In this section we cover;
- Trimming the Stem
- Leaking or Spotting
- Removing in a Public Toilet
- Empty Frequency
- Urination and Bowel Movements
Why doesn't my menstrual cup doesn't feel comfortable?
When inserted correctly your JuJu should not cause you any discomfort. Check if you have inserted your JuJu too high. Alternatively, if your JuJu is beside rather than beneath the cervix, the cup will cause immediate discomfort. If this occurs, remove the cup, rinse it and reinsert it.
Check that you have selected the correct model number.
If your cup is sitting low and the stem is causing any discomfort, please see information on trimming the stem or you may required a Model 4 if you have a particularly low cervix and feel like the cup is being pushed out or slips out.
In some cases, people with a tilted uterus, pelvic organ prolapse or poor pelvic floor tone may find a menstrual cup too uncomfortable to wear or you may find one particular brand of menstrual cup works better for your anatomy than another; this is often referred to as finding your 'goldilocks cup'.
If discomfort persists, please discontinue use of your menstrual cup and seek the advice of your medical practitioner.
Can you give me some tips to help insert my menstrual cup?
If you have read the instructions in the user guide and are still having difficulties inserting your cup it may be worth trying a few different folds to find the one that works best for you.
Also, try allowing your cup to open just inside the vaginal opening then gently sliding it up into position rather than opening it deep in the vaginal canal.
- Your cup should 'sit' lower than a tampon.
- Some people, particularly those with strong pelvic floor muscles and/or a high cervix, find their cup naturally 'finds' it's own position higher up in the vaginal canal than where it was positioned to start with. This is OK but removal may take a little more practice if your cup is positioned higher in the vaginal canal.
- Your cervix location may affect the position of your cup with a low cervix resulting in your cup sitting low, near the vaginal opening and a high cervix resulting in your cup sitting much higher in the vaginal canal.
- The location of your cervix may change throughout your cycle. It is completely normal for your cervix to change position throughout your cycle and this may affect the position of your cup throughout your cycle as mentioned above
Why won't my menstrual cup open?
There may be a number of reasons for a menstrual cup not opening. These include incorrect sizing, anatomical differences from person to person or due to 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 you 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 backward, 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 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 backward, 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.
Anatomical differences and sizing
If you have pelvic organ prolapse, this can cause a bulge to push into the vaginal cavity which may limit the cups ability to open. Please seek the advice of your medical practitioner if you feel you may some form of pelvic organ 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.
Trimming the Stem
Why is my menstrual cup stem sticking out?
Your menstrual cup stem may protrude if you have a cervix that sits particularly low or that sits low during the earlier stages of their cycle. Your JuJu may also sit low if you have lost some pelvic floor tone.
It's important to know that this is not uncommon and the stem has been designed so it can be trimmed and the node points on the stem if you find it too long.
No part of the stem should be outside your vagina, as this will cause discomfort to your labia.
JuJu has been designed with 'nodes' which act as trim points on the stem.
If the stem is too long, remove and disinfect your JuJu and a pair of scissors to trim it. Only trim a small amount at a time; trimming only to the base of the first node on the stem. Try wearing your JuJu again for an hour to see if it's more comfortable. If not, remove, clean and trim the stem on your JuJu again, trimming to the base of the next node up the stem. Repeat until you find a comfortable stem length. Disinfect the scissors after trimming your stem.
If you prefer, you can try turning your cup inside out and wear it before trimming the stem to see if you find this more comfortable. Only try this method if and when you are comfortable removing your JuJu.
Leaking or Spotting
Why is my menstrual cup leaking?
Most leaks are a result of not have a good seal around your JuJu. Use your vaginal muscles to clench and release your JuJu, to help it find the right position and form a seal. You can also pinch the base of your JuJu and try to adjust it with a few turns and swirl your finger around the outside of the cup to check if it has opened properly.
Ensure the holes are at the top of your JuJu are not clogged, as this may prevent a good seal. Blood left on the labia after insertion can be wiped with some tissue or rinsed with water to prevent spotting.
Spotting can also occur if blood is left in the vagina after your JuJu has been inserted. Once the cup has opened, swirl your finger around the cup to remove any excess blood left in the vagina.
If you have a Model 1 JuJu, you may need to replace it with a Model 2.
If you have a Model 2 JuJu or Model 4 JuJu, you may like to try pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles which hold the cup in position.
Insert your JuJu at a 45-degree angle, pointing at the base of your spine. Do not insert JuJu straight up, as this is not the natural shape of the vaginal canal.
Removing a menstrual cup
I can't remove my menstrual cup.
If you have read the instructions in the user guide and are still having difficulties removing your JuJu here are a few extra tips;
- Firstly - relax. Removing your cup is likely to be the most challenging aspect of learning to use it and it will take time to get the knack. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and relax the jaw - this will help relax the rest of your body including your pelvic floor and vaginal muscles.
- Locate your JuJu by finding the stem. DO NOT try to remove your cup by pulling it out using the stem - this will actually increase the suction seal between your menstrual cup and the vaginal wall.
- With your thumb and index finger, firmly squeeze or pinch the base of your cup (where the stem meets the bottom of the cup). This will release the suction seal.
- Whilst still squeezing the base of the cup slowly move it down the vaginal canal to the vaginal opening. You can bear down gently to help move your cup down the vaginal canal.
- When the base of the cup is near the vaginal opening, use one of the following methods;
- Tilt the cup and take out the top edge of the rim, then tilt it upright and remover the bottom edge, or
- Use the 'hot dog in a bun method' which involves folding the cup into a c-shape or u-shape before removing it. This is the preferred method if you have a smaller vaginal opening.
Many people find removal easier to do in the shower where possible as not only are you relaxed but also less worried about spilling the contents of the cup.
It is also worth trying a couple of different positions; legs slightly apart, one leg up or squatting, to find out which position works best for you. Some people also find sitting on the toilet with the tailbone tucked under (or forward and upward) helps shorten the vaginal canal and makes your cup easier to reach.
Positioning your JuJu lower, just inside the vaginal opening when inserting, rather than higher in the vaginal canal may make removal easier too. (See the 'insertion' section in this FAQ).
I can't reach the base of my menstrual cup.
It is not uncommon for you cup to 'travel' and sit higher in the vaginal canal than where you originally placed it depending on the location of your cervix or other anatomical differences such as a retroverted uterus (aka a tilted or tipped uterus).
It is important to avoid pulling on the stem of the cup before the suction seal has been released as this will increase the suction seal.
If you are unable to reach the base of the cup with your index finger and thumb to release the seal because it is sitting particularly high, try the following tips;
- Give yourself an hour after waking before trying to remove your cup as gravity often helps move the cervix and cup lower.
- Try relaxation techniques such as placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, relaxing your jaw and follow by relaxing the rest of the body as getting upset will often cause the pelvic floor and vaginal walls muscles to tighten too and make removal more difficult. Trying to remove your cup when in a warm shower if possible as this can help relax the body too.
- Squat or sit or stand and tuck your tailbone under (i.e. tilt your pubic bone forward/upwards). This will help shorten the vaginal canal.
- Bear down. lightly.
- lf you are still unable to reach the base of your cup with your index finger and thumb to break the suction seal, slide your index finger only as high us possible up beside the cup.
- Press the cup with your index finger towards the centre to break the seal first which will make removal easier.
- Continue to bear down as you remove the cup.
If you have successfully removed and are comfortable with this removal technique, then keep using your menstrual cup.
If you successfully removed your cup but still found it difficult, you may wish to give your body a break from using your cup and return to using tampons or pads until the end of your cycle. You can then practice; inserting and removing your cup in the shower a couple of times a week when you don't have your period so you have the hang of it when your next cycle starts.
To ensure the cup forms a suction seal with vaginal wall rather than the cervix (this can happen if the cup is opened to high in the vaginal canal), allow the cup to open just inside the vaginal opening, with the stem still protruding, then gently slide it into position.
If you are unable to remove your cup after multiple attempts at different times through the day, please make an appointment with your GP or visit your local Emergency Department.
Removing in a Public Toilet
How do I clean a menstrual cup in a public toilet?
If you are removing your JuJu in a public toilet or at work and you cannot get to a sink to rinse the cup, just wipe it clean with some tissue and reinsert it. You can also take a bottle of water into the cubical with you if you would prefer to rinse rather than wipe your cup. Additional tips can be found on the Menstrual Cup Public Bathroom Hacks page.
Give your cup a good clean when you next have access to clean running water.
How often should I empty my menstrual cup?
Menstrual cups should be emptied every 8 hours. If you have a heavy flow you may need to empty your cup more often.
Set an alarm if you are prone to forgetting to remove and empty your menstrual cup.
Empty your cup before going to sleep and after you wake.
Our previously recommended empty frequency of 12 hours was updated to a minimum of every 8 hours in 2017. This followed a review of the user guide by TGA clinical evaluators and is intended to minimise the risk of bacterial growth.
What are the different menstrual cup folds?
The most popular fold is the 'C' or 'U' fold, however, there are many folds you can experiment with. The following videos show some of the different menstrual cup folds:
'C' or 'U' fold
'Punch down' fold
'Double 7' fold
'Squiggle' or 'M' fold
'Diamond' variation fold
Urination & Bowel Movements
Can I pee and poo with a menstrual cup in?
Yes, you do not need to remove your menstrual cup when you urinate or have a bowel movement.
If your cup is causing any discomfort, please read the section on comfort.
Why do I feel like I need to pee more often when I have my menstrual cup in?
There should be no discomfort when using your JuJu, however, some people do experience a sensation of needing to urinate when first starting out. This is usually because the cup is pressing slightly on your bladder/urethra and can be due to one or a combination of the following;
- Positioning of the cup
- Anatomical differences from person to person
- An incorrectly sized cup
Some people find this resolves after using the cup for a couple of cycles on its own without doing anything different however you can try the following tips;
- allow your cup to open higher in the vaginal canal. Your cup should 'sit' lower than a tampon but sometimes will 'travel' and sit higher, depending on your anatomy (i.e. if you have a long/short vaginal canal). If your anatomy allows for you to have your cup open higher in the vaginal canal a seal will be formed with the vaginal wall s higher up so will be less likely to cause this pressure on the bladder/urethra.
- try a few different folds. Sometimes using a different fold will make it easier for you to insert your cup properly and many people have success with the 'punch-down' fold when they previously used the 'c’ fold but it varies from person to person.
- if you are using a Model 2 you may be better with the Model 1 size.
Why did my menstrual cup slip out?
This can occur for a number of reasons. If you have lost some pelvic floor tone or suffer from some forms of pelvic organ prolapse you may find you cup will sit low and may even pop out, sometimes during a bowel movement. Your large intestine may press against the vaginal canal walls more than it would for other people.
If this is not of cause for concern for you, we recommend you remove your cup when you have a bowel movement. Alternately, if you do not feel it is hindering your ability to have a complete bowel movement, you can place your index finger near the vaginal opening to hold your cup in whilst having a bowel movement and then reposition it (i.e. gently slide it back up).
To avoid the risk of infection, always follow good toilet hygiene habits by thoroughly washing your hands, wiping from front to back and by keeping genitalia and toilet area clean.
It may be helpful to do some pelvic floor exercises as your pelvic floor will help hold the cup in place.
If you feel there may be some other medical reason such as pelvic organ prolapse, please see your healthcare professional.
What should I clean my menstrual cup with?
JuJu Cleansing Wash has been specially formulated for use with your cup.
If you choose to use another brand of soap or wash, please use a mild soap and avoid;
- oily or moisturising soaps which may cause an oily residual build-up on the cup
- highly fragranced soaps which may irritate the delicate skin of the vulva or vagina
If you suffer from a skin condition such as dermatitis or psoriasis we recommend you continue to use your prescribed soap or wash on your cup.
Always thoroughly rinse your cup after washing ensure there is no residue left on the cup.
How do I clean the holes in my menstrual cup?
The holes in the rim of your cup allow for the suction seal to release easily. Unclean holes may harbour bacteria so it is important to keep the holes of your cup clean.
To clean the holes in your menstrual cup, fill your cup with water soapy water and place your hand over the rim of the cup. Turn the cup upside down whilst sealing the rim with your hand then squeeze the cup with your other hand. This will force the soapy water to squirt through the holes.
You may also like to use a toothbrush or interdental brush (similar to a toothpick but with a small brush on the end) to remove debris from the holes of your cup. Discard the toothpick or brush after use.
Thoroughly rinse your cup after washing with soap or any cleansers to ensure no residue is left on the cup as this may upset vaginal pH levels.
Do you make menstrual cup wipes?
No, at this point in time we do not manufacture disposable wipes. Residue left on the cup after wiping can cause some people to experience skin sensitivity. Disposable wipes are often flushed and even so-called ‘flushable’ wipes continue to be the cause of many plumbing and waterway issues. Individual packaging of these products also generates extra disposable waste.
We are keen to improve our product offering but will only do so if the product doesn’t put our customers’ health at risk and leave a negative impact on the environment.
For the most part, wiping out your cup with toilet paper or rinsing it with bottled water will suffice until your cup can be properly cleaned with running water in the shower or sink.
If you are camping or hiking for long periods of time without access to running water we still recommend you clean your cup daily and use bottled water and a sterilising solution such as Milton between cycles.
Why has my menstrual cup changed colour?
Staining or discolouring on your cup is due to residual build-up and is completely normal.
Staining does not indicate your cup needs to be replaced, however you may wish to try the following tips to remove surface staining on your menstrual cup;
- Use a rubbing alcohol such as Isocol, with a soft cloth, then thoroughly rinse your cup
- Liberally apply JuJu Cleansing Wash Gel to your cup and leave for a couple of days before rinsing, or
- Place your cup in a heatproof container and cover with boiling water from the kettle. Add a dash of white vinegar and a ¼ teaspoon of bicarb soda. Soak your cup until the water has cooled, then thoroughly rinse your cup.
Always completely dry your menstrual cup after cleaning it and before storing it. Store your cup in the pouch provided in a well-ventilated space.
Why does my menstrual cup smell?
This can happen if a menstrual cup is left in too long.
The recommended use for a menstrual cup is 8 hours so it's a good idea to set an alarm to remind yourself to empty and wash your cup every 8 hours if you are likely to forget you are wearing it.
To remove the odour from your menstrual cup, try the following tips;
- use a rubbing alcohol such as Isocol with a soft cup to thoroughly wipe your cup inside and out, or
- a mild sterilising solution such as Milton can also be used. It is important to follow the manufacturer's directions on the strength and length of time to sterilise items as leaving your cup in the solution for too long or make the solution too strong may cause a residual build-up of chemicals on the cup which may degrade the silicone or cause vaginal irritation.
Following the use of any product on your menstrual cup, thoroughly rinse your cup.
If possible, set your menstrual cup out in the sun (out of the reach of animals) for as long as possible.
Can I still use my menstrual cup if I boiled it for too long?
It is easy to forget about a pot on the cooktop so we recommend setting a timer when boiling a menstrual cup to avoid boiling your menstrual cup too long.
If you have over boiled a menstrual cup, it may still be safe to use if the water did not boil dry and if there are no changes to the properties of the cup.
If the water boiled dry, the cup may stick to the bottom of the pot causing it to change shape, melt or catch fire.
Silicone, by nature, is fairly inert so if there are no changes to the colour, smell, surface texture or ‘squishiness’ of the cup it is most likely still safe to use. If there are changes to any of these properties, we recommend you replace your cup.
Please be aware that regularly boiling a menstrual cup for too long may cause it to harden and crack. Cracks may harbour bacteria as they are difficult to clean so please replace your menstrual cup if it has any cracks.
If you are in an area with ‘hard water’, boiling a menstrual cup for too long may also cause a build-up of mineral deposits like calcium on the surface of the cup which may cause it turn white/opaque in colour.
How long will a menstrual cup last?
The lifespan of your JuJu varies from person to person and depends on how you care for and clean your JuJu. With proper care, your JuJu will last for many years.
Some people choose to replace their cup after a couple of years because they do discolour over time, however, this is a personal choice as a discoloured cup is still safe to use.
Here are a few tips on extending the lifespan of your JuJu;
Removal and General Use
- DON'T: Remove your JuJu by pulling the stem - this actually increases the suction seal between the cup and vaginal wall, will make removal more difficult and may cause the stem to break.
- DON'T: Dig your fingernails into the stem or cup - this may cause the stem to break or cause small tears to appear in the cup or stem.
- DO: Remove your JuJu by pinching the base of the cup with your index finger and thumb to release the suction seal.
- DO: Regularly inspect your cup for rips or tears and replace your JuJu if you notice any signs of 'wear and tear'.
- DON'T: Use harsh chemicals to clean your cup or clean it in the dishwasher.
- DO: Follow the cleaning instructions included with your cup or in the cleaning section of the user guide page.
- DON'T: Store your JuJu in an airtight container or area such as a zipped up compartment in a handbag as ventilation is required to allow your cup to dry completely.
- DO: Store your cup in its satin pouch in a well ventilated area.
Please follow the disposal instruction on the FAQ General Information page if you are replacing or throwing away your menstrual cup.
Where can I get help on using my menstrual cup?
- your age
- if you have had children
- if you have any know gynecological issues
- the model number JuJu Cup you are using
- the nature of the issue you are experiencing
- if you have managed to get the cup to work for you on any occasion
- any tips you have already tried
We are able to offer tips on using your cup however our support team are not qualified medical practitioners and as such are not able to offer medical advice. We strongly recommend you seek the advice of a medical practitioner if you have any health, medical or gynecological concerns.
If you would like to connect with other menstrual cup users, there is a fabulous independent online Menstrual Cup Community. Community members are very knowledgeable and chances are, if you have a question, it would have already been asked in this community. You can view previous menstrual cup topic tags to see if your question has already been covered. If you choose to post in this community, please note this is a moderated community and there are certain ways members are expected to conduct themselves respectfully within the group - please read the Community Rules prior to posting in the forum.