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“Help, I think it’s stuck!” How to remove your menstrual cup

“Help, I think my menstrual cup is stuck!” If you’re experiencing menstrual cup removal stress, don’t panic! Take a deep breath and relax. We’re here to help.

It’s important to remember that your menstrual cup can only go so far before it reaches your cervix, and guess what? That’s the end of the tunnel. There’s nowhere else for it to go. Your menstrual cup can’t migrate into your uterus or get “lost” inside you.

That said, sometimes it can be hard to get a grip on your cup or break the seal. This can happen if the cup migrates further up in the vaginal canal, or if it forms a seal right up against your cervix.

If this happens to you, you may be tempted to call your doctor or head to the emergency room. Before you do, try our tips for removing a stuck menstrual cup.

1. Relax and breathe

It can be scary and frustrating when you can’t get your cup out, especially if this has never happened to you before. However, many menstrual cup users have experienced this at one time or another, and have gone on to use their cup happily for many years. 

The best thing you can do right now is relax. That may feel impossible if you’ve been fighting with a stuck cup, but take a moment to just breathe. If you’re too tense, all of your muscles will be contracted, and it will make it harder for your cup to come out. 

If you need to step away for a few minutes and regroup, go ahead. Do some breathing exercises, make a cup of tea, or do whatever else you need to calm down. It’s okay if your cup has already been in for 12 hours. Nothing bad is going to happen if you need to wait a little longer.

2. DO NOT use a spoon or other item for menstrual cup removal

You may have heard of something known as the “menstrual cup stuck spoon trick.” However tempting it might be to use tweezers or a spoon or something else to help you reach your cup, don’t do it! We do not recommend inserting anything into your vagina that isn’t made to go there. The vaginal canal is a sensitive area, and you don’t want to risk injuring yourself or causing infection.

If you have a high cervix making it hard to reach your cup or just want cup removal to be easier, check out our Pixie Cup Applicator + Suction Breaker. Not only does the Applicator make it easy to insert your cup, the Suction Breaker end makes breaking the seal of your cup a breeze. Made from medical-grade mediprene, it’s designed to safely break the seal of your cup without risk of infection.

Woman holding a menstrual cup applicator


3. Take a squat

When you’re ready to try again, it may be helpful to get into a squatting position. Get as low as you can to the ground. This will allow you to reach further into your vaginal canal. You can also lift one foot up onto the edge of the toilet or bathtub.

Before you get started, make sure your hands are clean and dry. The drier your hands are, the easier it will be to get a grip on the cup. If the base of the cup is close to the vaginal opening, you could even use a little bit of toilet paper to dry it off.

4. Don’t bear down

You may have read some advice to bear down when you’re trying to get your cup out, but we don’t recommend this. Bearing down when under stress is not good for all the organs and muscles in the pelvic region.

When you have a bowel movement or are giving birth, your muscles work together naturally, and are not being forced. Some reports indicate that improper removal of a menstrual cup could be linked to prolapse of the pelvic muscles, although this has not been proven.

5. Gently break the seal

For proper menstrual cup removal, you need to break the seal that it formed when you inserted it. DO NOT yank on your cup and attempt to pull it straight out. Pulling on a sealed cup will strain the pelvic muscles.

There are two ways to break the seal:

  1. Pinch the base of the cup. Grab the cup as far up as possible and pinch it. You may want to squeeze it for a few seconds to allow the seal to release. If you can’t quite get a hold of the cup, grab the stem and wiggle the cup back and forth a bit (don’t pull) until you’re able to grab the base. Listen for the sound of air leaking, which means the seal is broken.
  2. If that doesn’t work, try inserting one finger up along the side of your menstrual cup and feel for the rim of the cup. Gently push in the rim, similar to the process used for the punch-down fold, until you hear the seal break. This can allow some fluid to leak out, so it’s best to do this when sitting on the toilet or squatting in the shower.

Once the seal is broken, tip the cup a little bit to allow more air into the vagina, and try wiggling your cup out or removing it at an angle.

If that doesn’t work, try a different position. Sometimes changing position can make all the difference. If you’ve been squatting, try putting one foot up on the edge of the bathtub instead.

Still having menstrual cup removal issues?

If you’ve tried all these steps — and made sure to relax and breathe — and you still can’t get your cup out, it may be time to call your doctor. Remember that not all gynecologists are familiar with menstrual cups, and you may need to tell your doctor not to attempt to pull it straight out. Also, don’t let your doctor throw your cup away! There’s no reason it can’t be sanitized and reused.

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Make sure you have the right size

If you frequently have trouble getting your cup out, it could mean that your cup is the wrong size. If you have a higher cervix but are using a shorter cup, the cup may migrate further up in the vagina and be hard to reach.

Measuring your cervix can help you choose the right cup for you. We also created this cervix ruler to help you feel more confident in your decision and knowing your body!

At Pixie Cup, we offer several shapes and sizes to help everyone find the perfect fit. All of our bodies are different, so it makes sense that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to menstrual cups. Learn how to find the best menstrual cup for your body.

We also offer a 100% Happiness Guarantee. If you buy a Pixie Cup and it isn’t the right size or it otherwise doesn’t work for you, we’ll work with you to find one that works or refund your money! We want everyone to experience true period freedom, and your happiness is our priority.

Check out our different menstrual cups and menstrual cup accessories in our store.

This content was originally written on February 19, 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.

23 thoughts on ““Help, I think it’s stuck!” How to remove your menstrual cup”

  1. Hi, I ordered a ‘starter’ pack from Amazon whilst I have managed to master the seal the cup sits really really high and I am struggling to remove it.
    Any suggestions grateful, do I need a longer cup?

  2. Easy enough to get in but I’ve been trying off and on for 4 hours now to remove! Can hardly reach it with 2 fingers and when I finally manage to grasp the stem no amount of wiggling will move it! Tried a single finger and just cannot reach the rim or squash it to break the seal! Any other tips before I cry?! Had a bath to relax, exercised the works!

    • We are so sorry this is happening! Did you get it out yet? We would recommend getting into a squatting position in the shower if possible. You don’t have to reach the rim of the cup, see if you can just reach the base or the bottom of the cup and squash it against your vaginal wall. That should break the seal. Then slowly inch it down until your second finger can reach the stem and pull it out.

    • This exact same thing happened to me yesterday! Almost 4 hours trying to take it out even though I was trying to stay calm. When I finally took it out there was a little bit of blood around it (it was not menstruation because I was doing a dry run) so I assume it was my hymen breaking a little (I’m a virgin) or that I slightly hurt my vaginal walls. 🙁 either way, I feel traumatized.

      • We are so very sorry this happened and that you had a bad experience! It could be that your cup is too short for you. We would be more than willing to issue you a refund for this cup and someone will be contacting you through email shortly.

    • Hi Riley! I’m so sorry to hear this! We would recommend trying out our Pixie Cup Lube! using some lubricant in the vaginal canal prior will definitely help inserting AND removing!

      • For fertility reasons I don’t like lubricants – is there any way to avoid that squeezing pain without it?! And I can’t seem to master shortening the diameter on the way out 😐

        • Hi Anna! If you’re sensitive to lubricants, maybe try a little organic coconut oil! As far as making it smaller to remove, try the best you can to slide a finger up the side of the cup before pulling out. This will break the seal as well as collapse it.

          • Thanks!! Another question: I just read about how we should not bear down but it seems to be the best way for me when removing cup. Would it be less problematic if I remove the cup while making like a bowl movement (which is bearing down I guess)? I’ve tried to break the seal from way up but it’s very diffcult.

  3. I could reach the stem very easily but it was difficult to pinch the base. It became possible only after bearing down. I used cup for about 4 times. All these times it was like that.
    Is it because my size is wrong or technique is wring?
    Pls help

    • Hi Femi! It sounds like you have a high cervix which is totally normal! If the cup was comfortable and you didnt experience leaks, I would say you have the perfect size. Maybe next time you go to remove, try a different position. Squatting is a good one because it brings your cervix lower in the vaginal canal and could make it easier to reach.

  4. Is the X-Large longer than the large? I just started using this (a large) and on the second morning I’m sitting here with it stuck trying to figure out how to even reach the stem. I can get a grip on the stem. I’m trying not to freak out but this is making me not want to use this anymore.

    • Hi Mandie! Im so sorry you’re having difficulty removing! Breathe. Try a really deep squat. This will bring your cervix as close as possible to your vaginal opening. Yes, our XL is slightly longer. I will have our customer service team reach out to you and send you the XL. Please keep an eye on your email!

  5. i find it really hard to insert anything in my vagina (including my finger), tampons hurt too should i still switch to menstrual cups? & i have a tiny vaginal opening but i also have a very heavy flow so i’m kinda worried that the teen small size cups might be insufficient and might leak but anything bigger than that has NO chance of getting in

    • Hi Dee! You can totally do this! The xs cup won’t leak if you change it frequently enough and have it inserted correctly. And once you get used to the XS, you may be surprised how easy and user friendly cups are that you are up to use a Small Cup.

  6. I have used diva cup for about 2years now, and this is my first time using Pixie, and I cannot remove it. I pinched, wiggled, tried to break the seal by putting my finger between the two, and I still can’t get it. The stem seems to be getting stuck behind my pelvis, and the cup only tilts when I try to move it. Does this mean I should go to the doctor now?

    • Hi Kennedy! It sounds like your cup suctioned to your cervix – meaning the cup fits too perfectly! A bigger size will keep this from happening again! I will have customer service contact you!


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