Here at the Moon Cup, we care about women’s health, and want to provide some basic information about issues relating to menstrual cups. We strive to be a source of factual information and to fight misinformation being spread about cups. Women taking charge of their menstrual health by choosing to use the Moon Cup are also women who want to be well informed, so we’ve put together some brief information on topics relating to health and cup use.
Important Note: None of us are doctors, and the information presented below is not offered as medical advice. Whenever you have questions regarding your menstrual and reproductive health, you should consult your family physician or a gynecologist.
Proper Use of the Moon Cup
The Moon Cup can become your primary choice of feminine hygiene product, and be used throughout your period without concern, provided you follow proper cleaning instructions. It can also be switched out with disposable products when or if you’d prefer to use them at various points.
However, the Moon Cup should NOT be used in combination with other insertable menstrual products (e.g. tampons, sponges, etc.). It can be used with a panty liner or pad if desired, should you experience some leakage at heavy points in your period or while sleeping. Leakage is very rare, though, and is almost always due to incorrect insertion of the cup. Learn how to properly insert your cup to prevent leaks on our How Do I Use It? page.
When NOT to Use a Moon Cup
All of the above assumes you are in normal vaginal health. If you’re experiencing any kind of infection or other vaginal health concern, please consult your doctor regarding the best options for handling menstruation. There is no known increased risk of yeast infections while using menstrual cups.
We recommend not using your Moon Cup until any current infections have been cleared up. It is unknown if the yeast which causes vaginal infections (Candida albicans) will be completely eradicated by standard disinfection procedures for menstrual cups, including boiling (which we normally don’t recommend). Considering this, we suggest replacing your Moon Cup with a new one if you have had a yeast infection while using it.
Additionally, we do not recommend using the Moon Cup at the same time as you are using a topical medication. The chemical composition of the medication may harm the silicone or even destroy the cup. If this happens, please replace your Moon Cup with a new one. Similarly, check to make sure that any lubricants or vaginal moisturizers are silicone safe if using them before inserting or re-inserting your Moon Cup. Do not use silicone lubricant for any sexual activities during or in the days leading up to your period (or use disposable menstrual products afterward), as it can be difficult to ensure that all traces of it are gone before inserting your cup.
The Moon Cup should not be used during postnatal bleeding. We recommend you talk to your gynecologist before using any internal feminine hygiene product after giving birth.
Toxic Shock Syndrome Information
Toxic Shock Syndrome, a.k.a. TSS, is a complicated bacterial infection. It’s not a female-only condition, but there’s been a link between TSS and tampon usage that has been known about for decades. A tampon alone cannot cause TSS; it occurs when someone already has the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus present in their body, which is common in approximately 20% of the general population.
Results of lab testing indicate that the Moon Cup, when properly used and cleaned, is very unlikely to amplify growth of the bacteria responsible for TSS. Most cases of TSS are related to menstrual products because tampons (the most common insertable feminine hygiene product) absorb menstrual fluid. The Moon Cup is non-absorbent because it is made of medical-grade silicone. To learn more about the Moon Cup and TSS, see the “Is it safe?” section of our FAQ page.
There was a series of TSS-related deaths in the 1980s, but most women haven’t heard much about TSS in recent years save for the fine print they might notice on their box of tampons. However, TSS is still a very serious danger and needs to be considered by anyone who menstruates when choosing and using their feminine hygiene products. For more information on TSS, see The Keeper’s interview with Suzan Hutchinson, a long-term survivor of Toxic Shock Syndrome, or look for information from medically accurate websites or a doctor.
Why We Don’t Use Dyes in Our Moon Cups
The Moon Cup is made of clear, undyed silicone, because we believe that the simpler the menstrual products we place in our most intimate parts, the better. Some cup companies have started offering menstrual cups in bright, fun colors, which might seem great for getting younger women interested in alternative feminine hygiene options. However, no medical device manufacturers add any dyes to their products intended for internal use, and we prefer to follow their lead on this. A cup is just as functional in its natural clear state as it is when dyed. The vagina is one of the most effective mucus membranes in the body when it comes to absorbing things, so anything you place in it should always be certified as safe for your health.
Allergies and the Moon Cup
The Moon Cup is made from pure, non-porous, medical grade silicone, making it the perfect choice of feminine hygiene product for those prone to allergies, including latex allergies and allergies to plant fibers. Sensitivity to silicone is extremely rare, but if you suspect you have it, consult your doctor before trying the Moon Cup.
Birth Control and STIs
The Moon Cup only functions as a menstrual product, and can not be used as a birth control device or to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Menstrual cups are regulated by the FDA for use only as feminine hygiene protection. For more information, see our FAQ page.
Additionally, because the Moon Cup sits low in the vaginal canal, it must be removed prior to intercourse. If you are looking for a feminine hygiene product that can be used specifically during penetrative sex, we recommend you look into the variety of non-birth control sponges (either natural sea sponges or man-made) which are available.