Let me start by saying you need to be patient with yourself the first time you attempt to use a cup. It requires a little bit of practice and may even take you a few cycles to figure out how it works best with your body. For your first cycle, I recommend trying it when you’re at home just in case you experience leaking due to improper insertion, which is common for first-timers. Also, if you start to feel frustrated that you’re having difficulty getting it up there, take a short break, let your body relax and try again.
OK, ready? First, you’re going to want to sanitize it by boiling it in water for 4-5 minutes. After washing your hands, you’ll need to fold the rim of the cup so it’s smaller and can easily be inserted. The two most common folds are the C-fold where you flatten and bend the cup in the middle bringing the ends together to create a C and the punch down that collapses the rim into itself. I personally use the less common 7-fold (flatten and fold the right corner down to create the number 7) because I find it opens much easier once inside my body.
Once you’ve chosen your fold method, get into a comfortable position (sitting, squatting, standing with one leg raised) and gently separate your labia with one hand and insert the menstrual cup with the other. Instead of aiming upward, slide it in towards your tailbone until the entire cup is completely inside. Heads up, you might actually feel it pop open. To make sure it’s fully open and the seal has been created, rotate the cup by lightly pinching the base and turning it 360°. To double-check the seal, run your finger around the outside of the cup and feel for folds. No folds mean you’re good to go for up to 12 hours of leak-free protection.