IUDs (Intrauterine Device) are all the rage as they are promoted as the “set it and forget it” birth control. Depending on which type you choose, an IUD can be effective for 5-10 years. For anyone who has taken a birth control pill every day for years, this may sound like the best thing since sliced bread! With the rise of IUD usage and the popularity of period freedom with a menstrual cup, women are questioning the safety of menstrual cups with an IUD.
What is an IUD?
As mentioned, an IUD is a device that is placed inside the uterus, just past the cervix. It is comprised of a T-shaped piece of plastic (or metal) with strings attached to the base. Very similar to fishing line, the strings are used later down the road when you want your IUD removed. A quick tug and it’s out!
Depending on the IUD you choose, it may contain synthetic hormones that are slowly released over a long period of time. There is also a copper IUD that is hormone-free. That one relies mostly on the molecular structure of copper and how it and sperm don’t get along. The general shape of IUDs discourage the movement of sperm also.
First, to put the IUD in, the nurse or doctor will put a speculum into your vagina. They’ll then use a special instrument to insert the IUD through the opening of your cervix and into your uterus. The process usually takes less than five minutes.
TIP: You may want to request the insertion be during your period. Having the insertion of the IUD during your menstrual cycle may help ease discomfort. During menstruation, your cervix is already opened to a degree.
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a reusable silicone menstrual product that holds menses in the vagina and can be worn for up to 12 hours. The shape is similar to that of an eggshell and can hold several tampons’ worth of fluid. Here at Pixie Cup we have several shapes and sizes to match your specific body and specific needs!
Can I use a menstrual cup with an IUD?
This question is hitting Google hard these days! The short answer is YES! There are some things to consider and keep in mind during the process. However, the good news is you definitely can.
Strings strings strings. When you get the IUD inserted, the provider will avidly tell you to check your strings on a regular basis. Especially within the first three months of insertion. If you mention the fact that you use a menstrual cup, the provider can try clipping the strings as short as possible. If you’re an IUD pioneer, chances are it’s been placed for quite some time already. You’ll want to try to “scoop” the strings up when inserting your cup so they sit inside the menstrual cup.
Get to know your cervix. Did you know that your cervix moves throughout the month depending on where you are in your cycle? As a general rule, your menstrual cup is designed to sit in the vaginal canal vs up against the cervix. However, for anyone with a tipped or tilted uterus, your cervix is generally lower in your canal. Measuring your cervix is a great idea when choosing what menstrual cup to use. Especially in relation to where your IUD is going to be hanging out!
For any gal with a tipped or tilted uterus, we’ve got you covered! We made the Pixie Cup Slim just for you! This slim design is made to sit just inside the vaginal opening, away from your cervix.
Break the seal. As a general rule, we recommend breaking the seal no matter what when removing your menstrual cup. It makes it easier and quicker versus tugging on something with a pretty good suction going on! To prevent the IUD from moving at all, be sure to break the seal. Do this by sticking your finger up the side of your menstrual cup to create the ‘C’ shape. Gently pull down and out!
Can a menstrual cup dislodge my IUD?
Expulsion (your IUD falling out) is most likely to happen in the first three months, according to sources. During this time, your body is getting used to this foreign object that’s suddenly taken up residence with its hormones! Some women have reported that their body “rejected” the IUD. Much like an annoying splinter, their body pushed it out! In other cases, incorrect placement leads to expulsion. Be sure to choose a healthcare provider who regularly inserts IUDs as this will ensure both comfort and proper placement.
The good news is that research has shown that there is no increased risk of IUD expulsion with the use of menstrual cups. (Yay!)
Have you thought about using your menstrual cup with your IUD? Do you have a tilted uterus? Be sure to check out our online store for more information about your Pixie Cup Slim! Talk to us — we love to hear from you!
PLEASE NOTE: This blog post is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your doctor. You should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to your health. Particularly with respect to anything related to menstruation. If you have any concerns about using a Pixie Cup, consult your doctor before use. If you have any gynecological conditions, please talk to your physician before using any menstrual cup.