Does Your Menstrual Cup Size Change After Pregnancy? Here's Why Your DivaCup May Not Fit The Same Way It Used To
DivaCups are awesome. I could write an essay about why menstrual cups are so great, but I'll spare you. Plus, you're probably already sold on the DivaCup if you're even asking whether or not your DivaCup size changes after pregnancy. After all, we've watched seemingly everything about our bodies change throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum, from our pants size to our bra size. It seems logical that our menstrual cup size might change as well.
First, let's consider the physical modifications that come along with childbirth. As most mamas can attest, the vagina is pretty much magic. Well, the best word for it might be resilient. Even after pushing out a baby, you can expect your vagina to pretty much go back to normal. However, there may be a few minor changes."While your vagina and vaginal opening typically shrink back down after stretching during a vaginal birth, having a big baby, a baby with a big head, or several vaginal deliveries makes it less likely that it will go back 100 percent," Dr. Sherry Ross, an OBGYN and women's health expert, told SELF. "The result: Your vagina might be slightly wider than it was in the past. This may not be something you pick up on much, or you might." In fact, many women don't even notice this change until it's time to start using tampons or menstrual cups again.
A quick scan of the DivaCup website offers a bit of insight into what the company recommends when it comes to pre- and post-pregnancy usage. Their sizing page offers three different sizes: Model 0, Model 1, and Model 2. Model 1 is recommended "For those under 30 years old who have never delivered vaginally or by caesarean section," while Model 2 is recommended "For those age 30 and over and/or those who have delivered vaginally or by caesarean section." The overall size difference between the two models is pretty small: their FAQ page states that each model is only 1/8th of an inch, or 0.3 centimeters, smaller in diameter than the next size up. In other words, Model 2 accounts for the small difference in your vagina that you can thank your darling child for.
It should be mentioned that no matter how much you love your DivaCup, it should not be used for postpartum bleeding or for any other reason until you get the go-ahead from your doctor. As OB-GYN Laura Fijolek-McKain explained to BabyCenter, "During this healing phase the lining of the uterus, especially the site where the placenta was attached, is susceptible to infection. Intercourse, douching, tampons, and anything placed in the vagina may introduce bacteria, and cause an infection." Just as you abstain from sex, tampons, and the like for about six weeks after labor, you'll need to be patient before using a menstrual cup again, as well. Once your doctor has deemed you "healed," that's when you can go ahead and test out your new size.
Many women wonder if they'll be able to use their trusty DivaCup after having a baby, especially after a few weeks of wearing those delightful pads post delivery. Thanks to the resilience of a woman's body, that answer is yes. While you'll possibly need to order one size up, you'll be happy to know your menstrual cup days are certainly not over.