If your cup smells bad, there is something wrong. Menstrual blood has no smell, so what you used to associate with a “period smell” was nothing more than the chemical products contained in tampons and pads which produce this unpleasant smell when in contact with menstrual blood.
Medical-grade silicone menstrual cups, like the enna cycle cup, are less likely to smell bad as the material is inert and hypoallergenic, and is 100% compatible with our body. If your menstrual period cup is made of TPE plastic, as this is an unhealthy material, it will pick up smells more easily. The process would be similar to reusing plastic bottles which eventually end up with an unpleasant smell which is impossible to get rid of, so we have to throw them out. In this case, you would have to do the same with your cup.
These are the reasons why your cup smells bad
There are several reasons why your menstrual period cup might smell bad, even if it is made of medical-grade silicone.
- The cup has been used for too long. On one of those days when we don’t stop or a night when we sleep for too long, we might use the cup for more than 12 hours. By and large, this is fine if it only happens very occasionally, but the blood will start to decompose and give off a nasty smell, especially if you get into the habit of doing this.
Even if there is little blood, this is the main reason for which you must not leave the cup in for more than 12 hours. You are also more likely to be affected by Toxic Shock Syndrome which, although it is not closely connected to the cup, is still possible to get.
- Cleaning the cup with too much soap. If you clean the cup with soap or wipes between changes, it is important that you rinse it properly. Any leftover soap, even if this is intimate soap, can be fed on by the bacterial flora normally found in the vagina, allowing it to grow exponentially and giving rise to unpleasant odours and a change in the vaginal flora and pH. Remember that you don’t have to clean the menstrual period cup with soap but if you do, make sure there is none left over.
- The end of your period. When you use the cup on the last days of your period, and there are barely a few drops which are now brown in colour, the cup may start to smell slightly acrid even when you change it regularly. This is nothing to worry about: it is just because “old” blood doesn’t smell as metallic as the blood at the start of your period and this odour fills the cup.
- You haven’t kept your cup in the enna box. You should keep your enna cycle cup or any other menstrual period cup in either a cotton bag or a container which is not too airtight so the cup can breathe. Otherwise, it might pick up unpleasant smells or even some bacteria from the dampness.
How to clean your enna cycle
Below are some options which will help stop your cup from smelling bad:
- Leave the cup to soak for a few hours in a solution with equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide, and then sterilize it again with bottled water.
- When the cup is slightly damp, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on your hands and scrub the cup. This will get rid of the bad-smelling film which has appeared around the cup. You can use a toothbrush to properly reach the area with the holes that create a vacuum.
Both solutions can also be used if your cup has been tinged with brown. This happens due to the iron in the blood. If your cup takes on a brown colour, this doesn’t mean you can’t use it. The cup is simply being tinged with the iron in your menstrual blood and there are some women who see this colour change very quickly while others don’t. You will know you need a new cup when you see a change in texture, or if your cup has any cut or hole in it, or you notice that an oily or sticky film has formed on the cup which won’t go away.