The benefits and harms of menstrual cups

Photo by Vanessa Ramirez from Pexels

In recent years, menstrual cups have become very popular. In favor of their choice, you can cite such advantages as hygiene, safety, and lack of smell on critical days. Also, reusable caps are much more convenient than tampons or pads that need to be replenished monthly. Let’s take a closer look at what benefits they bring on critical days and whether menstrual cups are so safe for women’s health.

Benefits of menstrual cups
It is worth making the choice in favor of reusable cups for the following reasons:

  • Environmental friendliness. Considering the pros and cons of menstrual cups, one cannot fail to note one of its main advantages – the possibility of repeated use. On average, a woman uses about 11 thousand disposable hygiene products in her life, which does not benefit the environment. The silicone mouthguard will help reduce waste and reduce your ecological footprint.
  • Reliability. The standard L-size cup can hold 3 times more menstrual flow than a tampon, providing reliable protection even with heavy flow. With it, you can continue to lead an active lifestyle with health benefits: go in for sports and even swim without the risk of leakage and any harm.
  • No smell. Silicone cups, once inserted into the vagina, collect menstrual flow rather than absorb it. The blood in the cup does not come into contact with air, so there is no specific smell during menstruation, which undoubtedly speaks in favor of choosing a reusable mouth guard.
  • Comfort. If the cup is inserted correctly, it is not felt when worn. Thanks to the soft silicone, the cup does not cause irritation and does not dry out the vaginal mucosa. A woman can go about her usual activities without any discomfort and harm to her health.
  • Profitability. The fact that the cost pays off after a few months of use also speaks in favor of reusable cups. With proper care, one cup can be used for up to 10 years without the monthly costs of pads or tampons.
  • Security. In the manufacture of cups, hypoallergenic materials are used without the addition of toxins and other hazardous substances that do not bring health benefits. Test results on whether menstrual cups are harmful have shown that the products, when used, do not have a toxic or irritating effect on the body and do not cause harm.

In favor of using a silicone mouthguard, you can also add that it has practically no contraindications and can be used even in adolescence without harm to health.

Cons of menstrual cups
Compared to the many pluses of the menstrual cup, the minuses are much smaller. More often, women complain about the following problems when using a mouth guard:

  • The need to rinse the cup every time it is removed. This is not always convenient, since, in different situations, a woman may not have access to running water.
  • Risk of cup leakage. This happens if the product is overfilled or incorrectly installed.
  • Difficulty choosing the right model. Due to the large assortment of cups, a woman can choose a model of the wrong size or shape, which will be inconvenient to use and will harm, not benefit.
  • Discomfort due to the presence of a foreign object in the vagina. Some people feel uncomfortable wearing a reusable mouthguard and feel it even after a period of habituation.

If for some reason your stomach aches from the menstrual cup, you experience pain or constant psychological/physical discomfort when using it, then it is better to opt for disposable intimate hygiene products.

Are menstrual cups dangerous for women’s health?
Some women are wary of wearing a reusable cup due to potential health risks. Let’s take a look at the most common fears about using a cup:

  • Menstrual flow that is in the vagina for 8-12 hours can provoke the growth of pathogens. In fact, this is not the case. The blood that accumulates in the cup does not come into contact with the vaginal mucosa and air, so the risk of infection and harm to health is excluded.
  • When using the cup, blood may return to the uterine cavity. The female genitals are arranged in such a way that this is impossible for physiological reasons. The tangible benefit of the mouthguard is that it can be used even with active sports without harm to health.
  • The vacuum effect created by the insertion of the mouthguard is harmful to the female body. The harm from the vacuum from the menstrual cup is a delusion. Due to the tightness, the cup, on the contrary, becomes a barrier against the penetration of infections, thereby acting for benefit, and not harm.
  • The calyx leads to a violation of the vaginal microflora. The use of the cup is supported by the results of many studies, according to which the cup does not harm the internal microflora, and also does not contribute to the development of vaginosis, thrush, and urinary infections.
  • Using a cup stretches the walls of the vagina. Another of the misconceptions about the dangers of silicone mouthpieces, which has not been confirmed by anything. The tissues of the vagina are quite elastic, so they easily stretch and return to their original state after removing a foreign object.
  • The cup can cause cervical erosion or endometriosis. Studies have shown that the mouth guard does not harm or worsen the condition of the uterine cervix and mucous membranes. However, if you have gynecological problems, it is best to consult with your doctor about how safe it is to use the silicone cup.

Leading European and American research centers have conducted many studies to identify the possible benefits or harms of menstrual cups. None of the tests, as a result, confirmed that the mouthguards pose any health hazard or cause harm rather than a benefit.

Therefore, when answering the question of whether the menstrual cup is harmful or not, most gynecologists agree that if the mouthguard is emptied and disinfected in a timely manner, then it will not harm women’s health.

Contraindications to use
In favor of menstrual cups can be attributed to the fact that it has practically no contraindications to use. To eliminate harm, it is not recommended to use them only in a few cases: in the presence of tumors, inflammatory processes, or injuries of the internal genital organs. If you are in doubt as to whether a menstrual cup is right for you, check with your gynecologist.


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