When Not To Use Menstrual Cups, Expert Explains

There are certain conditions in which a woman can not use these cups such as silicon allergies, having an IUD, after a vaginal surgery and much more.

Charu Sharma
Written by: Charu SharmaPublished at: Jan 18, 2022Updated at: Jan 18, 2022
When Not To Use Menstrual Cups, Expert Explains

When we talk about menstruation and menstruation hygiene, sanitary pads come out to be the most common and popular product used by women of all ages. Many people are driven towards the use of sanitary napkins due to their easy availability and affordability. Where there are several other menstrual hygiene products available in the market such as tampons, menstrual cups are something that has gained a lot of popularity in recent times. Menstrual cups are a reusable period hygiene product that are generally made out of silicon or rubber. These funnel shaped cups are small in size and are soft and flexible so that they can be easily used. Menstrual cups work by sitting on the vaginal entrance and collecting the blood within it instead of soaking it like pads and tampons. These cups are known to be eco-friendly, pocket friendly, hold more blood that your regular pads and tampons, and are safer as it does not lead to any kind of bacterial infection. Where these menstrual cups have proven themselves to be a wonder in the world of period hygiene, one must know that these cups are not for everyone. There are certain conditions in which a woman can not use these cups such as silicon allergies, having an IUD, after a vaginal surgery and much more. Let us understand more about menstrual cup precautions and situations in which these cups should be avoided with Dr. Tanya, MBBS MSc (Oxon), FRSPH aka Dr Cuterus.

When to Avoid a Menstrual Cup

Also Read: Menstrual Cups Vs Pads, What Are Safe To Use During Monsoon

Where a menstrual cup is a reusable, pocket friendly, environment friendly and easy to use period hygiene product that helps to keep infections at bay, it can be a bane for people suffering from certain conditions. Dr. Cuterus explains 5 conditions in which a woman should avoid using a menstrual cup. 

#1. Silicone Allergies

Silicone allergy is a rare case of contact dermatitis due to which a person tends to have red, bumpy and itchy skin when it comes in contact with substances made out of silicon. Being a man made substance, silicon is made up of chemicals like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and natural silicone. A person who is suspected to be allergic to this soft and flexible material, tend to have swollen and itchy bumps along with swelling on their skin, feel nauseous, have a swollen airway causing asthma and eye infection. 

If you have a silicone allergy then you should totally avoid using a menstrual cup made out of silicone. For people allergic to this material there are some other options available in the market as well such as cups made out of rubber.

#2. If you have an IUD inserted

IUD or intrauterine contraceptive device is a birth control method used to prevent unwanted pregnancies and is a long acting reversible birth control. IUDs work by inserting copper-T into a woman’s vagina that prevents the sperms from reaching the fertilizing eggs and prevents pregnancy. This long lasting contraceptive method is said to be very effective and the chances of a person getting pregnant with it is less than 1%. 

Image Credits- Shape Magazine

The copper-T IUD when inserted in a woman’s vagina, has a hanging string attached to it. People with an IUD inserted are told not to use a menstrual cup as they might accidently yank the IUD while taking the cup out. Doing so is not just going to make the contraception less effective and is really painful as well.

#3. After Vaginal Surgery

If you are someone who has recently undergone some kind of vaginal surgery due to cosmetic reasons, abortoion, pelvic floor disease or has recently had a childbirth then you must avoid inserting a tampon or menstrual cup for at least 6 weeks and consult your doctor before using them. The use of these cups is not suitable in any condition where there is a risk of infection.

#4. Vaginismus

Vaginismus can simply be understood as a condition of an involuntary tensing of vagina. In many cases this condition leads to painful sex and one might even exprience some kind of pain while inserting a tampon or menstrual cup. This condition is usually linked to the anxiery or fear of having a sexual intercourse. Women suffering from this condition might also feel a loss of sexual desire. 

People with Vaginismus might feel it very uncomfortable to insert a cup or tampon where some might feel pain while trying to do so. 

#5. If you are not comfortable

Where the monthly cycle and bleeding during your periods is a very painful and uncomfortable feeling in itself, going for a hygiene product that you are not comfortable with does not sound to be a good idea. No matter how many folds are different techniques you try, if you are not comfortable with using a menstrual cup then you must avoid it at all costs. 

Also Read: What's The Deal With Vaginal Steaming? Dr Cuterus Explains

Menstrual cup is one of the best menstrual hygiene products that can collect more blood than regular pads or tampons, helps to keep bacterial infections at bay and is affordable and eco-friendly as well. Using a menstrual cup allows you to perform various activities such as adventure and water sports while you are on your periods and makes it comfortable for you. Where the use of these cups has proven to be a boon for some women, it might not be suitable for the others. 

(This article is based upon a post by Dr. Tanya, MBBS MSc (Oxon), FRSPH aka Dr Cuterus on her instagram handle)