Your menstrual cup could be damaging your pelvic floor muscles
They’re also not safety tested!
Menstrual cups could be causing many women pelvic organ prolapse because of how the cup is removed from the vagina. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has revealed menstrual cups aren’t safety tested or regulated in the UK.
Sales of menstrual cups, like the very popular Mooncup, have increased in the last few years as many women are abandoning tampons and pads in favour of a menstrual cup during their period.
However a number of women have reported pelvic organ prolapse after repeated use.
Pelvic organ prolapse is when the pelvic floor muscles become weakened and cannot hold the organs in place. This causes organs like the womb, bowel and bladder to drop down from their normal position and bulge into the vagina.
Sometimes medical treatment is needed to correct pelvic organ prolapse but it can also be improved with pelvic floor exercises.
Kate Lough, a physiotherapist, said the information on how to take the cup out of your vagina is incorrect, can be bad for the pelvic floor muscles and goes against advice on how to avoid prolapse.
She said: “Having looked at some of the information on some of the cups – particularly the information about taking the cup out -[it] is not correct and is hard to understand.
“Using your pelvic floor muscles to bring the cup lower in the vagina is not correct. Bearing down on the cup to push it within reach of your fingers is not good pelvic floor advice.
“It counters the advice women would be given to avoid prolapse.”
One woman, Jenny, told the Victoria Derbyshire programme, she had regularly used a menstrual cup and had a minor pelvic organ prolapse. She said there was no warning to suggest prolapse could be a possibly side effect of using a cup.
She said: “There was no warning to say… this was a possible side-effect,
“And I had really thoroughly read the instructions, so I thought I was doing everything properly.”
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy are asking for cups to be regulated better, as they are not currently safety tested and there is no industry body who look at complaints of the cups.
Many women do not suffer from side effects from their menstrual cup and the majority of studies concluded menstrual cups were a “safe option”.