A woman has sparked a conversation online after claiming that her menstrual cup was stuck inside her uterus for a "minimum of seven months".
Taking to social media to share her story, author Nicole Cliffe told her 18.6k followers: "This Diva Cup was in my *uterus* (not my vagina) for a minimum of 7 months."
Cliffe went on to say that she had been "feeling rough" and had feared her menstrual cup had unusually moved into her cervix as she had "felt it" and "knew it could only be this".
"I tried for hours to get it out," she added, revealing that her partner then took her to hospital "covered in blood". But at the ER, she claimed her concerns were dismissed. "They laughed at me and said it was not possible for it to have gotten into my uterus, also I must mean my vagina. I said I have had three vaginal births and I know the difference. They laughed again."
Cliffe continued: "A nurse fished around for it, I wasn’t even in stirrups. Since it was not in my vagina, she did not find it. I asked for an ultrasound. There was something on the ultrasound but the imaging wasn’t great (why did they not send me upstairs to the 3D ultrasound?) and they said it was a fibroid or a cyst."
After this, Cliffe said she made a follow-up appointment to see an ob/gyn who just "looked at the ultrasound and didn’t do a new one, nor did he perform a full pelvic." With no resolution, the author said she subsequently had a UTI every six weeks resulting in numerous bouts of antibiotics. "It would knock out the symptoms, but obviously it couldn’t clear the source of the infection," she said.
"I was bleeding for almost seven months because my uterus was trying to get rid of it," Cliffe claimed. "I could have gone septic at any point (it ate my fat/my muscles/produced a constant fever which gave me my neurological issues), but it became an active emergency about two weeks before I got it out, because it shifted and pinned my colon shut."
Cliffe said the ordeal left her feeling like she "was dying", but it came to an end when the cup's suction was "popped" during sex. "I felt a moment of mind-bending agony, SCREAMED and was in a massive pool of blood," she recalled. "I ran to the bathroom, it was halfway out of my cervix. I could not live another moment like this and I did my best to fold it and yank it out."
Describing the experience as the "most painful moment" of her life, Cliffe said she eventually managed to remove the cup herself. Unsurprisingly, the comments section under her post was full of concerned fans and followers – with many questioning the safety of using a menstrual cup. Although, it's worth noting that in her posts, Cliffe did not suggest the Diva Cup was faulty.
Are menstrual cups safe?
Previously speaking to Cosmopolitan UK – in light of a period cup user claiming it had "sucked out" their cervix – Dr Nitu Bajekal, consultant gynaecologist and co-author of Living PCOS Free, told us: "Technically the menstrual cup sits in the vagina and not over the cervix. However, it is possible the user may either push it too high so it is close to the cervix."
As for how you can tell if your period cup is sitting too close to your cervix, Dr Bajekal says: "If, with a finger, you can feel that the cup is high up, you can gently pull it down after releasing the pressure, or reinsert it." Try not to worry though, as the expert reminds us that period cups (as well as tampons) cannot get lost inside your body.
"Knowing the different parts of your body and how they work is really important when it comes to avoiding panic and using menstrual or contraceptive methods properly," she tells us. "[This also means that] when things go wrong, you know to seek timely medical advice."
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Cosmopolitan UK has reached out to Diva Cup for comment.
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