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Menstrual cup: healthier than tampons and pads?

For decades, women have used tampons and pads without questioning it. Only in recent years has more attention been paid to the possible health risks associated with the use of these products. Many women therefore see the menstrual cup as a better, healthier option. Why exactly is this?

Hazardous substances

Manufacturers of tampons and sanitary towels are not obliged to list the ingredients on the packaging. Unfortunately, these products contain (residues of) harmful substances. For example, consider:

  • Pesticides, used for growing cotton.
  • Dioxins, a harmful substance that is released when the cotton is bleached.
  • Viscose, a substance that gives tampons and sanitary towels their high absorbency.
  • Plastic.
  • fragrances.

Because the vaginal wall is very well perfused, it easily absorbs substances that come into contact with it. With tampons in particular, there is a chance that the above substances will enter your body.

The advantage of menstrual cups is that they consist of 100% medical silicone, a body-friendly material without chemicals. With the use of a cup you therefore do not run the risk of absorbing substances that you would rather not have in your body.

Vaginal flora

In addition to the harmful substances contained in tampons (and sanitary towels), their use can also affect the vaginal flora. Why?

In addition to menstrual blood, tampons also absorb many beneficial lactobacilli that belong in the vagina. These protect the vagina against infections by candida or bacteria. In addition, the absorbent capacity of tampons in some cases also causes the vaginal mucosa to dry out, causing irritations and even small wounds.

In contrast to tampons, the menstrual cup does not absorb anything, but only collects your menstrual blood. As a result, the vaginal flora not affected, as shown by the above research.

tampon disease

Tampon disease is also known as toxic shock syndrome or toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The disease is caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and mainly occurs in menstruating women who wear tampons.

The bacterium is not normally harmful, but in some cases it can cause an infection. Risk situations are for example:

  • A sultry environment
  • Wounds or damage to the skin and mucous membranes

In exceptional cases, the use of tampons can lead to the above situations. In particular high absorbency tampons are a risk factor because they are often worn for a longer period of time.

Bron: iStock

According to the laws of logic, the risk of tampon disease should be less when using the menstrual cup than when using tampons. If the cup is used correctly (i.e.: clean and boil it in time), the very small chance of infection.

Unlike tampons because menstrual cups do not absorb anything and therefore leave your vaginal flora intact. Cups also do not leave fluff or other residual materials in the vagina. In addition, when using the menstrual cup, there is no oxygen in the menstrual blood. This prevents a sweltering environment.

Read here our previous article on tampon disease.


According to the large-scale research published in The Lancet to sit no dangers to the use of the menstrual cup, provided you use it correctly. There are also other benefits to using the menstrual cup. This is how wearing a cup is very comfortable and in addition good for the environment and your wallet. You can use one cup for years long use.

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