Welcome to Episode 5 of the Aunt Flo Show. Jackie and Tracy give you all the details you need to know about inserting a menstrual cup, like a boss. It can be fraught with disaster and difficulty, but they help you navigate through these bloody waters in style.
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Episode 5 Show Notes
Jackie and Tracy give you all the details you need to know about how to insert a menstrual cup, including menstrual cup folds, which direction to point it in as you’re inserting it. Also find out how to tell if it’s open, or not, and what to do if it doesn’t pop open naturally. You can try the jiggle, finger around the rim or the twist tricks.
Finally, find out if you need a different size cup, or not. You may need to consider taking the menstrual cup quiz to find the right size. And of course, the famous TMI moment.
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Aunt Flo Show, Episode 5 Transcript
Jackie: Hey, everybody, this is Jackie.
Tracy: And this is Tracy. Hello.
Jackie: And welcome to the Aunt Flo Show. So, this is episode 5. So, we’re going to talk about how to insert a menstrual cup; the one topic fraught with many difficulties and stress and anxiety.
Tracy: Ding, ding, ding, ding.
Jackie: TMI Moment. And this one is brought to you by Tracy.
Tracy: This just happened to me last month. Oh my goodness. It was… My goodness; where do I start?
As we all do, the impending day of the first day of my period was coming along and I was heading to work. I thought, “Okay, I’ll just put my cup and in a cloth bag in my purse and I’ll be ready to go. So, lo and behold, that moment arrived in the middle of a conversation with a colleague.
I excused myself, grabbed my bag, went to the bathroom, took the cup out and thought, “This looks a little different.” I had first world problems. Actually, more like lesbian problems. I had grabbed my partner’s cup and brought it with me to work. It is actually the same cup; just the smaller version of my cup.
Jackie: So, how did it go?
Tracy: Well, I mean, it’s fine, but the whole reason I have the larger cup is because I need that larger cup.
Jackie: So, you tried the smaller one.
Tracy: Oh, of course, I had to use it. I had nothing else with me. This was what had to happen; I had to use a smaller cup. So, I inserted it, used it to all day. Had to change it way more often. Also, it didn’t fit as well. And yeah.
So, that was my TMI moment. And I will never do that again because I think it’s almost to me, it was like using someone else’s toothbrush; gross.
Jackie: A little bit, but slightly less gross because there with your partner, I guess. But still not great. It’s not great, Tracy.
Tracy: Gross, gross.
Jackie: All right. So, let’s get into…
Tracy: Not to mention. Let me just say…
Tracy: Unsanitary, risk of infection transmission; I could go on.
Jackie: This is Nurse Tracy talking.
Tracy: This is a Nurse Tracy talking. Like really horrifying thing that happened to me.
Jackie: Don’t try that at home. Don’t try it on yourself.
Tracy: Do not try that at home.
Jackie: Tracy did it, but it’s not recommended. Well, certainly. All right. So, let’s get into inserting a menstrual cup. So, if there’s any topic that I get like the most questions about on my website, it’s definitely about inserting a cup. And I’m not going to lie, it’s a little bit not that easy to do; it does take some practice.
So, I guess my first tip, I would say, is don’t give up too quickly with it. So, it takes most people… How many cycles do you think it takes people to get?
Tracy: I would say, I mean, three.
Jackie: Yeah. I’d say probably like about three to five as average and it will leak during her time. I mean, unless you’re some sort of menstrual cup prodigy or something like that, then it won’t. But the average person definitely will struggle with it.
All right. So, Tracy, let’s talk about folds.
Tracy: So, I use the… Oh, wait, how do you even go about describing that? So, I think that what we would recommend, first of all, is go to YouTube and search for “How to fold a menstrual cup.” And there probably how many different kinds?
Jackie: I’m going to say there’s probably at least 100 videos on that. And then each…
Tracy: How many different ways to fold a menstrual cup?
Jackie: I’m going to say at least 10 or.
Tracy: Yeah. So, the way that I find works the best is I fold mine… Well, I guess I squish two sides together and then I fold in the edges. So, it’s kind of almost triangular shaped, I guess.
I find that works the best for me because it pops open once inserted quite easily. So, what fold do you use?
Jackie: I use the exact same one as you actually. And there’s a whole bunch of fancy ones out there and I just don’t really use them because I find that simple one just works well and it doesn’t take, you know, like rocket science to like to figure it out.
Tracy: Also, when you receive your menstrual cup, it should have instructions with it and recommended ways to fold it as well. So, give that a look at.
Jackie: Okay. And actually, we’ve skipped the first step. Sorry, about that; I forgot. So, first step is to wash your hands before you fold your cup and make sure that your menstrual cup is clean, especially if it’s at the beginning of your period and is your first time inserting it. So, that’s step one.
Step two is to fold. And now you have it folded, your hands are clean; let’s talk about inserting it. So, Tracy has a few tips for you here.
Tracy: So, you’re going to need to spread your labia apart and find your vagina. And you’re going to slowly insert the cup using your, usually one hand. I mean, you never know how many hands you might need. But I think one is adequate if you point your finger, maybe in your thumb, to push the cup up into your vagina.
But I actually think maybe first, if you insert one finger into your vagina and find out where your cervix is, because some people have retrofitted uteruses. Their cervix will sit higher and low in their vagina and some people’s cervixes are down, closer to the back wall. It’s really hard to tell, unless you know exactly where your cervix is.
If you’re dealing with a cervix that is sitting lower in your in your vagina and pointed forward, then when you insert the cup, you’re going to want to aim towards your cervix.
If you’ve got a higher cervix and it’s low and back, then you’re going to want to point the cup down towards your tailbone and then push it high up into your vagina.
Of course, I know in my job, when I’m talking about this kind of stuff with youth, the question is, “Can the cup get lost?” So, obviously, the vagina is a tunnel that has an end to it, so there’s no way for you to lose the menstrual cup in there.
If you do have a long vagina, though, you can actually get the cup up pretty far in there. So, when you’re inserting it, that’s why I say slowly, just to try and help you get it into place.
Jackie: And yeah, at the end of your vagina is the cervix, which actually is like a super, super tiny hole unless you’re giving birth, obviously and then it gets much, much bigger. But yeah, just normal times, there’s nothing as big as a tampon even will get through there. So, yeah, you certainly don’t have to worry about ever losing the cup. It will be still in your vagina at all times.
Tracy: So, once you get it into where you think it is in place, then you’re going to want to release it. And it will kind of pop open a little bit, depending on where it is.
Jackie: And also depending on how firm your cup is. So, if you have a very firm cup, it will definitely just like pop open pretty easily in most cases. But some of the softer cups are a little bit more difficult to do that with.
Tracy: Yeah. So, I know for myself, I have to kind of rock the cup back and forth a little bit to get it to open up completely. And then I run my finger around the outside edge of it to make sure that it is fully inflated or I guess expanded.
Tracy: Because I find if I don’t do that, then I do have leaking. For me, I do have a lower cervix, so my cup actually fits around my cervix a little bit. I know people with higher cervixes, the cup just kind of blocks the passageway from the cervix to the vagina or the opening of the vagina.
Jackie: And one other tip you can try, like Tracy mentioned, kind of like jiggling it around. One other thing you can do is take the cup and then just turn it like half way, one direction, like a half circle, and then a half circle the other direction and that will usually just like help clear up any blockages or like anything like that and it should hopefully open in most cases.
And if it doesn’t, I would probably take the cup out and try a different fold or a different angle or something like that and just give it another go.
Tracy: If you find that you’re leaking heavily, then you likely have the cup inserted either in the wrong location, I mean, it could actually be tucked behind your cervix and so, your menstrual flow is coming from your cervical opening. So, if you’re not actually sealing the cup so that the menstrual flow will get trapped in the cup, then you are going to get leaking.
So, make sure you kind of have an awareness of where the cup is in relation to your cervix so that it’s catching it.
Jackie: And then finally, if you’ve tried like all sorts of different folds and different angles and you figured out where your services and you just can’t get the cup to open, you might be using a different like the wrong size menstrual cup.
So, if the cup is too small, it’s never going to fully seal to the walls of your vagina, no matter what you do; it’s just too small. Or if the cup is too big, it will also never fully seal to the walls because they’re always be like little bubbles or like little ridges in there. So, that’s kind of like a major reason why some people, just their menstrual cup won’t stop leaking.
So, one company, for example, like the Diva Cup and there’s other companies that do this, too. They recommend their larger size for people over the age of 30, even if they haven’t given birth.
So, you could be over the age of 30 and actually have a quite small vagina, but be using the larger size menstrual cup. And that was my own experience, actually, my first menstrual cup.
I’m a Canadian, so I tried the Canadian Diva Cup and I got the larger size and it just didn’t work and I was so close to giving up. And I tried another menstrual cup; I tried a smaller one and it was kind of like a miracle; it just fit, it was easy to insert, it didn’t leak and I just had a much better experience. So, just keep that in mind about menstrual cups.
Tracy: Yeah. And don’t give up; it does take time to learn how to insert it well and for it to feel right and good inside of you. Yeah.
Jackie: All right. Any final tips or tricks, Tracy, about inserting a cup?
Tracy: That’s all I got.
Jackie: I think that’s about all I got to. All right. So, if you have any questions or comments or thoughts or you just want to give us a high five or something like that, then just head over to the website; auntfloshow.com. So, A-U-N-T-F-L-O-S-H-O-W.com.
Tracy: And is there a place that someone can ask a question or leave a comment there?
Jackie: Yes, there is. Yeah, there’s a little comment box and then there’s also a box for sharing your TMI Moment.
Tracy: We need your TMI Moment.
Jackie: Please help us out. Help us out with that. Okay.
Tracy: Or unless you aren’t getting tired of our TMI moments because we’ve got plenty of them to share.
Jackie: We do have more in reserve. We hope to get some from our faithful few listeners who have. All right.
Tracy: Also too, do you want to talk about your website where people can look at?
Jackie: Oh, yeah. Sure. So, yeah, if you want to learn more about menstrual cups and things like reusable cloth pads and period panties, you can head over to reusablemenstrualcup.com and find all sorts of good things there that you could spend hours of your day reading.
Tracy: And even I think the most useful thing that I’ve seen on your website is the “How to find a cup that works for you.” What’s that called? The quiz.
Jackie: The quiz? Yes. So, reusablemenstrualcup.com/quiz is where that’s found.
Tracy: And if you take that quiz, it will actually help you narrow in on the cup that might be good for you to start with. So, it’s always good to have… I know we’ve talked about this before is to pick a cup that works well with your body and then inserting it will go well.
Jackie: Yes, in theory. We hope that and sincerely for everyone will not struggle so much with menstrual cups and sorting them. We hope it will just be a fun kind of music experience for you.
Tracy: So, we will catch you next time.
Jackie: Episode 6; removal. We’ll talk removal. All right. Until next time. Bye, everybody.
Where Can I Find the Other Aunt Flo Show Episodes?
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Have your Say about Episode 5 and How to Insert a Menstrual Cup
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