The Heavy Period / Menstrual Cup Connection
Do you have heavy periods? Heavy menstrual bleeding is commonplace, but most women don’t experience the severe blood loss during menstruation that’s categorized as menorrhagia. That’s the medical term for abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding that’s severe enough to interfere with your daily life. If you suffer from heavy bleeding or menorrhagia, can you use menstrual cups?
Some common reasons for heavy menstrual bleeding include:
- Hormone imbalances. If your estrogen and progesterone aren’t balanced just right, you may experience an excessive build-up of the uterine When it sheds, you’ll experience it as heavy bleeding and possibly clotting, too.
- Uterine fibroids are very common. These are non-cancerous tumors that develop in the uterus during childbearing years. Their presence can cause abnormally heavy periods.
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs). Heavy periods are a well-documented side effect of these intrauterine birth control devices. If your IUD is causing excessive bleeding that interferes with your life, you may need to have it removed and use other methods of birth control instead of an IUD.
There are many other possible causes, but these are three of the most commonplace reasons for heavy menstrual bleeding. Fibroids are so common that 70 to 80 percent of women will have them by the time they turn 50.
Some women are concerned that the suction caused by a menstrual cup could tug an IUD out of place. However, there appears to be no link between early IUD expulsion and the use of menstrual cups. One study followed 1,000 women and didn’t find any difference in early IUD expulsion rates among women who used tampons, pads or menstrual cups. So if you wear an IUD, you should be able to use a menstrual cup.
If your IUD is causing heavy bleeding, you may need to consider switching your birth control method. But in the meantime, wearing a menstrual cup can be helpful because it can hold a lot of menstrual flow before you need to empty it.
Can women with fibroids use menstrual cups? It really depends on the individual. Depending on where your fibroids are located, they may prevent the cup from forming a seal, which is essential for a menstrual cup to work properly and prevent leaks. If your fibroids don’t prevent a proper fit, then menstrual cups can be useful. They let you easily monitor the amount of bleeding you experience since they collect the blood until you empty it out. Many cups also have measurement lines that are particularly handy for collecting that kind of data. You can also see if you have more clots than usual.
The LoonCup is a high-tech option that isn’t released yet, but it’s undergoing development. It’s a menstrual cup that will actually track your blood flow for you and is planned to give you a nudge when it’s time to empty your cup. Details on just what kind of nudge that will be are yet to be released.
Can Menstrual Cups Cause Heavier Periods?
You might be wondering if a menstrual cup can make your flow heavier. I haven’t found any evidence that wearing a cup can make your periods heavier or lighter. Some women say they’ve noticed a difference in their flow after they started using menstrual cups. However, so far it’s only anecdotal evidence that’s not backed up by scientific studies. It could just be their period became heavier or lighter for reasons not related to wearing the cup, but women assumed the cup was to blame when in fact it was not.
If you have concerns about heavy periods, the best thing to do is to tell your doctor about it. They can help find out what’s causing your heavy bleeding and see what can be done to help alleviate it.