Menstrual cups and toxic shock syndrome: what you need to know

menstrual cup, TSS

The short version:

Just like tampons, your menstrual cup has no increased risk of TSS (toxic shock syndrome). As with any period care product the most important thing is to keep it clean, don’t leave it in too long and use a trusted brand.

The truth behind the science:

Every so often a clickbait article headline graces our newsfeeds which admittedly can be difficult to ignore. Recently a French study has been quoted on menstrual cups having increased risk of TSS.

A big claim right? Menstrual cups have been a trusted period care product for decades. In fact, globally only 2 cases of TSS relating to menstrual cup use have been reported and this was due to very prolonged use (inserted for 7 days rather than the recommended 12 hour maximum).

Behind the article headline, the truth about the study is that:

  • Instead of being performed using actual human vaginas they used sterile plastic bags derived from hydrocarbon. Doesn’t take a great scientist to realise the flaw there! Our vaginas are wonderfully more complex both physically and chemically bag.
  • The study hasn’t even been concluded yet.
  • Contrary to what has been reported in the press, the only conclusion to be made from the study thus far is that no periodic system is more favourable to TSS development than another.

So, what’s the real deal?

Here’s what you really need to know about menstrual cups and TSS:

Are menstrual cups more dangerous to use than tampons?

Nope! :)

Do menstrual cups protect you from TSS?

Like with any period care product you cannot have zero risk of TSS. But a clean, properly-used menstrual cup means the chances are very small.

Should I continue to use my menstrual cup at night?

Sure thing! 10 to 12 consecutive hours is the recommended usage time.

How can I make sure my menstrual cup is clean enough?

Check out this handy guide for your peace of mind.

Are Lunette menstrual cups safer to use than other menstrual cups?

Always choose a trusted brand and with Lunette you’re in safe hands. Our cups are made from the highest medical grade silicone which is BPA free and no chemicals.

Have any other questions?

Leave a comment below or ask us on Twitter or Facebook.

Let's keep busting the myths and spreading the word!


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