I’m going to walk you through how to fix menstrual cup leaks with the help of ten possible solutions. You don’t need to try all ten at the same time; some options can be used together and some you may never even need to try. Menstrual cup leaks are common in the first 1-3 cycles, but after that timeframe, you shouldn’t have any leaks. Let’s work together to fix them!
The right menstrual cup for you should be 100% leak-free and undetectable in your body.
What is Considered a Menstrual Cup Leak?
It seems silly to debate this, but it can be confusing. A leak is when blood makes it onto your underwear or liner. A wiping leak is not a leak – these present as light bloody streaks on the toilet paper. Wiping leaks don’t mean your cup isn’t working well for you. If you’re new to cups wear backup liners or period underwear until you’re past the troubleshooting period.
How to Fix Menstrual Cup Leaks | 10 Ideas to Try
- Start with a great fitting cup. If you can narrow it down to the cup size and shape that’s most likely to fit your body the troubleshooting required to get a leak free fit will either not be needed, or will be minimal. Try our menstrual cup quiz to begin.
- Have proper angle and insertion techniques – cups need to be inserted and angled towards the tailbone. If you somehow mistakenly push the cup against the cervix instead of beneath it the cup will leak. For the most accurate placement you can locate your cervix and ensure the cup is sealed below it.
- Try experimenting with various folds – sometimes it’s as easy as trying a new fold method to get your cup open. It’s a trifecta of a good angle while inserting, the fold method, and how the fold works with the cup’s shape and firmness in your body. Find our full menstrual cup folds guide to learn more.
- When inserting the cup, use a fold like the punchdown or labia fold. These provide a way to push the base of the cup once it’s inside that can help the rim fully open.
- Once the cup feels open inside you run a finger around the base to see if there are any dents. This isn’t always straightforward, sometimes a small dent will be at the top of the cup and won’t be felt by this method.
- After the cup is inside, try very gently pulling the cup down a small amount. This can help the rim open fully if it’s not already.
- And/or, try pumping the base of the cup like honking a bike horn.
- And/or spin the cup after insertion. This only works for completely symmetrical cups, not cups that are intended to be worn at a certain angle like Fun Cup, KIND Cup, or Lily Cup.
- If your cup lacks suction holes try pushing the rim to allow the body to fill in full. Cups like a Merula or Lily Cup have no suction holes. It needs air to open fully.
- Insert a finger and pushing against the vaginal wall to allow the cup room to open at the rim. This tip is more involved but very effective.
It’s a Solvable Puzzle with Trial and Error
With so many variables like your cup’s shape, the cup’s diameter, its firmness, and your body it means you’ll likely need to try several of the above troubleshooting combinations to fix menstrual cup leaks. If you’re new to cups this can seem like a lot of work. Most users will still say they are glad they made the switch and would never go back to tampons. Even those who had to do a fair amount of troubleshooting. Consider a “firm” cup because they open easier than softer cups. Cups that aren’t the perfect fit can be negotiated into working well enough. Eventually, you may decide another cup will fit your body best to truly achieve period nirvana.
Is Your Cup Overflowing?
Also, consider how full your cup is when you remove it – if your cup is overflowing it will leak. Simply changing more often is the fix, or switching to a higher capacity option. For menstrual cups, the fit is always more important than the capacity.
Fed Up? There is Hope
If you’ve struggled with leaks and you tried every single possible trick above and then some a reusable menstrual disc could be another option. These are less finicky than cups and many frustrated cup users have found leak-free success by switching.
For more help when trying to figure out how to fix menstrual cup leaks join our peer support group Period Nirvana Community on Facebook.