Menstrual cup feel like it's falling out? DW, there's a fix for that.

June 30, 2022

That uncomfortable feeling when... your menstrual cup (a.k.a. period cup) is slipping down - or worse, out of - your vagina 😳 Here's why, and what to do about it.

 

We're here to tell you that you're not alone, Moxette. It's a question we've received time and time again, so we thought it was time we pen a blog about it and let you know that there's a fix for that. A cup that won't stay in place is not uncommon, especially if you're new to cups and are in unfamiliar territory in using them.

A few important things to note before we dive in:

  • Period cups don't sit as high as tampons do inside the vaginal canal. Be sure to insert your cup at a 45 degree angle and towards your tailbone.
  • If inserted properly, your cup should stay in place and shouldn't move around so that it can do its job; and that is, collect period flow! If it's not properly in place, it will likely slide down, move around, and you guessed it - probably leak.

If you're cup feels like it's falling out, slipping or sliding down when it's in or moves around after you've inserted it, here's usually what's usually at play - and most importantly, what to do about it.

 

YOUR CUP MAY NOT HAVE PROPERLY FORMED A SUCTION SEAL

This is often the biggest culprit. But stress less, it's easily remedied! Let's take a step back for a sec and talk about why suction is important when it comes to your menstrual cup.

Suction, combined with our pelvic floor muscles (keep doing them kegel exercises, Moxette! More on those later) are what help keep you menstrual cup in place. If your cup doesn't properly form a suction seal against the vaginal walls once inserted, it will easily move around and slide down the vaginal canal.

The teeny little holes near the top of your menstrual/period cup are what help to create and release suction when a cup is inserted, so before you insert, make sure these are clean and free from flow.


How to check if your cup has properly formed a suction seal:

  • With clean fingers, feel for the toggle/stem at the base of your cup and ever so gently tug on it - if you feel resistance, then it's likely your cup has formed a suction seal. 
  • Again with clean fingers (thumb and index) you can reach in for the base and try rotating the cup slightly. This will help remove unwanted air pockets.
  • Insert a clean index finger into your vagina and run it around the outer edge of the cup. This will help to ensure your cup has opened properly and will smooth out any creases and again, any unwanted air pockets.

 

YOU'VE INSERTED IT TOO HIGH / TOO LOW

If you've previously been a tampon user, you may be inserting your cup too high - as tampons do tend to sit a little higher in the vaginal canal than cups do. A cup should sit a little lower, underneath your cervix (not right up against it), so as to catch menstrual flow.

You can try pushing the cup down slightly once inserted by pushing down on your pelvic floor muscles a little, or, when inserting in the first instance, sit in a squatting position - this helps to shorten the vaginal canal.

If you've inserted your cup too low in your vagina, you might feel it sticking out of the opening (the toggle or stem). In this case, we recommend removing your cup and re-inserting it, perhaps a little higher up this time.

You can trim the toggle or stem slightly if you feel you need to, but we only recommend this for experienced cup users.

 

YOU MAY NOT BE USING THE RIGHT SIZE CUP FOR YOUR BODY

If you feel like your cup is slipping, or is sitting outside of the vaginal canal after you've inserted it (and you've tried re-inserting a few times with no luck), it may be that you are using the wrong size cup. And, it's most likely that the cup is too long for you and therefore doesn't have enough room to pop-open and create that suction seal once inserted.

Cups come in various shapes and sizes, and it's important to find the one that best suits your body, flow and needs. Some people have a higher sitting cervix, some a lower sitting cervix (though your cervix will sit a little lower during your period), and this is why size matters when it comes to choosing the right cup for you.


How to check the position of your cervix:

To check the length of your cervix, insert a clean index finger into your vagina and feel for the base of your cervix (some describe it as feeling like the tip of your nose). If you can feel your cervix at your first knuckle, then you likely have a shorter sitting cervix. If you feel your cervix at around your second knuckle, then you have a longer cervix.

We recommend you select a cup accordingly, but it can be a bit of trial and error to find what best suits your body. If you're unsure about the position of your cervix, check in with a trusted Doc.

 

YOUR CUP IS TOO SLIPPERY (i.e. YOU'VE USED TOO MUCH LUBE TO INSERT IT)

Using a li'l bit of lube to help insert your cup is a great hack*, but if you've used to much, it might be making things a little too slippy slidey down there - causing your cup to slide down and feel like it's slipping out.

We recommend removing your cups, rinsing it off, and try re-inserting - you could try a bit of water, instead (or just a little less lube, near the top rim).

* If you're using a Moxie cup, we recommend a water-based lubricant, like Lucy Lube, so as to not wear away at the silicone of the cup.

 

TRY A DIFFERENT FOLD/INSERTION TECHNIQUE

The way you sit, stand, squat in preparation, and how you fold and insert your cup will change the way it opens inside you. It's all about finding what works best for you and your body. Squatting or standing with one leg at 90 degress (like, propped up on a chair or on the loo) can help to insert the cup at the right angle (towards the tailbone) and also helps to shorter the vaginal canal, so it's harder to insert the cup too high.

When it comes to cup folding techniques, the 'punch-down' is a real winner when it comes to helping the cup pop-open easily when inserted. It's also a nice fold because it makes for a narrow entry into the vagina.


How to do the 'punch-down' fold:

  • Hold your cup in one hand, at its base. Use the index finger of your other hand to push the rim of the cup inside the base.
  • Now, using your 'base' hand, push the sides together to create a narrow insertion point (if you're nimble, you might even be able to do to this with one hand!).

Find more folds in our handy 'How to insert a use a menstrual cup' guide.

  

DON'T FORGET TO PRACTICE YOUR PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES

Also known as 'kegels', these exercises are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that live between your tailbone and pubic bone). They're performed by contracting and releasing these muscles repeatedly. Keeping these muscles 'fit' can help you have better orgasms (yes plz), prevent incontinence and of course, help keep your period cup in place! Catch up on our Girl's Got Moxie podcast interview with Naturopath and Women's Sexual Health Expert, Mandi Azoulay, who explains all about how to achieve an, in her words, “Olympic-level pelvic floor technique”.

Your pelvic floor (as in, sucking in or pushing down on it) can also help you during insertion and removal of your Cup, to help you get it in and out. 

 

REMOVE, RINSE AND REPEAT

If in doubt, or if you've tried the above and are still not having any luck, simply remove your cup, rinse and re-insert. It might take a couple of tries, and that's pretty normal. Try a different folding technique, or sit/squat in a different position that's most comfortable for you. And don't forget to breathe! Go easy on yourself. Cups can't be tricky to use at first, but they're a gamechanger for you, your period and the planet once you get the hang of them.

 



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