How often you should be emptying your menstrual cup? 10-12 hours is the maximum for hygeine reasons but if you DO have a heavy period or have a heavy 1-2 days you are likely going to need to empty more frequently.
But HOW do you know when the cup is full?
Since we can’t possibly know (these dumb cups don’t have an alarm or the ability to text us when it’s time) you will want to remove your cup after 3-4 hours the first day you try it. You will see how much is in the cup and based on that visual, you’ll be able to gauge if you could have left it in much longer or if it was way overdue. Since a menstrual cup can hold 2-8x more than a tampon (this will range based on the tampon you’re comparing to and the cup size/capacity you have chosen) you can also try to do some quick math on how often you changed your tampon on your heavy day and double that time, then remove and check to see how full the cup is.
We did an informal poll of our group members and asked
How often do you HAVE to remove and empty your menstrual cup on your heavy day(s)?
The most popular answer was “Every 4-6 Hours” followed by “Every 10-12 Hours” which demonstrates how varied our menstrual cycles can be!
Most popular answer was 4-6 Hours
Second most popular answer was 10-12 hours
Range of Normal
The average menstrual cycle is 30-60 ml which, if you’ve measure this out, is not a lot of liquid. Most people are shocked to find this out and many respond that they most definitely bleed way more than this. In some cases this is true but in most it’s an inaccurate statement based on the fact that they’ve only seen their blood soaked into disposable products, giving the appearance of a much heavier period.
The wonderful thing about using a menstrual cup is that you will get to know your body and your period better than you ever did before! In 1-3 cycles you’ll have a very good understanding of your period, which days you are the heaviest, and how often you need to remove and empty your cup each day of your cycle. Things such as seasons, stress, aging, changes in medication or birth control, etc can affect your period and this will be something you can measurably find out by using a cup.