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Menstrual cups have been heralded as a sustainable alternative to pads and tampons, and have been growing in popularity in recent years. But few studies have compared menstrual cups with these other feminine hygiene products in terms of their safety and effectiveness.
Now, a new review study has some good news for menstrual cup fans: The flexible cups that collect menses blood appear to be a safe option for managing periods, and they may be as effective as pads and tampons for preventing leakage.
Review - Today - July - Journal - Lancet
Still, the review, published today (July 16) in the journal The Lancet Public Health, highlighted some aspects of menstrual cup safety that need more research. For example, the study authors could not determine whether menstrual cups were safer than tampons with regard to the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) — a rare but life-threatening condition that's been linked with tampon use. Indeed, the authors identified several cases of TSS tied to menstrual cups, although the risk seems low, they said.
Overall, the results are reassuring about the safety of menstrual cups, said Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who wasn't involved with the review. But there is a need for more data on the rate of toxic shock syndrome among menstrual cup users, and how it can be prevented, she said.
Doctors - Cup - Users - Product - Way
For now, doctors generally recommend that menstrual cup users treat the product in a way that's similar to how they would use a tampon — removing and cleaning it every 8 hours or so.
"They do need to take it out regularly and wash it," Wu told Live Science. "This is not something you want to leave in for a day and a half."
Question - Women - Devices - IUDs - Birth
There is also a question of whether women who use intrauterine devices (IUDs) for birth control may face an...
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