Menstrual Cups FAQs
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene product (like tampons, pads and liners) made of latex, silicone or thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). It is usually bell-shaped, around 2 inches long and flexible. A menstrual cup is worn internally, but collects menstrual fluid rather than absorbs. Unlike pads and tampons, a menstrual cup is reusable and can last for years.
Why should I switch to a menstrual cup?
There are many benefits to using a menstrual cup. Menstrual cups collect flow, not absorb. As such, they don't dry you out or disrupt the pH levels of your vagina. They are also comfortable when inserted correctly, and have a greater capacity than pads or tampons. Using cups minimizes the waste created every cycle, and are cheaper in the long run.
Is the menstrual cup safe to insert into my body?
All brands of menstrual cups we bring in are made of high quality medical-grade silicone. Quality matters to us because we don't want to insert any dubious materials into the vagina! We do not stock any menstrual cups that are made of unknown quality materials, or are knock-offs of established brands. Although such cups can be purchased at very low prices on websites such as AliExpress, we only wish to bring in the highest quality items for our customers.
All the brands of cups that we carry are registered with the FDA in the US. You can refer to this blog post where we discuss FDA approval and registration of menstrual cups. You may also refer to the quality and standards of both Lunette and LENA cups for your peace of mind.
Which menstrual cup is right for me?
There are several factors to consider when choosing a menstrual cup, namely the amount of flow, your anatomy, the location of your cervix, and the stiffness of the cup. Read our guide on how to select the right menstrual cup based on these factors. After that, you can refer to our comparison chart to decide which cup suits you best!
Do menstrual cups cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)?
TSS is a medical condition caused by infection of a bacteria that produces a toxin that triggers the immune system to go haywire. TSS can happen to anyone (even men and babies), whether menstruating or not. However, it is often inaccurately linked to solely the use of tampons. It is important to note that there have been cases linked to use of sanitary pads, as well.
TSS has also been known to be recurrent, even after an individual has stopped using the product (tampon or pad) that had triggered it. TSS can be fatal, but early detection can help save lives. You need to be aware of the symptoms of TSS, which include:
- Severe flu-like symptoms such as muscle aches and pains, stomach cramps, a headache, or a sore throat.
- Sudden fever over 39°C (102°F).
- Vomiting and diarrhea.
- Signs of shock, including low blood pressure and rapid heartbeat, often with light-headedness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, or restlessness and confusion.
- A rash that looks like a sunburn. The rash can be over several areas of your body or just in specific places such as the armpits or the groin.
- Pain at the site of an infection (if a wound or injury to the skin is involved).
- Redness in the nasal passages and inside the mouth.
Studies of TSS in menstrual cup users is extremely limited, and due to a lack of conclusive evidence, no medical authority has taken a stand as to whether menstrual cups can cause TSS. In July 2015, there was a case report in the UK, of a woman using menstrual cups who presented symptoms of TSS. However, her blood and urine test results were negative for the staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria linked to TSS.
If you think you may have TSS, please see a doctor right away. If you have ever had TSS before, speak to your doctor before using any internal products.
If you would like to have access to this case report from UK, please contact us via email.
Can the cup be used as a method of birth control or STD protection?
No, it cannot.
There are holes in my cup! Is it a defect?
No, it's not a defect! The tiny holes near the rim of your cup allow air to flow inside the cup when breaking the seal, making it easier for removal.
Can I use a menstrual cup when...
...I have an IUD?
If you do use an IUD, consider cutting the strings as short as possible and monitoring their length regularly during periods. If the strings seem longer than normal, it might be a sign that your IUD has moved. If in doubt, please consult your doctor.
...I'm a virgin?
If you have not had sexual intercourse before, you can still use the menstrual cup, although a softer and smaller cup may be more suitable. However, this is just a guideline; there are other factors to consider when selecting a cup. Do note that first time users may take slightly longer to master the use of a cup.
...I've never tried tampons before?
Yes, you can still use a menstrual cup. However, you may take slightly longer to master the use of a cup.
...I am pregnant, but sometimes still experience spotting?
You should not use the cup while you are pregnant. The vaginal canal should always be kept clear during this time, even in early stages, for safety reasons. Your pH levels are also extremely sensitive due to the chemical changes in your body during this time. Women are very prone to vaginal infections during pregnancy because of this, even if they are not doing anything differently. Wearing something inside the vagina is not best at this time.
...I am having sexual intercourse?
Only the Ziggy Cup is designed to be worn during sexual intercourse. It sits higher up in the vagina, just below the cervix.
...I just had a baby?
You should not use a cup for postpartum bleeding. Please wait until your doctor tells you it is OK to use internal vaginal products.
...I have long nails?
You can, but you may need to be more careful during insertion and removal. The material of the cup is thick enough that your nails will not damage it, but long nails may hurt the delicate skin in that area if special care is not taken.
...I have a tilted uterus?
Most people can. You may need to find the angle that works best for you. However, please consult with your doctor before trying a cup.
...I have Endometriosis?
Many people with Endometriosis do use a cup, but again, if you have a medical condition of any kind, you should always check with your doctor before trying new products.
How do I clean my cup?
Before using the cup for the first time, check that the air holes at the top are open. Wash your hands and clean the cup by washing with water and a mild soap. Then boil it in a large pot for 20 minutes before first use. You may place the cup in a wire whisk to prevent contact with the bottom of the pot during boiling, which may damage it.
During your period, it is best to wash your cup with mild soap and warm water every time you empty it. However, if you are using a public restroom, camping, travelling or just do not have access to running water you can either rinse your cup with bottled water or wipe it with a piece of clean tissue – once convenient, wash your cup thoroughly.
After your period has ended, clean the cup thoroughly with mild soap and warm water. You may also choose to boil your cup for 5-10 minutes. Let the cup sit near a sunny window to remove discolouration and odour. Store the cup in the cotton pouch or any breathable container or bag.
You can refer to this blog post for a thorough guide on cleaning and caring for your menstrual cup!
How often should I replace my cup?
Every cup stocked by LiveLoveLuna is built to last for years. However, we have customers who change them once a year (still cheaper than disposables!), or even own multiple cups in different sizes and colours for different days!
In general, if you notice any deterioration or wear and tear, such as a sticky or powdery film, splitting of the cup, or severe discolouration and odour, it's time to replace your cup.