Menstrual cups are finally going mainstream. They're easy to find at any pharmacy and sales for The Diva Cup, the most popular brand, have grown by double digits every year for the past decade.
Most women didn't have the luxury of learning about menstrual cups in sex ed, but it's 2016, so we've got handy GIFs to explain how they work and answer the most common questions. (Is that really going to fit? How often should you take it out? What happens when you go to the bathroom?) And if you're a guy who's still reading, props to you. This is what equality is all about.
Yes, it will fit! Pinch it and fold it like a burrito.
If you're used to tampons, the diameter of a menstrual cup is enough to make you say, "Nope!" But all you've got to do is pinch the cup in the middle and fold the sides together. Ah, that's better!
Then, wiggle it in, push gently, and wait for a pop.
Using clean hands, spread the lips of the vagina and shimmy the cup inside. Once it's secure, push the cup farther in--the same way you would with a tampon. The cup will open up inside, and you can set it and forget it (for up to 12 hours). Side note: You won't have to push that far. Vulvas are much shorter than what's shown in this model.
You may need to readjust after going to the bathroom.
It's totally normal if it takes longer to pee. And after you poop, the cup may pop out a little. If that happens, take clean fingers and push it back into a comfortable position.
To get it out, just push and pull.
Bear down (a.k.a. push like you are about to poop) and the cup should slowly move out of your vagina. Once you see the cup, gently press it down to break the seal and pull it out. Don't worry about making a mess--women typically overestimate their flow, so most times the menstrual cup isn't even close to being full when you remove it. Just make sure you take the cup out over the toilet, so you can tip it right out.
Still have more questions? Check out the video below for the full explanation: