If your menstrual cup is slipping down or even falling out, there could be a number of factors at play. Your menstrual cup is designed to form a seal with the vaginal walls, which keeps it in place. When this seal isn’t created or is compromised, it can cause your menstrual cup to move or slip down.
Your menstrual cup could be slipping down because of one or more of the following reasons:
Reason 1: The cup is too slippery
If you run your cup under water or use a lubricant before inserting it, it may be that the cup is too slippery (when combined with vaginal secretions and plasma in the vagina) to form a good seal with the vaginal walls and slips down.
Fix: Insert your cup dry.
Reason 2: The cup forms a seal too low
If you allow your cup to open low in the vaginal canal, it may form a seal with the vaginal walls too low in the vaginal canal and slip lower throughout the day.
Fix: Try another fold. We suggest the punch down fold as many people find they can get their cup to form a better seal, higher up using this fold as opposed to other folds like the 'C' or 'U' fold or if you prefer allowing your cup to open low, gently slide it up into position once it has opened.
Reason 3: Loss of pelvic floor tone
For those returning to using their menstrual cup after pregnancy or childbirth, loss of pelvic floor tone or prolapse is a common reason why your cup might not be staying put. The pelvic floor can also weaken due to age, lack of physical activity, being overweight or a number of other health issues.
This is why if you are over 30, have given birth or have a weakened pelvic floor, we recommend trying a wider menstrual cup like the JuJu Model 2 or Model 4. It may also be helpful to do some pelvic floor exercises to help strengthen your pelvic floor - stronger muscles will help hold your cup in place.
Fix: Try a wider cup, or strengthen your pelvic floor through Kegel exercises.
Reason 4: Pelvic organ prolapse
If you suffer from some forms of pelvic organ prolapse you may find your cup will sit low and may even slip out, sometimes during a bowel movement, when urinating or doing certain actions during the day. This is because the large intestine may press against the vaginal canal walls more than it would for other people. If you have any kind of prolapse, it’s important to be cleared by your doctor before using a menstrual cup.
If you have prolapse and find your cup is being pushed out during a bowel movement, to prevent your cup from popping out and falling into the toilet we recommend you remove your cup beforehand. Alternately, if you do not feel like your cup is hindering your ability to have a complete bowel movement, you can place your index finger near the vaginal opening to hold your cup in whilst having a bowel movement and then reposition it (i.e. gently slide it back up). To avoid the risk of infection, always follow good toilet hygiene habits by thoroughly washing your hands, wiping from front to back and by keeping the genitalia and toilet area clean.
Fix: Speak to your GP if you suspect you have prolapse as the sooner treatment is sought, the better the outcome. Remove your cup before using the toilet, or insert one finger to hold it in place while having a bowel movement.
Reason 5: Exercise
Generally speaking, there should be no impact on the effectiveness of a cup during exercise if the correct size cup is being used and a good seal has been formed. There are, however, some cases where a menstrual cup may feel as though it is being pushed lower or feels like it is being expelled during high impact activities, squatting or dead-lifting heavy weights which causes an increase in abdominal pressure. This may occur if a person has a particularly low cervix, suffers from pelvic organ prolapse and/or have experienced a loss in pelvic floor tone. If your menstrual cup is not cooperating during your workout routine, consider wearing a cloth pantyliner or some leak-proof underwear as a backup.
Follow these simple tips for exercising with a menstrual cup;
- Ensure you have the right size menstrual cup for your anatomy
- Follow the user guide, ensuring the cup is inserted at a 45-degree angle, not straight up
- Ensure a good seal has been formed
- Insert the cup when it is completely dry – having lubricant on the cup may cause it to slip lower
- Maintain good posture/form and brace your core before lifting heavy weights
- Perform regular kegel exercises to maintain good pelvic floor tone.
Fix: Address any pelvic floor weakness or prolapse, and ensure your cup is sealed before exercising. Consider wearing a pantyliner or pair of period undies with your menstrual cup for extra protection while exercising.