Menstrual Cup Dangers; The Facts
There are many benefits to using a menstrual cup but not a lot of information on the problems with menstrual cups and potential menstrual cup side effects. In this article we are going to look at exactly what are the menstrual cup dangers, and how we can avoid them when first figuring out how to use a menstrual cup.
Why Menstrual Cups are Bad?
If you are struggling with your menstrual cup or first researching menstrual cups, you might think menstrual cups are bad for you or not something that will work for you. This is usually due to misunderstanding, and not fully understanding menstrual cup dangers. One of the main points that comes about is the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. This is an infection of the blood, and is mostly associated with tampon use (read your box of tampons; it carries a warning!). However, there has actually only been one known case of TSS with a menstrual cup. So what are the real menstrual cup dangers?
Menstrual Cup Dangers
NOT CLEANING A MENSTRUAL CUP PROPERLY
Most of the reputable menstrual cups that I've come across has always included information on how to clean your menstrual cup. This is very important as you need to clean your cup properly for it to be safe for your body. If a menstrual cup still has bodily waste on it and is not washed off, bacteria can form which can lead to infection in the body. This is what may cause TSS, which can then lead to high fever, rash and in rare cases, death.
However, a correctly cleaned menstrual cup will be safe for your body. It can also last you for years thus saving you money and also helping the environment!
Remember to clean it thoroughly before and after a cycle, and rinse off the cup properly while on your cycle. Here's some more tips on how to clean your menstrual cup.
USING THE WRONG PRODUCTS TO CLEAN A MENSTRUAL CUP
We know cleaning your menstrual cup is important, but there are good ways to clean your cup and also bad ways. Lately, I've noticed some articles encouraging women to clean their cups with perfumed soaps or wet-wipes. This is something I would not advise, as the chemicals in these products can leave residue on the cup. This could then alter your vagina's pH levels when you use your cup, or could damage the silicone of the cup.
I prefer cleaning my menstrual cup the good old fashioned way, by sterilizing it with water. I like to boil it in hot water on my stove or use this very easy to use menstrual cup steamer.
Pixie Cup Steamer
kills 99.9% germs and bacteria
Diva Cup Model 1 and Wash
Perfect for beginners and 100% plant based wash
NOT INSERTING A MENSTRUAL CUP PROPERLY
Irritation of the vulva and vagina area is another menstrual cup danger. This is usually caused by not inserting or using a menstrual cup properly. The first few times using a menstrual cup will be tricky, but after a few tries, you most likely will have found your preferred way of inserting your menstrual cup.
Inserting the cup is generally by folding the lip of the cup, and then pushing it into your vagina. If you use too much force, this can hurt the sensitive parts of your vulva. Make sure you are relaxed and comfortable when inserting the cup. You may want to squat or lift one leg onto the toilet seat to get a better angle. You can also use a bit of water on the cup or this menstrual cup lubricant to make it easier to slide in.
Pixie Cup Lube
All natural lubricant
NOT REMOVING A MENSTRUAL CUP PROPERLY
There are definitely some horror stories of not removing a menstrual cup properly. My first time removing a cup was terrifying as it simply would not come out. I was about to yank it out (bad idea) before I realised I had to relax and slowly ease the menstrual cup out. Never ever just pull on the cup as there is a slight suction on your vagina walls. Ouchies. Instead, you need to slightly pinch the cup to break the seal first. Here's a few tips we've learnt along the way on how to correctly remove a menstrual cup.
HAVING THE WRONG SIZE MENSTRUAL CUP
One of the biggest reasons for discomfort when using a menstrual cup is because you are 'wearing' the wrong size. This is a very common menstrual cup danger as it can cause pain and/or leakage if you have the wrong menstrual cup size. Some women opt for larger menstrual cup based on their age or whether they have gone through childbirth, but at the end of the day there is no menstrual cup that is one size fits all. You may have to go through a few different cups before finding that perfect Goldilocks menstrual cup for your body. Here are some tips to find out the right menstrual cup size for you.
NOT STORING YOUR MENSTRUAL CUP PROPERLY
Once you have cleaned your menstrual cup properly after a cycle, you will need to store the cup properly so that the cup doesn't become a petri dish ripe for bacteria! The best way to avoid this is to make sure you keep the cup in a breathable pouch or silicone container. You do not want to keep the menstrual cup in a plastic bag which can get humid and does not allow air flow. Always allow the menstrual cup to dry properly and in the shade before putting it away. Most menstrual cups will come with a cute satin or cotton pouch that is perfect to store in your underwear drawer or handbag.
USING A MENSTRUAL CUP WITH AN IUD
One potential danger of using a menstrual cup is if you use one with an IUD. Depending on the cup and your IUD, the two could be incompatible, though this is quite rare. In extreme cases the menstrual cup could lead to your IUD being moved or being pulled out during removal. An IUD could also interfere with the menstrual cup if the strings get caught in between the cup and the vaginal walls leading to leaking. Luckily, we've looked into this danger and found some of the best menstrual cups when using an IUD.
So How Dangerous is a Menstrual Cup Really?
As you can see there are some menstrual cup dangers and problems with menstrual cups that people don't always talk about. However, a lot of these things can be avoided by knowing how to use menstrual cup properly and choosing the right cup for you. There are not many menstrual cup disadvantages but lots of menstrual cup advantages, such as sleeping with a menstrual cup or doing sports such as running or swimming with a menstrual cup. Menstrual cups are definitely a safe and convenient option when on your period!