Menstrual cups are used in place of tampons or sanitary pads, and now it turns out they’re being used by women who are trying to conceive as well.
A menstrual cup pregnancy hack?
The cups, which are usually made of silicone or latex, sit inside the vagina and are designed to catch menstrual fluid.
Now some women who are hoping to increase their chances of getting pregnant are either putting the cup in straight after their partner ejaculates or getting their partners to ejaculate into the cup and then popping it in place.
“A menstrual cup full of sperm allows the sperm to only move in only one direction and that is towards the egg,” Dr Sherry Ross told Parents Magazine.
The right environment?
Proponents of this method say that the menstrual cup provides a brilliant environment for little swimmers.
“Male deposit can live up to three days in a woman’s body when not exposed to air,” writer Charlotte Doyle explained via website, We Have Kids.
“Without the menstrual cup, the potential babies may die inside of the first twelve hours. The menstrual cup provides an environment that is mostly free from open air, and it also provides an environment that is moist and warm.”
Read more about conception:
- “Swipe right”: How do sperm find their way to the egg?
- These undies probably give dads-to-be stronger swimmers, according to science
- 7 foods HE can eat to increase your chances of conceiving
- Single and wanting a baby? Here are your options
Yes and no
Aside from the anecdotal accounts of how the menstrual cup method might help with conception, what does the science say?
Researchers have found that almost 100 percent of sperm flow out of a woman’s body after sex, with less than one percent being retained. So when we note this, it does seem like a good idea to trap sperm inside if you’re trying to conceive.
That said, it’s also been shown that vaginal fluids can damage sperm and make conception trickier. Hmm.
BUT other fluids, like cervical mucous – especially a special type of cervical mucous that is super-hydrated – can increase the chances of conception.
The jury is still out
It’s a complex issue and a very delicate balance it would seem.
There’s anecdotal evidence on various parenting forums attributing pregnancy to the use of a menstrual cup, but it’s not really possible to know whether the cup was indeed what helped sperm meet egg. (They also note that trying to do this can be a bit of a juggle – and messy at times!)
So with all that in mind, there’s no harm in trying this method – and it might increase the chances of conceiving. Or it might not.
In short, the jury is still out.