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 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