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The Concept Insertion Removal & Reuse Questions

What material is Miacup made from? Is it safe?

Miacup is made from an imported, FDA-approved medical-grade silicone rubber. This material is comfortable, highly durable, completely biocompatible (that is, not harmful to living tissue) and hypoallergenic (suitable for women with allergies, including latex allergies).

Some women are understandably concerned about silicone's association with the breast implant scares of the early 1990s. In fact, the material used in Miacup is very different to the one that was used in breast implants.

The controversial implants were made from a fluid-like silicone gel held in a sac. These sacs were known to rupture and leak, potentially causing problems.

Miacup is made from a solid, stable rubber form of silicone. In this form, there is no way for anything to leak into the body. In fact, silicone like this has been successfully used for many years in medical tubing, baby bottle teats and even permanent surgical implants like heart valves and joint prostheses.

The effects of the material on human health have been extensively studied in both laboratory and clinical settings.

Are the pigments used by Miacup safe?

Miacup is produced using the finest international pigments available anywhere. Every pigment is FDA approved and is supported by USP Class VI biological testing including systemic toxicity studies, intracutaneous studies, muscle implantation tests and hemolysis tests.

Is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) a concern for Miacup users?

TSS is a rare, though potentially fatal disease caused by a bacterial toxin. While it can be contracted in various ways, tampon users have been shown to be 18 times as likely to develop menstrual TSS as non-users (Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics & Gynecology).

While the exact reason behind this is currently unknown, it is known that TSS is associated with the prolonged use of high absorbency tampons.

The silicone rubber from which Miacup is produced is antibacterial and, since Miacup is entirely non-absorbent, it does not interfere with the vagina's natural moisture levels or sloughing off of dead cells.

Neither Miacup nor any other menstrual cup (and they've been around since the 1930s) has ever been associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome.

As a precaution, never leave Miacup in for longer than 12 hours without emptying and cleaning. Also, always sterilise Miacup between cycles.

Finally, be aware of the following symptoms of TSS:
Sudden high fever (usually over 39 degrees Celsius), vomiting, diarrhoea, a sunburn-like rash, sore throat, dizziness or fainting.

If you experience some or all of these symptoms during your period, remove Miacup and consult your doctor immediately.

Why is there no mention of any health authorities on your website?

Miacup is manufactured in South Africa to international standards and under tight controls by an ISO 9001 accredited factory. The material used in production is imported and is of the very highest, medical-grade quality. This same material is used in permanent surgical implants and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.

We do not carry a label of approval from any local health authority for the simple reason that there is no South African health authority that considers it necessary to approve Miacup. There is no label that we could possibly carry.

The situation is similar in many European countries.

I find it a little scary that my gynaecologist hasn't heard about Miacup. Why hasn't he/she?

Miacup was only launched at the beginning of 2008 and, while we're slowly trying to get information to gynaecologists across the country, doing so takes time. Many gynaecologists simply haven't heard of us yet.

Having said that, Miacup is simply a new brand: it isn't actually a new idea. Menstrual cups have, in some form or another, been around since the 1930s. Even so, because menstrual cups are not yet widely used, many medical professionals have little or no experience with them.

Because of the recent trend in environmental awareness and health scares related to tampons, menstrual cups are now beginning to gain popularity across the world.

If your gynaecologist would like more information, you're very welcome to put him/her in contact with us. Otherwise, a simple internet search for "menstrual cup" will answer many of his/her questions.

Does using Miacup make me "loose"?

No. The vagina is a remarkably elastic muscular canal that is capable of stretching to many times its normal diameter (for example, during vaginal childbirth).

Even when popped fully open, Miacup is only very slightly wider than the average penis. The kind of insignificant stretching that occurs when using Miacup (or, for that matter, when having sexual intercourse) is incapable of having any kind of effect on the tone of the vaginal muscles.

It is true that without exercise, as with other muscles in the body, the vagina can naturally lose some of its tone with age. Kegel exercises may be performed to prevent or reverse this natural decline.

Can I use Miacup if I have a urinary tract infection?

Some woman have been able to use Miacup without aggravating their condition, others not. We recommend that you play it safe and speak to your doctor before using Miacup.

Can I use Miacup if I have endometriosis?

Many women who suffer from endometriosis have been able to use a menstrual cup, like Miacup, without problems. In fact, some have even reported a relief of symptoms when using a menstrual cup.

Having said that, endometriosis is a complex condition whose causes are not yet fully understood. There is one theory that endometriosis is, at least, associated with reversed menstrual flow.

While this theory has largely been discredited by recent studies, it should still be noted that Miacup collects flow, rather than absorbing it. In inverted postures, this could theoretically result in more backflow than would otherwise occur. As a precaution, empty Miacup frequently and never leave Miacup inserted for longer than 12 hours without cleaning.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has considered this issue and has approved menstrual cups, like Miacup, for sale.

If you have any doubts or questions, we would recommend that you speak to your gynaecologist before using Miacup.

Isn't "backflow" a problem with Miacup?

Since Miacup collects menstrual flow rather than absorbing it, some women have expressed concern over the possibility of problems associated with reversed menstrual flow when adopting an inverted posture (for example, during yoga).

This concern comes, largely, from a theory first published in 1921 that suggested that backflow might be associated with the development of endometriosis, a common medical condition characterised by the growth of uterine tissue outside of the uterus.

While endometriosis is a complex condition and one whose causes are not yet fully understood, recent research has largely discredited this theory of "retrograde menstruation" (Understanding Endometriosis: Past, Present and Future, Endometriosis Research Center).

Menstrual cups like Miacup are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. As a precaution, do not leave Miacup inserted for longer than 12 hours without emptying and cleaning it.

Can I use Miacup if I have a yeast/fungal infection like thrush?

Miacup is unlikely to aggravate the infection. In fact, many women have reported an improvement in their symptoms after switching from tampons to Miacup.

Please do make sure, however, to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling Miacup. In addition, make sure to wash Miacup well after emptying and to sterilise it between periods.

In particular, it may help to also soak Miacup in some diluted white vinegar for a few minutes. Use approximately 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water. The vinegar will help to kill the spores which can cause fungal infections more effectively than other methods of sterilisation like boiling or the use of peroxide.

After soaking, make sure to thoroughly rinse off Miacup before reinserting.

Can I use Miacup if I suffer from menorrhagia (abnormally heavy and/or prolonged periods)?

Yes. Because Miacup is reusable and needs changing less frequently than tampons or pads, Miacup can help relieve the inconvenience and cost associated with symptoms.

Can I use Miacup if I suffer from dysmenorrhea (painful cramps during menstruation)?

Yes. Some women have even reported that using Miacup helps to reduce the severity of their menstrual cramps.

Can I use Miacup for the bleeding that occurs after birth?

For the first six weeks after giving birth, there is an increased risk of infection. As a result, it is not recommended that any kind of internal menstrual product be used during this time.
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