Many women are turning to menstrual cups instead of tampons in order to deal with their monthly periods. They can absorb more flow than tampons, aren't produced with bleaching agents and chemicals, and don't allow for potential odor like a tampon does. So as you're dealing with postpartum bleeding, I'd say it's pretty normal to ask yourself, "Can you use a menstrual cup after pregnancy? when you're weighing your options. The problem, however, is that the answer isn't necessarily straight forward. As almost anything even remotely related to pregnancy, labor, delivery, and parenthood in general, it just kind of depends.
According to Lunette, menstrual cups are not recommended for postpartum bleeding. In fact, before you insert either a menstrual cup and/or a tampon after having a baby, you need to wait for your doctor's approval at your six week postpartum checkup. The same applies for diaphragms, sex toys, and anything you might have previously put in your vagina.
Intima.com, purveyors of the Lily Cup, explains, "Your intimate anatomy will be sore, swollen and and will need time to convalesce before inserting anything inside it, so that means no cups (and no sex) until you have healed properly." Fair enough.
If you've given birth, either recently or longer ago, you'll also want to ensure that any products that depend on exact sizing to ensure efficacy will fit your vagina now. What To Expect says after you give birth your vagina will return to roughly the same size it was before you gave birth, but as with a diaphragm or menstrual cup, even a millimeter difference can mean trouble.
If you're a menstrual cup user, you'll likely know that most menstrual cups come in two sizes: have given birth, haven't given birth. If you've just given birth to your first baby, you'll probably want to order a the "have given birth" size menstrual cup while you're waiting for your six week check-up and the green light from your OB-GYN and/or regular health care physician.
What if you've had a baby by cesarean section? Menstrual cups are still a no-go until your doctor gives the go ahead at your postpartum checkup. Intima.com tells us, "If you have given birth via C-section, it’s important to consider that pregnancy takes a huge toll on your pelvic floor muscles, so it is possible that your body may now be better suited to a [larger size]." So even though your vagina didn't experience as much trauma as if you had given birth vaginally, your insides are still going to take a little while to return to normal after giving birth.
BabyCenter also tells postpartum women to keep in mind that their period will take a little while to return after giving birth. For breastfeeding moms, your period might not return for up to six months or longer, due to the decrease in estrogen and progesterone. For non-breastfeeding moms, your period might take one to three months to return, meaning you might not have to worry about using a menstrual cup immediately anyway.
Either way, once you've been cleared by your doctor and you've ordered the correct size menstrual cup, it's absolutely safe to use one postpartum. Having a baby doesn't change everything, you guys.