Person taking pink menstrual cup out of packaging.
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Menstrual cups are generally considered safe.

The risks are not considered to be significant when the cup is used as recommended. It is important to consider that all menstrual products carry some degree of risk.

It is ultimately up to you to find the product and method that you are most comfortable with.

You need to know what to do with menstrual cups.

Menstrual cups are small, flexible containers that are inserted into the vaginal canal to catch menstrual blood. They are an alternative to sanitary pads.

Menstrual cups come in a variety of shapes and sizes. These include:

  • Natural rubber.
  • Silicone.
  • TPE is a type of thermoplastic elastomers.

This allows the cups to be washed and reused. Some menstrual cups can last up to 10 years. However, manufacturers do sell disposable, one-time-use menstrual cups.

You’re more likely to experience minor irritation from wearing the wrong cup size than you are to develop a severe complication like toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

Understanding how and why these problems occur can help you reduce your risk.


Irritation can happen for a number of reasons, but it is usually preventable. Proper lubrication can cause discomfort if you put the cup without it.

In many cases, applying a small amount of water-based lube to the outside of the cup can help prevent this. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations on the product packaging for further clarification.

“If the cup isn’t the right size or if it isn’t cleaned properly between uses, there can be irritation. We will discuss cup selection and care later in the article.”


There is a rare problem of menstrual cup use.

It is more likely that an infection will occur from the transfer of germs on hands to the cup than from the cup itself.

For example, yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis can develop if bacteria in the vagina — and subsequently vaginal pH — becomes imbalanced.

You can reduce your risk by washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and antibacterial soap.

You should wash your cup with warm water and a mild soap before and after use.

One over-the-counter soap to try is Neutrogena Liquid Soap. Scent-free, oil-free cleansers made for infants are also good alternatives, such as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or Dermeze Soap-Free Wash.


Toxic shock syndrome is a serious problem that can be caused by certain infections.

It occurs when Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria — which naturally exist on your skin, nose, or mouth — are pushed deeper into the body.

It is associated with leaving a tampon in for longer than recommended or wearing a higher-than-needed absorbency tampon.

It is rare for the occurrence of TSS as a result of tampon use. It is even more rare when using menstrual cups.

A 2019 review states five known reports of TSS associated with the use of a menstrual cup.

You can reduce your risk by using this method.

  • Before you remove or insert your cup, you should wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and antibacterial soap.
  • The manufacturer recommends using warm water and a mild soap to clean your cup.
  • To aid in the placement of the cup, a small amount of water or water-based lube should be applied to the outside.


“Menstrual cups are usually safe if you clean them appropriately and insert them with clean hands. If you don’t want to keep them clean, you may want to use disposable products.”


You pay a one-time price for a reusable cup — usually between $0.75 to $46.72 — and can use it for years with proper care. Disposable cups, tampons, and pads must be continually bought.


Menstrual cups that are designed for reuse cut down on the number of pads and tampons in the landfill.

Ease of use

Menstrual cups are similar to tampons in terms of their ability to be inserted. Learning to remove the menstrual cup can take time and practice, but it gets easier with repeated use.

Holding volume

Menstrual cups can hold a lot of blood, but on heavy days you may have to change them more frequently than you are used to.

You can wait up to 12 hours, the max recommended time, before you have to change your cup, whereas you may need to change a pad or tampon every 4 to 6 hours.


“If you have an IUD, menstrual hygiene products are safe to use. There aren’t many large-scale reviews that report menstrual cup use affects IUD location.”

However, one review found seven reports of women who experienced IUD expulsion while using a menstrual cup. Four out of the seven women had their IUDs placed as recently as 6 weeks to 13 months, which could potentially have affected placement.

However, researchers in one older 2012 study found your risk for IUD expulsion is the same regardless of whether you use a menstrual cup.

Vaginal sex

If you have vaginal sex while wearing a tampon, the tampon may get pushed higher into the body and become stuck. The longer it’s there, the more likely it is to cause complications.

The position of menstrual cups may make them uncomfortable to penetrate.

Some cups may be more comfortable than others. The Ziggy Cup, for example, was designed to accommodate vaginal sex.

The medical consensus is that menstrual cups are safe.

“The risk of adverse side effects is minimal if you use the cup as directed. Some people like them because they don’t have to be changed often.”

It comes down to your comfort level.

If you have experienced vaginal infections and are concerned about increasing your risk, talk to a doctor or other healthcare professional.

They can answer any questions you have and can recommend a specific cup or other menstrual product.

“Although there aren’t any official guidelines around this, cups may not be an option for everyone.”

If you have, you may want to talk with a healthcare professional.

  • Vaginismus can make vaginal penetration painful.
  • Heavy periods and pain in the uterus can be caused by uterine fibroids.
  • It can result in painful menstruation and penetration.
  • Cup placement can be affected by variations in the uterus.

“It doesn’t mean that you can’t use a menstrual cup if you have one or more of these conditions. It just means that you may experience more pain.”

Your provider can discuss your risks and benefits with you.

Menstrual cups offer several benefits to the user. These include:

  • People trying to save money on menstrual products. Because menstrual cups last a long time, you can save money from having to purchase tampons or pads.
  • Those looking to minimize menstrual odor. While there’s a learning curve for menstrual cup insertion, an estimated 90 percent of those who use menstrual cups find them easy to use and enjoy the dryness and less odor compared to other menstrual management methods. One of the major keys is to ensure a menstrual cup is well-fitting. If the cup leaks or is difficult to remove, these are signs the cup doesn’t fit well.
  • People trying to reduce their carbon footprint. Menstrual cups generate less trash and require fewer purchases, making them an environmentally friendly option.

There are many reasons why you might find menstrual cups more beneficial than other options.

Menstrual cups can be in a variety of shapes and sizes. It can be hard to know the best one to buy. There are a few tips.


“Most manufacturers offer a cup in either a small or large size. There isn’t a standard for size dimensions.”

“The cup’s diameter is usually 35 to 43mm. The cup diameter is usually 43 to 48mm.”

Pro tip

As a general rule, select a cup based on your age and history of childbirth rather than your anticipated flow.
Although the volume the cup can hold is important, you want to make sure that the cup is wide enough to stay in place.

If you have never had intercourse or use feminine hygiene products, a smaller cup is best.

If you have had a vaginal delivery or have a weak Pelvic floor, a larger cup may be the best option.

Sometimes, finding the right size is a matter of trial and error.


Most menstrual cups are made from Silicone.. However, some are made from rubber or contain rubber components. This means if you’re allergic to latex, the material could cause irritation.

Before using a menstrual product, you should read the product label to learn more about the materials.

Instructions for care and cleaning should be in your cup. Some general guidelines are here.

Initial cleaning

It is important to sterilize your menstrual cup before you use it.

To do this

  1. The cup should be submerged in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes.
  2. The cup should be emptied and put in a room temperature container.
  3. Warm water and soap are good for washing hands.
  4. The cup should be washed with a mild, water-based soap.
  5. The cup needs to be dry.


Before you put your cup in, wash your hands.

“You could also apply a water-based lube to the cup. This can make it easier to insert. Before using lube, make sure you check the manufacturer’s recommendations on the product packaging.”

As a general rule, Silicone.- and oil-based lube may cause certain cups to degrade. Water and water-based lube may be safer alternatives.

You should insert when you are ready.

  1. The menstrual cup should be folded in half and held in one hand.
  2. Insert the cup, rim up, into your vagina like you would a tampon without an applicator. It should sit a few inches below your cervix.
  3. If the cup is in your vagina, you should rotate it. It will start to expand to create an impermeable seal.
  4. You may have to twist it or move it slightly for comfort, so adjust as needed.


You can wear your cup for up to 12 hours if your flow is heavy.

You should remove your cup by the time you finish. This helps prevent a build up ofbacteria.

To empty your cup.

  1. Warm water and soap are good for washing hands.
  2. Put your thumb and index finger in your vagina.
  3. Pull the base of the menstrual cup to remove it. If you pull on the stem, you could have a mess on your hands.
  4. The cup should be emptied into the sink or toilet.
  5. Put the cup under tap water and wash it thoroughly.
  6. After you are done, wash your hands.

After your period is over, you should put your cup in the boiling water for a few minutes. This will help prevent the spread of diseases.


“An airtight container won’t allow the water to evaporate, so you shouldn’t store your cup there. Any present of moist air can be attracted bybacteria or fungi.”

The cup should be stored in a cotton pouch or an open bag.

If you find that your cup is discolored, damaged or has a foul-smelling odor, you should throw it out. The risk of infections may increase if you use the cup in this state.

It is possible that an infection is possible. If you begin to experience symptoms, you should see a healthcare professional.

  • unusual vaginal discharge
  • There are vaginal pains or soreness.
  • burning during intercourse
  • The vagina has a foul odor.

If you experience any of the above, you should seek immediate medical attention.

  • A high temperature.
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • It may resemble sunburn.

Can menstrual cups cause internal damage?

Generally speaking, menstrual cups don’t cause significant injury, pain, or discomfort. In a systematic review of 13 studies with an estimated 1,144 menstrual cup users, there were reports of only five users who experienced either severe pain or vaginal wounds.

Is it bad to wear a menstrual cup every day?

“There aren’t many long-term studies on wearing menstrual cups outside of your menstrual cycle. Some people may wear them to try and reduce discharge.”

If you follow the rules of safe menstrual cup wear, you should be able to wear one every day. If you have a lot of discharge, you may want to rule out an underlying medical condition.

Are menstrual cups gynecologist-recommended?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists lists menstrual cups as a menstrual management option but doesn’t endorse one method over another. Your decision to use a menstrual cup is your preference.

If you experience vaginal infections, you should talk to your doctor about whether a menstrual cup is right for you.

When used correctly, menstrual cups can be a safe, cost- and environmentally-friendly alternative to other menstrual management methods. While using a menstrual cup may involve a learning curve, they offer benefits in comfort when properly inserted. With time and practice, you may find using a menstrual cup is your preferred option.