3 Things That Can Harm Your Menstrual Cup

You are all set with your new menstrual cup. Let’s make sure you avoid things that would hurt your menstrual cup. Here are a few things we have come across that could potentially harm your menstrual cup:

Oils and Fats as Lubricants for Menstrual Cups

Some time ago we received an unusual menstrual cup for evaluation by a customer. We had to consult with the manufacturer in Germany because we had never seen anything like it before. Turns out oil had negatively impacted the menstrual cup.

The menstrual cup was supposed to be Amethyst purple but when we received it in the mail, it was black. It was also leaking oil.

The menstrual cup was extremely soft -almost floppy.

Me Luna Germany informed us that we should ask the customer, if she had used coconut oil or other oils/fats with the cup. Some clients had used coconut oil as a lubricant in an effort to avoid commercial products .

The oil can have an unwanted effect on vaginal pH. It’s probably not the best choice as lubricant for that reason. Oils and fats can harm the material of the menstrual cup. In this case the oil in the material had even fused the hemoglobin to the menstrual cup and turned it black! Hemoglobin is what makes your blood red.

Different oils may affect the menstrual cups in different ways. Coconut oil tends to help bake the stains into the cup. Other oils like petroleum jelly or mineral oil can significantly soften the cup.

How can oils cause damage?

Generally the damage occurs when a menstrual cup covered in oil is heat sterilized in hot water. If you feel, you definitely want to use oils with your cup it will be very important to clean it very well before disinfecting it in boiling water.

You could also investigate, if a heat free disinfection method like Milton Tabs is a good option for you.

We strongly suggest you don’t us oils and fats as vaginal lubricants for menstrual cups.

If you do want to use lubricants with your menstrual cup, check out Sliquid.

This photo is of an actual menstrual cup exposed to long term use of coconut oil as lubricant. The cup has turned black and is no longer usable or sanitary due to the material becoming porous and soft.

Why Alcohol as Disinfectant for Menstrual Cups is Not a Good Choice

We work with a third party lab to check and make sure our cleaning instructions are correct and up to date. Our lovely peeps at the lab also share interesting studies with us.

Last year we learned that the common practice of using alcohol to wipe down menstrual cups for disinfection is actually no longer recommended.

One of the main things we try to achieve when disinfecting menstrual cups is to eliminate staph bacteria. Staph bacteria is super common. In most people, under most circumstances our bodies are not bothered by it.

Under the right circumstances though, Staph bacteria can be really bad. Staph bacteria is the bacteria associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

Alcohol wipes are so super convenient. It’s not surprising that they have long been sold for disinfecting things. New findings show that alcohol actually promotes the growth of staph biofilm…something you definitely don’t want!

Don’t just take my word for it! Here’s an article on the subject that includes all the details.

Rubbing alcohol itself doesn’t hurt the menstrual cup but it also doesn’t accomplish what it is supposed to do.

You can find current cleaning and disinfection instructions of the menstrual cups please see this page.

Prolonged Sunlight can Hurt your Menstrual Cup

You can protect your MeLuna menstrual cup by storing it away from direct sunlight. Some rays like gamma rays used in hospitals for sterilization are perfectly fine on TPE. The long UV-A rays from sunshine however can damage the menstrual cup and make it brittle after extended exposure.

Of course nothing happens to the cup just simply being exposed to sunlight for short amounts of time. It simply means don’t store the menstrual cup on the sunny window sill in your bathroom, etc.

Want to see more things to avoid doing with your menstrual cup? Check out this post:

Published by Karin

I love working with menstrual cups and reusable menstrual products! I have been actively involved in the menstrual cup industry for 8 years, including FDA clearance, consulting and sales. I would like to share some of my insider knowledge with the public. I strongly feel that while there is a really great amount of info about menstrual cups on the internet there is also quite a bit of misinformation or simply lack of understanding. That's why I created this blog. I have worked with multiple brands but am currently associated with Meluna USA. I currently run two blogs: The "MeLuna USA" blog which can be visited on the MeLuna USA website and "Cups - The Inside Scoop". Many of the info given on both will apply to both. Note that the "Cups- The Inside Scoop" is more general with the goal to share truthful information in a way that allows you to apply it to any cup brand you're interested in.

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