Why does your menstrual cup leak: Part I
It’s so frustrating when your menstrual cup leaks
There’s nothing more frustrating than your new menstrual cup not working! Some people might even experience leaking issues with a menstrual cup they’ve had for a couple of years. We completely understand your frustration.
Some people get the hang of using a menstrual cup on the first try while some people struggle for 1-6 menstrual cycles. The main complaint about menstrual cups is that they leak. A menstrual cup when working properly will not leak unless it overflows!
So, why does my menstrual cup leak?
We wish this was a one-sentence answer; however, there is a list of reasons why your cup might be leaking. So where do we start? Let’s first talk about your anatomy, as there are often some misconceptions about the vaginal region!
Below is an excerpt from WebMD.com
“The cervix is a cylinder-shaped neck of tissue that connects the vagina and uterus. The cervix is made of cartilage covered by smooth, moist tissue, and is about one inch across. There are two main portions of the cervix:
- The part of the cervix that can be seen from inside the vagina during a gynecologic examination is known as the ectocervix. An opening in the center of the ectocervix, known as the external os, opens to allow passage between the uterus and vagina.
- The endocervix or endocervical canal is a tunnel through the cervix, from the external os into the uterus.
The overlapping border between the endocervix and ectocervix is called the transformation zone.
The cervix produces cervical mucus that changes in consistency during the menstrual cycle to prevent or promote pregnancy.
During childbirth the cervix dilates widely to allow the baby to pass through. During menstruation the cervix opens a small amount to permit passage of menstrual flow.”
Take the time to explore your own anatomy. Part of the process of exploring your vagina should include finding your cervix, especially at different times during the month. You can learn how to find your cervix in our Menstrual Cup Buyer’s Guide.
Why is it important to find my cervix in relation to my menstrual cup leaking?
Below is a list of reasons why your cervix is the most important part of stopping your menstrual cup from leaking:
- One of the main reasons your cup might leak is because it’s not truly suctioned around your cervix.
- Your cervix is where the blood flows from, so if the cup is not suctioned around your cervix it’s probably suctioned to your vaginal wall.
- Since the blood comes from your cervix it is very important that your menstrual cup is completely open! If you’re not sure if your cup has “popped” open, take your finger and gently insert it into your vagina and slowly move it around the cup to make sure it’s open. If it isn’t open, slightly tug or pull on the stem (lightly, gently, very little tug) and this should make your cup “pop” open.
- Some people may not realize that their cervix might be tilted slightly to one side. You’ll want to be aware of where your cervix is at before you insert your menstrual cup. Your cervix can swell, which makes the placement of the cervix change at different times of the month and even during your period. When it swells, your cervix moves lower in the vagina, otherwise known as a low or hanging cervix. That’s why some cups are too long for those people who have a lower cervix during menstruation. This also can happen after you insert your cup. When this happens your cervix may be at the side of your cup. This can cause leaking.
Another reason you want to know your anatomy is because everyone is different. So you could read something about someone else and their cup experience, but that doesn’t mean you will have the same experience.
Make sure to check back next week when we post Part II of this 3 Part Blog on Why Menstrual Cups Leak!