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I’ve been using a menstrual cup for almost two years, and I can’t be happier.
I always recommend it, but lately, I see more and more females asking this question:
“I can feel my menstrual cup inside me when I insert it – is it normal?”
In short – no. You shouldn’t feel your cup once inserted.
Since this question appears often, I decided to answer it in detail and to cover a couple more related questions, such as:
- Is it normal to feel a menstrual cup?
- Why do you feel your menstrual cup?
- What to do if you can feel your menstrual cup?
- Should the menstrual cup stem stick out?
- What do I do if my menstrual cup is still uncomfortable?
- How do I know if my menstrual cup is inserted correctly?
- Can you put a menstrual cup in too far?
- Which fold is best for inserting a menstrual cup?
- Summary & Further reading
Now, let’s jump right in!
Is it normal to feel a menstrual cup?
No – once you insert your menstrual cup, you shouldn’t feel it.
Menstrual cups are incredibly comfortable. Sometimes, when I’m using mine, I can forget that I’m with it.
If you feel it when you walk or sit or hurts when it’s inside, something isn’t right.
Why do you feel your menstrual cup?
If you feel your menstrual cup, it can cause uncomfortable or painful feelings.
You shouldn’t feel anything once it’s inserted. In case you feel it, the reason is often one of the following:
- The cup is too big/the wrong size. If the cup is too big or long for you, it will be too high up, pressing hard on the vaginal walls or cervix. This can cause pain and discomfort.
- You didn’t insert it correctly. If your cup is inserted too high and next to your cervix rather than beneath it, you will probably feel discomfort.
- The menstrual cup stem is too long. If your cervix is low or your vaginal canal shorter – the cup might irritate you.
- It causes pressure on the cervix. If your menstrual cup causes any pressure on the cervix, you will feel it.
- It might be your stem rubbing against your opening. This happens when the cup isn’t positioned entirely straight.
- It is not open fully. If you insert it, but the cup doesn’t open completely, you might feel it.
- Air gets trapped inside when you insert it. After it seals, you may feel weird pressure.
What to do if you can feel your menstrual cup?
If you feel your menstrual cup, and then you determine the reason for that, you have a few options.
- If the cup is too big, the solution is simple (but annoying); get a smaller size.
- If you didn’t insert the cup properly, you could practice a different folding method. There are a couple great for beginners that you can try out. I’ve described them in detail below.
- If the menstrual sup stem is too long, you can trim it a bit. Don’t trim the stem while the cup is inserted. (more on that below)
- If it causes pressure on the cervix, try to put the cup as low as you can. When inserting your cup, allow it to pop open a bit lower. Then gently push it up into place. The cup should sit lower than a tampon and be just below the cervix.
- If the cup is slightly crooked to the right or left, the stem can rub the skin. Because the opening is full of nerves and a highly sensitive area, it can cause an uncomfortable feeling.
- Try to insert a finger and gently push the cup, side to side. In that way, you will give the rim of the cup a bit of extra space to unfold.
- To get the air out, gently put a finger inside to unseal the suction. Squish the cup in – that usually should get the air out.
Should the menstrual cup stem stick out?
No – nothing should be sticking out. The whole menstrual cup, plus the stem, should be inside.
If the stem is too long, it won’t be comfortable. You can trim the stem to a length that’s comfortable for you. Some people cut it completely.
Before doing anything, however, be aware that your cervix may move up or down depending on your cycle.
So, don’t trim it too short if you aren’t comfortable removing your cup using only the base.
What do I do if my menstrual cup is still uncomfortable?
Try to identify the reason.
If you try all the suggestions above, and nothing helps, figure out if inserting other things (like tampons) also hurts.
If it does, there might be an underlying issue you’d need to fix before you can use a cup.
Additionally, each body is different, and sometimes, a menstrual cup won’t work for someone’s anatomy.
People with various health conditions, such as a tilted uterus, pelvic organ prolapse, or poor pelvic floor tone, may find that menstrual cups simply uncomfortable.
I would recommend contacting your gynecologist and figure out why the menstrual cup is causing discomfort.
How do I know if my menstrual cup is inserted correctly?
When the menstrual cup is inserted correctly, you will know by feeling or hearing a suction or a “pop” sound.
The sound will reassure that the cup has unfolded and created the necessary suction seal.
You can also check with the stem. To do that, try grasping the cup at the base and pinching slightly.
Then, turn the cup side to side gently. This may get the cup to sit more comfortably.
Read my article, where I’ve answered in detail how to find if your menstrual cup is in right.
Can you put a menstrual cup in too far?
No. Don’t worry – the cup won’t go anywhere. The cup will always sit below your cervix, and it can go too far up.
If you sometimes feel that you can’t reach your cup, relax.
Feeling tense will tighten the muscles down there, and it will be hard to get it out.
Once you calm down, use your muscles to “squeeze down” the cup, and then insert your fingers inside to gently grab the stem.
Once you bring down the cup, squeeze the base to break the suction. Then, gently get the cup out.
I can feel my menstrual cup when I walk / when I cough. Is that normal?
Feeling your menstrual cup when walking is usually a sign that it is not being seated properly.
It can also mean that the menstrual cup is probably just too long for you.
Coughing and sneezing can cause the cup to shift and move down, too.
But this only means you have very strong pelvic muscles.
If that’s the case for you, don’t worry too much, but be a bit more careful.
Otherwise, you risk “giving birth” and taking the cup out, by mistake, at the wrong moment, by intense coughing/sneezing.
Which fold is best for inserting a menstrual cup?
There isn’t one universal “best” folding method. It’s best to experiment, to find which one works best for you. You can try out:
- 7 fold – Hold the cup with both hands underneath the rim. Push the sides together to flatten the cup. Take the right corner of the cup and fold it down towards the stem. This is one of the easiest ways to insert it.
- ‘C’ or ‘U’ fold – Hold the cup underneath the rim. Push the sides together, and flatten the cup. Fold the cup in half length-ways to create the ‘U’ or ‘C’ shape.
- Punchdown fold – Use one hand to hold the cup at the base. Use your index finger of the other hand on the top of the cup rim. Push the edge down inside of the base. Then, push the sides together and hold firmly.
- S fold – Hold the cup with both hands underneath the rim. Push the sides together to flatten the cup. Push one corner away from you and simultaneously pull the other one towards you into a fold to form an ‘S’ shape.
Summary & Further reading
All in all, menstrual cups are incredibly comfortable and should work for most users.
If you have issues with it, it might be a problem that you can fix.
If you try everything, and nothing works – don’t beat yourself up.
The truth is, you still have a few eco-friendly options, including:
- Menstrual discs – It’s a small, flexible funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or silicone. You insert it similarly to a menstrual cup to catch and collect period fluid. I found that many girls, which have problems with a menstrual cup, have no issues at all with a menstrual disc, so it’s worth exploring.
- Period underwear – Period underwear is a blend of fabrics that promise varying degrees of antimicrobial qualities, breathability, leak resistance, and comfort. Due to their many layers, they offer protection during your period.
- Reusable cloth menstrual pad – Another eco-friendly & reusable menstrual hygiene product. If you find comfortable ones, they can be a great option, too.
Furthermore, if you want to give menstrual cups another chance, but you don’t know which one you should choose, check out:
Let me know in the comments below if you ever had this issue and if you found a different solution than the ones in this article.