How to remove a menstrual cup | Tips & Tricks

Doctor recommended | | Lane Baumeister
3 min read

If you’re already a menstrual cup user, then we don’t have to tell you why switching to a cup will change your life. Cute, compact and eco- friendly, the humble cup is revolutionizing menstrual management. It takes a bit of time to figure out the best way to use the cup for your body, so don’t stress if you’re still getting to grips with removing it. Find out exactly what to do if you have trouble removing your cup, as well as how to correctly use your cup in the future.

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Is it easy for you to remove and empty your cup in public toilets or outdoors?

“My menstrual cup is stuck!”

It might seem that way, but don’t worry. The most important thing is breaking the seal. There are 2 things you can do if you are having trouble removing your cup:

  • Squeeze the base

Your cup might have moved up too high for you to get a good grip on. If this happens, make sure to use your pelvic floor muscles to push down, until you can get a good grip on the base of the cup. Once you can feel it, pinch the bottom of the cup until you can feel the seal break and air enter the cup.

  • Press the rim

If you find that squeezing the base doesn’t work then it’s time to try pressing the rim. Relax your pelvic floor muscles and press in firmly on the side of rim of the cup to allow more air to enter. This will allow you to remove your cup with ease.

Easy Squeezy

To get the most of out of your menstrual cup, here are a couple of things you can do to make removal easier next time around:

  • Clean the air holes

You might not have noticed this before, but most menstrual cups have tiny air holes (not all cups need them though – it depends on the design). These holes are designed to help equalize the pressure inside the cup and thus avoid leaks. It is really important to make sure these are cleaned correctly. If the holes become blocked, it can be much more difficult to allow air to enter the cup and break the seal. Find out exactly how to clean your menstrual cup.

  • Insert correctly

If you’re anything like us then sometimes inserting your cup might feel alike you’re smooshing it in anywhere it will go. Stop for a second though (mid-smoosh, if you have to) and make sure that your cup has enough air above it to open properly. This is vital for you to be able to wear your cup comfortably, and also to break the seal with ease during removal.

Practice Makes Perfect

Learning how to use your menstrual cup might take a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve got it down, you’ll never look back. Follow this simple guide if you want to take things back to basics.

In the unlikely event that you do have trouble removing your cup, don’t worry! It is physically impossible to lose anything in the finite space that is your vagina. Your cup will come out, so just try to relax and follow this guide. Just remember what goes “cup” must come down 😉

27 thoughts on “How to remove a menstrual cup | Tips & Tricks

  • Anonymous says:

    If I could squeeze base of the cup, I wouldn’t have a problem getting it out. My problem was that i couldn’t reach the stem. It went too high up. Now I’m terrified to use it again.

    • INTIMINA says:

      Hi! Which cup were you using? Our cups come in different lengths, so a longer one might work better for you.

      • Leanne Mckirdy says:

        This is my problem! I can’t reach mine to get it out! Now I’m panicking and feel really ill! I think I might have to go to hospital to get it out because I just can’t reach it!

        • INTIMINA says:

          Hi Leanne – I’m so sorry you’re having difficulty right now! There is nothing more stressful than not being able to take out your cup, and unfortunately, stress doesn’t make the task any easier. Going to the doctor is always an option, but first we generally recommend switching up the position, like standing with one foot on the counter or tub, to see if that helps you gain access. This video also has some different techniques that might help!

  • Denise says:

    Hi my issue is I can’t even feel the cup at all to get a grip on it. It seems to have gone way up. What should I do? Will it eventually come out or should I go to the doctor? It’s been well over 10 hours by now please let me know ASAP as I’m kind of freaking out.

    • INTIMINA says:

      Hi Denise!

      Totally understand your panic (have been there too!) The most important thing to do right now is relax – try deep, yoga-like breaths. Then, squat and try to push down with your pelvic muscles. (It will feel like you’re pushing with your abs.) Insert your fingers as deeply as you can, and try pushing the side of the cup against the wall of your vagina to break the seal if you can’t get a grip on your cup. This should help – but there is a chance you might still need to call your doctor to have a cup removed. This can be stressful (not great when you’re trying to relax to remove a cup) but trust us when we say this is not nearly the most embarrassing thing people have ever seen the doctor for!

      • Janae says:

        I can’t get my central cup out and now it stings when I pee. Its been in for about 30 hours and don’t know what to do to get that sucker out

        • INTIMINA says:

          Hi Janae! I don’t know if you’re still experiencing a stuck cup – it can be very stressful! The worst part is, the more stressed out you get, the harder it is to relax and get it out. What we recommend if taking some very deep breaths, and possibly using a water-based feminine moisturizer to make the removal easier. If you’re feeling pain with urination, you may have accidentally impacted your urethra with your hands trying to remove. If stuck up or pain persists, definitely get in to see your GP!

  • Vangie says:

    Heya my issue is I’m having trouble breaking the seal. I try to go further in with my finger but, it feels like it’s really far up. Also, I’ve tried using my muscles as I wiggle the stem but, it slips from my fingers. I can tell I’m almost there but, then my fingers slip :/

    • INTIMINA says:

      Hi Vangie! When it comes to breaking the seal, you can try to squish the sides of the cup (at different places) to try and break the seal enough to wiggle it downward. In terms of your fingers slipping on the stem, if it’s comfortable you can try using toilet paper to dry the stem so your fingers don’t slip so much. Hope these tips work!

  • Madeline says:

    Cup is great. Never leaks on the outside. Yet sometimes the cup hurts to remove. I have tried twisting and turning and also to fold down the top a bit. Inserting is never a problem — it just hurts to take it out sometimes. I am very small and have never had children. I remove when sitting comfortably so I am relaxed. Could it be that the cup is so dry on the outside causes pain? Any suggestions and tips?

    • INTIMINA says:

      Hi Madeline! If you’re experiencing some discomfort removing, you may want to try a water-based product (we make this one which works great!) to help lubricate the cup for easier removal.

  • Ashley says:

    I’m finding the cup painful to wear. It feels as though I can’t get it in far enough no matter what I do, but it did seal and collect properly without leaking. How can I tell if it is in far enough? And if it isn’t in far enough, how do I get it further up? The stem was sticking out of me just a little which is what hurts but I don’t want to trim it prematurely and ruin the cup. I have gotten them lost inside me in the past which is why I chose this cup with a longer stem than the diva cup, but now I don’t know what to do because it seems like it just isn’t sitting high enough to be comfortable.

    • INTIMINA says:

      Hi Ashley! I’m sorry you’re finding your cup uncomfortable! Can I ask which cup you’ve been trying? You may want to try a shorter cup that still has a longer stem to avoid that accidentally ‘lost’ stress. This guide can show you come of our shorter cups like Lily Cup Compact or One cup!

  • Olivia Fei says:

    Hi! I just bought the cup as my third cup. All of my previous cups are shorter and firmer. I had an extremely high cervix(I can’t reach it even with my middle finger all inserted) and I thought this will be the perfect cup. It arrived at the end of my cycle so I had only used it twice. But here are some issues that I encountered: 1. I can feel it suppressing my bladder and it is odd since this is a soft cup. 2. Because I have a very high cervix, this cup is still not tall enough for me, and the design kind of makes it even more difficult to remove compared to shorter cups. Normally with other cups, I can use my muscle to push it down, then I squiz the bottom to release the vacuum and then rock the cup left and right while I pull it out. I had never encountered any issue doing that with other cups. For this lily cup though, since its bottom is dense, I can’t really squiz the very bottom, which is the part that I can reach. I had to try to stick a finger up there and attempt to break the seal while not being confident about whether I had break the seal or not, then try to pull the stem. I don’t understand the design of a dense bottom and it is rather inconvenient for me. My vaginal muscle also kinda hurt after I pull the stem to remove the cup. I will give it another try for my next cycle and I really wanted this cup to work for me since this is the longest cup on the market. Any suggestion is appreciated, thank you!

    • INTIMINA says:

      Hi Olivia! I’m sorry to hear you’ve having trouble, but hopefully I can help. I’m wondering if the soreness occurred after trying for a while to remove the cup (pulling at the stem being the last thing you did). I’m thinking maybe if you begin the removal process with that ‘side to side wiggle-pull’ of the stem, then you might be able to gently pull it lower a bit more comfortably? Additionally, I would also suggest trying a different position (sitting if you normally stand with a leg up, or vice versa) to see if that makes a difference. Let me know if that works better for you, or if you’re continuing to experience discomfort!

  • Alyssa says:

    I’m having a hard time finding the stem, when I do find the stem wiggling it doesn’t do anything. I can’t get it out, I can’t get my finger very high to break the seal. I feel like getting a menstrual cup is a huge mistake

    • INTIMINA says:

      Hi Alyssa – can I first say that I’m so sorry you’ve frustrated with your cup so far? It can be tough to get the hang of but I hope I can help today. So when it comes to breaking the seal/moving the cup downwards, you may be able to have more luck by grasping the cup above the stem, to wherever you can squeeze the sides. Squeezing there (or in a few places) can interrupt the seal enough for you to move it down a little bit better. This might be harder with a more solid cup like Lily Cup Classic (as opposed to a collapsing cup) but give it a try and let me know if you’re still experiencing issues!

  • Priya says:

    I have brought a menstural cup recently but i m so soooooooo damn scared to use it …i have read a lot about it so i know that it wont get stuck or lost but as the above-mentioned comments read?….i feel more scared and have doubts…like;what if I want to go to school and I am feeling like i m gonna have my periods today! Can i still wear it and go? Because what if I haven’t got periods!? It would be 10000times harder to take off nuh?what if i am not able to insert my fingers inside because if i try that I feel very painful down there ☹️ what if it’s a bad idea and it isn’t meant fr me?

    • INTIMINA says:

      Hi Priya!

      I understand your anxiety – it’s normal! But I think I can answer your questions. Firstly, we do not recommend inserting your cup until you have definitely started your period. Secondly, if you’re new to cups, I would recommend doing a few ‘low stress’ trial runs on days where you don’t have school. That way, if you need a little extra practice creating a seal or removing your cup, you can deal with this learning curve from the comfort of your own home. I hope that helps!

      • Sarah says:

        On the FAQ it says that you can use before a period. Can you clarify.

        • INTIMINA says:

          Hi Sarah! You can technically insert the cup before your period starts if you’re expecting it to start soon. However we don’t recommend wearing it for several days in a row without menstruating/removing it. Easier to wear a liner if you’re expecting to start soon and then put your cup in once you know for sure it has started. Hope that helps!

  • Alice says:

    Hi there, i have a high cervix – cant even reach it with my middle finger, and with other cups i had a difficulties removing since they go all the way up, so i have to push them down with my muscles and then remove normally. so i bought lily cup size A. and out of 5 times used i had 2 times this not-normal suction when internal rim of lily cup sucked up my cervix itself and i couldnt break a seal. no matter how hard i squished and deformed bottom of cup no matter how i moved cup from left to right i couldnt break a seal. so i had to bear down and push with muscles and pull with suction still on and do all this until i was able to reach with my finger all the way to the rim (and with high cervix thats A LOT)
    and that happened twice.
    what am i doing wrong here?

    • Intimina says:


      thank you for reaching out to INTIMINA. You have chosen the correct type of menstrual cup due to the height of your cervix. Please contact our Customer care team and they will gladly provide you with some advice and guide you through the process.

      Kind Regards

  • Mary Ann says:

    Hi, I have a problem with breaking the seal. I use coconut oil for lubricant but I can’t seem to push on the cup’s side to break the seal without hurting myself on the other side because of the pressure my finger is doing to break the seal. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Samantha Wideman says:

    I absolutely love my Lily Cup!! I’ve always had problems with tampons drying me out and making literally everything painful, never have that issue with my cup! The only thing I find slightly difficult is I have a very, very high cervix so I have to smoosh that cup up as far as I physically can for it to properly work. That can sometimes be a challenge but I found getting the cup slightly wet helps a lot. But out of the hundred things I love about the cup, the major upside is I can leave it in with no worry for up to and sometimes over 8 hours. Coming off of the Depo Shot has been absolutely horrendous and unpredictable with my body regulating so having something I can put in and forget about, unlike a tampon, has been a life saviour as I literally never know when I’ll start bleeding again. 100% recommend to every female out there!!

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