Kristen Bell Passes Out From Menstrual Cup Use – Is That Possible?

Can you really pass out from your menstrual cup?

When I heard that Kristen Bell literally passed out while removing her menstrual cup I had to read the article. Turns out, there are many articles. Then, I hat to watch the video.

Kristen Bell, a glowing actress, describes how she got her DivaCup “stuck” and “suctioned to the wrong part” of her. She even felt as though it was “pulling on her insides” as she describes this event during a spot on Busy Phillips’s new E! talk show, Busy Tonight. 

To make matters worse, she actually passes out and then comes to and reports ripping the cup out. Dear Lord, Kristen Bell. Do you hear menstrual cup users all over the globe yelling “Pinch and break the seal, break the seal!” Because they are.

Friends don’t let friends use tampons and friends also tell friends about breaking the seal.

What happened? Can you actually pass out from your menstrual cup?

Dear Kristen Bell, please drop by for tea. Or coffee. First, tell me why your skin is so awesome. Next, we’ll talk cups. I carry cups in my purse and in an attempt to help normalize menstruation and reusable cups & pads I pull them out in all sorts of awkward social situations and do a little demo with my hands.

I hope this experience won’t stop you from finding a great cup and continuing your reusable menstrual journey.

So…can you get your menstrual cup stuck? 

First-time users often fear getting their menstrual cup stuck. However, “stuck” isn’t typically what you think it is. Often stuck means one of two things: The cup has gone up high and you need to push like you’re birthing to reach it or you haven’t properly broken the seal.

The seal is what prevents leaks around the sides of the cup and if you have a great seal you’ll need to let some air in before comfortably pulling down your cup. I actually hear the cup unsuctioning when I pinch it right!

In either case, if you get your cup stuck…the worst thing you can do is panic. Take some deep breaths, try to not get frustrated and even take a break and if needed wait, if you can, and try again later.

As someone who has passed out a handful of times, not cup related, I feel for Kristen Bell. I  just can’t have a blood draw sitting up…and passing out is a terrible feeling. In fact, I know it’s coming when I start to see 1990’s TV-like snow and I start to take deep breaths and raise my feet. Awful sensation.

It’s not the cup’s fault

If anything, the DivaCup is one of the most well known…if not the most well-known cup brand and thanks to it’s length it’s easy for even high cervix first-time users to retrieve.

Why would cause you actually pass out removing a menstrual cup?

Something called Vasovagal syncope may be to blame. When vasovagal syncope occurs you faint because your body overreacts automatically to certain triggers, physical sensation or visual such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. This isn’t something you consciously control.

It may also be called neurocardiogenic syncope. What that basically means is that you trigger a nerve in the wrong way and your automatic body response is passing out via blood pressure drop.  (1)

Causes of Vasovagal/neurocardiogenic syncope:

  • Sudden, severe pain
  • Having your blood drawn (this is mine!)
  • Being exposed to a traumatic sight or event
  • Extremely difficulty with urination or defecation
  • A severe coughing spell
  • Hyperventilation (breathing rapidly)
  • Standing motionless for long periods of time
  • Overexerting yourself in hot weather
  • Excessive alcohol or substance use (1)
  • annnnnd let’s add not breaking the seal of your menstrual cup and pulling forcefully on your vagina and/or cervix….for some. Could be emotional, pain, overexertion, visual or the nerves inside your vagina & cervix.

How can you prevent this from happening to you?

From the sound of the interview now on youtube, in a pair of high waisted pants I’m super jealous of because wow would they cover my post-4-baby bump, she said she had a “very weird experience” with the DivaCup. She describes that there was “something that was suctioned to the wrong part of me.”

When she pulled she passed out and makes a hand gesture mimicking, to me, her cervix being pinched. Then she “ripped it out” and I was yelling: “Kristen Bell…pinch and break the seal!”

I would recommend avoiding this to all menstruators by making sure to break the seal before removing their menstrual cup.

This is an anomaly.

I will admit to doing this the first time I used a cup. I unfolded that pamphlet, read what I could…but when it came time to remove I yanked and ouch…I thought I damaged my cervix! I quickly realized that I shouldn’t do that the next time but by no means did I faint or feel light-headed. 

We should thank Kristen Bell

Yes! You now have a great opening line to start a menstrual cup conversation with literally anyone.

“Hey, did you see Kristen Bell passed out removing her DivaCup?” ….plug in everything you would say after that here! Wow, she should have broken the seal. They really are comfortable and good for the environment etc. etc.

It’s an amazing conversation starter and I’m really thankful that she talked about this experience publically! What do you think?

Read tips for first-time cup users & beginners here! 

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