During pregnancy, many people tend to enjoy the nine month (or thereabouts) break from periods. Some say it’s the best part of pregnancy... besides the part where you get a baby, of course! We're all for period positivity, but hey - sometimes a break can be nice.
But what about after giving birth? When can you expect your period to return, and when can you safely return to using a menstrual cup after pregnancy?
Postpartum bleeding vs. postpartum periods - what’s the difference?
Firstly, it’s important to remember that postpartum bleeding is not the same as your period.
Postpartum bleeding and discharge last for around 4-6 weeks after giving birth. This is your body’s way of shedding any leftover blood and tissue that lined your uterus during pregnancy. It starts off heavier and may contain clots, slowly tapering to a lighter discharge known as lochia, which often starts off brighter red and becomes more clear or creamy white after a few weeks.
If your lochia has subsided, then bleeding begins again some weeks or months later, this is likely to be your period returning (it’s best to check with your doctor if you are unsure).
Can you use a menstrual cup for postpartum bleeding?
No. It is recommended to avoid using any internal sanitary products (including menstrual cups or tampons) for postpartum bleeding or discharge, due to the higher risk of infection. You will need to be cleared by your doctor to ensure that you are fully healed and your cervix has completely closed before returning to using your JuJu cup after giving birth.
When does your period return after giving birth?
It varies - a lot! Some find that their period returned within weeks of their postpartum bleed and lochia finishing. Others find that their period doesn’t return until they finish breastfeeding.
Typically, those who do choose to breastfeed experience a longer break before their period returns due to the hormone prolactin, which is required to produce breast milk. Prolactin can suppress reproductive hormones and prevent your body from ovulating, meaning that you most likely won’t experience periods.
Can you use a menstrual cup for post-pregnancy periods?
Yes! Provided that you have been cleared by your doctor, you should be able to return to using your JuJu reusable period cup comfortably when your period returns after pregnancy.
Will you need a different size menstrual cup after birth
Sometimes, yes. Our bodies go through major changes throughout pregnancy and childbirth. After having a baby, our pelvic floor can often be weakened, our cervix may be sitting lower than previously, we may experience prolapse or our hips may have become wider.
If you were using a smaller Model 1 JuJu before becoming pregnant, it is likely that you will need to switch to a wider Model 2 to ensure that your cup stays in place and is comfortable and leak-free during your period. Your period may also return heavier after childbirth, meaning that a larger cup will be better suited to your menstrual flow to avoid frequent changes. Those with prolapse or a low cervix after birth may wish to switch to the Model 4. However, some people find that they are able to return to using their Model 1 just fine. Childbirth affects us all differently!
Refer to our size guide and quiz to choose the right size JuJu for you.