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:

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 decades. There 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 has no chemicals.


That’s a fabulous way to describe it, Sydney. Thanks for sharing!

To go into even more detail, Toxic Shock Syndrome is an infection caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream through wounds or mucous membranes and is not restricted to menstruation, which is why even those who don’t menstruate can get TSS.

Some symptoms of TSS are: high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes on the hands and feet, dizziness, red eyes and muscle aches. If you find yourself developing any one or a combination of these, you’ll want to seek medical attention immediately.

You can learn more about TSS here:

Lunette Menstrual Mentor June 17, 2019

As a response to Nadia’s previous comment:

The lunette article is not incorrect. They clearly state that there is no period product that offers a zero chance of toxic shock syndrome, but normal and safe usage means the “chances are very small”. That is not an inaccurate statement. If you have a period and do not “free-bleed” there is a small chance of toxic shoke syndrome. Just choose whatever product is best for you! :)

Sydney May 28, 2019

Your article is inaccurate. A case of TSS with normal and “safe” menstrual cup use was reported in London. See the article here:

Nadia January 01, 2018

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