INDEX

Hello, Uterus! Let’s get to know you.

Vulva in the Mirror

What the vagina and uterus look like

Don’t be a stranger to your vagina.

What is the difference between a feminine cleanser and a vagina detergent?

Basic knowledge of menstrual cups in OX quiz

Were menstrual cups and tampons released at the same time?

Are all materials in the menstrual cup silicone?

Are there any side effects from using a menstrual cup?

Are menstrual cups expensive?

Are menstrual cups non-medical manufactured products?

Is the gradient and elasticity of a menstrual cup the same thing?

All you wanted to know about menstrual cups

① How do I choose the right menstrual cup?

Before starting to use a menstrual cup, explore your body.

How to choose a safe menstrual cup

How to choose a menstrual cup to best fit your lifestyle

How to choose a menstrual cup depending on body size

How to choose a menstrual cup to best fit your lifestyle

How to choose a menstrual cup depending on body size

How to choose a menstrual cup to best fit your lifestyle

How to choose a menstrual cup depending on body size

How to measure it.

My vagina length is different every time I measure it.

Can’t I choose a menstrual cup without measuring my vagina length?

Can I use it for my first period?

I’ve never used a tampon. Can I use a menstrual cup?

I have no experience of sexual intercourse. Can I use a menstrual cup?

Can I use a menstrual cup during pregnancy?

Wouldn’t the menstrual cup leak when used after childbirth?

Which menstrual cup is suitable for a beginner?

② How do I wash and store my menstrual cup?

Please sterilize in boiling water before and after use.

During your period, wash the menstrual cup in clean running water and reuse it.

Store it after drying thoroughly.

How do I sterilize my menstrual cup during my period?

How long should I sterilize the cup?

The menstrual cup smells unpleasant. What should I do?

My menstrual cup is discolored. What should I do?

Can I put it in a sealed container?

Do I need to sterilize the enclosed mini bottle?

Can I share the menstrual cup with others?

③ How long can I use it?

The period of menstrual cup usage by brand

Does expiration date mean use-by date?

How long can I keep the menstrual cup in a box?

My menstrual cup is deformed. Can I keep using it?

The menstrual cup doesn’t unfold.

How do I know to when to change the menstrual cup?

④ How do I insert it?

How to insert.

Folding | Ravia folding

Folding | C folding

Folding | Seven folding

Folding | Punch down folding

Insert

Unfold and check if it is sealed (vacuum)

Examples of wearing the menstrual cup properly

It’s painful when I insert my menstrual cup. What should I do?

I feel that I need to urinate?

The menstrual cup feels irritating and uncomfortable. What could be wrong?

It is ok when I am standing up, but it is sore when I am sitting down.

The menstrual cup cannot be inserted far enough no matter how much I try. What should I do?

I cannot insert the menstrual cup as it keeps unfolding

How do I know if the menstrual cup is unfolded?

I think the menstrual cup is unfolded in an oval shape

The stem is uncomfortable. What should I do?

The menstrual cup is leaking. What is the problem?

What if I damage the vagina wall while taking the menstrual cup out?

Can I use the menstrual cup when I don’t have a period?

⑤ How do I replace it?

How to replace your menstrual cup

I cannot find the stem. What if I cannot take it out?

It’s really sore when I take it out. Why is that?

I feel dizzy when I take the menstrual cup out. Is this normal?

I am worried that blood may pour when I take it out.

I often see some trace of blood on my underwear or tissue. It’s not sealed, is it?

When I use my menstrual cup overnight, it leaks in the morning. What should I do?

Is it dangerous to wear a menstrual cup for more than 12 hours?

How do I know when to replace the menstrual cup?

Can I use soap to wash the menstrual cup?

⑥ Frequently asked questions

The menstrual cycle is shortened. Is that just me?

nstrual blood gradually changes color. Is it normal?

May I use a menstrual cup instead of a panty liner between periods?

I feel like it’s falling out when I'm defecating. Can it fall out?

The menstrual cup fell into the toilet. What should I do?

Is it okay to do exercise like swimming or yoga?

I suspect toxic shock syndrome. What should I do?

I am being treated for vaginitis, can I use a menstrual cup?

I feel tingling and pain when urinating. Is it normal?

If I have an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD), can I use a menstrual cup?

I have a silicone allergy.

Can I wear it during sex?

Hello, Uterus! Let’s get to know you.

Vulva in the Mirror

We’ve been taught to be euphemistic about the female genitals, using terms such as “there”, “private place”, and “secret area”; and to conceal and not touch them. This could be why menstruation has long been considered shameful and dirty.

If we don’t know what they look like, are they really part of our bodies? Before we start using a menstrual cup, let’s have a closer look at our genitals, using a mirror. Fear usually comes from ignorance. It is natural to fear to insert a menstrual cup if you don’t know what the entrance of the vagina looks like, what size it is, and how it feels. Let’s say hello to our bodies and get to know our genitals. Wash your hands and let’s have a close look.

Labia majora and labia minora

There are two layers of skin. The external one is labia majora, and the internal one is labia minora. Labia means lips in Latin. Each person’s labia minora is as distinctive as their face. Labia are smooth when you are young, but after adolescence, glands are formed to create fat, so you can feel some bumps. These glands secrete mucus to maintain moisture.

Clitoris

In the Middle ages, the clitoris was called the “witch’s nipple” and was considered to be a symbol of a witch. In 1940s America, clitoris circumcision was sometimes performed to prevent women from masturbating. And still today, in some African countries, female genital mutilation is conducted in the name of tradition, whereby women are circumcised at the risk of their lives. The clitoris is faced with such ordeals because it is the only organ in the human body that exists solely for women’s pleasure.

Urethra

The first opening under the clitoris is the urethra.

Vagina

The second opening is the vagina. The vagina is a pathway between the outside of your body and the uterus. It is made of highly flexible muscles. It grows to between 7 and 13 cm in adolescence. The internal walls are usually contracted but when necessary, the muscles stretch to demonstrate remarkable elasticity and resilience.

Hymen

At the entrance of vagina, there is skin tissue which covers the vagina partially or completely, though about 10 to 15% of women are born without it. It is not a simple film that covers the vaginal opening. There can be a large slit or a number of small holes. The forms are various. It can be destroyed during everyday life activities as well as sexual intercourse. When the hymen is ruptured, you might experience some pain or bleeding. Alternatively, you might not feel a thing.

Before adolescence, your body doesn’t produce the estrogen that smoothens and thickens your vaginal tissue, so this tissue is vulnerable to scarring and infection. Until becoming mature, females need the hymen to protect the delicate vaginal tissue from rough toilet paper, urine, pollutants, and germs. After adolescence, once estrogen has been produced by the ovaries, the hymen has fulfilled its function. If you compare the vagina with a sleeve, before adolescence, it is a long and wide sleeve and during adolescence, it becomes a short and fluffy lace sleeve.

Anus

The last entrance behind the vagina is the anus, which leads to the rectum. In order to avoid infection while cleaning the anus, always remember to wipe from front to back.

What the vagina and uterus look like

Uterus

The uterus is fist sized and weighs about 60g. It is about 7 cm and has a funnel shape. When you are pregnant it stretches about 500 to 1,000 times.

Ovary

to 7 million oocytes. When you become an adolescent, the number is reduced to 400,000 and for about 35 years, 400~500 oocytes are ovulated each month, one by one.

The ovary determines whether to ovulate or not by receiving information from the brain, the immune system, and the nervous system. This is why when you are suffering from extreme stress, or when you are not well, your period gets disturbed. If you are worried about irregular periods, make sure you are not exhausted mentally or physically. The ovary produces progesterone and estradiol which play important roles in preventing osteoporosis and preserving animation, even after the menopause.

Cervix (uterine neck)

There is a needle sized hole where the vagina and uterus connect. A film is formed of moist secretions to prevent germs entering from outside. During menstruation, menstrual blood comes out of this hole and it becomes wider than usual.

Sensitive to pressure more than pain

The vagina is an organ that is sensitive to pressure more than pain.

If it was more sensitive to pain, the pain of giving birth would be even more unbearable. If you put a finger inside yourself, the feeling at the entrance and the feeling inside vagina are different. The deeper you go the less sensitive it is to pain.

Your vagina is more sensitive to pressure than pain. This is why when you use a menstrual cup, some women feel uncomfortable about this pressure.

The bladder lies before the vagina, and the rectum behind it

The vagina lies towards the spine and is connected to the uterus forming a shape like a bracket (>).

When a menstrual cup doesn’t reach the neck of the uterus, the cup may pressure your bladder.

Depending on the shape of your vaginal fornix, that is the vault-like recesses of the upper vagina, the cup can be oval shaped or squashed rather than a perfectly round shape.

Don’t be a stranger to your vagina.

The vagina is the litmus test for the female immune system

Did you know there are more germs than cells in your body?

Many people think of germs as bad, dirty, and dangerous and feel uncomfortable thinking about them. However, there are a lot of good germs (microorganisms) such as lactobacillus that have a symbiotic relationship with our body.

In 1908, Elie Mechnikov received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering enterobacteria. Since then, many studies have been conducted on enterobacteria and show that they impact our immune system as well as our cranial nerves. What about the vagina which, like the intestine, links the inside of our bodies to the outside world?

Dr. Gregor Reid

professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Surgery at Western University / Discovered enterobacteria in the vagina in 1982

[Reference] https://www.lawsonresearch.ca

In 1982, in Canada, Dr. Gregor Reid discovered enterobacteria in the vagina, a full 74 years after Mechnikov was recognized for discovering them in the intestine. That it took 74 years to find enterobacteria in the vagina shows how few studies have been conducted on the female body.

Christiane Northrup, obstetrics specialist, wrote that a vagina is the litmus test for the female immune system.

80% of immunocytes in the female body exists near the vagina, urinary tract, vaginal fornix, and gastric surface of the bladder.

Your vagina contains immunocytes and enterobacteria to prevent harmful germs from entering, and thereby self-purifies its own sophisticated system.

Vaginal secretion is a part of the self-purification system, by blocking germs from coming into the vaginal fornix, and expelling germs and harmful material from the body. Unfortunately, this sophisticated system is influenced by stress hormones such as cortisol. Therefore, women’s stress and consequent hormonal disorder may disturb these organs’ function.

If you often suffer from vaginal itching and vaginal infection, it is a signal that your microorganism forest is weak. You should take some time to find out where you are getting stress from in your daily life.

Don’t wash it too often.

The internet is overflowing with feminine cleansers under the names of “Y-zone management”, and “secret zone management”. Most of these advertisements focus on “managing” vaginal secretion, without an accurate understanding of what it is, as if it is dirty or a sign of disease. On the contrary, as mentioned previously, your vagina is operating its own sophisticated self-purification system, and the chemical and environmental hormones in feminine cleansers may harm your health. It is safer to use clean water to wash your vagina gently rather than feminine cleansers.

Careful! Vagina Detergent

A healthy vagina produces vaginal mucus to keep itself clean by killing various germs and viruses. A vagina detergent prevents your vagina from doing this and even makes it dry, kills beneficial germs, and causes potential infection.

In 2016, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in America, released the study result, “frequent use of vagina detergent may increase the risk of ovarian cancer up to 2 times.” The study assumes that phthalate in vagina detergent, which is used to make the fragrance, increases the risk of ovarian cancer, based on the fact that the urine of those women who use vagina detergent have higher quantity of phthalate, which is an endocrine disruptor.

Based on this study result, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists(ACOG) recommended against the use of vagina detergent.

Believe in Your Body.

Before being introduced to a menstrual cup, some people obsess about keeping the cup clean so much that they will not even try using one. When you think about it, the human race was running around in the woods without even any underwear for a very long time, and at that time, people were healthy enough to sustain themselves and flourish. You don’t sterilize your partner’s genitals on your honeymoon before making love, do you? So why are women obsessed about hygiene in their body?

Your vagina has a much more sophisticated immune system than you can possibly imagine. So, don’t be afraid. Believe in your body.

What is the difference between a feminine cleanser and a vagina detergent?

Feminine cleanser is to clean your external genitals and vagina detergent is to clean inside the vagina.

You can buy a feminine cleanser in a supermarket easily, but for vagina detergent, you should get a prescription from a doctor and follow the instruction from an expert.

Basic knowledge of menstrual cups in OX quiz

Were menstrual cups and tampons released at the same time?
O X

Answer: O

Tampons were developed in 1931, and menstrual cups were developed in 1937, in America.

Tampons were developed by Earle Hass, an American doctor, for his wife. 6 years after tampons were patented, menstrual cups obtained a patent. Given the fact menstrual cups are still not popular products, this is a remarkable history.

Menstrual cups were invented by Leona Chalmers, an actress, in America in 1937. The first menstrual cup was made of latex rubber. During the 2nd world war, due to the lack of latex rubber, production was discontinued. A menstrual cup called “The Keeper” started being produced as of 1987.

Since mass production started in 1990, the use of alternative menstruation products that are safe and eco-friendly, has been increasing.

Are all materials in the menstrual cup silicone?
O X

Answer: X

Various materials such as latex rubber, medical silicone, synthetic latex, and thermoplastic elastomer(TPE) are used. The safest material for the human body is medical grade silicone.

LunaCup

Medical grade silicone

The Keeper

Latex rubber

MeLuna

TPE


Synthetic silicone

Are there are any side effects from using a menstrual cup?
O X

Answer: X

There was one case of a side effect from using a menstrual cup.

According to the Canada Microbial Infections Journal, in 2015, the case of a 37 year old white woman in Georgia, America, was reported.

The woman suffered a small cut while she was inserting a Diva Cup, and, unawares, continued to use the menstrual cup. Seven days after she started using the Diva Cup there was a black vaginal discharge, on day nine, yellow pus, accompanied by a fever. On day ten, she removed the Diva Cup and went to an emergency room.

It was confirmed that she had toxic shock syndrome, and was cured after one week’s treatment. This was a rare case of a menstrual cup causing toxic shock syndrome.

Are menstrual cups expensive?
O X

Answer: X

Three month’s worth of sanitary pads costs the equivalent of a menstrual cup, which can be used for 5 years.

Korean women spend on average 120,000 won per year (10,000 won per month) purchasing sanitary pads. That amounts to 600,000 won over 5 years. Purchasing a menstrual cup, which can be reused over a period of 2 to 5 years, represents a saving of 90,000 won for the first year or 570,000 won over 5 years.

Are menstrual cups non-medical manufactured products?
O X

Answer: X

Menstrual cups are designated as sanitary aids in Korea, America, and Japan.

However, in other countries, they are classified and distributed as non-medical manufactured products.

In those countries where menstrual cups are managed as sanitary aids, they have to meet high standards, requiring a high level of safety that will cause no harm; then they are given approval to be distributed and managed based on the safety test results of the raw materials and products. When you choose a menstrual cup, you can trust one that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

If you choose one without approval from the Food and Drug Administration, you need to examine whether the manufacturer is reliable, and what kind of raw materials they have used and if the finished products are in good condition. Some cheap menstrual cups don’t provide enough information on whether the raw materials are safe and which country the manufacturer is from, or even who the manufacturer is.

Is the gradient and elasticity of a menstrual cup the same thing?
O X

Answer: X

The gradient of a menstrual cup is the degree of hardness or softness. The elasticity of a menstrual cup is the force with which it can restore its original shape.

The harder a menstrual cup is the more firmly it stays in the vagina. If you exercise intensively, your vaginal muscles move as your body moves. If the menstrual cup is hard, it firmly fits in the vaginal wall so you don’t have to worry about leaking. However, you could feel irritation and sense of distension.

Elasticity is the force with which the menstrual cup restores its shape when folding and unfolding. This elasticity is closely connected with sealing (vacuum). The less elastic, the more difficult it is to unfold the menstrual cup in the vagina.

All you wanted to know about menstrual cups

① How do I choose the right menstrual cup?

Before starting to use a menstrual cup, explore your body.

A lot of women I meet in menstruation education programs have lots of interest in menstrual cups but don’t seem to know about their bodies. When I ask them to measure their vagina by putting their finger in, some look surprised. As a person who has received the same education in the same culture, I fully understand and know how they feel. However, before you start using a menstrual cup, I strongly recommend that you explore your body first.

The purpose of measuring is not just to find the right sized menstrual cup for you. Most of the vagina is not visible and these parts are the most important. Various situations can arise while the menstrual cup is being inserted or replaced, and if you panic in an unexpected situation, you could easily give up using menstrual cups.

Wash your hands thoroughly and feel how deep your vagina is and the shape of the interior walls. Make a mental sketch of what you feel with your finger. Each person’s vagina is as distinctive as their face.

There are so many questions from menstrual cup beginners on the LunaCup website Board.

What size should I choose?

I cannot insert the menstrual cup. Is my vagina entrance too small?

How far should I put it in?

I think the menstrual cup is too far in. Have I chosen the wrong size?

However, most of the questions can only be answered by you, yourself. Whether your vagina is long or short, the entrance narrow or wide, the cervix long or short, the internal vaginal wall curves sharp or shallow…

If you have decided to use a menstrual cup, please explore your vagina first. Once you have explored your vagina, you are 90% ready.

How to choose a safe menstrual cup

Many women choose a menstrual cup based on their vagina length and the amount of menstrual flow. However, safety is the priority as the cup goes inside your body.

The approval standard of the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety is that of the European pharmacopoeia, which determines whether a product is suitable to be placed inside the body. This means that the safety of any product approved by MFDS Korea is guaranteed.

Also, many users face difficulty in their first use of a menstrual cup, so you should choose one made by a manufacturer that fully understands the female body.

Checklist to choose a safe menstrual cup

  • Approved by MFDS?

    Check if it is approved as a sanitary aid.

  • Is the material safe?

    Check if it is approved as medical grade silicone, guaranteed to be safely implanted in the body.

  • Is the manufacturer reliable?

    Check if the manufacturer is reliable and provides aftersales services and customer care.

How to choose a menstrual cup to best fit your lifestyle

How to choose a menstrual cup depending on body size

How to choose a menstrual cup to best fit your lifestyle

How to choose a menstrual cup depending on body size

How to choose a menstrual cup to best fit your lifestyle

How to choose a menstrual cup depending on body size

How to measure it.

The first things you need to consider when choosing a menstrual cup are your vagina’s length and width. Let’s look at the picture below to see how you measure it.

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Make yourself comfortable.
  3. Put your finger in and find the neck of your uterus. The cervix feels like the bridge of your nose and is covered with mucus.
  4. See how far your finger goes before it touches the cervix.

You need to measure your vagina 3~5 times (when you don’t have your period) and calculate the average.

The vagina is very elastic and flexible and the length may differ depending on the situation. So, it is better to measure a few times and calculate the average. Everyone is different but during a period, the vagina length can be 0.5~1cm shorter.

Don’t measure your vagina during your period!

Normally, your cervix is firmly shut except for a very thin hole – about the thickness of a hair - producing vaginal secretions that prevent invasion from germs. However, during the period, the hole opens wider to emit blood. Therefore, there is an increased exposure to the risk of infection. Remember when measuring your vagina, that during your period it is 0.5~1cm shorter.

My vagina length is different every time I measure it.

During the menstrual cycle, the length becomes shorter.

Vagina length is not fixed. When it is stimulated, the uterus rises, so the vagina becomes longer. During a period, vagina length can be 0.5~1cm shorter.

On day 1 and 2 of the menstruation period, your uterus is swollen and the contraction and relaxation of muscles causes pain. Your vagina is shorter and more sensitive to pressure and irritation during the early stage of your period. However, on day 3 and 4, the swelling goes down, the contractions decrease and your vagina resumes its normal status.

It is not recommended that you use a bigger menstrual cup to reduce the number of times you have to empty it. The most important thing is to experience a comfortable menstruation period without feeling irritation or pressure.

Can’t I choose a menstrual cup without measuring my vagina length?

You may choose one by your height.

The best way to choose a menstrual cup is to measure your vagina size. However, given the characteristics of the vagina, it is not absolutely necessary.

Characteristics of the vagina

  1. Elastic muscles
  2. Vagina length differs depending on the status of uterus.
  3. Each organ size is proportional to one’s height.

As many Asian countries consider the female sex as a taboo subject, there are no studies on vagina length in Korea. However, there are some studies in America and Britain.

Average Height Vagina Length
American 162cm 8.25cm
British 164cm 9.6cm

Despite questions about sample size, we can say that vagina length is proportional to height.

If your height is that of an average Korean woman (162cm), it is recommended that you use a 5cm menstrual cup. If you are taller than that, you can consider using a longer one.

However, if you are using a menstrual cup for the first time, it is recommended that you use a smaller one until you get used to it.

Can I use it for my first period?

Use is not recommended for those under 16 years old.

According to the report, <Korean Girls’ First Menstrual Period Trend>, the average age of first menstruation was 14.4 years in the 1970s and 11.7 years in 2014 – almost 3 years earlier than the previous generation.

A girl who is experiencing her first period is at a stage where her body is in the extreme growth phase. Moreover, as every individual’s speed of growth is different, it cannot be said with any certainty at which point this growth is complete. There is a risk that if the menstrual cup is inserted with insufficient care, the walls of the vagina could suffer some damage.

If you are a girl who has just started to have your period, it is safer to use cotton sanitary pads.

I’ve never used a tampon. Can I use a menstrual cup?

You can start using a menstrual cup whether you have used a tampon or not.

A menstrual cup is often compared with a tampon as both are inserted into the body.

Psychologically, inserting any sanitary product into your body can feel like something of a burden, but there are many women who decide to use menstrual cups who haven’t had any experience in using tampons. Both are inserted into your body, but how they feel and how they are used are very different. A lot of women who have never had experience of tampons, start using menstrual cups without any problem, so don’t allow this to discourage you. Feel free to try one.

Menstrual Cup

Tampon

I have no experience of sexual intercourse. Can I use a menstrual cup?

You can use a menstrual cup whether you have experienced sex or not.

Many women who are thinking of using a menstrual cup, ask if it can be used by women who have had no sexual experience. Even a female doctor I met asked me this question.

In short, you can use a menstrual cup, even if you haven’t had any experience of sex.

Those who ask about this are often concerned about damaging the hymen. However, the hymen is not a simple film that covers the vaginal opening. The forms are various. It can be destroyed during everyday life activities as well as sexual intercourse.

Koreans call it “Virginal film” as if it is a symbol of virginity but it does not and cannot prove one’s virginity. There is no reason to hesitate to use a menstrual cup based on this kind of concern.

Can I use a menstrual cup during pregnancy?

Please do not use a menstrual cup while pregnant.

You don’t menstruate while you are pregnant, but various secretions do come out. Once you pass the middle stage of your pregnancy, the vagina gets shorter and the bladder comes under more pressure. If you use a menstrual cup in this kind of situation, you may feel more irritation and pressure. It is recommended that you use sanitary pads when you are pregnant.

Wouldn’t the menstrual cup leak when used after childbirth?

If you get the right sized menstrual cup, it won’t leak even if you have given birth before.

When you start menstruating again after giving birth, your uterus regains its previous status. The vagina is made of smooth muscle and is very elastic and resilient.

However, if you feel that your vagina is less elastic and resilient , Kegel exercise may help restore your muscles. There are differences among individuals, but if you choose the right sized menstrual cup and use it properly, you wont have any issues even after giving birth.

Which menstrual cup is suitable for a beginner?

A bell shaped, soft, and resilient menstrual cup is recommended.

There are different kinds of menstrual cup and choosing the one that’s best for you can be difficult.

People, generally, are not familiar with menstrual cups as they are not in common use. That they are sold in a sealed box and are not inexpensive adds to the unfamiliarity.

Moreover, you may not be sure of the length and width of your vagina. As a beginner, you can succeed in choosing a suitable menstrual cup if you consider the following.

  • A menstrual cup with safe materials such as medical grade silicone.

    Medical grade silicone is not only safe to use in your body but is also very elastic compared to other kinds of materials.

  • A bell shape is the most comfortable fit for the vaginal structure.

    The entrance of vagina is narrow and as you go up, it gets wider like a bell shape. So, a bell shaped menstrual cup is the best fit for the vagina to avoid a feeling of irritation or sense of distension. In order to reduce the number of times the cup needs to be replaced some beginners choose a bigger size than they require, but this may stimulate your bladder and urethra. You should start with a small one, and then change to a bigger one once you are used to it. Don’t give up using menstrual cups altogether just because you chose one that was too big for you at the beginning.

  • Smooth and resilient menstrual cup

    If you choose a hard menstrual cup, you may feel irritation and a sense of distension, whereas if you choose a soft one, you may minimize the discomfort. If you are not used to menstrual cups, you should choose one with high elasticity that forms an effective seal with your vagina to avoid leakage.

  • Thin with an unobtrusive rim

    If the menstrual cup is thick or its rim protrudes too much, it can be difficult to fold and insert into your vagina, so choose a thin one if possible.

  • 4~5cm body length excluding the stem

    Even though there is a difference among individuals, that difference is never more than1~3cm. We advise beginners to start with a small menstrual cup. It is not easy to insert the cup deep enough, and beginners will feel more sensitive to even a little distension. It is recommended that you use a small cup for 3~4 periods, and then move to a bigger one when you are used to it.

  • A soft menstrual cup stem handle with no bumps

    The writer of this article has had a lot of experience with menstrual cups. I recall how sore it is to use a menstrual cup with a flat stem and many bumps, due to the friction with the labia minora. The one with a round shaped stem is easy to take out when you replace it but also causes friction with the labia minora. Based on my extensive experience in using various menstrual cups, I can say that a soft one without many bumps is good for beginners.

Soft menstrual cups for every day life

Soft and tender so you don’t feel much irritation or sense of distension.

Sturdy menstrual cup for active exercise

Sturdy, so less chance of leakage, but some irritation and sense of distension

Soft menstrual cups for every day life

Soft and tender so you don’t feel much irritation or sense of distension.

Sturdy menstrual cup for active exercise

Sturdy, so less chance of leakage, but some irritation and sense of distension

② How do I wash and store my menstrual cup?

Please sterilize in boiling water before and after use.

Sterilize in boiling water

Prepare a clean mug which is big enough to submerge the menstrual cup.

Boil some water in a kettle.

When the water is boiling, pour enough to submerge the menstrual cup in the mug. Keep it in the water at a temperature of 80~100℃ for 5 minutes to sterilize.

After drying it thoroughly, store it in a ventilated pouch or bottle.

Sterilize in boiling water

  1. Boil enough water in a pot.
  2. Put the menstrual cup into the pot making sure that it doesn’t touch the surface of the pot.
  3. Dry it thoroughly.

Sterilize in a microwave

  1. Put the menstrual cup in a microwave proof container.
  2. Put enough water to submerge the menstrual cup in the container.
  3. Put the microwave on for 1 minute and 30 seconds to sterilize.
  4. Leave it outside the microwave for 5 minutes.
  5. Take it out from the water, dry it thoroughly, and store it.

Sterilize in boiling water?

Either sterilize in boiling water or leave it in 80~100℃ boiled water for 5 minutes.

During your period, wash the menstrual cup in clean running water and reuse it.

When you wash under a tap.

Wash the cup under running water.

When you wash using a bottle

The safest way is to wash under running water. However, when the situation doesn't allow you to do that, you can use the mini bottle.

When you reuse your menstrual cup, dispose of the blood, prepare the mini bottle with some clean water, put the menstrual cup in the bottle and close the lid.

Shake it to wash, wipe it, and then use it again.

Note

  • Use cold water to avoid the cup becoming discolored.
  • Don’t use soap or detergent with a strong fragrance.
  • If exposed to sunshine (UV) a for long time, the menstrual cup may become discolored.

Store it after drying thoroughly.

Beginning of period

Use after sterilization

During period

Reuse after cleaning with clean water

End of period

sterilization

Storage

Dry it thoroughly and store it.

How do I sterilize my menstrual cup during my period?

During your period, wash the menstrual cup in running water and use it again.

For a healthy woman, simply washing your menstrual cup under running water should suffice. However, if you are diagnosed as having a dry vagina or vaginitis or your period is long, it is recommended that you sterilize the cup midway through your period.

If your period lasts 5 days, you may wish to sterilize your cup on day 2 or 3, or you could switch to a spare cup. Everyone is different so we advise you to sterilize frequently if you think you are vulnerable to infection.

How long should I sterilize the cup?

e don’t do it for more than 5 minutes.

Staphylococcus, which is the cause of toxic shock syndrome, is vulnerable to heat.

If you sterilize a menstrual cup in 80~100℃ boiled water for 5 minutes, Staphylococcus will disappear. If you boil the cup for more than 5 minutes, it will reduce its durability. Also, if it is exposed to direct heat, it could deform, so make sure it is submerged in water in such a way that it does not come into contact with the surface of the container.

The menstrual cup smells unpleasant. What should I do?

Sterilize it and dry it thoroughly.

If you use a menstrual cup for a long time, even after washing and sterilizing, it may still smell unpleasant. When you look at the menstrual cup using a microscope, you can see little specks.

These are remaining protein and blood. If the cup smells after washing and sterilizing, leave it in the accompanying ventilated pouch for 2 or 3 days until the smell disappears.

It only takes a few days for the smell to go away, so it need no longer concern you.

I am using a different menstrual cup, which didn’t come with a pouch. What should I do?

You can order a pouch from the LunaCup website. Some manufacturers don’t provide this important pouch.

As many people ask about this in the Q&A section on our website, we’ve decided to provide the pouch to those users who are not using LunaCup.

You can order one free of charge.

My menstrual cup is discolored. What should I do?

Discoloring is irrelevant to hygiene.

When silicone is exposed to direct light, it becomes yellowish. To avoid this you should dry it in the shade instead of under direct sunlight.

If you sterilize your menstrual cup in an ultraviolet ray sterilizer, it will get discolored quicker. Therefore, we don’t recommend it. However, if you wish to continue using this method, take the cup out as soon as it is sterilized to minimize the exposure time.

A menstrual cup can easily be discolored. To avoid this, you need to empty out the blood and wash it frequently.

You can delay discoloration of the menstrual cup but you cannot avoid it completely. Discoloration is irrelevant to its functionality and hygiene, so don’t worry about it.

Can I put it in a sealed container?

Store it after thoroughly drying it.

When silicone is exposed to moisture, mold and germs can be propagated. After sterilization in boiling water, the menstrual cup should be thoroughly dried. Once it is thoroughly dry, it can be stored in a sealed container.

However, if it smells, we recommend that you store it in the ventilated pouch.

Do I need to sterilize the enclosed mini bottle?

Washing it with clean water is good enough rather than sterilizing it with boiling water.

The mini bottle enclosed with the LunaCup is BPA free and so doesn’t produce any endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and is made of tritan so it is safe to sterilize it in boiling water. However, it is relatively vulnerable to heat, and it could deform if it is exposed to heat for a long time.

For storing and washing the LunaCup, you don’t have to sterilize the mini bottle in boiling water. Washing it using clean water is good enough. If you want to sterilize it, it is recommended that you fill it with 80~100℃ boiled water and leave it for 5 minutes, rather than putting the whole bottle in boiling water.

Please be aware of the following.

  • When sterilizing in hot water, don’t use boiling water.
  • When sterilizing in the microwave, fill up the bottle with water and microwave it for no more than 1 minute and 30 seconds.
  • Avoid contact with direct heat.

Can I share the menstrual cup with others?

Don’t share the menstrual cup with other people.

If you share the menstrual cup with others, the risk of cross infection becomes high.

Don’t use a menstrual cup used by another person. Use your own menstrual cup.

③ How long can I use a menstrual cup?

The period of menstrual cup usage is different for each brand. The average is about 2~3years. If you look after it well, you could use it for a longer period. A LunaCup can be used for up to 5 years.

The period of menstrual cup usage by brand

※ Use-by date displayed on the product box

Does expiration date mean use-by date?

Expiration date means shelf life and use-by date means recommended time of usage.

The expiration date for LunaCup is 2 years after manufacture and the recommended use-by date is 2 years. That means, even if you buy a LunaCup which is nearly at the end of its shelf life, you can still use it a further 2 years.

Many people think that there is no expiration date for a menstrual cup and that it can be used indefinitely. They may be surprised to hear that the expiration date is 2 years.

The conclusion is that you can use LunaCup up to 5 years if you manage it well. LunaCup has passed a product acceleration test at the development stage.

This test demonstrates how long safety is maintained without physical and chemical change when the LunaCup is kept at room temperature. The test shows that you can keep the LunaCup for 8 years.

However, as the menstrual cup is classified as a sanitary aid controlled by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, we follow MFDS’s approval standards. This means that according to the MFDS’s approval regulations we limit the expiration date to 24 months.

How long can I keep the menstrual cup in a box?

LunaCup can be stored up to 5~6years.

In order to obtain approval from DFDS, the product should pass a number of tests. One of the tests is the acceleration test.

According to the acceleration test, the expiration date for LunaCup is 8 years, which means it is safe to use as long as it hasn’t undergone any physical or chemical changes. However, as the MFDS has to consider customer safety in the most conservative terms, they have set both the expiration date and the use-by date at 2 years.

For LunaCup, the shelf life is 7~8 years, and use-by date is 5 years if well managed. This is applicable to LunaCup only. For other manufacturers’ products, please consult the individual manufacturer.

My menstrual cup is deformed. Can I keep using it?

Please don’t use a deformed menstrual cup.

Please note that the following can deform a menstrual cup.

  • When exposed to direct heat
  • If boiled too long
  • When damaged by a sharp tool
  • If put it in a microwave oven too long
  • If heated directly rather than in boiled water

A deformed menstrual cup may hurt your vagina. If you see any deformation or damage, please stop using it and replace it with a new menstrual cup.

The menstrual cup doesn’t unfold.

A menstrual cup which has lost its elasticity should be replaced with a new one.

Elasticity plays the key function of vacuum sealing to avoid leakage. A menstrual cup which has lost its elasticity does not unfold to form a seal with the vagina, and this causes leakage.

How to check its elasticity

Fold the menstrual cup into a C shape and hold it for 5 ~ 10 seconds, then let go. If the entrance of the menstrual cup returns to its original shape, there is no issue with its elasticity. However, if the menstrual cup entrance is bent or retains an oval shape, you need to replace it with a new one.

How do I know to when to change the menstrual cup?

Get a new menstrual cup, if it is deformed, has lost its elasticity, or can no longer form a seal.

A menstrual cup is reusable for a long time but it doesn’t last forever. You need to replace it with a new one in any of the following situations:

  • There is a cut on the menstrual cup surface.
  • The menstrual cup is deformed.
  • Its surface is sticky.
  • It leaks even when worn properly.
  • It has lost its elasticity.
  • It doesn’t unfold.
  • It smells even after sterilization in boiling water.
  • It has been stored in an inappropriate place and is moldy.

④ How to insert it?

How to insert.

Wash your hands

Wash your hands with warm water and soap and rinse them thoroughly with clean water.

Posture

Being tense will only make it more difficult to insert. Try to remain relaxed.

You may use both hands or try to find the best way to insert your LunaCup.

Folding | Ravia Folding

Hold your menstrual cup with your left hand.

Hold a part of the menstrual cup with your right hand thumb and index finger.

Push it towards the other side and make sure the right side is lower than the left side.

Fold it with the left hand as if you are wrapping it.

Folding | C folding

Press the menstrual cup so the entrance is flat.

Fold it in half so it becomes a C shape.

Folding | Seven folding

Press the menstrual cup so the entrance becomes flat.

Fold one side so it resembles a 7.

Folding | Punch down folding

Put your index finder in the middle of the menstrual cup.

Press it hard.

Hold it with your thumb and index finger.

If it doesn’t unfold in the vagina naturally, press the part indicated by the arrow to unfold it.

Insert

Hold the middle bit of the menstrual cup after folding it. Insert it without hurting labia minora or hymen.

Insert it until the whole cup is in the vagina.

Keep inserting it until it reaches the uterus.

Let the menstrual cup unfold and check the lower part to see if any side is uneven.

Unfold and check if it is sealed (vacuum)

Unfold the menstrual cup

Touch around the bottom of the menstrual cup to see if any bit is bent.

Either turn the menstrual cup by holding the stem, or adjust it up and down to unfold any bent bit.

How to check if it is sealed

If it feels that the menstrual cup is sitting properly even if you pull the stem down, it is positioned and effectively sealed. Make sure that the stem is not lop-sided and bothering the labia minora.

Examples of wearing the menstrual cup properly

7cm Vagina

Tampon

MeLuna shorty

Super Jennie

Small LunaCup

7cm Vagina

Tampon

MeLuna shorty

Super Jennie

Small LunaCup

7cm Vagina

Tampon

MeLuna shorty

Super Jennie

Small LunaCup

It’s painful when I insert my menstrual cup. What should I do?

Please find out exactly where the pain is coming from.

The cause of pain can be various. To resolve the issue you need to identify the cause.

Psychological fear and vague fear

How many women have explored their own vagina? The author of this article had never even thought of exploring her vagina. However, the vagina is a part of your body and should not be considered as in any way shameful or taboo.

If you don’t know what your vagina looks like, you may be stressed about using a menstrual cup.

If you have decided to use a menstrual cup, we recommend that you look at and sensitively touch your vagina. This will reduce any stress.

Wrong angle when inserting a menstrual cup

Wash your hands thoroughly and touch your vagina.

Feel the shapes and angles of your vagina with your finger. The vagina is tilted towards the coccyx. When you insert a menstrual cup into your vagina, Tilt it towards the coccyx to avoid hurting the vagina wall.

A menstrual cup when folded is still wider than the vagina entrance

The vagina is narrow at the entrance but becomes wider as it goes towards the cervix. You should fold the menstrual cup smaller than the vagina entrance to avoid pain.

Friction with the labia minora

At the vagina entrance there are the labia minora and a mucous membrane. Everyone’s labia minora looks different. In order to insert the menstrual cup without the labia minora being in the way, carefully pull them aside. If you just insert the menstrual cup without caution, it will cause pain.

Pain due to the hymen

Everyone’s hymen is different.

Normally it is made of a thin layer of mucosal tissue with an opening in the middle. Some people’s hymen is closed like this picture here. In this case, you cannot use a menstrual cup.

Pain due to dry vagina entrance

You can feel pain inserting the menstrual cup when the vagina entrance is dry. It is better if you moisten the menstrual cup before inserting.

Menstrual cup too big for your vagina

If you wear a menstrual cup that is too big or wide for your vagina, it may hurt while inserting it or you may feel pressure and irritation while the menstrual cup is inside you.

In this case, you should change to a menstrual cup size which is right for you.

I feel that I need to urinate?

Either put the menstrual cup deeper inside or change it to a softer one.

If you place the menstrual cup in the middle of the vagina, it could push against your bladder and urethra. In this situation, you need to push the menstrual cup deeper inside.

If the irritation persists even after repositioning the menstrual cup, you should change the cup to a softer one.

The menstrual cup feels irritating and uncomfortable. What could be wrong?

Check the size, hardness, and position of the menstrual cup.

If you feel irritation and too much pressure, you can consider the following three possibilities.

You are using a menstrual cup that is too big for your vagina.

If you wear a menstrual cup that is too big or too wide for your vagina, you may feel irritation and pressure. In this case, you should change to a menstrual cup which is the right size for you.

You are using a hard menstrual cup.

A good thing about using a hard menstrual cup is that there is no leakage even if you move about a lot. However, it can cause irritation and a feeling of pressure. If you feel irritation and too much pressure, you should change the menstrual cup to a softer one. The degree of hardness of each brand’s rim and body is different, so please investigate fully before choosing one.

The menstrual cup is positioned in the middle of the vagina

You need to insert the menstrual cup deeper inside your body.

It is ok when I am standing up, but it is sore when I am sitting down.

This happens either when the menstrual cup is too long or there is too much air in the vagina.

You need to consider two things. Please check carefully to see which is your case.

The menstrual cup is too long for your vagina

The length of a menstrual cup body excluding the stem is different according to the manufacturer.

You can trim the stem according to your body shape, whereas you cannot modify the cup at all. If you choose a menstrual cup that is too long for your vagina, it could be sore.

To avoid this, you should check your vagina length. If the cup is more than one cm longer than the length of your vagina, you should get a shorter one.

If the menstrual cup unfolds too early, it is difficult to insert further as the vagina fills with air.

Hold the menstrual cup making sure you are not holding it too high up.

Insert it into your vagina. Don’t let it unfold too early.

Many beginners encounter this issue.

Even if you practice how to hold the menstrual cup, it is not easy to know where to hold it and how far you have to insert it.

If the menstrual cup unfolds just at the entrance of the vagina, the vagina gets filled with air.

When the menstrual cup unfolds too early, it fills with air. If the menstrual cup is full of air, it is difficult to insert it all the way to the cervix. It is important to flatten it to let the air out.

Press the side of the menstrual cup to let the air out.

If you are an advanced user, put your finger alongside the menstrual cup and press to let the air out.. Once some air gets out, you will no longer feel that you are carrying around an egg.

The menstrual cup cannot be inserted far enough no matter how much I try. What should I do?

If you are too nervous or if there is too much air, the menstrual cup will not be successfully inserted.

If you are too tense while inserting the menstrual cup, the vagina muscles stiffen.

The vagina is lined with muscle so if you are tense, the muscles get tense too., making it more difficult to insert the menstrual cup.

Because of the difficulty many beginners have inserting the menstrual cup for the first time, it is perhaps better not to expect to succeed at first. A higher percentage of women succeed at their second attempt.

Don’t feel that you need to rush it. We recommend that you try to visualize your vagina and uterus structure. It is important that your body and mind are relaxed. Relax and hold the bottom part or middle part of the menstrual cup body and insert it into your vagina gently. It will not be easy at first, but after about three cycles, you will feel the menstrual cup touching the cervix.

If the menstrual cup unfolds just at the entrance of the vagina, the vagina gets filled with air and you cannot insert the menstrual cup properly

See

I cannot insert the menstrual cup as it keeps unfolding

Please change the way you insert it or the position of your fingers while you do so

Even after practice folding the menstrual cup, you may not know where to hold and insert it. Some people worry about blood getting on their fingers. It is difficult to keep a menstrual cup with high elasticity like LunaCup folded, so before you can insert it fully into your vagina, it unfolds.

First of all, make sure you are folding it properly by referring to the relevant pages.

See

Fold the middle of menstrual cup and hold it tight with your thumb and index finger. Make sure you hold the menstrual cup until more than the half of it is inside your body.

Don’t worry about getting some blood on your fingers. You can simply wipe your fingers with a tissue or wash your hands afterwards. If more than half the menstrual cup is inserted inside your body, you can let go. After gently pushing the menstrual cup in, softly move it left to right and up and down to unfold.

If you’re having trouble inserting the menstrual cup using only one hand, try the following: Hold the menstrual cup with one hand, and push up gently with the other.

Once inserted, make sure the menstrual cup is sealed by gently shaking it.

How do I know if the menstrual cup is unfolded?

Touch around the bottom of the menstrual cup to see if it is bent

Touch around the bottom of the menstrual cup to see if it is fully unfolded. If it is, it should feel smooth with no bends.

If you feel that it is bent, gently move the stem left to right and up and down. Once you do this, the menstrual cup will naturally unfold.

When you use the menstrual cup for the first time, it will feel unfamiliar. However, after using it for about 3 months, this feeling will pass. So please don’t be impatient. It will become familiar quite soon.

I think the menstrual cup is unfolded in an oval shape

The inside of the vagina is not a perfectly round shape. As long as the cup is sealed inside the vagina, it is fine.

When you are trying a menstrual cup for the first time, you are unsure if it is properly secured. Some people think that the menstrual cup is not unfolded if it is not perfectly round, and ask questions concerning this.

If the menstrual cup is sealed well, then the position is fine. The vagina is not perfectly round. As you can see from the vagina model to the left, the structures around the vaginal fornix can push against the cup.

Everyone is different, and as this part pushes against the menstrual cup it forms an oval shape rather than a circle. When the menstrual cup is sealed properly, the vacuum holds it in place, whereas if it is not sealed properly, it is easy to pull out.

The stem is uncomfortable. What should I do?

You can trim the stem.

The stem of the menstrual cup can be trimmed according to your body.

However, be careful about deciding to do this. Once cut, it’s not going to grow back. You should first allow yourself some time to get used to your menstrual cup.

3 or 4 hours after putting the cup in, it is likely to move further towards the cervix, and if the stem is too short, it may be difficult to remove the cup.

Trim the cut section after cutting off the stem.

Check how it feels after cutting it.

If you have decided to cut the stem, you need to make sure the remaining part is not sharp as it could hurt your vagina.

Some people ask whether the excess stem can be disposed of by burning but please note that medical grade silicone breaks down into powder fragments instead of melting.

The menstrual cup is leaking. What is the problem?

Situations where the menstrual cup is leaking

It is folded

It is not the right size

It is folded because the vaginal muscles are too tight

It lost its elasticity so has not unfolded

It is not positioned correctly relative to the cervix

It is overflowing as a result of it not having been replaced at the proper time

How much is it leaking?

  • You can see some blood when you wipe with a tissue or on your underwear

    See [I see some trace of blood on my underwear or when I wipe with a tissue. See “Is it not sealed properly?”]

  • Leaking enough to soak your clothes

    See [“How to insert the menstrual cup”]

Has it unfolded properly?

  • ase sterilize in boiling water before and after use. Yes, it has.

    See [“How to choose a menstrual cup according to your body.”] See [“How to choose a menstrual cup according to your body.”] See [“How to choose a menstrual cup according to your body.”]

  • I don’t know.

    See [“How do I know if the menstrual cup is unfolded?”]

Did you choose the right size for you.

  • Yes.

    See ["How do I know when I should change it?”]

  • I don’t know.

    See [“How to choose a menstrual cup depending on body size.”] See [“How to choose a menstrual cup depending on body size.”] See [“How to choose a menstrual cup depending on body size.”]

Sometimes the vaginal muscles and the hardness of the menstrual cup don’t match

If the vaginal muscles are weak, they cannot hold the menstrual cup tightly enough and so the blood may leak. You can do Kegel exercises to resolve this issue.

What if I damage the vagina wall while taking the menstrual cup out?

You never know. You need to be careful to prevent damage

This is a question from an actual menstrual cup user.

It is difficult to know if your vagina is bleeding. Experts say that the vagina is not sensitive to pain so you may not feel a thing even when there is a cut in the vagina.

Moreover, you cannot distinguish between menstrual blood and other blood. Therefore, you have to be careful not to damage your vagina. To prevent this, you need to trim your finger nails and avoid having any nail art containing sharp points.

If you think that there is a cut in your vagina, you need to stop using the menstrual cup and see a doctor straight away.

Can I use the menstrual cup when I don’t have a period?

Please use the menstrual cup only during your period.

Some people try using a menstrual cup when they are not on their period just to see how it feels, but this is dangerous.

A lot of mucus comes out with menstrual blood during a period. Mucus works as a natural lubricant and helps when inserting a menstrual cup. However, when you don’t have a period, the vagina is relatively dry and stiff. If you try to insert a menstrual cup in this kind of situation, it will be difficult to insert and may damage your vagina.

When should I try using it then?

We recommend that you first try a menstrual cup on day 3 of your period.

On day 1 and 2, the amount of blood is quite high and you are more sensitive due to period pain. If you first try a menstrual cup at this point it may result in a negative experience. It would be better to try on day 3 when there is less blood and pain. Don’t expect to succeed in inserting it at the first attempt. If you are nervous, the muscles get harder, so it is more difficult to insert it. The key to success is to relax.

⑤ How to replace your menstrual cup

How to replace your menstrual cup

Wash hands

Wash your hands thoroughly using soap.

Remove from sealed position

Pinch the bottom of the menstrual cup and twist it. When the menstrual cup is not sealed anymore, you can easily remove it.

Empty blood

Pour blood away into the toilet making sure it doesn't splash.

Wash the menstrual cup

cold water to avoid the cup being discolored.

Insert it again

Shake it to remove water and insert it again.

Check to see if it is sealed

Check to see if it is unfolded

I cannot find the stem. What if I cannot take it out?

Don’t panic. Push as if defecating.

When replacing the menstrual cup, you might worry that it is too near the cervix. When you inserted the cup it was near the entrance of vagina, but as time has gone by, it has worked its way up. So, you panic as you cannot reach the stem and because you are tense, it becomes more difficult to take out.

In this kind of situation, you first need to relax. It is positioned just a little bit higher than before. It has not disappeared, and it is not as if you’ve lost it forever.

Vagina model with 7cm menstrual cup

As you can see in the picture left, even if the menstrual cup is higher than it should be, it cannot go very far. You can easily retrieve it by putting your finger slightly deeper. Just relax and push as if you are defecating.

Push as if you are doing Kegel exercises about 5 ~ 6 times and you will feel the menstrual cup coming down. When it comes within reach, pull the stem gently and pinch the bottom part of the menstrual cup to unseal it. Then you can easily take it out.

The most important thing is not to panic.

It’s really sore when I take it out. Why is that?

Unseal the menstrual cup first.

Think of cupping therapy in traditional medicine.

If you place a cup on the skin and let the air out, the cup sucks the skin into the vacuum. Sealing the menstrual cup is like this. If you just pull it, of course you will feel pain.

You need to unseal it first. Once you open the small lid in cupping therapy, you can remove the cup from the skin easily. The same logic applies to the menstrual cup. Let the air in first.

Pinch the menstrual cup to let air in. When you do this, some air goes into the small holes to unseal it. Once it is unsealed, twist it gently to take it out.

I feel dizzy when I take the menstrual cup out. Is this normal?

You may feel dizzy due to pressure difference. You have to make sure to unseal it first before removing it.

When you remove a menstrual cup, you need to make sure you let air in to release the seal first.

If you don’t fully release the seal first and try to pull the menstrual cup out, you may feel a little dizzy due to the pressure difference. For a beginner, you may find it difficult to judge how much the seal is released. You should practice making it easy enough to remove it.

I am worried that blood may pour when I take it out.

Position your self where it is ok even if blood does escape.

As you can see in the picture left, the menstrual cup is not the right way up. It is tilted so the blood may spill when you remove the menstrual cup.

If you replace the menstrual cup while sitting on the toilet, you don’t have to worry about blood spilling. If you change the menstrual cup often enough, you don’t have to worry about spillage.

I often see some trace of blood on my underwear or tissue. It’s not sealed, is it?

You may see some trace of blood.

It is common to see some trace of blood on your underwear or tissue after wiping.

When you empty the menstrual cup and replace it, some blood comes out and gets onto your underwear or tissue. To prevent this, make sure the menstrual cup has been fully dried and make sure all blood has been removed from your vulva. However, don’t wipe inside your vagina. If you are bothered about the blood on your underwear, you can wear a thin cotton sanitary pad.

When I use my menstrual cup overnight, it leaks in the morning. What should I do?

Hypermenorrhea is suspected. Please consult with a specialist.

If you emptied the menstrual cup and reinserted it before sleeping, but still see some blood on your blanket, Hypermenorrhea is suspected.

When sleeping, the organs of your body go into sleep mode and function slowly compared to daytime. The uterus functions slowly at night too. If a properly inserted menstrual cup leaks because of too much bleeding, we recommend you consult a specialist.

Hypermenorrhea

The amount of blood during menstruation is excessive. The symptoms are that the period is too long or the amount of blood is over 80mL per one cycle, accompanied by anemia. The cause of Hypermenorrhea can be uterine myoma, Adenomyoma, Endometriosis, Coagulation Disorders, or there may be no particular reason.

Daily life can be disrupted because you are bleeding too much, and sometimes lumps of blood come out. If you bleed too much, you often feel dizzy or tired.

Is it dangerous to wear a menstrual cup for more than 12 hours?

Oxidation of the blood and propagation of bacteria will be faster.

The body’s temperature of 37℃ is the best temperature for bacteria to propagate. Of course, not only temperature but also nutrition, humidity, and oxygen etc. are among the various other factors needed for propagation.

menstrual cup does not have any contact with oxygen, unlike sanitary pads. For that reason, even if you wear the menstrual cup for a long time, there is no smell as oxidation is delayed.

However, if you wear it for 12 hours, Oxidation of the blood and propagation of bacteria will occur faster. In order to prevent oxidation of the blood and propagation of bacteria, you need to empty and reinsert the menstrual cup often. The longest time shouldn’t be over 12 hours.

When the blood undergoes oxidation it can smell quite unpleasant, and this smell may remain in the menstrual cup. If the menstrual cup still smells even after cleaning and sterilization, leave the menstrual cup in the well ventilated pouch and allow the smell to evaporate. Usually, it takes about 2 or 3 days.

How do I know when to replace the menstrual cup?

Difference among individuals is high. You have to find your own replacement cycle.

The amount of menstrual blood is different for everyone.

The amount of blood during a period decreases as of the mid 30s. A beginner would not know how much blood to expect. When you use a sanitary pad, you can just make a rough estimate by looking at the blood on the sanitary pad. However, if you use a menstrual cup, you can see exactly how much you bled. You can see the difference between the first day and the last day.

Normally, the amount of blood is highest on day 1 and 2, and reduces dramatically on day 3. On day 1, you should check every 3 hours and see the amount. From day 3 or 4, when the amount drops dramatically, you can check just twice a day.

Why does the amount of menstrual blood differ with each individual?

The menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones. The most relevant hormone for the amount of menstrual blood is estrogen. The estrogen increases blood flow and controls the thickness of the lining of the uterus. If this hormone is vigorous, the thickness increases with the increasing blood flow. During menstruation, the lining of the uterus is shed and the amount of menstrual blood increases.

Can I use soap to wash the menstrual cup?

Please don’t use soap or detergent.

A menstrual cup made of silicone looks smooth on the surface, but numerous holes are observable under a microscope. Washing with soap or detergent may leave chemicals or environmental hormones on the surface and thereby enter the vagina.

Chemicals introduced into the vagina can adversely affect the lactic acid bacteria present in the vagina, and further reduce its natural immunity.

Rather than washing with soap or detergent, it's best to wash the cup under running clean water and sterilize it regularly.

⑥ Frequently asked questions by the menstrual cup users

The menstrual cycle is shortened. Is that just me?

There are individual differences, but if you use a menstrual cup, your menstrual cycle is shortened by about a day.

When you use a menstrual cup, you experience your menstrual cycle becoming one or two days shorter than usual. This is a natural phenomenon so don't worry.

Most menstrual blood comes out on Day 1 and 2 of the menstrual cycle. After that time, endometrium and mucus remaining in the uterus come out. When using pad-type menstrual products, menstrual blood flows out of the uterus, down the vaginal wall to be absorbed by the sanitary pad. The folds in the walls of the vagina (rugae) hinder the flow of blood. As menstrual blood flows down the vaginal wall, the speed of discharge decreases, resulting in a menstrual cycle of five to six days.

On the other hand, a menstrual cup receives menstrual blood directly from the cervix, so there is almost no menstrual blood flowing through the vaginal rugae. For this reason, using a menstrual cup may result in a shorter menstrual cycle.

ual blood gradually changes color. Is it normal?

Menstrual blood turns from clear red to brown.

Menstrual blood changes significantly day by day during the menstrual cycle.

  • Day 1: Clear and fresh red blood.
  • Day 2: Thick blood and sometimes lumps.
  • Day 3: Menstrual blood is noticeably reduced and the color turns brown.
  • Day 4~5: The amount of blood decreases to a little at the bottom of the menstrual cup and the color turns black brown.

During the menstrual cycle, menstrual blood is not excreted in a uniform manner. The menstrual cycle intensively discharges blood on the first and second days and the remaining blood is released on the third and fourth days. For that reason, color and smell change over time.

May I use a menstrual cup instead of a panty liner between periods?

It is possible but not recommended.

During the menstrual or ovulatory period, a large amount of mucus from the cervical and vaginal walls acts as a natural lubricant to ease wearing the menstrual cup. However, it is not easy to wear a menstrual cup between periods, as the vagina is relatively dry. Attempting to wear the cup may damage the vagina, resulting in a high risk of inflammation.

If you have a lot of mucus, you may find that you can wear your menstrual cup without any problem. However, if the inside of the vagina is dry making use of the cup difficult, never insert it by force.

I feel like it’s falling out when I'm defecating. Can it fall out?

Yes, it could happen.

Some people have experienced their menstrual cup falling out while defecating. One characteristic of those who have had this experience is that they regularly do exercises such as yoga.

It is assumed that exercise develops abdominal and pelvic muscles. If you practice this type of exercise, you should be prepared for this situation.

If you feel the menstrual cup is pushed out when defecating, or if you have difficulty with constipation, you should first remove the menstrual cup when defecating.

The menstrual cup fell into the toilet. What should I do?

Clean it and sterilize it in boiling water.

You will really want to avoid this, but it could happen.

If this happens, don't panic and rescue the menstrual cup from the toilet. (Do not hesitate, the faster the better.)

The rescued menstrual cup can be reused by washing with running clean water and sterilizing it with boiling water.

Is it okay to do exercise like swimming or yoga?

If the exercise doesn’t involve a lot of pelvic movement, no problem.

Wearing a menstrual cup is not a problem for light exercise such as swimming, yoga, and jogging.

However, if the exercise is intense and involves a lot of pelvic movement, some blood could leak.

For example, if you ride a mountain bike, the movement of the pelvis and vagina is so high that it is difficult to maintain the sealing in the soft menstrual cup. In this case, it is appropriate to use a hard type menstrual cup.

  • Soft Menstrual Cups: LunaCup, FemmyCycle, EveCup
  • Hard menstrual cups: Lunette, MoonCup, and MeLuna sports models

I suspect toxic shock syndrome. What should I do?

Stop using immediately and consult a specialist.

Toxic Shock Syndrome can be prevented.

The first thing I feared upon using a menstrual cup was a warning about toxic shock syndrome. But if you know the causes and follow the rules, you don't have to be afraid.

Toxic shock syndrome begins with a common bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus. This bacteria is commonly found on our hands, our skin and our respiratory system.

Toxic shock syndrome is an acute fever disease caused by an infection by Staphylococcus aureus or by bacteria invading the blood. It's not common, but it is fatal.

Staphylococcus aureus could be present in wounds and post-operation infected areas, and the vagina where moisture and nutrition is provided is a suitable condition for the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. It is very rare among tampon users.

The symptoms don't happen immediately.

After wearing a menstrual cup for one or two hours, some people often complain of dizziness and suspect toxic shock syndrome, but this is highly unlikely. This is because a long time is required for the sufficient growth of the bacteria and the resulting toxins. The risk is increased when the cup worn for more than 12 hours, and if you suspect symptoms of toxic shock syndrome, discontinue use immediately and consult a specialist.

See [Misuse case of menstrual cup]

Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome

Sudden high fever, diarrhea, dizziness, headache

The early stages of toxic shock syndrome are characterized by a sudden high fever, myalgia, vomiting, diarrhea, sunburn-like rash, mucous membrane bleeding, dizziness, etc. The symptoms are similar to the flu. If not properly treated, the bacteria rapidly penetrate the bloodstream to produce toxic substances, causing shock due to sepsis, and may cause loss of life due to hypotension, fainting and cardiac arrest.

Prevention of toxic shock syndrome when using a menstrual cup

  • Wash your hands thoroughly when you insert a menstrual cup.
  • Regularly sterilize the menstrual cup in boiling water.
  • Replace the menstrual cup regularly.
  • Wash thoroughly with running water when changing menstrual cup.
  • If you have vaginal dryness or vaginitis, hot water sterilization is recommended during the cycle.
  • Do not use if you have previously experienced toxic shock syndrome.

Toxic Shock Syndrome Vaccine- World's First Clinical Trial

The world's first clinical trial of a vaccine to prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) has been reported a success. According to Science Daily, Professor Bernd Ilmar, a professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of Vienna, Austria, recently completed a phase 1 trial of the world's first developed TSS vaccine and reported that it was effective and had no side effects.

It is anticipated that prophylactic vaccines will be available after three clinical trials are completed.

[Reference] June 16, 2016 Yonhap News

I am being treated for vaginitis, can I use a menstrual cup?

Do not use if you have vaginal dryness or vaginitis.

In the vagina, there are various bacteria, Do¨derlein bacillus (a type of lactic acid bacterium), and lactic acid, and they act as a shield against pathogens entering the vaginal entrance.

Using cleaners containing chemicals, or cleaning the vagina more often than necessary, may cause vaginitis. This is because excessively washing away beneficial indigenous bacteria that form a protective shield, leaves the vagina defenseless against external bacteria.

If you are being treated for vaginitis or vaginal dryness, these beneficial bacteria are weakened, and you are vulnerable to external bacterial invasion. As menstrual cups are placed in the body, they should only be used after health has been restored inside the vagina.

Symptoms of vaginitis

  • There is more vaginal discharge more than usual.
  • Your vulva is severely itchy or stinging.
  • You may have pus-like discharge or burning pain.
  • Prolonged neglect can also cause pain in the belly or pelvis.

I feel tingling and pain when urinating. Is it normal?

Stop using immediately and consult a specialist.

Wash your hands thoroughly when you insert a menstrual cup, as contamination by hands can occur even if the menstrual cup is sterilized.

If you feel tingling and pain whenever you urinate while using a menstrual cup, you may have a urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections are very common and women are particularly susceptible. Once caught, it can be quite painful and may require antibiotics, but in most cases symptoms usually disappear within a few days. However, if you are pregnant, diabetic, have a high fever, or the symptoms worsen sharply, you should consult a specialist.

Suspected urinary tract infection or cystitis

  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Sudden need to urinate
  • Wanting to urinate again soon after urination
  • Backache or stomachache
  • Urine is not clear and has an unpleasant smell
  • Overall discomfort

If I have an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD), can I use a menstrual cup?

Do not use intrauterine contraceptives and menstrual cups together.

If you are using an intrauterine contraceptive device, it is recommended that you consult a specialist because there may be bleeding due to peripheral damage caused by using the menstrual cup.

I have a silicone allergy.

If you have a silicone allergy you can not use a menstrual cup.

A silicone allergy usually occurs when synthetic rubber (synthetic latex) is included, with symptoms such as itching, a rash, increased vaginal discharge and pain in the vagina. In rare cases where people have a silicone allergy, they should not use a silicone menstrual cup. If you experience any of these symptoms, discontinue use immediately and consult a physician. Menstrual cups made of medical grade silicone are safe because they do not contain allergens.

LunaCup is a safe product that has passed the biocompatibility test with 100% medical grade silicone. Safety studies include risk assessments for anything potentially hazardous, such as heavy metal leaching, skin irritants, cytotoxic cells and10 volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Appropriate safety checks for human transplantation have been confirmed and approved by the US FDA and the Korean MFDS.

What is an allergy?

Every creature has a the ability to distinguish between "self" and "non-self." They adapt to, protect themselves from, and live in their environment by tolerating harmless elements and developing immunity against harmful ones. Among harmful “non-self” elements are microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Our body combats these invaders by operating a sophisticated immune system. Our body usually tolerates harmless substances such as pollen, food, and dust without any problem. However, sometimes harmless substances activate the immune system, and the resulting response can cause damage to cells. This is called an allergy or hypersensitivity.

Can I wear it during sex?

Do not use during sex.

Do not wear a menstrual cup during sex.

Not only is it impossible to have sex while wearing a menstrual cup, but there is a high risk of injury or bacterial infection.

Is it okay to have sex during menstruation?

In short, NO!

Sex during menstruation is a matter of personal choice. However, according to expert advice, it is safest not to do it.

Inside the vagina, which normally maintains weak acidity, the acidity is lowered during menstruation, which increases the risk of infection. If the cervix is ​​infected, there is a greater chance that the infection will move inside the uterus, as it is more open than usual for the discharge of menstrual blood.