One of the benefits many menstrual cup users enjoy is being able to go longer between changes than if using pads or tampons (because menstrual cups can hold the equivalent of two or more super tampons!) So, how long can you safety wear a menstrual cup for?
The answer to this is a little complicated here in Australia. In most parts of the world, it is recommended to empty and clean your menstrual cup every 12 hours as a minimum. While in Australia, the recommendation from the Therapeutic Goods Administration is to wear for a maximum of 8 hours at a time. This is in line with the 6-8 hour maximum wear time recommended for tampons.
One other thing to consider when it comes to how long you can wear your menstrual cup for is how heavy your flow is. If you have a light to moderate flow, you should be able to go the full 8 hours of wear time out of your menstrual cup. If your flow is heavy, you might need to change more often. Or alternatively, we recommend choosing one of these higher capacity menstrual cups for a heavy flow so you can go longer between having to empty, clean and reinsert.
It sure is tempting to leave your cup in for longer than the recommended wear time, especially if you have a light flow. However, it’s best to always stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Wearing your menstrual cup for too long can increase your risk of infections like Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a potentially deadly condition. It can also cause your cup to become stained, or cause it to develop a lingering odour.
Yep, it happens - because it’s so easy to forget you’re even on your period while wearing a period cup! If this happens to you, remove your cup as soon as you remember and be sure to seek medical assistance immediately if you have experienced any TSS symptoms or signs of other infection. To avoid this situation, you may wish to set an alarm on your phone or watch to remind you to remove your cup.