If you are thinking of using soft cups, or indeed any kind of menstrual cup, you may be wondering if you can use soft cups with an IUD.
One of the most common IUDs is the Mirena coil which has strings hanging through your cervix so that the IUD can be removed easily. The presence of these strings may mean that the soft cup can get snagged on it during use and dislodge the IUD. For this reason it is not particularly recommended to use the soft cups when you have an IUD inserted.
If you need further information then it may well be worth speaking to your doctor about this if you are set on using the soft cups for any particular reason.
A soft cup is a plastic vessel designed for use during your period to collect the blood. Because they can be used for up to 12 hours you may not need to use as many soft cups as you would tampons or sanitary towels. Soft cups are disposable and do cost a lot more than tampons so they can work out quite expensive.
Another use for soft cups is in trying to get pregnant where you use the soft cup to keep the sperm in place after intercourse. Many people have used them with success but it is debatable as to whether or not they would have got pregnant anyway otherwise. Without any proper trials (which is unlikely to happen) the evidence is purely anecdotal, even if some people swear that they soft cup has been the key factor in getting them pregnant.
Many people are afraid of using soft cups because they have heard stories of ladies getting the soft cup in but not being able to get it out again! If this is one of your fears then try not to worry too much. Firstly it is useful to practice putting and taking out a soft cup before you use it for real. This way you can be sure that you will be able to get the soft cup out.
The easiest way to get it out is to use a finger to hook over the edge of the soft cup rim and then pull it back slowly. If you feel that you can’t reach it then just try sitting at a different angle. it may be that your cervix is at a different angle to what you think and you need to go at it from a different direction. If it is difficult to reach then use your longest finger, i.e. the middle one. Perhaps instead of trying to hook it out, use your finger the other way so that you are almost flicking it out with the top of your finger, then you can get hold of it once it is out a little way.
If you are really struggling then it may be that you need to get a partner to take it out but this is very rare. The key is not to panic and just try and relax (easier said than done) and you should be able to manage just fine.
You may be wondering how long is a safe amount of time to leave a soft cup in? Well it is recommended that you only leave a soft cup in for a maximum of 12 hours. If you are using soft cups when trying to get pregnant then you can leave them in overnight after having sex, to stop any of the spillage that might otherwise occur. Then just take it out in the morning and dispose of it.
However, if you have left a soft cup in for much longer and are worried about it then although you should not do this due to the risk of infection, we have heard of a number of stories particularly where the woman has forgotten to take the soft cup out. In one case it seems that the soft cup could have been in for a month and even after that amount of time no damage was caused. There was another story where the woman took out a soft cup she had put in the night before, only to find 2 in there and not being able to recall when the other one was inserted.
So, although you should obviously take them out within the time frame recommended if you can, it seems that there have been many occasions when this hasn’t happened. Soft Cups are not associated at all with toxic shock syndrome because of the material they are made of, so you are less likely to get an infection from that perspective. However, if you are in any doubt then please consult your doctor.
When using soft cups for the purpose of trying to get pregnant, many people also use a fertility friendly lubricant to give the sperm a better chance. In order to survive our body produces cervical mucus which can help to carry the sperm on it’s path but if for some reason we do not produce enough cervical mucus there are a couple of products out there that can help.
You must note however, that you should not use traditional standard lubricants for this purpose as mist of them (including baby oil and saliva) will actually kill the sperm and so will do more harm than good.
The two main fertility lubricants that you can get are Preseed and Conceive Plus. These have been created so that they have the correct pH and will help the sperm rather than hindering them. They are not that cheap but can be a good buy.
Conceive Plus Fertility Lubricant Pre-filled Applicators for Couples Trying-to-conceive Naturally Pre-Seed Personal Lubricant
You can use these lubricants as they are directed and then, when you are going to insert the soft cup after sex, you can add a squirt of the lubricant into the soft cup before inserting it.
This is a question that we hear people asking quite a lot, particularly on the pregnancy forums. Because the news gets around that people are using soft cups and getting pregnant (whether this helps or is just a coincidence), many ladies ask, how do you use soft cups for ttc?
Well you can find full details on hoe to use soft cups to help you get pregnant on the page dedicated to that. In fact this site mostly focuses on that particular use of soft cups as this has become quite common recently.
Check out the full article.
This is a question that is sometimes asked of us so we thought it a good idea to set the record straight. No, soft cups are in no way designed to prevent pregnancy. Although some users have reported having intercourse with a soft cup inserted (this is not recommended), it is not there to prevent the sperm from reaching and passing through the cervix.
The soft cup in terms of trying to get pregnant, is inserted after intercourse to try and prevent the sperm from leaving and instead keep them near the cervix so that they are heading on the right direction towards the egg. It is not known whether this does actually occur but the fact that the soft cup blocks the cervix and hence the sperm that is held above the soft cup, can only be a good thing.
So no, do NOT use soft cups to try and prevent a pregnancy.
If you have not used soft cups before then it can be a good thing to use them in a trial run before you use them properly. As with when you first used tampons, they can take a bit of getting used to.
The soft cups bend into a shape that does easily slip into your vagina but some women can find then a little trick to take out on occasions. It may depend on how high and in what position your cervix is as to whether you might find them difficult to take out. To remove the soft cups, just hook the end of your finger under the rim of the cup and pull. If you do not succeed on the first go then try from a slightly different angle.
If you are using the soft cups when trying to conceive and you really struggle to take the soft cup out then you can ask your partner to help as they may find it easier. Otherwise you will be able to get them out, just don’t panic and try squatting over the toilet to reach the soft cup.
A lot of women ask if soft cups are reusable. The instructions on the packet say that soft cups are for one time use and you can understand that if you were to use them during your period. However, I have heard of a number of women who do reuse soft cups when using them for TTC. They rinse out the soft cup and then make sure that they sterilise it before using it again. I have to say it does seem a bit of a waste in throwing these away after one use so I can see why people would do this. Even if you only reuse it once then this at least saves some money and any impact on the environment. Obviously you need to be careful to ensure the soft cup is completely sterile if you plan on reusing it.