A question that some beginners to menstrual cups have is about sleeping with it in. It this okay? It is recommended? Is it safe? Will the cup get lost?
Find out everything you need to know about sleeping with a menstrual cup in. You love your Diva Cup during the day, but what about at night? Read more to find out!
Table of Contents
Let’s Talk about the Cervix and your Cup Getting Lost
First of all, have no fear about a menstrual cup getting lost while you sleep. It just isn’t possible.
The cervix is a very small hole, and nothing as large as a menstrual cup is going to get through there. Even a tampon is way too big to fit through the opening of the cervix. The only exception to this is during childbirth.
So sleep with your menstrual cup in and have no fear, okay? Okay. You will indeed be able to get it out in the morning when you wake up. Once inserted, it may shift position, but it’s still somewhere in your vagina! Don’t worry.
You can indeed sleep with a menstrual cup in.
Sleeping: Your Cup May Shift
What can happen when you’re sleeping is that your menstrual cup may shift a little bit. Due to the lack of gravity, it can move up the vaginal canal (usually you insert a cup just so that the stem isn’t sticking out of you).
If you go to remove your menstrual cup in the morning, but can’t “find it,” have no fear. This is normal!
Relax for an hour. Eat some breakfast and drink your coffee. Then, come back to deal with your period. You should be able to find the stem.
If you still can’t, then push down with your pelvic muscles while reaching up with your fingers to find the stem. This should solve your problem.
More details about how to remove a menstrual cup here:
Your Menstrual Cup May Fill Up While Sleeping
If you have a heavy flow, you may find that your menstrual cup fills up with blood when you’re sleeping. This is particularly true if you’re using one of the lower-capacity menstrual cups that hold 20-25 ml. You’ll notice spotting at first on your underwear or pad, but then it’ll be much heavier.
If you don’t deal with it, it can leak more, making a lot of mess.
It takes some time to learn to know when your cup is probably fall and you need to empty it. This will come naturally as you get more comfortable with using it. You can often feel when it starts to leak.
Some high-capacity period cups hold more than 40 ml! So, if you have an extremely heavy period, you may want to consider one of these options, especially on the night of your greatest flow.
You can also consider pairing your menstrual cup with period panties, or a pad. This will give you some extra protection in case of leaks, and you hopefully won’t have to get up to deal with your period in the night.
It’s Way Better than Tampons for Sleeping
Compare a menstrual up to a tampon. Regular ones can hold around 5 ml, while jumbo ones hold about 10 ml.
Even an average menstrual cup that holds 30 ml is way better than a jumbo tampon because it should, in theory last 3x longer.
If you had to get up in the middle of the night to change out your tampon, you may be able to make it through the night with a menstrual cup, particularly one of the higher capacity ones.
Try it out for yourself and notice the difference. We certainly think that it’s the ultimate solution for periods all year long. It’s reason enough to make the switch today! Oh yeah, and don’t forget about all the money you can save too.
How Long Can I Wear a Menstrual Cup?
Due to the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, you have to change your tampon every 8 hours or less.
Change Every 12 Hours
What about menstrual cups? How long can you go without emptying it? And, does it come with the risk of TSS?
Most companies recommend taking out your cup every 12 hours (or less), cleaning it and then reinserting it. This is done to reduce your risk of infections and TSS.
Clean it Well after Removing It
You should clean your period cup to get rid of the bacteria that causes Toxic Shock Syndrome. A simple rinse under water usually isn’t good enough—it’s best to use soap or a special menstrual cup wash. Check out the chart below for some of our top picks.
So, just insert your cup before you go to bed at night, sleep in, have breakfast and then worry about your period.
It May Fill Up Before 12 Hours
The exception to this is if your cup is full. You’ll know this is the case if you notice some leaking. Then, take it out even if it’s not 12 hours yet to empty it and reinsert it.
Quick Tips: It’s important to remember to take out your cup when your cycle is done. It’s easy to forget because it won’t fill up, and unlike a tampon with the string, there’s nothing hanging out.
Also be sure to wash the soap residue off well from your cup in order to prevent things like yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.
Shop now for some of our top choices:
My Cup Isn’t Full, but it Leaks when I’m Sleeping
Over on Reddit, there are a number of women who can’t get their menstrual cup to not leak when they’re sleeping. For example, they find that it leaks even though it’s only 1/3 full when they get up to empty it.
What are the causes of this?
Most people are suggesting a cervix that dangles and displaces the liquid in the cup, causing it to leak. This could also reduce the overall capacity of the cup from something like 30 ml to 20 ml or even less.
The solution to this may be to try a new, larger capacity cup. Or, just wear a cloth pad along with it and not worry too much about it.
Not the Right Cup?
Some other people are suggesting that it’s perhaps not the right menstrual cup. It could be too small, or too big, or just not the right fit.
For help in finding the menstrual cup that’s right for you, be sure to check out this menstrual cup quiz.
Part of the problem with a Diva Cup, or other period cup leaking at night may be a problem with inserting it. If you’re just getting started with a cup, it can take at least a few months to really feel 100% confident with using it.
So, take care with inserting it and do it an hour or two before you plan to go to sleep. Then, you can check for leaks before you get into bed.
Try a Reusable Cloth Pad?
However, a great solution is to just pair your cup with a reusable cloth pad for some extra protection and don’t worry about it too much! This product is eco-friendly, affordable and offers many of same benefits as menstrual cups.
Can You Sleep with a Tampon In?
Sleeping wit a tampon in: this is also a great question and we’ll try out best to give the answer you’re looking for! Tampon manufacturers recommend switching out your tampon every 8 hours. This is the maximum amount of time and it’s not recommended to wear a tampon for longer than that. This is because of the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
So, if you’re going to sleep with a tampon, you’ll want to put a fresh one in immediately before you go to bed. Then, take it out first thing in the morning. It can be easy to forget about it if it’s not leaking. You may be tempted to eat breakfast, and do some things before dealing with your period. But, it’s important to stick to that 8 hours maximum.
How Long Do You Sleep For?
Also keep in mind how long you normally sleep for. If you usually sleep for 6-7 hours a night, it should be no problem to wear tampons while you sleep. However, if you usually sleep for 9-10 hours, or you plan to have a long lay-in on the weekend, tampons at night may not be the right period solution for you.
You may want to make your life easier by switching to a period cup. There are a number of reasons beyond the fact that you can wear them longer: they’re cheaper, better for your body, as well as the environment.
What If I Forget about my Tampon?
That said, if you do happen to forget, it’s not like you’re going to immediately get TSS. It’s just that the bacteria that cause this start to grow more quickly after 8 hours, and may get beyond acceptable levels.
Also be sure to take out your tampon (or menstrual cup) at the end of your period. It’s possible to forget, but important not to. If you notice any unusual discharge, this should probably be the first thing you suspect so check it out.
Sleeping with a Menstrual Cup: Have your Say!
What are your thoughts on using a menstrual cup overnight? Leave a comment below and let us know. And don’t forget to share this on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.