Help My Cup Is Leaking
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. Many women find using a liner or light pad as back up while they get the hang of the cup can avoid period anxiety.
Here is a basic guide to problem solving the dreadful leak:
Your cup is too full … and it overflowed.
When you are 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.
If you have been a tampon user our recommendation to our customers is to leave your menstrual cup in approx. 1 hour longer than you would wear a tampon. So if on your heavy day you can wear a tampon for say 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 go longer before it will need emptying on your heavy days.
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 used to feel this bubbling feeling when my cup was full…. it 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 can just be the excess from around the cup or nearer your vaginal entrance once you have inserted it.
Your cup did 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 slight turn while holding the base of your cup (not the stem. 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. 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 tail bone. Trying to push your cup 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 and suction.
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 airholes 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 can ensure your cup is properly cleaned. You can also pinch either side of the holes to try and remove the blockage.
Alternatively, rinse your cup and fill with water. Place your palm over the top to form a seal, and then gently squeeze the cup, which will force the water through the holes. Rinse and reinsert.
Still having issues?
Using the right cup fold
There are many different folds that can help with inserting your cup and getting 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 makes it pop open easily. Personally, myself and many of our customers find the “punch down fold” or the “7-fold” works well to not only insert but 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. *LINK*
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 or too small for your body you will have leaks as 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 and your vaginal muscles will crush your cup which again will create leaks.
It is important to take in as many factors as you can before you purchase a cup or trying another cup to ensure 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 so we can look into menstrual cup options that may be better suited for your body.