What is a menstrual cup?
Menstrual cups are tiny, bell-shaped, flexible cups that are inserted into the vaginal canal to collect rather than absorb menstrual flow, and they differ from tampons in the sense that they are reusable and work by collecting the blood instead of soaking it up.
Usually, menstrual cups come in different sizes and you need to pick out the one according to your needs. The biggest advantage of a cup is that it can be used for up to 12 hours and you can sleep, travel or perform strenuous activities while wearing a cup, without the uncomfortable feeling of blood flowing out or the fear of leaks.
But, many women are apprehensive of insertion, when it comes to a fairly larger menstrual product like the period cup. There is some fear of pain, especially among women who are yet to become sexually active. If you’re someone who is wondering how to make insertion easier, you may have thought of using a lubricant with your cup.
So, can you use lube to insert your cup?
When it comes to using lubricant with your menstrual cup, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there. When using a cup, oil-based lubes should be avoided at all costs. Although coconut oil and petroleum jelly have been frequently used as lubricants for menstrual cups, most menstrual cup manufacturers advise against using any oil on your cup since it may shorten its lifespan. You can, however, use some water-based lubricants while inserting your menstrual cup.
How do lubricants work?
A lubricant adds moisture to intimate tissues, resulting in a smooth natural glide and eliminating the chance of harsh friction or tearing. Lubricants can assist to alleviate the anxiety of awkward intercourse while also promoting relaxation and enjoyment. They can also make the process of inserting a menstrual cup much easier.
What kind of lubricants should you choose for your cup?
A water-based lubricant is an ideal lubricant to use with a menstruation cup. Oil-based and silicone lubricants will harm your menstrual cup, so it is best to avoid them at all costs. When buying a lubricant to use with a menstrual cup, look for ones that are free from substances like parabens, glycerin, and propylene glycol, since they can cause skin irritation, bacterial infections, and even hinder moisture production.
It's preferable to use a lubricant that's natural, pH-balanced, and hypoallergenic. It's also crucial to use a product that matches the right vaginal pH because the acidic pH helps to manage how much healthy bacteria grows in the vagina, which in turn aids in avoiding infections and discomfort.
How to apply lube?
If you’re looking for a comfortable menstrual cup, go for the Carmesi Menstrual Cup, which is soft and easy to use. It’s not difficult to use lube with your menstrual cup when you go as follows:
- Clean the cup - The first step before inserting a menstrual cup is always to clean it. If it’s at the beginning of your cycle, then you should sterilize it. If it’s in the middle of your cycle, you should wash your cup with a dedicated cup wash like the Carmesi Menstrual Cup Wash, which delicately cleans your cup without harming it or disrupting your vaginal pH.
- Pour the lubricant on your hand - Sometimes, it is recommended to pour the lube directly onto your cup or your vulva, but this can often result in a lot of product wasted and uneven distribution. The best method is to pour a little bit of lube on your palm and then go on to use it.
- Slather the cup with a little lube - After you have poured the lube into your hand, slather it on your cup, focusing on the rim for easy insertion. You can also put a little lube on your vagina to make insertion even smoother.
- Fold your menstrual cup - As you may already be aware, you cannot insert a menstrual cup without folding it first. There are many folds to experiment with and once you have found one that works for you, fold it accordingly.
- Insert it - The final step is to insert the folded cup into your vagina. With the lube on, the process should become smoother, but you do not technically need lube in order to be able to insert it.
Do you need lube while removing the cup?
Removing a cup requires you to break the seal from within and then pull it out. It is not a painful process unless you are tugging at the cup without properly breaking the suction by pinching its base. You don’t require any lube during the removal process and the inside of your vagina is already moist with your menstrual fluids and, as such, does not generate too much friction.
Besides, lube application is limited to the outside of your vulva, and inserting your fingers inside does not require lube. If you’re still worried about hurting yourself, you can try applying a little bit of lube on your fingers before inserting them into your vagina in preparation for cup removal.