Menstrual Cup Use, Leakage, Acceptability, Safety, And Availability: A Systematic Review And Meta-analysis
Notes for this study:
||No increased risk of vaginal infection.
|Number of Subjects
||13-17, 18-29, 30-44
This was a meta-analysis of 43 studies on menstrual cups (27 on vaginal cups; 5 on cervical cups; and 11 on mixed/unknown cups). The primary outcome was leakage, with secondary outcomes including safety, usability, and satisfaction. Overall, menstrual cups were found to be a safe and effective option for menstruation management.
Leakage with menstrual cups was reported as equal to or less than previous methods (tampons/pads), with the proportion of leakage for vaginal cups ranging from 2% to 12%. All qualitative studies documented the need for a familiarisation phase over several menstrual cycles prior to acceptance of the cup.
In 15 studies, participating females were asked if they would continue to use a menstrual cup. When the results were pooled, 73% reported willingness to keep using the cup after the study ended. Reasons for continued use included less concern over leakage, fewer changes per cycle, improved mobility, reduced odor, lower long-term costs, and perceived environmental friendliness compared to previous methods. Reasons for discontinued use (outside of adverse events) included leakage, discomfort, continued difficulty with insertion/removal, messiness, and poor fit.
Adverse events include severe pain or vaginal wounds (5 reports), allergic reactions (6 reports), urinary tract complaints (9 reports), and toxic shock syndrome (5 reports). Intrauterine device dislodgement is also possible (13 reports), as are general removal issues requiring professional assistance (47 reports for cervical discs; 2 for vaginal cups).