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

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

The short version:

Menstrual cups are safe to use. As with any period care product, it is absolutely necessary to keep it clean, don’t leave it in too long and to use a trusted brand..

Behind the science of toxic shock syndrome:

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 decadesThere are globally only few cases of TSS in connection with menstrual cup use that have been reported since their invention in the 1930s. These were possibly caused by prolonged use.

Behind the article headline, the study shows 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?


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 contains 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!

Want to buy a menstrual cup? Check out our full range of menstrual cups and period products.

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

  • Lunette Cup
    Lunette CupJune 29, 2023

    Hi Anonymous,

    we advise to remove the cup after 12 hours at the latest. Long time of usage increases the risk of an infection, but one does not automatically get an infection when using the cup longer than 12 hours. However, if you note anything strange, itching, burning, change of scent or change in colour/texture/amount of discharge or if you experience any symptoms of TSS, feel sick, etc. remove your cup, discontinue using it and seek medical advise and mention you’re on your period and have been using a cup. Only a doctor can make the necessary examinations.

    Best regards, Team Lunette

  • Anonymous
    AnonymousJune 29, 2023

    I just forgot about my period and left my cup in for ~24h, should i be worried of TSS?

  • Kara
    KaraJuly 19, 2022

    In the confirmed case the case report says ‘She used appropriate hygiene when handling and changing the cup, but retrospectively reported causing a small abrasion during one of her initial insertions.’

    The French study was also refuted here:

  • Lunette Menstrual Mentor
    Lunette Menstrual MentorApril 03, 2019

    You are very welcome, :D

    And thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Gemma! It’s always nice to hear a fresh perspective on topics such as this. <3

    scandals.pkApril 02, 2019

    thanks for uploading informative content.

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