Been troubleshooting for months. Every cup leaks. So frustrated.
I’ve been using menstrual cups for almost 5 years total. The first one I used was the Diva cup size 1. It worked mostly well for me, but would leak on the first day or two and sometimes at night. After having had that for a while, I decided to replace it with a different kind of cup to try to find a more perfect fit. Unfortunately I threw the Diva Cup away, big regret now. I haven’t had a cup work consistently for me in the first 2 days of my period since.
The next cup I tried is the Pixie Cup in Large. I thought if I got large it might fix the leakage issue but this did not work. It leaked more than the Diva cup ever did. Sometimes I felt like I was unable to get the cup to open, it would feel completely crushed inside of my body. This led me to think maybe bigger wasn’t the way to go. So next I tried the Pixie cup in small. I also identified at that time, that I think my cervix might be off to the side a bit, or move often during my period. In the past I couldn’t find it at all, but now it feels fairly low and off to the side.
The next cup I tried is Pixie sent me their Luxe Large to try. However I think the material is too soft, as I can’t get it to open up inside me at all. It just stays crushed and kind of flat.
I also tried the Lily cup in size large. With this cup, I did feel like I was able to get it open and that it had a good seal, as it was tough to pull down on. A couple of the times on day 1 of my cycle I felt like it really worked, but I would still get some leakage down the sides. And then at night it has gone horribly and leaked a lot even when it felt like the seal was good.
I’ve tried the U fold (what I always used to use with the Diva), the 7 fold, and the punch down fold.
I’m really at a loss and I feel like I’ll never get this to work again. I don’t know what to do because I’m suffering but I really hate tampons and don’t want to go back. I have tried softcups and they also leak for me.
Any advice would be appreciated.
I’ve been experimenting with menstrual cup, and I got the techniques that work for me by the 2nd period.
I watched many youtube videos. It helps to mix and match the tips that people give, and see if it works for you. So, here goes some of my observations:
1. Get it inside of you:
Use punch-down method, once the tip of the fold is inside of your vagina, slowly release your grip. Very very gently hold the end of the cup, maybe even a slight squeeze, and rotate it for half a circle or full round. What works for me is that as long as it does not collapse here, I can send it up, where it has space to open.
2. Check if it collapse:
Many people experience that pop open, but I don’t. I also couldn’t manage to run my finger 1 round, or even reaching the rim to make it open. So I can only check if it collapse. The sound of collapsing is when it leaks air, and it will go completely squashed, releasing quite some air. The sound is quite obvious.
3. Push and pull:
Once it’s somewhere deeper, beyond the pubic bone (I didn’t know what this is, but realize that this space doesn’t help my cup open, the bone squishes my cup!), push your cup in with 1 finger, and then give your stem a few tucks. You CAN feel the suction.
The firmness of your cup matters too. You can try a relatively small cup, but firm, so high chance is that it will eventually open inside of you. You can try small, see if it collects most of the blood at all with your insertion method. Once you got around with how to best insert it and collect blood, try bigger one or more firm model.
I have not measured my cervix so I am one that doesn’t know its position, but my cup works this way.
I hope this helps.
I understand that you’ve been using a cup for almost five years, but maybe something here will shed some light on what might be happening.
When people mention “leaking” I always wonder exactly what they mean. Leaking is normally caused by one of four things.
if your flow is heavy you may need to empty the cup more frequently or try a higher capacity.
the cervix can sit deeply into the cup taking up capacity and make the cup overflow sooner rather than later. A higher capacity or a different shape may be an option.
Incorrect placement – double-checking the placement of the cup is a good habit. You can do this by placing a finger next to the cup after it has been inserted. Run your finger around the cup as close as you can get it to the rim. Feel for any collapsed areas. You can also make sure that you can’t feel the cervix on the outside of the cup at this time. If you’re inserting the cup completely into the vaginal canal before allowing it to open, the cervix can be in the way of it fully expanding. It may even push your cervix to the side.
Soft Cup – Soft cups can cause issues with opening completely or staying collapsed altogether. A cup can have a soft body but a firm rim which seems to be the exception to this issue. A lot of people who perform vigorous workouts claim that softer cups always fail for them and opt for a firmer cup or a cup with a firm rim.
Residual blood – This is more of spotting than a heavy flow leaking onto your undies. However, this can still be a good amount. Residual blood is the blood that is coating the vaginal walls and doesn’t get scooped up by the cup during insertion. This blood will eventually find it’s way out with gravity. A lot of people who experience this think that their cup is leaking when it’s not.
After inserting the cup, squat and bear down with your muscles to bring the cup closer to the vaginal opening. Then use a wet wipe or cloth to clean the base and stem of any excess blood. This will eliminate some if not all of the spotting issues.
The Pixie Cup has different designs/shapes. Since they’re all made in China I’m never sure if the firmness is the same from one cup to the next. I have several of them with the same design from different “brands” and some of them feel different than others. However, most are very soft.
As for the cervix, it moves throughout our cycle. A couple of days before our period starts to a couple of days after it starts, it drops to its lowest position. Some people feel a noticeable difference while others don’t.
Around day 5 or the middle to the end of our period, the cervix starts to prepare for ovulation in which it starts to move back up. Some times it gets so high that it’s hard to reach or is even out of reach.
Our cervix isn’t straight up. A cup should be inserted more down and back toward the tailbone (explaining this from a squatting position) unless you have been diagnosed by a doctor to have a prolapse. If this is the case, adjustments would be made to cup placement.
Most people (who check cervical movements) normally find that their cervix favors one side over another – either a little to the left or a little to the right. Knowing this, you can “target” your cervix a bit better during placement.
The large Lily Cup is “large” in length but when it comes to capacity, it only holds 28ml to the rim. Some small-sized cups hold about the same amount (for instance the small Venus Cup holds 29ml to the rim). Depending on your flow, it could be overflowing from a heavy period or a combo of your flow and cervix.
So my questions are –
Which cup felt the most comfortable while wearing it?
Did you ever feel that you had trouble reaching any of the cups to remove them? Small vs large size.
Did you have any bladder or bowel sensitivities while wearing any of the cups? The Diva is a medium firmness cup while the Lily (body area without spines) is a soft firmness.
I have a few cups in mind that might open easier and can accommodate a heavy flow and cervix but I don’t want to suggest them until I get a feel of which one/s might be the better option.
The fact that you were able to use the Diva Cup and Lily Cup lead me to believe that your cervix is, in fact, high or very high at least part of the time.
The video in part 2. “How to Insert & Remove a Menstrual Cup” might have some visuals to help and includes some tips.
Please let me know if I totally missed the mark here or if you have any additional questions.
Good Luck for now <3
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I would say out of all of them, the Diva Cup was the one I had the most success with. Just not enough success for me to automatically think I should buy it again, since I still experienced some leakage, especially at night. I would say the leakage on day 1 or 2 is more than what I would think is residual blood.
I have used a soft cup (like the Flex type) and that has been successful but only on a very light day or for a shorter amount of time, then it tends to leak too.
I would say I definitely think a firmer material would be better, but it can\’t be so firm and big that it won\’t unfold.
I\’m pretty lost about the cervix questions, I have only felt mine a handful of times and used to think I couldn\’t find it at all (leading me to also think it\’s probably high).
As for your specific questions:
Which cup felt the most comfortable while wearing it? – None of them felt more or less comfortable, but on the Diva Cup I did have to trim down the stem. The only thing I have ever experienced any discomfort with is from stems. One of the Pixie Cups had a round ball on the end and I didn\’t really like that.
Did you ever feel that you had trouble reaching any of the cups to remove them? Small vs large size. – No significant issues.
Did you have any bladder or bowel sensitivities while wearing any of the cups? The Diva is a medium firmness cup while the Lily (body area without spines) is a soft firmness. – This is hard to say because I have IBD which my period aggravates. I don\’t think I have noticed anything in particular coinciding with a cup.
I took a menstrual cup matching quiz before which said I should get either the Saalt or Lunette (I think it was Lunette, whichever one is similar to Saalt) but I am unsure if I should go for a smaller or larger size. Leakage tends to make me think I should go bigger, but trouble opening makes me think I should stay small.
I would love and appreciate a recommendation. Saalt would be particularly easy for me to acquire since they sell it at Target.
I have a new update since I am on Day 3 of my period now, and I think I have figured out some potentially very helpful information!
I think normally when not on my period, my cervix is quite high. On the first day of my period, it was still fairly high but not as hard to reach as usual, so slightly lowered. On Day 1 I used the large Lily Cup and was able to make a good seal which didn’t leak until full. However on Day 2 of my cycle, after dealing with leaks all day (I had switched to the Pixie Cup small) I checked my cervix and found it was SIGNIFICANTLY lower. Day 2 is when I have been experiencing the major leaks and I think now I’ve figured out why. My cervix is usually very difficult to impossible to reach and this time it was only up to the 2nd knuckle of my middle finger. It must be sitting inside of the cup because when using the Pixie Cup it would be severely leaking, like full pad needed amount of blood, and when I would remove the cup it would be less than half full. I had to get up in the middle of the night even to empty.
I also noticed, I can kind of feel the hole part of the cervix and it is not really facing downwards as I thought it would but more facing the back. I could see how depending on Cup placement this could cause the blood to go down the side rather than into the cup.
This morning on Day 3, I felt my cervix again and it’s gone back up. Still not as high as usual but almost a whole fingers length.
I hope this new information helps you to make a better recommendation for me. Maybe I might even need to use a different cup and different points in my cycle?
Anyway I really appreciate your help.
So I finally got my hands on the Lalli Cup in medium a few months ago and it works great at certain times, particularly day 3 and on. I am still having struggles day 1 and or 2. I do believe my cervix comes down quite low on those days, combined with heavy bleeding, and the cup winds up sitting up high. I experience such heavy leaks I have to wear period underwear and it wakes me up multiple times in the night feeling wet, but when I take the cup out it’s filled halfway or less. It’s miserable and I don’t understand how it’s gotten so bad, I did not used to have struggles like this.
Do you think I should try Merula or is there something else? I need something good for low cervix that won’t rise up. I don’t mind if I need to use a different cup the first 2 days I just need it to work. I’m back at my wits end. Thinking about going on bc or something to lighten my period.
Still having issues. That’s a bummer. I’m sorry that the LaliCup didn’t do as well as I hoped it would for your situation. You mentioned that the cup winds up sitting up high, which would make me want to suggest a longer Cup like the large Venus Cup, but I still worry about when your cervix drops back down. However, you can switch over to the shorter LaliCup at that time.
A little about the Venus Cup – It’s longer than the LaliCup and still has a rounded base. It’s a high capacity cup that holds 47ml to the rim and is of medium firmness but might be a little softer than the Diva Cup. A longer cup might help keep your cervix from dipping in too low and taking up the capacity.
You can try the Merula or the Merula XL. The XL is the highest capacity cup at 50ml (Venus Cup is 2nd), but the wide body and firm silicone may be a concern for your IBD. The Merula original is a shorter cup and if you’re having leaking issues because the cup rides up and allows your cervix to sit inside of it, you might have the same outcome with this cup.
I’m sorry for taking some time to answer. I’m trying to be really careful in not suggesting a whole bunch of cups that don’t fit your situation.
Have you ever considered menstrual discs? I don’t care to use them as an every day – all day cup, but they have held up for me during the night. Check them out and see if it’s something that would interest you.
RedHerringTV on YouTube
Please don’t worry about not replying quickly, I really appreciate you taking the time to be thoughtful and all of your hard work here in answering my questions. I feel like I should be paying you! (Do you have Venmo??)
In response to your suggestion of the large Venus cup and switching back to Lalli when my cervix is low, the problem is that the Lalli or any other cup don’t seem to work when my cervix is low. The cup seems to sit high but the cervix is still low, so I thought the cervix taking up all the space was the reason for the leakage. I checked out the website for Venus and they recommend the large size for a medium to high cervix, which I’m not sure is applicable. I don’t know, it seems like my cervix goes from high to low to medium but the days when I have the most problems are day 1 and 2 and it seems lower on those days so I think that is what I need to solve for.
I have tried disposable menstrual discs a few times. I have had some success with them during lighter days of my period but have also had one leak on me. I’ve never used it as a primary method, I actually just got them for sexual purposes. I can give it another go next month and see how long it holds up.
Thank you for your kind words. I’m happy to help you try to find the right cup even if we haven’t found it yet.
So the Venus Cup, because it’s on the longer side, I’m hoping that even if your cervix sits low inside of it, the length and capacity will still hold you over. Unless of course, you mean it won’t work because a longer cup feels uncomfortable when your cervix drops. We don’t want that….
I’m not sure if I mentioned, but there’s space around the cervix called the vaginal fornix which expands upward and outward. This is how a large/long object, such as a well-endowed penis or adult toy can fit. It’s also how or why some cups ride up and sit higher.
We’ve had several replies back and forth and I want to make sure that I’m understanding so if you can refresh my memory without me reading through all of our correspondence…
Do you feel like you need a shorter cup with more capacity for days 1 and 2?
I would say to take a chance on the Merula XL since it’s shorter than most large-sized cups but has the highest capacity on the market. The firmness may be an issue, but because it’s on the shorter side, it might just miss the sensitive area.
The cup rides up and you experience leaking but the cup is only half full?
I would suggest trying the Venus Cup. The length will keep it from riding up too high and will give you some capacity for your cervix to sit inside of it and still have room for a heavy flow.
Menstrual Discs – I had issues with the disposable ones. They weren’t pliable and easily manipulated to form to your body. There are five different cups on the market these days. Two are the same – SoftDisc & Flex Disc. Flex Disc took over SoftDisc but you can still find both of them on the shelf.
Ziggy Cup (makers of Lily Cup), Lumma Unique, and Nixit are all reusable.
The Ziggy and Nixit are far too soft for me and give me problems every time I tried to insert them. Both also have this double rim feature that makes them feel like sandpaper when I’m removing them.
The Lumma Unique has been the easiest and most reliable so far. It’s about medium firmness. Much softer than the SoftDisc/Flex Cup which makes it easy to handle and able to move with my body.
I did a video that I shared brief details about my experience with each disc. You can search Google or YouTube for “5 Menstrual Discs”.
Have a great weekend <3
RedHerringTV on YouTube