Can A Menstrual Cup Strengthen Your Vagina?
The strength of your vaginal muscles impacts many things. From their help in preventing a cystocele and rectocele prolapse to sexual pleasure, the strength of a vagina & pelvic floor is very important. As an Occupational Therapist and Menstrual Cup user, I’ve often wondered if a menstrual cup can actually strengthen my vagina. I mean, people use ben wa balls and other kegel exercisers that are held in the vaginal canal to increase strength, why not a cup?
Disclosure: The following text is for informational purposes only and should not be mistaken for medical advice. For individual concerns & treatment please consult your doctor.
There are several different ways we exercise our bodies. We lengthen and shorten our muscles to move our joints, like doing a curl with your arm and bending your elbow, and we also do exercises that don’t move our joints called isometric contractions. If you’ve ever seen anyone do a plank or just squeezed a muscle without moving your body you are already familiar with these.
“The vagina is an elastic, muscular tube connecting the cervix of the uterus to the vulva and exterior of the body.” (1)
I have a theory that using a menstrual cup can strengthen your vagina, much in the way many other pelvic floor exercises do. Now, not like vagina weightlifting or using a neuromuscular kegel trainer can…but I do believe it can be strengthened by menstrual cup use.
How does a menstrual cup stay in place?
There are several things keeping a menstrual cup in place. The cup pushing on your vaginal walls and the vaginal walls & associated structures pushing back on the cup. If your body pushes back too hard for the cup’s firmness, it gets crushed and the menstrual cup leaks. If the cup pushes just enough on the vaginal walls it stays open well enough to collect…even during exercise.
While firmness may be a personal preference for sensitive anatomy the fact remains that the cup needs to stay open, at least at the rim, to fill with menstrual fluids.
Isometric contraction of the vagina.
Like holding a vaginal exerciser in place, holding a menstrual cup in place directly in the vaginal canal requires some level of isometric contraction. Over time I believe this can lead to vaginal strengthening. Now, it’s limited to the resistance the cup provides and the weight of menstrual fluids in the cup…but the potential is there!
While this is just a theory, I have not run any studies or tested participants, I do have personal experience with menstrual cups and vaginal endurance.
Have you ever gone running? Maybe at first, you can run a half mile. After a few weeks of training perhaps you can run two miles. After months of consistent training maybe you can even complete a 5k or 3.2 miles or so. Over time your body gets stronger and you develop more endurance.
I have a theory that the vagina has endurance too.
When I first started using a menstrual cup I felt as though it was heavy as it started to fill with menstrual fluids and literally got heavier. For some, the cup actually comes out. This is often referred to as birthing a menstrual cup.
As time has progressed I’ve been able to wear it longer and longer because, I believe, my vaginal endurance and strength had increased.
This may be all food for thought but I feel like it’s worth putting out into the universe. What do you think? Can a menstrual cup increase the strength of your vagina?
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