If you are using a menstrual cup to manage your period – well done! You have already signed up for healthy and sustainable periods.
There are many benefits of using menstrual cups. A few to top the list include:
- It’s super affordable
One good quality menstrual cup is all you need for 10 years - so no more monthly expenses on sanitary pads or tampons.
- There are no waste disposal challenges
Since it is a reusable menstrual product, all you need is to take the cup, empty, wash and re-insert it. So you no longer have to worry about emptying your bins filled with sanitary pads or tampons.
- It promises a worry-free period
A good quality menstrual cup ensures no staining, odour or itchiness during your period, and can be comfortably worn for up to 12 hours.
- It’s environmentally friendly
One menstrual cup can avert 2500 sanitary pads and tampons from going to landfill. Read this blog to learn more about the environmental impact of single-use sanitary products.
Periods can be so much more convenient with just a simple switch.
But what if your menstrual cup leaks? Are you frustrated from experiencing menstrual cup leak problems?
If your menstrual cup leaks all the time it can be stressful and unpleasant. Especially when you made the switch to a menstrual cup to have comfortable and stress-free periods in the first place.
So if you still have to use single-use pads or liners for back up, then it’s not really doing its job right.
There could be many underlying reasons for your menstrual cup leaking.
So let's explore the 7 biggest causes of menstrual cup leakage and share some advice about what to do if your menstrual cup is leaking.
Keep in mind that just like anything new, switching to a menstrual cup comes with a learning curve. But once you get the hang of it, periods are a breeze!
1) your menstrual cup is full and overflowing
A menstrual cup's capacity to hold your period flow varies across different brands. Most menstrual cups can hold up to 25 ml-30ml, which usually means you can wear your cup for around 12 hours.
But as all our bodies are different, so is our period flow.
This is most likely why your menstrual cup is full and overflowing sooner than you might have expected.
Some people bleed heavily during their periods, whereas others have very light flow. And keep in mind that the amount you bleed also changes according to different days of your period.
On your heavy period flow days, you might have to empty the cup more often - which is completely normal!
What can I do?
If you have just made the switch to a menstrual cup from pads or tampons, it will take you a few months to understand how much time it takes for the cup to fill up on heavy or light period days.
If your menstrual cup is leaking because it’s full or overflowing, that means you need to empty out more often than you are currently doing.
On your next period, just take your cup out within the first few hours to check if it’s still overflowing.
Chances are, you will no longer face this issue if you just empty and reinsert your menstrual cup more frequently.
2) you are using an incorrect menstrual cup size
Choosing the incorrect menstrual cup size is a common mistake a lot of us make.
The size measurement guides provided by various menstrual cup companies can leave us confused and unsure about which size to go for - as many menstrual cup brands base their sizing guides on various factors such as your age, whether you have given birth, or your cervix height.
If you have been using a menstrual cup for a few months and are constantly facing leaks on your heavier flow days, you might need a firmer cup.
How do I know what size is best for me?
The best way to choose the right menstrual cup size is to understand your period flow. If your flow is moderate and medium you can choose a small or softer cup.
But if you have heavy or irregular flow (some days it's heavy and other days it's lighter), then choose a slightly firmer cup.
This is because a firmer cup will ensure that the suction of the menstrual cup remains in place while your period blood is exerting some pressure on it due to heavy flow.
This is why, unlike other brands, Asan cup’s sizing is designed according your period flow.
Simply follow this rule and you’ll have the correct size:
If you can wear a pad for more than 6 hours on your heaviest period flow days, then go for the Asan light/medium flow cup.
Whereas, if you change pads within 4-5 hours on your heaviest flow days, then you should go for the Asan heavy flow cup. .
3) your menstrual cup cup does not pop open properly
When you fold your cup to insert it, it should fully open inside you to create a seal with your vaginal canal.
If it remains unopened, then your menstrual cup will definitely leak from the sides.
This is the most common reason that a menstrual cup leaks even when half full as it is not able to collect your flow properly.
What should I do?
The best way to avoid this issue is to learn which fold works best for you. The most popular folds are the C- fold (left) and punch-down fold (right).
Read this detailed blog on menstrual cup folds to learn more.
Many users claim that the C-fold tends to open up instantly as it has a simple crease. So try this fold out next time and see if that helps solve your issue of the cup not opening properly.
4) you are using a poor quality menstrual cup
If your menstrual cup is too soft, flimsy and made with poor quality silicone or plastic, it probably won't open properly to create a seal when inserted.
It’s really important to do your research about the quality and material of the menstrual cup.
Buying a soft or poor quality cup can cause leaks in a short span of time as you need to boil the cup to sterilise it every month, causing it to become wary and softer with each use.
How can I fix this?
Invest in a good quality and thoughtfully designed menstrual cup.
The Asan cup is a high quality menstrual cup made with Class 6 Medical Grade silicone - which is neither too soft, nor too firm.
It has been designed at the Harvard Innovation Lab and underwent four rounds of design and user testing - to engineer the perfect menstrual cup that doesn’t leak.
Read this blog to learn more about the Asan cup’s unique and special features.
5) your menstrual cup is not sitting in the right position
For a menstrual cup to hold your period flow, it needs to sit below the cervix. So it might not collect your menstrual fluid and cause leaks if it isn't inserted in the right position.
As the position of your cervix keeps changing during different phases of your menstrual cycle, it is important to insert the menstrual cup correctly so the seal doesn’t break as your cervix moves.
What can I do?
When trying a menstrual cup for the first time, most users angle the cup upwards while inserting.
This is in fact incorrect, as the right way to insert the cup is at a 45 degree angle - towards your tailbone.
Keep the cup as low as you can and don’t push it deep inside your vaginal canal. This video shows you exactly how to insert your menstrual cup correctly.
6) your menstrual cup is not creating suction
For the cup to stay intact and in one position, it is important for it to create an air seal inside your vaginal canal.
If your cup is not able to do that, it won’t be able to prevent leaks.
If this is happening with you, you might feel like your menstrual cup is leaking but not full.
What should I do?
To avoid this, clean the air holes while sterilising your cup with water or washing it with Asan’s One-Drop Cleanser.
Fill the cup with water and place your palm on the rim. Then turn it upside down and squeeze the cup.
Due to the pressure created, the water will come out of the air holes, removing any period residue stuck inside the holes.
7) you have strong pelvic floor muscles
If you are someone with strong pelvic floor muscles, it is possible that your pelvic floor muscles are squeezing your menstrual cup when it is inside your vaginal canal.
And in case you are using a soft cup, then this will definitely break the menstrual cup suction in your vaginal canal and cause leaks.
How do I fix this?
The Asan heavy flow cup is the perfect solution for this.
It is a slightly firmer cup and is made to cater to the needs of people that have heavy flow periods and strong pelvic floor muscles.
The firmness of the cup allows it to stay intact even if your pelvic floor muscles are putting some pressure on your vaginal canal.
frequently asked questions
Why does my menstrual cup only leak at night?
Does your menstrual cup leak while sleeping? Well this is because the cervix changes its position during the different stages of your menstrual cycle, including when you are sleeping. As your oestrogen levels fall, it makes the cervix open up for easy period flow and causes your vagina to tilt downwards.
If you wear your cup too high and your cervix shifts downwards, your period blood will start flowing from the sides rather than into the cup.
So the best way to prevent leaks at night is to wear your menstrual cup as low and close to your vaginal entrance as possible.
Why does my menstrual cup leak after a few hours?
If your menstrual cup leaks after a few hours of insertion, then please check if it’s full and overflowing.
If it’s overflowing, then you need to empty it and insert it again.
In this case you might need to test out how many hours you can wear the cup on different days of your period before it starts leaking.
If your cup is half full and still leaking, then you need to see if it has opened properly and doesn't have dents.
To check this, just run your finger around the cup and if it’s folded or dented, please remove it and re-insert it.
You also can check if the cup has created suction correctly inside your vaginal canal.
To do this, gently hold onto the stem or ring of the cup and pull it downwards. If it has created a seal then you will feel a slight pull and you won't be able to remove the cup without releasing the air suction.
Whereas if it comes out easily, then that means the seal had not been created properly.
Why does my menstrual cup leak during exercise?
Your menstrual cup shouldn't leak during exercise.
The only reason that it might leak for you is because the cup has moved while you are exercising because it is not positioned correctly inside the vagina, hasn't popped open properly, or is overflowing.
In any of these cases, please take the cup out, empty, wash and re-wear it. You might also want to run your finger around the cup to check if it has created the seal.
Will my menstrual cup leak when I pee?
Do you feel like your menstrual cup is leaking while peeing? Well, it is possible for your menstrual cup to move while peeing or during a bowel movement.
Since your pelvic muscles are in action, it is possible that the cup might also shift when you sit on a toilet.
This can happen occasionally - but if you feel that there is a leak after you pee, please remove and re-insert the cup to avoid leakage.
Can a menstrual cup leak when running?
A menstrual cup is designed to create air suction which leaves the cup intact inside the vagina.
If it is inserted properly and there are no dents, it won't leak in any given circumstance - even when you’re running.
If the cup leaks while running, it could be because it hasn’t popped open properly or hasn’t created an air seal. In that case, you might have to remove and insert it.
Why does my menstrual cup leak when I cough or sneeze?
Your cup might leak when you cough or sneeze because of either weak pelvic floor muscles or because you’re using a soft cup.
The best way to strengthen pelvic floor muscles is to do some kegel or other pelvic muscles exercises.
You can also switch to a firmer cup to prevent this. A firm cup like the Asan heavy flow cup will continue to sit intact inside the vagina when you cough or sneeze, hence preventing any leakage issues.
Which menstrual cup leaks the least?
The best cup to prevent leaks is a firm cup. As soon as a firm cup goes inside your vaginal canal, it will open instantly and go back to its original shape.
That won't be the case with soft cups. When you fold the cup, it might not open and there it can be a struggle to check if it has opened properly once inserted.
When choosing a menstrual cup, it’s important to research the design, quality and firmness of the cup so you pick the best option for yourself.
Can a menstrual cup leak when sitting?
No, a menstrual cup won't leak when sitting. It will only leak if it is overflowing, is folded or hasn't created a proper seal.
In case your cup leaks when sitting, please remove the cup and re-insert it.
My menstrual cup leaks on the first day of my period. What should I do?
If you are facing leaks on your first day, it could be due to heavy flow.
Please choose a firm or a heavy flow menstrual cup which can create a strong seal and sit intact.
A firm and good quality cup will not shift even on heavy period days. Ready to shop for the best menstrual cup for leakage? Shop here for the Asan cup now.