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A few weeks ago when I was having my period, I had a bacterial infection (BV) and my menstrual blood had a strong pungent odor similar to rotting meat. (Yes, gross).

I've since been treated with antibiotics, but the smell on my cup will not go away even when boiled or wiped down with rubbing alcohol. I've also noticed that the silicone looks like it's slightly damaged...I'm wondering if the higher pH levels caused by the infection may have damaged it.

Two questions,

How can I get rid of the smell on my cup and can higher pH levels damage silicone? If so, I may have to temporarily switch over to cloth pads if I ever come down with another infection in the future.


leighah on June 15th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
Have you tried baking soda for the smell? I add a little water to make it into a thick paste, and then scrub the cup with it for a bit. This has taken care of any smells I've encountered. You could give it a try.
Sarcasticia Nitpickersontisiphone on June 15th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
Yes, either very high or very low pH can damage the surface of silicone products.
Dina Clarelintilla on June 15th, 2011 07:00 am (UTC)
I think if the pH were that high (or low), though, your vagina would be in *rough* shape! ;)
chloe98chloe98 on June 15th, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
Hi, i've wondered myself about the acidity in the vagina breaking down silicone. I don't really have an answer for that, but I know silicone is pretty tough, and I can't imagine one period w/ bv doing that much damage to it...but i'm really not sure. I do know leaving your cup out in the sun will get the stink out of it, and kill any bacteria on it. I've tried everything to keep my cups smelling fresh, like boiling, baking soda soak, hydrogen peroxide, and rubbing alcohol, and the only thing that worked for me was leaving them out in the sun for atleast a few hrs.
Em: TV // CI Wheeler Dazzle Meemploding on June 15th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
Have you tried putting it in for a few hours when you aren't bleeding? The natural cleaning your vag does can sometimes help clean the cup a bit, especially if you're known for getting bleachy stains on your undies from normal discharge.
nickelshoenickelshoe on June 16th, 2011 08:45 am (UTC)
According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacterial_vaginosis)
"To control bacterial growth, the vagina is normally slightly acidic with a pH of 3.8–4.2. A swab of the discharge is put onto litmus paper to check its acidity. A pH greater than 4.5 is considered alkaline and is suggestive of bacterial vaginosis."

Neutral water has a pH of 7. There's no way that a pH of 4.5 would damage your cup. A baking soda paste would put you over 7.
Erinclxtgirl on June 19th, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
I wonder if the antibiotics may have something to do with your cup's problems? They would be excreted in your discharge and have access to your cup.

People have talked about just the pH effecting the silicone, but I wonder what effect (if any) the drugs would have on the silicone.

Or the bacteria for that matter.... some of them give off really nasty stuff as a by product of their life cycle.

If the silicone is visibly damaged, I would personally be concerned about continuing to use it. I know a new cup is an investment.... but.... it takes a lot to damage silicone and if your cup is showing visible damage, what it happening at the microscopic level?