Cup starts to leak when half-full
I’ve had a moon cup (my first menstrual cup) for about 5 months now and have got the knack of insertion/removal without any fuss but I’m having an issue with leaking.
I can put the cup in, unfold it easily and wear it fine with no leaks for a good while but then all of a sudden it starts leaking on me (not a lot, it’s more like spotting but still inconvenient). At first I thought it meant the cup is full and it’s time for a change but when I take it out it’s only half full? This has happened a few times and I can’t figure it out.
I thought maybe I had positioned the cup incorrectly but as long as I change more frequently this leaking does not happen at all. I’ve tried measuring my cervix before on the days this happens and can get my finger in to the second knuckle which I think is a medium height?
On my last period I had the nightmare scenario of a sudden flood when I stood up (soaked up my back-up pad in about two minutes) which I can only put down to the cup shifting/seal breaking as I hadn’t been wearing it long enough for it to be full. Thankfully this has only happened once but it makes me not trust my cup.
I’m also looking into getting a higher capacity cup so I can manage longer on my heaviest days but at this point I don’t know what would be best. Any advice?
Thanks for your help 🙂
First, congratulations on making it to five months with your first menstrual cup. It might not have been the best experience, but I’m happy to hear that you haven’t given up yet. I hope that I can help you either solve your leaking issue or find another cup that will suit you better.
Before running out to find a new cup, here are a few tips to try:
1. Cup placement –
The cervix isn’t normally located straight up. When inserting a cup, make sure to aim it down and back towards your tailbone. This is easier to achieve if you are squatting.
2. No dents –
Insert a finger and feel around the rim or as high up on the cup as you can for any dents. If you feel a dent, wiggle the cup down and then use a finger to push it back up into place. Often, when a cup (any cup) is inserted completely, the rim of the cup is blocked by the cervix making it unable to fully expand. You can also try inserting the cup halfway and then let it open before using a finger to push it into place.
Either way will help the cup open before being positioned directly under or around the cervix.
3. Excess blood –
There’s always some blood coating the vaginal walls even after the cup is place. To avoid spotting, use a wet pH balanced wipe or cloth to clean the grip rings and stem of any excess blood.
4. Leaking but only half full –
Besides leaking due to improper placement or heavy period overflowing, a cup can leak if the cervix sits deeply into the cup. This is a common issue when a person with a medium/high cervix is using a shorter cup.
Cups will move into the area of least resistance. As the pelvic floor muscle contracts, it will cause the cup to get squeezed further in and up closer or snuggled up around the cervix. If/when this happens the cervix sits deeper into the cup and takes up some of the capacity. This will cause early overflowing and the cup will only be half full when removed.
Features of a cup that might eliminate this issue are a longer cup providing your cervical height allows it, a wider cup, or a higher capacity cup.
If you’re interested in a couple of options, here are some cup suggestions (in no particular order):
MoonCup for reference – Maximum 30 ml to the rim.
Venus Cup – The diameter of both the small and large Venus Cup is very similar to the diameter of the MoonCup, but they are very different in shape. The Venus Cup has a straight body and rounded base to hold more capacity and for comfort at the vaginal opening. If you’re not comfortable with the diameter of the large size, the small still holds 29 ml to the rim. (MoonCup = small – 28ml, large 30ml)
Casco Cup – Small or large, but not the mini version. This cup is about the same in overall length, but the body (without stem) is longer than the MoonCup. This will give your cervix a little more room as well as not taking up all of the capacity. While the small Casco holds 30 ml (the same as the larger MoonCup), the large Casco holds 40 ml to the top of the rim. Both the small and large Casco Cup are the same length.
LaliCup – I suggest the medium size for this brand. The overall length and the body length are ever so slightly longer than the MoonCup but the rounded body allows for extra room. This cup has a unique design that helps fold the cup up smaller as well as helps it to open and holds 36 ml to the rim.
All of these cups are softer than the MoonCup and don’t have that bulky, hard rim. While they may be more comfortable during insertion, they may also take a bit of time learning how to get them open.
I hope that these tips help solve any leaking issues. If not, check out the cups that I suggested and see if they are something that might work for you.
Good Luck! <3
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