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According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada regular menstrual cycles occur every 21 to 35 days, and most women menstruate an average of three to eight days. Certain drugs taken to manage MS can cause irregular menstrual cycles, such as unusually heavy or light flows, spotting in between cycles or temporary cessation of menstruation.

Women with MS often report that their symptoms feel worse at certain points in their menstrual cycle, typically just before their menstrual cycle, but there is limited research data available about the effect of menstruation on MS.

There are many feminine products available on the market, though some may be easier to use than others depending on MS symptoms such as cognitive change, mobility limitations, tremor and spasticity. While all products require manual dexterity, some may be easier to use than others. Women with cognitive change, limited upper or lower limb mobility, tremor or spasticity may find it more difficult to use tampons because they need to be changed every four to six hours.

A menstrual cup is self-inserted in to the vagina and can remain inserted for up to 12 hours. The cup, made from silicone, can be washed and re-used for one year (replace annually). Disposable menstrual pads and pantiliners provide varying levels of protection and must be replaced frequently throughout the day. Re-usable fabric menstrual pads are available but have Velcro straps that must be secured around the panty and require proper washing with detergent so may not be an ideal option for some women.

For more information about side effects of MS drugs on menstrual cycles please consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist. 

This information is made possible by SHOPPERS LOVE.YOU., committed to putting women’s health first.

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