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I've been reading about Instead Softcup, a cup that's worn internally during your period instead of using a tampon/pad. The website says not to use them with an IUD because taking it out might cause you to pull on the IUD strings and pull it out. However, I've heard from a couple of people that doctors say it's possible if you're careful and take it out a certain way. Has anyone heard this or used them with an IUD? Thanks!


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(Deleted comment)
Dec. 5th, 2010 05:37 am (UTC)
What if you aren't able to check your strings? Say you aren't able to fit a finger and check?

I haven't gotten an IUD yet, even though I plan to and I currently use a Lunette and love it. I'm also not familiar with what it feels like to have a complete seal or if it's broken.

Usually I just pull on the stem and out it pops, but sometimes I'll squeeze the bottom and pull it out that way. Which way do you recommend? Or is there a safer way?

Also, to the OP, I used Insteads and they leaked, were messy, and never stayed in! But, also, I'm very small and for the life of me could not get the rim to sit behind the pubic bone and stay up around my cervix without being in incredible pain and then having it pop out over the bone. With any menstrual cup, I would be careful and use caution while having an IUD. If the company says not to use it with an IUD, I most certainly wouldn't, but that's a personal preference and I know some women do.
Dec. 4th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
I used to use Insteads for a good two years or so and loved them but I stopped using them once I got an IUD given the warning against them. They fit more like a diaphragm so removal would make the instead scrape along your cervix and potentially take your IUD with it which I guess is where the concern lies. No matter how hard I tried (just because of general discomfort - I didn't have an IUD yet), I wasn't able to avoid that situation.

I've since switched to a Lunette as well and it's great but I miss that Insteads can be worn during sex and that you can empty them just by bearing down.
Dec. 6th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
I have a Paragard, and I have used my diaphragm during sex (to block my period), with no problems.
Dec. 4th, 2010 07:08 am (UTC)
It's generally recommended that you not use Instead Softcups with IUDs. Other brands of reusable menstrual cups say that it's ok, although some reusable brands have decided to err on the side of caution and recommend against it with their own cups as well. Lunette is one brand that advertises itself as safe for use with IUDs--and like anonymous_ak that is the kind I use, but there are other brands. You might want to check out the IUDs tag over in the menstrual_cups community for a lot of other posts on the subject.

Softcups and reusable cups have fundamentally different shapes and designs, and it's the specific shape of the Instead softcups that makes them much more likely to snag IUD strings. I believe it's because they have a separate rim and body, and it's the join between them that can cause the snag--reusable silicone, latex, or TPE cups are molded as one continuous shape so there's nothing to snag your strings with unless you pinch it too tightly when you remove it. The lack of stem for removal on the softcups also makes it pretty difficult to be "careful" about removal since there aren't many options for changing the way you remove it. I'm not certain how much the fit of the cups has to do with it per se since my Lunette sits almost entirely over my cervix the way softcups and diaphragms are supposed to, and I haven't had any problems.

It is usually the reusable cups that people mean when they say it's possible to use cups with IUDs as long as you're careful about removal.
Dec. 5th, 2010 02:17 am (UTC)
I just got my IUD a month ago and, like the other ladies have said, reusable menstrual cups are the way to go. I have a Diva Cup and just finished my first IUD period...used it the whole time. I have had absolutely zero problems with it. Makes your period with an IUD SO much more tolerable! Good luck.
Dec. 5th, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC)
I did it for one period before I decided to get a MeLuna. Clearly though, this is contarindicated. I have good insurance, It would suck to have to get a new one installed but I'd live.

Dec. 6th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
I use my diaphragm to block my period during sexual activity. I have done this with my Paragard IUD, with no problems.

Individual internal anatomy can differ widely, as can individual skill or comfort with insertion and removal of a diaphragm, so, YMMV.

I just want to say that it's pretty awesome to have the option to say "no period right now, thank you", in the interest of getting laid. :)
Dec. 6th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
Funny you say that, the main reason I've asked about this is because I'm looking for a way to still have sex with all this spotting I'm doing! :)
Dec. 6th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
I figured as much. :)

If you Google "sex while menstruating" or "sex on your period" there are actually a lot of pretty ingenious methods out there, you've just gotta find the one that works best for you. I like my diaphragm because it's comfy, blocks it almost completely, is reusable, and I hardly notice it.
Dec. 6th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
For people comparing the Instead softcup to the diapgragm: they are not really shaped the same way.

The diaphragm is shaped like a large contact lens (for your eyes), or like a children's saucer that you slide on in the snow. It is made of silicone with a stiff ring totally enclosed in the silicone at the edge.

The Instead menstrual cup is shaped like a livestrong bracelet (except comparatively stiff) with plastic baggie-like material attached to the edge all the way around.

Only the diaphragm can be used as a contraceptive, but both can be used during sex to block one's menstrual period during sex.

I personally find the diaphragm more comfortable, and of course it is reusable, which is nice.
Dec. 7th, 2010 07:36 am (UTC)
Given those photos, and only having handled and worn an Instead, it seems to me that there's less forgiveness when removing the Instead than there is with the diaphragm. The diaphragm's thin lip that joins smoothly to the bowl seems to have fewer edges with which to catch the strings. Is the edge more flexible as well?

How do you remove a diaphragm? To remove the Instead, you catch the ring with a hooked finger and pull. If your IUD strings are on the long side, this may foretell trouble. Successful IUD-bearing users of Diva-style menstrual cups say that they need to break the seal before moving the cup. Is this possible with either the diaphragm or the Instead?

OP, have you heard about sea sponges or soft tampons? Both can be used during penetrative sex (a review of all three at this NSFW site)
Dec. 7th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
Aieee, those Beppy brand "soft tampons" cost about three bucks a pop. Yikes! If you spend $81 at once (including shipping), for the biggest box, you can drive it down to $2.70 per. I consider that prohibitively expensive, for a disposable product. :( Too bad, really, I'd probably give them a try otherwise. Sea sponges are quite a bit cheaper, luckily.

KG: The edges and joins of the Instead, and the wide ring, these indeed are what I suspect might be problematic. To answer you: no, the edge of the diaphragm is in fact LESS flexible than the Instead; it is very stiff indeed. I believe it in fact contains a narrow spring, totally encased in the silicone, forcing the edge outwards in a ring. That's how the diaphragm prevents pregnancy, by forming a tight seal between the vaginal canal and the cervix, such that not even microscopic spermatazoa can make it past. :)

I removed my diaphagm by hooking a finger and pulling; once the edge faces downward toward the vaginal opening, removing it is a simple matter, rather like removing a letter from an envelope. I have high tactile sensitivity, so I just feel around to make sure I'm not pressing the string between my finger and the ring of the diaphragm, before pulling. Folks with different anatomy, shorter fingers, different levels of physical sensitivity, etc may have better or worse luck, of course. This is just what I do.
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