When we are asked about pooping with a menstrual cup, it typically revolves around the fear of the cup falling out or, more accurately, the cup being pushed out. While there are things you can do to help (which we will get to in a moment), your anatomy and cup shape may play a role.
We have partnered with Tampax for this companion to our Peeing With A Menstrual Cup video, precisely because the SoftCurve™, flared shape of the Tampax Menstrual Cup helps it stay put and not push down with a bowel movement or other potentially strenuous activities.
We have more information about this and other tips for making it easier to go with your cup in place in the video below!
Pooping With A Menstrual Cup
Concern: Pushing the Cup Down and/or Out
This is the most common concern we hear, and interestingly enough about 50% of the group members we talked to recently said that they prefer to remove their cup before going. While it’s not necessary, it may be more in your comfort zone and that’s totally fine.
If you find that your cup likes to move down, it can be easily moved back up and into place with a clean finger by simply pushing on the bottom of the cup. That said, if you use a very soft cup, it may want to just squish in on itself, so pushing up may require more of a pinch to the base in order to nudge it back up.
As we mentioned, we partnered with Tampax on this video for this aspect specifically. The wider rim really helps to keep the cup in place, riding higher in the vaginal canal. If this is an ongoing issue for you and you want something that will help tackle this issue specifically, this is a great cup to try. As a bonus, it also places less pressure on the bladder because of it’s high position and narrow bottom. If you’re interested, we go into more detail about this in our full Tampax Menstrual Cup Review.
Concern: More Effort When Going
Straining is no good. While the issue is likely not your cup (diet, water, something else? Please talk to a trusted healthcare provider if this is an ongoing thing) it doesn’t make it impossible. While rare, we have heard from a user who said it was an issue. For them, choosing a softer cup was all it took to make a difference, and it makes sense! The vaginal canal and rectum are very close, so a large, firm, or bulbous cup may add resistance when trying to pass a bowel movement. We aren’t doctors or poop experts, but it makes sense to us that something softer and/or with a more tapered design (to keep less bulk near the opening of the vagina) would be helpful in this situation.
Why Does It Matter?
It’s a fact that you have more bowel movements during your period which is unfair, but we are all dealing with it. According to people smarter than us that have investigated this phenomenon…
“Prostaglandins signal the uterus to contract, which pushes out your uterine lining, so you get your period. But what most likely happens, is some lost prostaglandins head over to your bowel and cause that to contract, making you feel like you have to poop and causing gas. Fun, right?
In addition, progesterone is a hormone that “helps you maintain a pregnancy,” explains host Emily Rothschild in the video. And progesterone can make you a bit constipated. But progesterone levels drop during your period, causing the opposite effect. This is what causes diarrhea.”
Going to the bathroom more frequently can complicate your menstrual cup situation if you are one of those who find their cup moves down or out during bowel movements. Other than switching cups to one that fits you better like a Tampax Cup, designed to stay in place, or perhaps a cup that has a different firmness that resists the muscles used while pooping, you otherwise just have to remove the cup or push it back into place for each time you have to “drop the kids off at the pool.”
If you have a tip that has worked for you, we’d love you to share it below. And, of course, if you need help with this issue or any other, we recommend joining our Put A Cup In It Facebook Community. It’s a largely drama-free, safe space (thanks to our amazing mods) with nearly 14k members who are happy to share their experiences and tips. With that many members, we’ve found that there is someone who’s been there and can help with even the most obscure questions and problems.