Self, Health And Wellness

Newbie Tips For Switching To A Menstrual Cup As An Alternative To Tampons And Pads

Newbie Tips For Switching To A Menstrual Cup As An Alternative To Tampons And Pads

If you’re looking for pad and tampon alternatives, a menstrual cup, or period cup, is definitely worth a try.

Anyone who’s had their period for more than a few years knows that the options for women to deal with them aren’t all that great. 

You may be tired of the “diaper rash” you get from a pad. Or, perhaps you find tampons to be a little too uncomfortable.

And hey, maybe you’re just looking for a healthier, and more environmentally friendly option to combat that time of the month. 

RELATED: First Time Using A Menstrual Cup? Here’s What To Expect…

Whatever your reason for seeking out tampon and pad alternatives, a menstrual cup, especially a super convenient collapsible one like the Lily Cup Compact, may be what you’re looking for.

If you’re not quite sold on the idea of a cup you wear inside you, let’s start off with a brief introduction to what a menstrual cup is and how it works. 

Check out our Lily Cup Compact review

I’ll then offer my newbie tips for buying and using a period cup, straight from personal experience!

Trust me, I was intimidated at first, but after a little education and trial and error, I doubt I’ll be going back to pads and tampons. Sure, there was a bit of a learning curve, but in the end, I found that using a menstrual cup was more comfortable, cleaner, and made me feel better about my environmental impact. 

Visit to seize the 20% discount on all INTIMINA menstrual care range

For an additional 5% discount, use code: YOURTANGO5 

What is a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup is a reusable cup that takes the place of a tampon. It is typically made of silicone, shaped like a funnel, and is inserted into the vagina when a woman has her period.

Sometimes called a period cup, this feminine hygiene product tends to hold more blood than other methods.

These cups are an eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads, and will often last for up to 10  hours before needing to be changed. 

Popular brands like INTIMINA, offer a variety of menstrual cups for different needs and sizes. 

How does a menstrual cup work?

A menstrual cup works because of its funnel-like design and pliable, silicone material. Once inserted into the vagina, the cup collects and holds the blood, and is unlikely to leak. 

A period cup features a tip at the end so that users can remove it, empty the blood, and insert again. 

How to use a menstrual cup?

INTIMINA offers a fantastic, downloadable manual that visually explains exactly how to use a menstrual cup. 

Photo Credit: INTIMINA

Here is a quick overview, with step-by-step instructions as well.

1. Wash your hands with soap and water.

2. Slightly wet your menstrual cup with water, as a wet cup will be easier to insert.

3. Hold the cup in one hand, fold the cup in half lengthwise with the rim facing up.

4. With the rim up, insert the cup into your vagina just like you would a tampon without an applicator. 

5. Once the cup is in place, rotate it with your hand so that it opens up and creates an airtight seal to avoid leaks. 

RELATED: How To Deal If Your Menstrual Cup Gets Stuck

What to look for when buying a menstrual cup

When shopping for a menstrual cup, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure you’re getting a quality option. 

  • Look for a company that offers more than one size, such as INTIMINA’s “A” and “B” sizes
  • Products made with 100% medical grade silicone are ideal.
  • Look for a company that provides ongoing education via their website.
  • Products with a no-spill rim are ideal.

Tips For Using a menstrual cup

1. Always read the instructions to make sure you know how to properly use your cup.

2. Wash your hands before using to keep your lady parts healthy!

3. Wet the cup before inserting. I used a little bit of water-based lube to insert the Lily Cup more easily.

4. Stay relaxed. It’s easier to insert if you’re calm and your muscles aren’t tense. I had to get into a super relaxed mindset because I was nervous (that’s normal for newbies.)

5. Insert the cup at a horizontal, 45 degree angle to make sure it fits as it should.

6. Squat down to get a better angle, this definitely helped me out at first. 

7. Don’t put it in too high. It should be right below the cervix. Put it in a little less far than you would a tampon. 

8. Don’t freak out if the cup moves up higher on its own. It happens and you’ll just need to reach up a little higher to take it out. 

9. Read the instructions for removal and be gentle. I pulled it out too quickly the first time and made a mess, to say the least. Go slow at first!


How to insert a menstrual cup?

Most menstrual cups will come with insertion directions. In general, you’ll want to slightly wet the cup with water or lube, fold it in half with the rim up, insert into the vagina at a 45 degree angle, and then rotate the cup so it opens in place. 

How to clean a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup can be cleaned with soap and water. 

Can you sleep with a menstrual cup?

Yes. Especially because these cups can be worn for up to 10 hours. 

Do menstrual cups hurt?

Menstrual cups are not supposed to hurt when used properly. Make sure to wet your cup before use so that it’s easier to insert. 

To sum it up

A menstrual cup can be a great alternative to pads and tampons. They are eco-friendly, safe to use, and easy on the wallet.

There’s definitely a learning curve for using one, and while some women may love them, others may not.

For me, I found that after just two failed tries, I got the hang of using the cup and loved it!

The only way to find out if a menstrual cup is a good alternative for you is to give it try. 

Visit to seize the 20% discount on all INTIMINA menstrual care range

For an additional 5% discount, use code: YOURTANGO5 

RELATED: Can Ibuprofen Make My Periods Lighter?

Shannon Ullman is a writer who focuses on women’s health and wellness. 

-Created in partnership with INTIMINA