Birth control is an important concern for all who are in the reproductive phase of their life. People want options that are safe, readily available and convenient. An IUD (Intrauterine Device) is a popular option and IUD users often want the option to combine it with a practical menstrual cup.
But can a menstrual cup and an IUD be used together?
Yes. You can use a menstrual cup and IUD together. Just follow our simple tips below to make sure that both your menstrual cup and IUD work well together.
What is an IUD?
IUDs, also known as coils, are small, t-shaped devices inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Lasting for years— between five and ten -they mean you can have sex without condoms or other contraception. Just make are sure that both you and your partner don’t have any STIs as IUDs don’t protect you against sexually transmitted infections.
Your family doctor, gynaecologist or reproductive health care professional will be able to advise you on which one will work best for your body and your needs. It may be an IUD which releases hormones or one without. Tell your health care professional that you are using or thinking of using a Ruby Cup and ask them to trim the strings a little. Ask them when you can start using the menstrual cup after your IUD has been inserted as each person is different.
After inserting the IUD you will be called back for a 6-week check-up. If you forgot to mention that you wanted to use a Ruby Cup when you had it inserted, now is a good time to ask if you can start using a menstrual cup. You will also be asked to check that you can feel the strings regularly to make sure that it hasn’t moved. You can do this just before inserting your menstrual cup.
A guide to IUDs and menstrual cups
Can a menstrual cup dislodge an IUD?
Yes, it can happen. However, research has shown that “there is no evidence that women who report using menstrual cups ... for menstrual protection had higher rates of early IUD expulsion.”1 So an IUD can come out unexpectedly whether you are using a menstrual cup or not. Here are a couple of tips to help you prevent unwanted IUD movement.
How can you prevent your menstrual cup from removing your IUD?
The first thing to do is to make sure that your menstrual cup is positioned properly. Ruby Cup is designed to sit low in the vagina, and if placed properly, it shouldn’t be touching your IUD strings. You can ask the strings to be trimmed when it is first inserted.
Can the suction of your menstrual cup interfere with your IUD?
Since menstrual cups rely on suction to prevent leaks when removing the cup, it is important to release the suction-created seal 2 on the cup before removing it; otherwise, it could pull on the IUD. This is no different to whether you are using an IUD or not. Removing the suction will mean the Ruby Cup comes out smoothly. Read more about how to remove the cup breaking the seal.
Menstrual Cups with IUD - Yes or no?
Yes, it is possible to combine a menstrual cup with an IUD. Just make sure you regularly check on your IUD strings and make sure that the suction is released properly before taking it out.
Date last reviewed: March 2020
Written by Dr Alice Byram Bsc Med & Surg UMA MA Hons MML Cantab
Dr Alice Byram was born in England to a French-British family. Following on from a degree in Spanish from the University of Cambridge, she went to Spain to study medicine. On her return to the UK, she worked in Emergency Medicine for several years before recently returning to Barcelona.
1Wiebe ER, Trouton KJ. Does using tampons or menstrual cups increase early IUD expulsion rates?. Contraception. 2012;86(2):119–121. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2011.12.002
2Seale R, Powers L, Guiahi M, Coleman-Minahan K. Unintentional IUD expulsion with concomitant menstrual cup use: a case series. Contraception. 2019;100(1):85–87. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2019.03.047