Researchers: Menstrual cups just as dependable as tampons and pads

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Researchers say menstrual cups are just as leak-proof as tampons and pads, after they carried out the first, large scientific review of sanitary products.

According to the BBC, the cups do not absorb period blood like the pads do but they fit in the vagina, collect it and are reusable.

The review found that although menstrual cups are gaining popularity, awareness among women was relatively low.

The work was published in the Lancet Public Health journal and looked at 43 studies involving 3,300 women and girls living in rich and poor countries.

Common concerns about trying a menstrual cup included pain and difficulty fitting or removing it, as well as leakage and chafing.

But the review found complications were rare.

Menstrual cups are made of soft, flexible material, such as rubber or silicone and once inserted into the vagina, they create a suction seal to stop any seepage of blood.

They can collect more menstrual blood than tampons or sanitary pads, but need to be emptied and washed regularly.

There are two main types – a vaginal cup which is generally bell-shaped and sits lower in the vagina, and a cervical cup which is placed higher up, much like a diaphragm for contraception.