If there was one thing I was ready for after pregnancy, it was that final postpartum check-up six weeks after having my daughter. Not for sex necessarily, but I was ready to really jump into my new normal and, let's be honest, I was ready to get rid of those giant pads. Luckily, my period stayed away for several months thanks to breastfeeding, but those who experience their first postpartum period may be wondering, "When is it safe to use a menstrual cup after having a baby?"
According to Mayo Clinic, a menstrual cup can be a good alternative to using pads or tampons. Like tampons, it's inserted into your vagina, but it can generally hold more flow and is also made of silicone or rubber. The Cleveland Clinic also noted that a menstrual cup has less odor than a tampon or pad, since the fluid won't be exposed to the air, and a menstrual cup won't disturb your vagina's pH and bacterial balance like a tampon can.
Holds more blood, doesn't soak up all of the fluids in your vagina, and has a less embarrassing smell. Seems like the perfect thing to try when you're postpartum, right? Unfortunately, they have one big similarity with tampons — you have to wait a little while to use them after giving birth.
Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) and Fellow of American College of Childbirth Educators (FACCE) Deena Blumenfeld of Shining Light Prenatal Education tells Romper that while a menstrual cup has its pros, it has no place in your vagina immediately following delivery. "Menstrual cups are a no-go inside until your six week check-up," she says. "Anything put up into the vagina postpartum, including vibrators, dildos, or a partner's penis, can introduce infection."
Lunette, a popular menstrual cup company, noted on their website that their menstrual cups specifically should not be used for postpartum bleeding. The website recommended talking to your doctor before resuming the use of your menstrual cup so you can be sure you are fully healed and that your vagina isn't at risk of infection.
In the meantime, stock up on all the heavy-duty pads you can and wait for the OK from your doctor to try out your menstrual cup again. Trust me, you'll long for the no-period nine months you just left.