Fact check: Why does my cup have a stem?

When you buy a menstrual cup, chances are that it comes with a long, thin stem at the bottom of the cup. If the stem is uncomfortable or even sticking out after you have inserted the cup, then you can simply cut it to the perfect length for you.

If I can just cut it off, why is it there in the first place?

The stem doesn’t have any other function than to help you locate the base of your cup for removal. A handy little guide, so to speak! It is NOT designed to be a pull tab like the string of a tampon. So don’t remove your cup by pulling on the stem – this can not just damage your cup, but you can also hurt yourself by doing that!

How short should I cut the stem?

Generally, you should not be able to feel the stem at all so if it’s annoying you it’s time for a little trim. Everyone’s vagina is different, however, so there isn’t really one rule for all when it comes to the perfect stem length. Just always keep in mind that at no point should the stem be sticking out of your vagina – so if the cut sits comfortably but the stem is sticking out you should consider trimming a little further.

If you are a first-time cup user or you’ve just switched to a different cup, it’s best to trim the stem bit by bit and to keep inserting the cup – just to make sure you don’t cut it too short. Remember, it acts as a guide for you to locate your cup so if you cut it too short it might make the removal process a little bit trickier!

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