Menstrual Cups in Public Bathrooms

What do I do if I Only Have Access to a Public Toilet?

A menstrual cup holds more than a tampon and should keep you dry for a longer amount of time. Depending on your flow, you may even be able to use your menstrual cup for the full 12 hours, or the brand’s suggested length of time, before needing to remove and rinse it.  For some, this means emptying their cup only twice a day: when they start their day and again before going to bed.


It’s possible to find a cup with a higher capacity that will allow you more time if needed. However, if you do find the need to empty your cup while you’re out, here are a few things you should know:

  • Empty your menstrual cup before you leave for the day. This way, you have a fresh cup with full capacity to start.

  • If possible, find a family restroom. These are usually much larger and only consists of one toilet and a sink. This gives you some space and privacy to spread out if you need to, and easy access to a sink if needed. However, if these private restrooms are not available, a public stall in a shared restroom can still be used.
  • Some people find it perfectly fine to remove, empty, and re-insert their cup while out, and giving it a good wash later at a more convenient time. Others may use some toilet paper to clean off any excess blood that they can before re-inserting their cup.
  • You can take a water bottle or small pocket-sized spritz bottle with you to rinse the cup.
  • Carry some baby wipes or wet wipes in a pocket or bag to wipe the cup and your hands before leaving the stall.
  • If your school or workplace provides paper towels, you can wet a couple of pieces before entering a stall and use them to clean off.
  • If it’s feasible, you may also carry a spare cup and wet bag (a bag that stores wet items without leaking) to store the soiled cup while you replace it with a clean one.
  • And one more tip while you’re out and about: before you sit down on the toilet, lay a couple of squares of toilet paper on the water. When you empty your cup, your blood will be enveloped in the squares and won’t stick to the bottom of the bowl!

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