There are already a lot of ifs and buts, when it comes to using a menstrual cup. How can you use it? Will it leak or not? Is it safe? And the list of questions just goes on. But there is one very prominent question that rattles everyone’s mind. Here it is: what if the menstrual cup gets stuck in my vagina?
Well, it’s a genuine ask and now we have to see whether it can really happen or not. If it does, how can we go about it? So, let’s pick one bone at a time.
Menstrual cups are an eco-friendly and pocket-friendly alternative to sanitary pads and vaginal tampons that are used for the purpose of menstrual hygiene. While they have been around since the 1930s, their use has been popularised only in the last few years.
A menstrual cup is a small cup-shaped device made of soft silicone that is inserted into the vagina to collect the blood during your period. It collects the menstrual blood, while the sanitary pads and the tampons soak the blood.
“Like all new things, menstrual cup insertion and removal from the vagina needs a little patience and practice. Once you get used to the process, sliding in and out of the menstrual cup is pretty simple to do,” says Dr Anjali Kumar, senior consultant gynaecologist, obstetrician and founder, Maitri Woman’s Health.
If your menstrual cup feels stuck or seems lost, relax. Remember your vagina is a close-ended tunnel and nothing can get lost there actually. The menstrual cup cannot just wander away into your body. It is always possible to remove it.
Firstly, relax, breathe, and don’t panic. There are a few reasons why this may have happened:
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1. Wash your hands.
2. Breathe deep and relax your pelvic floor muscles.
3. Get into a squatting position. It relaxes the pelvic muscles, makes your vaginal canal shorter and wider, and lowers down the pelvic floor slightly, thus making it easier for you to reach in and grab the base of the cup.
4. Gently introduce one or two fingers into your vagina and try to locate the base/stem of the cup.
5. Once you have located the base, pinch it slightly to release the negative pressure inside the cup.
6. After releasing the suction, you need to hold onto the stem and pull it out gently to bring the cup out.
7. “When the above techniques fail to remove the cup, don’t stress too much.
Relax and take a break for some time. Gather your wits and your energy, and try again after some time. You can try removing the cup in a different position like sitting on a toilet seat or propping up one leg on a footstool and pushing down slightly,” says Dr Kumar.
8. Well, if nothing works, you may need to ask a friend/partner to help remove the cup but the best option is to meet a gynaecologist or a trained nurse who can easily remove the menstrual cup stuck inside the vagina.
“Remember that it is a very normal incident to happen; there is nothing embarrassing or shameful about it if the menstrual cup gets stuck in the vagina. It can be removed and once you are familiar with the right technique for insertion and removal, such incidents become very rare,” concludes Dr Kumar.