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Why does my menstrual cup hurt

Periods 101
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Why does my menstrual cup hurt

We all know that feeling. You're mid-cycle, and just when things are starting to get really good, your menstrual cup decides to give you a good old-fashioned pain in the bottom.

Most people experience pain with menstrual cups because of the size and/or shape they have chosen. If a menstrual cup is too big, you may find that it doesn't fully open inside of you, which can cause discomfort. Likewise, if a cup is too small, you may find that it opens up too easily. This can also cause discomfort as well and make removal difficult. The most important thing about wearing a menstrual cup is that you need to feel comfortable during your period!

So why does your menstrual cup hurt, and what can you do about it? Here are some commonly asked questions about menstrual cups and what you can do to help menstrual cup pain.


I can’t find a size or shape that works for me. What size should I be?

A cup that is too large or long for your body could usually cause pain and discomfort (including cramps) if it is sitting too high up in the vagina or pressuring too hard on the vaginal walls or cervix.

What you can do: Measuring your cervix is a good way to help you choose the right size menstrual cup for your body. If you've never measured your cervix before, we recommend doing it in a shower or bath so that you're clean and relaxed. Put your index finger in your vagina and move it upwards towards your cervix, which should feel like the tip of your nose. 

  • A low cervix will measure up to the first finger joint. 
  • A medium cervix will measure up to the middle joint, roughly halfway up your finger.
  • A high cervix will allow you to insert your finger all the way in before you reach your cervix. 

If you have been able to achieve this successfully, congratulations on finding out your cervix size! Read more here on geting up close and personal with your cervix.


I can see and feel the stem of the menstrual cup sticking out from my vagina… Is this normal?

It’s possible that you may experience irritation if you have a shorter vaginal canal or your cervix is too low, resulting in the bottom of your cup sticking outside of your vagina - ouch! This can feel really uncomfortable and can also prevent you from enjoying daily activities. 

How to fix this: Firstly, you need to make sure the menstrual cup size you are using is correct for your body and right for the stage you are at in your life. We believe no one-size-fits-all menstrual cup exists, which is why we offer menstrual cups in 3 different sizes to choose from.

  • Teen – Perfect for those under 18 or in their early 20’s with strong pelvic floor muscles.
  • Size A – Perfect if you are aged 18 to 30 and have not given birth vaginally.
  • Size B – Perfect if you have given birth vaginally or are over 30 years old.

Read our blog about where the stem of your menstrual cup should be.


Menstrual cups hurt when inserting! What’s wrong with me?

One possibility is that the cup is inserted too high up in the vaginal canal. If this is the case, simply remove the cup and reinsert it lower down. Another possibility is that the cup is not inserted far enough into the vaginal canal. In this case, you can try wiggling the cup to help it move further up.

Try experimenting: The best advice we can give is to experiment with your menstrual cup. Try it on when you are not menstruating so you can have a go inserting the period cup without having to worry about making a bloody mess. There are a few ways to insert a period cup, but you need to find one that works for you and your vagina. Remember, happy vagina = happy you. 

nudie period pants

Removing the menstrual cup is too painful

As you probably already know, most menstrual cups come with a long stem at the base, but this should not be used to remove the cup. The mere act of tugging the stem to remove your menstrual cup may cause pain or discomfort because of the fact that it has created a "suction" in your vaginal canal.

What you need to do: In the same way as inserting a menstrual cup, there is a technique for removing a menstrual cup as well. And it’s quite simple. You need to ensure you pinch the base of the period cup enough to pull the rim away from the vaginal wall, thus allowing you to break the seal, and then remove the period cup. Voila. You’re done.


Why does my menstrual cup still hurt after wearing it?

Overly firm menstrual cups are the most common cause of menstrual cup pain during wear. As a result, other parts and organs of your body feel the force exerted by the cup. While not everyone's anatomy will work well with firm cups, many of us find that softer menstrual cups are better suited to our needs. 

Switch to a softer period cup: If you feel like your tummy cramps are getting worse, or you constantly feel the urge to urinate, then it could be a sign that you need a softer cup like the Mooncup Beginner. We’ve created super soft yet robust cups, ensuring comfort and leak-free protection. The large cup is slightly stiffer, allowing for easy release after insertion (ideal for people with weak pelvic floor muscles post-pregnancy).


I’ve tried multiple period cups but still experience discomfort.

It's important to try a variety of brands, sizes and shapes to see what works best for you. Ideally, your cup should be easy to insert, and you should not have to "push" or "pull" to get it in or out of you. If you're still experiencing pain, it could be due to a medical condition such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). If you think this might be the case, it's best to talk to your doctor. 

Alternatively, a simple option is to stick to tampons, pads or reusable period pants. Menstrual cups are not for everyone, and that’s okay. Listening to your body and doing what feels right and comfortable whilst on your period is what matters the most.

So, there you have it! A few possible explanations for why your menstrual cup might be causing you pain and what you can do about it. If you have another question, please drop us a message at

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