WEDNESDAY, July 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Menstrual cups appear to be safe for menstruation management, according to a review published online July 16 in The Lancet Public Health.

Anna Maria van Eijk, Ph.D., from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine experiences and leakage associated with menstrual cups. Forty-three studies with 3,319 participants were eligible for analysis.

The researchers found that 27, five, and 11 of the studies reported on vaginal cups, cervical cups, and mixed types of cups or unknown, respectively. In four studies, researchers directly compared menstrual cups and usual products for the main outcome of leakage; reported leakage was similar or lower for menstrual cups than disposable pads or tampons. Adoption of the menstrual cup required a familiarization phase over several menstrual cycles in all qualitative studies; uptake was improved with peer support. At study completion of 13 studies, 73 percent of participants wished to continue use of the menstrual cup. Five women reported severe pain or vaginal wounds, and there were six reports of allergies or rashes, nine reports of urinary tract complaints, and five reports of toxic shock syndrome after menstrual cup use.

“Our findings can inform policy makers and programs that menstrual cups are an alternative to disposable sanitary products, even where water and sanitation facilities are poor,” the authors write. “Provision of information, training, and follow-up on correct use might be needed.”

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