Dropped Menstrual Cup in Toilet?
Maybe you lost your grip when putting your cup in and the next thing you heard was a splash. Perhaps you dropped it when removing and emptying or maybe it fell out when you were pooping. However, your menstrual cup fell into the toilet one thing doesn’t change…what to do next.
Is a menstrual cup in toilet water savable? Can you save and reuse the cup or does falling in the toilet mean that it needs to be tossed and replaced? Here are the details about losing your cup in the toilet:
Good cup hygiene starts with good hand hygiene. This means doing a good job washing your hands properly with soap and water before and after cup use. Germs commonly lurking on everyday surfaces and your hands pose a risk to your vaginal health. Doorknobs, your cell phone, tables…all sorts of surfaces you touch have germs that can be eliminated or greatly reduced with a good hand washing.
Even with good hand washing, the germs don’t stop there. Dropping your menstrual cup in the toilet is a fear many menstruators have especially if you’re someone who puts your cup in and out over the toilet. For some, it’s not just a fear…it’s a reality!
When you drop your menstrual cup in the toilet at home it can be less concerning than dropping the menstrual cup in a public bathroom. Why? At home, you can generally keep track of how often the toilet is cleaned, who has used it and what germs they may or may not be carrying.
With a public toilet, depending on the cleanliness you may or may not have other germs to worry about. Someone with the stomach bug or other intestinal or urinary germ may have used the commode and depending on the chemicals in the water those germs may be lurking for your menstrual cup.
What germs might be on my cup from toilet water?
The most common germ you may find in a toilet is E.Coli. It’s typically found in poop and typically and around your rectum is often in toilet bowls. Luckily, these germs die “if they’re heated to 165F (1)
Consequently, yeast dies at 140F (2) and even HIV dies at 140 (3)…should you be concerned about that bug living in the commode. The good news is that every germ I’ve googled today dies when heated to a relatively high temperature. This is the reason meat has to be cooked to a certain temperature before eating and you use hot water and soap to kill germs on your hands.
The length of time matters too. Studies I’ve read had more germs die with longer exposure to heat. Most companies recommend a 10 minute boil for your cup to sterilize before first use. Some brands recommend against boiling…but if the cup isn’t made of high quality silicone that can withstand boiling…I don’t want it in my vagina.
Can the cup be cleaned?
This is a highly personal decision. Several factors come into play. How expensive was the cup, how much the cup is loved and what sort of material the cup is made from. Good quality cups are made with medical grade silicone. This silicone itself should not grow bacteria as long as you remove fluids from the cup that they can grow in…aka toilet water.
The German cup I bought, had shipped to a friend in Germany and then shipped to me is obviously more personally valued and harder to replace than the USA made cup set I bought for $4 with a coupon.
The location of the toilet matters.
Job Johnny aka Porta Potty – no. I’m abandoning the cup.
My own toilet at home – absolutely 100% fishing it out and boiling.
Friend or relative – I would 100% fish it out and boil at my parents.
Public toilet – Probably fishing out and boiling. I wouldn’t use a scary commode unless absolutely necessary and then I would take precautions like removing and inserting off to the side. I would weigh the value of the cup and how hard it is to replace it.
How to avoid dropping your menstrual cup in the toilet
If you could completely avoid dropping the cup in the toilet in the first place…you probably wouldn’t be here. I get it. I typically empty my up sitting down on the toilet. Bathrooms can be small and there isn’t always a spot to toss a leg up and remove and reinsert your cup away from the commode.
I can say this. When putting it in I use 2 hands. One can catch if I drop it! I start inserting with one hand and then follow through with the other, pinching the cup on the sides to hold the fold. When I have lost my grip it’s because the cup is slippery.
I have a bidet on my toilet at home and the force of the water has also tossed the cup from my hand.
Take your time. It’s easier to drop the menstrual cup in toilet if you’re hurried or trying to save time.
When in doubt, replace.
While boiling the cup should kill germs if your find your menstrual cup in toilet water…if you aren’t sure about the quality of the silicone or possibility of sterilizing it completely…replacement is always the safest bet. If you can’t find the brand you love and need a cup right away, many pharmacies and even Target stores carry at least one brand of menstrual cup and many more stores are expanding to 2 or 3!
I would not sacrifice the happy feelings I have for my menstrual cups in exchange for saving one that fell in the toilet. If it really bothered me…I’d find another use for the cup.
Finances matter. While I may have the luxury of being able to replace my cup, there are many menstruators that find the cost of a cup to be a difficult purchase to afford. In this case, it’s a wonderful thing that menstrual cups in general do not harbor or grow germs and can be sterilized if needed.