The Best Menstrual Cup for Effortless, Leak-Free Periods
The best menstrual cup will change your life. That is no exaggeration. With the right practices, the best menstrual cup will make your periods:
- Easy: Wear it for up to 12 hours
- Healthy: No plastic, just silicone
- Sustainable: Casco Cup lasts 10+ years
- Comfortable: Great for sports and sleeping in
But getting started — what is a menstrual cup and how does it work, anyway? — can seem like a challenge. Luckily, you're not alone.
Think of your period cup the same way you thought about tampons when you were in Middle School: You might be confused now, but after two cycles at the most (according to research), you’ll be totally acclimated.
A few things that make Casco Cup the best menstrual cup out there are: 1) It is ridiculously comfortable (we mean it) and 2) It’s made from hypoallergenic materials right here in Maine.
But how do you get comfortable using it ASAP? In this guide, we’ll review how to use a menstrual cup, including how to insert, remove, and clean it, as well as different menstrual cup folds. We’ll also explore how to choose your size (Casco Cup has three sizes) and answer a few questions you might not want to ask out loud. For example, will it get stuck inside me? No, but we’ll go over why.
Why Switch to a Menstrual Cup?
Finding Your Cup
How to Use a Menstrual Cup
- How Long Can I Wear It For?
- What Can I Do While Wearing It?
- Can I Have Sex While Wearing It?
- Can I Sleep With It In?
- Can I Use a Menstrual Cup With My IUD?
- Can I Use a Cup While Pregnant?
- Can I Use It During Menopause?
- Can a Virgin Use One?
- Is It Good For Heavy Flow?
- Do I Need a Menstrual Cup Cleaner?
- How Long Does It Last?
- Will It Get Stuck?
- Is It Messy?
- Does It Smell?
- Is It Uncomfortable?
- Will It Cause Toxic Shock Syndrome?
- Why Haven't I Heard of This Yet?
- Why Does Medical-Grade Silicone Matter?
- Can Menstrual Cups Be Organic?
- How Is a Menstrual Disc Different?
- Why Should I Buy Something Made in the U.S.A.?
Disclaimer: The following is not medical advice. This article was written for informational purposes only. If you have any questions about your health, please contact your doctor. If you have specific questions about Casco Cup that are not covered in this guide, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
WHY SWITCH TO A MENSTRUAL CUP?
What Is a Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup, sometimes called a period cup, is a cup that collects, rather than absorbs, your period. Though it sits inside the body similar to a tampon, many women prefer it for a long list of reasons. Here are a few great motivators to try Casco Cup:
- It lasts 10 years or longer
- You can wear it for up to 12 hours
- It’s chemical and plastic-free
- It’s seriously comfortable
- A menstrual cup reduces your period waste
Is a Menstrual Cup Right for Me?
There isn’t one reason why women all over the world are switching to menstrual cups — there are dozens. For some, it’s because Casco Cup is way more comfortable than anything they’ve tried before (we mean it. Check out our reviews).
For others, it’s a great way to reduce one’s environmental impact in a world with billions of menstruating women. Some women are excited about avoiding the monthly cost of tampons and the dreaded tampon tax. Here are some amazing reasons to make the switch.
Here are six reasons why women prefer the Casco Cup.
#1 The Best Menstrual Cup Lasts 10+ Years
Casco Cup is engineered in our factory in Maine with medical-grade silicone. Since we use such high-quality materials, your Casco Cup will last a minimum of 10 years. That means saving the world (and your bank account) from 2,400 tampons, or 65 pounds of period waste.
The average woman using pads and tampons generates 6.5 pounds of waste per year. Considering there are almost 2 billion menstruating women on our planet, that is an unimaginable amount of single-use waste. Keep in mind, that tampons may take 400 years to decompose.
Some brands will try to sell you a disposable menstrual cup (a huge pet peeve of ours since) or washes/wipes that you do not need. Instead, we advise everyone to boil it — saving your wallet and the planet.
#2 You Can Wear It for Up to 12 Hours
Most women are shocked when we tell them that they can wear Casco Cup for up to 12 hours. Yes — that’s a minimum of 4 hours more than a tampon.
For the Casco Cup team, the amount of time during which you can wear a menstrual cup means more sleep, more dancing (pro tip: it’s great for a night out), and more workouts. Whether you're traveling the globe or don’t want to get out of bed yet, the best menstrual cup lets you do what you want to do.
You can wear Casco Cup for up to 12 hours.
Not only is Casco Cup great for long periods of use, but it was designed by a female athlete who wanted comfortable period protection for volleyball games. We love being outdoors and haaaate worrying about changing a tampon.
Luckily, Casco Cup devotees can play their favorite sport — including swimming — with leak-resistant comfort.
#3 The Best Menstrual Cup Is Chemical and Plastic-Free
The vagina is one of the most absorbent parts of your body. That’s why we make a 100% medical-grade silicone menstrual cup.
We also make Casco Cup in Maine, so we have unparalleled insight into every detail of the production process. Unlike other companies, we don’t have an ocean between our design team and our manufacturers.
Why Is the Best Menstrual Cup Made from Medical-Grade Silicone?
We use medical-grade silicone that has been biocompatibility tested. That means that it has been tested in a laboratory setting to see how it interacts with the human body. A large body of research suggests that silicone can offer great biocompatibility — which is why a lot of medical devices and sensitive products (think: baby bottle nipples, food storage containers, valves in ventilators) are made from medical-grade silicone.
With that in mind, we strongly suggest that you avoid any menstrual cup made from TPE (a type of plastic) or latex. These do not offer silicone’s biocompatibility — meaning that we don’t know how they interact with the body.
Plastics, such as TPE and latex, are known to change when subjected to heat. Ever opened a bottle of plastic water that had been sitting in a hot car and tasted something funny? That’s because plastic isn’t sealed the same way that silicone is. This is why the best menstrual cup is made from medical-grade silicone.
#4 What Makes for the Best Menstrual Cup? It’s So Comfortable That You Won’t Even Feel It
Casco Cup is soft and chafe-free. In other words, you will not feel it when wearing it correctly. You heard us right.
It also gently seals against the vaginal walls to create strong leak resistance. Unlike other brands that make menstrual cups that are so soft and flimsy that they leak or others that are so rigid that they’re hard to insert, Casco Cup is effortlessly comfortable.
That’s why our reviewers call it “the goldilocks cup.”
There are so many great reasons to use a period cup, but the №1 most important thing is that it’s comfortable. Most women will have their period 450 times during their life, according to science. The best way to make periods better is to wear a really comfortable product.
#5 The Best Quality Menstrual Cup Won’t Disrupt Vaginal pH or Cause Vaginal Dryness
One of the biggest problems with tampons, especially with pre-menopausal women, is that they may disrupt vaginal pH. What is vaginal pH? It’s the level of acidity in the vagina. The right pH is critical to maintaining a healthy ecosystem down there. A high pH means that the vagina is too acidic. This makes it more susceptible to yeast infections and other bacteria — yuck.
According to research, even tampons that contain “vaginal pH balancing gel” disrupt vaginal pH.
In other words, don’t believe the marketing.
Why do tampons disrupt vaginal pH while the best menstrual cup will not? Tampons are designed to absorb your period while a menstrual cup does not — it collects it. This means that Casco Cup does not absorb the vagina’s natural wetness and will not cause dryness the same way tampons may.
#6 Menstrual Cups Are Safe
For decades, big companies put a lot of effort into encouraging you to question menstrual cup safety. Today, scientific research suggests that they’re safe — and may actually just as effective at preventing leaks as pads.
This does not mean that period cups are all of the same quality. Casco Cup is made in Maine and produced from 100% medical-grade silicone. In other words, you cannot find a higher-quality cup subject to more regulatory oversight.
By contrast, many cups (especially those that aren’t transparent about where they’re made) may be made overseas in less than ideal conditions from non-medical-grade materials.
FINDING YOUR CUP
How Do I Choose a Menstrual Cup?
We're glad to see you’re ready to make the switch to effortless and sustainable period protection. Before you invest in your period’s future, here’s what you should know.
Menstrual Cup Comparison Chart
|Casco Cup||Average Menstrual Cup|
|Made in USA||Made in China|
|100% Medical-Grade Silicone||Non-Medical-Grade Silicone|
|Includes Reusable Case||No Case|
|3 Sizes||2 Sizes|
|Leak-Resistant Technology||Does Not Seal Correctly|
|Designed by a Female Athlete||Who Knows?|
What’s My Size?
Everyone’s body and flow are different. So why would we all wear the same size? Casco Cup is available in three sizes that fit almost everyone:
- Mini: The smallest Casco Cup size, the Mini is great for younger women, women with low cervixes, and people who have not given birth. If you’re brand-new to menstrual cups, we recommend you start with the Mini. It’s the smallest size which can make insertion easy.
- Size 1: Our medium size, the Casco Cup Size 1 is the perfect size for a lot of people. We recommend it to women who are in their 20s, have a medium height cervix, and women who haven’t given birth. This is a great size for those who want more capacity than a Mini but want a smaller size than the Size 2.
- Size 2: The largest Casco Cup size, Size 2 offers the greatest period flow capacity, making it ideal for women who have had children and people with a heavier flow.
Confused? Take this menstrual cup quiz to uncover the most comfortable size for your body and lifestyle.
Pro Tip: Unless you are a young menstruator or have given birth, the Size 1 should fit perfectly.
BEST MENSTRUAL CUP GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
How to Use a Menstrual Cup in 8 Steps
Relax. Using a menstrual cup is a lot easier than you think. In fact, over 90% of women who use one for three cycles prefer it to other forms of period management. Though there is a bit of a learning curve, it’s ultimately way better than tampons or pads in terms of ease of use.
- Clean, clean, clean. We recommend putting your period cup in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes before and after each cycle. The Casco Cup is made from 100% medical-grade silicone so it’s designed to withstand boiling temperatures and be cleaned again and again.
- Wash your hands.
- When it’s clean and has cooled down, fold it into a shape that is comfortable to insert. We recommend the “C shape,” which creates a small corner so knowing how to insert a menstrual cup is intuitive.
- Squat down and insert it.
- Double-check that it unfolded inside the vaginal canal. This is a great way to make sure it won’t leak throughout the day or night. An unfolded period cup will revert back to its original shape.
- Wear for up to 12 hours. Casco Cup is great for sports, including swimming, running and hiking. You can also wear it throughout the night.
- When it’s time to empty it, carefully remove your cup by gently squeezing its sides to break the seal. Many women suggest squatting and squeezing as if you were having a bowel movement. This helps it lower down so you can remove it more easily. Knowing how to remove a menstrual cup becomes easier over time.
- Empty its contents in the sink or toilet.
- If you can, rinse your cup prior to reinserting it.
Pictured: a Menstrual Cup C-Fold.
How to Insert a Menstrual Cup (and Mastering the C-Fold)
Thinking, “This thing is so big. How do I insert it?” We’ve been there, too. Remember that the vagina is an incredible organ, meaning that it can expand and contract a lot.
According to a recent study of South African students between the ages of 18 and 24, 50% of first-time menstrual cup users reported it easy to insert. Out of the students who had difficulty, 80% found it comfortable within 2–3 insertions.
Here are some easy steps to follow for inserting a menstrual cup:
- Create a C-shaped fold also called the Punch Down fold, pictured here. One of the most common menstrual cup folds, the C fold creates a small entry point.
- Squat on the toilet.
- Slide your cup inside your vagina angled towards your tailbone.
- When the stem is ~ half an inch away from your vaginal opening, release the fold.
- It should pop open inside you, creating a seal against the vaginal walls.
- Rotate it inside you to make sure that it popped completely open. It should feel like it regained its natural shape. You also shouldn’t feel anything.
Can you still feel it? Chances are, it isn’t deep enough inside your vagina. It’s best to take it out and start over.
Pro Tip: Try inserting it while squatting in the shower. This is a great way to practice without worrying about making a mess.
How to Remove a Menstrual Cup
Time to take it out? Removing it will become second nature over time. If you’ve never done it before, follow these steps for an effortless experience:
- Wash your hands. It is best to use warm water and gentle soap.
- Above a toiler or in the shower, squat down.
- Move your muscles as if you were having a bowel movement. This will help push your menstrual cup down and make removal easier.
- With your index finger and thumb, find the stem.
- With those two fingers, pink the grooved area above the stem. This will break the seal, making removal much more comfortable.
- Slowly move your menstrual cup downwards keeping it upright. This will minimize the risk of spill.
- Empty fluid in the toilet or shower.
- Rinse if a sink is available.
- Reinsert to continue use.
Pro Tip: Relaxing and moving your muscles as if you’re about to have a bowel movement make removal much easier. Worried? Keep in mind that it cannot get “sucked up” into you.
The Best Way to Clean a Menstrual Cup
It is a good idea to rinse your cup out as often as possible after removing it, though not necessary every time. To fully clean it, boil it in hot water for a few minutes a minimum of once a cycle. There are two ways to do this:
- Insert it into a pot of boiling water for a couple minutes.
- Place it in a bowl or cup, which you fill with boiling water for a couple minutes.
Once it is cleaned, give it a few minutes to cool down before re-inserting it. Finished with your cycle? Place it in the Casco Cup Case for safekeeping.
Pro Tip: At a minimum, it is a good idea to boil your menstrual cup once a cycle. The Casco Cup team prefers to do it twice a cycle.
How Do I Store My Period Cup?
Most brands just give you a cloth bag that gets dirty almost immediately. Not Casco Cup. We give you the Aqua Case for free, no matter what menstrual cup size you choose.
The Aqua Case features a medical-grade silicone lid designed to keep your cup clean and allow it to breathe. Never put your cup in a cabinet or bag without the Casco Cup Case as it will collect dust and debris.
Warning: Do not store your menstrual cup in a plastic bag or another container that doesn’t allow it to breathe. This can lead to bacteria growth.
How Long Can You Wear a Menstrual Cup For?
You can wear your period cup for up to 12 hours and change it a minimum of twice a day.
If you are on a heavier flow day, you may feel more comfortable changing it before that. Many of our devotees can go through the whole workday without worrying about changing it. Remember when you didn’t know how often to change your tampon? Knowing how to use a menstrual cup and when to change it requires getting to know your flow.
Pro Tip: We produce much less menstrual fluid than we think. Since tampons absorb, rather than collect, it looks like a lot more than it actually is. You’ll be surprised when you switch to a period cup.
What You Can (and Can’t) Do While Wearing One
The best menstrual cup makes it easy to go to the beach, work out, and go through your day without worrying about your period. Here are a few things you can do easily with Casco Cup:
- Have a bowel movement
Keep in mind that Casco Cup is not a form of birth control nor STI prevention. In other words, it should never be worn during intercourse. Of course, you can have sex on your period but always remove your menstrual cup first.
Can You Have Sex with a Menstrual Cup?
No, you cannot have sex while wearing a menstrual cup. It must be removed prior to intercourse. Remember, this is a feminine hygiene product, meaning that it is NOT birth control nor does it offer protection against STIs.
It is possible to have sexual intercourse with a menstrual disc because a disc sits against the cervix. However, a menstrual disc does not offer protection against STIs or function as birth control.
Can You Sleep With a Menstrual Cup?
Yes, you can sleep while wearing a menstrual cup no problem. According to Casco Cup staff members, this is one of the best reasons to make the switch.
Since the Casco Cup offers up to 12 hours of protection and leak-resistance, you can sleep in (on your white sheets) without the contact worrying that comes with pads.
Similarly, it is NOT advised to sleep with tampons in as the typical brand can only be worn for 8 hours. Many women find they need to change tampons much more frequently — another reason many make the switch to menstrual cups.
Can You Use a Menstrual Cup with an IUD?
The abbreviation for Intra-Uterine Device, an IUD is a common form of long-term birth control inserted into the uterus. It comes with strings, which raises the question of whether you can use an IUD and menstrual cup simultaneously.
If you are thinking of doing so, please speak with a gynecologist first. Some women talk with their gynecologists before IUD insertion to ensure that the strings are not too long. It is possible for the strings to be shortened to reduce the risk of dislodging the IUD.
What the Research Suggests
Some research found that menstrual cup users were at the same risk as pad and tampon users for dislodging an IUD. The risk of dislodging an IUD is highest in the weeks following insertion.
Though a period cup and IUD may seem to be in close proximity, it is important to note that they are not located in the same place. An IUD is placed in the uterus, whereas a menstrual cup is placed within the vagina.
Some women state that the best practice is to avoid pulling on the IUD strings and to ensure that they’re short enough if going in for an IUD insertion.
Can You Use It While Pregnant?
No. Please speak with your gynecologist about period management while pregnant.
Can You Use a Menstrual Cup During Menopause?
Yes, Casco Cup is a favorite among women going through menopause. This is because it does not contribute to vaginal dryness, unlike tampons. The best menstrual cup also offers amazing all-day protection.
Can a Virgin Use a Period Cup?
Yes. If you are worried about your hymen, however, please speak with a gynecologist.
Is a Menstrual Cup Good for Heavy Flow?
It’s a great solution for menstruators with heavy flow because it collects, rather than absorbs, your flow. While a tampon will fill up with menstrual blood and fluid quickly, a menstrual cup has much more capacity.
How Long Does a Menstrual Cup Last?
The Casco Cup is guaranteed to last a minimum of 10 years, though it may last longer due to the high quality of our materials.
Do I Need a Menstrual Cup Cleaner?
You do not. All you need is a pot and clean water. We advocate that everyone clean their cup a minimum of twice a cycle. Please see our section on how to clean a menstrual cup.
Why do companies market menstrual cup cleaners? Sadly, because menstrual cups are a sustainable product, many companies feel the need to market an additional add-on product to increase their revenue.
We believe in helping the planet by creating less waste, and do not market a cleaning agent for that reason. Plus, you don’t need one.
Is a Menstrual Cup Messy?
No, a menstrual cup is not messy by nature. If you remove it slowly in an upright position, then dump the fluid in the toilet or sink, there is less of a risk of fluid spillage. This is something that will become natural within a couple cycles.
Pro Tip: Start by inserting and removing your menstrual cup in the shower, even if you aren’t on your period. This is a great way to acclimate to using it without making a mess.
Does It Smell?
No. When blood is exposed to air, bacteria can form, which causes a smell. This is why pads and tampons may smell. By contrast, a period cup keeps the fluid within your body, thus reducing its ability to start smelling.
Is a Menstrual Cup Uncomfortable?
We can’t speak to all products out there, but Casco Cup is famous for its comfortable and leak-resistant design. With proper use, you won’t even feel it.
Is a Menstrual Cup Supposed to Hurt?
No. If it does, please speak with your doctor. Correct menstrual cup insertion and removal is painless.
Will It Get Stuck Inside Me?
Nope. Though it might seem tough to remove at first, it becomes second nature over time — just like a tampon when you first started menstruating.
The vaginal canal isn’t very long, so your menstrual cup can’t go that far. For most people, it’s approximately 4 inches long, though it can be even shorter if you have a low cervix. Having trouble finding it? Bear down on it (move your muscles as you would if you were having a bowel movement) while feeling for the stem with your thumb and index finger. This usually helps the cup further down.
Then, pinch the cup’s base to break the seal and remove it slowly.
Will It Cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)?
Menstrual cups do not increase the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). They are, according to research, a safe way to manage your period. In fact, many believe that they’re healthier than tampons in regards to bacteria growth for a number of reasons, including:
- They do not use chemicals to make them absorbent.
- By collecting rather than absorbing fluid, period cups do not disrupt vaginal pH.
- They do not dry out the vagina.
What Is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)?
Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare condition caused by an overgrowth of a specific kind of bacteria. It results in a drop in blood pressure, and, in extreme cases, may result in death. TSS is known to affect menstruating women, especially those who use super-absorbent tampons. TSS is a rare condition: There are only 3 to 6 cases per 100,000 people annually, according to experts.
It isn’t just related to tampon use either. TSS comes from toxic bacteria that makes the body go into shock. This bacteria may be transmitted through surgeries, childbirth, and other infections.
How do you decrease your risk? Follow feminine products’ instructions. High absorbency tampons and those that include rayon may increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome, according to the obstetrician-gynecologist referenced above. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with a doctor.
Casco Cup contains neither rayon nor absorbs your flow. If you have a history of TSS, please speak with a doctor before using Casco Cup.
Menstrual Cup Leakage: What Do I Do?
There are a few reasons why yours might be leaking. If it is uncomfortable, too, this most likely means that it was inserted incorrectly. It may not be far up enough within the vagina. Another reason your cup may be leaking is that it hasn’t created a seal with the vaginal walls.
The best thing to do in these cases is to remove it and re-insert it. After you’ve inserted it, check that it has regained its natural shape within you. If your cup seems sideways or folded, rotate the cup with your fingers until it pops out to regain its natural shape, otherwise, you may experience leaks.
Experiencing chronic leaking? You may be wearing too small a menstrual cup. For this reason, Casco Cup offers the Size 2, a slightly larger cup which is great for women who have given birth or who have a very heavy flow.
Why Is It Turning Yellow?
It is completely normal for your menstrual cup to turn yellow. This is due to silicone’s natural properties. It does not mean that it’s dirty or that you should throw it out. If the yellow hue bothers you, there are a few ways to get rid of it:
- Scrub, scub, scrub with soap. Sometimes, giving it a good scrub is enough to do the trick. If you use soap, make sure to boil it again before reinsertion.
- Soak your menstrual cup in lemon juice for a minimum of an hour before scrubbing and boiling again.
- Leave it in the sun to bleach for a couple of hours.
Pro Tip: A yellowed menstrual cup is not dirty or bad. Silicone has a long life expectancy so it will last for at least 10 years.
MENSTRUAL CUP TRIVIA
Why Am I Just Learning About This Now?
These seem great. Why don’t I know anyone who uses one?
Great question. In fact, the menstrual cup is not a new invention: It was invented in the 1930s. But because it’s a sustainable product, big corporations put time and money into dissuading women from using them for over half a century.
Now, we’ve rediscovered that menstrual cups are safe. Welcome to the 21st century of period protection.
Why Do You Want a Medical-Grade Silicone Menstrual Cup?
Medical-grade silicone is considered safe for contact with food and the body. This is because it’s biocompatible: It won’t produce an immune or toxicological response within the human body.
A lot of medical devices product development involves medical-grade silicone, including healthcare tubes and devices, baby bottle nipples, and, of course, Casco Cups. Unlike TPE and latex, which can produce an allergic reaction and do not share silicone’s biocompatibility, medical-grade silicone is the highest quality material you can use for period cups.
Is a Menstrual Cup Organic?
Technically, no because the best menstrual cup is made from medical-grade silicone which is a material made through a chemical process. As silicone does not exist in nature, it can’t be “organic.”
However, the silicone we use is hypoallergenic and tested for biocompatibility. This means that it has undergone testing to ensure that it interacts safely with the human body while used as a menstrual cup.
Silicone is also durable, which is why our menstrual cup is guaranteed to last 10 years. This makes it an excellent choice for more sustainable periods.
What Is the Difference Between a Menstrual Cup and a Menstrual Disc?
Great question. In fact, we will soon be launching the Casco Disc, a menstrual disc made from 100% medical-grade silicone in Maine.
A menstrual disc is similar to a cup in that it collects — rather than absorbs — your period flow. However, a menstrual disc has a more “disc-like” shape compared to the Casco Cup’s teardrop shape.
A menstrual disc also sits further up in the vagina than a cup. Specifically, when inserted correctly, a disc sits against the cervix. The added benefit of this is that it is possible to have less messy intercourse with a disc whereas you cannot have sex while wearing a menstrual cup.
The menstrual disc may have a steeper learning curve for beginners because it must be inserted further into the vagina. Choosing between the two is a matter of personal preference — and some women enjoy having both.
The Best Menstrual Cup Is Made in the U.S.
We are proud to make all of our products in Sanford, Maine. Choosing an American-made menstrual cup is a great way to ensure quality processes and materials. It’s also important to know that the people who made it are earning a living wage.
Want to reduce your carbon footprint further? The best menstrual cup brand doesn’t ship from overseas.
Live Your Best Life with Comfortable Periods
Focus on life beyond your period with Casco Cup, the best menstrual cup. Made from 100% medical-grade silicone in the beautiful state of Maine, this period cup sets the standard for comfortable, easy periods for bodies of all shapes and sizes.
Have another question? Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We might even add it to this guide, anonymously of course.