Handy public bathroom hacks for menstrual cup users.
Some people are totally fine with washing their menstrual cup in public bathroom sink. It may gross other bathroom users out but may also open up a conversation with someone you hadn’t anticipated, so if you are comfortable with doing this – more power to you, go for it!
For other people, lack of privacy and germs may make the prospect of using a menstrual cup when away from home seem a little daunting. Don’t fear, there are a few simple hacks for emptying your cup in a public restroom.
Remember, for a lighter menstrual flow, emptying your cup before you leave for the day may be enough to see you through as you can wear your menstrual cup for up to 8 hours. If you are out for longer periods of time or you have a heavier flow, you are likely to be faced with the prospect of having to empty your menstrual cup in a public restroom at some point. We have a few options for when you are at work or out and about.
Ensure you thoroughly wash your hands prior to entering the restroom then either;
- Skip the rinse altogether. Simply empty the contents of the menstrual cup in the toilet, then wipe out the cup with damp or dry toilet paper or a tissue. Be sure you remove any pieces of tissue that may have stuck to the cup before you reinsert it.
- Take a small bottle of water with you into the cubicle to rinse it out.
- Keep a pack of pocket-sized intimate wet wipes at hand. This method is not recommend if you suffer from skin sensitivity as it may leave a residue on the cup, which could irritate the delicate vaginal skin.
- Use the handicap bathroom - quickly. Handicap cubicles often have a sink inside it which makes it easy and convenient but this is the least favoured option if you are not handicapped. Please be respectful and swift with your change if you use the handicapped bathroom to avoid inconveniencing people who really need to use the cubical.
We also recommend the following tips when using a public bathroom;
- Flush it down: Depending on the strength of the toilet flush and your flow, some blood may be left in the bottom of the toilet and not flush down - not a great surprise for the next bathroom visitor. To prevent this from happening, place toilet paper in the bowl before emptying the contents of your cup – this will help collect your menstrual blood and prevent it from pooling in the bottom of the toilet bowl.
- Get a good grip: Be sure to maintain a good grip on the your cup when removing it over the toilet so as not to let it fall into the toilet.
- Clean when you can: Give your cup a good clean when you next have access to clean running water.
Once you’ve done it once, you’ll find emptying your cup in a public toilet is not as intimidating as it may seem.
If you are heading out into the wilderness to camp, hike or bushwalk and won't have access to a bathroom, see our Guide to Travelling on your Period.
Image source: Jonathon Drake / Reuters