Okay, so a common question that people have with menstrual cups is whether to use them alone, or with some “backup.” By backup, I mean some extra protection in case of leaking.
Here are some thoughts about that, as well as some advice about what kind of protection to consider.
Your First Few Cycles with a Menstrual Cup: Use Backup!
It’s strongly recommended that you use some additional protection besides your menstrual cup when you’re first starting out. There is a serious learning curve to these things and it will certainly leak at the start.
Don’t despair about this, or give up on menstrual cups. It’s perfectly normal, and it does take a while to figure out how to insert one correctly.
For more details, check out: How to Insert and Remove Menstrual Cups.
After that? It’s Up to You
Once you get the hang of inserting it, most people find that menstrual cups don’t leak. For example, if you go through an entire period without any leaks, you’re probably fine to use one without any extra protection for your next cycle.
The choices is yours of course, and many people always use something like a pantyliner just in case.
However, there are other people who find that their menstrual cups leaks a little bit no matter what they do. It could be a case of a very heavy period, and the cup is just full very quickly. Or, it could be a fit that just isn’t 100% right.
In this case, as long as it’s not leaking a lot, then just use some backup and don’t worry about it. For most people, a tiny bit of leaking isn’t really a big deal, and they can’t be bothered to switch to another brand of menstrual cup.
Check out the video below for some solid advice on how to get your cup to stop leaking.
Advice on How to Stop your Menstrual Cup from Leaking
Backup Option #1: Cloth Pads
Okay, so want to use some extra protection while using a menstrual cup. The first option we’re going to talk about are reusable cloth pads.
They’re an eco-friendly, affordable alternative to disposable sanitary napkins. Like disposables, they come in a range of sizes and absorbency options from pantyliners to heavy/overnight pads.
If you use a menstrual cup, a pantyliner should be fine. They can usually be found on a place like Amazon for less than $5 per pad, and most people find that 4-5 of them is enough to get them through their period.
Check out some of our top picks here: Top 5 Reusable Pantyliners.
Backup Option #2: Period Panties
The next option if you want some extra protection for your period cup are menstrual underwear. They come in two styles:
- Leakproof layer, but no absorbent padding
- Absorbent padding (usually 5-10 ml), plus a leakproof layer
If you’re using period panties as a backup to a menstrual cup, then either one should work fine. All you really need is something to prevent embarrassing leaks, and you don’t need a ton of absorbency.
You can see some of our favourite brands here: Top 5 Period Panties to Consider.
Backup Option #3: Disposable Pads or Pantyliners
The final, but least favourite options are disposable pads or pantyliners. They are not eco-friendly, and can be quite expensive as well. The other factor to consider is that non-organic pads can sometimes contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals in them.
It’s for this reason that we usually recommend organic pads. They’re free from toxins, and are 100% biodegradable because they don’t contain plastic.
Check out our favourite ones here: Top 5 Organic Pantyliners.
Do you Use a Menstrual Cup With, or Without Backup?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.