A valve menstrual cup is one that has a valve, or otherwise open, straw-like stem, that is meant to make it possible to empty the cup without having to remove it. We often see cup users (and the cup curious) excitedly asking for reviews of valve menstrual cups because it seemingly makes the cup even easier to use. It also alleviates concerns and fears about the often dreaded idea of emptying a cup in public.
How Do We Feel About Valve Menstrual Cups?
In short, we don’t support or recommend valve menstrual cups and the base reason is quite simple — safety. All menstrual products carry an inherent risk if used improperly and promoting emptying without removing also encourages extended wear (even if unintentionally), which can be dangerous or even fatal if TSS were to become a factor. While valve cups do say to wash every 12 hours we feel that extended user wear is a very real possibility. This risk seems especially unnecessary given the fact the vast majority of cup users can go 8-12 hours without needing to empty their cup.
- Valves will most easily empty a thin, very liquid menstrual flow
- For those who can comfortably wear cups with stems intact, the body of the cups are often reported as a good, comfortable fit
- Valves are not ideal for typical thick, viscous menstrual blood
- Clots cannot pass
- Stems can’t be removed for comfort, or even trimmed in most cases
- They must still be removed and washed every 12 hours
- Feedback on the valves seem to be that overall they are simply unreliable. (Some users report that the valve works. Some say that it is too hard to open. And others say that normal wear can pinch the valve enough to cause excessive leaking.)
- No reputable brand we’re aware of markets a valve cup (possibly for some of the above reasons?)
We love to see innovation in the menstrual cup space, but for now we are official out on this concept. If longer wear is something you need, we suggest checking out higher capacity cups on our Menstrual Cup Comparison Chart.
Have you tried a valve cup? Let us know what you thought in the comments.
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