Menstrual cups have been something of a revelation. They’re way better for the environment than most pads and tampons, most of them allow you to have sex on your period without the mess, and a lot of people with periods find that they’re just not as much as a pain in the ass as other menstrual products. Of course, everyone has different products that work for them, but many people have adopted (and raved about) the cups. Until, of course, they get stuck. It doesn't happen all the time, but it certainly can happen.

What do you do when your menstrual cup gets stuck? Well, it can be a panic-inducing moment, but it’s best to stay calm. 

Getting a menstrual cup stuck is totally normal — and the occasional sticky situation certainly isn’t a reason to rule these period products out altogether. If you can learn to stay calm and breathe through it, you’ll find that getting them stuck actually isn’t a big deal. Most people hardly ever have the issue once they get used to how the cup works. Remember how scary tampons could be and how quickly you get used to those? There can be a steep learning curve when it comes to sticking things into yourself.

So, if you realize your menstrual cup is stuck, there’s no need to worry — here are a few steps that you can take to get it out. In most cases, you’ll have it sorted in no time — just remember to breathe. 


Relax and take a moment 

Easier said than done, I know — but it’s so important to relax, for a number of reasons. Firstly, there's genuinely is no reason to panic. It can feel like your menstrual cup is lost and roaming around your body — and nobody wants to imagine a Free Willy moment inside their vag — but there is nowhere it can go. It’s not anything sinister, it’s not going to hurt you — it’s completely normal for it to get stuck once in a while. So just try to relax. It will also help get the cup out — because clamming up and tightening all of your muscles isn’t going to get you anywhere. 

Read the directions 

After you have taken a breath, read the directions of your specific menstrual cup. Sure, there are some general rules that we’ll get into, but every cup is slightly different. Your first step should be to see if you can find anything on the packaging or the product's website, in case there are steps you need to take that are specific to that product. 

Assume the position  

As I said, there’s no way that the cup is floating inside of you — you just need to it close enough to your vaginal opening that you can access it. Squatting is normally the best position for this, because it will shorten the length of your vaginal canal. If that’s really uncomfortable, you can try laying on your bag with your legs hiked in the air, which also shortens it.


Push 

Once you get into position, it’s time to put those muscles to work. Some sites suggest that you bear down, to help move the cup along, while others suggest that you use small pushes to get it down and allow you to get a better grip on the end. Experiment with both and see what works for you — but just make sure you keep breathing! 

Do not use tools 

OK, so it may be tempting to stick something up there and help to dislodge the cup — but please, please, please do not do that. The only things that should be going up there (at the moment) are clean fingers, so resist the urge to rummage or shove anything inside of you. If you feel like you’re panicking and aren’t helping yourself, then just take a second to help yourself calm down. 

Break the seal 

The key to getting a menstrual cup out is to break the seal. The way that menstrual cups work so effectively is that the form a suction-like seal that lets them collect your menstrual blood without it leaking — which is great, until you want to take it out. 

You might find that, after following the steps above, you've managed to move the cup down so you can get a firm grip on the stem and slowly pulled it out, breaking the seal in the process. If that doesn’t work and you can feel the cup, you can try to gently press in the rim of the cup and break the seal that way, which can make it easier to get it out. 


Go to a doctor if you're really worried 

Finally, if you really can’t get it out and you want some peace of mind, you may just want to go and visit a doctor. You would not be the first person to visit a doctor for help with a menstrual cup and you won’t be the last — it is totally common. If you just can't relax enough to get it done yourself and you want the whole stressful situation behind you, sometimes it helps to deal with a professional. 

It’s completely understandable that you might have a moment of panic when you realize that a cup seems to be lost somewhere inside of your vagina — but it’s not really lost at all, it’s just slightly out of reach. Stay calm, take a breath, and you should have it out of there in no time. 

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