8 Menstrual Cup Myths and the Truth Behind Them
Are my periods too heavy for a menstrual cup? Can I sleep in a menstrual cup? Will it stretch my vagina? Got questions about menstrual cups? We’ve got answers that dispel some of the most common myths.
Myth #1: My Vagina is Too Big for a Menstrual Cup
Finding the right fit isn’t about the width of your vagina but the height of your cervix. The vaginal canal is usually between 7 to 12 cm long, depending on how high or low your cervix sits. Insert a couple of fingers into your vagina to gauge an idea of its length—it’s best to do this just before or after menstruation when the cervix is lowest.
If your longest finger fits almost all the way to the knuckle, you have a high cervix. This means a larger cup will be more effective for you—even if your flow is normally light. You may also need a larger cup if you’ve had children, you often experience stress incontinence, or your pelvic floor muscles are weak. Even if this is the case, the cup is unlikely to fall out since its suction holds it in place.
Myth #2: The Menstrual Cup Will Get Lost Inside Me
The cup could get temporarily lost in your vagina if the stem is hard to find. That said, it’s impossible for the cup to pass through your cervix into the uterus so it can never truly get lost inside you. It also helps to know that a menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours.
Squatting while you remove your cup increases the pressure placed on the vagina, which helps to push the cup out. If this doesn’t help, give the cup more time to fill with blood. This will weigh it down, which moves it further down the vaginal canal to where you can reach it.
Myth #3: A Menstrual Cup Will Stretch My Vagina
When the vagina is relaxed and empty, the vaginal walls are compressed against each other. When you insert something, like a menstrual cup, the walls will bend and move in order to create space. If you insert your finger into your vagina and press it against the walls. You’ll feel how soft and moist they are, and how easy it is to make room for a menstrual cup.
After you remove your finger (or cup), the vagina will return to its compressed state. It’s therefore not possible for a menstrual cup to stretch the muscle tissue of the vagina.
Myth #4: My Periods Are Too Heavy for a Menstrual Cup
Most women will lose a maximum of 16 teaspoons (around 80ml) of blood during their period, so your menstrual cup can handle it. You can also sleep in it, depending on your night-time flow—but be sure to empty it before you turn the lights out.
Myth #5: The Menstrual Cup Will Leak If I Exercise
If you’re wearing the correct size, you should be able to sweat without any leaks—that’s if you feel up to exercising during your period. Exercise can alleviate menstrual symptoms, although anything too strenuous could exacerbate feelings of fatigue. Let your body guide you in what feels good and what doesn’t.
Myth #6: I Can’t Travel While Wearing a Menstrual Cup
You can travel, but you may not always have access to clean water to wash your cup. When using a public bathroom, empty the cup into the toilet and wipe it thoroughly with toilet paper. When you get home or arrive at your destination, wash the cup thoroughly with soap and water, and remember to boil it in hot water at the end of your period.
Myth #7: It’s Impossible to Pee or Poop With a Menstrual Cup
You can easily pee with a menstrual cup inserted, but pooping is a different story. The cup’s suction will prevent it from falling down the toilet, yet as you exert pressure to push the stool out of your anus, this pressure could cause the menstrual cup to shift, making pooping uncomfortable. From a hygiene perspective, you might prefer to remove the cup, clean it, and put it back in when you’ve finished.
Myth #8: It’s Not Healthy to Put Silicone in My Vagina for Hours at a Time
The Cora Cup is made from medical-grade silicone, which means it’s hypoallergenic, flexible, durable, and safe. These cups are free from latex, BPA, dyes, fragrance, phthalates (which is added to plastics to make them more durable and flexible), and petrolatum.
Plus it’s exceptionally rare for a menstrual cup to cause the toxic shock syndrome (TSS) that’s normally associated with tampons. Only one case of TSS caused by a menstrual cup has been reported, but do keep your hands and nails clean while inserting and removing your cup, and remove your rings too.
Author Bio Jo is a freelance writer and copywriter with qualifications in personal performance coaching, neurolinguistic programming, and yoga. She's lived her life in pursuit of freedom (mostly from the inside out), and now uses her words to help others do the same. Find her #findingfreedom on Instagram @whatjosaid or at whatjosaid.com