Menstrual cup test: how well do merulas, unicorns, etc. do?

test procedure

We tested 20 menstrual cups, most of which are made of medical grade silicone and two of which are made of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). We paid from 8.95 to 29.86 euros for a cup in pharmacies, online stores or pharmacies by mail. If possible, we have chosen the smallest size (A, S, or 1). Various laboratories have examined menstrual cups for the presence of volatile components and silicone building blocks (siloxanes), heavy metals, plasticizers, solvents, and antimicrobials. Because individual factors that can hardly be simulated play an important role in the selection of a menstrual cup, stress testing has been limited to adherence to the cup handle.

We also checked the package leaflets for all relevant information on very rare but dangerous toxic shock syndrome (TSS), safe use and hygiene. We also checked the packaging for environmentally harmful compounds such as PVC.

Because menstrual cups are worn inside the body where they come in contact with sensitive mucous membranes, the most important thing for us was to protect ourselves from harmful substances. Poorly degradable, environmentally problematic siloxanes and deficiencies in the package leaflet may impair the overall assessment.

evaluation legend

Unless otherwise stated, the devaluation thresholds mentioned here are not legal but set by ÖKO-TEST. The assessment limits were set by ÖKO-TEST, taking into account the measurement uncertainty arising from the specific studies and the method-specific variances.

Components of the evaluation test result: According to the test results, the components are depreciated by one note: more than 0.5% of volatile components in silicone products have been measured. The result of the load test is based on the resistance of the handle to rupture (deca Newtons = daN):> 17.0 daN (‘very high’) and 8.0 to 17.0 daN (‘high’) = very good; <8.0 daN ("medium") = good.

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Evaluation test result Other defects: According to the test results Other deficiencies lead to two types of deterioration: more than 100 mg / kg of siloxanes D5 and / or D6 measured. Depreciation per note: (a) PVC / PVDC / chlorinated compounds per package; (b) absence of toxic shock syndrome (TSI) warnings; (c) the information leaflet provides little detailed information on handling and hygiene and / or no information on welding before first use or no information on washing hands before use; d) Instructions for use in a language other than German.

General verdict based on the components of the test result. A “sufficient” test score for “further defects” reduces the overall score by one point. A test result for other deficiencies “inadequate” reduces the overall score by two points. Test result Other deficiencies and / or test result The worst case test, which is ‘good’, does not impair the overall assessment.

test methods

Cup length and diameter: measurement

Tear resistance of the handle: Mechanics: The cup is pressed against the top edge and the handle / handle and, using a dynamometer (400 mm / min), the handle / handle is pulled until it tears. The test result is the maximum force applied during rupture of the material.

Volatile components: §64 LFGB b 82.92-4: 2019-02; gravimetry

Elements: X-ray fluorescence analysis (tested for arsenic, barium, bromine, cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead, platinum, antimony, selenium)

Siloxanes: GC-MS after extraction (tested for octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane, decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane, tetradecamethylcycloheptasiloxane, hexadecamethylcyclooctasyloxane, octadecamethylcyclononazoxane)

Selection of substances: GC-MS after extraction and derivatization (tested for alkylphenols, antimicrobials, phenolic compounds, halogenated flame retardants, organophosphorus insecticides, pyrethroids, plasticizers, including phthalates)

DER SPIEGEL - Program update

PVC / PVDC / chlorinated compounds in product and packaging: X-ray fluorescence analysis.

Purchase of pilot products: 2021 December

We last published this test in the journal ÖKO-TEST 2022. in April Update of test results / information to the Cosmetics and Health Handbook 2022 if suppliers report product changes or defect assessments due to new scientific findings or new / additional studies.

Tests and their results are protected by copyright.

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