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Here at Allbodies we LOVE our menstrual cup. Great for traveling? Check. Great for sport? Yup. Just great overall? For sure. But what’s not so great? Leaking. If you’ve experienced your menstrual cup leaking, don’t despair quite yet! There are a few reasons why you might be having this problem. To help, we’ve partnered up with Lunette, one of our fave menstrual cups, to help us troubleshoot how to use a period cup to make sure it doesn’t leak!
Please note, the following is being republished from Lunette, therefore, this article has not undergone the usual protocols for content on the Allbodies site. Allbodies reminds you always to check in both with your care team and your body whenever you introduce anything new!
The Cup Hasn’t Fully Opened and/or Sealed
One common reason for a menstrual cup leaking is that, after you’ve inserted it, the cup hasn’t fully opened and sealed. This means there will be air pockets between your cup and your vaginal canal…and potentially blood streaming down your thigh. Instead, what you want is for the cup to suction onto the walls of your vagina (don’t worry, you don’t feel it!), preventing menstrual blood from leaking around the rim of the cup.
Here’s how to use your period cup to ensure it is properly opened and sealed:
- Think about how you’re folding the cup. Are you currently using a C-fold but getting leaks? Try out a different fold and see if this helps! Other folding methods include the punch-down method or triangle fold. Have no clue what we are talking about? Check out Lunette’s handy-dandy how-to video that shows you all the folds.
- Rotate! Key to how properly to use a period cup is rotating! After you insert the cup, make sure you rotate it to help it fully open. This will prevent those unwanted air pockets and help create suction.
- Try a new insertion position. Do you just lift a leg to insert your cup? It might be that that’s just not working for you! Instead, you could try inserting your menstrual cup while you squat over your toilet or in the shower. This position will cause your pelvis to tilt a little, which can make the cup hug the vaginal canal a little more, helping suction it to the side of your vagina.
- Check that the cup air holes are thoroughly cleaned. Have you ever taken a good look at your Lunette cup (or any menstrual cup)? Have you ever noticed those tiny little holes at the top of your cup? Well, those are air holes that allow the cup to fully suction to the walls of your vagina. If they are blocked for any reason the cup won’t form a proper seal inside, so it’s important you thoroughly clean every time you rinse your cup! This will help to ensure no menstrual cup leaking.
You Need a Different Cup Size!
That’s right, the size of the cup might be why your menstrual cup is leaking. If you are bleeding more than your cup can hold, it doesn’t matter if you’ve inserted it correctly, or if you’ve cleaned the air holes, the cup will runneth over! Get a bigger cup! Alternatively, it might be that the cup you have is the wrong size for your vagina. If you find yourself unable to get your cup open all the way, or you have to really dig it out, you might want to size down or up, respectively. Luckily, the Lunette Cup comes in multiple sizes, for different vaginas and flows and it’s got a great quiz to find out which size would be best for you!
You Need to Empty Your Cup Out More
Although you can technically go 12 hours without emptying your cup, that doesn’t mean you always should go the full 12 hours. Some people might need to empty it sooner than others. If you have a heavier flow and you’re already using a bigger cup, and you’re still experiencing your menstrual cup leaking, try emptying your cup every 4 or 6 hours to see if that helps.
Find Out Where Your Cervix Sits
Do you know where your cervix sits? Cause its position might be the reason for your menstrual cup leaking! You want your menstrual cup to sit under your cervix. If your cup is placed too high, without space between the rim of the period cup and your cervix, or not directly underneath the cervix, your blood might not flow into the cup and instead cause leaking. Instead, you want your cup below the cervix so the blood flows in!
If you have a lower cervix, you’ll want the menstrual cup to sit lower in your vaginal canal. You might have to cut the stem of your cup in order for it to fit comfortably in your vagina. If you have a tilted cervix, when you’re inserting, you might have to tilt your pelvis up and sit back a little more so that you’re not inserting your cup straight up.
Please note: During menstruation, the cervix might move from its normal position. So, if you’re cervix curious, locate your cervix both when you’re on your period and when you aren’t so you can see if it’s moved around! The cervix feels like the tip of your nose, in other words: soft and squishy!
You Might be Bearing Down
Bearing down can disrupt the position of your menstrual cup and be the cause of the cup’s leaking. You might bear down when you poop, or if you’re lifting weights, or doing other heavy lifting or activity. Bearing down pushes your menstrual cup down too (especially if you have strong pelvic floor muscles). However, if you’ve inserted your cup properly, suctioning it to the walls of your vaginal canal, it won’t fully come out, so all you need to do is push it back up a little so it can go back to its normal place. And voilà, no more menstrual cup leaking!
Fancy Some Kegels?
If you’ve gone through all these tips and your period cup is still leaking, the culprit may be your pelvic floor muscles. If your pelvic floor muscles are weak, they won’t be able to hold the cup tight against the vaginal wall. If this is the case, the cup usually leaks when you get up from a seated position. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and can prevent future problems like urinary leakage. If you are concerned you may have weak pelvic floor muscles, we also recommend you see a pelvic floor therapist!
There you have it! No more worries about your menstrual cup leaking. Ready to try one now?! If you are, we love the Lunette Cup. In an independent study conducted by International Consumer Research & Testing (ICRT) with the Danish Consumer Counsel THINK, Lunette Menstrual Cup Clear was rated the NUMBER ONE cup for chemical safety out of a group of competitors. The menstrual cup Lunette Clear is the only cup in the test that received the best chemical rating.
Written by: Team Lunette
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