What is an IUD?
An IUD is a medical device that is implanted in a woman's womb or uterus for contraception or non-contraceptive health reasons. They might be a good choice for people seeking a simple birth control method.
IUDs must be inserted by a medical professional, and the operation takes only a few minutes. There are two types of IUDs available: a progestin-coated hormonal IUD and a copper-coated non-hormonal variant. Both of these hinder conception by sitting in your uterine cavity.
And, what is a menstrual cup?
A reusable rubber or silicone cup that is put into the vaginal canal is known as a menstrual cup. It gathers period blood without altering the intimate area's pH. Cups have the ability to carry more period blood than other goods such as pads or tampons. They may be used for up to 12 hours at a time, depending on the flow of the individual wearing them.
Can you really use a menstrual cup with an IUD also inside?
In summary, if you have an IUD, you can certainly use a menstrual cup. There are, however, some critical factors to consider to ensure that your contraceptive and period controller combo operate together in harmony.
The IUD is placed in your uterus, and the menstrual cup is placed in the vaginal canal. They are separated by your cervix and cohabit harmoniously. Before using a menstrual cup, check the length of the string that came with your IUD.
Your menstrual cup creates a tiny suction on the vaginal walls, and if the string is excessively long, it might become caught between the cup and the vaginal wall. Breaking the suction that keeps your menstrual cup in your vaginal canal before drawing it down and out of your body is the most crucial strategy to avoid dislodging your IUD. Menstrual cups, such as the Carmesi Menstrual Cup, are particularly built with perforated holes to reduce this danger because these holes help in breaking the suction.
Do you risk displacing your IUD?
Depending on whether or not they use menstrual cups, 3-5 out of every 100 IUD users expel their IUDs. As a result, there's always the possibility that your IUD will fall out, either by ejection or dislodgement. But, you're more likely to be dislodged if:
- You have very heavy periods (also known as menorrhagia).
- If you’ve never been pregnant before or carried a pregnancy to full term.
- If you’re younger than 20 years.
- Your IUD wasn’t properly placed where it should be inside the uterus.
Only a little amount of study has been done to see if wearing a menstrual cup increases the risk of IUD ejection or dislodgement. A new study monitored over 1,000 women with non-hormonal IUDs for three years and discovered that menstrual cup users have higher than predicted IUD expulsion rates.
Because the number of expulsions is so little in comparison to the number of users (14 out of 266) it's vital to dig a little further before leaping to any conclusions, as is the case with much clinical research.
How can your cup cause your IUD to dislodge?
There are several reasons why your IUD may get dislodged while using your menstrual cup and these may include:
- Not inserting your cup correctly - It takes some practice to become used to inserting your cup, and if your cup accidentally collides with your IUD, it may be displaced. Read our blog here to learn how to appropriately insert your menstrual cup.
- Pulling at the IUD string during cup removal - Your IUD strings drop down into your vaginal canal from your cervix, and it's conceivable that they'll get stuck between the edge of your cup and the vaginal wall. You might take out your IUD with enough suction and downward pressure from removing your cup. If your cervix is lower in your vaginal canal, this is more likely to happen.
- Your periods are very heavy - If you have a heavy period, you'll be using your cup a lot more. Even though your menstrual cup may sit for up to eight hours and collect your period blood, you may experience pain and the need to empty it more frequently. This isn't to say that you can't use a menstrual cup with an IUD if you have heavy periods.
- Removing your cup the wrong way - One of the most common causes of IUD dislodging is mistakenly removing your menstrual cup. Remember about the suction and the position of your strings? Checking for strings at the cup's edge and releasing the suction before removing your IUD will keep it safe and sound where it belongs.
How soon can you start using a cup after inserting an IUD?
Many people are unaware that IUDs can naturally dislodge from the body during the first three months to a year after implantation. Unfortunately, some people's bodies naturally reject the IUD. In certain circumstances, improper placement results in expulsion.
For these reasons, it's best to wait at least three months, or until your doctor says it's okay, before resuming use of your menstrual cup. Following the insertion of an IUD, you should arrange a follow-up consultation with your healthcare practitioner within 3-6 months to confirm the device is in the proper position.
Low cervix, your IUD and your menstrual cup - how does that work?
Did you know that throughout your cycle, your cervix changes form and position? The IUD strings should not interfere with the installation of a menstrual cup because it is supposed to rest low in the vaginal canal, away from the cervix. If you have a lowered cervix, however, your cup may be too near to your cervix.
If your cup is closer to your cervix, slide your finger down the outside of the cup while removing it to make sure the IUD strings are out of the way. Once you're sure, squeeze the base, release the seal, and take your cup out.
How to choose a menstrual cup when you have an IUD?
Menstrual cups are a terrific alternative for long-term period protection, and they can peacefully coexist with your IUD provided you seek the following features when shopping for one:
- Use the smallest cup size that feels comfortable and doesn’t leak either.
- A soft flexible cup that has perforated suction holes make for a better choice.
It is very possible to use a menstrual cup when you have an IUD inside. You just need to be more careful and choose a cup that’s most suitable for you.