Dose it leak
DOES A MENSTRUAL CUP LEAK?
Why does your menstrual cup leak?
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.It’s so frustrating when your menstrual cup leaks
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:
1. One of the main reasons your cup might leak is because it’s not truly suctioned around your cervix.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
There are other parts to explore to help prevent menstrual cup leakage.
While you’re down there checking where your cervix is hanging out you’ll want to become familiar with other parts in your vaginal region. Here are a list of things that will affect your menstrual cup experience and leaking issues:
- Cup doesn’t open because of vaginal muscles. Does your vagina hurt or do you feel pain with when inserting more than 1 finger? If yes, you might want to continue exploring your anatomy and give yourself time and patience, if you’re new to menstruation and just starting to use products that you insert into the vagina. This can be common if you are a virgin. In time it will not hurt or be uncomfortable. Use lubrication when exploring your own anatomy, it may hurt less. (It’s also okay to use lubrication when inserting your SckoonCup, such as KY Jelly). If you keep experiencing pain, please seek advice from your physician.
- The pubic bone can really get in the way sometimes! Do you feel the bone on the outside of your vaginal area? That’s your pubic bone. You must get your cup past your pubic bone in order for it to “pop” open and suction around the cervix to collect the blood.
- The vagina is not straight up and down. Remember that your vagina goes up and towards your rectum/bowel. When inserting your SckoonCup visualize and aim towards your tailbone.
Now that you know your anatomy we will explore other causes for a menstrual cup leaking in Part III of the series. Check back next week as we wrap up the “Why your menstrual cup leaks” blog series!
Size does matter…When talking about menstrual cups!
Most cup companies have 2 sizes including SckoonCup. If you purchase the wrong size your cup might leak.
If you purchase a size that’s too small your cup will more than likely leak. As frustrating as it might be, you might try everything listed yet still your cup leaks! DON’T give up! We understand that the cost of a menstrual cup is more money upfront; but saves you money after a few months! With that said, you might want to purchase a different size if nothing else works. The cup may be too small because your vaginal muscles might be a little too loose; therefore, the blood can sometimes leak.
What if you menstrual cup is too big?
If your menstrual cup is too big the cup probably won’t be able to fully open and may feel slightly uncomfortable. When your menstrual cup is too big for your anatomy it might leak because it cannot open fully, therefore the blood flows past your cup and not into the cup.
Some people complain about really soft menstrual cups. If you’re using a cup that’s not SckoonCup you could have leaking issues because the cup is too soft and won’t “pop” open.
A few other reasons your menstrual cup might be leaking.
- Some people who bend over too fast or are doing some extreme yoga/Pilates poses will make the seal/suction around your cervix break, which can cause leaking.
- The cup might be too full and will leak.
- Your cervix might cause your cup to leak if it “droops” into your cup. (For example, when you put ice into a full glass, the water rises). Again, just make sure to empty it a little sooner rather than later.
How to choose the right fold to use when inserting your menstrual cup
Some people will experience leaking with certain folds. The reason you may experience leaking is because certain folds might not allow the menstrual cup to “pop” open and suction around your cervix. Everyone’s muscle tone is different, so you’re going to want to play around with different folds for insertion.
The most popular folds are the 7 fold, the C fold, and the Punch down fold. The C fold as you can see below in the picture is the easiest to open, but some people don’t like the C fold because it’s wider when inserting into the vagina.
The punch-down fold is popular because it’s very compact for insertion, however the punch-down fold is one that can be harder to “pop” open. If your menstrual cup is not fully open, usually a gentle pull downward will do the trick and your cup will open right up around your cervix.