Can I Wear a Menstrual Cup While Pooping?
The first time I wondered if I could use my menstrual cup while pooping was when I sat down to poop with my cup in. I pushed a little and felt the cup move. I remembered my labor and delivery nurse yelling “push like you’re pooping” as I delivered my son. Then, I started wondering if I could drop it into the toilet! How terrible that would be. Not only would I birth my cup, but it would be covered in poop-water and not be re-insertable without a good boil. So, can you wear a cup and poop? Details below:
To stay on the safe side, I removed my cup and reinserted it after I was finished and washed my hands well. I was out and about and did not want to drop my cup into a public toilet. Luckily, I was in a stall with a sink (I look for these!) and I washed my hands well and reinserted the cup. Then, I set out to investigate.
Turns out, there are several factors that impact your ability to wear a menstrual cup while pooping. As you can see below, where your cup sits and where poop passes are close and have connected interworkings.
1.The fit and position of your cup.
I noticed that when my cup was generally in a great place, didn’t move around when I did and stayed put until I wanted to remove it was the best time to try pooping with the cup in. If I’m not sure of the fit, am testing out a new cup or just think it’s not in well…I remove it before pooping.
Having a cup higher up gives it more room to scoot down when pooping. In contrast, having a lower cup (you can read about checking your cervix height here) gives less room for it to move down. While some may be able to push the cup back into position, even if it slides down a bit, due to a high cervix, others may not have as much wiggle room and need to remove it to stay on the safe side.
A hypothetical situation: Say your cup slides down 2″ when you poop. If your cervix is 3″ high, moving down 2″ is a big deal. It would possibly even fall completely out. If your cervix is 6″ high, 2″ isn’t that big of a deal and you could probably push it back up when you’re done, after washing your hands of course.
2. The firmness or softness of your poop.
Two months ago we caught a stomach bug. I had my lena cup in and barely made it to the toilet in time. There was no time to remove my cup. I thought…oh no.
Luckily, unlike a more formed version, diarrhea does not budge my cup! Yay for one less terrible thing to go along with having a stomach bug. How awful to have loose stool and then have to locate my cup in the toilet…yeah, not fun.
On the other side, if you are constipated and have to bear down and push out poop, this may dislodge your cup. Your pelvic floor muscles, the muscles that support your organs and control the release of pee and poo are all interconnected. Working hard to push out poop may also push out a cup. Eat your fiber menstruators!
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3. Your personal interworkings
While menstruators all have the same general parts, they are arranged and packaged differently for each person. The angle of your uterus, your cervix height and diameter, the strength of your vaginal wall, the length of your vaginal canal, nerves, muscles…you get the idea right?
If those things didn’t make it confusing enough, your toilet habits impact this too. Maybe you spend 20 minutes pooping, maybe you can poop un 30 seconds or less! The longer you bear down and push, especially if straining, on the toilet the more opportunity your cup has to move.
So, should I take out my menstrual cup to poop?
If you are unsure, I’m going to go with yes. If you’re wondering if you’re going to push the cup out, and have to poop, I think it’s safer to remove it until you’re finished and can wash your hands well before reinserting. While you are pooping is not the time to learn that your cup moves down, and out, when you poop.
A dry run…so to speak.
A better time to determine if your cup will budge when you poop, is when you’re not pooping or pooping and not wearing your cup.
Test this out. Push like you’re going to poop a little (but don’t actually poop or do this when you have to poop) and pay attention to your cup. Does it generally stay in place? Does it just move down a hair or does the cup come flying out like a stuntman in a cannon?
What happens if it falls in?
I think the chances of it shooting our are not as high as the chances of it moving down a bit. Again, this depends on your personal setup. While I joke about it shooting out like a cannon, I do think that you should pay attention to it’s movement and if you feel like it may come out…remove it before it falls into the toilet.
Hand hygiene is super important. The germs that are in your poop and on your butt do not belong near your cervix and in your vagina. If you are taking the cup out and reinserting after you clean your bottom, make sure your hands are sanitized.
If it does fall into the toilet? This is up to you. Most companies have instructions to sanitize your menstrual cup including boiling for several minutes. While some may want to salvage the cup, others may not feel the same way. The price of your cup, longevity and personal feelings about poop may impact your decision.
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As always, this is in no way meant to diagnose or treat any condition. This is not meant to give individual guidelines but is informative in nature. Food for thought.