So, you have decided to make the switch to using a JuJu menstrual cup and have said goodbye to disposable pads and tampons. You conquered the fear of a cup becoming stuck or lost inside you (don’t worry, it can’t!) and even have a plan sorted for when you need to change your menstrual cup in a public bathroom. Your period arrives, you insert your JuJu... and it starts leaking. What now?
First of all, don’t freak out. Using a menstrual cup can come with a bit of a learning curve, particularly when it comes to insertion, removal and finding the right size cup for your body. We usually recommend you give yourself three full cycles to get used to using your JuJu and as we are all built slightly differently, it may take you a little longer than this.
While you are getting used to inserting your JuJu in the right place and making sure it opens properly to form a seal, it is a good idea to wear a panty liner for a couple cycles, so you can relax about wearing your cup even if there is a little leak. Our 100% cotton panty liners are perfect for this.
Before you decide to give up and return to the world of disposables, here are six reasons why your cup might be leaking, and how to resolve it.
1. Your cup isn't fully open
If your JuJu is open properly, you should hear or feel the ‘pop’ when it opens within the vagina. You can check if your JuJu is open by running your finger around the rim and making sure there are no bends or creases. If your JuJu isn’t fully open, it won’t form a seal within the vagina and menstrual blood will likely flow past the cup rather than into it.
Different folds can make it easier for your cup to open fully. Using the “punch down” fold rather than of the “U” or “C” folds will usually make your cup pop open easier. You can view a short video demonstrating the different folds here.
If you are using a Model 2 JuJu and still can’t seem to get it to open all the way, you may need to try a smaller size (Model 1).
If you are already using a Model 1 and it still won’t open, try the following:
- Try running your cup under cold water before inserting it again. This will help make the silicone less ‘squishy’ and spring open
- Try doing a few kegel or pelvic floor squeezes, this can often help open the cup.
2. You haven’t rotated your cup
Once your JuJu has opened inside you, you should grip the base and rotate it a full 360 degrees. This will help it to form a suction to the vaginal walls, which will prevent leaks. Allow your JuJu to open up lower in the vaginal canal so that you can easily grip the base and rotate it (you can always push your JuJu further up after you have rotated it).
3. Your cup is full
While you can wear your JuJu for up to 8 hours, you may need to empty it more often if you have a heavier flow. When your JuJu becomes too full, the suction holes will become compromised and will break the seal it has formed with the vaginal walls.
If your JuJu is leaking but isn’t quite full when you remove it, it may be because it is sitting further up in the vaginal canal and your cervix is sitting inside the cup. This means your cervix is taking up space inside the cup, leaving less room for it to collect menstrual fluid and causing overflow. If this is the case for you, try positioning your JuJu lower in the vaginal canal or if you have a particularly low cervix, opt for the JuJu Model 4.
4. Your cup isn’t in the right position
Your cup should 'sit' lower than a tampon but sometimes will 'travel' and sit higher, particularly for those with strong pelvic floor muscles and/or a high cervix/long vaginal canal. You can find your cervical position by following this guide. If your cup naturally 'finds' its own position higher up in the vaginal canal than where it was positioned to start with, that's okay, but removal may take a little more practice (see removal tips).
The most important thing to consider when it comes to the position of your cup is making sure it is positioned underneath your cervix, as this is essentially where your menstrual flow is coming from. Some cervixes point down, while others may be angled to the left, right, forward or backward.
Wash your hands and use your index finger to find your cervix before inserting your JuJu (the position can change throughout your cycle). Insert your JuJu at the appropriate angle for your cervix and let it open lower in the vagina so that it is positioned underneath the cervix, rather than letting it open higher up where it might be beside it.
5. Your cup is too small for your body
If your JuJu is too small for your anatomy, it can’t form a suction with the vaginal walls. This means there is no ‘seal’ created and you are more likely experience leaking.
Remember, our sizing recommendations are only a guide. You may need a Model 2 even if you are under 30 or have not given birth (and vice versa). It all depends on your individual anatomy and pelvic floor tone.
You may also wish to consider a Model 4, providing you are already comfortable with removing a menstrual cup, as this model is shorter in length and can be harder to reach if you have a higher cervix. Our Model 4 JuJu is wider in diameter so can be a good option for those with weaker pelvic floor tone or conditions such as prolapse.
6. The air holes on your cup are blocked
Always be sure to clear the four suction holes on your JuJu before you reinsert it. These holes can become blocked with menstrual fluid and as a result, your cup won’t be able to form a seal inside the vagina.
To clear the holes, fill your cup with water when washing it and place the palm of your hand over the top of the cup. Squeeze the base of the cup to allow water to push through the holes and clear any debris. If this still doesn’t work, you can use a toothpick to poke the holes clear.
When you have tried it all...
It is important to remember that although it is rare, sometimes menstrual cups just won’t work with certain anatomies. We all have different bodies, and things like the position of your uterus and cervix can determine whether or not you will have success with using a menstrual cup.
Sometimes you may need to try a completely different shaped cup (which is why we offer 4 different sizes), or a cup with different firmness from another brand. The benefits of using a menstrual cup definitely make it worthwhile to explore your options!