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What are the disadvantages of using a menstrual cup?

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Here are some disadvantages to using a menstrual cup:

  • It can cause irritation. A 2011 study found that cup users had more irritation down there than those who wore tampons. The more they used it, though, the fewer problems. It’s important to wash your hands before inserting your cup, to clean it well between uses, and to empty it two to three times a day.
  • It can be tough to find the right fit. Cups come in different sizes depending on your age, flow, and whether you’ve had a child. Still, finding the perfect fit can be a challenge, more so if you have a tilted uterus or low cervix. It can take some trial and error, and you could have leaks in the meantime.
  • Removal can get messy -- or embarrassing. Even if you find it easy to insert the cup, removing it can be tricky. In a sit or squat, you need to use your pelvic floor muscles to push the cup down, then reach up and grab the stem. Pinch the base to break the seal and angle the cup slightly back to keep it from spilling.
  • If you’re in public, keep in mind you’ll need to wash out the cup in the restroom sink. (As an alternative, one manufacturer suggests bringing a bottle of water with you into the stall and rinsing it out, then wiping clean with toilet paper.)
  • It could interfere with an IUD. Some manufacturers don’t recommend using a menstrual cup if you have an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted, as there’s a chance the cup could pull on the string or dislodge it, but a 2012 study found no evidence of this. Still, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before combining the two.

From: What’s a Menstrual Cup? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Tired of Tampons? Here Are Pros and Cons of Menstrual Cups.”

North, B. , February 2011. Journal of Women’s Health

Howard, C. , June 2011. Canadian Family Physician

Wiebe, ER. , August 2012. Conception

Healthy Women: “Tampons, Pads, or Menstrual Cups? What’s Right for You?”

Parent Guide: “Best Menstrual Cup for You: The Definitive Guide.”

Kickstarter: “The Menstrual Cup, Reinvented.”

Playtex: “TSS Facts.”

Columbia Health: “The Ins and Outs of Menstrual Cups -- How Do They Differ From Tampons and Pads?”

The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, February 2011.

The Diva Cup web site.

Intimina web site.

Softcup web site.

Mooncup web site.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 19, 2019

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Tired of Tampons? Here Are Pros and Cons of Menstrual Cups.”

North, B. , February 2011. Journal of Women’s Health

Howard, C. , June 2011. Canadian Family Physician

Wiebe, ER. , August 2012. Conception

Healthy Women: “Tampons, Pads, or Menstrual Cups? What’s Right for You?”

Parent Guide: “Best Menstrual Cup for You: The Definitive Guide.”

Kickstarter: “The Menstrual Cup, Reinvented.”

Playtex: “TSS Facts.”

Columbia Health: “The Ins and Outs of Menstrual Cups -- How Do They Differ From Tampons and Pads?”

The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, February 2011.

The Diva Cup web site.

Intimina web site.

Softcup web site.

Mooncup web site.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 19, 2019

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