Menstrual Cup Linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome, New Study Finds

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a condition in which Staphylococcus aureus growth is aided by oxygen going through the vaginal canal when a woman uses a tampon. In recent studies, however, we are finding that menstrual cups are also a culprit of TSS development. In fact, they’re even more dangerous than tampons. Since menstrual cups allow for higher levels of oxygen to be introduced to the canal, the risk of Staphylococcus aureus developing is even higher in comparison to tampons.

Key Takeaways:

  • Toxic shock syndrome made big news back in the 80s, when nearly a 1000 women were reported affected, due to tampon use.
  • More advanced manufacturing methods brought the numbers down to where less than 50 cases were reported in 2016.
  • New data suggests that growth of staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria most usually responsible for toxic shock, is promoted by tampon and menstrual cup usage.

“In recent years, menstrual cups—flexible cups that are inserted into the vagina during a period to collect menstrual blood—have been touted as a safer alternative to tampons.”

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