Can you sleep with a menstrual cup in?
So you’ve just had a long and busy day. You're exhausted, and you just want to go to bed, but you can't because you're on your period, and you don't want to wake up to a bloody mess. So, can you sleep with a menstrual cup in?
The answer is yes! You can sleep with a menstrual cup. Menstrual cups are a safe, clean and convenient way to manage your period. They can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time, so you can sleep soundly, knowing that you're protected from leaks. Plus, they're eco-friendly and cost-effective in the long run.
If you're considering making the switch to a menstrual cup, or you're just curious about how they work when you sleep, read on for everything you need to know.
But first, what is a Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup is a small, soft silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual fluid. They are an alternative to tampons and pads and have a number of benefits. Let’s go through a few.
For starters, they are much better for the environment. According to statistics, the average person uses 11,000 pads or tampons in their lifetime, which means that there is a lot of waste to dispose of. Menstrual cups, on the other hand, can be reused for up to 10 years if looked after well.
Easy on the wallet
They are also much more cost-effective in the long run. A menstrual cup will set you back between £20-£25 but will last for years. The cost of replacing tampons and pads is, however, considerably higher since they need to be replaced every few months, which can quickly add up.
Better for your body
There are also a number of health benefits that come with using a menstrual cup. Unlike tampons, which can dry out the vagina and lead to irritation, cups collect menstrual fluid without absorbing any of the natural moisture. This helps to keep the vagina healthy and free from infections.
Watch our video for everything you need to know about a period cup
Tips for reducing leakage while sleeping with a period cup
A menstrual cup can be worn safely for up to 12 hours, so there's really no reason why you can't keep them in overnight too. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of leaking during the night, especially if you have a heavier flow.
1. Use the right menstrual cup for you
Choosing the right menstrual cup for your body is one of the most important factors when it comes to preventing leaks and making sure your cup pops open and remains in place throughout your cycle. No ‘one-size-fits-all menstrual cup’ exists, so never assume that what works for your friend will also work for you. At &SISTERS, our period cups arrive in 3 sizes, depending on where you are in your life stage, so you can be sure the cup you choose will be right for you.
2. Make sure your period cup is empty before you hit the bed
You should generally empty and clean your menstrual cup every 12 hours or sooner if you are experiencing a heavier flow. To avoid having to get up in the middle of the night from your beauty sleep, we recommend emptying your cup right before you get into bed. This will allow you to reset the timer so you can carry on sleeping with a menstrual cup right through the night without having to worry about overflow.
3. Switch to pants during the nights
Our dream combo of period cups for the day and reusable pants for the night is the perfect solution for those who feel a little less comfortable sleeping with a menstrual cup in. For that extra added protection, you might even want to consider wearing both. That will give you the reassurance that you won’t have to deal with a bloody mess in the morning.
For further information, read our blog all about why your menstrual cup might be leaking.
Here’s how to use your menstrual cup the right way
A period cup is also a more comfortable option for many as it is inserted further into the vagina and sits lower, so it’s less likely to cause discomfort or leaks.
Using a menstrual cup is also very simple. The first thing you need to do is fold your cup. There are a number of different folds that you can use, but the most common is the U/C-fold. Once the cup is folded, you need to insert it into the vagina. The exact positioning will vary from person to person, but the cup should be inserted so that the rim is opened up and sitting just below the cervix.
Once the cup is in place, you can simply leave it there for up to 12 hours. When it's time to remove the cup, simply hold the base of the cup and not just the stem/ pebble pull, as this is there as a guide. Then remove the period cup from your vagina, keeping it horizontal to avoid any spillage.
Cleaning: Simply empty the contents into the toilet, rinse the cup with water and reinsert. For heavier flow days, we recommend emptying your period cup every 4-6 hours. Read our blog all about how to properly clean your menstrual cup.
What to expect when sleeping with a period cup
Something that can happen when you’re sleeping with your menstrual cup is that the menstrual cup may shift a little bit during the night. When you are lying down, the amount of gravity is reduced, which means the period cup can move up the vaginal canal. It is perfectly normal to experience a moment when you try to remove your menstrual cup in the morning but cannot find the bottom stem that usually sticks out of you.
If that happens, the first thing you need to do is relax. This will also help your pelvic muscles to relax as well and release the period cup. If that doesn't work, just insert your finger into your vagina and feel for it. If you find it and can’t remove it, try squeezing the base to release the seal. Then slowly pull out.
Now, how did we know that this happens? We tested it ourselves! Yes, our co-founder Lucy has actually slept with a period cup in, and while she was able to remove it easily in the morning, her own experience reminded us that sometimes things move around while sleeping! So no matter what happens while sleeping, know that your reusable menstrual cup will not be stuck inside you forever, and you will be able to remove the period cup safely.
The best way to make sure you get the most out of your period is to experiment with what works best for you. Periods are supposed to be a time of renewal and self-care, so why not get comfortable while you’re at it? If your period cup still feels comfortable in the morning, it’s likely that you can sleep with it in without worrying about leaking.
If you have any further questions about sleeping with a menstrual cup or anything else, please feel free to drop us a message firstname.lastname@example.org