Menstrual cup pain: Tips for first time users

Does using a menstrual cup hurt? Did you experience pain using a menstrual cup for the first time?

These are perfectly legitimate questions, and Asan is here to help you navigate the in’s and out’s of using a menstrual cup pain-free!

What exactly is a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup is a bell-shaped device that is inserted into the vagina to collect your period flow. Most menstrual cups are made from medical grade materials such as silicone, and are reusable for many years, making them an affordable and eco-friendly period option.

Are menstrual cups painful?

Menstrual cups are an extremely comfortable period product, as once they are inserted you cannot even feel you are on your period.

That said, using a menstrual cup involves a learning curve — and you may experience a bit of pain the very first time you try one. This is because it takes a few tries to learn how to fold, insert and remove your cup. 

With a little bit of practice and by following the tips below, you will be able to have a totally painless period with your Asan cup!

How to insert your menstrual cup without pain

Does it hurt when you insert your menstrual cup? This may be for a few reasons:

1) You’ve never inserted anything into your vagina before

If this is your first time inserting something, then we suggest going slowly. Get comfortable inserting a finger before you try your cup. We have a great guide for teens as well as a guide for perfectly inserting your menstrual cup.

2) You’re using the wrong fold

To comfortably insert your Asan menstrual, you need to fold it into a small shape and glide it into your vagina. As the C-Fold creates a large insertion point, it may cause discomfort or pain for first time users. We suggest trying the Punch-Down fold which may be more comfortable for insertion.

You can learn more about the best folds for insertion by visiting our folds guide.

3) You’re letting go of the cup too soon

It’s important to keep your cup folded until it is completely inside your vagina. If you let go of the fold while it is still partially outside you, then the cup will open up and cause you to feel discomfort.

4) You’re feeling stressed or anxious

If you are anxious, then your vaginal muscles may clamp up, causing you to find insertion painful. It’s important to take a few deep breaths and remain calm. If you feel serious pain or discomfort, you may be suffering from vaginismus — we suggest consulting a gynaecologist in this case.

5) You need to lubricate your cup

Lubricating your cup with clean water is a great way to help it slide into your vagina easily and pain-free. Please don't use any other lubricants as they may be harmful for the silicone.  

How to remove your menstrual cup pain-free

Do you experience pain when trying to remove your menstrual cup? Then you may be removing it the wrong way.

The first thing to understand is that your menstrual cup works by creating “suction” with walls of your vagina. This is what helps it stay in place and stops it from leaking.

To ensure painless removal, it is very important to break the suction when you remove your cup. You need to pinch the cup with two fingers to break the suction and then gently wiggle it out of your body.

Here are our top menstrual cup removal tips to ensure painless removal:

1) Stay calm

Just like when you insert your cup, it’s important to be calm and relaxed to ensure pain free menstrual cup removal. If you're feeling nervous then your vaginal muscles may contract and make it harder to remove your cup. So pause and take a deep breath before continuing to remove it. 

2) Don’t strain your muscles

Never ‘bear down’ or push your cup out. Asan’s brilliant removal ring makes it very easy to locate your cup and bring it lower, so you can easily pinch it.

3) Never yank your cup out 

Never yank your Asan cup out using the ring or stem. Once your cup is low enough for you to reach the base, make sure you pinch the base properly to break the suction. Yanking the cup out is one of the top causes of discomfort and can leave you feeling sore, so take care not to do this.

4) Be slow and gentle

Don’t remove your cup in a hurry and make sure you have plenty of time. Being slow and gentle will ensure you feel no pain or discomfort when removing your cup. 

Menstrual cup pain during wear

While you may have figured out how to insert and remove a menstrual cup without pain, there is a small chance you may experience pain or discomfort while wearing the cup.

One reason for this may be because you have inserted your cup at the wrong angle: it is important to insert it horizontally towards your tailbone, rather than upwards. Inserting at the wrong angle can cause your cup to sit in an awkward position and lead to discomfort. 

It’s also important to wear your menstrual cup as low as it will comfortably sit, and not to push it all the way up to your cervix.

Another cause of menstrual cup pain during wear may be that you have a sensitive pelvic region, or sensitive bladder. In this case, we suggest opting for a softer menstrual cup. Asan’s light/medium flow size is less firm and slightly smaller than our heavy flow size — this makes it the best menstrual cup that is comfortable to wear for people with sensitive bladders.

frequently asked questions

Are menstrual cups less painful than tampons?

We all know that horrible feeling of pulling a tampon out when you are feeling dry. If you have light period flow (for example at the end of your period), then inserting and removing a tampon can cause discomfort, which are not only painful but also create abrasions and cuts within the vagina.

The great thing about the Asan cup is that it is made from soft and flexible silicone — once you get the hang of it, you should feel no pain while removing your cup, even on your last day or while you are spotting.

Can menstrual cups cause pelvic pain?

If your cup is inserted the wrong way (for example, at the wrong angle), then you may feel some pelvic pain. You may also experience pelvic pain if you are using a very firm cup. In this case, we suggest switching to a softer cup such as Asan’s light/medium flow cup.

Can menstrual cups give you cramps?

There is no evidence that menstrual cups can give you cramps. In fact, some of our users report a reduction in cramps when using the Asan cup. However, this is anecdotal and there are yet to be studies done on this subject.

Are menstrual cups supposed to hurt?

No, absolutely not! The Asan menstrual cup is designed to be extremely comfortable and easy to use. We hope the menstrual cup tips we have shared in this blog help you eliminate the pain and enjoy painless periods.

Ready to experience comfortable and pain-free periods? Shop now.