- How do menstrual cups work? How does my Dutchess Cup work?
- How do I to insert my Dutchess Menstrual Cup
- Is my cup positioned correctly?
- Help! I cannot insert my cup...
- How long can I wear my cup for?
- Leaks and spotting
- Is the cup too far up or down? / Cup moves up / Falls down
- How to remove your menstrual cup?
- How often do you have to empty your menstrual cup?
- Trimming the stem
- Which cup size to choose?
- How to measure your cervix height?
- How to fold a menstrual cup? What are the main folding methods?
- Using menstrual cups in sports and activities
- Yoga and inversions
- Is it safe to sleep with a menstrual cup? / Overnight Use
- Can you use a menstrual cup if you have not become sexually active yet? / Menstrual cups for teens
- Where is Dutchess Cup made?
- Is the Dutchess menstrual cup safe?
- Quality and standards
- How to clean your menstrual cup & care instructions
- Using lubricants
- Can you use a menstrual cup if you have an IUD?
- Retroverted uterus
- Are there any menstrual cup dangers? How about Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)?
- Candida and yeast infections
- Can menstrual cups help when a tampon hurts?
- What is Dutchess made of?
How menstrual cups work / How does my Dutchess Cup work?
Inserted like a tampon, Dutchess sits comfortably inside of your vagina. When inserted correctly, your Dutchess Cup seals gently to your vaginal walls and moves with you throughout the day, during physical activities, and overnight. The body adjusts to your cup’s presence immediately and there is no sensation from either the cup or the stem.
How do I insert my Dutchess Menstrual Cup?
When inserting Dutchess you will need to first fold your cup. There are three main folds: the 7 Fold, Punch-Down, and the C-fold.
Practice using all three folds to find which one works best for you, as each fold guides and positions your cup differently. When inserting your cup, you need to hold your cup folded until it is inside of your vagina – this can take some practice
Is my cup positioned correctly?
When inserted correctly, your Dutchess Menstrual Cup offers a sensation and leak free experience. If you are experiencing leaking or a sensation when your cup is inserted, adjusting your insertion method and placement can help to ensure your cup is inserted in a way that fits your body.
Help! I cannot insert my cup...
Learning how to effortlessly insert and remove your cup will take some practice and time.
If you cannot insert your cup on your initial try, first and foremost – relax! It is essential to relax your pelvic muscles for both successful insertion and removal.
Consider using a different folding method, or changing the position in which you are inserting your cup. There are three main folding methods, as outlined in the Dutchess instructional manual and on our Folding Techniques page.
If this is your first time using a cup, we suggest trying out several different folds to see which one suits you best. Most people insert and remove their cups while sitting on the toilet, while some stand with knees slightly bent or with one foot on the toilet or bathtub for insertion.
Squatting is not recommended for insertion but is helpful for removal, as this can help your body naturally bear down to guide your cup closer to the opening of the vagina.
How long can I wear my cup for?
You can wear your Dutchess Cup for up to 12 consecutive hours. This means that you need to empty your cup at least twice per day.
Everyone’s cycle is different, so with time and practice you will establish how often you need to empty your cup. During your heavier days, or if you generally have a heavy flow, you will need to empty your cup more often during the day. Try to never let your cup overflow while wearing it.
Leaking associated with menstrual cups are most commonly attributed to your cup being positioned incorrectly or not creating a secure suction seal.
Adjusting your insertion method using a different fold or placement height can improve your experience and ensure that your cup is inserted correctly and sealing completely.
Is the cup too far up or down? / Cup moves up / Falls down
If your cup is falling out or moving up, it means that it has not created a seal to your vaginal walls and it is just resting in your vagina.
How high or low your cup is positioned depends on the location of your cervix during menstruation – it can go high or descend low in your vagina. We are all different and the Dutchess Cup will be positioned differently for each of us.
For most users, Dutchess will position itself at the base of the vagina, just above the pelvic bone. If your cup is not sealing, you can re-insert it using a different fold.
How to remove your menstrual cup?
In order to remove your cup, it is essential to release the suction seal your cup has created and then remove your cup slowly. Never pull your cup out by the stem alone – you can gently pull the stem until you reach the base of your cup, then squeeze the base to release the suction and guide your cup outside of your body.
Your Dutchess Cup has three grip rings at the base of your cup to ensure that even when your hands are wet, you can grip your cup to release the suction and remove it.
If you cannot remove your cup easily, most importantly, do not panic! Your cup cannot get lost inside of your body!
Sit on the toilet and relax your pelvic muscles to let your cup move lower. You can also squat or bear down your weight as if you are having a bowel movement in order for your cup to naturally move down.
Keep in mind that if positioned correctly, your cup has created a suction seal inside of your vagina – please follow the above steps to remove your cup.
How often do you have to empty your menstrual cup?
You can wear your Dutchess Cup for up to 12 consecutive hours. This means that you need to empty your cup at least twice per day.
Everyone’s cycle is different, so with time and practice you will establish how often you need to empty your cup. During your heavier days, or if you generally have a heavy flow, you will need to empty your cup more often during the day. Do not let your cup overflow while wearing it.
Trimming your cup's stem is not required and is done by personal preference. If your cup sits comfortably in your vagina and the stem does not stick out or cause any sensation, then you do not need to trim it. Once you are comfortable with inserting and removing your cup correctly, if the stem causes sensation or sticks out of your vagina, you may consider trimming your stem. Please remember never to attempt trimming your cup’s stem while it is still inside of you; remove your cup completely and trim the stem accordingly on a steady surface.
If you are unsure of which size to select or if you think you chose the wrong size, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most people can wear either size Dutchess Cup but choose one over the other primarily based on flow amount, cervix height during menstruation and general physique.
Dutchess Small (B) is ideal for users with a normal flow.
Dutchess Large (A) is suited for users with a heavy flow.
You can visit our Sizing Guide page for further guidelines.
How to measure your cervix height?
When measuring your cervix, always do so with clean hands. It is not uncommon for your cervix to move during your cycle, and it is most commonly at its lowest point during your heavy day(s).
Gently insert your longest finger and feel along the walls of your vagina. Your cervix will feel like a small nub with a little dent in the middle of it and may be soft or firm depending on where you are in your cycle.
Your cervix height is:
- Low: When you feel your cervix with your finger inserted less than half way or below the middle knuckle.
- Medium: When you feel your cervix with your finger inserted to the middle knuckle.
- High: When you feel your cervix with your finger inserted higher than the middle knuckle or cannot reach your cervix.
How to fold a menstrual cup? What are the main folding methods?
When inserting Dutchess you will need to first fold your cup. There are three main folds: 7 fold, punch-down fold, and the C-fold. Practice using all three folds to find which one works best for you, as each fold guides and positions your cup differently. When inserting your cup, you need to hold your cup folded until it is inside of your vagina – this can take some practice. You can reference all Dutchess folds in our Folding Methods section.
Using menstrual cups in sports and activities
Dutchess was designed with active people in mind. While wearing your Dutchess Cup, you can dance, swim, run, practice yoga and engage in any other activities you would normally do. Your cup will create a secure suction seal providing a leak free experience, so you have the freedom to live your life participating in all of your favorite activities without worrying about your period.
While wearing your Dutchess Cup, you can dance, swim, run, do yoga, and engage in any other activities you would normally do. However, some users prefer not to invert their bodies while they are menstruating. Ultimately, it comes down to a personal choice. The Yoga Journal published an informative article on the subject that you may find useful: Menstruation+Inversions
Is it safe to sleep with a menstrual cup? / Overnight Use
Dutchess is safe to use overnight. You can wear your Dutchess for up to 12 consecutive hours including overnight. Over time, you will learn what the best emptying schedule is for you. Never let your cup overflow while wearing it.
Depending on your flow, during your heavier days you might need to change more often. But most Dutchess users appreciate that they get a full night's sleep with their cup instead of waking up multiple times to change tampons or pads.
With proper cleaning and care, your menstrual cup should not develop an odor, unlike tampons and pads.
When cleaning your cup, it is best to use an unscented, water-based, non antibacterial, natural if possible, mild soap from a brand of your choice and warm water.
Oils, chemicals and fragrances can cling to your cup’s silicone and cause premature wear and odor development, as well as irritation when your cup is in use.
Can you use a menstrual cup if you have not become sexually active yet? / Menstrual cups for teens
Dutchess Small is a perfect choice for girls who are just beginning to menstruate, as long as they feel confident in the insertion and removal process, and feel comfortable getting to know their bodies better.
Dutchess is successfully used by people who have not engaged in penetrative sex – if you have strong personal or religious feelings about keeping your hymen intact, it is best not to use a menstrual cup. But do keep in mind though that in modern times, girls can break their hymen by riding a bike, doing yoga or participating in strenuous activities.
Our silicone and dyes, cup production, printing and assembly are all based in China.
Is the Dutchess menstrual cup safe?
Dutchess is biocompatible with the body. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has deemed menstrual cups safe for human use since August 1st, 2014. Dutchess is one of the few cups on the market that is officially registered with the FDA. The silicone used in making each Dutchess Cup does not leach any chemicals or toxins and is BPA and latex-free.
Dutchess Cup is FDA Registered and is made of medical grade silicone.
Dutchess’s silicone and dyes, cup production, printing and assembly are all based in China.
How to clean your menstrual cup & Care instructions
You can clean your Dutchess Cup using any mild, unscented, non antibacterial, water-based, natural if possible soap. Harsh chemicals can potentially compromise your cup’s composition and cause irritation when inserted. Antibacterial hand soaps (such as those in public restrooms ) and heavy-duty facial cleansers should never be used to clean your cup.
Many people choose to boil their cups before or after their cycles. You can immerse your Dutchess Cup in boiling water for 5-7 minutes at a time to sterilize it – try to keep your cup from touching the sides or bottom of the pot by using a pair of tongs to keep it steady and remove it from the boiling water. Let your Dutchess Cup cool down completely before using it.
It is best not to use lubricants as over time they can compromise the surface of your Dutchess Cup. You can get your cup wet to facilitate its insertion.
Can you use a menstrual cup if you have an IUD?
The Dutchess Cup is successfully used by many users who also use an IUD. We recommend that you consult your physician prior to using your Dutchess with an IUD - your physician can help to ensure that there is enough room between the two devices and trim your IUD’s strings to avoid the two devices from coming into contact.
If you choose to use Dutchess with an IUD please keep the following in mind:
Leave enough room between your Dutchess Cup and cervix. If your cervix sits too low, there may not be enough room for your Dutchess Cup to safely reside in your vagina.
You may need to insert your cup lower in your vagina to accommodate the strings of your IUD and avoid dislodging your IUD.
It is essential to release your cup’s suction seal before attempting to remove your Dutchess Cup.
Users with retroverted uterus have successfully used Dutchess. However, we are all different and what may work for one may not work for another. If you are unsure about using Dutchess with a retroverted uterus, please contact our Support team.
Are there any menstrual cup dangers? How about Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)?
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a serious and potentially fatal disease caused by toxin-producing strains of the staphylococcus aureus bacterium. TSS symptoms include, but are not limited to, sudden high fever, diarrhea, vomiting, sunburn-like rash, fainting or blacking out. If you experience any of the above symptoms during or shortly after your period, seek medical assistance immediately.
Menstrual cups are not associated with the development of yeast infections.
On the contrary, many users report that they generally experience fewer yeast infections after switching to menstrual cups. It is important to note that yeast infections can develop for a number of reasons including but not limited to diet and lifestyle changes, stress, antibiotic use, etc. Also feminine wipes can cause yeast issues as they can affect your pH level.
Can menstrual cups help when a tampon hurts?
For many tampon users one of the biggest issues is the dryness caused by tampons – when having a sensitive skin even the "natural" tampons and pads can cause irritation and itchiness.
If tampons cause your vagina to dry out and the tampon hurts going in and out when you insert and remove it, a menstrual cup can be the solution as cups don't soak up all the moisture in the vagina.
It's good to also realize that some of the commercial tampons may not be FDA regulated and tampon/pad products could actually contain harmful chemicals or linings that may not be good for prolonged long term use.
What is Dutchess made of?
Each Dutchess Cup is made from 100% premium medical-grade silicone and dyes – the same silicone that the medical industry uses for human implantation and not the kind used in breast implants. All silicone and dyes used in the making of Dutchess are tested in the USA.