Are Menstrual Cups the Solution to Avoid Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Playing Menstrual Cups – Do They Work and Are They Dangerous?

Many women are switching from tampons to the menstrual cup partially because it is better for the environment but also because they probably believe it is safer in avoiding Toxic Shock Syndrome or TSS. 

TSS is a rare, but a life-threatening condition which occurs due to certain types of bacteria. While it’s been associated with tampons, a new study suggests menstrual cups could be more dangerous when it comes to TSS. This is because when the cup is inserted, air can come in, and this air can help bacteria grow. Staph bacteria, the one associated with TSS, likes to grow in the midst of air.

Watch: Sea Sponge Tampons?

OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry adds that according to the labels, when the menstrual cup is removed, it can just be rinsed and reused. She shares a study where they swabbed the cup and eight hours later found staph was still on the cup. 

Dr. Nita says if you are going to use the cup, she recommends getting at least two so you can alternate. She also says when you remove the cup, boil it instead of just rinsing. She says if you happen to see symptoms of TSS like a really high fever, dizziness, or sunburn-like rashes on your palms or soles, make sure to see a doctor. 

Watch: How Often Do You Change Your Tampon?

“The moral of the story is, don’t think you can’t get toxic shock syndrome because you’re not using tampons… you can still get it with a menstrual cup. It is rare though.”