Does using tampons or menstrual cups increase early IUD expulsion rates?

Contraception. 2012 Aug;86(2):119-21. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.12.002. Epub 2012 Mar 28.


Background: Many intrauterine device (IUD) users utilize intravaginal menstrual cups or tampons during menses, but no studies have investigated the impact this practice may have on IUD expulsions.

Study design: Retrospective chart survey.

Results: Of the 930 women having IUDs placed and reporting menstrual protection, 10.3% (96) used menstrual cups, 74.2% (690) used tampons, and 43.2% (402) used pads (many women reported using more than one method). In the 743 women with adequate follow-up information, there was a full or partial expulsion (i.e., part of the IUD in the cervical canal) rate of 2.5% (27) during the first 6 weeks after insertion. There was no difference in the women using cups, tampons or pads (confidence intervals overlap).

Conclusions: From this study, there is no evidence that women who report using menstrual cups or tampons for menstrual protection had higher rates of early IUD expulsion.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Device Expulsion / etiology*
  • Intrauterine Devices, Medicated
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Medical Records
  • Menstrual Hygiene Products / adverse effects*
  • Reproductive Health Services
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Levonorgestrel