As menstrual cups and IUDs (Intrauterine Device) both become increasingly popular, the question arises: can you safely and reliably use your June Cup with your IUD?
The short answer: YES
The longer answer: YES, but we recommend you have a conversation with your health care provider before you make any decisions.
If you’ve ever wondered how IUDs work in conjunction with menstrual cups, this article is for you!
Join us as we dive into some of the basics of these two reproductive health tools, how they work together, and what you need to know before trying a cup as your primary form of menstrual care.
What You Need to Know About Using a Cup With Your IUD
Thousands of June Cup users successfully use their cup with an IUD without any issues. However, there are still some considerations you need to know about before you hop on that bandwagon.
But First, a Little Background on the IUD & Cup Debate
First and foremost, it’s important to know that the resounding YES to this question hasn’t always been so, well, resounding. And it’s also important to be transparent—there are some studies out there that suggest cup users could see IUD expulsion.
Your IUD (which is actually called an intrauterine device) should be placed by your doctor inside your uterine cavity (past your cervix). Your menstrual cup, when properly inserted, should sit inside your vagina just below your cervix.
It’s been thought in the past that using a menstrual cup with your IUD could increase the risk of IUD expulsion if it unintentionally pulls on the strings of an IUD or “suctions” the IUD out of place.
While this could happen—it’s unlikely.
In an article from Bustle, two experts—Mary Jane Minkin, M.D, a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine, and Dr. Jennifer Conti, M.D., a clinical assistant professor at Stanford University in obstetrics and gynecology—agree that the odds of a menstrual cup being able to yank out an IUD are pretty slim.
Typically, if you're cautious and aware of these types of unlikely possibilities, the risk is pretty low.
If you’re like any other normal human being with access to the internet, you’ve probably googled this question up and down and have found a variety of answers (especially if you’ve looked at WebMD’s take on this). Some studies, though, say it pretty clearly: they don’t report evidence that women who report using menstrual cups had higher rates of IUD expulsion.
It is important to realize that sometimes, IUD expulsion just happens—whether you’re using a cup or not.
We want to be clear—we’re not doctors and we can’t dole out health advice, but menstrual cups are consistently used in conjunction with IUDs without issues. Our best advice is to check with your health care provider, then decide!
The best way to ensure your IUD isn’t affected by your menstrual cup? Follow these best practices on safe removal below.
Tips for Using Your Menstrual Cup with an IUD
While using a cup with your IUD is safe, there are a few additional considerations you should keep in mind to ensure you’re doing your part to guarantee everything is running smoothly.
When removing your menstrual cup, it’s crucial to break the seal as you pull it out by pinching the base of the cup along the halos. Cups work so well because they form that great, suction-y seal, but that means you’ll definitely need to break that seal before pulling it out to avoid any unnecessary movement of your IUD.
You might want to wait a few months after your IUD is inserted before you try a cup. This will allow time for your body to adjust and for you to make sure the IUD is correctly placed.
IUDs typically have two strings that hang at (or just above) the opening of your cervix—it’s important that these strings are the right length and that you can feel them. Ideally, the strings from your IUD would sit above (or just inside) your cup!
Ensure that your cup is positioned properly and that you’ve got the right size for you. If everything fits the way it’s supposed to, you’re less likely to deal with IUD issues.
You’ll want to be extra aware of your IUD placement when using a cup. If you can feel the strings and it seems like everything is in order, you’re probably good to go—but there’s no harm in getting it checked every 6-12 months by your doctor just to be on the safe side.
If your IUD strings are too long, it’s likely that your doctor can shorten it for you—but that’s something that you’ll have to talk to your doctor about.
Have More Questions? The JUNE Team Has You Covered
We hope this article gave you a little guidance on your IUD & cup journey—remember, if you’re having doubts, the best thing you can do is talk with your healthcare provider, see what they think, then make the decision you believe is best.
Have other questions about picking the right cup? Whatever you need, we’re here for you. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be more than happy to help in any way you need.
In the meantime, check out our regularly updated blog for all kinds of menstrual health insight, tips, and advice!