Image source: Pexels
What if I told you that there's a solution to your period problems that is eco-friendly, budget-friendly, and oh-so-comfortable? Enter: the menstrual cup.
Like any new thing, using a menstrual cup can come with some challenges. Don't worry, though, because we've got the lowdown on how to troubleshoot those pesky period problems. Let's dive in!
Menstrual cup leaking is a common problem that can be easily fixed.
A menstrual cup is in a folded position when inserted into the vagina, and it will pop open upon reaching the cervix, forming a seal. If the menstrual cup won’t open, then you need to gently move your fingers around the cup's base to coax it to pop open.
1. Check the Seal
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The seal is good to go if the cup does not move when you pull it (that’s the suction working). You should be able to twist the cup if it has been properly positioned, and the rim should continue to circle the cervix without stopping. Or if you’re having trouble twisting, run your finger around the rim at the top of the cup to see if there are any folds, ensuring that the whole rim has opened up.
2. Check Your Cup Size
If you have a good seal, but the leak persists, you might need a larger cup to accommodate the additional flow. A cup that's too big or too small can lead to menstrual cup leaking.
Note: Menstrual cups hold 1 oz or ~30 ml of fluid, which is the average amount of blood loss over the course of an entire period. It is best to see a doctor if the cup is regularly overflowing.
3. Opt For Additional Protection
If all else fails, try using reusable period underwear or a panty liner for extra protection.
“I Can’t Remove It”
The period cup can occasionally move up the vaginal canal. Don’t panic; this is very normal. Use your stomach or pelvic floor muscles to push it down. To bring the cup's base closer, grab hold of the stem and slowly pull it downward.
This is how to remove a menstrual cup step by step:
- Wash your hands.
- Relax your body. You can insert your cup while sitting on the toilet, squatting, or standing up with one leg on the bathtub or toilet.
- Pinch the cup's base (not the stem) to break the seal at the rim and pull down while keeping the cup at a slight horizontal angle will prevent spilling. Some also find it helpful to tug on the cup’s rim to break the seal.
- Dump the contents into the toilet, sink, or shower.
- Rinse the cup in water, then re-insert it.
Using your pelvic floor muscles, bear down on the cup. You’ll notice the cup moving an inch or so downward, making it easier to grab and remove.
“Can My Period Cup Get Stuck?”
It is a common misconception that your menstrual cup might get stuck. Cups are just over 2 inches, and the vaginal canal is 2-3/4 to around 3-1/4 inches long. This difference is the length from your fingertip to the first knuckle, so your cup won’t disappear. But since every vagina is unique, you might opt for a larger size if your cup is hard to reach.
Menstrual cups may take a little getting used to, but once you've got the hang of it, you'll never look back. They're a game-changer for your period and the environment, so don’t be afraid to try them.
Did you know in the US, students miss 300 million days of school annually due to a lack of menstrual hygiene products? Courtesy Cups is on a mission to give back by donating one cup for every cup purchased locally. We not only invented the first portable menstrual cup sanitizer, but we’re committed to Changing the Cycle of period poverty through education and advocacy. Here's how you can get involved.