Menstrual Cup Dangers
Are menstrual cups safe?
DaisyCup is 100% safe, but not all menstrual cups are danger-free. There can be some dangers to using menstrual cups – mainly due to not taking care of your menstrual cup properly. The handy guide will take you through the possible dangers of menstrual cups and what you can do to stay safe and healthy.
Whether you’re a new menstrual cup user or a seasoned pro, it’s natural to wonder what dangers menstrual cups might pose. While there are some dangers to using menstrual cups, most of these dangers can be addressed through proper care of your menstrual cup and cleaning it properly.
Using a Menstrual Cup with an IUD
DaisyCup is safe to use with an IUD (Intrauterine Device), but there are a few menstrual cup brands that do not recommend using their product with and IUD.
If you use an intrauterine device, or IUD, for birth control, you should take special care if you choose to use a menstrual cup. Opinions are mixed as to whether you should use a menstrual cup with an IUD. The main concern is that you could dislodge the IUD when using the cup. If you’re planning to use an IUD with a cup, talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. You can also talk to the cup manufacturer to see if they recommend using their cup if you have an IUD.
If you’re using a period cup with an IUD, make sure you break the cup’s seal before you try to remove it. You can break the seal by pressing on the rim before you slide out the cup. This ensures that your IUD will stay in place.
Before buying a menstrual cup online, make sure the manufacturer recommends using the cup with IUD. If you’re unsure, email or call them to ask.
The Dangers of Toxic Shock Syndrome and Menstrual Cups
Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by staph bacteria.
TSS is most commonly associated with tampon use, however failing to clean your menstrual cup can also cause TSS. Women leave their tampon in for too long and bacteria builds up causing TSS. With menstrual cups, you can leave the cup in for up to 12 hours without any dangers.
Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome include a high fever, rashes on the feet and hands, dizziness, diarrhea, and vomiting. Menstrual cups are far less likely to cause TSS, as they hold fluid rather than absorbing it. However, just to be on the safe side, make sure you change your menstrual cup at least every 12 hours.
Is it dangerous to have sex with a menstrual cup inserted?
Opinions vary as to whether or not you can engage in vaginal sex with your cup inserted. Some of the cheaper, more shallow menstrual cups claim that you can have sex with them inserted. With DaisyCup, we suggest that you do not have sex with your DaisyCup inserted – not because it’s dangerous, but depending on the length of your partner’s penis, it might be uncomfortable for him if his penis starts poking the stem of your cup.
Keep in mind, though, that a menstrual cup does not prevent pregnancy (although it’s unlikely that you’ll become pregnant during your period) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You will want to take normal measures to prevent pregnancy and prevent STIs if you’re using a cup during vaginal sex.
What about irritation?
Inserting and removing your menstrual cup has the potential to cause irritation. If you’re concerned about potential irritation, make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly before touching your cup. If inserting the cup is irritating, use a water-based lubricant to make insertion easier.
To keep your cup clean, use mild soap (not anti-bacterial) and water to wash it. Make sure the soap does not have perfume or other irritants added.
Boil your cup before your first use. You can also boil your cup between uses if you prefer. Store your cup in a container that allows for airflow, or the DaisyCup bag, which came with your cup.
The "Ick" Factor
This is less of a menstrual cup danger and more of a concern. Some women might be a bit grossed out by handling and dealing with their menstrual blood.
When you’re first using your menstrual cup, it can be a challenge to remove it without accidentally spilling out the cup. As you get used to the cup, though, you’ll find you don’t really interact with the blood any more than you did with a pad or tampon. In fact, you’ll probably enjoy not having a messy bathroom trashcan.
Of course, there’s also the factor of why you’re grossed out by period blood in the first place. Many women were raised with a sense of shame around their periods.
Depending on your family and school, periods may not have been talked about at all. Periods are a natural part of life and certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
Pain During Insertion
Pro Tip: We have a comprehensive guide to using a menstrual cup. this includes tips to prevent pain and irritation (although most women experience zero pain).
Using a menstrual cup is almost always a pain-free experience. If you’re experiencing pain when using or removing your cup, there are a few possible causes:
Not breaking the seal
If you try to remove the cup without breaking the seal, you may experience pain or cramping. To break the seal, press your finger on the rim. The cup should slide out relatively easily.
Touching the urethra
When you remove your cup, it may brush up against or push into your urethra. This can cause pain or irritation. To prevent this, push your thumb against the cup to press it down and away from your urethra as you remove the cup.
Pressure during removal
Some may feel pressure when they remove the cup. To avoid this, you can pinch the cup to give it a smaller profile as you remove it. If the cup is too full, this could cause spillage, so you may want to empty your menstrual cup more frequently when using this method.
It can be much more difficult to insert and remove the cup if you’re tense. Try to relax your vaginal muscles as you’re inserting and removing the menstrual cup. Take a few deep breaths, if needed, to encourage relaxation.
Losing the Cup (inside your vagina)
Although you may see it as a danger, the fact is, you can’t actually lose your menstrual cup in your vagina, regardless of how deep you may believe it to be.
However, the menstrual may slip up and out of reach. If this happens, first of all, don’t panic. Try to relax and push downward with your vaginal muscles. This should push the cup back down to where you can reach it. If this is happening often, you may want to try a longer cup that includes a longer stem and is easier to reach and remove.
Leaks and How to Prevent Them
Leaking can be a concern with menstrual cups. If you’re just starting to use period cups and have concerns, you may want to “double up” temporarily with pads or menstrual cloths.
Tips for preventing menstrual cup leaks:
Create a seal: Once you insert your menstrual cup, rotate it to ensure a good seal. Verify the cup has a good seal by tugging on it lightly. If there’s resistance, that means you have a good seal. If it moves easily, make sure the cup is fully open and rotate it to re-seal.
Check the positioning: Your cervix should be inside or right above the menstrual cup. Sometimes a cup can get shifted to one side or the other. If you need to, remove and reinsert the cup.
Residual blood: After you insert the cup, bear down to push the cup down. Wipe the outside of the cup with toilet paper or a wet wipe to clean off any residual blood.
Make sure the cup is open: If you’re finding your cup is frequently collapsing, you may want to try a firmer cup. After you insert the cup, you can check to see if it’s open by feeling around the rim.
Empty the cup more often: If you’re doing all these things and still getting leaks, you may need to either empty your cup more frequently or get a higher capacity cup.
Try a different cup shape: If you’re doing everything listed above and still getting leaks, you may want to try a different cup shape. Although cups are similar in shape, they aren’t identical.
A different shape may be a better fit for your needs. Another option would be to try a menstrual disc, which is similar but have a flatter, rounder shape. Many discs are for one-time use, though.
Not Being Able to Use the Restroom
It’s a common concern that using a menstrual cup will interfere with restroom use. In fact, you can use the restroom easily and normally while a cup is inserted. If the cup is pressing on your bladder, though, you may feel like you need to urinate more often. In this case, you may want to use a softer cup. Some prefer to remove their cup when they use the restroom, but it’s not necessary. It’s up to you and your personal preferences.
Stains, Odors, and Cleanliness
Menstrual cups are relatively easy to keep clean. Between periods, wash the cup with a mild soap and let it air dry. Over time, though, there is the potential for the cup to get stained or for it to have an odor.
One option for preventing stains and odors is to boil your cup between periods. You just bring a cup of water to a rolling boil and leave the cup in for three to five minutes.
Staining doesn’t harm your cup. If the stains bother you, though, you can get rid of them by soaking the cup in hydrogen peroxide. Try to avoid using bleach on your menstrual cup because it can be hard to remove and cause major irritation inside your vagina.
There are also wipes that are specifically made for use with menstrual cups.
Dealing With Menstrual Cup Odors
DaisyCup brand menstrual cups handle odors very well. We use a medical-grade silicon that works to repel odor and stains. Although with heavy use, it can be possible for stains and odors to creep up on you.
If you’re starting to notice an odor, you may want thoroughly clean your cup boiling it or soaking it in a peroxide-water mixture.
Safely Storing Your Menstrual Cup
It’s also important to store your menstrual cup appropriately. The cup needs to be exposed to air flow to dry properly, so don’t use a plastic container for storage. You can use a cotton bag (included with DaisyCup) or you can leave it on an open shelf to dry. Keep your cup away from pets, as they might see it as a fun new toy.
Bottom Line: Menstrual Cups are Not Dangerous and are Safe to Use
At the end of the day, menstrual cups are definitely not dangerous and very safe to use. Most would even argue that they are the safest way to deal with your period. At DaisyCup we believe that all women should have a better way to deal with their periods. If you have any questions about using menstrual cups, contact DaisyCup Customer Support and we’ll be glad to help!