How to Use a Menstrual Cup

You have tried tampons and pads, and maybe you’ve heard about menstrual cups but always asked yourself, just how do they work? Using Ruby Cup is very similar to using tampons, and cups are already widely used by people all over the world.

Here you can find out everything you need to know about how to use Ruby Cup – we explain it all in one video and five simple steps.

How to use a Ruby Cup in 5 simple steps


This step-by-step guide to using a menstrual cup will take you smoothly through each stage. Here’s how to get the very best out of your cup, and your period:

1. Fold and hold

How to Use a Menstrual Cup

Always start by washing your hands. Fold Ruby Cup using a fold that works best for you. Many start with the C-fold (as shown in the picture).If that doesn’t work for you, try some of the other folds to make insertion easier. Every menstruator’s anatomy is unique, so find the fold that works for you.

Details on other menstrual cup folds are explained in our FAQs, to help you find the right folding method.

2. Insert and ensure

As with tampons, gently insert the folded cup into your vagina, tilting it back to the base of your spine. The cup should sit as low as it can comfortably sit inside your vagina, normally lower than a tampon but with the stem fully inside.

How to Use a Menstrual Cup

When the cup is inside, it will pop open, creating a light suction. The suction is how the cup prevents leaks, so use your finger to check if it is fully unfolded. Twist or rotate the cup if you need to.

Illustration of inserted menstrual cup

Don’t rush, take your time – it’s like learning to use contact lenses.

3. Use it up to twelve hours

One of the great benefits of using a menstrual cup is that it can be used for up to twelve hours. How often you need to empty your cup depends on your cycle and flow, though most menstrual cup users find they need to empty it only in the morning and again in the evening.

4. Remove and empty

Illustration of how to remove menstrual cup

With clean hands, gently pull the stem of the cup downwards until you can reach and grip the base of the cup. Pinch the base to release the suction and take it out gently.

Illustration of how to empty a menstrual cup

You may need to use your pelvic muscles to push your cup lower in the vagina to help you reach the base with your fingers.

When you have removed your cup, empty it into the toilet, and rinse it with water.

If you do not have access to water, you can wipe it with some tissue or simply reinsert it directly after emptying it. But make sure to rinse it at your next available opportunity.

Rinse your menstrual cup

5. Re-insert

Illustration of how to insert a menstrual cup

When your cup is rinsed, you can reinsert it, and you are ready to go again! For the end of cycle Ruby Cup care, have a look at Cleaning and Storing.

Switching From Tampons to a Menstrual Cup is no big deal

Making the change to another menstrual product is easier than you may think. Using a menstrual cup is very similar to using tampons, just with improved health benefits – no irritation, no chemicals and no drying out.

Menstrual cups are the modern alternative to tampons and pads. They are environmentally friendly and super healthy. Check out the Ruby Cup Benefits to see how this little cup won’t just make a big difference for you, it will do the same for a girl in need.

Finding the right menstrual cup doesn’t have to be tricky. Ruby Cup comes in two different sizes, medium and small. You can find more advice on how to choose the right menstrual cup size here.

How to use a menstrual cup in a public bathroom

Planning your next backpacking trip? Going camping or visiting a festival? Or even if you’re just planning a night out, you don’t have to worry about using Ruby Cup. Emptying is easy no matter where you are.

If the sink is out of reach, simply wipe the cup clean with a dry or damp tissue, or rinse with bottled water and reinsert straight-away. You can also simply empty the cup and reinsert it again but make sure you rinse it at your next available opportunity.

We’ve made a collection of tips and tricks that cover the best ways to clean your Ruby Cup in a public bathroom, and what to do when you are travelling. Check out our Traveling with a menstrual cup article and you’ll be ready for anything!

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