Saturday, October 25, 2014
Wednesday, January 07, 2009 Laura, Community Member, asks

Q: Are menstrual cups as safe as pads and tampons?

I just bought a Diva Cup to save money and because it's better for the environment, but my mother is really freaked out by it because she knows little about them and thinks they will cause infection or might be less safe then the traditional methods. I have not found anything on the internet about it being unsafe, but I also haven't found much about it from an actual medical perspective. Are they safe?


Thanks! :)

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Answers (2)
1/ 8/09 1:07am

Hi Laura,


Your mother might be old enough to remember when tampons were made of materials associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) I can understand why she might be concerned about menstrual cups.


All menstrual cups are approved by the FDA.  From my research, there appear to be two types:  a disposable type that looks like a diaphragm (made of polyethylene) and the reusuable bell type (like the Diva Cup) made of latex or silicone (depending on the brand).


It appear that the use of menstrual cups are not associated with TSS, but that there is a slightly higher risk of urinary tract infections and yeast infections.  The advice I read is to sterilize your Diva cup well! 


I'd add that you should consult your gynecologist for an opinion.  They are likely to have a lot of experience with women using menstrual cups.


The Diva Cup in particular is approved by the FDA, Health Canada, and the ISO (international organization).  Here is a direct quote from the website:  "The DivaCup is latex free and is made from hypoallergenic, top quality silicone, a material that has been used in healthcare applications for over 50 years. This silicone is not the same type of material used in breast implants. No chlorine, dyes, colorings or additives of any kind."


I hope that helps!




Jennifer L. Fee, Psy.D.

The Stress Masters


Dr. Fee is a Psychologist. Dr. Fee's answers are not intended to diagnose or treat any medical or mental disorder. Any information given in a post about medication is for educational purposes only, and primarily to aid you in having an informed discussion with your own Psychiatrist/Physician.

Sarah, Community Member
6/22/13 9:38pm

i'm going to sound a little passionate about this subject because i have some serious strong opinions here.

ok first off, the reply you got to your question was answered by a "Doctor" in PSYCHOLOGY.  not gynecology.  no.  

second, I have 3 friends who use diva cup.  and i will tell you, they emit an odor. 3 out of 3 users i know.  not just during their cycle but year-round.  one of them is a workout buddy and i can smell her lady parts quite a bit.  my other two friends also have an odor i can tell.  i know it's TMI but if I can smell you when your clothes are on, then you probably need to do a little work to air out the lady parts and get the bacteria balance in your vajay in check.  plugging up your body's opening for one week a month is probably not a good idea.  how about you plug your ear up for a week and see if something grows behind up in there.  can you imagine how yeasty it could get?  wearing polyester pants causes yeast infections, what do you think about a freaking PLUG!  it's a PLUG!  you think that's healthy?  just plug your vagina up.  c'mon.  there's natural cotton tampons and pads and they work fine.  you're not killing the planet by using an organic cotton tampon.  you're killing the chances of anyone ever wanting to touch you down there without having to use antibacterial/antifungal on their hands and nails afterwards.  

my friend keeps on losing her boyfriends as soon as they get close to intimate.  i am certain it's that stupid diva cup that's the cause.

last point, a lot of people don't know they have bad breath, or body odor.  well, you may not smell your diva plug but the rest of us can.

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By Laura, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/28/13, First Published: 01/07/09