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Are Menstrual Cups Safe to Use?










It is normal to feel cautious whenever we try something new – especially if it’s something we are using in our bodies.   Menstrual cups are very safe to use as it is worn inside the vagina during menstruation.  Unlike tampons and pads which absorb your menstrual fluids, a menstrual cup collects the fluid.  

What are the three types of materials that menstrual cups are manufactured of?

  1. TPE.  TPE is a certain type of thermoplastic elastomers. It is most often used in medical instruments.  It is reusable and can be sterilized.
  2. Latex.  Latex is a form of rubber.  Very few companies design their menstrual cups in latex due to allergies.  If you are allergic to latex, please research your choice for a menstrual cup to ensure it does not contain latex.  SckoonCup DOES NOT use latex. 
  3. Medical Grade Silicone.  Medical grade silicone is the most common material used in the manufacturing of menstrual cups.  Medical grade silicon is produced using non-toxic manufacturing techniques in a sterilized environment. This allows it to be used for medical silicon purposes.  SckoonCup DOES use medical grade silicon in the manufacturing of its menstrual cups.

What is the difference between disposable menstrual cups and reusable menstrual cups?

Disposable cups:

  1. Disposable cups are generally available in only one size.  In addition, it may not be as easy to insert a disposable menstrual as it is a reusable menstrual cup because there is no stem. This can make it messier for some people.
  2. Disposable cups sit differently in the vagina and may have leaks.
  3. Disposable cups must be disposed of after each use making it much more expensive to use over the long term.
  4. Both disposable and reusable cups may be worn up to 12 hours.
  5. You can have sexual intercourse while using a disposable cup.
  6. Disposable cups are generally manufactured of polymeric material.  This may make the rim of the menstrual cup feel stiff and uncomfortable.

Reusable cups:

  1. Reusable menstrual cups are manufactured using TPE (thermoplastic elastomer), latex, or medical grade silicone.  (SckoonCup only manufactures its menstrual cups using medical grade silicone.) 
  2. Menstrual cups can be used for many years (one to ten years depending on the brand.)
  3. Menstrual cups are available in at least two sizes (small or large) but some companies offer additional size options.
  4. Menstrual cups are available in clear or in colors.
  5. Both disposable and reusable menstrual cups may be worn up to 12 hours.
  6. Reusable menstrual cups are safe to sterilize.
  7. Reusable menstrual cups may be folded in many different ways for easy insertion into the vagina.

Shapes, designs and molding of menstrual cups:

Your cervix moves up and down during your menstrual cycle.  The length you choose for your menstrual cup is very important as you want to ensure it fits properly but not be too long to cause discomfort.  SckoonCup’s menstrual cup is designed for the movement of your cervix and is suitable for cervixes that are high or low in the vagina.

When choosing the diameter of your menstrual cup, you will need to be sure you do not select a cup that is too large in diameter which may cause discomfort, cramping or even push against your bladder. If your cup is too small it may leak, not suction properly and may be uncomfortable.  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Whether you have ever been sexually active.
  2. Do you have strong vaginal muscles?
  3. Have you given birth vaginally?

The design of the stem is very important as you will use it to take your menstrual cup out of your vagina. You DO NOT want to tug or pull too hard on the stem as that will actually cause the menstrual cup to increase the suction. Use the stem to guide your fingers to the base of the menstrual cup.  Pinch the bottom of the cup between your fingers to release the suction and slowly pull out.  Empty the fluid into the toilet.  

The suction holes of the menstrual cup help to release the suction of the cup.  Check where the holes are placed as some holes are in the middle of the menstrual cup which limits the capacity of the cup. If the fluid goes above the holes, you will experience leaking. Some manufacturers punch the holes in the cup after it is manufactured. Unfortunately this may cause the holes to clog.  SckoonCup has designed its menstrual cups holes directly into the mold so there is no need to punch the holes and you will not need to worry about clogging.

Firm or soft?  Some menstrual cups are firmer than others. In general, the firmer the menstrual cup, the easier it is to open.  But not always. A softer cup that is well designed can easily open.  The key is balance between the inner and outer curves, thickness of the cup wall and the angles from the bottom to the top of the menstrual cup.  When the cup is designed with this balance a softer cup may provide both comfort and easy to open functionality. SckoonCup researched the best design in the correct balance for three years to create the best menstrual cup.

Factors to consider when determining in a firm or soft cup is best for you. If you have not been sexually active yet, have a narrow vaginal canal, recently started menstruating you may find that softer cups won’t “pop” open after inserting into your vagina. On the other hand, firm menstrual cups may irritate the vagina and cause cramping in some people. And yes, size does matter.  You want your menstrual cup to fit you properly.   Manufacturers follow these common guidelines:

  1. Most menstrual cups have a small and larger size
  2. Small menstrual cups are generally recommended for women under 30 who have not given birth vaginally.
  3. Large menstrual cups are generally recommended for women over 30 who have given birth vaginally.
  4. Menstrual cups in the smallest sizes are recommended for teenagers and young adults.
  5. Menstrual cups in the smallest sizes are recommended for women who are very physically fit or regular perform Kegel exercises.
  6. Those with strong pelvic floor muscles may find a larger menstrual cup uncomfortable.
  7. Menstrual cups are manufactured in various colors.  Some people prefer clear cups so they can see how much fluid is inside the cup and the condition of the blood. Others prefer colored cups because stain build ups over years of usage are less noticeable.

What to do before using your menstrual cup:

  1. Clean your menstrual cup by boiling. Place it in a large pot of water and boil for five to seven minutes. (Never leave the boiling pot unattended.)  Do not allow the cup to touch the sides or bottom of the pot.
  2. You can wear a back-up pad until you are comfortable with using your menstrual cup. SckoonCup recommends a reusable organic pad.
  3. Try your menstrual cup for the first time when you will be home. This allows you to get used to inserting and removing it so you feel more confident.
  4. DO NOT do a dry run test. Your body changes throughout your menstrual cycle.  A dry run may be uncomfortable and painful.
  5. RELAX.  If you cannot relax your vaginal muscles, you will tense up which will cause your difficulty when trying to insert or remove your menstrual cup. You may feel anxious the first time you insert your menstrual cup – that’s normal! If you become frustrated, stop trying to insert or remove the cup, take a few deep breaths to relax.  After you feel relaxed, try again.
  6. If you have difficulty with insertion, you may want to try a water-based lubricant to assist you.
  7. If you have trouble locating the stem when you are removing the menstrual cup, remember to relax your pelvic muscles, take a deep breath, and bear down/push like you are having a bowel movement. If you are using a toilet that automatically flushes, be careful that you don’t accidentally flush your menstrual cup.
  8. Don’t give up! It may take three to four cycles until you feel comfortable inserting and removing your menstrual cup. Over 95% of people that are successful with their menstrual cup never return to using tampons or maxi pads!

Ready to make the switch?

Remember, we are all unique and not two people are the same.  What works for some people may not work for others.  If you have any questions, please contact SckoonCup’s Customer Service.  If you have questions regarding menstrual cycles or your anatomy, please schedule an appointment with your health care provide.

Aly Sanger


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