can a menstrual cup be used with an IUD

Can I wear a menstrual cup with an IUD?

It is perfectly possible to use a menstrual cup when you have an IUD, but there are some important precautions to take. To understand everything, we give you the elements to understand everything and make the right decision for you!

What is an IUD? 

The IUD (for Intra-Uterine Device), also known as an IUD, is a T-shaped method of contraception about 3.5cm high, which is effective for between 2 and 10 years depending on the model.

It is inserted into the uterus by a trained health professional: this may be your gynaecologist, midwife or GP.

A few years ago, an IUD was only inserted in women who had had children, but this is no longer the case. Because no, the "IUD" does not make you sterile (hence the fact that it is now called an IUD, so as not to create confusion)

The IUD ends with a thread for removal that protrudes through the cervix and is cut more or less short after the IUD is inserted.

There are two types of IUDs:

The Copper IUD

 It is made of plastic and partially coated with copper which creates a slight inflammation in the endometrium (i.e. the lining of the uterus) that prevents implantation.

Copper also has a spermicidal effect. This IUD can have an effect on periods (especially after insertion), making them heavier. It can even make them MUCH heavier. In general, this disturbance only lasts a few cycles.

zoom on the copper IUD-Copper IUD-Menstrual cup and IUD


The hormonal IUD 

It contains a progestin hormone which is released gradually.
This hormone has a contraceptive effect: it thickens the secretions of the cervix so that sperm cannot pass.

It can also have an effect on menstruation, as many people have a shorter or less heavy period, or even stop menstruating.

Recently, it has been blamed by several people for major depressions. So stay alert and listen to your body.


Where and how is an IUD placed?

The IUD is placed by the doctor, who inserts a cannula through the cervix. It is then slipped through this cannula into the uterus, and its 'arms' unfold. The insertion is sometimes a little uncomfortable or slightly painful, but it does not last long.

This is what it looks like in a situation:

how the sterilet is placed in the uterus

 How do you remove an IUD?

Like the insertion, the removal is done by a gynaecologist/midwife/general practitioner, who has to pull the threads in the axis of the cervix The "arms" of the IUD will fold up to pass through the cervix.
And as the diagram below shows, the axis of the cervix is very often different from the axis of the vagina (it will be useful to remember this for the following...)

Axis of the cervix and vagina - removal of the sterilet

What are the common causes of IUD expulsion?

It is commonly accepted that approximately 4% of IUDs are expelled spontaneously. Most often, this expulsion occurs within 3 months of insertion.

There can be many reasons for this expulsion:
- The body does not accept it well
- The shape of the uterus means that it does not sit well
- It has been placed too low
- During menstruation, the cervix is more open and the uterus contracts: it is therefore easier to be expelled.

Can my menstrual cup suck out my IUD?

For conventional menstrual cups (with a stem), this is already unlikely. Indeed, to remove an IUD, you have to pull the threads in the axis of the cervix. The possible suction effect (or suction cup effect) that you could experience by pulling on the stem of a classic menstrual cup would apply in the axis of the vagina, which would therefore have little impact on your IUD.

With La Cup Luneale the suction effect is limited to a minimum, firstly because it is very flexible, but also because to remove it, it is necessary to pinch the MoonPad, which immediately cancels out this effect.

This allows us to state that La Cup Luneale is the safest for IUD wearers.

What precautions should be taken when wearing an IUD and wanting to switch to La Cup menstrual? 

1. Check and if necessary adjust the length of the threads of your IUD

You should ask your gynaecologist/midwife/general practitioner to cut the threads short. Not flush with the cervix, of course (but don't worry, they are professionals anyway, so they will be able to find the right compromise)

Because if the threads are long, they can get caught between the vaginal wall and the top edge of the cup.
As a result, pulling on the threads can cause the IUD to pull, as shown in this illustration:

menstrual cup and long IUD wires

2. Possibly wait about 3 months after your IUD is inserted before using a menstrual cup

This 3-month period corresponds to the period when the number of spontaneous IUD explusions is the highest.

You can use your cup after the ultrasound to check that your IUD is correctly placed (usually a few weeks after it is fitted), but you should be aware that it is possible that during these 3 months your IUD may move or be expelled without this being directly attributable to your menstrual cup.


What do the scientific studies say about the IUD and menstrual cup duo? 

Only one study has been carried out on the subject(reference at the bottom of the page), published in 2012 in Canada.

Of the 930 women who participated in the study:
- 74% used tampons (under 30s: 61% - nulliparous: 69%)
- 43% used pads (under 30s: 51% - nulliparous: 54%)
- 10% used cups (under 30s: 77% - nulliparous: 88%)
Note: The total is greater than 100% because some women used more than one type of menstrual protection.

620 women completed the study with proper follow-up.
The average expulsion rate within 2 months of insertion was 3.5%, evenly distributed among the 3 types of menstrual protection.
The study therefore concluded that there was no influence of the type of protection used on IUD expulsion.

So you can sleep well with your cup, you don't risk expulsion any more than with a towel!

But we are aware that when you spontaneously expel an IUD with a pad, you don't think that it is the cause. But when you find your IUD in your menstrual cup, it's only human to think that it's the cause...


If you have any questions or feedback, you can of course leave a comment! 


source : Does using tampons or menstrual cups increase early IUD expulsion rates? Ellen R. Wiebe & Konia J. Trouton - Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada

Cup Health IUD

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