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

Wunsch, Nadine, Green, Stefan J., Adam, Sebastian, Hampton, Janie, Phillips-Howard, Penelope ORCID: and Mehta, Supriya D. (2022) 'In Vitro Study to Assess Effective Cleaning Techniques for Removing Staphylococcus aureus from Menstrual Cups'. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol 19, Issue 3, e1450.

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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 106 S. 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.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 240 Disinfection. Disinfestation. Pesticides (including diseases caused by)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 309 Women's health
WA Public Health > Sanitation. Environmental Control > General Sanitation and Environmental Control > WA 670 General works
WC Communicable Diseases > Infection. Bacterial Infections > Bacterial Infections > WC 250 Staphylococcal infections
WP Gynecology > WP 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2022 11:04
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2022 11:04


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