Written by Sarah Prager and medically reviewed by Dr. Gary Levy, Reproductive Endocrinologist specializing in the treatment of fertility and complex reproductive disorders with Fertility Cloud.
If you’re deep into the trying-to-conceive (or TTC) communities online, you may have come across something called “the soft cup method” for trying to conceive. But what is it and—more importantly—does it work?
What is the soft cup method?
The soft cup method is when a menstrual cup (one brand name is Softcup) is used to keep ejaculate in the vaginal canal near the cervix after insemination. The idea behind it is that the cup will keep all of the sperm in place. It’s basically a tool to assist the concept behind laying on your back afterwards.
If you are thinking of using the soft cup method, please check in with your doctor prior to trying.
Does the soft cup method work?
There isn’t any evidence to say it does besides anecdotes. Many couples swear by it even though it has not been extensively studied.
Board-certified OBGYN Dr. Nicole Williams is skeptical: “There is not a single shred of contemporary evidence that using a menstrual cup helps improve fertility.”
One study published in 1997 did show that use of a cervical cap increased conception rates, but another from 1996 showed the opposite. Dr. Williams believes that the strongest sperm would reach the cervix without this method and giving the weaker sperm a chance to get there, if that’s what would happen, would not help. However, cervical mucus already filters out sperm with poor motility or morphology on its own. The majority of sperm do not need to reach the uterus to achieve conception. In addition, older studies demonstrated that sperm arrives in the tubes within minutes of ejaculation or insemination.
Is the soft cup method safe?
There are not enough studies done on the safety of soft cups for insemination. Don’t leave anything inserted in the vaginal canal for too long. Follow the guidelines of the cup you use and if you do have specific questions, please reach out to your doctor for guidance.
What’s the verdict?
Do not use the soft cup method with The Mosie Kit. Consult your doctor if timed intercourse isn't working or isn't an option, and if you have any questions. We wish you all the best no matter your path, and are always here to help and support you on your TTC journey. Fingers crossed for you!