Menstrual Cups and Cramps
You probably want to know…
Do menstrual cups cause cramps?
Can cramps be relieved by wearing a menstrual cup?
Keep on reading because we’ll answer those important question.
There are various questions and confusions about menstrual cups and cramps doing the rounds.
Some people are confused if the pain and cramps are associated with their periods, or occurring due to the use of period cups.
It’s kind of like the chicken and egg thing and there is no conclusive answer. However, we’ll do our best to give you some solid answers.
Cramping: Caused by Improper Menstrual Cup Positioning?
A handful of people are very sure that period cramps are the body’s inflammatory reaction to improper positioning of the menstrual cup. Perhaps the menstrual cup is too big, so that the stem sticks out of the body and it pushes up against the cervix.
Your cervix position can change throughout your cycle, which is why you might have cramps on one day in reaction to a menstrual cup, and not on another day. Menstrual cup touching cervix = bad news!
Or, if you’re a smaller person that hasn’t given birth vaginally, some cups with a large diameter might simply be too big to fit properly into your vaginal canal. Even if you can insert them, these cups that are too big will push so strongly against your vaginal canal walls.
In this case, you won’t be comfortable wearing your menstrual cup and you’ll irritate that area, which may cause cramps or pain.
Cramping: The Body Trying to Adapt?
Others think that menstrual cups can cause muscle spasms due to the body adapting to something new inside of it. Think about it as your body using a new group of muscles that it wouldn’t normally use.
It will take a while for them to get stronger and to adapt to something the size of a menstrual cup inside of you. If this is the case for you, your body will eventually adapt so keep wearing the cup, as long as the cramps are not too bad. Give your body a cycle or two to see if it gets used to having so big as a menstrual cup inside of it.
What People are Saying on the Online Forums about Menstrual Cups and Cramps
There are several online forums and discussion boards that discuss the occurrence of period cramps while using menstrual cups. Interestingly, a vast majority of people on these forums agree that period cups are highly comfortable.
Most people agree that cramps are not due to using a menstrual cup. Instead, cramps are just a normal body function and aren’t actually related to menstrual cup usage in any way.
However, there are most certainly cases where menstrual cramps have been experienced by people who don’t normally have them, when using a menstrual cup. So, it is indeed possible.
All the Details you Need to Know about Menstrual Cups
Before you start using menstrual cups, you ought to have a fair understanding of what they are and how to use them the right way. You also have to know about the common factors that can trigger period cramps. Keep on reading for everything you need to know about menstrual cups and cramps.
Menstrual cup and its Usage
A menstrual cup has emerged as the preferred sanitary protection product of many women, beating its traditional counterparts such as the pads and tampons. Period cups are great for the environment and also for your wallet! One of the best things about them is that they don’t come with the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome as with tampons.
These cups are made up of medically approved high-grade silicone (for example, the Lunette Cup) or rubber (the Keeper). This makes them flexible enough to be inserted inside the vagina. Once inserted, the lid of the menstrual cup opens and fits comfortably against your vaginal wall. It then collects your menstrual fluid, up to 40 ml, depending on the size and brand of product you are using.
Two Basic Menstrual Cup Options
Though different manufacturers offer menstrual cups in different models, marketed under different names, there are basically two types. One is for women below 30 and the other is for those above 30 years, who have given childbirth. When you buy a menstrual cup, make sure to buy the appropriate one that matches your body’s contour and the rate of flow.
You should also follow the instructions for inserting these cups the right way. This helps to avoid any cramps or discomfort. It could take a while to get used to these menstrual cups though.
Need Help Choosing the Correct Menstrual Cup for your Body?
Period Cramps: Things that Cause Them
There are many factors that cause period cramps. Some of these include:
• Endometriosis: This is a cramp or pelvic pain, which can last for many days before, and after your menstrual cycle. It can also include abdominal as well as lower back pain.
• Adenomyosis: This is another gynaecological condition that causes cramps and pain.
• Fibroids: Most people develop fibroids of various sizes in the uterus over the course of their lives. These can sometimes lead to menstrual cramps.
• IUDs: Tools like the copper IUD can also be the cause of pain and period cramps. This is especially true if not inserted correctly (always see a doctor experienced in this area to insert it!).
• Etc: Other reasons might include uterine defects and pelvic inflammatory diseases. We’ve put menstrual cups into this category as well because there are a few reports of them causing cramps.
Now that you have understood the factors causing menstrual cramps, you should read about the effects of a menstrual cup on cramps as well.
Menstrual Cups and Endometriosis
The President of the Associated Pharmacologists and Toxicologists – Mr. Armand Lione, Ph.D., sent a petition to the FDA saying menstrual cups are likely to cause an increased risk of endometriosis and cramps.
Despite noting the rationality of the petitioner’s concern, the FDA refused to act on the petition. This is because there was no clinical data that showed a link between the use of the menstrual cups and endometriosis. As of late 2017, there are still no studies proving any conclusive links between menstrual cups and cramps.
Menstrual Cups Reduce Cramps?
Various research results of established manufacturers of menstrual cups and testimonials from various people using these cups have revealed that a menstrual cup has reduced their cramps and pain, which they used to experience earlier. The reasoning behind this is uncertain, but it has been reported by enough people to be taken seriously.
So far, there are no conclusive studies about this, so we hope that more research is done.
Hype, or Fact: It’s Uncertain
It’s hard to say whether this claim of reduced cramps from using menstrual cups is more hype, or actually fact. This is an area which needs more research funding in order to have some more conclusive answers.
Menstrual Cups and Cramps: Actual Users
Perhaps the best source of information is from people who actually use menstrual cups! We had a detailed look on Amazon at reviews of the five most popular menstrual cups in the world, The Diva Cup, MoonCup, Lena Cup, Lunette Cup and the Anigan Evacup.
We looked specifically at the 1 and 2 star reviews (out of 5). There are thousands of reviews of these popular products! We couldn’t find a single mention of the menstrual cup having caused cramps. People didn’t like the menstrual cup for other reasons including leaking, difficulty of removal, bad smell, etc.
If this isn’t conclusive proof that menstrual cups don’t cause cramps in the majority of people that use them, we don’t know what is! It certainly convinced us that menstrual cups probably aren’t the cause of the vast majority of menstrual cramps.
Although it is certainly possible that menstrual cups cause cramps for some people, most people won’t experience any problems with this. So try out a menstrual cup for yourself and don’t worry too much about cramps. Anecdotally, there doesn’t seem to be a link.
The takeaway on menstrual cups and cramps: menstrual cups and cramps-no real link as far as we can find!
People with a Prolapsed Uterus
It’s interesting to note that people who have a tilted uterus do not seem to have any problem when using menstrual cups. However, in such cases, one has to choose cups of the appropriate size and having the requisite features, as the cervix wall is bound to be high in such people. In case you have a prolapsed uterus, you may have to consult your gynecologist before you use a period cup.
Menstrual Cups and Cramps: Not for Most People
So, when you decide to use a menstrual cup, read the instructions, and see what size suits you the best. Of course, take the help of a health professional and ask for advice, if you need it.
Last but not least, patiently try out the menstrual cups for a few times till you are comfortable. It takes most people at least three cycles to get the hang of it. For some, it’s 5+ cycles until insertion and removal is easy and it doesn’t leak.
For more people, menstrual cups do not cause cramps. This is especially true if you have one that fits you well and isn’t too big.
The biggest problem with fit is using a regular menstrual cup when you actually have a low cervix. In this case, the cup will touch your cervix and irritate it, which could certainly cause cramps.
If you experience cramps when wearing a cup, we suggest trying a smaller, shorter one and see if that works for you. Check out: Low Cervix Menstrual Cups for some that might work for you.
Ready to Buy a Menstrual Cup?
If you’re looking to buy a menstrual cup, then you’ll need a top-quality menstrual cups manufactured in North America or Europe from medical grade silicone. These companies that stand behind their products and offer excellent customer service. Included with the cup are comprehensive instructions for how to insert and remove the cup, as well as troubleshooting if there is a problem.
Or, just head on over to Amazon and check out our top-rated menstrual cup here on this website, the Diva Cup. Manufactured in Canada, it’s the menstrual cup to which all others are compared. Check it out for yourself today: