It's your first time using a cup and you're super excited. You followed the instructions on how to use a menstrual cup, sterilized your cup before the first use, and practiced all the different folds. But try as you might, your menstrual cup keeps sliding down, which is awkward when you're on the go.
You're about to surrender, but you've come this far—why return to the messiness of pads or tampons now? No worries. As an expert on period cups and eco-friendly period products, Ruby Cup cares about helping you experience all the freedom and comfort that a menstrual cup brings as well as creating less waste for a more sustainable world.
So read on to understand if a sliding cup is normal, what's the cause, and how to keep your menstrual cup from slipping ever again.
Is it normal for a menstrual cup to keep sliding down?
It's not normal for a menstrual cup to keep sliding down as it defeats its purpose. Suction holds a menstrual cup in place with the rim of the cup creating a watertight seal with your vaginal wall to collect your menstrual fluid leak-free. So, if your cup is slipping down, it's probably going to leak, too.
There are various reasons why your menstrual cup may keep sliding down. We're going to show you the chief causes and their simple fixes to kick-start your menstrual cup mastery and leave your worries behind.
5 reasons why your menstrual cup keeps sliding down – and what to do about it
A menstrual cup will keep sliding down for the same reasons your menstrual cup is leaking. But it's normal because you're on a learning curve just like everyone else. And while creating a seal is the most important factor, it's not the only one. Let's look at the most common reasons and their quick, simple fixes.
1. You haven’t quite found the right way to insert your menstrual cup
If you're a first-time cup user, learning how to insert a menstrual cup can take time before you get it right. So you may not be creating the suction needed to keep your cup in place. Without a seal, your cup will slide. Either your cup didn't open after insertion or you inserted your cup too high or too low in your vagina, where it can't form or hold a seal.
If you want a primer on how to insert a menstrual cup, check out our 2-minute video below. If not, skip to the solution.
Solution: Use these simple fixes to insert your cup so it creates a seal and sits in the right position:
- Try the touch test: After you've inserted your cup, just run the tip of your finger along the base of the cup to check for any folds or creases, a telltale sign your cup hasn't opened entirely. If so, rotate your cup one way or sway it gently side to side until it opens.
- Lose the tampon habit: Instead of inserting your cup straight up, like a tampon, go with the natural shape of your vagina. Insert your folded menstrual cup horizontally and push it back toward your tailbone. This will help you find the right position for your cup, as it should sit lower in your vagina than a tampon.
- Use this simple punch-down trick: Different folds work well, but some people find using a backward punch-down fold, with the folded part facing your tailbone, works for easier insertion and better fit.
- Move around: Maybe sitting on the toilet to insert your menstrual cup isn't working for you. Try squatting down or standing up with one foot on the toilet or the tub's edge. Or experiment with new positions and folds while you're under the shower without worrying about the mess.
- Run a suction check: Gently tug on the cup's stem—if there's resistance, well done. You've sealed your cup.
- Begin at the beginning: Sometimes it's best to let go of a cup that you've already inserted but isn't cooperating. Remove it and start over.
2. The menstrual cup you’re using is not the right size for you
Using the wrong size cup for your body may cause your cup to slide down or up.
If your cup is too big, it may not pop open when you release the fold because it doesn't have enough room to expand. If your cup is too small, it may not be wide enough to create a seal with your vaginal wall. A cup that's too short or too long may sit too high to create a seal and wind up traveling up a high cervix to the vaginal fornix, a wider area of your vagina below the cervix, as in the image below.
Each body is different and there's no such thing as the perfect vagina for a menstrual cup. There is, however, the perfect menstrual cup for your body. And the size depends on two factors: the position of your cervix and the heaviness of your menstrual flow.
Solution: Size up or down, go wider, shorter, longer, or bigger. To find the perfect cup for you, try our menstrual cup sizing guide, take our quiz, or check out our guide on what to do if your menstrual cup is too big. You can always buy two sizes, like the Ruby Cup Duo Pack, to experiment with both.
3. Your menstrual cup is too soft
Even though a soft menstrual cup is easy to fold and insert, a cup that's too soft might not be elastic enough to spring open. Or, even if it opens, a softer cup with a less flexible silicone won't exert the needed pressure to form a seal or create suction. What then?
Solution: Change to a firmer cup. We designed Ruby Cup with the ideal firmness to pop open and stay in place comfortably. But don't take our word for it—try it to find out. And if you need a different size, no problem. All Ruby Cups come with a 100% money-back guarantee.
4. You’re using too much lube when inserting your menstrual cup
Using a lubricant can make it easier to insert your cup, especially if you're a beginner. But too much lube can also make your cup too slippery, which can create problems such as:
- Too much lube might prevent you from holding the fold long enough to position the cup into your vagina.
- Too much lube might make the cup's rim and walls too slippery to create suction.
Solution: Try inserting your cup dry or put a bit of lube only on the cup's rim. Remember to use a water-based lubricant as a silicone-based one will damage a silicone cup.
5. You have a strong pelvic floor and you do intense exercise
If you're very fit and active, you might have a strong pelvic floor. And some high-impact exercises and sports require exerting a lot of force, like weightlifting. And you might contract your pelvic floor muscles involuntarily, breaking the cup's suction or pushing your menstrual cup down. Both scenarios mean leakage.
Solution: The best solution is to use a firmer cup than your current one. Switching to a firmer cup will prevent your pelvic floor muscles from breaking your menstrual cup's seal. Also, if you're worried, use a period panty together with your cup to catch any menstrual cup leaks. Better safe than sorry.
How to prevent your menstrual cup from falling down
Now when your menstrual cup keeps sliding down, no panic because you'll know what to do:
- Take a touch test: Run a finger around the base of your cup to check for any creases or folds.
- Iron out the creases: Found a crease? Holding the cup's base, gently rotate your cup until you feel it pop open.
- Change size: You may need a different size if your menstrual cup keeps sliding down. With a Ruby Cup, you can exchange your period cup no problem thanks to our flexible return policy.
- Stop being a softy: A too-soft menstrual cup may not create a seal with your vagina. Go for medium firmness, like Ruby Cup.
- Cut back on the slickness: Go easy on the lube. Less is more if you want to keep your cup from sliding down.
- Be more firm: For intensive workouts and extreme sports, consider switching to a firm cup.
And for greater peace of mind, every time you go to the bathroom, give your cup's stem a gentle tug to see if your cup still has its seal. If it doesn't move or slide, you've got this.
Are you still bursting with questions about your menstrual cup sliding down? Great, because we're going to answer them for you.
Is the menstrual cup supposed to stick out?
If your cup's stem is sticking out, it shouldn't. You've either inserted your cup too low in your vagina, or you may have a low cervix and your cup is too big. In the latter case, choose a cup with a trimmable stem and remember to trim the stem before inserting the cup into your vagina.
How do I keep my menstrual cup in place?
A menstrual cup stays in place thanks to suction. To keep your menstrual cup in place and prevent it from moving, make sure your cup:
- opened completely.
- formed a seal with your vagina.
- doesn't sit too close to your cervix.
And remember that you shouldn't insert a menstrual cup as high as a tampon.
Can you pee with a menstrual cup in?
You can pee with a menstrual cup inside you because a cup works with suction and will move with your body without dislodging. To check if the seal has formed with your vaginal wall, which will prevent it from sliding down or out, grip the stem and gently tug on the cup. If you feel resistance, your cup has suction.
Can you poop with a menstrual cup in?
You can poop with a menstrual cup because a cup stays inside your vagina thanks to suction. How does it create suction? The cup's silicone rim creates a watertight seal with your vaginal wall, allowing the cup to move with your body. This is how you can have a bowel movement without your cup sliding down.
Why is my menstrual cup falling out postpartum?
Your pelvic muscles and cervix may not be the same as before a cesarean or vaginal birth, so it's normal if your cup slides down or falls out the next time you use it. Try a larger size or firmer cup, but always wait six weeks postpartum and consult your healthcare provider first.
Related post: Can You Use a Menstrual Cup Postpartum? (Facts + Tips)
Why does my menstrual cup fall out when I run?
There might be a few reasons your menstrual cup falls out when you run:
- Your cup might sit too low in your vagina and can't hold its seal.
- Your cup hasn't fully opened and hasn't formed a seal.
- If you have very strong pelvic muscles, you might clench or push down involuntarily, breaking the cup's suction.
Want a zero-waste and fuss-free period? For every Ruby Cup purchased, we donate another one to a person without access to safe menstrual products. Get your Ruby Cup now.