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.
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.
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 Cup May Fill Up While Sleeping
If you have a heavy flow, you may find that your menstrual cup fills up when you’re sleeping. This is particularly true if you’re using one of the lower-capacity menstrual cups that hold 20-25 ml.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My Cup Isn’t Full, but it Leaks when I’m Sleeping
Over on Reddit, there are a number of people 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 is the cause 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 larger capacity cup. Or, just wear a cloth pad along with it and not worry too much about it.
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.
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.