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Article

In Vitro Study to Assess Effective Cleaning Techniques for Removing Staphylococcus aureus from Menstrual Cups

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Sustainability Team, Einhorn Cups, 10997 Berlin, Germany
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Department of Internal Medicine and Genomics and Microbiome Core Facility, Rush University, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
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Hycoma Microbiology Research Laboratory, Biofilm Management, 48149 Muenster, Germany
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Independent Researcher, Oxford OX4 2EZ, UK
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Department of Clinical Sciences, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK
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Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1450; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031450
Received: 21 December 2021 / Revised: 24 January 2022 / Accepted: 25 January 2022 / Published: 27 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Women's Health)
Background: We sought to determine the effectiveness of common cleaning procedures in eliminating S. aureus from silicone menstrual cups. Methods: In this in vitro study, we tested four cleaning techniques: (1) cold water; (2) cold water and liquid soap; (3) cold water followed by steeping the cup in boiled water for 5 min in a ceramic mug covered with a small plate; and (4) cold water and soap followed by steeping the cup in boiled water as in (3). Human blood was coated to the inner and outer surface of each cup, dried, and incubated with 106S. aureus colony-forming units (CFU/mL). All tests were performed in triplicate. Viable bacterial abundance was measured with decadic dilution and drop plate or surface plating. Results: Bacteria were most effectively eliminated by cleaning cups with soap and water and then steeping in boiled water (0 CFU/cup vs. 2.075 × 108/cup no cleaning, p = 0.005). This was not statistically significantly different from washing cups with water only and steeping 5 min in boiled water (14 CFU/cup). Raised lettering on the outer surface of the menstrual cups resulted in more bacterial recovery from pieces with lettering than without lettering. Conclusions: These results advance knowledge of between-period menstrual cup cleaning recommendations, suggesting that the logistical challenges of continuous boiling may be eliminated with steeping at least 5 min. View Full-Text
Keywords: menstrual cups; menstrual cup cleaning; menstrual management; menstruation; Staphylococcus aureus menstrual cups; menstrual cup cleaning; menstrual management; menstruation; Staphylococcus aureus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wunsch, N.; Green, S.J.; Adam, S.; Hampton, J.; Phillips-Howard, P.A.; Mehta, S.D. In Vitro Study to Assess Effective Cleaning Techniques for Removing Staphylococcus aureus from Menstrual Cups. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 1450. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031450

AMA Style

Wunsch N, Green SJ, Adam S, Hampton J, Phillips-Howard PA, Mehta SD. In Vitro Study to Assess Effective Cleaning Techniques for Removing Staphylococcus aureus from Menstrual Cups. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(3):1450. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031450

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wunsch, Nadine, Stefan J. Green, Sebastian Adam, Janie Hampton, Penelope A. Phillips-Howard, and Supriya D. Mehta. 2022. "In Vitro Study to Assess Effective Cleaning Techniques for Removing Staphylococcus aureus from Menstrual Cups" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 3: 1450. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031450

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