Why Your Menstrual Cup Is Leaking? And What You Can Do About It

After putting it off for a while, you finally decided to make the jump and get your first Menstrual Cup.

Here you are on your zero waste journey! No more spending LOADS of money on disposable pads and tampons!

However, as Jessie J said: Nobody's Perfect! And while she probably wasn't referring to her menstrual cup, that saying includes your lovely lil' cup.

Cup leakage is common among first-time menstrual cup users and there are several reasons that might explain it.

Today, we're going to cover them all and give you some actionable tips to solve them!

1. Overflowing / Heavy flow

Although the ARYA cup is meant to hold between 22ml (S-size) to 30ml (L-size) of blood (the equivalent of 2-3 tampons), everyone’s flow is different. It’s possible that your cup is leaking because it’s overflowing.

Recommendations: Try emptying your cup more frequently especially if you find that your flow is super heavy in the first few days. We recommend checking every 3-4 hours if this is the case so you don’t have any surprise leaks!

2. It didn’t open properly

One of the most common reasons for cup leakage is that it hasn't completely unfolded. When your cup is inserted, it should "pop open" so that it sections to the walls of your vagina. If the cup doesn’t fully expand, there will be a crease that causes it to leak.

Recommendations: To check this, you can feel around the base of the cup with your finger to see if there are any creases -- if there is one, this is likely the case! A lot of users find that the punch down fold works better than the C fold. Try using the punch down folding method the next time you insert your cup to see whether it works better for you!

3. The holes around the rim of the cup are clogged

Another reason why your cup might be leaking is that the holes around the rim are clogged. These holes are there for a specific reason: When the cup fills up with blood, the air pressure inside the cup increases and is released through the holes. If the holes are clogged, the pressure cannot be released and the blood finds another way to flow: around the cup. The holes on our period cup are slightly larger to try and mitigate this, but leakage due to the holes being clogged can happen if you have a super heavy flow at any point during your cycle.

Recommendations: To avoid this, try to empty the cup more often during the first few days of your period/whenever your flow is heavier, and make sure the holes are clear before inserting. You can clean the holes with a bamboo brush but a pretty entertaining technique is to fill the cup with water up to the rim, place your hand on the rim and press the cup -- the water will woosh out through the holes and clean them!

4. Position in vagina

Another common reason relates to the position of the cup in your vagina. The cup sits lower down than tampons, but It’s possible that your cup is sitting too low in your vaginal canal, which is affecting its ability to properly suction.

Recommendations: To place it a bit higher, try inserting your cup while leaning forwards, and think about inserting it so that it is pointing forwards instead of upwards. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find a way to insert it that works best for your body, so be patient with yourself if you don’t get it perfect right away.

5. Pooping

Yep, Poop. It’s can be a reason why you might be experiencing leakage. Your muscles put pressure on your cup which makes it *feel* like it’s going to come out, but because of the suction to your vaginal walls, it will not. However, if your cup is full when these muscles are contracting, you might experience what is called a “fake leak”, which causes overflowing due to the pressure from your bowel movement. These fake leaks are typically limited to a few drops.

Recommendations: If this is the case, arm yourself with some backup like a reusable pad

6. Pelvic floor muscles are strong

It’s possible that your pelvic floor muscles are super strong! If you’re a pro at doing kegels, it’s possible that your pelvic muscles are also squeezing the walls of your cup (like you do when you take it out) so that it creases and then begins to leak.

Recommendations: If this is the case, arm yourself with some backup like a reusable pad

7. The wrong size

Last but not least, it’s possible that your cup just isn’t the right fit! We want you to have that Cinderella moment -- if you notice that your cup is leaking on all sides and find that you have to dig to take it out, it’s possible that you should make the switch to an L- size. Or if you find that your L-size won’t fully open no matter the fold, you may have to downsize.

No one wants a leaky cup, so if these tips helped you in any way, let us know, and if we didn’t mention a solution that’s helped you, also let us know! We want you to feel supported every step of the way on your menstrual cup journey.

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