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Menstrual cups to be authorized for sale

Feminine hygiene menstrual cups will be available soon in South Korea, government officials said Sunday.

According to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, menstrual cups will officially be imported to the local market as early as July, when an import license is issued.

An image of menstrual cups (123RF)
An image of menstrual cups (123RF)

The ministry said it is in the process of reviewing data submitted from a number of companies willing to produce or import menstrual cups, mainly examining the safety of the products. It will issue an import permit application form to the selected firm as soon as possible.

Menstrual cups have been classified as quasi-drugs in Korea and are banned from the market, as their safety and efficacy have yet to be verified.

“The official importing process can be brought forward when the prior examination is done,” the ministry official said.

The menstrual cup is an alternative to sanitary pads and tampons and is made of silicone, which is inserted into the vagina during menstruation to catch menstrual blood. It has been gaining in popularity for its affordability and convenience compared to other menstrual hygiene products.

In particular, the product has been spotlighted in Korea after the story of a low-income teenager using a shoe insole instead of sanitary pads become a hot topic, as the menstrual cup can be used semipermanently.

By Byun Hee-jin (