This article was medically fact-checked by Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr. Shree Datta.
Accidents happen, and when you’re dealing with changing a slippery menstrual cup, it’s not uncommon to drop your cup in the toilet! While you might be panicking, just take a deep breath! Here’s exactly what to do if you drop your menstrual cup in the toilet.
How Did I Drop My Cup??
It’s easy to lose your grip on your cup, which is why we recommend making sure your hands are clean and dry when you remove your menstrual cup. A menstrual cup with a removal ring – like Lily Cup One – can give you some extra piece of mind! If you’re using a cup without a ring, just make sure your other hand is positioned below to catch it when you’re inserting or removing.
A cup might move lower into the vagina if you are straining during a bowel movement, and even fall out! If you’ve had some close calls, you may want to remove your cup when do you need to go number two – or move up a menstrual cup size.
What to Do If You Drop Your Menstrual Cup in the Toilet
First, absolutely do not put your menstrual cup right back in. (We hope this should be obvious).
If you accidentally drop your menstrual cup in the toilet – or even just accidentally knock your menstrual cup off the top of the toilet or counter into the toilet bowl – then it’s time to make a tough choice. Even though menstrual cups can be sterilized, you do need to be aware that you are exposing yourself to some pretty icky bacteria if the cup is improperly sterilized.
Basically, short of popping your menstrual cup into a medical sterilization machine that includes test strips to guarantee 100% sterilization, you are accepting some risk of exposure to E. coli and Staphylococcus. And, that’s just at your home toilet! If you’re in a public toilet, you can be exposed to other viruses such as norovirus and hepatitis.
Are You Saying I Need a New Cup If I Drop My Menstrual Cup in the Toilet?
There are plenty of people who do their own boil sterilization of their cup after dropping it in the toilet and are totally fine. If that’s what you choose to do, make sure you submerge your menstrual cup in rolling, boiling water for 20 minutes (not touching the bottom of the pan, so suspended by another utensil, like a pea strainer).
Again, this comes down to personal choice. If you are not willing to accept that risk that you haven’t sterilized your cup properly – or you just can’t get over the ick factor – then it’s time to replace your cup!
Facts checked by:
Dr. Shree Datta
Dr. Shree Datta is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in London, specialising in women’s health including all menstrual problems such as fibroids and endometriosis. Dr. Shree is a keen advocate for patient choice, having written numerous articles and books to promote patient and clinician information. Her vision resonates with INTIMINA, with the common goals of demystifying periods and delivering the best possible care to her patients
Lane Baumeister is an internationally-based Canadian writer with several years’ experience creating educational and entertaining articles that discuss intimate health and sexual well-being. When not waxing profound about menstruation, she devotes herself to enjoying extremely good food and equally bad movies.