SOS: Here’s What to Do If Your Menstrual Cup Gets Stuck Like Kristen Bell’s Did

Photo: Getty Images/Slaven Vlasic
Lately ladies everywhere have been singing the praises of the menstrual cup. (It's better for the environment! It saves me so much money! A bunch of cup companies are women-led!) But the enthusiasm apparently didn't, er, spill over to Kristen Bell, who recently dealt with a DivaCup that got stuck, setting the yikes-worthy score to Bell: zero, menstrual cup: 1.

"I was like, okay time for a change, and I went to grab it, and there was something that was suctioned to the wrong part," Bell said on a recent episode of Busy Philipps' brand-new Busy Tonight talk showThe situation quickly escalated, and one yank on the cup actually made Bell pass out. When she came to, she managed to finagle out the menstrual accessory, but whole ordeal led her to break up with her cup for good.

Should you ever have a similar SOS moment, I asked Adeeti Gupta, MD, founder of Walk In GYN Care in New York City, exactly what to do to keep your results from being as disastrous as Bell's. First, "lay down on your back, and gently insert your index finger in the vagina and try to gently go along the border of the cup and try to pry it loose," she instructs. (Or, as Bell phrases it, "You have to be willing to finger it out.")

"You have to be willing to finger it out." —Kristen Bell, on stubbornly stuck menstrual cups

"Do not push it further in; just try to wiggle your finger around the edge to release any negative suction that may have formed. Once you have your finger pried in, just run it along the edges enough to release the cup, and then it should be easy to remove," Dr. Gupta says. If you can't get your finger on the outside edge of the cup, she advises visiting your doc as soon as possible.

As for what could have happened in Bell's case, Dr. Gupta says it's likely that the cup suctioned itself to the vasovagal nerve, which causes you to pass out immediately when it's stimulated. "Probably the cup got impacted due to a negative suction pressure, and then she couldn't get it to release... It's almost the same pathway that is utilized during labor," she says.

Dr. Gupta says it's totally okay to reuse the same cup that yielded an almost-disaster. "Just remember not to push it too deep and remove it gently instead of pushing it in further," she reiterates.

More learning lessons from Kristen Bell? Keep your cheese grater away from your feet, and triple check your greens

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