Have you ever heard of bleeding backwards? You might be wondering if such a thing even exists!
Well yes it does, and in fact it can be quite common.
This condition of bleeding backwards into the uterus and fallopian tubes is known as retrograde menstruation.
Curious to learn about what that is? This blog will explain everything you need to know about retrograde menstruation, including whether a menstrual cup can cause retrograde menstruation.
what is retrograde menstruation?
When you menstruate, the uterus sheds the endometrium lining which flows out of your cervix into your vaginal canal, and then comes out of your vagina.
In retrograde menstruation, the reverse of this process happens - which means the lining flows back from your uterus towards your fallopian tubes and toward your abdominal cavity, instead of exiting out of the vagina.
what can cause retrograde menstruation?
When we get our periods our regular menstrual flow, which is downwards from our uterus, comes out of our vagina due to synchronised contractions in the uterus.
But in some cases when your contractions are not in sync, this can lead to your period flow travelling in opposite directions - explaining the reason for retrograde menstruation.
what are the symptoms of retrograde menstruation?
Even though retrograde menstruation is not commonly talked about, it is a fairly common condition.
In fact, most people that get their period experience retrograde menstruation. People tend to be unaware about it because you can’t feel it happening inside your body and it doesn't have any specific symptoms.
Your symptoms during retrograde menstruation are often the same as the regular symptoms you may get when you’re on your period, such as cramps and abdomen pain.
While some people think that retrograde menstruation may have an impact on your fertility, there is no evidence to conclude that retrograde menstruation and fertility are related.
is retrograde menstruation normal?
Yes absolutely! Retrograde menstruation is considered a normal part of bleeding.
When the menstrual blood flows up through the vagina into the fallopian tubes and in the abdomen cavity, the body's immune system fights and dissolves it.
People who have weak immune systems or are genetically more susceptible might end up with painful periods and possibly signs of endo.
can menstrual cups cause retrograde menstruation?
No, absolutely not!
Retrograde menstruation involves menstrual flow moving backwards from your uterus towards your fallopian tubes.
As a menstrual cup sits in the vaginal canal (which is below the uterus), it is not possible for a menstrual cup to cause retrograde menstruation.
The period blood collected in the menstrual cup cannot flow back upwards into the uterus as this would involve our period flow defying gravity to re-enter the cervix or the opening of the uterus.
If you are experiencing abnormal bleeding, intense abdominal pain or any other gynaecological problems or concerns, please consult your doctor.
what is the best menstrual cup for someone experiencing retrograde menstruation?
As your menstrual cup sits at the bottom of your vaginal canal and does not cause retrograde menstruation, don’t need to factor in this condition when deciding which menstrual cup to buy.
The Asan cup’s bell shaped design ensures that your cup sits perfectly at the base of your vaginal entrance and does not travel up to your cervix.
The Asan cup was engineered with 3 holes around the rim of the cup to ensure that it creates suction when it is inside you and doesn’t move around when you’re bleeding.
can yoga cause retrograde menstruation?
No, yoga does not cause retrograde menstruation. Being upside-down for a minute or less is not likely to cause any problems.
In fact, the Asan cup is perfect for yoga as its high quality material and unique design ensures that you do not leak no matter what pose you strike.
However it is not recommended to do a long headstand while you’re on your period as this can cause some period back-flow.
can retrograde menstruation cause endometriosis? what is sampsons’ theory of retrograde menstruation?
Endometriosis (commonly known as endo) is a chronic condition in which the endometrium tissues (which grow inside the uterus) start to grow outside the uterus and also in other parts of the body.
Read this blog on endometriosis and menstrual cups to learn more about this condition.
Sampson’s theory of retrograde menstruation claims that retrograde menstruation is the main cause of endometriosis.
According to Sampson, who was a gynaecologist that researched endometriosis, the backflow of period blood that travels upwards during retrograde menstruation gets stuck in your pelvic cavity - and this causes endometriosis.
But this theory hasn’t been backed by enough evidence - so while retrograde menstruation can be a symptom of endo, it is not the main cause.
There have been cases of endo diagnosis where people who have had their uterus removed and also individuals who received hormonal therapy as a treatment for prostate cancer. In such instances, the person has developed endo despite not menstruating - which proves that Sampon’s theory of retrograde menstruation is inaccurate.
how do you treat retrograde menstruation?
You don’t need to treat retrograde menstruation. It is just a natural condition that occurs in your body and your immunity will take care of it.
If you are someone with compromised immunity or experiencing abnormal symptoms, then you should consult your doctor to avoid complications.
So are you ready to shop for your Asan cup? Shop here now.