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How to make your menstrual cup pop open

Is your menstrual cup leaking or not popping open? Menstrual cups make life 1000% percent easier when you’re on your period, but figuring out how to use them can take a little time. The #1 secret to a leak-free period with a menstrual cup? Making your menstrual cup pop open.

If you are lazy, here is a short video for you!

menstrual cup leaking

Getting your menstrual cup to pop open correctly will allow it to form a tight seal so that you won’t experience any unwanted leaking. Today, we’re going to share some helpful tips to make sure your cup opens up perfectly every time.

While the cup itself is designed to be leak-free, it can take a few tries to get comfortable using and inserting it. We recommend that you practice at home first (rather than in a public restroom) so you can learn the perfect cup technique that works for you. You may even want to practice inserting your cup when you don’t have your period. If you do, don’t leave the cup in — just get familiar with how it feels when it’s inserted properly and forming a seal, and then remove the cup.

Why won’t my menstrual cup pop open?

There are a few different factors that could be preventing your cup from fully opening. It could simply be a matter of finding a fold that works well for you, or you could actually need a different cup.

First, grab some lube

If you aren’t already using lube when inserting your cup, this is a must! Our Pixie Lube is designed specifically to provide a smooth insertion and a good seal for your menstrual cup. Not only does it make inserting your cup easier, it will help you position your cup correctly so that it can form a seal and prevent leaks. For many cup users, using a little bit of lube is all it takes to get their cup to pop right into place.

How to make your menstrual cup pop open

Lexie

This product made my cup pop right in! I was having trouble getting my cup in … This works like a charm.

3 easy steps to make your menstrual cup pop open

Now, let’s make sure you’re inserting the cup properly. Before inserting your cup, always wash your hands thoroughly. And, try to relax! This process can feel intimidating to new cup users, but if you’re feeling tense, it will make inserting your cup harder. So take a few deep breaths and remember, while learning how to use a menstrual cup can be a little uncomfortable at first, it should never be painful, and the cup can’t get lost inside you. So there’s nothing to worry about!

  1. Use the C-fold for insertion

    The C-fold is a simple fold that you can do with one hand, and that allows the cup to pop open easily.

    how to make your menstrual cup pop open

  2. Run a finger around the rim

    After your cup is fully inserted, run a clean finger around the rim of the cup (the top). As you do, you may feel some folds or indentations.

  3. Grab the base and twist

    If you feel folds, grab the base of the cup and gently twist the cup in a circular motion. Turn the cup one full rotation. This will help it pop open and form a seal.

That’s it! For most people, following these steps will allow their cup to pop open properly and provide leak-free protection!

Why is my cup still leaking?

If you’ve tried these steps and your cup is still leaking, there are a few possible reasons:

  1. Your cup could be the wrong size. If your cup slides up or down a lot during the day (a little movement is totally normal… we’re talking a LOT of movement) you might have the wrong cup size. Pixie Cup is available in two different styles and three sizes, so we have options for just about everyone!
  1. Your menstrual flow could be heavier than your cup can handle. We designed the Pixie Cup in a bell shape to capture as much fluid as possible — more than several tampons. But, if you have an especially heavy period, you may need to empty your cup more often. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of emptying your cup every few hours, try our XL Pixie Cup! No matter what size you wear, make sure you empty and clean your cup at least every 12 hours to keep it clean and sanitary.
  2. You might have a tilted cervix. If you have a tilted cervix, and your cup isn’t properly aligned, your menstrual flow might run along the vaginal wall, missing the rim of your cup completely. If this is the case, try wearing your cup lower. You may also want to try our Pixie Cup Slim, which was specially designed for people with a tilted or low cervix.
  3. You may need a cup made with a firmer material. Some people find that it’s easier to get their cup to pop open when they use one that’s slightly more rigid. If you’re using a cup that’s very soft and flexible, try one that’s more firm, such as our original Pixie Cup.

Menstrual cups take a little bit of practice, but don’t let that scare you. Everyone’s body is different, and everyone uses a slightly different technique. Before long, you’ll figure out which folds and tricks work for your body. Once you’re comfortable using a cup, you’ll never go back to pads and tampons!

Did our tips work for you? If so, drop a comment below to let us know!

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This content was originally written on December 16, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Hannah L.

If you’ve read the Pixie Cup blog, emails, updates or… well, anything lately, Hannah probably wrote them. She's a business owner, self-made writer and marketing expert. Experience in Mailchimp, ConvertKit, SnapChat, Pinterest and SMS Marketing.

76 thoughts on “How to make your menstrual cup pop open”

  1. I’m practicing putting my cup in, not on my period. And no matter how much I try I can’t get it all the way in or pop open. It’s also kinda painful and there was a little blood when I pulled it out. I have a small cup as well. Any tips?

    Reply
    • Hi Diana! Very cool that you are practicing when you aren’t on your period! Because of that, we definitely recommend some of our Pixie Cup Lube which will make things just go smoother and cause less friction. Depending on the position of your cervix, have you tried actually putting the Pixie Cup in as if you’re trying to touch your tail bone… like tipped and pointed back, as opposed to putting it in at an angle. What always helps me is grabbing the stem and base of the cup and twisting it a little and that helps it pop open.

      Reply
      • Hi, I’m still working on the cup, experiencing my first period using the cup, but I feel insecure as I’m not sure if the cup is fully open, after I inserted the cup I can’t really reach the rim? Am I doing it wrong? Thank you

        Reply
        • Hi Vanessa, it’s not uncommon to be unable to reach the rim, especially if you have a high cervix. Even if you can’t reach the rim, if you run a finger around the outside of the cup, you should be able to feel if there are any folds. I usually grab my cup by the base and sort of rotate it and that helps!

          Reply
        • I got my menestral cup in. I used the fold down method but I just cant get it to pop open. I twisted it like you guys said. I did order mine off amazon but they look the same size as the one you showed in the video.

          Reply
          • Hi Ashlyn! Try using the ‘C’ fold. Basically you’re flattening the Pixie Cup and fold it in half length-wise so the rim of the Pixie Cup looks like a C! This is the easiest fold for me to be able to get popped open. I find the force of the silicone wanting to pop open because it’s folded so small, helps a lot! Our Pink + Purple cups are rigid so you shouldn’t have a problem. Our Luxe Cups are softer and a little harder to get open. They are clear + green. I’m not sure which cup you purchased. I hope this helps!

          • Whenever I put cup inside it. Never open inside properly. I always try to twist the cup but it doesn’t get twisted properly. There is always fold left on cup inside me. I’m using M size cup. Do I need to change my size of cup ? Should I switch to smaller one?

          • Hi Jaspreet! Thank you for the comment. I will have someone from our customer service team email you so be watching for the email. It sounds like you may need a smaller cup! Stay tuned.

          • Overnight my cup migrates up a lot and suctions to my cervix instead of my walls, making it very hard to get out. How do I prevent this from happening? Thank you!

          • Hi Madelyn! It sounds like you have a high cervix which is totally normal. Have you thought about trying our Pixie Disc? It’s a learning curve but it has a lengthy pull string so you can remove it with ease! If you love menstrual cups, my suggestion would be to squat when it’s time to remove your cup in the morning; this brings your cervix closest possible and in reach. You should be able to reach a finger between the cup and the vaginal wall to break the seal or PINCH the base (don’t pull!) to break the seal. I hope this helps.

      • Hi. I dontunderstand how the air is supposed to come in to let it pop open. Mine is vacuum and no matter how I turn or squeeze the bottom, it stays vacuum. Any tips please? I would so much love this to work.

        Reply
        • Hi Lina! If possible, are you able to run your finger up around the rim of the cup once it’s inserted? Every body is different and I know for me, I need mine to pop open and hear the sound of air rushing. Then I know it’s popped open and in place! Let me know your thoughts or if you try that.

          Reply
          • Hi Hannah! Thank you for your comment. I can, with some effort, feel the rim of the cup. It is not round, but pushed flat. I don’t understand where the air needs to come from to fill the cup so it can pop open. I managed to insert the cup fully open, without folding it, but still then it leaks. Please help.

      • Hi, I use what is called a June cup, which is very similar to your product. Similar to someone elses comment, but I dont think my cup is fully opening, I cant reach the either. However, I havent had any leaks or pain but at the same time, my cup isnt filling up as much as my pads or tampons would. So Im concerned its just sitting up there in me not coming out or into the cup much. Im not sure if that makes sense. I read in some of the other comments that if its not completely unfolded it could be sealed to my unique anatomy, but like I said Im just confused how I went from filling multiple maxi night pads a day an 1 at night to not even having 10mls of blood in my cup…

        Reply
        • Hi Phoenix, it’s actually hard to tell how much you really bleed until you have a cup, as pads and tampons don’t give you a way to measure it. However, it sounds like you cup is working well! If you are worried about not being able to reach your cup, try the next size up or a longer cup.

          Reply
        • I m using small size including all the folds and also try medium cup but the cup is not proper open and I m trying for last 4cycle

          Reply
          • Hi, if you’re having trouble getting your cup to open properly, I would recommend trying a smaller cup. What size up are you using?

    • I am 53 having delivered two large babies. My gynecologist told me I had a short vaginal passage. I am overweight too. My period flow is heavy.
      When I put the cup in it just flattens. I twist it, push it further and pull it out as far as it will come. It doesnt pop open until some part of it comes out of me. Do I need a firmer cup or a smaller cup?

      Reply
      • Hi Jessica! If you have our Luxe cups, those are softer and a little harder to have pop open. Our classic cups are more firm. All of our bodies are slightly different so having the cup pop open completely isn’t the goal. As long as you have a seal and it’s not leaking and you’re comfortable, it’s working! Please let us know if your cup is leaking or if you are uncomfortable. We will do whatever we can to make it right.

        Reply
        • Hi I’ve had a similar problem and this is good to know! Mine is completely comfortable once I put it in even though I feel it is not opened all the way. I was hoping this would be able to prevent more leave at night but I still woke up in the middle of the night because of huge leaks because it didn’t open all the way. Any solutions for me should I try a smaller cup?

          Reply
  2. Hi, I have tried for months now and I just can’t seem to get the cup to pop open. I don’t see how it can work. I’ve tried leaving it in but the suction is very painful. I’ve tried all the tips suggested but no luck… does it just not work for some people?

    Reply
    • Hi Jennifer! I’m so sorry it’s not working out for you quite yet! Cups are definitely a learning curve, but you’ve got this! Someone from our customer service team will reach out ASAP. We may need to give you a different cup. Stay tuned!

      Reply
  3. My cup seems to stay a bit folded but following my shape. I’ve tried tilting and pulling the cup, it can’t get it throughly open. Is it bad to leave it like that ? Haven’t notice any leaks

    Reply
    • Hi Flo! Thank you for the comment! Everyone is unique and our cervix and uterus can vary slightly from woman to woman, so if your cup stays a little collapsed or folded while it’s inserted, that’s ok! As long as you don’t have ANY pain or discomfort and there aren’t any leaks, it sounds like you’ve got it! It’s creating a seal to your unique anatomy. Let us know if you need any help in the future!

      Reply
  4. Hey I’m a little bit nervous about using my cup for the first time, I’m still having a hard time getting mine to pop open!!! Can you give me some more tips?

    Reply
    • Hi Maddie, there could be a few reasons your cup isn’t popping open. Try using a different fold. I usually grab my cup by the base after I’ve inserted it and sort of rotate it, that usually helps. Then I run a finger around it to check for any remaining folds. If that doesn’t work, some people find that it helps to use a cup made with a firmer material.

      Reply
  5. This same things happen with me my cups doesn’t open inside but it collects blood i want to know that this is safe for my cervix. And sometimes I feel pain not always

    Reply
    • Hi Ananya, Try using the ‘C’ fold. Basically you’re flattening the Pixie Cup and fold it in half length-wise so the rim of the Pixie Cup looks like a C! This is the easiest fold for me to be able to get popped open. I find the force of the silicone wanting to pop open because it’s folded so small, helps a lot! If you have pain, maybe we should try another cup for you. Or you can use our smaller, pink cup! I’m not sure what one you’re currently using. Menstrual cups are passed by the FDA as safe, so you’re not in danger. Let me know if I can help further!

      Reply
  6. Hello!
    This is my second cycle trying the cup. I ordered both sizes small and large. I have trouble getting the cup to open once inserted. Ive tried pinching the base, trying to rotate it but it wont budge, cannot fit a finger up to feel around the rim. I also dont feel or hear the cup popping open. Therefore, sometimes i have leaks and sometimes not. I would like to be sure that the cup is fully opened and sealed but so far I havent been able to make it pop open. Its quite frustrating as I can spend a long time, multiple times a day trying to make it work but it still wouldnt open.

    Reply
        • My cup keeps sinking until it’s against my cervix, I cry as I struggle to grab the sides, I can get to the stem, but squeezing the sides high enough to break the seal is almost impossible. First time I had to get it remove at an urgent care, the next time I could only remove it in the shower after an hour of my wife pinching, wiggling, and pulling. It’s a size large and I’m terrified to use it again.

          Reply
          • Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry to hear that the suction is so strong! A different size would solve this problem. If you email us at info@pixiecup.com, we will send you another size for free!

  7. Hi!
    I don’t have a pixie cup, but that’s my second cycle with another (drugstore) cup. On my first cycle everything went well, it popped open every time i haven’t had any leaks. However, I am currently on my period (second cup period) and it just doesn’t work. I had leaks every time. If I put up my finger I can feel it slightly that it’s not fully open. I’ve tried the c-fold, push down, different positions. But this time I just can’t make it open. Also I’m unable to twist it and if i pinch the base I risk it folding even more. Can you please help? I’m really concerned about it not working now but being perfect during my last period.

    Reply
    • Hi Kinga! So sorry about your frustration. Boy, do I feel you! For me personally (i have a low cervix), I have to find my cervix with my finger and then make sure the mouth of my cup is sitting just around it… or else I have leaks every time. I’m not sure how thick or firm your cup is, but if it’s a very soft one, those are definitely harder to have pop open. I would direct you to our how-to-find your cervix post so you know exactly what position your cervix is in and what you’re dealing with! Let me know if that helps!

      Reply
      • C fold is easy or hard??? Bcoz am a mommy of 6 month old baby girl…after my first ( normal) delivery i used this cup……is c fold will suit me?

        Reply
        • Hi Seema! The C Fold should be pretty easy! If someone is worried about size or worried if insertion would be uncomfortable, we recommend the 7-fold or punch down. Check out our blog post for this!

          Reply
  8. This is my first time with menstrual cup. My cup is leaking a lot. I even tried touching the base with a finger but no dents were there. C fold does not work fir me. I use punch down fold. What should I do ?

    Reply
    • Hi Shenoy! Thanks so much for the comment. I will have someone from our customer service team reach out to you because we want to make sure you have the right sized cup! Watch for an email from us 🙂

      Reply
  9. New to Pixie Cup. I’m using the small pink pixie & tried both the C fold & push down methods. Neither are popping open. I’ve spent significant time today trying to insert the cup but it just won’t unfold once it’s inside. I’ve turned & twisted but the cup remains folded. I’m worried it might just not be for me. Do you have any other suggestions? I really would love this to work.

    Reply
    • Hi JR! What color pixie cup do you have? Our clear and green cups are softer and sometimes harder to pop open. Our pink & purple are more firm and easier. Just wanted to verify that first. Are you experiencing leaks? We are all unique and sometimes a menstrual cup won’t fully open because the shape of our anatomy — the seal is what is important! If you aren’t having leaks and aren’t uncomfortable, we would tell you you’re doing great! Let me know!

      Reply
    • Hi Dimitra! I’m sorry you are having difficulty! It’s a learning curve but we totally believe in you! I’m going to have our customer service team reach out with what type of cup you have and potentially some tricks! Keep an eye out for an email.

      Reply
  10. Hi, I cant seem to get my cup inside. It only goes halfway in but never fully. (Not even half) I’ve tried multiple times but still the same result.

    Reply
    • Hi Manvi! It sounds like you may have a low cervix and could require a different style of Pixie Cup! Please keep look in your email over the next couple days and our customer service team will contact you!

      Reply
  11. Hi, I bought the extra large pixie cup because of my heavy flow and I’m 29 years old, never been pregnant yet. After spending 20 minutes everyday for the last one month and after multiple mental breakdowns, I’m just not able to get it pop open. I even bought the pixie cup insertion lube, which made cup insertion a bit easier but the cup just doesn’t pop open. I use the push down fold. Tried the c fold but the cup doesn’t go in with c fold. Please help me, I really want to stop using pads and switch to cup but really disappointed with these unending failed attempts in getting the cup to pop open.

    Reply
    • Hi Tanvee! We are so sorry to hear about your struggles! We have all been there at one point or another and it can be really frustrating! If it’s not popping open with any attempt or trick, you may need a smaller one. Keep an eye out for an email from our customer service team to help get to the bottom of this for you!

      Reply
    • Hi, I am 23 years old and I am trying to use the cup. But I am not able to get it to pop open. And it goes a little too inside. It becomes a little too difficult for me to remove it. I keep stressing on what If I am not able to pull it out again. I am using an S size cup. Should I try using a smaller size? Or a larger size?

      Reply
      • Hi Mudrika! It sounds like you have a high cervix and that’s completely normal! If you’re finding it’s hard to reach, I would suggest doing a squat. This brings your cervix into a different, lower position and should enable you to feel the stem. If possible, slide your finger up the side so it breaks the seal and will make it MUCH easier to pull out! Have you tried the C fold or Punch Down? They are the easiest to have pop open.

        Reply
  12. Hey there! Actually this is my first time of using a menstrual cup and I am just 16 and using small size cup. Now I am dealing with a problem which makes it leaking. Actually when I insert that cup inside my vagina with 7 fold, something from below the vagina from down side is stopping it from unfold properly and this leads to the leakage. I tried it so many times but don’t know what to do.

    Reply
    • Hi Tanushri! You may be hitting your cervix which means it sits low. This is perfectly normal, but you may need a different cup! I would highly suggest reading this blog post about measuring your cervix! Let us know if we can help. If you find that you have a low cervix, please email us!

      Reply
  13. Hi! I’m officially on my second cycle with the cup but am suddenly experiencing leaks. Last month was very smooth with no leaking at all and the cup was very easy to open inside, but this month I am suddenly having issues getting my cup to open and seal. Would this be a problem with the cup? Or am I just experiencing the “learning curve” everyone talks about?

    Reply
    • If you’re having a hard time getting your cup to open and seal, you may need a smaller cup. It could be that the one you have may work for you occasionally, but is most likely on the larger size for you. What size cup do you have?

      Reply
  14. I am in tears after trying to get my cup in for over an hour while on my period. It seems like a dumb thing to cry about but I’m super frustrated and I want it to work so badly!

    I have the pink and purple cups, tried both- tried the c fold and the punch down. Tried lube, I don’t know what’s left to try. I get them in but they remain folded, I run a finger up along the rim, tug the base, rotate 360.. nothing works and I am mentally exhausted, feeling defeated and discouraged.

    Reply
    • Hi Jay! Im so sorry you’re having such a difficult time! Honestly, it sounds like the cup may be too big! If it just doesn’t open, sometimes that means you vaginal canal is small and you may need a smaller cup! Please check your email – our customer service team will reach out to you!

      Reply
  15. You know… to all those who keep having problems no matter how hard they try… I would suggest getting a new cup

    I have used menstrual cups for years without problems until recently. I got a new cups (a set of two) and no matter what I do one of them will just not pop open!!!

    So if you have given all these suggestions a try and are still having problems, maybe the cup is defective and the problem has nothing to do with you!!!!!!!

    Don’t be turned off though… trying again is totally worth it. Menstrual cups are the best!!!! Especially for women with very heavy flow and overnight issues.

    No more waking up in a mess!!! 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Ashley! Thanks so much for the comment! Yes, keep trying. Some cups are made thinner/softer than others and sometimes those are hard to pop open. Also, we have discovered that if someone has a cup that is TOO BIG, there isn’t enough room in the vaginal canal to allow it to pop open. Sometimes going to a smaller sized cup does the trick!

      Reply
      • So an issue I keep having is that my cup keeps tilting so the stem points to my right. Then it’s very hard to find what i need to grab it and it is also hard to pull it out. At the same time, it feels barely within reach for my to grab the base but I don’t know if I’m breaking the seal right. So it’s tilting and hard to grab. Every time i try to take it out, if it wasn’t already tilted from me moving, i accidentally push it to the side while trying to get my finger up there to push open the seal. What position exactly or how exactly do you grab it to break the seal and pull it out? I feel like getting it in just needs practice right now but every time I have been taking it out I can’t get it and end up in a panic attack with my boyfriend just helping me get it out now. :/

        Reply
        • Tatyana, it sounds like you may need a larger cup so that it doesn’t move around so much and so the extra length will help you reach the cup easier. Message us at info@pixiecup.com, and we’ll get you a larger size sent over!

          Reply
  16. Hi…. Please advice me …I have a small menstrual cup( not from pixie but My mum said it’s the smallest)…my problem is….. I had great difficulty putting it in …. The c-fold won’t fit… So I tried the push down …so I put it in and rotated it 180 degree ..and it went in …I think …. However I can’t get it to pop open or unfold … I can’t fit a finger in after pushing the menstrual cup … So it’s very hard to unfold … I have only unfold or should I say refolded … Once when I pinched the bottom it became a c-fold but refused to open … Ever since then like before I can put it in but can’t open the fold….. I have the smallest ……. What to do?

    Reply
    • Hi Anaya! It sounds like you might need a more rigid cup if it’s just not popping open at all. The one you have might be too soft. Our Teen Cup is a little more rigid so that it’s easy to pop open, but it’s also our SMALLEST cup!

      Reply
  17. I have sent a few emails and even messages on Tik Tok and I am still awaiting a response, I had a size small initially and I got on okay with it for my first period even if it was a little hard to pop open as it was my first experience with cups (I’m talking like full 30 minutes to pop open). Now on my second cycle I have just found that each day it is harder and harder to pop open to the point where I have had to give up because reinserting it all the time to try again has taken a toll. I’ve taken breaks from using it but I am just struggling so much. It is making me late for work etc.

    I also have the XS size cup and that one is in and has opened fine but is definitely too small as there is a lot of movement so it isn’t a great fit. I am wondering if i need to be trying the slim/luxe cups instead or go for a size large I am just really unsure of what to do and am awaiting a reply.

    I hope you can help!

    Reply
    • Hi Hattie! Sometimes the type of cup depends on your pelvic floor muscle strength! The Slim cups might be the best thing for you! I have forwarded your post to our customer service team! If you haven’t heard from them already, keep an eye out for an email from them!

      Reply
  18. I’ve been using a pixie cup for over a year now and love it! This is my third brand of cups and by far the best I’ve used. However, every now and then it gets impossible to get the cup to pop open. For the majority of the time, it’s so easy and quick and a no-brainer but occasionally it’s just impossible and even with lube, multiple trials just make my insides sore and I give up. What could be causing this? Any ideas on what I could try?

    Reply
  19. I absolutely love my cup, but am having some minor issues. This is my first cycle with the cup and I’m having difficulty with comfort. The tab sticks out of me slightly and I can feel it all day. I put the cup in as far as I possibly can and it still sticks out. I also have a slight discomfort in my stomach with the cup. I’m not sure what I need to do to make it more comfortable. I absolutely love the cup and the idea of it, but I’m worried that my body isn’t made right for it.

    Reply

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