Can Urine Get in Your Menstrual Cup?

Can Pee Get in Your Menstrual Cup?

Reusable menstrual cups are great things, once you get the right size and figure out how to use it properly that is… However, many wonder if pee can get in a menstrual cup.

Pee, or urine, in a menstrual cup can be concerning. Questions about urine filling the cup too soon, causing odor and general medical issues have arisen and… I’d like to address this topic. Here we go!

urine in menstrual cup

Disclosure: This post is informational in nature and should not be mistaken for medical advice. Please see your doctor to be diagnosed and treated. 

First off  – I feel as though I should start with basic anatomy, the way the body is set up.

Unlike people with penises, who both pee and ejaculate through one pathway in the penis, someone with a uterus & vagina has two separate tubes: The urethra or pee tube and the Vagina, where penis sex occurs and menstrual fluid comes out. See the Urethra and Vagina image below –

normal anatomy uterus bladder cervix vagina rectum without prolapse

So, in short, and in most cases, the answer is no. Pee cannot get in your menstrual cup.

Exceptions to this statement.

While the simple fact of having two separate tubes, one for pee (urethra) and one for menstrual fluid, childbirth and vaginal penetration (vagina), keeps the fluids separate…there are some rare and odd circumstances.

There is a medical condition that involves a hole between the vagina and urethra that allows pee in called a vaginal fistula. However, this would be all the time and not just during menstruation. Typically, this requires surgery to be fixed and is continuous. (1)

” A vaginal fistula is an abnormal opening that connects your vagina to another organ, such as your bladder, colon or rectum. Your doctor might describe the condition as a hole in your vagina that allows stool or urine to pass through your vagina.” (1)

This is usually something diagnosed by a medical professional and can result from injury, birth or defect. (1)

Why do my vaginal fluids smell like pee?

During different times of the month, the pH level of your vagina changes. When it’s more acidic it can smell differently than it does when it’s less acidic. The higher acidic state can also cause bleaching spots on cloth pads and underwear. Generally, the vagina is more acidic and has a healthy balance of bacteria thanks to lactobacillus. When this balance gets off you can experience common conditions like a yeast infection.

Strong ammonia smells may possibly be bacterial vaginosis, a buildup of urine around your vaginal opening and/or sign dehydration. Urine itself gets more concentrated when you’re dehydrated and anytime your vaginal canal is off balance, the odor can change. (2)

However, while vaginal fluids and an external buildup of urine can smell more acidic your menstrual cup will not get urine in it unless there is a medical issue such as a vaginal fistula. This fistula would typically allow urine to be in your vaginal canal all the time and not just during menstruation. (1)

That’s all! Questions, comments, concerns? Leave your notes below –

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  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginal-fistulas/symptoms-causes/syc-20355762
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/vagina-smells#3

 

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