What if I have to empty Miacup when I'm in a public washroom?
This is often a big concern for women who haven't already tried using Miacup. The truth is that you'll probably be surprised at how infrequently you'll need to empty Miacup. Even during your heaviest days, you'll probably only need to empty it a few times. Keep in mind that Miacup is able to hold between a third and a quarter of an entire average monthly flow.
If you do end up needing to change in a public washroom, you can simply wipe the cup clean with a piece of toilet paper. Some women bring a moistened tissue into the stall with them for this purpose. Others prefer to keep some hygiene wipes or even a little bottle of water/cleaning solution in their handbag.
Once you're back home, you can wash Miacup as usual.
Isn't using Miacup messy?
This is another common concern for those thinking about trying Miacup. In fact, most women are quite surprised to discover that once they've become accustomed to using it, it's not nearly as messy as it sounds.
Insertion is fairly straight-forward. You can expect to come into contact with roughly the same amount of blood as you would when inserting a non-applicator tampon.
When removing Miacup, you hold it on the outside (which is usually rather clean) and keep it upright until tipping the contents into the toilet. The cup is rarely full, so spillage is unlikely. You then simply rinse or wipe Miacup before re-inserting.
It looks big. Is it comfortable?
When inserting, Miacup is folded flat and is less than half its width when open. When open, it's not much bigger than a tampon that has absorbed fluid.
Keep in mind that the silicone rubber used to produce Miacup is also exceptionally soft and flexible. When properly inserted, most women are completely unaware of its presence.
Can my young daughter use Miacup? She has just started her first period.
Anatomically, there is no reason that your daughter should be unable to use Miacup. Girls as young as 11 years old have used menstrual cups without problems.
The vagina is made of very flexible tissue and muscle that, even in young girls, is more than capable of accommodating Miacup. Virginity is usually not an obstacle but see the response to the question below for more information.
It should be noted that young girls may need more practice with Miacup initially. They are often less familiar with their own bodies and less capable of relaxing their vaginal muscles than older women. It can be a good idea to practice using the cup during a period, when the vagina is naturally more flexible.
Can virgins use Miacup?
Anatomically, there is no reason that a virgin would be unable to use Miacup. A more complex question is whether using Miacup could cause a "loss" of virginity.
There are widely different historical, religious and cultural views as to exactly how virginity should be defined. Arguably the most accurate way, and the one most often favoured in modern cultures, is simply to say that a person is a virgin if he/she has never engaged in sexual activity.
Obviously, by this definition, neither Miacup nor tampons have anything at all to do with virginity.
There is a common belief (though it is a misconception) that virginity is somehow related to the condition of the hymen. In fact, it has been proven that the hymen is not even a reliable indicator of whether a woman has engaged in sexual intercourse.
Having said that, this will always be a question of personal beliefs. Using menstrual products like Miacup or tampons can sometimes increase the risk of damaging the hymen. If you have strong personal feeling about keeping the hymen intact, you may want to avoid using internal menstrual hygiene products.
Does it leak?
Generally, no. For most women accustomed to using it, Miacup gives more reliable protection than tampons. The most important thing is to make sure that Miacup is inserted correctly. This can sometimes take a little practice to get right. Click here to see our Insertion Guide for more information.
If you are experiencing leaks, see the entry below.
What should I do if it is leaking?
Generally speaking, there are four main reasons why Miacup might leak:
1. The cup has become overly full and is leaking because it cannot contain any more menstrual fluid.
This problem is easy to diagnose and to solve. Simply check the fluid level when you remove your cup. If the level is consitently at or near the top rim, simply try emptying the cup more frequently so that it is never more than about 3/4 full.
2. The cup has become dislodged (or the cup's vacuum seal has been broken) by physical activity or a bowel movement.
This problem is also easy to diagnose because leakage will be preceeded by some kind of physical activity (sport, bending over, etc.) or a bowel movement. Many experienced users are actually able to discern, by feeling, if this happens.
While it is normal for a cup to become dislodged occasionally (even if it is functioning correctly otherwise), frequent dislodging may indicate a fitting problem (see problem 4).
As far as bowl movements are concerned: some women prefer to reseat their cups (or at least check for proper insertion) after defacating, to minimize the chances of leaking.
3. The cup is not popping open correctly upon insertion. This can interfere with the vacuum seal and lead to leaking (usually sporadically). This tends to be the most common problem experienced, especially among new users.
To diagnose this problem, the easiest thing to do is inspect the cup after insertion by feeling around the top rim to see if the cup appears to have popped open fully.
If it hasn't, try rotating the cup in place to see if that helps. Otherwise, you might like to try an an alternative method of folding before insertion (click here for more information). Many women with this problem have found success by switching to a fold that makes popping open easier for their particular bodies.
4. The cup is either too large or too small. An incorrect size can make proper opening impossible or cause slippage and/or an inability to create a vacuum seal. This problem is usually suspected if problems 2 or 3 are occuring frequently and are not responding to the recommended solutions above.
The first thing to check is that you are using the recommended model (click here for details). Assuming you are using the correct model and that you have tried the appropriate solutions above without success:
• If you are using a Model 1 and the cup is failing to pop open correctly: the cup may be too large for you. If you Miacup is under guarantee, you can return it to us for your money back and perhaps try another brand to see if you can find a size/design that is better suited to your particular body.
• If you are using a Model 1 and the cup is popping open correctly: the cup may be too small for you. You may find better results by trying a Miacup Model 2, even if you are petite, are under 30 years of age and have never had children. If your Miacup is under guarantee, you can return it to us for an exchange to a Model 2. Otherwise, you may like to try strengthening your vaginal muscles through the use of Kegel exercises. Done daily for a few months, these should help to improve the hold that your vaginal muscles are able to exert on Miacup.
• If you are using a Model 2 and the cup is failing to pop open correctly: the cup may be too large for you. If your Miacup is under guarantee, you can return it to us for an exchange to a Model 1.
• If you are using a Model 2 and the cup is popping open correctly: the cup may be too small for you. You may like to try strengthening your vaginal muscles through the use of Kegel exercises. Done daily for a few months, these should help to improve the hold that your vaginal muscles are able to exert on Miacup. Otherwise, if your Miacup is under guarantee, you can return it to us for your money back and perhaps try another brand to see if you can find a size/design that is better suited to your particular body.
Finally, keep in mind that you are also bleeding while you insert the cup. It is possible that you have some residual blood in your vagina just after insertion.
Sanitary pads may be used with Miacup as backup on heavy days or when you're still becoming accustomed to insertion.
Can I use Miacup if I have an IUD (intrauterine device)?
Miacup itself won't interfere with your IUD. The risk is that you accidentally dislodge or expel your IUD while removing Miacup. The likelihood of this occurring when using Miacup is similar to the likelihood when using tampons.
You can minimize the risk involved by remembering to place Miacup low down in your vagina and by always removing Miacup carefully: in particular, by making sure to first break the cup's suction seal before attempting to pull it out (see Removal & Reuse instructions for more information).
You may like to speak to your gynaecologist about trimming your IUD's strings. Doing so can help to prevent them from being tugged on. In any case, even when not using Miacup or tampons, it is always a good idea to regularly check for the presence of the IUD's strings to make sure that the IUD is still in place.
In short: Miacup may be used with an IUD, as long as it is always carefully used and as long as you realise that IUDs can very occasionally become dislodged: by the use of Miacup, by the use of tampons and even just on their own. ALWAYS consult your gynaecologist before using Miacup if you have any concerns or questions.
Can I use Miacup if I use a contraceptive vaginal ring (e.g. NuvaRing)?
Generally, contraceptive rings are designed to be used for three weeks at a time only, ideally allowing menstruation to occur during the remaining week. In this ideal situation, using Miacup poses absolutely no problem: Miacup will never need to be inserted at the same time as the contraceptive ring.
Unfortunately, it is also fairly common for menstruation to occur, at least in part, before or after the week during which the ring is to be removed. If this happens, there will be an "overlap" where menstruation will occur while the contraceptive ring is still being used.
The question then becomes: can Miacup be used during an "overlap"? In general, it should not be a problem. There are two main risks involved with using Miacup at the same time as a contraceptive ring:
1. Removing Miacup (or, for that matter, a tampon) can accidentally dislodge or remove the contraceptive ring.
2. If either Miacup or the contraceptive ring is incorrectly inserted, the contraceptive ring can end up inside Miacup, preventing contact between the ring and the vaginal walls. This could potentially make the ring ineffective.
To minimise these risks:
1. Always remove Miacup carefully. After removal and before emptying the contents of Miacup, check that the contraceptive ring is still correctly inserted in the vagina. If the ring has accidentally become dislodged or has been removed, reinsert it as directed by the manufacturer. Always make sure that you insert your contraceptive ring before you insert Miacup (that is, the ring should be above Miacup).
2. Make sure to follow the insertion instructions closely for both Miacup and your contraceptive ring. Always make sure that you insert your contraceptive ring before you insert Miacup (that is, the ring should be above Miacup). It may take some practice to determine the best way, for your body, of inserting the two products together.
When both are used with proper care, we believe that the risks discussed above are not significant. But, as always, consult your gynaecologist before using Miacup if you have any concerns or questions.
Can Miacup be worn during sexual intercourse?
No. Miacup is positioned low in the vagina and would interfere with intercourse. Please also note that Miacup is NOT a contraceptive device and does NOT offer any protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
What if I'm away from home and don't have access to a "mild and perfume-free soap" as recommended for cleaning Miacup?
Strong, scented soaps often leave a harsh residue on Miacup. This residue can disturb the mucous membrane of the vagina and cause irritation.
If you're out somewhere when you need to clean Miacup and are at all in doubt about the available soap, we normally recommend that you just rinse Miacup with water or give it a wipe with some toilet tissue and save the cleaning for when you're back home.
If you're planning an extended trip somewhere, it may be a good idea to bring along some of your own soap to make sure that you'll have access to a gentle cleaner for Miacup.
Is it a problem to use Miacup if I have long fingernails?
While it may take a little effort for you to learn how to use Miacup without scratching yourself, it shouldn't be a problem. Do note, however, that since fingernail beds can often harbour bacteria, it is especially important for women with long nails to wash their hands and nail beds thoroughly before inserting or removing Miacup.
Can I bath/shower with Miacup inserted?
Absolutely. You can choose to wear Miacup or to remove it when taking a bath or shower.