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Revista Colombiana de Obstetricia y Ginecología

Print version ISSN 0034-7434On-line version ISSN 2463-0225


ARENAS-GALLO, Camilo et al. Acceptability and safety of the menstrual cup: A systematic review of the literature. Rev Colomb Obstet Ginecol [online]. 2020, vol.71, n.2, pp.163-177. ISSN 0034-7434.


To conduct a systematic review of the literature and assess the acceptability and safety of the menstrual cup as a feminine hygiene product.

Materials and methods:

A search was conducted in the PubMed, Cochrane Library, Scopus, PopLine and Google Scholar databases for publications be- tween 1966 and July 2019. The terms (“Menstrual” AND “Cup”) OR (“Copa” AND “Menstrual”) were used. Quantitative, qualitative and mixed studies were included, as well as case series and case reports published in English and Spanish assessing the menstrual cup in women in childbearing age. The studies were selected and the data extracted by two reviewers working independently. Acceptability and safety were assessed as the primary result. The summary of the information is presented in narrative form.


Overall, 737 titles were found for initial review and, in the end, 38 studies were included in this work. The acceptability of the menstrual cup ranges between 35 % and 90 %. Between 10 to 45 % of women found it difficult to use. It was described as more comfortable when compared to tampons and pads. Continued use of the cup ranges between 48 and 94 %. In terms of safety, there was one case of toxic shock syndrome, one case of mechanical entrapment, and another case of allergy; and a higher risk of expulsion was found among intrauterine device users.


The menstrual cup appears to be a comfortable, safe and efficient option for menstrual hygiene. Further randomized controlled studies and long-term prospective cohort studies are needed in order to determine the risk of complications due to excess bacterial colonization or retrograde menstruation.

Keywords : Menstrual cycle; feminine hygiene products; menstrual hygiene products.

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