Trouble Shooting and FAQs

First Questions

Is the Cup Material Safe?

The silicone used in Cleo is made from 100% healthcare grade silicone that has been FDA approved. It is not the same as liquid silicone used in breast implants but more like what high quality baby bottle teats are made from. It’s toxin free, durable, non-porous so easily cleaned and not harmful to human tissues. So your delicate hoo-ha is in safe hands.

Does Cleo Cup Contain Phthalates, Bisphenol A or Heavy Metals?

No, Cleo Cup is manufactured from highest quality medical grade silicone and it does not contain any phthalates, bisphenol A, or heavy metals.

At Work, I Can't Wash my Cleo Cup with the Washing Liquid. Should I Wash the Cup with Perfumed Soap or Tap Water?

No. Perfumed soaps with unknown pH values might coat the cup with a layer of irritants that could damage the precious mucous membrane of the vagina. Some of these soaps may also contain agents that might damage the silicone. It's better to wash Cleo with tap water than use the wrong kind of soap. When you and Cleo Cup return home, consider our Cleo-Menstrual Cup Liquid Wash — it's specially created to clean the cup gently and thoroughly without damaging the cup or irritating your body.

It looks big! Does it hurt going in or out?

If you do it correctly and carefully, it shouldn’t. When you put it in, you can wet it with water or water-based vaginal lube, to ease the insertion. When you pull it out, you squeeze the bottom to break the seal, then gently ease it out of your body, keeping it in an upright position as it comes out.

Can it be used as a method of birth control, or STD protection?

Nope Nope Nope.

Can I have sex while wearing the cup?

No, not with the traditional, reusable cups. These cups are worn low in the vagina, and will get in the way.

Does it leak?

Not if you insert it properly, and empty it before it gets too full. After you insert the cup, you need to twist and pull down slightly to make sure it pops open and forms a good seal. It takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you shouldn’t see any leaks. You can also wear a cloth panty liner the first few times you try it, just in case you are not yet confident.

Can you feel the cup while you wear it?

Most women cannot feel it if its inserted correctly, especially if they trim the stem away (but only trim as much as is necessary). Others are slightly aware that the cup is there, the same way they are aware that a tampon is in. But the cup is soft and as long as you have a good size for your needs, and its inserted correctly, it should be very comfortable.

Do I need to remove the cup when I urinate/pee or have a bowel movement?

No, the hole you urinate/pee from (the urethra) and the vagina are not the same hole. So the cup will not get in the way, or fall out. Some women do find it easier removing it when they have a bowel movement but this is often a problem for women who had the same issue when wearing a tampon.

How do I empty and clean my cup in a public restroom?

Remove and empty it the same way you would at home, but bring some bottled water and/or a wet paper towel in the stall with you for rinsing/cleaning. Then reinsert it. You can give the cup a good wash after you get home.

Do I need to sterilize my cup?

It is recommended, at least once a month. You should of course wash the cup daily with mild, perfume-free or genital- safe soap (like Cleo Menstrual Cup Wash), and hot water. You can rinse first with cold water just to get the blood off and prevent stains, then wash with hot water and soap. Try to do so each time you empty it.

How often do I have to empty the cup?

It depends on your flow– all women are different. If you have an average to heavy flow, the cup should sit well for 3 – 10 hours, depending on how heavy it is. Some women with a very light flow (or on a light day) can go as long as 12 hours. Never go longer than 10-12 hours without emptying and washing your cup.

Where should I store my cup, when I’m not using it?

After you have cleaned your cup, store it in the cloth pouch it comes in. If you don’t have one, simply store it in a clean cloth sack, which provides air flow. DO NOT store the cup in a plastic container or plastic zip bag, as this can cause mold.

What is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)? Do menstrual cups cause it?

Menstrual cups have not been associated with TSS. TSS is a sickness caused by the bacteria that can grow inside absorbent materials, like tampons. It is dangerous, and can be deadly! If you are currently using tampons, you need to be aware of the symptoms of TSS which are: Severe flu-like symptoms such as muscle aches and pains, stomach cramps, a headache, or a sore throat. Sudden fever over 39°C (102°F). Vomiting and diarrhoea. Signs of shock, including low blood pressure and rapid heartbeat, often with light-headedness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, or restlessness and confusion. A rash that looks like a sunburn. The rash can be over several areas of your body or just in specific places such as the armpits or the groin. Pain at the site of an infection (if a wound or injury to the skin is involved). Redness in the nasal passages and inside the mouth. If you think you may have TSS, please see a doctor, right away. If you have ever had TSS before, speak to your doctor before using any internal products.

How do I know the cup is in the right position, and has popped open?

Never insert straight up. The vagina tilts back toward the rectum, or tail bone. So angle that way. You can check to see if it is popped open by giving it a full rotating twist, and tracing a finger around the outside, to see if it feels round. Rotating should be easy, if its open. Some people cannot rotate it, and that’s ok. If it has not popped open yet, use a finger to press the side of the cup in a bit and let some air in.

I’m having trouble removing the cup. What should I do?

Most women will not have major problems with removal. But if you do, this is normally because the seal has not been broken. First try relaxing as much as possible. If that doesn‘t help, try squatting (which makes the vaginal canal shorter) or bearing down like you are having a bowel movement, to bring the cup closer to your reach. It will always take a little practice to get in and out the first couple of times.

I’m going through menopause, and my cycles are very unpredictable. Can I still use a cup?

Absolutely! You may even find that it makes the uncertainty more bearable. The versatility and comfort of the cup may come as a blessing during this time!

How does the cup stay in place?

The cup is held firmly in place by the muscular walls and closed-end of the vagina. It also stays in via a light suction that is formed up inside

Putting It In/Insertion

I’m finding it difficult to put the CleoCup in

Make sure you have read the user guide and try a couple of different folds to see which one works best for you. You might also allow the cup to open just inside the vagina and then gently sliding it up instead of opening it deep in the canal.

Remember it should sit a little lower than a tampon but you might find it sits up higher in the canal depending on where your cervix is (this is fine but it may take a little more practice removing it). Your cervix will most likely move throughout your period which means the menstrual cup position will change accordingly.

Insert it at a 45 degree angle toward the spine not straight up as that is not the direction of the vaginal canal.

I can’t get my cup in.

Don’t worry be kind to yourself it takes a little practice. Its important to relax which can be hard when you are stressing about not being able to just figure it out and get it in there. However relaxing is crucial so your pelvic muscles are relaxed to allow for successful insertion and removal. SO relax, try a couple of different positions and a couple of different folds to see what works best for you. Try our folding video for some ideas and you can try sitting on the toilet, having a leg up on the toilet or bathtub or standing with your knees slightly bent. Squatting can be good for getting it out but not so much putting it in.

I’m not sure if it’s in right?

When it is inserted correctly it should provide a sensation free and leak free experience so if you are experiencing this when your cup is inserted you may have to adjust your insertiong and placement method.


Why does if feel uncomfortable?

When inserted your CleoCup should not cause any discomfort. Check that is is not too high if it is besides the cervix and not below it it will cause immediate discomfort. If this occurs just remove it and try again. If your cup is sitting low and the stem is causing discomfort you will need to trim the stem.

If discomfort persist, please discontinue the use of your menstrual cup and seek the advice of your medical practitioner.

Why does it keep sliding out?

There maybe a couple of things here. Check that the cup rim has cleared the pubic bone.

You may need to improve the tone in your vaginal walls – it may be weak and need some kegel exercises to strengthen it.

What do I do if the stem sticks out?.

Not a problem this is not uncommon and you can just trim it. It should not sit outside of your vagina as this will cause discomfort to your labia. Trim a small amount at a time then try it to see if it is comfortable – repeat until you have found a comfortable length.

You may also find you can flip it inside out - make sure you are comfortable removing it before you try this.

Why am I leaking and spotting? Is that normal?

It means there is not a good seal. There are a couple of things that might allow you to form a seal. Use your vaginal walls to clench and release the CleoCup, pinch the base of the cup and try to adjust is with a few turns, move your finger around the rim to ensure it is opened properly, make sure the holes in the rim are not clogged.

The blood may be from blood left in the vagina after insertion, if you move your finger around it it should remove any excess.

You may need to go up to a large (Size 1) if you have a small (Size 1) and if you have a Large (Size 2) you may need to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

Can I do sports and activities?

Yes you can! The CleoCup was designed to help active women so they can still engage in all activities they normally do without worrying about their period.

How long can I leave it in for?

The CleoCup can be left in for up to 12 hours, so you need to empty it about 2x daily. Everyone is different and you don’t want to let your cup overflow while wearing it so over time you will find out how often you need to empty it. One heavier period days you might have to empty it more.


Why am finding it hard to remove the CleoCup?

First make sure you have read the users guide. This can be challenging and is a learning curve so don’t worry. Make sure you’re relaxed it will make it 100x easier. Start by locating the stem and then with your thumb and index finger squeeze and pinch the base of the cup to release the seal then slowly move it down and tilt one side out and then the other.

Some people will do this in the shower if you’re worried about spillage the first few times.

Try different positions squatting, on the toilet with your tailbone tucked under to shorten the vaginal canal, one leg up or standing with your legs slightly apart and knees slightly bent.

I can’t reach the base of the CleoCup what do I do?

It can work its way up the canal depending on your anatomy. Avoid pulling on the stem and try to relax. You can sit or squat down tucking your tailbone under. You can try bearing down – like when you deliver a baby or go poop.

Reach your index finger up as high as you can on the cup to break the seal and continue to bear down as you remove the cup.

Just remember don’t stress your self out if you want to take a break and try inserting and removing in the shower when you don’t have your period so that you are ready for next time that can be a good idea to.

What do I do if I have to remove it at work or a public toilet?

If you don’t have a sink you can wipe it with some tissue or take a bottle of water into the toilet to rinse it there as well and then re insert. Then you can clean it the next time you remove it.

How often should I empty it?

Empty it every 12 hours. Your changing frequency will depend on your flow so until you understand what that is like you may want to empty it every 4-8 hours when you are first getting used to it. It will hold the equivalent of three tampons and pads and worn for 2x as long as them.

Care and Cleaning

Can I put it in the dishwasher?

No the dishwasher uses harsh chemicals to clean your dishes and can leave this residue on your cup. These chemicals will irritate your delicate vaginal tissues. Use a mild, perfume and oil free cleanser with a balanced pH like the CleoCup Menstrual wash which is designed for your cup and can even be used on those sensitive areas.

How do I stop it from discolouring and having an odor?

Wash it in cold water first then use a Use a mild, perfume and oil free cleanser with a balanced pH. You can also boil the cup and make sure to store it in a breathable container when not in use like the CleoCup carry bag.

Can I wash my CleoCup carry bag?

Sure can lady – chuck that puppy in the machine or handwash it.

How do I clean those holes in the rim?

Gently stretch the cup and run it under warm water. You can also use a soft toothbrush or a toothpick – don’t use a pin as it could damage the cup.

What can I clean it with?

You should clean it with a mild, perfume and oil free cleanser with a balanced pH. Avoid using: vinegar, tea tree oil, scented/fragranced soap, castile/peppermint soap or any other oil based soap, rubbing alcohol, antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer, pre-moistened wipes, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing soap, bleach or harsh chemicals as some have been known to damage or compromise the silicone (may leave a sticky or powdery film, etc.) and may need to be replaced to avoid irritations, burning, etc.

Can I use lube?

Best to not as it can damage the cup but try some water instead.

Medical Questions

Please Note: The following is meant to be informational in nature and is not offered as medical advice, nor does it substitute for consultation with your physician. If you have any gynecological/medical concerns or conditions regarding the use of internal feminine hygiene products, we encourage you to consult your physician.

Candida and Yeast Infections

Menstrual cups are not associated with the development of yeast infections. On the contrary, many women 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, clothing choices, antibiotic use, etc. If you have any concerns, please seek the advice of your medical practitioner.

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

Toxic Shock Syndrome is not directly associated with the use of menstrual cups. We added a note about TSS to our literature because we believe in educating our customers and keeping them informed. Cups do not absorb menstrual fluid, but rather collect it, so the risk of TSS is very minute. Thousands of women around the world safely use menstrual cups on a daily basis. It is always a good idea to choose a menstrual cup that is made from biocompatible materials like the CleoCup. There is one case where a menstrual cup was in use and the user developed TSS. In this case, it is unclear if the infection was due to the cup or a scratch that was present on the woman's vaginal wall. For perspective, there has been a recently published report of recurrent TSS in a 15-year-old girl even after she ceased to use tampons. Here is a helpful article regarding the menstrual cup case: NCBI

I have sensitive skin. Can I still use a CleoCup?

Yes. The CleoCup is made from a medical grade silicone. It does not contain any toxins, bleaches or BPAs. CleoCup does not contain any dyes and is latex-free so it is suitable for woman with latex allergies.

Can I use CleoCup with an IUD?

We recommend you seek the advice of your medical practitioner/gynaecologist should you wish to use a menstrual cup in conjunction with your IUD. Should you choose to use CleoCup in conjunction with you IUD, it is recommended you; • Wait 2 full cycles after the insertion of you IUD before using the CleoCup to give your IUD time to settle. • Place your CleoCup low, near the vaginal opening, as the cervix and the IUD strings often sit lower during your period. You can also ask your doctor to trim the IUD strings if this is of concern to you. • Ensure you break the suction seal as per the removal instructions when removing your CleoCup so as not to dislodge your IUD.

Can I use the CleoCup during sex?

Nope not a good idea. The CleoCup is not a contraceptive and provides no protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).