That is probably the number one fear of new menstrual cup users. Picture this scenario: you’re about to take your Ruby Cup out but – it’s not there anymore! It seems to have disappeared. Adios! Bye bye! No more menstrual cup. But you know it must still be in there somewhere. We’re used to money disappearing, boyfriends disappearing but menstrual cups!?
Okay, jokes aside. The internet is actually full of questions from soon-to-be menstrual cup users, who are worrying themselves crazy about whether it’s possible for a menstrual cup to get lost inside the vagina. That is a pretty nasty fear to have that’s keeping you from trying a life-changing menstrual product – but we’re here to ease the worry.
Menstrual cups can’t get lost inside your vagina
Time for a short anatomy recap:
So you see where the cervix is, and right below that “neck of the uterus” is where the menstrual cup sits. And unless you are giving birth, your cervix acts as a barrier between the uterus and the vagina. It is slightly open to let the menstrual fluid pass (and also opens up during ovulation to let the little spermies in), but that opening is in no way big enough to let a menstrual cup in. This makes it anatomically impossible for your menstrual cup could get lost inside of you. It simply won’t fit up the opening of your cervix. Also check out this side view:
See? There’s no way it can slip all the way up into your uterus. The vaginal canal is an elastic, muscular “tube” and one thing it’s not is a black hole. So your fear of losing your menstrual cup inside your vagina can be neatly erased from your list of worries.
Even though your menstrual cup can’t move up your cervix and suddenly sit inside your uterus, your cervix plays an important role.
How the cervix influences your menstrual cup choice
Did you know that your cervix changes in length and position during your menstrual cycle? And that in some bodies the cervix sits higher in the vagina and in some it actually dips down pretty low? (Read this guide on how to measure the length of your cervix)
And that’s exactly the reason why some cups might feel more comfortable than others. So if you’ve tried a menstrual cup and just did not experience the joy and glory so many happy menstrual cup user promised, then it’s because the cup didn’t sit well. Each vagina is different, and there is no one size fits all. If your cup sits right, you will not feel it – we promise. If you’re not experiencing complete comfort while using your menstrual cup, then consider trying a different size or different shape.
Here’s an example: if you have a low cervix, but use a longer menstrual cup or a menstrual cup with a longer grip or stem, it might poke you a little or feel uncomfortable as the cup does not have enough space to fit entirely in your vagina, which it should. Luckily, you can easily trim the stem of your menstrual cup, making it shorter and more comfortable to use.
This works the other way round as well: if your cervix is very short and you use, let’s say a Ruby Cup Small (this menstrual cup is made especially for people with a short cervix), then it will sit pretty high inside your vagina. And this can make it slightly trickier to grip. So obviously, this can give you a legit fright if you don’t know that your cervix and menstrual cup do those sorts of things.
What To Do If You Can’t Get Your Menstrual Cup Out
You know that your menstrual cup can’t get lost inside your vagina, but here’s what to do when you’re having troubles getting it out:
1) Relax: First of all, relax. You know that nothing can happen, so you don’t need to panic.
2) Use your muscles: Start by squatting down on the floor and while still staying relaxed, push “down” with your abs. Or if you can locate and control your pelvic floor muscles, use them to push the Ruby Cup down.
3) Try to get the stem: While pushing down, try to get a hold of the stem or the grip rings of your Ruby Cup. Don’t be afraid of having to insert your fingers in your vagina – just make sure you have clean hands. Then, pinch the bottom of the cup to break the suction. If you don’t pinch it, it won’t come out – so don’t skip that step.
If you have difficulties the first time you were using a menstrual cup, don’t give up! Just like putting in contact lenses, it takes practice and time to perfect the handling of it. Have patience, every cycle is a new practice and sooner than you think you’ll be a pro in handling your menstrual cup :)