Congratulations on switching to a sustainable period product like the menstrual cup– it must be so disappointing to see it leaking.
I remember how eagerly I awaited my period after purchasing my menstrual cup for the very first time. My excitement died down soon when I went through the gruelling “first-time” insertion process, only to be devastated at seeing blood staining my underwear an hour later. Keep in mind, all of this happened seven years ago, when there wasn’t a lot of education available in India on this ‘new’ period product.
Related: How to Use a Menstrual Cup
Over time, with the help of ‘Dr Google’, Instagram menstruators and lots of trial-and-error, I have been able to narrow it down to FOUR reasons why the menstrual cup runneth over. We also address how you could remedy them to have a leak-free period!
Here are 4 troubleshooting tips towards enjoying a leak-free period:
(The first three reasons could happen at any point of your menstrual cup journey and can be instantly remedied for a leak-free period. However, if leakage is a continuous long-term issue, the last reason may be the possible culprit.)
1. Menstrual Cup has not opened fully
You’ve contorted the menstrual cup into a fold of your choice and directed it towards its home in your vaginal canal for the next 8 hours. And then it leaks.
The most common reason for a leaking cup, especially in new menstrual cup users, is that the menstrual cup hasn’t opened up fully. The cup retains a fold or a ridge which gives your Aunt Flo a route to make her presence felt. In order to prevent menstrual cup leaks, the user must ensure that the cup has opened up fully.
How could I make sure the menstrual cup has opened up fully?
The most effective way to do this is to run a finger across the bottom of the cup, immediately after insertion. At this stage, if you feel a ridge, apply a small amount of pressure against it until the cup opens up fully. However, if you feel a large fold, it is recommended to remove and reinsert.
This is a skill you’ll certainly master over time- the first step towards a leak-free period!
2. Incorrect Menstrual Cup Position
The next likely reason for a cup to leak would be improper positioning. If the cup is placed too high or too low in the vaginal canal, it has the tendency to leak.
How could I make sure that the menstrual cup is in the right position?
The cup should sit in the vaginal canal below the cervix. There is a chance that the stem may sit a little out of the canal, but it should not be outside the vulva- then the cup is too low.
3. Clogged Airholes
You may have seen pinpoint airholes on your menstrual cup and wondered what they’re there for. These holes help the cup with their suction to stay in place as it fills up so that it won’t leak. However, if they get clogged up, menstrual fluid may leak around the cup.
How could I unclog the airholes?
Learn a little more about your period and empty the cup more often when your flow is heavier. To unclog these holes, remove the cup and throughly wash them against running water.
4. Incorrect Menstrual Cup Size
A likely reason why your cup has continued to leak over multiple cycles consistently could be using a cup that is incorrectly sized. A cup’s size may be incorrect to begin with or could change based on a variety of factors.
How can I choose the correct menstrual cup size for me?
Take a Menstrual Cup Size Quiz to get the ideal recommendation for you. This quiz considers 10 different factors which may be determining the menstrual cup size that’s right for you.
Have you ever experienced a leaking menstrual cup? Was it because of one of these 4 reasons?
Let us know in the comments below!