A menstrual cup stem, usually shaped like a little stick, is the bottom part of a menstrual cup that enables you to easily locate it once it is inside you.
The trouble with a menstrual cup stem is that it can sometimes poke you or be uncomfortable.
This is why Asan chose to design our menstrual cup with a handy removal ring instead of a stem: it’s much easier to locate, and it also doesn’t have that annoying poky edge!
That said, we know many of you do use a menstrual cup with a stem, or want to learn more about it.
Whether your menstrual cup has a stem or ring, this blog will teach you everything you need to know about how to insert a menstrual cup and where the stem of your menstrual cup should be.
how to insert a menstrual cup for beginners?
If you’ve never inserted a menstrual cup before, Asan has you covered: check out our super detailed guide to the perfect insertion of a menstrual cup. Reading this will ensure you learn how to insert a menstrual cup without pain.
You can also watch the video below where we talk you through every step of insertion.
To summarise, inserting a menstrual cup involves five simple steps:
- Wash your hands and the cup
- Fold your cup into the desired shape – our users love both the c-fold and punch-down fold
- Gently guide your cup into your vaginal canal, angling it towards your tailbone
- Let go once the cup is fully inside you – you should feel it pop open
- Check the position of your cup to ensure it has been inserted correctly. It should not be folded once it is inside you
how do i know if my menstrual cup is positioned correctly?
Once you’ve inserted your cup, gently prod it or tug on the stem or ring. If you feel some resistance, then the cup has opened up correctly inside you.
If the cup seems like it’s still folded inside you, then it has not been inserted correctly. You need to remove and re-insert it, making sure it pops open and creates a vacuum seal with the walls of your vagina.
Do not push your cup all the way up to the cervix. The correct position of your menstrual cup is as low as it will comfortably sit within your vaginal canal.
should the stem of the menstrual cup be sticking out?
The stem should sit inside the opening of the vagina and should not be outside your body. The whole menstrual cup, including the stem, should be inside your vagina.
If the stem is sticking out, gently push your cup further in.
i can feel my menstrual cup stem. what should i do?
Ideally, the end of the stem should not poke you or cause trouble.
However, even though you may have inserted your menstrual cup perfectly, you might be asking the question “Why can I feel my menstrual cup stem?”
The reality is that menstrual cup stems tend to have a pointy edge, which is why they can poke the inside of your vagina, even if your menstrual cup has been perfectly positioned.
The great thing about Asan’s ring design is that it has no pointy edges. Whether the ring is fully inside you or even if the ring sticks out a little bit, you won’t be able to feel it.
If you’re struggling with your menstrual cup stem poking you, we definitely advise giving the Asan cup a go – we have thousands of users and none have ever complained about the ring poking them. You can’t feel it at all.
should i chop off my menstrual cup stem?
If it is poking you, the temptation may be to cut the stem of the menstrual cup.
However, we really do not advise doing this, because it can make locating and removing your menstrual cup a real nightmare.
Too many users have chopped off their menstrual cup stem, only to find that they can no longer locate their menstrual cup inside them, and have to really struggle to get it out.
You should only chop off the stem if you are extremely confident removing your cup without any ring or stem to locate it.
We have a detailed guide to chopping the stem off your menstrual cup which you can use to guide you in this process.
how to insert a menstrual cup with a low cervix?
If you happen to have a low cervix, then you may find that you can’t get a menstrual cup in far enough.
You should insert your menstrual cup as high as it will go – ideally the whole cup including the stem should be inside you.
If your stem sticks out and pokes you, you may want to chop it off. Just make sure you’re very confident you can remove it without the stem. You should try your cup out for a whole period before making this decision.
Read our guide to choosing the right menstrual cup for a low cervix.
frequently asked questions
How far in should a menstrual cup go?
Your menstrual cup should be completely inside you, including the ring or stem. But don’t push it up too high as this can cause leaks and make it difficult to remove.
Can a menstrual cup turn sideways?
As you move around and perform activities throughout the day, the position of your menstrual cup may change slightly. You may even find that it seems to have turned sideways.
This is completely normal – as long as you feel comfortable and do not experience any leaks, then there’s nothing to worry about.
Why is my menstrual cup stem tilted?
You may expect your menstrual cup stem to stick out of your vaginal canal downwards.
But in reality the vagina runs at a 45 degree angle and your cup can also be positioned at a different angle.
As a result your stem may tilt towards one side of your vagina and your may find it poking your vaginal walls.
Should you feel the stem of a menstrual cup?
Is it normal to feel the stem of a menstrual cup? Unfortunately, the answer is “yes”, as many people feel the stem and this can’t really be avoided.
The only options are to chop the stem off (although this makes it very difficult to locate) or to try a menstrual cup without a stem – for example, try Asan’s ring design which you will not be able to feel.
I can feel my menstrual cup when I walk. Is that normal?
If your menstrual cup is positioned correctly, you shouldn’t be able to feel it when you walk.
If you can feel the cup when you walk or move around, it might be positioned at the wrong angle. Try to remove and reinsert it.
You might also want to have a look at our guide to menstrual cups for sensitive bladders as this might explain why you are able to feel your cup when you walk.
Ready to switch to the easiest menstrual cup to use? Shop here now.