Can Menstrual Cup Cause a Yeast Infection?
Can Menstrual Cup Cause a Yeast Infection?
There are many women who use the menstrual cup as an alternative to tampons because they are simply much better and more economical than tampons. Some of the many benefits they offer are:
- They are long lasting, you can use one menstrual cup for up to a year which means that can safe a lot of money on tampons and sanitary pads
- You can leave it in your vagina for up to 12 hours before having to empty it, another advantage over tampons, which have to be changed every 8 hours (preferably more often)
- Menstrual cups have got a much better capacity than tampons, they can hold up to 1 ounce of liquid which makes life so much easier, especially for ladies with heavy periods
- They help you reduce contact with harmful chemicals found in tampons and pads, such as: BPA, latex or bleach
- If you use a high absorbency tampon on a light flow day, small bits of cotton can cause micro injuries in your vaginal walls, making your more prone to all sorts of infections. Menstrual cups eliminate this risk.
But can they cause a vaginal yeast infection?
Over the years there have been many reports from women complaining that use of the menstrual cup is associated with a yeast infection. The women complained of itching and a foul discharge following use of the menstrual cup.
When the cup was removed the symptoms subsided. The problem is that no randomized study has ever been undertaken to show that the menstrual cup can increase the risk of a yeast infection. Plus the other difficulty is that yeast infections are very common in women and it’s difficult to know if the menstrual cup is directly responsible for the yeast infection. The other difficulty with analyzing the anecdotal reports is that many of these women self treated themselves.
Hence, there is no way of knowing if they had a yeast infection, a urinary tract infection, an allergic reaction to the cup or some other type of vaginitis – all of which are also common during the menstrual period.
How can I prevent yeast infections during my period?
There is always the potential of a yeast infection occurring with the use of a menstrual cup because it does provide a warm humid environment for the yeast to thrive. However, a menstrual cup is a much lower risk factor when it comes to yeast infections, than tampons. As always, if you don’t maintain good personal hygiene and allow the genital area to remain moist and warm, a yeast infection is very possible.
To reduce the risk of a yeast infection while wearing the menstrual cup:
- Empty the cup every 12 hours, or more often on a heavy flow day
- Keep the genital area clean and dry
- Avoid wearing tight under garments and
- Preferably wear cotton underpants as they absorb moisture better than other fabrics.
- If you get yeast infections during or straight after your period, consider using probiotic suppositories for up to a week after your period to help establish a healthy pH and boost your defenses against Candida (yeast)
- Another thing you can do is start taking probiotic supplements for women on daily basis and incorporate probiotic-rich foods in your diet
All in all, here are many things you can do to reduce the risk of getting a yeast infection while on your period. Keeping yourself well informed is the key in order to make better choices for yourself in everyday life and stay healthy.
What’s the best way to treat a yeast infection?
If you’re currently trying to get rid of a vaginal yeast infections, you can choose different types of treatments. The most common, over the counter treatment is Monistat. Monistat comes with 7 applicators prefilled with Miconazole cream. It’s a very effective medication and it will quickly relieve your symptoms.
If you prefer a more natural treatment, or if you see that over the counter medications don’t work, try boric acid suppositories. Studies show that boric acid is an excellent choice for women suffering from persistent, recurring yeast infections. After you finish your treatment, you can still use one suppository a week for up to 6 months, as maintenance treatment.
If you prefer to use home remedies, you can try using coconut oil or ginger tea. To make coconut oil suppositories follow these instructions:
- Mix 5 tablespoons of coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree oil or lavender oil (or both)
- Pour the mixture in an ice cube tray and leave in the fridge until solid
- Insert one suppository into your vagina before going to bed and make sure you wear a sanitary pad as it can leak
- If you don’t see any improvement within 3 days, make sure you go to your doctor
Remember that it’s important to get properly diagnosed to make sure you’re not suffering from an allergy or a different type of a vaginal infection. So instead of self diagnosing, get checked up by a doctor when suffering from unusual vaginal discharge or itching.
As you can see, menstrual cups are in many ways the safest option when it comes to period hygiene products. Tampons are much more likely to cause a yeast infection than menstrual cups. So instead of ditching the menstrual cup, try to find other solutions to eliminate the risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection.
Vaginal yeast infection is extremely unpleasant and can seriously affect your quality of life and your relationship. That’s why it’s so important to know the risk factors and trying to eliminate them whenever possible. Apart from choosing a menstrual cup over tampons, you can also consider avoiding antibiotics and vaginal douches, and always choose 100% natural intimate washes and sexual lubricants.
I’d love to hear about your experiences. Have you ever experienced vaginal itching and discharge while using menstrual cups? What did your doctor say? Please share your experiences and questions in the comment section below.