Help My Menstrual Cup Is Leaking!!
So, you have heard all these wonderful things about menstrual cups. Everyone is raving about them and how life changing they are. You have taken a leap of faith into the world of reusable menstrual cups and joined this amazing revolution. Now you find yourself cursing this little device!! It is not as easy to use as you thought and you are getting leaks!! Before you give up and throw it to the dog as a new chew toy let’s have a look at some tips and techniques that will help you perfect the art of using your menstrual cup. Remember when you first started to use tampons or ride a bike? Well in reality using a menstrual cup is the same and it can take a bit of practice to perfect and find the right techniques.
This is quite common for those that are new to using a menstrual cup to experience leaks. By experimenting you can find a few techniques that make using your menstrual cup easy and prevent those leaks. Here are some tips to help eliminate that dreaded leak.
Your cup is to full and overflowed.
Yes, I know it seems an obvious answer but for some new to the menstrual cup revolution learning to gauge how often to change your menstrual cup can take some practice. Especially if you have only ever used pads it can take a bit more practice. If you have been a tampon user our recommendation to our customers over the years is to leave your menstrual cup in approx. 1 hour longer than you would wear a tampon. So, by this I mean, if on your heavy day you can wear a tampon for 2 hours before you need to change it, then remove your menstrual cup after 3 hours. If your cup is not completely full then you know you can leave it in longer before it will need emptying. Apply the same principle for your medium and light flow days as well. For our pad users, try following the same concept however you may need a little more practice to work out how often to change your cup.
Other ways to tell if your cup is full and needs emptying is some women can feel a slightly heavier feeling which can often be the weight of the cup. Some can also experience a bubbling feeling, I personally use to feel this bubbling feeling when my cup was full…. This took me years to work out what that sensation was!!
It is also important to mention that some spotting or blood residue after inserting your cup is normal. It can just be the excess from around the cup or nearer your vaginal entrance once you have inserted it.
Cup not open correctly.
Now this can be one of the most common and easily fixed solutions for menstrual cup leaks. Sometimes once inserted, your cup may not fully open and this can allow leaks to occur down the side of your cup. To fix this issue, once your cup is inserted give it a wee turn while holding the base of your cup (not the stem). While turning it give it a wee wriggle down and/or up. This often easily sorts out the issue of the cup not popping open.
You can also run a finger around the outside of your menstrual cup. Insert your finger between the cup and vaginal wall and run it around the cup. This will help you feel and ensure it has opened out fully. If it feels squished or flattish on one side then try the tips above until you can feel It is fully opened. If your cup doesn’t fully pop open after insertion then the suction hasn’t formed correctly and leaks may occur. You can also try giving your cup a gentle pull, a cup that is well suctioned into place won’t pull down which means you have a good seal.
Your cup is in the wrong position.
The position of your cup and angle you insert can make a difference to creating a good seal. Try inserting on a horizontal 45-degree angle and push it towards your tailbone. Trying to push your cup in the wrong direction such as pushing it vertically straight up can cause discomfort. Just remember this angle will also depend on the position your body is in. The 45-degree angle may not work for everyone but it is just another tip that may help getting the correct position, suction and seal.
Another suggestion about position is to make sure haven’t positioned your cup to high and pushed it up as far as you can. A menstrual cup is designed to sit lower than a tampon and should sit lower down. Ideally most women should be able to feel the stem of the cup approx. 1cm in from the entrance of your vagina.
Air holes are clogged
It is super important to make sure those little tiny air holes around the top of your cup are clear and not blocked up with blood. This may prevent your cup from suctioning to the vaginal wall and creating a proper seal. If these are clogged try using a small soft menstrual cup brush and menstrual cup wash to clear the blockage. Always ensure your cup is properly cleaned regularly to prevent these tiny holes clogging up. You can also pinch either side of the holes to try and remove the blockage.
So, you have tried the above suggestions and you are still having leak issues with your cup?
Ok so now you have tried the basics and you are still getting leak issues? Don’t give up yet, there are still some other techniques and tricks up our sleeve.
Using the right cup fold
Now there are many different folds that can help with inserting your cup. Finding the right fold can help you get the cup into the correct spot first time. Some folds work better than others. Again, this technique can be a bit of a trial and error to find which cup fold makes it easy to insert and pop open easily. Personally, myself and many of our customers find the “punch down fold” or the “7-fold” works well. These two folds are great for beginners to not only insert but to get the cup to pop open easily once inside the vagina. Check out our different cup folds here and try a few techniques to see which works for you.
Do you have the right size, style and firmness for your body?
Sometimes it can come down to the type of cup you have purchased. For example, if you have purchased a cup that is too soft for your body you may have leaks. It will be very difficult to get it open and a good seal created. If you are an extremely active sports person a soft or medium firmness cup may not work. An extremely active sports person my find the tight vaginal muscles will crush your cup which again will create leaks. Buying a cup that is too small may cause it to move around and not stay in position causing leaks. These are just some examples. It is important to consider as many factors as you can before you purchase a cup. Before trying a cup or rushing off to buy another cup to do some research so you can try and find the best possible fit for your body. Unfortunately, it’s not a one size fits all scenario. If you have tried the all the tips and techniques and are still having leak issues contact us here so we can look into menstrual cup options that may be better suited for your body.