 1937 had the genius idea to invent a cup-shaped device as an alternative to tampons.

Sadly for Leona and millions of other women of her generation, silicone did not exist and so the menstrual cups of that time were created from harder materials, such as rubber. This meant that they were uncomfortable and impractical to use.

So when did menstrual cups become popular? Only in the early 2000s, following the development of medical grade silicone! This is a truly wonderful material that has had many implications for human health – including being used in heart stents, breast implants, and of course, period cups.

Since the early 2000s, there have been huge improvements in menstrual cup shapes and designs, including the Asan menstrual cup which has a handy removal ring – making it the easiest menstrual cup to remove.

There has also more recently been the invention of menstrual discs which are also made from silicone.

The difference between menstrual cups and discs is that while a cup collects your flow towards the bottom of your vagina, a disc sits at the very top (near your cervix). It is a bit trickier to insert and remove, which is why it is not yet popular like menstrual cups. 

how to choose the right menstrual cup

If you’ve read this far, you’re definitely considering trying a menstrual cup! So you are probably wondering – are all menstrual cups the same? How do I identify top menstrual cup brands and find the most comfortable menstrual cup for my body?

When it comes to choosing a menstrual cup, there are two things to keep in mind: (1) you need to find good menstrual cup brands that you can trust, and (2) you need to understand menstrual cup sizing. 

Before we get to sizing, let’s first discuss how to find a top quality menstrual cup that is both safe and durable.

These days, there are hundreds of menstrual cup brands on websites such as Amazon, and it’s hard to understand if even the top rated menstrual cups and top reviewed menstrual cup brands are actually high quality.

A few tips for finding the best menstrual cup:

  • Buy directly from a brand’s website: If you buy directly from the brand rather than a third-party seller, you can be sure that you are getting an original product. Explore the brand’s website to see if they have a quality page and offer information about their materials and certification
  • Trust brands with a unique design: If a menstrual cup has a unique design associated with a specific brand (such as the Mooncup, Lunette or Asan cup), it means the cup is actually manufactured by this brand. If the cup has a generic design (i.e. they are many cups available with the exact same design), it suggests the brand is simply buying from someone else and reselling 
  • Understand your specific needs: The most recommended cup on a certain platform may not necessarily be the best cup for your needs. For example, the best menstrual cup for beginners may not be the best menstrual cup for a person with very heavy flow. The following section on sizing will elaborate on how to find the best menstrual cup for your needs!

understanding menstrual cup sizing

So you’ve done your research, and you’ve found a good menstrual cup brand. Now how to choose menstrual cup size?

When developing the Asan menstrual cup, we worked with gynaecologists as well as users from across the world. In our severing rounds of product testing, we learned that the single biggest factor that impacts your menstrual cup size is your period flow.

When choosing a menstrual cup, think about your flow on the heavier days of your period. If you tend to have light to moderate flow, then an average size, average firmness cup will work for you. If you tend to have very heavy flow, you will need a larger and firmer menstrual cup.

This is why we have two sizes: our light/medium flow cup is for those people who can wear a pad or tampon for up to 6 hours without leaking, while our heavy flow size is for those who tend to leak through tampons and pads within 5 or 6 hours.

If you have heavy flow, keep in mind that it’s not just menstrual cup measurements that are important – it’s also the firmness of the cup. If a cup is too soft or flimsy, it will leak for heavy flow users.

This is why our light/medium flow cup is made from slightly less firm silicone, while our heavy flow cup is made from firmer silicone. 

We know that other brands don’t always follow a size guide based on flow – they include factors such as pregnancy (whether you’ve had a baby) and age (whether you’re 25 or over).

But having consulted several gynaecologists, we don’t really think this makes sense. Firstly, we can assure you that your vagina does not magically expand at age 25! And even if you have a vaginal birth, in most cases your vagina snaps back into shape and does not require a very large menstrual cup.  

We have many mothers who are happy using our light/medium flow cup, as well as teenagers with heavy flow who love our heavy flow cup. So your flow is truly the most important factor when choosing your menstrual cup size. 

One final factor that you may have heard about is cervix height or cervix position. Your cervix is the very bottom of the uterus.

Most people tend to have medium to high cervixes – which means that they can easily insert a menstrual cup into their vagina. However, in rarer cases some people have low cervixes, which means they need a smaller menstrual cup. 

If you want to learn more about cervix height, you can read our detailed guides for high cervix menstrual cups and low cervix menstrual cups.

how to use a menstrual cup

You’ve found a good brand and you’ve understood sizing. So now for the fun stuff – learning how to use a menstrual cup!

The best menstrual cup brands will provide a detailed instruction manual that talks you through all aspects of usage of menstrual cups, including inserting, removing, and cleaning your menstrual cup.

We’ve created a simple menstrual cup video on youtube that summarises how to use a menstrual cup in six simple steps.  

If you prefer reading to watching, then have a look at the instructions below, which will talk you through menstrual cup use step by step.

  • Step #1: Wash your hands and the cup

Always make sure your hands are clean before using your period cup. Your menstrual cup should be sterilised before you use it (instructions on how to do this are included later in this article).

  • Step #2: Fold your menstrual cup

To insert your cup, you need to first fold it. In the section below, you will learn about the many different menstrual cup folds.

  • Step #3: Insert your cup

Angle the folded cup towards your tailbone, not upwards. Gently guide it into the vagina and let go once it is full inside you. It will pop open when you release it and create a seal with the walls of your vagina.

  • Step #4 Check the position of your menstrual cup

Gently prod your cup – if you feel a bit of resistance, it has popped open correctly! If you find the menstrual cup not opening inside, you may need to take it out and reinsert it. Don’t push your cup up too high – it should be as low as it will comfortably sit.

  • Step #4 Wear your cup

You can wear your cup all day, for up to 10 hours. You should not be able to feel your menstrual cup once it is inside you. If you’re wondering “Do menstrual cups overflow?” – the answer is only if you let them! Check every few hours to understand how quickly your cup fills up and when to empty your menstrual cup.

  • Step #5 Remove your menstrual cup

When the time comes to remove your cup, make sure you wash your hands again. Gently tug on the ring of the Asan cup to bring the cup lower (or if using a menstrual cup with stem, tug on the stem). Once you can feel the base of the cup, pinch it to break the seal. Wiggle it from side to side to gently remove. Empty the contents, wash and immediately reinsert.

how to insert a menstrual cup perfectly 

Inserting a menstrual cup for the first time can be tricky, but with practice it becomes a lot easier – and after a couple of period cycles, inserting a menstrual cup will be like second nature to you. 

The first thing to learn about is folds for menstrual cups. We know that cups can look quite big – but don’t worry, because they are easy to fold into a tiny shape that can easily glide inside your vagina.

Below is a short video demonstrating three most common menstrual cup folds: the C-fold, punch-down fold and 7-fold.

You can also read our detailed guide to learning menstrual cup folds here.

In terms of which fold works best, we find that experienced users who are used to inserting things into their vagina are comfortable with the c-fold – whereas new users and teenagers are more comfortable with the 7-fold and punch-down fold for their menstrual cup.

In terms of how far to insert menstrual cups, you should insert it so that the whole cup is inside your vagina – but don’t push it up too high. Unlike tampons, menstrual cups should not be pushed up to the cervix. This will make it more difficult to remove your menstrual cup and can also cause leaks.

Here are some tips for beginners to insert their menstrual cup:

  • Try at home. The first few times you try a cup, make sure you have plenty of time and are in a comfortable environment, such as your bathroom at home. Try to be patient and give yourself the time and space to experiment.
  • Locate your vagina! Before you use a cup, try to gently insert a clean finger into your vagina. Only by understanding the location will you be able to insert your cup
  • Experiment with folds. The punch-down fold and 7-fold tend to be popular with first-time users. One of our interns Trinity loves the labia fold – read her blog about using a menstrual cup for the first time to learn more.
  • Lubricate your cup with water. If you’re struggling to get your cup in, lubricate it with clean water, which will help it glide in. We advise against other lubricants as these can damage the cup’s silicone.
  • Don’t give up. It’s totally normal to struggle at first and it may take a few tries to perfectly insert your menstrual cup. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time – there will be plenty of opportunities to try again.

Here are some tips if your menstrual cup is not opening inside you:

  • Make sure your cup is firm enough. If a menstrual cup is too soft or flimsy, it will not pop open and create a seal, no matter how hard you try. Good menstrual cup brands will ensure that their cups are soft and flexible enough to fold, but firm enough to easily pop open once inserted.
  • Try a different fold. The C-fold is great for ensuring that the cup pops open perfectly.
  • Tug on the ring. Gently tug on the ring of your Asan cup, or if using a different brand, gently tug on the stem or knob. This can help the cup pop open and create suction.
  • Angle towards your tailbone. Many of us make the mistake of inserting the cup ‘upwards’ – but in reality your vagina runs at a 45-degree angle, so insert it sideways towards your tailbone.
  • Don’t adjust your cup too much. If you’re anxious about our cup opening up correctly, you’re more likely to push it too high or tug and twist it too much. Trying inserting your cup, letting go, and then – allowing your period cup to do its thing! More often than not, it will pop open and find the perfect position on its own. 

how to remove a menstrual cup with ease

Just like inserting, getting a menstrual cup out gets much easier with practice.

How do you know when it’s time to remove, and how long can you leave a menstrual cup in for? The answer to this depends on your period flow. We advise checking your cup every 6-8 hours to see if it is full, and never leaving it in for longer than 12 hours.

The video below shows a step-by-step guide to easily removing your menstrual cup out. 

If you prefer reading to watching, here is a simple guide to removing your cup:

  • Step #1: Locate your cup. Gently guide a clean finger into your vagina, and tug on the ring (or stem) to bring it lower
  • Step #2. Pinch your cup. Pinch the cup to break the vacuum seal. This is very important – if you don’t pinch, it will be painful to remove!
  • Step #3. Remove your cup. Slowly rock your cup from side to side while bringing it lower – the slower and more gentle you are, the easier it will be and the less likely you are to spill anything.
  • Step #4. Empty and reinsert. Simply empty the contents of the cup into the toilet or shower, wash thoroughly with clean water, and reinsert

If you’re wondering “Can a menstrual cup get lost?”, the answer is absolutely not – the vagina ends at the cervix and nothing can get up beyond this point. 

Even if your cup travels up too high and you’re thinking “I can’t reach my menstrual cup” – please don’t worry as you will definitely be able to get it out.

Here are some tips if you’re struggling to locate and remove your menstrual cup:

  • Stay calm. Take a deep breath and be calm – if you’re anxious, your vaginal muscles will clamp up, making it more difficult to access your cup.
  • Sit in a deep squat. A deep squat or “happy baby” position will help lengthen your pelvis and make it easier to access your cup
  • Use the ring to bring your cup lower. The fantastic thing about the Asan menstrual cup is the ring design, which makes it much easier to locate your cup. Use two fingers to tug on the ring and bring it lower

If you struggle with menstrual cup removal, we definitely advise you try the Asan menstrual cup with ring rather than a cup with a knob or stem – as these can be much more difficult to grip on to.

In terms of where to store menstrual cups when you’re not using them, the Asan cup comes with a handy cloth storage pouch. Once your cup is sterilised, pop it in the pouch and store it in a cool, dry place until your next period. 

how to clean a menstrual cup

As menstrual cups are reusable, keeping them clean is extremely important.

The video below talks through how to clean a menstrual cup in under one minute. 

When cleaning your cup, there are two very simple rules to remember: (1) boil your cup for 10 minutes between periods, and (2) wash with running water during periods.

Many users ask us – Do you have to boil menstrual cups? Should I boil my menstrual cup before every single period? The answer is ideally, boiling is the best way to ensure that your cup is 100% sterilised.

However, if boiling is a challenge for you, then you can also soak your menstrual cup in a mug of recently boiled or very hot water from a kettle. This is also an effective way to clean your cup between periods.

In terms of what to wash menstrual cups with during your period, clean water is more than adequate. We do not advise using soap on your menstrual cup, as most soaps contain harsh chemicals that can damage the cup’s silicone.

Furthermore, if there is any residue of soap left on the cup, this can be irritating to your vagina.

If you’re looking for a special soap or a quick way to clean menstrual cups, then please use the Asan OneDrop Menstrual Cup Cleanser, which is formulated by scientists to be the perfect companion to your silicone menstrual cup.

The Asan OneDrop cleanser is perfume-free and made from natural ingredients. This means that while it kills 99% of bacteria, it will not damage the cup’s silicone and will not be at all irritating to your body.

The Asan cleanser can also be helpful to remove stains from your menstrual cup – gently use a brush, together with some of the cleanser, to scrub the stain.

Finally, at Asan, we get many questions about cleaning a menstrual cup in a public toilet.

The great news is that you can wear your cup for 12 hours – so unless you have heavy flow, you should be able to change it within the comfort of your home.

If you need to change your cup in a toilet cubicle without a water supply, then we advise you to carry a small bottle of water with you. Use this to rinse out your cup before you reinsert it. Some users also like to carry a spare Asan cup so they can easily change into it in a public restroom.

preventing menstrual cup leaks

Do menstrual cups leak? Ideally… no, they shouldn’t. But in reality, menstrual cups can leak for a variety of reasons. These include:

  • Poor quality menstrual cup. A poor quality menstrual cup that is too flimsy or badly designed will not create a proper seal, and may not be durable. If it doesn’t leak immediately, it may begin to leak after a few cycles as the material wears away.
  • Menstrual cup is too soft. As we mentioned earlier in the section about sizing – it’s really important that a menstrual cup is firm enough to create a proper seal.
  • Menstrual cup is overflowing. Remember that periods aren’t just blood: there are also clots, bits of endometrial tissue and other fluids in there! As a result, your cup may be filling up faster than expected. What looks like a leak might be your menstrual cup overflowing, which means you need to change it more often.
  • Menstrual cup has not opened up correctly. If your cup is still folded inside you, it will leak. Make sure you prod your cup to check if it has opened up and created a seal. If it hasn’t, you will need to remove and reinsert it.
  • Menstrual cup is in the wrong position. If your menstrual cup is sitting at an awkward angle or if it has been pushed up too high, then it will leak. Position your menstrual cup as low as it will comfortably sit in the vagina.

If you’re facing menstrual cup leaks, first make sure that the position is correct, and that this isn’t a case of overflowing.

If you’re confident you’ve inserted it correctly and it’s not overflowing (for example, if the leaks begin within an hour of insertion) – then the problem is most like the cup itself.

You may need to switch to a higher quality cup, or one that is larger and firmer. If you’re facing persistent leaks, your cup may be too soft. If you’re using Asan’s light/medium flow size, we would advise switching to heavy flow size instead. 

advantages of menstrual cups

There are some incredible benefits of menstrual cups. Indeed, more and more people are switching to them every single day.

Here are the top three reasons why menstrual cups are so popular:

  • Affordable: A period cup is a one-time investment which will last for several years
  • Comfortable: Most people don’t feel their menstrual cups at all – cups are so comfortable you can sometimes forget you’re on your period! This is a huge benefit compared to tampons and pads, which can cause dryness, rashes and general discomfort
  • Sustainable: Menstrual cups are the most eco-friendly period product on the planet. Indeed, a single Asan menstrual cup can last up to 10 years, which would replace 2,500 pads or tampons. Crazy!

Here is a youtube video where users share their feedback about the Asan menstrual cup.

There are also other, more personal benefits of switching to a menstrual cup. Many users say their bathroom feels cleaner since they don’t have to throw used pads and tampons into the dustbin, while others even report that their cramps have reduced.

Do menstrual cups reduce cramps? To be honest, there are no scientific studies on this subject – however they certainly contribute to an overall increase in comfort during periods, which is maybe why some users report feeling less period pain.

disadvantages of menstrual cups

While there are many benefits, several people also ask us – Can menstrual cups cause problems? Is there anyone who can’t use a menstrual cup?

If you use a menstrual cup according to manufacturer instructions, then you should face no problems. The most important thing is to keep both your hands and your cup clean, and to avoid keeping your menstrual cup in for too long. 

That said, in some cases, you may not be able to benefit from using a menstrual cup – and there may actually be some risks of menstrual cup use.

Examples of this include:

  • If you have vaginismus. Vaginismus is a condition where your vaginal muscles tighten up, making it very difficult to insert anything – including a menstrual cup – into the vagina. Please read our blog on vaginismus to learn more about this, including possible treatments.
  • If you’re uncomfortable with insertion. Some people prefer external period products such as pads and period underwear, simply because they don’t like the idea of inserting something (such as a tampon or menstrual cup) into their vagina. This is a perfectly valid point of view and it’s important that you use the period product that suits your needs best!
  • If your hymen is still intact. The hymen is a thin piece of tissue covering the entrance to the vagina. Some of us are born without a hymen, and for others it wears away naturally over time. If your hymen is intact and particularly if you have a thick or imperforate hymen, you might experience some pain inserting anything – including a cup.
  • If you’re experiencing postpartum bleeding. Postpartum bleeding is when you bleed after giving birth. This is not a menstrual period, and you shouldn’t use a cup as there is an increased risk of infection in the first few months after you have a baby. You can return to using your cup once your regular menstrual periods resume.
  • If you suffer from prolapse. Prolapse is a condition where your uterus or other organs hang low into the vagina. We don’t suggest using a cup if you experience prolapse.
  • If you don’t have access to water. Cleaning a menstrual cup requires access to clean water. If you don’t have access to clean water for some or part of your day, then using a menstrual cup becomes a challenge – whereas using disposable products is easier, as you simply throw them away.

period poverty and menstrual cups

It is estimated that nearly half of all women and girls in the developing world cannot afford access to safe period products.

This in turn results in poor health outcomes, such as frequent infections, and also prevents them from participating in essential daily activities such as attending school and work.

At Asan, we believe that menstrual cups – together with menstrual health education -- can play an immense role in eradicating period poverty. 

Via our 1-for-1 donation scheme, we ensure that every single time an Asan cup is sold, we donate one for free to a woman or girl in rural India who can’t afford period care. All our donations are accompanied by detailed education about menstrual hygiene.

We’re so proud to share that 36 villages in Kanakapura, Karnataka have completely switched to the Asan cup, with more than 8,000 women and girls using and loving the product!

You can learn more about our work eradicating period poverty in Kanakapura and why a menstrual cup is better than sanitary pads for rural women here.

environmental impact of menstrual cups

In the West as well as in emerging markets such as India, we are experiencing an insurmountable crisis of plastic waste. More and more, our products are made from plastic and come in plastic packaging – and many of these, including sanitary pads and tampons, are single use.

Think about the life cycle of a sanitary pad or tampon:

  •   Manufacturing. It’s produced in a factory, requiring water and electricity. It’s made from plastic which requires intense processing and contains toxic chemicals.
  •   Packaging. Every sanitary pad and tampon comes in a plastic outer wrapper, and each batch of pads is then wrapped in another plastic wrapper. Tampons also include plastic applicators.
  •   Transportation. Every single period cycle, the pads you need have to be shipped from factories across the world to supermarkets – requiring more energy consumption.
  •   Single use. The pad you buy is used for just four to six hours before it must be thrown away. Tampon applicators are used for a matter of seconds.
  •   Disposal. Once you throw your pad in the trash, it must then be transported (requiring more energy!) to a waste facility where it is sorted. In countries such as India, soiled pads are sorted by hand by waste-pickers, which poses a major health hazard.
  •   End of life. If your pad is incinerated, it releases toxic fumes into our environment. If it is sent to landfill, it will remain there for more than 500 years, as it is made from non-biodegradable plastic. Imagine every single pad you have ever used sitting in a landfill somewhere.

The worst part of the life-cycle of a sanitary pad or tampon isn’t any of the points above. It’s the fact that this needs to happen 10,000 times across your lifetime as these products are single-use only!

By contrast, the life cycle of the Asan menstrual cup:

  •   Manufacturing. While the Asan cup is produced in a factory, it is not made of plastic and does not contain any toxic chemicals.
  •   Packaging. Our packaging is 100% recyclable and plastic-free. It’s also designed so that the user keeps and uses it.
  •   Transportation. Our cups are extremely lightweight and we ensure that we always package them in the country of sale – to reduce the need for international transport.
  •   Reusable. The cup you buy can be used for up to 10 years. That means you only need four or five cups across your lifetime.
  •   Disposal. There is nothing to dispose of when you use the Asan cup.
  •   End of life. When you finally need to replace your menstrual cup, you can dispose of it by incineration or sending it to landfill. Incineration is perfectly safe and does not release toxic fumes. Even if your cup does end up in landfill, one tiny Asan cup is far preferable to thousands of plastic sanitary pads or tampons!

As you can see, switching to a menstrual cup is one of the very best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and lead a low-waste lifestyle.

frequently asked questions

If you’ve made it this far… you are now truly an expert on all things related to menstrual cups!

If your question still hasn’t been answered, have a look at the frequently asked questions about menstrual cups. We’re providing one-line answers to some of the most common questions that we get from our community.

Is a menstrual cup reusable? How long does it last?

Yes indeed, a menstrual cup is reusable and lasts up to 10 years! You only need to replace your cup if it is worn out and there are visible signs of damage.

Should I be able to feel a menstrual cup?

The answer to “are you supposed to feel a menstrual cup” is no – if your menstrual cup is inserted correctly, you should not feel it at all. In rare cases, some people have a sensitive bladder in which case you should switch to a softer menstrual cup.

Can I use a menstrual cup everyday?

Sure you can! However, if you experience very long periods, then we suggest sterilising the cup by boiling every 5 days.

Should I trim the step of my menstrual cup?

If the stem of your menstrual cup is poking you, you might be wondering, “should I cut the stem of my menstrual cup?” However please don’t cut the stem unless you are very confident that you can remove your cup without it! Read through our detailed guide on how to chop the stem or ring off your menstrual cup. 

How much does a quality menstrual cup cost?

You should be able to get a high quality menstrual cup for less than $30 (or £25 or best menstrual cups in the UK). Although it is tempting to search for the best menstrual cup price, do make sure you buy from a trusted brand that uses high quality materials. 

What is the best menstrual cup for teens? Is a menstrual cup safe for 13 year olds?

For teens we advise the Asan light/medium flow cup is this is slightly softer and smaller, making it easier to insert. You can also have a look at our menstrual cup guide for teenagers to learn more about safety for teens.

Can a virgin use a menstrual cup? Can a menstrual cup break hymen?

At Asan, we don’t like the term “virgin” as we don’t feel the need to have a category for people who haven’t had penetrative sex. A menstrual cup is safe for you, whether you have had sex or not. Like any insertable product, a menstrual cup can break the hymen – learn more on our blog about virgins and menstrual cups.

Can you pee with a menstrual cup in?

Absolutely! Your pee comes from the urethra while your menstrual cup sits in the vagina. So you can easily pee with a menstrual cup in. Learn more by reading our blog specifically about this topic.

Can you poop with a menstrual cup in?

So just as you pee from the urethra – your poop comes from a third hole, called the anus. You can definitely poop with a menstrual cup in, however it’s possible that your menstrual cup is pushed a bit lower. After your bowel movement, wash your hands and then check the position of your cup, as you may need to push it up higher.

Can you sleep with a menstrual cup?

You can wear a menstrual cup for 12 hours, so yes, you can totally sleep with it in! In fact our users absolutely love using their Asan menstrual cup during sleeping because they don’t experience any wetness or discomfort like they do with pads.

Can you swim with a menstrual cup?

Yes, yes, yes! You can swim, run, dance, do pilates, go spinning, hike… there is literally nothing you can’t do with a menstrual cup.

Can you use a menstrual cup when not on your period?

We don’t advise using a menstrual cup for anything except collecting your period flow. However, if you’re expecting your period, you can certainly put it in before-hand to make things easier.

Can you use a menstrual cup with an IUD?

Many of our users do have an IUD and still love using a menstrual cup. The important thing is to wear your menstrual cup low in the vagina, and make sure you pinch it properly every time you remove it. Please do consult the doctor who fitted our IUD before making a decision on whether to use a menstrual cup.

Can a menstrual cup damage your cervix?

No, a menstrual cup can’t damage your cervix. As with any period product, do be gentle when inserting and removing to ensure you don’t irritate any part of your body.

Can you get TSS from menstrual cups? Does menstrual cup cause infections and can you get sick from menstrual cup use?

If you use your menstrual cup according to instructions and sanitise it regularly, there is very little risk of infections. Globally, there have only been a handful of cases of TSS, and these are from users who wore their cup for up to 7 days! You can find more information and learn how to prevent TSS on our blog about menstrual cups and TSS. 

Could I be allergic to my menstrual cup?

Silicone allergies are extremely rare – if you experience rashes, itching or any other abnormal symptoms when inserting your cup, then remove it immediately and consult a doctor.

Does a menstrual cup cause prolapse?

Prolapse is a condition where organs such as the uterus descend into the vaginal canal. There is no evidence to suggest that menstrual cups cause prolapse. Make sure you pinch your cup every time you remove it, and do not “bear down” or force your cup out as this can strain your muscles. Use Asan’s ring feature to easily access your cup.

Can I use a menstrual cup after delivery? What about using a menstrual cup after a C- section?

After you give birth, whether vaginally or via c-section, please wait at least three months before using a menstrual cup. Please don’t use your cup for postpartum bleeding, as there is an increased risk of infection. You can return to using a cup once your regular periods resume.

Can a menstrual cup cause endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disease where your endometrial lining grows outside the uterus. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that menstrual cups can cause endometriosis. Learn more about endo and menstrual cups here.

My menstrual cup smells. How do I deal with this?

After sterilising, your menstrual cup should not smell at all. If it does, we advise a “deep clean” – scrub your cup all over with a soft brush and a few drops of the Asan OneDrop Cleanser. Then boil it for up to 20 minutes to completely sanitise it. If the odour is strong or does not go away, then replace your menstrual cup.

I dropped my menstrual cup in the toilet. What should I do?

Retrieve your menstrual cup and wash both your hands and the cup. Next, wash your cup with a gentle soap such as the Asan OneDrop Cleanser. Finally, sanitise your cup thoroughly by boiling for up to 20 minutes. It is fine to re-use the cup one sanitised.

I’m filling my menstrual cup every 2 hours. What should I do?

This suggests you have very heavy flow. Make sure to switch to Asan’s heavy flow size and to change your menstrual cup more often so it doesn’t overflow. Please consult a gynaecologist about your heavy flow as this may suggest an underlying health condition.

There’s a yellow discharge in my menstrual cup. What does this mean?

While white discharge is totally normal, yellow discharge in and around your cup might suggest an infection. If you have a yeast infection or any other type of vaginal infection, please refrain from using your menstrual cup and sanitise it thoroughly. Once your infection has cleared, you can go back to using your cup.


If you've read through all this, you now know everything you need to know about menstrual cups. So what are you waiting for? Buy your first menstrual cup here.