How many times can you use the same menstrual cup?

Menstrual cups are reusable feminine hygiene products that are inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual fluid. Rather than being disposed of after each use like tampons or pads, menstrual cups can be washed and reused for up to 10 years. This makes them an eco-friendly and cost-effective option for menstruators. A common question about menstrual cups is how many times they can be reused before needing to be replaced. Here is a quick overview of how many times you can use the same menstrual cup.

Quick Answer

Most menstrual cup brands state that their cups can be reused for up to 10 years with proper care and cleaning. On average, a menstrual cup can be reused 20-25 times per cycle, with 2 cycles per month. This means a single cup can be used for 480-600 cycles over its 10-year lifespan.

How Menstrual Cups Work

Before diving into reuse guidelines, it helps to understand what menstrual cups are and how they work. A menstrual cup is a small, flexible cup, usually made of medical-grade silicone or rubber. It is folded and inserted into the vagina to sit under the cervix and collect blood. The cup forms a seal with the vaginal walls to hold menstrual fluid until it is removed and emptied.

Rather than absorbing flow like a tampon, the cup collects it. This allows it to hold more fluid – typically 3 times more than a regular tampon. The cup is emptied every 4-12 hours by breaking the seal and pulling it out. It is then washed and reinserted. At the end of each cycle, the cup is disinfected by boiling before storing for the next cycle.

Main Parts of a Menstrual Cup

  • Body – bowl-shaped receptacle to collect flow
  • Rim – thickened top edge that seals against vaginal walls
  • Stem – thin “tail” used to grasp cup for removal
  • Air holes – small vents that release suction for easy removal

Manufacturer Guidelines

Most menstrual cup companies state their products can safely be reused for up to 10 years with proper cleaning. Here are the official reuse guidelines from several top brands:


The DivaCup is approved by the FDA for up to 2 years, but the company says it can often be used for much longer with proper care. They suggest replacing the cup every 1-2 years for optimal performance.


Lunette cups are made of medical-grade silicone that the company states will last up to 10 years with proper use and care.


Saalt estimates their menstrual cups will last 5-10 years with regular cleaning and replacement as needed. They recommend replacing sooner if leaks develop.


Lena states that with proper hygiene, their cups can be reused for up to 10 years before needing replacement.


Sckoon says their cups can safely be used for up to 10 years as long as they are properly cleaned and stored between cycles.

How Often Can You Use and Clean Per Cycle?

Within each menstrual cycle, how often can you reuse your menstrual cup between cleanings? Here are some general guidelines:

  • Clean the cup with mild soap and water every time you remove it.
  • Boil the cup for 5-10 minutes at the end of your period to disinfect it before storage.
  • During your period, remove, empty and reinsert the cup every 4-12 hours depending on your flow.
  • Aim to use the cup 20-25 times per cycle.
  • Take a break from the cup for at least 1 cycle per year.

Keep in mind that menstrual flow, activity levels, and individual anatomy can all impact how often the cup needs to be emptied and cleaned each cycle. Pay attention to leaking as a sign it may be time for a change.

Typical Menstrual Cup Reuse Schedule

Here is an example reuse schedule for a medium flow cycle:

Day Uses
Day 1 Insert cup in morning, empty and reinsert before bed = 2 uses
Day 2 Empty and reinsert upon waking and before bed = 2 uses
Day 3 Empty and reinsert 3 times throughout day = 3 uses
Day 4 Empty and reinsert upon waking and before bed = 2 uses
Day 5 Empty and reinsert once before removing cup = 2 uses
Total 11 reuses over 5 day cycle

This example shows a typical 11 reuses per cycle. With an average cycle length of 5 days, this comes out to 20-25 uses per month. Over 10 years of use, that can equal 2,400-3,000 reuses from a single menstrual cup.

Maximizing Longevity

To help your menstrual cup last for up to 10 years, follow these tips:

Regular cleaning

Wash your cup with a gentle, unscented soap after each removal. Sanitize in boiling water for 5-10 minutes after your period ends. Store in a breathable pouch between cycles.

Avoid harsh cleansers

Avoid cleansing products containing bleach, tea tree oil or harsh chemicals as these can degrade the material over time.

Inspect for defects

Before each cycle, check your cup for cracks, tears, or changes in texture or flexibility. Replace sooner if defects emerge.

Handle with care

Be gentle when handling, inserting and removing your cup to prevent damaging the material. Use water-based lubricant if needed for insertion comfort.

Give it a break

Let your vagina rest and “air out” by taking a break from the cup for at least 1 menstrual cycle per year.

When to Replace Your Cup

Aside from the manufacturer’s timeline of 10 years, watch for these signs it’s time to retire your trusty cup and purchase a replacement:

Material degradation

  • Cracks, tears, or holes in cup material
  • Cloudy appearance
  • Stiff, brittle, sticky or warped material
  • Foul odor

Changes in fit or function

  • Leaking occurs despite proper placement
  • Difficulty fully opening or sealing inside vagina
  • Discoloration

Repeated infections

  • Yeast infections
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Bacterial vaginosis

If you notice any of the above, it’s safest to replace your cup with a fresh one. While tossing a cup may feel wasteful, menstrual health and safety should take priority.


Can you use a menstrual cup forever?

No, menstrual cups should not be used forever. The material will eventually degrade and increase the risk of complications. Follow manufacturer guidelines and replace your cup every 10 years for optimal safety and performance.

Do menstrual cups expire?

Yes, menstrual cups expire after about 5-10 years of regular use. Expiration is based on material breakdown over time with repeated exposure to heat, moisture, friction, and cleaning chemicals. Replace an expired cup for hygienic reasons.

How do you know when to get a new menstrual cup?

Replace your menstrual cup when it becomes discolored, stiff, cracked or deformed. Also get a new cup if leaking increases despite proper placement, if you experience repeated infections, or when it reaches 10 years of use.

Can I use a menstrual cup forever without changing?

No, it is not hygienic or safe to use a menstrual cup forever without regular replacement. Menstrual cups are intended to be single-user products replaced every 5-10 years with proper care. Reusing a cup forever risks infections, leaks, and vaginal irritation or injury.

The Bottom Line

With proper use and care, a single menstrual cup can typically be reused for up to 10 years and approximately 2,400-3,000 cycles. However, it is important to replace your cup sooner if you notice material degradation, changes in fit/function, or recurring infections. Following manufacturer guidelines and being attentive to your menstrual health will ensure you get the most value from your menstrual cup while staying safe.

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