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IUDs (Intra Uterine Devices) can be a helpful option for those looking for a hassle-free birth control solution. The hormonal form of IUDs can also provide ease for those living with menstrual related disease and heavy bleeding. These T shaped devices are discreet and can be very effective. IUDs need to be inserted by a healthcare provider and the procedure itself only takes a few minutes. Depending on your healthcare coverage, an IUD can be costly. The insertion experience for some, may be uncomfortable (remember to relax those pelvic floor muscles). Most who choose the IUD route have put good thought into the option. Not to forget, keeping their IUD in place for years to follow is ideal.
Insertion involves a speculum (the same tool used when you get a pap) which is inserted into the vagina. Then, an inserter is used to place the IUD through the opening of your cervix and into your uterus. Often, having an IUD inserted during your cycle can make the experience more pleasant as the opening to the cervix is a bit wider.
We are often asked: Can I use my DivaCup with an IUD? Simple answer is yes, you can use a menstrual cup if you have an IUD. However, depending on your cervix position, how long its been since your IUD was inserted, length of the strings etc. we recommend consulting with your doctor before inserting a menstrual cup with an IUD.
How soon can I start using a menstrual cup after IUD insertion?
The main concern with using a menstrual cup with an IUD is expulsion – basically your IUD, falls out. What many do not know is that IUDs may naturally expel from the body, and often this will occur within the first 3 months to a year of insertion. Unfortunately for some, the body rejects the IUD naturally. 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.
For these reason, we recommend that you wait at least three months, or until cleared by your doctor, to resume using the DivaCup. In the meantime, cloth pads or period underwear are a great solution, especially since many experience spotting for the first few months after IUD insertion (sigh). Note: We do NOT recommend using your DivaCup to care for spotting. The DivaCup is recommend for use only during menstruation and should not be worn for any other reason.
After an IUD is inserted, we recommend scheduling a follow up appointment with your healthcare provider within 3-6 months to ensure the device is correctly in place. A pelvic ultrasound is the easiest way to determine proper placement, however can be costly depending on health coverage
Do I need to trim the strings of my IUD?
IUDs have two strings that hang naturally at the opening of the cervix. We recommend checking on these each cycle prior to inserting your DivaCup. If you have any concerns regarding the strings, or can’t find them, we recommend you check in with your doctor before inserting the DivaCup to ensure the IUD is correctly in place. Many DivaCup users ask their doctor to trim the strings so they won’t interfere with cup placement.
Can I use a menstrual cup if I have a low cervix and an IUD?
Did you know your cervix changes shape and positioning throughout your cycle? Since the DivaCup is designed to sit low in the vaginal canal, away from the cervix, the IUD strings shouldn’t interfere with cup placement. However, if you have a dropped cervix, you may find your cup sits close to your cervix. Being mindful of this when inserting and removing your DivaCup is important. Not sure how to find your cervix? Check out our cervix blog post.
If your cup sits closer to your cervix, when ready to remove, we recommend gently sliding your finger alongside the outside of the cup to ensure the strings of your IUD are out of the way. Once confirmed, gently pinch the base, release the seal and remove your cup.
Will the seal of my menstrual cup dislodge my IUD?
Regardless of if you have an IUD or not, it is important to first release the cup’s seal before trying to remove the DivaCup. To do this, grip the base of the cup and pinch it gently. Pinching the cup will release the seal and collapse the cup, making removal easier. Not releasing the seal can create undo pressure in the vaginal canal.
What about a NuvaRing?
NuvaRing is a soft, flexible plastic ring that goes into the vagina and is used to prevent pregnancy. It stays in place for three weeks, with one-week in-between use. During this week is when people who use a NuvaRing usually get their period. However, you can still use a menstrual cup with a NuvaRing if you get your period while using it. Just be aware that you when you remove your menstrual cup, while you have a NuvaRing inside of you, you may pull it out slightly. Make sure when using a menstrual cup that your NuvaRing is pushed all the way up to make it easier to insert the menstrual cup. If your NuvaRing does come out when removing the menstrual cup, you can simply rinse it and re-insert it.
Please note the DivaCup is regulated for use only during menstruation and shouldn’t be used for spotting or intermittent bleeding.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing. As new research is made available, we will work to update and adjust our content as appropriate. If you have general questions, or concerns related to your own individual circumstances, please contact our Consumer Experience Team, or speak to a healthcare practitioner for more specific questions about your individual circumstances.