Can I get TSS from using a cup?

TSS is a complication of bacterial infections, which has been associated with tampon use, but is not solely linked to tampons. In fact, 50% of cases are non-menstrual and 25% are found in men. To contract TSS, a person needs to be a carrier of a specific strain of staph bacteria (staphylococcus aureus) in their body. If the person has that, the staph can multiply in, for instance, a tampon’s absorbent fibers but also in an unhealed wound, producing a harmful toxin.

Unlike pads and tampons that absorb menstrual flow, a menstrual cup collects and catch it. This means that, with a set suction seal, no oxygen reaches the collected flow and it remains bacteria free. It also means that no unnecessary vaginal fluids will be absorbed. This eliminates irritation and dryness while ensuring that the natural pH balance of the vagina is kept intact. 

Nevertheless, there is still a minimal risk of TSS (if you have the specific strain of staph bacteria in your vaginal flora), so we always recommend making sure that you empty it after 8-12 hours, sanitise your cup between periods and wash your hands before handling the cup. 

The symptoms of TSS are sudden fever, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting, a rash that looks like a sunburn, or in advanced stages, scaly skin. TSS can appear during the menstrual period or some days later. If you experience any of the symptoms, remove your cup and seek medical advice immediately. Do not use a menstrual cup or any internal vaginal devices if you have been previously diagnosed with TSS.

If you have more questions concerning TSS, please contact us at

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