Know Your Body
Science-backed articles about women's health, fertility, sex, periods, and more.
MenstruationHeartburn Before Your Period: What It Means and What You Can DoMost women experience a wide range of PMS side effects the week before and during their periods (or even longer beforehand). Often, these difficult symptoms can be even worse to experience than the period itself and seem to truly interfere in the functioning of women's daily lives. In this article, our team of experts has compiled a guide to identifying and addressing one of the really unpleasant symptoms of PMS: heartburn. Remember that this is a general guide and that you are an individual case. Consult your general practitioner or gynecologist if you notice anything unusual or feel worried about your symptoms or treatment. Common Side Effects of PMS Some of the common side effects of PMS include: Migraines and headachesBloating, constipation, diarrhea, and excessive gasWater retentionDepression and anxiety Irritability Food cravings Loss of appetiteJoint pain Pain in the pelvic areaFatigueInsomniaDry throatHeartburn Make sure to take a look at our guide to alleviating PMS symptoms with birth control. What Exactly Is Heartburn? When stomach acid travels up the esophagus (the tube carrying food to your stomach from your mouth), an uncomfortable burning sensation may be experienced in the chest and neck. Sometimes, this gets worse after eating or lying down. While several things can cause heartburn, including overeating, tight clothing, alcohol, and spicy food, this problem can also be created by a change in hormones throughout your menstrual cycle. Why You Might Experience Heartburn Before and During Your Period The esophageal sphincter, located between the stomach and the esophagus, is sometimes relaxed by fluctuating hormones (progesterone, estrogen, FSH, etc.), which is exactly what occurs during PMS and periods. It functions as a stop valve, so acid from the stomach moves up the esophagus when it relaxes. The result is PMS heartburn, usually a burning sensation in the stomach, chest, and throat. When Heartburn Might Be Dangerous If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible: Change in stool colorBloody vomitSevere chest painUnexpected weight lossTrouble swallowing If you notice heartburn two times a week or more, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a chronic condition where the esophagus is damaged from frequent exposure to stomach acid. This will require prescribed medication and lifestyle changes. How to Lessen the Effect of Heartburn Heartburn as a result of hormonal changes can usually be dealt with in the same way as regular heartburn. We advise taking a three-prong approach to combatting heartburn, including preventative measures, supplements, and home remedies. Here are some of our recommendations for curbing heartburn: Supplements Take an antacid Incorporate a calcium supplement into your daily routine Lifestyle Quit smoking Manage your weight and utilize a healthy amount of exercise Manage your stress levelsEat slowly, making sure to chew properlyAvoid eating right before exercising Avoid greasy or fatty foodsAvoid caffeine, carbonated drinks, chocolate, alcohol, and citrus fruits or drinksDon't eat too late in the eveningLie in a slightly elevated position to prevent acid from flowing upwardsDrink plenty of water during the day Home Remedies Include bananas in your diet, preferably daily Chew gum for 30 minutes at some point in the evening Try a licorice supplement Try a home remedy of apple cider vinegar in water Add ginger to your tea and food Heartburn as a Sign of Pregnancy Heartburn may also be an early sign of pregnancy. If you haven't experienced heartburn before or it isn't a normal PMS symptom for you, consider taking a pregnancy test. It is also often accompanied by a small amount of spotting, and you may experience some other signs of pregnancy, such as breast tenderness, nausea, headaches, and more. Remember that every woman and every pregnancy is different, so you might not be pregnant.
MenstruationEverything You Need to Know About Cyclical Breast PainBreast pain or mastalgia is very common in women of all ages and most experience it at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, this pain or tenderness in the breasts can cause a lot of anxiety, but remember that breast pain on its own isn't necessarily a sign of an underlying condition. There are 3 main types of breast pain: Cyclical breast pain: The pain is linked to your menstrual cycle because you experience sore, tender breasts during your period. Noncyclic breast pain: Pain is experienced outside of the period window. Chest wall pain: It feels like the pain is in your breast but it's actually coming from somewhere else, such as a pulled muscle in the chest. Breast pain is different for every woman and can range from minor discomfort to severely disabling pain that inhibits daily activities. It's important to know the difference between the types and levels of breast pain as it may be giving red-flag indicators that there's an issue that needs further investigation. 1. Symptoms of Cyclical Breast Pain Many women experience mild breast tenderness, however, the pain can be severe or long-lasting for others. The 3-5 days leading up to a period are usually the worst, while some women experience pain up to two weeks before a period which then eases soon after the period starts. The severity of the pain and discomfort typically differs from month to month. Pain can affect both breasts. It's usually worse in the upper and outer parts of the breasts and may travel to the inside of the upper arm. Your breasts may also feel lumpy and more swollen. This lumpiness is generalized, therefore not leading to a single, definite lump forming. These symptoms can significantly affect everyday activities. Physical activity, such as jogging, as well as hugging friends and loved ones, and sexual activity can be painful. The pain may also interfere with sleep. 2. Relation Between Menstruation and Breast Pain Breast pain is often linked to the menstrual cycle and can become sore 3-5 days before your period starts, while pain can stop after it starts. Breast pain is caused by hormone imbalances—a rise in estrogen and progesterone levels—right before your period. These hormones make your breasts swell and can lead to tenderness and discomfort. Additionally, some women begin to have pain when they ovulate. The pain continues until the start of their menstrual cycle. The pain may be barely noticeable, or it may be so severe that you can’t wear tight-fitted clothing or handle close contact of any kind. It may be felt in only one breast or as a radiating feeling under your arm. Being aware of your menstrual cycle phases will help you prepare for the possible oncoming breast pain by having those remedy strategies ready! 3. Remedies for Soothing Cyclical Breast Pain While cyclical breast pain can be incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable, there are some suggested methods to alleviate the symptoms: Bras Bras are the houses for our breasts—no one likes an uncomfortable house that doesn't treat its occupants well. During the daytime, wear a well-fitting bra that provides the necessary support but at the same time is comfortable and not squashing your breasts. When you sleep, wear a soft-support bra and during exercise, wear a good sports bra that prevents the breasts from bouncing around too much. Herbs and Oils Many women swear by using evening primrose oil because it eases their PMS symptoms, such as breast tenderness, feelings of depression, irritability, swelling, and bloating from fluid retention. Pregnant women, those planning to become pregnant, and people with epilepsy should not take evening primrose oil without checking with their doctor first. Dietary Changes Your diet can drastically affect your body and how you feel. Eating the best foods for pain relief can help ease cyclical breast pain. This includes avoiding large amounts of caffeine and alcohol, eating a low-fat diet that's high in fiber, avoiding tobacco, taking vitamin E and magnesium supplements (magnesium supplements can also relieve symptoms associated with menstrual headaches), and drinking plenty of water. Your diet may also be causing heartburn before your period. Heat For many women, a warm bath or shower is their main choice of relaxation. The heat helps to relieve period cramps, relieve lower-back pain during PMS, and can ease breast pain, leaving you feeling better. If none of these remedies help ease the pain and tenderness, you can always try over-the-counter pain medication from your local pharmacy. Conclusion Although understanding more about your breast pain won’t cure it, it may help you to get back some control over your life. It's often also reassuring to know that many other women are dealing with the same thing and that it's part of your body’s normal pattern of changes over its cycle.
MenstruationHormonal Headaches: Location and TreatmentHormonal headaches are caused when a woman's hormone levels change. Most of these fluctuations occur during the menstrual cycle, menopause, pregnancy, or because contraceptive pills are being used. Hormonal headaches also include premenstrual syndrome (PMS) headaches, occurring about 10 days before menstruation, or menstrual migraines, occurring about two days before the period starts. This post further discusses the causes of hormonal headaches and when women are likely to be affected. Possible treatments and remedies are also recommended. What Causes a Hormonal Headache? Women experience hormonal headaches because of hormones that fluctuate—most especially when estrogen levels drop just before a period. This can be two days before a period starts or over the first three days. A migraine level headache may be triggered when the brain is stimulated (by bright light, stress, fatigue, or even foods like cheese or chocolate) so much that the blood vessels dilate a lot, setting up pain. This then triggers a rush of serotonin that tries to shut down the blood vessels—almost like squeezing them—and this sudden constriction worsens the pain. A less aggressive headache, not a migraine, but with severe and persistent pain in the head, can also be caused by hormonal changes. What Does a Hormonal Headache Feel Like? Hormonal headaches can feel like a throbbing pulse in the head, or a tight band of pressure gripping the skull across the front or back of the head or on one side only. The pain can also move across to the middle or the other side of the head, as the headache progresses. Additional menstrual migraine symptoms include sensitivity to light, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. Who Do Hormonal Headaches Affect? Women with different hormonal profiles can experience hormonal headaches at different times: Contraceptive pill: Women who have stopped using their birth control pills may experience headaches. Birth control pills affect the menstrual cycle, therefore hormone levels are irregular and must take time to stabilize again.Menopause: Women who are experiencing menopause, which is a receding tide of hormones, may have frequent headaches due to the diminishing level of estrogen in their bodies.Pregnancy: Women in the first few weeks of pregnancy may also experience hormonal headaches. This is a time of hormonal adjustment as the body produces additional hormones to stabilize the new embryo. Additionally, women who are already affected by stress, have a genetic tendency to migraines, or perhaps need to take beta-blockers may tend to experience a higher number of migraines per month. Hormonal Headaches: Treatment and Remedies Hormonal headaches can be treated in different ways depending on their severity. Tryptamine-based drugs (triptans): This medication is longer-acting and can be taken on an ongoing basis.Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS): NSAIDS can be taken on an ongoing basis for a short time, but their use must be medically managed because they are linked to severe side effects such as stroke, gastrointestinal bleeding, and ulcers. Oral contraceptives: Birth control can be used on a continuous basis (without allowing menstruation to occur) and can help keep menstrual migraines away. However, the body does require a break—maybe one month in every five—to bleed. Unfortunately, the hormonal imbalances that now occur because of stopping birth control may also trigger a migraine. This remedy is linked to side effects such as stroke or deep vein thrombosis.Beta-blockers: Using this medication daily is useful to reduce the incidence of migraine attacks. Self-care remedies: Exercise, such as aerobic exercise and yoga, and taking supplements, such as magnesium, can support and stabilize the migraine sufferer. A migraine sufferer who experiences migraine attacks frequently and severely should ideally take preventative remedies, such as the points discussed above, because it is difficult to stop a migraine once it has started. Conclusion Hormonal headaches should be taken seriously. A severe case can reduce a woman's time for work or play by up to 3 days a week. If unsure or if any symptoms escalate, consult a medical professional for further action.
MenstruationBest Tips for Controlling PMS Anger the Natural WayWomen are constantly being asked the sexist question of "is it that time of the month?" whenever we get a bit snappy or show frustration or anger towards our partners or family members. Many men do not understand that there are hormones at play during our menstrual cycle and that these hormones fluctuate each week and more often than not, bring about emotional symptoms that greatly influence our behavior. PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) is a variety of symptoms that occur a week or two leading up to a woman's period. More than 90% of women say they experience PMS symptoms and the majority of the time, these symptoms are mild and manageable. But for some women, they become unbearable and lead to them missing work or school for a day or two. Many of the symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances, such as hormonal headaches, are the same as PMS symptoms. This is because both are influenced by fluctuating hormones. Why Does PMS Occur? PMS does not have a single conclusive cause, but it does have a variety of influences: Changes in hormone levels are constant in the menstrual cycle. Progesterone and estrogen peak during the luteal phase of the cycle and then drop rapidly, which can lead to irritability, anger, anxiety, and other mood changes.Chemical changes in the brain can also play a part with PMS. The brain's neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine) have many vital functions in the body such as mood regulation, emotions, and others. If these chemical messengers were to drop, they can bring about a low mood and other PMS symptoms.Existing mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety can increase your chances of experiencing PMS symptoms or experiencing them more severely. This is closely linked to the chemical changes mentioned above.Lifestyle factors and certain habits may also be contributing to PMS. Smoking, a poor diet and not getting sufficient sleep can all lead to your body not feeling its best and experiencing those symptoms more harshly. Relationship Between PMS and Anger PMS is dictated by varying levels of progesterone, estrogen, and serotonin in the menstrual cycle. When these hormones shift, they can bring about emotional and physical changes. The hormones act as mood stabilizers, therefore, when hormone levels decrease during your cycle, you may be left feeling irritable, sad, and even angry. Anger is one of the many, common PMS symptoms that women experience leading up to their periods. How to Control Anger Naturally During PMS Anger can also be easily controlled and managed. Let's look at some of the natural solutions to managing anger: Take natural vitamins to help relieve mood swings.Calcium has been found to help PMS-related feelings such as sadness, anger, and anxiety, so try eating milk, yogurt, cheese, leafy green vegetables, fortified orange juice, and cereals.Exercise by walking, running, swimming, or bicycling as it will release endorphins which will elevate your mood.Eat small, frequent meals to keep your blood sugar levels steady. This can also be used as a remedy for menstrual migraines.Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or sweets as these can disrupt your blood sugar levels.Relieve your stress through meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or by journaling. Alternatively, you can consider medication if you experience PMS symptoms quite severely. Taking birth control can help with PMS by helping you cope with those wild emotions, period pain, and heavy flow. Utilizing hormone balance supplements can also help to stabilize your mood. Speak to your doctor if these are options you'd like to try. Tracking Your Cycle to Monitor Anger If you want to monitor your anger and prevent it from becoming overwhelming, then it's a good time to start tracking your menstrual cycle (if you aren't already). You can do this by using a cycle tracking device. This will allow you to anticipate your PMS symptoms and have methods readily available to manage them to continue with your day-to-day tasks. This cycle tracking information can also be useful for a doctor to prescribe supplements or birth control. Don't be ashamed of your PMS symptoms or try to hide them away. Speak to others about them, have measures at your fingertips to lift your spirits, and remember that you're just another superwoman.
MenstruationSymptoms of Each Phase of the Menstrual CycleBeing a woman is hard work. Between battling hormones, breakouts, bloating, cravings, and unexplained emotional breakdowns, we are also expected to carry on with everyday life as normal, even though we're actively bleeding for an entire week every month! Periods are, however, a natural way of life and something that all women experience. Without it, we would not be able to perform the miracle of childbirth and continue to produce future generations. Each month, woman experience their menstrual cycle which usually extends over a 28-day period of time. Your menstrual cycle can begin around the ages of 11/12, known as menarche, and is experienced monthly from then on until the ages of 45-50. During each period, a mature egg is released from the ovary (the ovaries alternate each month), travels along the fallopian tube, and enters the uterus. Inside the uterus is a soft lining called the endometrium, and this acts as a snuggly, warm blanket eagerly waiting for the egg to be fertilized by sperm and embed itself within it and begin the pregnancy cycle. When fertilization does not happen, a large part of the endometrium, along with blood and mucus, is then released by the body through the vagina, known as menstruation. Menstruation can last between 3 and 7 days typically. The uterus is completely cleaned out during these days and is then ready to repeat the cycle again next month, and so it continues. It almost seems as though a woman's body is throwing a temper tantrum for not falling pregnant. During each menstruation cycle, a period can be broken down into 4 specific stages: Menstrual Phase (Day 1-5)Follicular Phase (Day 1-13)Ovulation Phase (Day 14)Luteal Phase (Day 15-28) During each phase, the body will experience changes and symptoms that can often be annoying, but also easily managed! How Being Familiar With Each Menstrual Phase Can Help You Being familiar with each of the above-mentioned menstrual cycle phases will help you to understand your body and the weekly changes that it is going through, as well as the symptoms you may be experiencing each week. This will also allow you to find ways to relieve those symptoms or be prepared for them! Symptoms of the Menstrual Phase This phase begins on day 1 of your cycle when blood is first released from the vagina and ends on day 5. During the menstrual phase, the hormone progesterone plunges, which causes the endometrium to shed. About 10ml-80ml of blood can be lost during a period. When the endometrium is shed, the uterus contracts, which causes the lower abdominal or back pain known as period cramps. This first phase of menstruation will leave you feeling tired and withdrawn. To ease the discomfort often experienced, it would be best to take time for yourself: rest, keep strenuous exercise to a low, have a hot bath, and consider avoiding major social events. Symptoms of the Follicular Phase This phase also begins on day 1 of bleeding; however, it continues way past the end of one's period. Once bleeding has stopped, the pituitary gland in the brain releases a hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSI) which basically causes the follicles in your ovaries to mature—follicles are like little houses for the eggs that are released into the ovary once they mature, known as ovulation. During this phase of the menstrual cycle, your estrogen and testosterone hormone levels are elevated, raising your energy and potentially improving your mood. This is a great time to solve problems, take on big ideas, or perform that strenuous exercise you put off during the menstruation phase! Symptoms of the Ovulation Phase This phase begins around day 14 of the cycle and is the exact moment when a mature egg is released from the follicle within the ovary. This mature egg is ready for fertilization. During this phase, you may feel even more energy and confidence than in the follicular phase. This is a great time for job interviews, date nights, or intense physical workouts. Symptoms of the Luteal Phase This is the last phase in the cycle and occurs from after ovulation (day 15) through to day 28. The mature egg is awaiting fertilization and due to the cycle coming to an end, the dreaded PMS symptoms will be experienced. These symptoms include cravings, moodiness, anxiety, breast tenderness, and bloating. It is a good idea to practice good self-care habits, such as eating healthy pain-relieving foods, spending time alone, or going for a relaxing massage. If the mature egg is not fertilized, it begins to break down which causes the endometrium to shed and this starts the cycle all over again. Periods can be frustrating and a nuisance but they can be managed especially if we listen to our bodies and provide them with all the necessary tools to feel empowered and continue on with our superhero ways. Suffering from intense period cramps? Consider taking birth control to treat PMS symptoms.
MenstruationHow to Keep Track of Your Period: Apps, Devices, Charts, & MoreHow to Know When Your Next Period Is Coming It can be tricky to track your periods when they're irregular, which is quite common. However, women can look out for certain symptoms that signal a period around the corner. If you're wondering when your period is coming, look out for the following: Abdominal bloating or crampingConstipationDiarrhea Pimples or acneJoint or back pain HeadachesTender or swollen breastsFatigue or lack of focusChanges in appetiteSensitivity to sound and lightIrritabilityDepression or anxiety Remember, every woman is different. If your symptoms are different from your friend's, that doesn't mean anything is wrong with either of you. Period Tracking Devices There is a range of period tracking or menstrual cycle tracking devices on the market that can be used in different ways. These are usually apps or small electronic devices. These devices present possible dates of when your period might start and finish. They usually also indicate when premenstrual symptoms might begin and when your ovulation window is—essential information if you're trying to conceive. Our team of women's health experts did the research and tested numerous products. They reviewed these according to efficacy, cost, and usability. Take a look at our round-up of top devices and apps for anticipating periods and ovulation. Note that there are also numerous free options that are relatively good. Menstrual Charting Menstrual charting is another way to anticipate periods, premenstrual problems, and ovulation. You can do your own menstrual charting by simply using a calendar to keep track, or you can use a period chart, an online menstrual calendar, or an ovulation tracking app, which may have some added benefits such as notifications that can be linked to your phone or computer. How to Chart or Monitor Your Cycle Mark the first day of your period as day one. Then, mark the first day of your next period. Count the total number of days between the first days of each period. This should give you an indication of the length of your cycle. Period Tracking Apps Period tracking apps are becoming more and more popular. With a range of good free options on the market, it's not surprising that more and more women use them to make planning their lives easier. Menstrual tracking apps can be especially useful if you: Are trying to fall pregnant Are not on birth control such as the pill that allows you to see when your period is coming (note that the injection and IUDs often result in irregular periods)Experience unpleasant symptoms during your period and want to plan around themNeed to order prescription pain medication in advance for painful periods or hormone-related pain such as migrainesNeed to take menstrual leave from work Other Important Things to Note about Period Trackers and Devices The more detail or data you can provide, the more accurate the tracking is likely to be. You will need to provide information such as the length of your periods, dates of when you have had them, symptoms during the premenstrual phase, temperatures at various points of the month, and even moods and emotions. There are a few apps on the market that do not use physical indicators to predict period start dates, but these are only about 20% accurate.
MenstruationWhat Causes Irregular Periods?Most women have their period every 24 to 38 days, lasting anywhere between two and eight days. However, irregular periods are more common than most people think and can be caused by numerous factors. Irregular periods (oligomenorrhea) are diagnosed when a menstrual cycle is shorter than 24 days, longer than 38 days, or changing length from month to month. What Causes Irregular Periods? Changes in Hormone Levels Changes in estrogen and progesterone are the primary cause of irregular periods—the pattern of your period is changed by the fluctuating levels. These hormonal changes or disruptions may be caused by numerous factors, such as illness, menopause, perimenopause, puberty, stress, or environmental factors or changes. Age Age plays a significant role in hormonal changes, particularly during puberty, menopause, and perimenopause. Puberty Puberty usually occurs in girls between the ages of 10 and 14 and in boys between the ages of 12 and 16. At this time, hormone levels fluctuate—they haven't settled into regular patterns yet—causing irregular periods. Menopause and perimenopause As hormones begin to slow down, they become irregular, interrupting women's regular cycles until their periods stop completely. Perimenopause is the phase of transition into menopause, and irregular periods are one of the first signs. Perimenopause and its irregular periods may last four to eight years. When a woman hasn't had a period for 12 months, she has entered menopause. Certain Medications Certain medications may affect women's hormones and thus on their periods. Every medication is different, and everyone responds differently to the same type of medication, so make sure to always ask your doctor about the potential side effects when you're trying something new and take others' experiences of a certain pill with a pinch of salt. Some medications that can cause irregular periods include: Antidepressants Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, Motrin, or AdvilBlood-thinning medications, such as aspirinThyroid medicationsEpilepsy drugsChemotherapy drugs The pill, implants, patches, and IUDs suppress ovulation, but users may still experience vaginal bleeding and spotting once a month. In some women, bleeding may stop completely. Changes in the heaviness of bleeding and its regularity are common. Irregular bleeding caused by contraceptive medication is not harmful. High Stress Levels In some cases, high stress levels may cause an interruption in a woman's cycle. Hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released when a person is under stress, and these interfere with the hormones that regulate menstruation. Medical Conditions Certain medical conditions can cause hormone fluctuations and changes to regular period cycles. Some of these include: PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)Thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidismUterine conditions such as uterine thyroidsEndometriosisCervical and endometrial cancer Pregnancy and Breastfeeding One of the first signs that may indicate pregnancy is a missed period. However, it should be noted that it is possible to have spotting or some bleeding and still be pregnant. However, please note that it is also advised that you see a doctor if you are pregnant and experience bleeding. A breastfeeding woman might find that her period doesn't return for a few months or even a year after birth. Prolactin, the milk-making hormone, stops ovulation and, therefore, periods. Poor Diet, Being Underweight, and Excessive Exercise A bad diet causing a lack of essential nutrients and vitamins may cause an irregular cycle. Women who become clinically underweight may also notice their periods becoming irregular or stopping altogether. Excessive exercise can also have this effect. Dancers and other athletes who utilize strict dieting and tend to over-exercise, along with women who have anorexia or bulimia, are more at risk of irregular periods, low bone mineral density, and osteoporosis. How Do I Know if My Cycle Is Regular? Take a look at our expert's comprehensive guide for more insight into the four phases of the menstrual cycle so you can start tracking yours now.
MenstruationMenstrual Cups: How to Use Them, Choosing Your Size, and MoreAt the moment, there are a lot of discussions about the benefits and dangers of menstrual cups. There seems to be a considerable interest—and rightly so! While some women report finding period cups messy and uncomfortable, many find them completely comfortable and appreciate the cost savings and positive effect on the environment. Here's our guide to choosing the right one for you because you have enough to worry about during your period. How Do You Use a Menstrual Cup? Before Inserting a Menstrual Cup Before inserting a menstrual cup, you'll want to consider several factors, such as if you are allergic to latex or feel comfortable handling blood, along with several other factors. Make sure to consult your doctor. Inserting a Menstrual Cup Wash your hands well with soap and waterSlather some lube onto the rim Fold the period cup in half with the rim facing up Insert it gently with the rim going in firstIf it feels as though it's hitting your cervix, it's too far up. It should be slightly away from your cervix and feel comfortable.Once it's in, rotate it, and it will open to create an air-tight seal If it's not comfortable, take it out and try again. If that doesn't help, speak to your doctor for more tips on insertion or another size or brand. Don't force it. You should be able to jump around comfortably. Removing a Menstrual Cup Remove your period cup after 6-12 hours, depending on your flow. Make sure to remove and clean it within 12 hours maximum. To remove: Wash your hands well with soap and waterUse a little lube on your fingers to make the removal more comfortableInsert two fingers and pull the stem gently until you can feel the basePinch the base and pull downEmpty into the toilet Caring for a Menstrual Cup Between Uses Always wash and wipe clean before re-use and empty at least twice every day. Disposable cups should be thrown away after one use. How to Choose the Correct Size for a Menstrual Cup Discuss options with your doctor. Considering the length of your cervix, the heaviness of your flow, your age, and the strength of your cervix muscles will help in figuring out which period cup will work best in your unique body. Women who haven't given birth vaginally generally need smaller period cups. Frequently Asked Questions How Much Do Menstrual Cups Cost? Menstrual cups cost between $20 and $40 and last roughly six months. Compared with the usual $100 minimum cost of tampons or pads, this is a significant saving. Can You Still Pee With a Menstrual Cup? Yes. The urethra, from which you urinate, and the vagina, which will be holding the cup, are two different holes. Peeing will not interfere with the menstrual cup at all. Can You Still Have Sex When Using a Menstrual Cup? Maybe, depending on the brand. The soft, disposable cups won't be felt by a partner during penetrative sex and will also prevent any leaks. Some brands of cups need to be removed. How Painful Is It to Use Menstrual Cups? They shouldn't be painful. However, if pain occurs, this may be due to the cup being the wrong size, folding against itself, or inserting it too high, causing pressure on your cervix. It may be slightly painful when inserted or removed if there isn't enough lubrication. Take a look at our article on removing a menstrual cup without pain. It may take a little practice, adjustment, and trying out different sizes or brands to find the right fit for you. It should also be noted that some women may have an allergic reaction, and the cup may cause an increased chance of infection if it is not changed regularly.
MenstruationHow to Remove a Menstrual Cup Without PainDo you find it difficult to remove a menstrual cup? In the beginning, it may be a little overwhelming but rest assured, once you have read this guide and practiced a little, it will get easier. When Should You Remove Your Menstrual Cup? You can use a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours before emptying and rinsing it. If you have a heavier period, you should empty it more frequently. What Is the Easiest Way to Remove a Menstrual Cup? Follow these steps to easily remove a menstrual cup: Sit on the toilet with your legs spread to allow easy access to your vaginal opening.Break the suction of the cup from your vaginal canal. To do so, insert your index finger into your vagina and hook it over the cup's edge.Pinch the base or the stem of the cup with your thumb and index finger.Gently pull downward toward your vaginal opening, being careful not to spill the contents.If the cup appears to be stuck and hurts when you try to remove it, use your index finger to press the outside edge of the cup to loosen the seal even more.Pour the contents out into the toilet and then rinse the cup under running water. You may be wondering how to remove a menstrual cup with long nails: Use your pelvic floor muscles to push down on the menstrual cup and bring it lower before breaking the suction. Slowly and gently insert your finger, pointing the tip away from the vaginal wall so that you don't scratch yourself. If you follow the steps listed above and take your time, you will be able to remove the menstrual cup without a mess. What Should You Do if Your Menstrual Cup Is Stuck? Don't get anxious. You can get it out without asking for assistance or seeking medical attention if you remain calm and follow the guidelines above. What Causes Pain When Removing a Menstrual Cup? Menstrual cup suction pain or discomfort is caused when the cup creates a "suction" inside your vaginal canal, over your cervix. If you do not break the suction before attempting to remove the cup, it will be painful to remove. Are There Menstrual Cup Removal Tools? The Cup Buddy is a menstrual cup removal tool that is used to break the suction between the cup and your vaginal wall for pain-free removal. Should You Seek Medical Attention? Some women have felt the need to ask a doctor to dislodge a stuck cup, but this should not be necessary unless you are in a lot of pain or discomfort and you really can't get the cup out yourself. Can Menstrual Cup Pain Be Prevented? Try a Different Fold and Use Lubricant If you experience pain during insertion, the most likely cause is a lack of proper lubrication. To make insertion easier, fold the cup suitably. You can also apply a cup-safe water-based lubricant to the rim of your cup to alleviate any discomfort during insertion. Use a Softer Cup If you experience pain while wearing the cup, it could mean that it is exerting outward pressure on your vaginal wall. Not everyone's anatomy agrees with firm cups. Some users find that a softer menstrual cup works better for them. How To Choose the Right Menstrual Cup for You Menstrual cups are considered safe by medical professionals. As long as you use the cup as directed, the risk of adverse side effects is low. The majority of menstrual cups are made of silicone. Some are made of rubber or contain rubber components. The material may irritate you if you have latex allergies. Speak to your doctor before using menstrual cups for the first time. The following factors need to be considered when choosing the right menstrual cup for you: Your ageThe circumference of your cervixWhether your menstrual flow is heavy or lightThe cup's capacityThe menstrual cup's flexibility and firmnessThe strength of your pelvic floor muscles