When you start to take an interest in the world of the menstrual cup, something often wondered is how to change your menstrual period cup away from home. When you are used to simply using and throwing away traditional pads and tampons, replacing your cup in an unknown public bathroom might scare you or put you off, but that is why we are here, to help you and give you advice.
When do I have to empty my menstrual cup?
The menstrual period cup can be worn for up to 12 hours before needing emptied, so you won’t need to change it away from home very often. We are sometimes asked if it still needs to be changed even when it’s not full or has a small amount of blood. The answer is yes: the limit is 12 hours because this is when the blood starts to oxidize, which may give rise to infections.
If it can be worn for 12 hours, does this mean I can always keep it in for 12 hours? No. Particularly on the first days of your menstrual cycle, it is possible that you won’t be able to wear your cup for as many hours because there is more blood and you might need to empty it every 4-5 hours. This means it’s likely you will have to change your cup away from home, especially in the summer or when on holiday, as we spend more time outside and this is when the drama starts.
3 simple tricks for changing your menstrual period cup away from home
Changing the cup away from home shouldn’t be a problem, but in some bathroom cubicles there is often not a sink to rinse our cup and many girls have qualms about going out to the washbasin to clean it where other people might see. Let’s hope the day will come when menstrual blood doesn’t put people off, but until then here are some tips for emptying your cup when away from home.
- Carry your second enna cycle cup in the enna box. enna cycle packs always include two cups so that changing your cup away from home is never a problem. Carry a clean and sterilized enna cup in the sterilizing/travel box in your bag. Keep the dirty cup inside and clean it once you get home.
- Bottle of water and tissues. This is the most widespread trick, carrying a bottle of water in your bag or rucksack to both stay hydrated and rinse the cup in the bathroom. Use toilet paper or tissues to carefully get rid of the blood, making sure that no bits are left which might find their way into the vaginal canal.
- The enna box cocktail shaker. Be careful with this piece of advice as the enna box must be closed properly and you have to be quite gentle. If you have forgotten to sterilize the second cup, but you have remembered to bring the enna box, fill it with water (either with the bottle you’ve brought or from the bathroom sink then go into the cubicle with it full), and put the cup in. Shake the menstrual period box as though you were making a cocktail, making sure that it doesn’t open and the blood will start to come off the cup. Use toilet paper if necessary. Flush the dirty water down the toilet and rinse the enna box outside or carefully put it back in your bag so that it doesn’t open.
Extra tips for emptying the cup in a public bathroom
The advice given above is for a bathroom cubicle without a sink, but before following these instructions you can:
- Look for a disabled toilet. More and more shopping centres, places of interest and other buildings have one, so ask somebody if you are not able to find it.
- Oh no, there’s no water. In this case you can clean the cup with just toilet paper. Without water, it would be impossible to get rid of all the cellulose in the cup, but if this is a one-off, it should be OK. Take the cup out when you get home, have a shower without it and put the cup back in when clean.
- No paper or water. It might be the case that there is no water, paper or anything else to help you clean the cup. If this happens, you should empty it and put the cup back in without cleaning it. This is not the best solution, but like the tip above, if it is a one-off there should be nothing to worry about. When you get home, be sure to take the cup out and clean it.