November 7th, 2013

  • 0embryo

IUD + menstrual cup?

I've had my IUD (copper, MultiLoad) for a little over a year now, and love it. Spontaneous sex and no worries about pregnancy are both really awesome. Less awesome are the occasional super-painful cramps, worse than pre-IUD, and the fact that my periods are a lot heavier than they used to be, but both are relatively managable with ibuprofen and a daily dose of iron supplements.

However, the heavier periods (and mine were always on the somewhat heavy side anyway) do mean that I now soak through tampons at a fair old rate, especially in the first couple days, to the point that I use tampons and pads simultanously through most of my period to prevent leakage and stains. This annoys me for two reasons: one, because it's obviously just annoying to have to rush to the bathroom every two hours (every hour before I discovered tampons go up to Super Plus, not just Super). And two, because I try to live eco-consciously and it just feels like such an incredible amount of waste. I've tried Natracare's organic pads, tampons and pantyliners, but they weren't terribly effective even before I got the IUD, and I found that the pads, especially, had a bad habit of turning into cotton fluff that basically just made a mess of the entire area. Menstrual cups seem a good solution to all of this, but I've heard and read a number of times that it's generally a Bad Idea to combine cups with IUDs, because the strings might get caught on them and you could yank the entire IUD out.

Basically, what I'm looking for is more information on combining menstrual cups with IUDs, and if it's really such a no-no or if the risks are over-exaggerated. Personal experience with combining the two would be highly appreciated (whether or not it was a success!), as well as just general information.

Also, in case the consensus is indeed that I'd better stay far away from menstrual cups as long as I have an IUD: any recommendations for good organic brands of pads/tampons/panty liners? Ones that don't turn into cotton balls and can handle impressive amounts of blood? Available in the UK would be a major plus.

(I'm cross-posting this to vaginapagina.)