Top 4 Questions About Using a Menstrual Cup Postpartum
This article was medically fact-checked by Women’s health expert and Gynaecologist Dr. Alyssa Dweck.
Pregnancy has a lot of perks, from luscious hair to bigger boobs, and of course, being period-free for nine whole months!
But, as you settle down into motherhood with your little bundle of joy, it’ll soon be time to get reacquainted with Aunt Flo and your trusty menstrual cup. Yes, menstrual cups are a great option to consider after childbirth, however there are a few things to bear in mind before you do so.
Here are the top 4 questions we receive about using a menstrual cup after childbirth:
Can I Use My Cup For Postpartum Bleeding?
After delivery, it’s not unusual to experience bleeding and lochia for even a few weeks post partum. Lochia contains blood, mucus and tissue from the uterus where the placenta was attached..
You will leave the hospital with some heavy-duty pads to deal with this bleeding, and while you may be tempted to use a menstrual cup, you shouldn’t quite yet. Your intimate anatomy will be sore, swollen and and will need time to convalesce before inserting anything inside the vagina, so that means no cups (and no sex) until you have healed properly and your health care provider gives you the thumbs up.
How Long Should I Wait Before Using My Cup?
Your bleeding should subside around six weeks after birth, and then it will be time to meet your doctor for your postnatal check-up. Whether you gave birth vaginally or via C-section, your doctor will check on every aspect of your recovery – both physical and emotional.
This is the perfect time to ask whether you can start using a cup or having sex again, as well as if you can start doing your postpartum Kegel exercises. Some women will heal faster than others so it’s important to wait for your doctor’s green light!
Where, Oh Where Is My Period?
If you have chosen to breastfeed, your period may not make an appearance for quite some time. This is due to hormone fluctuations after birth, specifically the drastic drop in estrogen and progesterone that make way for the breastfeeding hormone prolactin.
Prolactin actually suppresses estrogen levels which put the brakes on both ovulation and your menstrual cycle. So the more consistently and frequently you breastfeed, the later your period will reappear post-childbirth.
Will My Menstrual Cup Still Fit?
Menstrual cups usually come in different sizes; for example, Lily Cups come in a size A and a size B. These two sizes are designed to address different needs based on your body; whether or not you’ve had a baby, the kind of delivery you had, and how strong or weak your pelvic floor is. So if you experience leaks with your cup after birth, you may want to consider upping your cup size.
Size A is recommended for women who have not given birth or who have given birth via C-section whereas Lily Cup size B is recommended for women who have given birth vaginally or who have a weaker pelvic floor.
If you have given birth via C-section, it’s important to consider that pregnancy still takes toll on your pelvic floor muscles, so it is possible that your body may now be better suited to a size B.
What new mom wants to buy pads and tampons when you have diapers on your list? Having a baby really turns your life upside down, but with up to 8 hours of clean, safe and comfortable protection, menstrual cups make sure your period is one less thing to worry about!
Facts checked by:
Dr. Alyssa Dweck
Alyssa Dweck MS, MD, FACOG is a practicing gynecologist in Westchester County, New York. She provides care to women of all ages; she has delivered thousands of babies. She is proficient in minimally invasive surgery and has special interest and expertise in female sexual health and medical sex therapy. She is top doctor in New York Magazine and Westchester Magazine. Dr. Dweck has co-authored three books including the most recent release The Complete A to Z For Your V.
A collective group of “lady experts” at Intimina who love sharing our personal experiences, even when they are a little too personal. We believe it’s time to start breaking down the taboos around menstruation, motherhood, and menopause, and start owning our female health.