If you’ve managed to fold and insert your menstrual cup and it isn’t popping open, don’t worry. Most of the time, if your menstrual cup is not opening, it’s because of one or more of the following:
- Insertion technique
- Incorrect sizing
- Anatomical differences from person to person
Here are some tips for getting that satisfying ‘pop’ every time!
Work on your insertion technique
Try the following tips to assist with getting your cup to open;
- Relax - if you are tense the vaginal cavity will tighten and it will be more difficult for the cup to open.
- Ensure the holes in the rim of your menstrual cup are clear of menstrual debris. You can use a toothpick to clean these or fill the cup with water then tip it upside-down on the palm of your hand and squeeze the cup. This will squirt the water through the holes and clean them.
- Run your cup under cold water prior to inserting. This will make the silicone slightly firmer than when the cup is warm which can help the cup spring open.
- Use a little water or water-based lubricant on the rim of your cup if you are new to using a menstrual cup.
- Try a different fold; many women have success with the 'punch-down' fold when they previously used the 'c' fold as the cup tends to pop open more easily than with the ‘c’ fold.
- Follow the instructions set out in the user guide and ensure the cup is angled backwards, towards your tailbone, when being inserted and not straight up, as this is the natural angle of the vagina.
- Once inserted, run your finger around the circumference of the cup, if you can feel dents in the cup has not opened correctly. Try the following;
- Use the cup to push lightly against the wall of the vagina. This can create extra space in the vaginal canal and allow the cup to open. Some people find pushing it backwards, toward the bowel, helps whilst other people find nudging it forward, toward the bladder works for them.
- Push the rim of the cup on the opposite side to which you can feel the dent.
- Rotate the cup – this works for some people but others are not able to rotate it at all once it is inserted.
- Do some pelvic floor/kegel squeezes as this can help move the cup into the correct position and open up.
When it comes to menstrual cups, size definitely matters! If you’ve tried all the above techniques with inserting your cup and are still not having any luck, it may be a sizing issue. If you’re using a JuJu Model 2 or 4, consider sizing down to a narrower Model 1 or Model 3.
It’s also worth noting that soft menstrual cups can be notoriously tricky to open once inserted. JuJu menstrual cups have a medium firmness, with a slightly thicker rim that is designed to pop open easily.
Our bodies are all so different, and vaginas come in all different shapes and sizes. Whilst menstrual cups work for most people, it may be that a menstrual cup, or one particular brand of menstrual cup, doesn’t work well for your vagina.
There can also be certain health issues that can make it difficult to use a menstrual cup. In particular, pelvic organ prolapse (which causes a bulge to push into the vaginal cavity) can limit your menstrual cup’s ability to open. If you suspect you have prolapse, it’s best to consult with a medical professional. In some cases, you may not be able to use a menstrual cup if you have a prolapse.
If none of the above tips work, it may be that you need to size down to a smaller Model 1 or 3 JuJu Cup. If you are already using a Model 1 or Model 3 JuJu Cup, another brand of cup made from a firmer silicone be better suited to your anatomy.
There is a wide range of vaginal dimensions; a study on the shape and dimension of the human vagina revealed the vagina width can range from 4.8 to 6.3cm. There are also many different vagina shapes, including; parallel-sided, conical, heart-shaped, pumpkin seed and slug-shaped. Whilst menstrual cups work for most people, it may be that a menstrual cup, or one particular brand of menstrual cup, doesn’t work well for your vagina shape or size.