Saalt Reusable Silicone Period Cup FAQ
Sections on this page:
- The Basics
- Cup Inserting and Positioning
- Cup Cleaning and Care
- Cup Lifestyle
- Cup Health Concerns
- Cup Troubleshooting
1. The Basics
WHAT IS A SAALT MENSTRUAL CUP?
A Saalt Menstrual Cup is a reusable cup made of soft silicone that is worn internally like a tampon, but collects—rather than absorbs—your menstrual flow. Naturally odorless, biocompatible, and chemical free, Saalt Menstrual Cups are a healthy and sustainable alternative to pads and tampons. Because it has a capacity 2–4 times that of a regular tampon, you can wear it for up to 12 hours before emptying. Yes, that means you only have to change it twice a day, and can sleep with it in. Once inserted, Saalt’s flexible design molds to your internal shape so you can comfortably wear it to hike, swim, or fly to Bora Bora.
WHY SHOULD I USE A CUP INSTEAD OF DISPOSABLE PRODUCTS?
Saalt Menstrual Cups are a healthy and sustainable alternative to pads and tampons that are better for you and better for the planet.
*Sustainable - One cup lasts for up to 10 years and replaces thousands of single-use period products. (Wonder how much waste you can eliminate by switching? Try our Waste Calculator to find out!)
*Healthy - Saalt is made from 100% medical grade silicone, so it’s naturally hypoallergenic and toxin free. No BPA. No latex. No chemicals. Odor free and non-toxic. Maintains natural pH.
*$$ Saving- Remember how your cup will last 10 years and replace thousands of single-use period products? Find out how much $$ that can save you with our waste calculator.
*Comfortable - Soft and flexible, it molds to your shape. Saalt creates premium cups that are modern and innovative, with multiple sealing points to prevent leaks, and a soft flex stem for comfort.
*Convenient - Because it has 2–4 times the capacity of a regular tampon, you can wear your Saalt Cup for up to 12 hours before emptying. Yes, even while sleeping!
WHO CAN USE THE CUP?
Anyone who menstruates can use Saalt Menstrual Cups! There are no limits on cup use based on age or life experience. We admit we’re biased, but we think the Saalt Cup should be elected Madame President of Periodsville! ;)
In some situations (like if you have an IUD, or have ever had TSS), you should consult with your medical provider before using a menstrual cup.
CAN I USE A CUP IF I’M NOT COMFORTABLE WITH TAMPONS, OR HAVE NEVER PUT ANYTHING IN MY VAGINA?
Saalt Menstrual Cups are a great period care solution for anyone who menstruates! Yes, you can still use a cup even if you’ve never put anything in your vagina before or never used a tampon. Many people who don’t like or haven’t used tampons use our cups and love them. We encourage you to take your time, go slowly, and listen to your body as you learn to insert your cup.
For some people, anatomical differences like the size or shape of the hymen or a smaller vaginal canal may mean that a longer time practicing and learning will be needed before cup use will come easily.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LEARN?
For some, cup success comes right away, and for others, there is a learning curve that depends on the user's unique anatomy. Everyone is different! There are two big factors that really impact anyone's success with a cup. One is their own comfort level learning about their body and being in physical contact with their intimate anatomy (i.e. putting their fingers in their vagina to insert and remove the cup), and the other is the level of support they have to help them learn. With time and patience, most people will be able to use a cup with good support to help them learn about their body and their cup.
Typically, it takes at least two cycles for your body to get used to the idea of a new cup, so be patient with yourself as you navigate the learning curve.
WHERE ELSE CAN I GET HELP LEARNING ABOUT MY CUP?
Full Instructions Page
WOULD I STILL NEED TO WEAR PADS WITH MY CUP?
The short answer is NO! Say goodbye to bulky pads for good. Some people choose to supplement their cup with a pad, liner, or period panties while mastering the learning curve or on their heavier days. However, once you have mastered the use of your cup, you and your fanciest panties can be worry and spot-free. Cup cheers!
WHAT IS THE SAALT CUP MADE OF?
Saalt Menstrual Cups are made of 100% medical-grade silicone and are BPA and latex-free. Our cups do not contain harmful dyes, but are rather colored with pigmented silicone. That's right, the color itself is also medical-grade silicone. The silicone has been tested and certified for cytotoxicity and skin sensitization per rigorous FDA testing standards so it is biocompatible and hypoallergenic. To ensure that our cups do not leach any substance into the body, we put our cups through third-party testing to ensure consumer safety and we’re happy to say our cups pass the test! Because silicone is set in a permanent bond, it cannot melt and nothing can ever leach out.
ARE SAALT MENSTRUAL CUPS VEGAN AND CRUELTY FREE?
Yes! Saalt Menstrual Cups are vegan and cruelty free. Saalt cups are sourced using a medical-grade silicone that is already tested and FDA approved and manufactured in an ISO 13485 certified facility. Neither our cups, nor the raw materials used to make them have been tested on animals, just our family and friends. ;)
WHAT MAKES SAALT DIFFERENT?
Great question! Saalt Menstrual Cups are made from 100% medical grade silicone and our unique design sets us apart from the crowd. Our bulb shape creates two points of contact, helping the cup be sensation and leak free as it stays put with a great seal. We use a velvety soft silicone for comfort, but our cup is still firm enough to open easily and retain its shape to prevent leaking. We know we’re partial, but we also love our soft flexible stem that is ultra-comfortable and will never rub or irritate. Our dedicated Cup Gurus/customer service team are also in your corner whenever you need them to help you find success with your cup. Last, when you purchase Saalt products, you’re also helping provide improved period care and menstrual health education to people in need. Thank you.
HOW LONG WILL MY SAALT CUP LAST?
Up to 10 years—that’s as long as your passport! Saalt Menstrual Cups are made of durable silicone that can last up to 10 years with proper care. If your cup is ripped or torn, or the silicone is showing visible signs of wear or deterioration, it’s time to replace your cup. You can preserve the longevity of your cup by always following Saalt’s guidelines for cleaning, sanitizing, and storing your cup, and by handling your cup carefully to avoid scratching or damaging the silicone.
HOW MUCH FLUID CAN MY SAALT CUP OR SAALT SOFT HOLD?
The Saalt Teen Cup conveniently holds up to 15mL of fluid (2x the amount of a regular tampon), our size small holds up to 25 mL of fluid (3xs the amount of a regular tampon), and the size regular holds up to 30 mL (4xs the amount of a regular tampon). To compare, the very largest tampons max out at 18 mL of fluid.
WHAT ARE THE FULL DIMENSIONS OF YOUR SIZES?
Saalt Small: Capacity (2–3 tampons), Volume (25 ml), Height (with stem 70mm), Rim Diameter (41mm)
Saalt Regular: Capacity (3–4 tampons), Volume (30 ml), Height (with stem 70mm), Rim Diameter (46mm)
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SAALT CUP AND THE SAALT SOFT?
Opens easily for a secure fit and seal. Great for new cup users.
Saalt's original menstrual cup was designed to be the easiest to use and most comfortable cup on the market. The medical-grade silicone has a velvety soft finish and is on the slightly firm side of average and is engineered with a bulb shape that retains its form very well. This makes it an excellent cup for first-time cup users because the slightly firmer structure allows it to pop open easily when inserted and creates a really good seal, so it's leak free and sits comfortably in place.
Designed with comfort in mind, especially for those with sensitivity.
The Saalt Soft is designed especially for those with a history of bladder sensitivity, cramping or discomfort with firmer cups.The Saalt Soft has the same bulb shape and soft rounded transitions, but is made from a slightly softer medical-grade silicone that is designed especially for those who have experienced bladder sensitivity, additional cramping or discomfort with firmer cups. Because the silicone is softer, it can take a little more effort to get opened, but once it's sealed, many find it to be the perfect fit for comfort.
TO TRIM OR NOT TO TRIM?
Say no to uncomfortable stems! The stem on your Saalt Menstrual Cup is designed to be soft and comfortable so you can keep it to help locate the cup. Depending on how you wear your cup, you may decide to trim off part or all of the stem. If you do, trim on one of the indentations. Never trim the stem while your cup is inserted. Make sure you know the desired length before trimming. Take care not to cut or scratch any part of the cup when trimming to avoid unwanted tearing of the cup. We recommend using your cup with the stem intact for at least one full period before choosing whether or not to trim your stem. Your cervix changes position throughout your cycle and you may find that having the stem is helpful to locating the cup later during your period.
2. Cup Inserting and Positioning
HOW IS THAT GOING TO FIT?
Let’s be real, it’s the question we all had when we made the switch. And then we learn, YOU FOLD IT FIRST. Light bulbs!! When your cup is folded, the insertion point is quite small. Give different folds a try, making sure to hold the fold tightly during insertion. Many people find that the Punch-own Fold or 7-Fold gives them the smallest insertion point.
HOW DO I FOLD MY CUP?
Time for some origami! The three most popular folds to try when inserting your cup are the C Fold, the Punch Down Fold, and the 7-Fold. Give them each a try and see which one works best for you. Easy peasy.
HOW DOES IT STAY IN?
Saalt Menstrual Cups fit comfortably inside your vaginal canal and stay in place when a seal is formed between the outside of the cup and the walls of your vagina. When inserted properly, it will rest naturally; you won't even notice it’s there.
HOW DO I MEASURE MY CERVIX?
With clean hands, insert 1–2 fingers into your vaginal canal. Feel for the opening of your cervix, which feels similar to soft cartilage (some compare to the tip of a nose but softer). Your cervix will have a tiny hole in the center. Reaching your cervix with your finger inserted to the 1st knuckle = low, 2nd knuckle = medium, 3rd knuckle = high. If your cervix height is low to medium, we recommend you choose the Saalt size small. If your cervix height is medium to high, we recommend you choose the Saalt size regular.
Your cervix can change position throughout your ovulation cycle. Because your cervix may descend lower into the vaginal canal or continue to sit higher during your period, it's best to check your cervix height several times throughout your period.
CAN I USE LUBRICANT TO HELP INSERT MY CUP?
Yes! Water is a great natural lubricant. Try wetting/rinsing the cup before inserting your cup. If you feel the need to use additional lubricant to aid in insertion, be sure to use a product that is water-based and safe for vaginal use. Please do not use oil based lubricants, like coconut oil, to aid in your cup use. These may degrade the silicone over time, reducing the longevity of your Saalt Cup.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY SAALT CUP IS POSITIONED CORRECTLY?
A Saalt Menstrual Cup should sit lower than a tampon in the vaginal canal, below the cervix. When positioned correctly, it should fit comfortably and be leak free. It’s natural and normal for the cervix to change position throughout the cycle, so you may find that the best placement for your cup may change from day to day. For some people with strong pelvic muscles or a high cervix, the cup may naturally find its way higher in the vaginal canal during use. For the most comfortable fit, it’s best to match the angle of the cup to the natural slant of your vaginal canal. The easiest way to do this is to insert your cup more horizontally, as if pointing toward your tailbone.
3. Cup Cleaning and Care
HOW LONG CAN I WEAR MY CUP BEFORE EMPTYING?
Your Saalt Menstrual Cup can be worn for up to 12 hours before emptying. We recommend emptying it morning and night. Of course, you know your body best. On days that you have a heavier flow, you might find you need to remove and empty more frequently.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY CUP DURING MY CYCLE?
See Before First Use for how to clean your cup right out of the box. During your cycle, remove the cup (always use clean hands) and rinse first using cold water to help avoid discoloration and odor. Then wash using warm water and mild soap. Rinse again to completely remove any soap. Your cup is then ready to reinsert.
HOW DO I SANITIZE MY CUP AFTER MY CYCLE?
After your cycle, rinse your cup in cold water first to help avoid discoloration and odor. Then wash thoroughly using hot water and mild soap. Avoid strong cleaners or anything that may irritate your skin if not completely washed off. Use a soft rag to wipe away any buildup. Clear the four holes at the top of your Saalt Menstrual Cup by passing water through the holes. Then sanitize your cup by placing it in a pot of boiling water for 4–5 minutes (but not more than 7 min). Use tongs or a whisk to make sure the cup doesn’t rest on the bottom of the pot. When boiling is not an option, you may sanitize your cup by wiping it with a soft rag and 70% isopropyl alcohol after thoroughly rinsing in water.
Please do not use the following that may degrade the silicone over time, disrupt your natural pH and vaginal flora, or may lead to irritation:
*Extended soaking in any substance
HOW DO I PREVENT MY CUP FROM BEING DISCOLORED OR STAINED?
To prevent discoloration, always rinse your cup first with cold water after emptying. Though silicone can become discolored over time, your Saalt Menstrual Cup is still good to use.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY CUP IN A PUBLIC RESTROOM?
If it’s inconvenient to get to the sink in a public restroom, simply wipe your cup with toilet paper or wet wipe and reinsert it. If you prefer to rinse your cup, you might consider carrying a small water bottle or squirt bottle in your bag to use on-the-go. The most important thing to remember is to always handle your cup during insertion and removal with clean hands. Later, you can choose to wash your cup more thoroughly.
4. Cup Lifestyle
I HAVE A VERY ACTIVE LIFESTYLE. WILL THE CUP LEAK OR FALL OUT?
Healthy living is a pretty big deal here at Saalt, so kudos to you for keeping active. Because we designed Saalt Menstrual Cups to fit snugly inside your vaginal canal, you can maintain the same level of activity that you do when you’re not menstruating. Go ahead and swim, dance and veg free of bulky pads or dangling strings.
WHAT IF I LIKE TO LIVE LIFE UPSIDE DOWN, LIKE IN HANDSTANDS AND INVERTED YOGA POSES?
We totally dig that. Fortunately, the seal created between your cup and vaginal walls should allow you to breeze through those asanas, no problem.
CAN I SWIM WHILE WEARING MY SAALT CUP?
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage it. Tampon fibers absorb water, bacteria, and chemicals while swimming that can become hospitable toward microbial growth. Saalt Menstrual Cups form a seal that creates a barrier between you and the water and still prevents you from leaking. So if you want to avoid soggy tampons and harmful chemicals, you’ll love your period upgrade with Saalt.
CAN I WEAR MY SAALT CUP DURING SEX?
Well someone had to ask! Unfortunately, no. You’ll need to remove your cup before penetrative, vaginal intercourse.
5. Cup Health Concerns
DO I NEED TO TALK TO MY DOCTOR BEFORE I USE A CUP?
Most people do not need to talk to their doctor before using a cup. If you have an IUD or have ever had TSS, we do recommend that you talk with your doctor before using a cup. We’re period experts, not medical experts, so if you have a medical condition or something in your medical history that makes you wonder if cup use is right for you, we always encourage you to check with your trusted medical provider for their recommendation.
CAN I WEAR MY SAALT MENSTRUAL CUP WITH AN IUD OR RING CONTRACEPTIVE?
Though using a menstrual cup with an IUD or contraceptive ring should be no problem, we recommend talking with your medical provider before use. Some cup users find that it is more comfortable if the strings on their IUD are trimmed shorter prior to using their cup. Be sure to break the seal before removing your cup to avoid dislodging your contraceptive.
When positioning your cup with a ring contraceptive, make sure the ring is not resting in your cup since it works by contacting your skin. Many cup users reported that compared to a tampon, the cup was easier to insert and remove without disturbing the ring.
CAN I GET TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME (TSS) FROM USING A MENSTRUAL CUP?
The short answer is that getting TSS from a menstrual cup is possible, but highly unlikely. To minimize your risk, always wash your hands before and after handling your cup, clean your cup thoroughly between periods, and consider emptying your cup more frequently. Consult your doctor before using a menstrual cup if you’ve previously been diagnosed with TSS.
CAN I WEAR A SAALT CUP IF I HAVE A LATEX ALLERGY?
Of course! All of Saalt’s menstrual cups are made of 100% medical grade silicone that is blissfully latex, BPA, and toxin free.
WHAT IF I HAVE A HIGH, LOW, OR TILTED CERVIX?
Rest easy—you can comfortably use Saalt Menstrual Cups with a high, low, or tilted/retroverted cervix. In fact, the location of the cervix may change naturally throughout a person’s cycle. If your cervix is higher, your cup may find its way higher in the vaginal canal during use. This isn’t a problem, so long as it doesn’t cause leaking or discomfort, which can come from positioning the cup too high, creating pressure against the cervix. It may also take a little more effort to remove. For those with a low cervix, our size small or Saalt Teen Cup may be your most comfortable option, and you can choose to trim off the stem if needed. If your cervix is tilted, be sure to take some time to find which angle will suit you best when your cup is inserted.
6. Cup Troubleshooting
Consider removing your cup while straddling a toilet or while in the shower, especially your first time. Always break the seal before removing your cup by pinching the base of the cup and wiggling as you pull. Never pull on the stem alone. Wiggle back and forth while removing, pulling out the top/front of the rim first, keeping the cup upright to avoid spilling, then remove the bottom/back of the rim.
If you can't reach your cup when it is inserted, relax. The cup cannot get lost inside the vagina; sometimes it may sit higher up and be hard to reach (this can happen at night). You can use your pelvic muscles to move the cup lower. We refer to this as gently bearing down, and it should feel similar to starting an easy bowel movement or releasing gas. Try not to strain when you bear down, and breathe with an open mouth and loose throat to prevent pressure on your pelvic floor. Once in reach, grasp lower on the base of the cup, pinch, wiggle and gently pull it out. You may also just continue to move around and gravity will naturally move the cup back down to its normal position. Try again to remove it after 30 minutes.
Also try inserting one finger alongside the cup and press in to break the seal. If possible, try hooking that one finger at the rim of the cup to help bring it lower, or while pressing into the side of the cup to keep the seal broken, use your other hand to pull gently on the stem.
SAY NO TO LEAKS OR DISCOMFORT
When your cup is inserted correctly, you shouldn’t experience any discomfort or leaking. First check the position. A Saalt Menstrual Cup sits lower in the vagina than a tampon. If it is too high or too close to the cervix, it can leak or cause discomfort and cramping. Use your vaginal muscles to gently move the cup to a lower position. Your vagina has a natural slant, so make sure the cup is inserted to match the natural slant of your vaginal canal. To accomplish this, point your cup towards your tailbone instead of straight up during insertion. Leaking can also be caused by a poor seal. Make sure the four air holes are not clogged and that the cup has fully opened. Swirl a finger around the base of the cup to check for any folds or indentations. Pinch the base of the cup and rotate it to make sure it is opened completely.
Wipe or rinse your labia after insertion to prevent spotting. Spotting can be caused by blood left in the vagina after inserting. After inserting your cup, swirl your finger around the cup to remove any excess blood, then wash your hands. You can supplement your cup with a pad, liner, or period underwear while you are learning to use it or on your heaviest days.
IS IT NORMAL FOR MY CUP TO NOT OPEN UP RIGHT AWAY?
For some people the cup opens right away after insertion, and for others the cup may need a bit of help to fully open. If you find your cup hasn't fully opened, try one or more of the following:
*Choose a different fold. Sometimes something as simple as changing the fold will help the cup to open easier. You can also try changing the direction the fold is facing during insertion.
*Insert the cup slightly higher into the vaginal canal. The vagina is at its narrowest near the entrance and is slightly wider higher into the canal.
*Pinch the base of the cup and rotate it to get it to fully open. This may be a few short twists or a full 360 degree rotation.
*Try rotating again while grasping the cup a little higher.
*Gently press the vaginal wall away from the dent/fold to create more space for the cup to fully open.
*Bear down on the cup, as if having a bowel movement, as you press upward on the base of the cup to keep it in place.
*Pinch the bottom of the cup once or twice directly below the dent/fold, essentially "pumping" the fold out of the cup.
If the cup is positioned incorrectly, it can put pressure on your urethra or bladder. It may feel like you have to urinate often or can feel like a weak urine stream, where it can take a long time to empty your bladder. Either way, changing the position of the cup should help relieve this pressure. You’ll want to be sure that you are positioning your cup to match the natural slant of your vaginal canal. To do this, try inserting your cup more horizontally toward your tailbone.
If you know you have bladder sensitivity, you might find that our Saalt Soft is the perfect fit for comfort! The Saalt Soft is a natural progression for Saalt's menstrual cup line. It has the same bulb shape and soft rounded transitions, but is made from a slightly softer medical-grade silicone that is designed especially for those with bladder sensitivity, cramping or discomfort with firmer cups. Because the silicone is softer, it can take a little more effort to get opened, but once it's sealed, we’re confident that you’ll find it to be the perfect fit for comfort.