One of the things that stop many people from making the switch to a menstrual cup is the fear that it will get stuck inside their body and result in a painful removal experience or even a trip to the emergency department. In reality, the chances of this occurring are very slim (and no, a menstrual cup won’t become stuck or lost forever in your body). But if you do find that your menstrual cup is stuck, chances are you'll be fully capable of removing it yourself at home. Here’s what to do if your menstrual cup is stuck.
The most important thing to remember if you have a dreaded “where is my cup?!” situation? Don’t panic! Remind yourself that your cup cannot get lost inside you, and try to relax your muscles. Being tense or in panic mode will only cause you to tense your muscles and pull the cup further inside your body, making it harder to remove. If you feel tense, take a breather and come back to it in 15 minutes.
If your cup has disappeared inside your body and you can’t reach it, chances are you have a high cervix. This basically means that you have more space between your vaginal opening and your cervix (or a longer vaginal canal), so your cup has moved up higher and out of reach. This is why you should always measure your cervix before choosing a menstrual cup!
If you consistently have issues reaching your cup, it’s worth considering investing in a longer menstrual cup like the Diva Cup or JuJu Model 3 for a high cervix. A longer cup will be much easier to reach and remove.
There are some simple ways to bring your cup down within reach. You can try squatting down, as this shortens your vaginal canal and will bring your cup closer to the vaginal opening. Or if this is not enough, you can try bearing down gently with your muscles - yep, just as you would when giving birth, or when having a bowel movement!
The beauty of menstrual cups is that they create a seal within the vagina to prevent leaks. But sometimes, the suction that comes with this seal can work against you and make your cup tricky to remove!
It’s important to remember that you should always break the seal of your menstrual cup before attempting to pull it out. We also don’t recommend pulling on the stem of your cup, especially without breaking the seal - this can damage your cup, and will probably be quite painful too.
Instead, reach inside the vagina with your thumb and index finger and pinch the base of your cup to break the seal. If you can reach with two fingers, you can also slide one finger alongside the cup and press in close to the rim to break the seal. Once the seal is broken, use your fingers to wiggle the cup down lower while bearing down with your muscles.
First thing in the morning, it’s common for your cup to sit higher, so wait 15-30 minutes after getting out of bed before attempting to remove your cup. This will give gravity time to do its thing and bring your cup down within reach!
Getting familiar with your anatomy and how it behaves with a cup will help a lot when it comes to removal - is your cervix high, or does your cup tend to sit at a strange angle that makes it difficult to reach? This is all part of the cup learning curve. Once you understand how cups work in your body, the insertion and removal process will become much easier. And the only way to get there is through a little experimentation.
Remember, it is extremely unlikely that your cup will get stuck - just relax, give it time and don’t be afraid to reach in for it. It can be nerve-wracking to use a cup for the first time, but just know that your cup cannot get lost in your body and the only way out is the way it went in! And if you do have to go to the doctor or the hospital to have your cup removed, it's absolutely not anything to be embarrassed about.