It’s entirely possible, and even likely, that you can remove your menstrual cup mess-free. The fear of messy, bloody removals is a huge stumbling block for people who want to try a cup. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MESS? Menstrual cups can be removed without the blood bath you’re imagining and I will explain why/how. Watch the demo video below of a non-messy removal demonstrated using realistic, but fake blood.
Menstrual Cup Messy Removal – Your Questions Answered
Q: It’s going to get everywhere. I’m scared, won’t it splatter and make a mess?
A: Menstrual fluid is not the watery red or blue liquid you’ve seen in online ads. It’s pretty thick and pours less like water and more like syrup. This helps prevent messy removals.
Q: Won’t the menstrual cup overflow when I pinch the base to break the seal?
A: You would think, but this isn’t always a guarantee! The combination of thick fluid and the way in which your vagina will continue to “hug” the cup means little or no blood will overflow while you pinch the cup. If your cup was full to the brim, it’s more likely to occur.
Q: Will blood spill out when the cup leaves my body?
When the cup exits your vagina, you can stop pinching the cup’s base. Since you remove the cup by keeping it entirely upright, nothing should be spilling out. If you remove your cup “pain-free” by tilting it to reduce its diameter, then yes, if the cup is full some will spill into your toilet.
Q: I’m still getting bloody – what gives?
If your cup is higher in your vaginal canal, or if it needs more than a little bit of coaxing, this can contribute to mess on your fingers. The more you dig around, the messier it can be. Another contributing factor would be if your cup leaked before removal. If your vaginal walls are coated in blood below what should be a clean section of the vagina (when fully sealed and leak-free) then it makes sense to also get blood on your fingers. Practice will continue to help. The better your cup fits and the faster you are at removing, which will mean a lower chance of messy fingers.
Related Resource: How to Fix Menstrual Cup Leaks
Q: What do I do after I dump it? Now I’m stuck with a bloody cup.
A: You’re right. That after emptying stage can be the messiest part! I like to take a small amount of toilet paper and wipe up any blood that is on the outside of the cups and/or my fingertips. If I’m home I’m probably in my favorite bathroom where I can reach the sink from the toilet. If I’m on a toilet farther from the sink, I do the “panty shuffle” from the toilet to the sink while carrying the bloody cup wrapped in toilet paper. I give the cup and my hands a good wash, then go back to the toilet and re-insert. I flush that bit of toilet paper and I’m done.
Q: How do I empty my menstrual cup in public without making a mess?
A: I have a few bits of good news. Since cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, your chances of needing to empty a cup in public are slim. But, if you do need to empty in public, you can simply dump the contents and re-insert the cup. Skip the “panty shuffle in a public restroom to the sink” and wash well when you’re home. I have more tips if you want to prepare with cup wipes or special on-the-go sprays in a post dedicated to emptying your menstrual cup in public. It’s not the nightmare you are probably expecting! Just don’t drop your cup in the auto-flushing toilet!
Q: I can’t stand the sight of blood. Will I be able to use a menstrual cup?
A: If you faint or strongly react to blood, items that collect and need emptying might not be the best product for you. For some people, it’s just that they really don’t LIKE blood, and for others, it’s a condition called hemophobia. I have heard from users who were able to overcome this by exposure and practice. Only you can decide if using a menstrual cup or disc is worth trying. If you have hemophobia, dark-colored cloth pads and leakproof underwear that absorb and disguise the blood might be your best reusable alternative.
As long as you don’t yank out your cup and fling it across the room you will find removing your menstrual cup a mess-free or low-mess experience. If you want more peace of mind, try removing it the first time on your period in your shower. Do be warned that some shower strainers also catch clots – you might have to stomp them through!