The Best Menstrual Cup for Effortless, Leak-Free Periods
A menstrual cup can 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: It 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 (though it's a way easier adjustment than you think). Think of your period cup the same way you though about tampons when you were in Middle School: You might be confused now, but after, on average, two cycles, you'll be totally acclimated. Except the Casco Cup is actually comfortable and made form hypoallergenic materials (unlike tampons).
But how do you get there faster than you did in middle school? You're in the right place. In this guide, we go over how to use a menstrual cup, including how to insert, remove and clean it, and different menstrual cup folds. We also explore choosing your size (Casco Cup has three amazing sizes) and answer a few questions you might be anxious to ask out loud. For example, will it get stuck inside me? No, but we'll go over why.
Disclaimer: The following is not medical advice. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Instagram or Facebook @CascoCup.
- What Is a Menstrual Cup?
- Why Should I Use One?
- Why Haven't I Heard of It?
- Is It Safe?
- How Do I Choose One?
- How Do I Insert a Menstrual Cup?
- How Long Can I Wear It For?
- What Can I Do While Wearing it?
- How to Remove It
- How Do I Clean It?
- How Do I Store It?
Best Menstrual Cup Guide for Beginners
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, it has a ridiculous number of advantages. Here are a few reasons that more women are using menstrual cups than ever before.
Last 10+ Years
Up to 12 Hours of Use
Chemical and Plastic-Free
5 Reasons to Switch to a Period Cup
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 you've tried before. For others, it's a great way to reduce their environmental impact. And some women are excited about avoiding the monthly cost of tampons and the dreaded tampon tax. Here are 5 amazing reasons to make the switch.
The Best Menstrual Cup Lasts 10+ Years
The average woman using pads and tampons generates 6.5 lbs 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.
Casco Cup is engineered in our factory in Maine with medical-grade silicone. What that means, is that your Casco Cup will last a minimum of 10 years because it's made from such high-quality materials. That means saving the world (and your bank account) from to 2,400 tampons, or 65 lb of period waste.
Casco Cup Offers Up 12 Hours of Use
Are are some menstrual cup pros and cons? Most women are shocked when we tell them how long you can use this one for up to 12 hours. Yes, that's 6 hours more than a tampon. For that reason, Casco Cup is amazing for running marathons, sleeping in on the weekends, or getting through a hectic travel day -- all without worrying about your period.
Casco Cup is the best menstrual cup because it was designed by athletes who not only wanted long-lasting protection, but we didn't want to feel a thing. Many Casco Cup devotees love the ability to play their sport or complete their workout routine (including swimming) with the leak-resistant security of our amazing cup.
Chemical and Plastic-Free
The vagina is one of the most absorbent parts of your body. The safest thing to do is to choose a medical-grade silicone menstrual cup.
We advise avoiding all designs that are not (ex: made from TPE or latex) because these do not offer silicone's biocompatibility. What is biocompatibility? It's a scientific term for how a material interacts with the human body. Medical-grade silicone has amazing biocompatibility, according to research. This means that it won't affect the body's processes in the same way as plastics do.
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.
So Comfortable You Can't Feel It
Casco Cup is so soft and chafe-free that you should not feel it while wearing. It also seals gently to create a leak-free design. Unlike other brands that create a cup so soft that it creates lots of leaks or others that are tough to bend and hard to insert, Casco Cup is effortless.
There are so many great reasons to use a period cup, but the No.1 most important thing is that it's comfortable. Most women will have their period 450 times during their life, according to science. Don't you want to be comfortable?
Won't Disrupt Vaginal pH or Cause Dryness
One of the big day-to-day problems that tampons cause is that they may disrupt vaginal pH. What is vaginal pH? It's the level of acidity in the vagina and a crucial part of maintaining a healthy ecosystem down there. What happens with a high pH? The vagina is more susceptible to yeast infections and other bacteria.
According to research, even tampons that contain "vaginal pH balancing gel" disrupt vaginal pH.
This makes sense. Tampons are designed to absorb your period. The best menstrual cup does not: It collects it. meaning that it doesn't absorb wetness within the vagina. This is why tampons may cause dryness, too, whereas menstrual cups do not.
Why Haven't I Heard of Menstrual Cups Yet?
Great question. The menstrual cup was actually invented in the 1930s. But because they're sustainable, i.e. you don't have to go to the drug store to buy them every month, big corporations put a lot of time and money into dissuading women from using them.
Now, we've rediscovered that menstrual cups are safe. Welcome to the 21st century of period protection.
Tell Me More About Menstrual Cups Being Safe.
There are a lot of companies that put effort into you questioning menstrual cup safety. More scientifically, new research shows 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 FDA-registered, made in Maine, and produced from 100% medical-grade silicone. In other words, you cannot find a higher quality cup with more oversight from regulators.
By contrast, many cups (hint: those that do not advertise where they're from) may be made overseas in less than ideal conditions from non-medical grade materials.
I'm on Board. How Do I Choose Mine?
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 are a few questions you should be able to answer.
Menstrual Cup Comparison Chart
Average Menstrual Cup
Made in USA
Made in China
100% Medical-Grade Silicone
Includes Reusable Case
Does Not Seal Correctly
Designed by a Female Athlete
What's My Menstrual Cup Size?
Everyone's body and flow are different. So why would we all wear the same size? Casco Cup is available in three sizes:
- 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.
Is It FDA-Registered (and What Does That Mean)?
Casco Cup is proud to be FDA-registered. This guarantees that our design is free from plastic, latex, and BPA. No mystery ingredients or sketchy production facilities in far-away places.
What does FDA-registered mean? It means that the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) paid a visit to the facility to go over their processes and materials. It's a great way to ensure that the manufacturing plan is safe and effective.
Where Was It Made?
We are super 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.
How Will I Store my Menstrual Cup?
Most brands just give you a cloth bag that gets dirty almost immediately. Not Casco Cup. Everyone who chooses us receives our Aqua Case. Discreet, cute and made from our favorite color, the Aqua Case is great for storing your menstrual cup between cycles in your medicine cabinet or throwing it in your bag for the day.
Don't store your menstrual cup in a plastic bag or another container that doesn't allow it to breathe. This creates an environment that is more friendly to bacteria. Not good.
How Does a Menstrual Cup Work?
How to Use a Menstrual Cup in 8 StepsRelax. Using a menstrual cup is a lot easier than you would think. Over 90% of women who use one for three cycles prefer it to other forms of period management. Though there is a bit of 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: Folds for Beginners
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.
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 Long Might Someone Wear One 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.
How Do You 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.
How 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 to Store a Menstrual Cup
Every Casco Cup comes with an Aqua Case: a menstrual cup case with 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.
Pro Tip: Do not use a cloth bag permanently or a plastic bag as these will collect debris. Additionally, a plastic bag is not a good idea as it will not allow a cup to dry, therefore creating a bacteria-prone environment.
What Is Medical-Grade Silicone?
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 with the human body.
A lot of medical devices are made from 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.
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 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.
Other Questions, Answered
Will It Get Stuck?
Nope. Though it might seem tough to remove at first, it becomes second-nature over time -- just like a tampon when you were younger.
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?
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 then 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.
Can I Use My 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 gynecologist 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 Does the Research Day?
Some research found that menstrual cup users were at the same risk as pad and tampon users for dislodging an IUD. The weeks following the insertion of an IUD have the highest risk of dislodgement, which lessens afterward.
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.
Menstrual Cup Pros and Cons: Is It 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.
May Someone Use It While Pregnant?
No, please speak with your gynecologist about period management while pregnant.
May Someone Use It 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 Menstrual Cup?
Yes. If you are worried about your hymen, however, please speak with a gynecologist.