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The menstrual cup and toxic shock syndrome, let's take a look

(Article 2 of 2)

Did you miss the beginning? click here

What are the results of the study?

After putting tampons or cups in individual plastic bags with a culture medium and Staphylococcus aureus, they were placed at 37°C for 8 hours. After 8 hours, the researchers measured the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the production of the toxin TSST-1 and compared the figures obtained with the tampons, organic tampons and cups, with those obtained if only a culture medium and Staphylococcus aureus were present (again, after 8 hours).

There was some early good news:

None of the devices accelerated the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, so we are not likely to see an outbreak of Toxic Shock Syndrome as we experienced with the Rely tampons.

But there are still some precautions to take:

  • No tampon, organic tampon or cup protects against Toxic Shock Syndrome. And even more importantly: no tampon, organic tampon or cup should be kept inside for 8 hours. Because the researchers observed toxin production in all cases. Unfortunately, they did not measure the growth of Staphylococcus aureus before these 8 hours, so it is difficult to make recommendations for all the products.

However, before the publication of this study, Claripharm Laboratory commissioned a study on how long to keep a Claricup inserted, which enables us to guarantee maximum safety for 6 hours with the Claricup. The details of the Claricup menstrual cup study are available here. Our study is very similar to the one we are talking about today, except that we measured the growth of Staphylococcus aureus every hour for 12 hours.

  • You have to choose your cup according to your flow. Because the size of menstrual cups seems to play a role in the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and the production of TSST-1. The composition of cups is not critical, it is the supply of oxygen that is important. The larger a menstrual cup, the greater the oxygen supply. It is important to remember that the cup must still contain the flow, and the faster the menstrual cup fills, the less oxygen there is.
  • Disinfect your cup before each insertion. Because Staphylococcus aureus remains fixed on the menstrual cups and this will not be eliminated simply by washing with water. The researchers say that it is important to disinfect cups before each insertion, otherwise there is a risk of re-contamination with Staphylococcus aureus. They therefore suggest that users have 2 cups so they can change them more easily during the day.

Does that mean that menstrual cups are more dangerous?

Happily, NO. It just means that you have to clean them more often. Other manufacturers claim 12 hours without leaks, but we feel unable to continue with this marketing pitch if it puts lives in danger. This is why the Claripharm Laboratory advises a 6 hour insertion time, and systematic cleaning and disinfection between each insertion. Yes, it's annoying, but it's for you, for your health. Because we certainly don't want to lose a leg just because we've got our period.

Remember too that this study only relates to Toxic Shock Syndrome. For now, unfortunately, no study has been conducted in relation to the endocrine disruptors found in some hygienic protections (remembering that endometriosis is classified by the Health Watch Institute as potentially related to endocrine disruptors), or the impact of tampons (which absorb everything) or cups (which collect only menstrual blood) on the vaginal flora, essential for the health of our vaginas.

How does the Claripharm Lab take care of me?

Each Claricup always comes with its own disinfection box, to make your life easier: sometimes it's more practical to disinfect it in the microwave than in a pan of boiling water!


We also offer discounted Duopacks of 2 Claricups and 2 boxes, so you always have a clean cup available during the day: you insert a cup in the morning, the other clean cup is in its box, in your bag and after 6 hours, you can just swap them over in the toilets. The box is used for that too! Thanks to this, there's no risk of staining your things with a used cup until everything is cleaned back at home.


We also advise you to choose your Claricup according to your flow. Other factors may play a role in the choice of your size, such as the musculature of your perineum or the size of your vagina, but unless you are a midwife or a gynaecologist, not very many of you will be able to assess this. But we all know what our flow is like!


Claripharm Laboratory's commitment is simple: to provide you with the healthiest products possible for ever greater safety. That's why we carry out all these studies, why we get certifications that guarantee the safety of the Medical Devices, why we have carried out 22 tests on raw materials and the Claricup, and why every day we work hard to ensure that you have all the right information and the right products.


This study is the opportunity to find out more about alternative solutions to traditional period protection. But above all it's an opportunity for you, the users, to be fully informed of good practices for using them so that you can protect your health. All of us are affected by periods, so it's about time we started talking about it!



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