How Long Can You Leave A Menstrual Cup In?

Author : Menstrual Cup | Published On : 13 Mar 2023

One of the main questions that menstrual cup users have in mind when they start using menstrual cups is- how long they can be worn. If you have switched to menstrual cups, then it is an essential question. But before that let’s understand what a menstrual cup is.

Menstrual cups are small flexible cups that you insert into your vagina during the menstruation cycle. The menstrual cups collect period blood rather than absorbing it, unlike tampons and pads.  They are definitely one of the best options when it comes to the menstrual cycle.  Normally it is said that the menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours. That means you do not have to worry about your sleep being hampered and experiencing leakages during sleep. You can wear it during your heavy and light days as it has the capacity to hold a large amount of menstrual flow. It is an environmentally-friendly menstruation device that does not impact our environment.

Are Menstrual Cups Safe? 

They are one of the safest menstrual hygiene products on earth if you are using them following all the instructions. The only thing you need to take care of is the time for which you are leaving it inside you as that may be a cause of concern as it can cause infection.

How Long Can You Wear a Menstrual Cup?

You can wear a menstrual cup for up to 8 to 12 hours a day at a stretch depending upon the kind of flow you are experiencing and that comes as one of the greatest benefits of a menstrual cup.  Many menstrual cup users need to empty their cups more frequently in case they are experiencing heavy flow.  Moreover, there are companies that recommend leaving the menstrual cup for up to 8 hours only. 

We take a lot of precautions when it comes to our esteemed users so it is good to follow the guidelines that are provided by the companies when it comes to leaving the cup inside. However, it is made up of 100% medical-grade silicone and that itself makes it a safe option to explore when it comes to the menstrual cycle.

Why Is There a Limit Of Time When Using a Menstrual Cup?

It is for a very simple reason that it can become a breeding ground for bacteria if it is left in for too long. This could lead to infection. Menstrual cups are made from 100% medical-grade silicone and unlike many other menstrual hygiene products they do not contain plastics, latex, toxins, and bleaches, unlike pads and tampons.

Precautions to be taken to reduce the risk of Menstrual Cup infection

By following some easy steps you can reduce the risk of infection:

  • Always sanitize or wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your menstrual cup
  • Wash your menstrual cup with clean water or menstrual cup wash before and after use.
  • Do not leave your menstrual cup in for more than 12 hours before emptying the cup.
  • Sterilize your menstrual cup once your menstruation cycle gets over either by using a sterilizer or by boiling it in a pan of water for 3-5 minutes.

Can Menstrual Cups Cause TSS?

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare infection but can be life-threatening that is caused by certain types of bacterial infections. These bacterias live on the skin that causes infection by going deeper into the body. It can be caused by skin wounds, surgery, and the use of tampons. But with menstrual cups, the chances are really scanty but that cannot be overruled. The risk is severely low which goes between 0.8 and 3.4 of 100 000 people using menstrual cups when compared to people using tampons. TSS can be avoided simply by sanitizing or washing your hands thoroughly before and after touching your menstrual cup, and emptying and rinsing it after every use within the prescribed time. You can wear a menstrual cup while sleeping as well but then you need to be extra cautious when it comes to leaving it in for more than the prescribed time.

Potential risks that come with menstrual cups?

Once you know how to use a menstrual cup you are sorted. But you should also be aware of the potential risks that come with wearing a menstrual cup for too long or without taking appropriate measures that are recommended by the company while using the cup.

Irritation: you can feel the irritation if you are not handling the cup as it is recommended. Leaving the cup inside for the prescribed time is essential as it can also cause irritation. Moreover, if your cup remains unclean then also it can be a cause for worry, so be sure to clean your cup thoroughly between uses. Apart from this, other reasons could be the inappropriate size of the cup or inserting the cup without applying lube, or not being inserted in the right position.

Infections: Though it is rare, you can get an infection if you are not taken care of. These can be yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis that can disturb the pH balance of your vagina. Washing your hands thoroughly while handling the cup can come as your savior if you want to avoid any kind of infection.

Who shouldn’t use a menstrual cup?

Though the menstrual cup is recommended for all ages and sizes there can be some exceptions. Though there are no official guidelines for this you can consult your doctor before going for it if you have:

  • Vaginismus can make insertion or penetration a painful experience
  • Uterine fibroids may increase the risk of heavy periods and pelvic pain
  • Endometriosis, which can cause painful menstruation and penetration

These may cause you discomfort if you use a menstrual cup so it is better to take advice before you buy menstrual cup.

How Long Do Menstrual Cups Last?

The menstrual cup can last for up to ten years when it is kept the way it should be.  It should be properly cleaned and stored after every menstrual cycle. You should at once replace your cup in case it is not in good condition like it may have holes or cuts.

Though, if you find your cup has lost its color over time then there is nothing to worry about as this is normal. Your cup is still effective and safe for its users.