New research shows that menstrual cups are a safe alternative to tampons. But NZ experts are careful that the evidence is still not theirs.
Menstrual cups are probably safe and effective. The first major scientific review of the products has been found.
But New Zealand's experts are not entirely convinced, warning that more research is needed to confirm that conclusion.
The result of an analysis of 43 international studies and data from 3,300 women and girls comes after the safety of menstrual cups was questioned by a study published in the newspaper Applied and Environmental Microbiology in August of August.
The study concluded that menstrual cups, previously considered safe and environmentally friendly, were more likely than tampons to cause the potentially lethal toxic shock syndrome. [1
* Menstrual cups and period underwear provide durable alternatives for women
* Menstrual cups are more likely to cause toxic shock syndrome than tampons
* Menstrual cup campaign aims to terminate "period deficiency"
* Menstrual cups and reusable hygiene pads that come in popularity
The new research published in The Lancet on Wednesday suggested silicone menstrual cups inserted into the vagina during menstruation and changed and cleaned once a day, where actually safe.
However, the authors confirmed that there were few quality studies on menstrual cups and it could have led to bias in the results.
Further studies are needed on cost-effectiveness and environmental impact of comparative different menstrual products and to investigate aids for the use of menstrual cups with on-site monitoring systems to document any negative results, the study says.
University of Auckland, professor of microbiology Siouxsie Wiles said that the review seemed to be accurate, the bulk of the studies it analyzed focused on consumer experiences rather than safety.
Studies that had looked at the risk of toxic shock syndrome had sample sizes of just a few hundred participants and Wiles said it was too small to draw a conclusion about the safety of menstrual cups.
It did not necessarily mean that the products were unsafe, only that more major studies were needed
Wiles hoped to see more research in the best way to clean and sterilize menstrual cups.
Dr Sarah Donovan, a public health sociologist at the universities y of Otago, said while the study indicated menstrual cups might be a suitable alternative to pads and tampons for people who could use them hygienically and comfortably, there was no evidence that they would solve period deficiency. as some researchers had speculated  "We have no evidence that they would be acceptable to young girls, or fit their anatomy properly, or that they would feel comfortable washing them out, for example at school. Women who are homeless would probably not find these suitable either. "
The cost between $ 15 and $ 55 menstrual cups would be too expensive for some new Zealanders," says Donovan.