Menstrual Cups

LUB’s lifespan/health advice

I saw this a while back and wanted to comment on it.  If you have a look on the Luv-Ur-Body website, they have some FAQ statements concerning the lifespan of the cup and hygiene that I would like to address.  I feel it’s a shame when menstruation and women’s bodies are portrayed as being gross and dirty, especially if it is being done to convince people to replace a menstrual cup more often that they should need to (eg commercial gain for the company)

http://luvur-body.com/wp/faq-busted-myths

“We strongly recommend the use of our Menstrual Cups for just 3 yrs based on hygiene reasons. We do not think it’s hygienic to re-use for 10yrs something vaginally inserted (which mixes with cervical secretion and other bodily fluids/waste) which costs the same as a haircut. Especially if you are sexually active or have multiple partners. Most people would not use a toothbrush for 10yrs”

You don’t reuse a toothbrush for 10 years because as they become “shaggy” with frequent use they become less effective at doing their job, and need to be replaced.  Their lifespan is supposed to be about 3 months for optimal efficiency.  While yes, they also become less hygienic with use (they actually have far more nooks and crannies for bacteria to hide in than a menstrual cup, and you don’t even  clean/boil/steralise them as you do for cups) but that’s not the only reason you would replace them. So it’s not a very good comparison.

The amount of sex you have, and how many partners you do it with, also should not affect how hygienic it is to use your menstrual cup.

“and most women would not re-use a douch applicator spout, clothpad, menstrual sponge or particular pair of panty for 10yrs!”

Again, underpants, sponges and cloth pads all usually wear out before 10 years, so people replace them because of wear, not because they have become unhygienic with use.

“We completely understand that the vagina is self cleaning and that women generally bath at least once a day and will maintain high levels of personal hygiene but hey lets face it, some peoples level of personal hygiene will be poorer than others. That’s why some women get vaginal infections or STD’s and some don’t.”

Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by things like viruses, certain bacteria and parasites.  You do not get an STD because you bathe less frequently or from using a menstrual cup that has become “unhygienic” with age.

“Same way some people have bad breath and some don’t. Thus some will clean their Cups better than others over time and some won’t especially the airholes that tend to get clogged with blood clots. Some women don’t use the pouches to store but rather leave their Cup out on the bathroom sink where it comes in contact with dust mites, germs and bathroom cleaning products.”

And for all those cups collecting dust and germs, they can be boiled or soaked in steralising solution.

“It’s not uncommon for menstrual cups to be re-usable for 3yrs or less, “

Actually it is.

If the LUB cups are only durable enough for 3 years of use, then that’s the companies choice to make their product in that way.  However arguing that they shouldn’t be used for longer because it would be unhygienic is misleading or false, as is trying to imply that a short lifespan like that is normal among other menstrual cup brands.

“some brands made in the UK are re-usable for about 18months only and some are disposable after each use.”

Most of the cups that do talk about a lifespan, say around 10 years. That is the common lifespan for a reusable menstrual cup.

DivaCup suggests replacing the cup every 12 months, but does say it is up to the user to decide how long to keep it for  – which some people assume is to sell more cups, although some people have reported their DivaCups as being less durable as other brands.  Femmecup offers a”lite” version that is designed to be replaced after 12 months, but that is specifically designed to be a cheaper version of their regular cup.  That appears to be the only UK cup to have such a low lifespan.

I have seen a cup company (it might have been Diva?) say that they were unable to give a longer lifespan due to FDA regulations.

The only menstrual cup that is disposable after a single use is the Insteads Softcup (and even that is commonly reused by people) – which is not the same type of menstrual cup as the LUB (The Insteads are designed to be a cheap disposable cup option), so is not a valid comparison.

Cups that are frequently boiled or soaked in sanitizing solutions may wear out quicker than cups that are not subjected to these – and you should always check your cups for wear.  However many people feel that cup companies who promote short lifespans on their reusable cups, are doing so with the intention of boosting profits rather than because the cups will only last that long.

As far as cup hygiene goes – obviously you should make sure you cups are cleaned well (including airholes), don’t share cups with other people, practice safe sex and good personal hygiene.

However if you are making sure the cup is cleaned well after each use and before you use it again (and the cup has not deteriorated or been damaged), then there should be no difference in how hygienic is is after 1 year, 3 years, 5 years or 10 years.

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May 5, 2015 - Posted by | news |

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