Other women's health

Can You Sleep With the Menstrual Cup In?

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: September 5, 2023
Can You Sleep With the Menstrual Cup In?

Although some version of the menstrual cup has been around for almost a century, their increased popularity has been relatively recent. Due to their uncommon use, there are a lot of questions many women have about how they can use a menstrual cup. Unlike a tampon or sanitary pad which absorb menstrual blood, a menstrual cup collects it in a reservoir. It is a small silicone container that is considered hygienic and safe, but many women still wonder if it is a good option for them. Comfort is one of the main concerns.

At oneHOWTO, we answer the question can you sleep with a menstrual cup in? By knowing if sleeping with a menstrual cup, it might help you to know if it is a good option for you.

You may also be interested in: How to Sleep With Period Cramps
  1. What is a menstrual cup?
  2. Can you sleep with the menstrual cup?
  3. How many hours can you sleep with the menstrual cup in?
  4. How to sleep with a menstrual cup

What is a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene device used for women during their period. It works by collecting period blood or any other menstrual fluid in a small reservoir which has been inserted into the vagina. This reservoir is cup-shaped and made from silicone, making it pliable and soft. Despite its malleability, it works by forming a seal against the vaginal walls.

One key difference between the menstrual cup and other menstrual hygiene devices like tampons is that it is reusable. This means you can use one for a prolonged period of time. However, it will need washed with every use. Fortunately, because it is made from silicone, this process is easy and quick. Its reusability means it is environmentally friendly, especially when compared to disposable feminine hygiene products.

Can you sleep with the menstrual cup?

In principle, any woman can use the menstrual cup during their period. This means it is suitable during the day while still enabling them to carry out daily activities or even practice sports. If we can wear one during heightened activity, surely it makes sense we can use them when sleeping?

The answer is yes, you can sleep with a menstrual cup in use. If you feel comfortable using it during the day during your normal activity, there should be no reason you cannot continue its use at night when you are asleep. There are few exceptions, most of which are due to medical conditions which are likely to prevent its use during the day also.

However, it is common for some women to generate some stress or discomfort when first using a menstrual cup when sleeping. In these cases, it may be better to use a different feminine hygiene product while asleep, even if you might feel fine to use it during the day. Once a woman is more comfortable with using a menstrual cup in general, they adapt well to sleeping with one in at a later point.

For the above reasons, using a menstrual cup while sleeping should cause no problem. However, there are some situations when it is best avoided. These include:

  • During any problem or disease in the vaginal area, such as infection, vaginismus, severe vaginal dryness, etc.
  • If there is an allergy to the material from which the cup is made.
  • During quarantine after giving birth.
  • Whenever your gynecologist advises against its use for any reason.

The above exceptions for sleeping with a menstrual cup in are also applicable for use during the day. Essentially, fi you can use a menstrual cup during the day, there shouldn't be any reason you can't use it while sleeping. If you have doubts, it is advisable to consult a doctor prior to use.

If you do decide against using a menstrual cup, you may want to know more about alternatives. Our article on how often do you need to change your tampon? can help provide more information.

How many hours can you sleep with the menstrual cup in?

Each woman is different and her menstrual cycle is also different, so it is not possible to set a maximum time to sleep with the menstrual cup. Even so, the average time is about 8 hours, which indicates that you could sleep through the night without having to take it out, empty it, clean it and put it back on. If you do wake up, perhaps due to period pain, and go to the bathroom, it might help to empty and clean it, but it shouldn't be necessary.

As we have said, the number of hours can vary. For example, on days of higher period flow it may be necessary to change it earlier to prevent leakage from the menstrual cup. On the other hand, in the last days of your period, when the flow is low, you could have it on for a few more hours. In any case, the maximum time to use the menstrual cup, both day and night, should not exceed 8 - 10 hours.

How to sleep with a menstrual cup

Once accustomed to the menstrual cup, you will see that you can sleep with the menstrual cup without discomfort, but you must take into account a series of precautions:

  • If you are getting a full night's sleep, you will be using the menstrual for many hours. When you have already worn it all day, this means it will have been in use for a prolonged period of time. For this reason, it is best to empty and wash the menstrual cup before you go to sleep. To do so, use a neutral soap with plenty of water. It is also advisable you sterilize it regularly, something you can learn how to do with our article on how to clean a menstrual cup.
  • To be comfortable while you sleep, it is essential that you choose the right size of menstrual cup. If it doesn't fit your vagina perfectly, it can cause discomfort.

  • In the same way, it is very important to insert the menstrual cup properly. Insert it little by little and do so gently. Moistening it with a little water and being relaxed when putting it on will help facilitate this task.

  • Before going to bed, walk for a couple of minutes to make sure the cup is inserted tightly and that it doesn't bother you at all. If so, you can rest without worrying. On the other hand, if it moves or causes discomfort, it is preferable that you take it out and reinsert it properly. If you cannot get comfortable, a sanitary pad or tampon may be better at that moment.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Can You Sleep With the Menstrual Cup In?, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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Can You Sleep With the Menstrual Cup In?