Using Menstrual Cups With Heavy Periods

We are often asked if a menstrual cup can be used with heavy periods. The short answer is yes but it’s more involved than that. Though many who are cup-curious feel that they have a heavy flow most quickly learn that they really don’t bleed as much as their tampons or pads may have implied. In fact, the average menstrual fluid released each cycle is only around 30-60 ml (or 2-4 tablespoons).

To get to the bottom of this we decided to go head-to-head… or vag-to-vag… with our heavy bleeding pal, Jen. We each measured our flow for one cycle. We (Kim & Amanda) came in around 18 ml (a bit more than a tablespoon) while Jen poured out 225 ml (or nearly a cup). That’s 4-8x the normal amount!!!

It’s hard to imagine keeping up with day to day activities with such a heavy period and it was, until Jen finally found her perfect combination to make her periods livable. We’ve also teamed up with the maker of Jen’s favorite cup (spoiler: Super Jennie) and a maker of period underwear, EvaWear to make this video possible (along with some other cool stuff you’ll see down below!)

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Jen has finally reached the cherished status of #periodnirvana That’s when you forget you’re on your period thanks to a cup!

We hope you enjoy this video featuring Jen and her heavy, heavy period. It’s full of great information about how she made the switch from her Diva Cup (a 30 ml capacity cup) and back up cloth pads to a high capacity cup (she purchased the Super Jennie L *a 41 ml capacity cup* after taking our quiz) and period panties.

If you’re experiencing heavy periods similar to Jen we would suggest looking at our Menstrual Cup Comparison Chart to find the cups with the highest capacity. Even though the Super Jennie L is what Jen uses it may not be the right cup for you based on other factors such as the length (noted on the chart) or the fact that it’s a softer cup (meaning it can be more difficult to open and create a seal, especially for newbies to menstrual cups). If you believe you need a firmer cup with the next highest capacity is the Yuuki L at 37 ml.

We understand it can be extremely difficult to manage periods of this magnitude but if anything is capable of aiding it — it’s a menstrual cup! Even average capacity cups (24-30 ml) will hold more than SUPER Tampons (they max out around 18 ml) but moving to a higher capacity cup and coupling that with a good pair of period panties *just in case* is your best and most comfortable, worry free, option.

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We’d like to thank Super Jennie and EvaWear Period Panty for helping us make this video possible. When we decided to make a video about heavy periods it only made sense to partner with Super Jennie. We even filmed the video before they signed on to sponsor so all the brand mentions are 100% organic. We didn’t know they have a sister brand that makes affordable period underwear so check those out of you need something for back up or just want to wear them in anticipation of your period!

Heavy Flow with a Menstrual Cup? Tips+Advice from a Heavy Bleeder

Put A Cup In It

Menstrual education with a twist by Kim Rosas & Amanda Hearn. Thanks for being here!

- Kimanda

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17 Comments

  • I am a heavy bleeder, too. Most of my bleeding happens during the second and third day. But problem is, large cups are too large for me (I tried two different ones). So I have to deal with small ones. It is not the same every time – sometimes, I have to be in the bathroom every half hour. On average, on heavy days, 2 hours are the most until the cup is full. But I will definitely consider the panties. Before cups, I used a tampon and a pad at the same time at heavy days and still had accidents. So, yes, I would recommend cups for heavy bleeders even if they use small ones.

  • So I have a verrrrry high cervix and outrageous jenlike periods. I use diva cup 2 and like the firmness but was looking for something like that but holds more?

    • Look into the Luv Ur Body larger model, it also has a higher capacity. We haven’t personally tried it but I believe it’s firmer than the Super Jennie. We reached out to the company but they haven’t replied yet so they aren’t on our chart. The Yuuki is also firmer but has 37 ml capacity so more than Diva but not as much as the SJ.

      • have you heard back from Luv your body? i notice they are on the charts, but only partially ( i assume you have the measurements but haven’t tried), they do do “give aways” for reviewers with over a certain amount of followers ( which u guys meet) .. pls fill in their form and get a give away and try Luv your body!?? (all sizes pls)

  • First off, I am so thankful for you ladies and all the hard work and amazing content you are putting out! Thank you! I have a heavy period like Jen (in between 1 cup and 1 1/2 cups) I have been using the Lunette 2 and love it, but need to empty it at least every 2 hours on my heavy days. I am looking for a higher capacity cup but have an important question I don’t feel I have seen any info on: to hold more it’s not just about the size, it should also be about the firmness, right? I know no cup will actually hold it’s full capacity bc the vaginal muscles are squeezing it and not allowing it to be fully expanded within the body, so should I go for a firmer cup like the Yuuki Classic that will hopefully not be as smushed when inside my body? Does that make sense? I sure hope so, thank you again for all you are doing!

  • I am so happy I came across this! I have massively heavy periods since having my second baby last year. I have a large Lena now and empty it every hour on days 2-3, sometimes day 4 too. I will be for sure purchasing a Super Jennie to try out! Another 11mLs of capacity sounds awesome!

  • I too have aheavy cycle. I usually discharge around a cup worth. I have to empty my diva cup 5-6 times a day for 4 days. Then i can go 3-4 times.i think im going to look into the super jennie

  • This article was very helpful after trying a standard size cup with my first postpartum cycle. I was honestly leaking and having to empty every 30 minutes and was so confused (and pretty sore from all that emptying). I have since ordered the Yuuki. Even so I am still emptying it fairly frequently. I think I have the helpful combo of an extremely high, tilted cervix, with a flow that would shame the Jen in your article – – and birthing 3 giant babies did me no favors. I just stick close to home (which is an option for me) the two heaviest days and always wear a pad as well.

  • Thank you for this post! I’ve been using the larger Diva cup for years and switched to a similar capacity Sinaya cup when I misplaced my diva. I could never understand how some women could say they wear them for 8-12 hours with no leakage. On my 2nd and 3rd days of bleeding I have to change every 1-2 hours max or else the blood with go through even my cotton pads which i wear with the cup.

    Its the main reason why i switched to cups — i was spending a firtune every month on tampons and pads. So at least with cups and cotton pads i still have to change often but the impact is less on the environment and my wallet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Will definitely look into the bigger sized cups mentioned here if they help me manage my freakishly heavy flows better. ๐Ÿ’–

  • This is a great post. My heavy cycle I empty every 2 hours and I have the super jennie. Wished there was one that was firmer.

  • I’m puzzled… since the cup sits at an angle, it also comes out at an angle. So, when I attempt to change mine, I can’t tell if it was full or not, since it was either leaking (which is why I was changing) or spilling as I remove. Seems it’s in correctly. It’s comfortable. I’m aware it’s there maybe more out of fear of leakage than because I feel it… I don’t think I feel it… How do I know?

  • Thank you so much for this article and the chart! I honestly thought I was alone with my super heavy flow. I’ve heard so many women say they have heavy periods, but then they are able to use a cup for 8 hours without emptying it. I never understood how that’s possible. I’ve tried two different cups and the biggest cup I have, the Lunette 2, overflows in about 30 minutes to an hour. Also it’s painful to have to change it so often since that cup is pretty firm. So I went back to using super plus tampons with reusable cloth pads. But I will definitely give the cup another try and get one that is slightly less firm and that holds more volume.

    • The average period is 35ml, but anything between 10 and 80 is considered normal. Most women who say they have heavy periods mean they are at the high end of normal, between 40 and 80ml. Above 80ml you officially have a “heavy” period. Those of us with actual heavy periods have a different situation than the women with normal, above average flow.

      I bleed more than 100ml in my first 2 days, but I never realized how abnormal that was until I started using a cup. It definitely helped me to know this because previously I had felt like I was failing at managing menstruation, this super basic thing which all other women had figured out. I’m still not sure if the cup is going to work for me. While I do find it more comfortable than a tampon, if I have to change something so frequently I would rather change a tampon. I might look into medication to reduce my bleeding now that I know this is an option.

  • Linda, I too find it amusing and I writhe with jealousy when I hear ladies talk about a heavy period and they have to empty their cups 5 times a day (I’m sure it seems heavy to them) but when you’re (me) emptying your cup every 30 – 60 mins even through the night for 48 hours or more…. that is what I deem a heavy period. I know everyone’s experience is their own… but ladies who are having to do it half a dozen times a day.. please be grateful.. I’d do anything to be in your position! I’m going to give this softer cup a go as I find the firm cup I use increases my period pain so hopefully a softer cup will make it more comfortable. Good luck to all… and to all my fellow HEAVY bleeders hang in there… it’s only a few days a month I hope.

    • I feel the same way. After my tuballigation many years ago my period has been terribly heavy, to the point where I prefer not to leave the house..painful too.
      About 2 months ago I tried the soft cup (3month disposable), it worked very well for the first month, the second month, it leaked within 2 hrs..I then purchased the ELLECUP, i dont like it at all, i think its me, it leaks within 2 hrs and I find it so difficult to insert and removing – removing is awful – I must be doing something wrong, its like a “suction” and I feel like I am being attacked by this cup..is also too hard. I am considering going back to super tampons or the soft cup disposable every month..annoyed as I bought 2 of these ELLECUPS.

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