Menstrual Cups: Medical & Health Related FAQs
Are menstrual cups safe and healthy to use?
As long as the menstrual cup manufacturer followed all of the health and safety regulations for their country, menstrual cups are generally a very safe option for period care. Safe handling and thorough cleaning will increase the life-span of the menstrual cup and minimize any health risks to the user.
Will a menstrual cup cause any vaginal infections?
Reputable menstrual cups are not known to cause vaginal infections on their own, and very few users report any adverse effects.
If a you have a vaginal infection or yeast infection (candida) and decide to use your menstrual cup, it is recommended to discontinue use until the infection is treated and clears up. Additionally, users are advised to thoroughly clean their menstrual cup if used during an infection.
Can menstrual cups cause allergic reactions?
If you have allergies or sensitivities to latex or rubber, there are only a couple of cups that you’ll need to be careful to avoid. The majority of menstrual cups on the market are made of silicone, and silicone allergies are very rare. However, if you are allergic to silicone, there are a few menstrual cups made of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) or rubber that may be an option.
Read our full article on allergies and menstrual cups.
Will the use of a menstrual cup cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS)?
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a very rare but life-threatening illness that can affect anyone. However, it was more common among people who used high absorbency tampons made primarily with synthetic materials such as rayon. Over the years, tampon blends have changed to contain less rayon and users are instructed to change them more frequently.
Menstrual cups, themselves, do not cause TSS; TSS is caused by one of two types of bacteria that enters through broken skin.
Does using menstrual cups cause menstrual cramps or make them worse?
This has not been scientifically proven. There are people who experience the same amount of cramps that they had while using tampons or pads. However, many people who use menstrual cups claim that their cramps have subsided.
If a virgin uses a menstrual cup, will it compromise their hymen?
Many people have different beliefs and/or definitions of virginity. If you believe that losing your virginity consists of the hymen being altered, then a menstrual cup may not be the product for you. However, there are people who have used a menstrual cup successfully and kept their hymen intact. Using a small or narrow cup with a water-based personal lubricant may help ease the cup in if it’s what you choose to do. Please remember that many people believe that the hymen may be altered during daily activities and/or sports. Additionally, some people were not born with one.
Can I wear a menstrual cup while having sex?
Most menstrual cup companies suggest against using their menstrual cup while having penetrative sex; however, some companies say that the risk is up to the user. There is a type of menstrual cup or ‘disc’ specifically designed to be worn for mess-free period sex. SoftCup (disposable), FlexFits (disposable), Ziggy (reusable), and Lumma Unique (reusable) are a few.
Can I use a menstrual cup with an IUD?
Many people have successfully used both an IUD and a menstrual cup. If you’re thinking about using internal birth control with your menstrual cup, speak with your gynecologist prior to the procedure. Your doctor can trim the IUD strings and make them shorter to minimize the chances of the IUD becoming dislodged.
Will a menstrual cup prevent pregnancy?
No. A menstrual cup is not a contraceptive and will not prevent an unplanned pregnancy.
Can a menstrual cup prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases?
No. A menstrual cup will NOT protect you from any type of sexually transmitted diseases or sexually transmitted infections.
If I have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), can I still use a menstrual cup?
To be safe and to minimize the chances of reinfection, it is suggested that you discontinue using a menstrual cup until the STI or STD has been cleared by a doctor. Because most of the STIs and STDs have a short survival rate without a host, clean the cup well (rolling boil suggested) and store it for the time being.
Can I share my menstrual cup with someone else?
While it is not suggested by most companies, there are means of sanitizing a menstrual cup for sharing. Do this at your own risk.
Do I have to remove the menstrual cup to have bowel movements or to urinate?
No. If you’re comfortable wearing the cup while you use the bathroom, there is not need to remove it.
I have a vaginal infection, can I still use my menstrual cup?
To be safe and to minimize the chances of reinfection, it is suggested that you discontinue using the menstrual cup until the infection has been cleared by a doctor. Clean the cup well (rolling boil suggested) and store it for the time being.
I just had a baby 5 days ago, can I wear a menstrual cup for the bleeding?
No. To minimize the chance of infections, a menstrual cup should not be worn during postpartum bleeding. It is common practice that nothing is inserted into the vaginal for at least six weeks after giving birth. Please speak to your doctor about when they think would be the best time to resume using a menstrual cup.
I have endometriosis, can I still use a menstrual cup?
Yes. People with endometriosis can and have used a menstrual cup successfully. In fact, many people prefer a menstrual cup over other menstrual products because it has more capacity than disposable items. Furthermore, many people claim that it is more comfortable because they do not feel the “gushing” that they normally do while using a tampon or pad.
Is it safe to use a menstrual cup if I have a prolapsed uterus?
Yes. There are many people who have a type of uterine prolapse and use menstrual cups with success; however, it depends on the degree of the prolapse. A key factor for positioning the cup correctly is to locate and measure the cervix. Some find that cups with a wider diameter are easier to position.
Can a menstrual cup still work safely for someone who has a tilted uterus?
Yes. There are many people who have tipped or tilted uterus and use menstrual cups with success. A key factor for positioning the cup correctly is to locate and measure the cervix. Some find that cups with a wider diameter are easier to position.