Menstrual cup is a female hygiene product made of high-grade medical grade silicone (biodegradable) have the advantage of reuse, and can potentially last up to 5-10 years.
Menstrual cup is an alternative to sanitary pads and tampons which has received attention in relatively small-scale. (Mostly in high income nation among working class females)
In India the more than 80% of millennial and Gen z females are aware of this choice but hardly 2% have opted to switch to this alternative
So let’s see what are the reasons “Why Indian women are confused whether to Cup it or not!?”
The process of insertion and removal of menstrual is a huge mental block :Inserting a finger inside your vagina is considered taboo, let alone a seemingly large object like a cup.
Many women are ashamed of discussing of even mentioning anything about periods :Culturally, periods are considered ‘impure’. Women are not allowed in certain areas of the house and are given separate clothes and utensils to use during their period days.
Women freak about the thought of touching a cup with blood with bare hands.
Less or almost no advertisement , Also as of now menstrual cup are not widely available you would have to purchase one online.
Finally some percentage of them do not know or lack knowledge regarding what is it..? How to use..?
Now I will tell you reasons why you should ditch your Sanitary Pads and Tampons and switch to menstrual cup
Comfort : Menstrual cup allows you the freedom to indulge in any sort of physical activity (even yoga and swimming),wear white clothes without even being bothered about your periods
Reusability ,hence cost effective…A menstrual cup may cost you anything between 400–2000 Rupees but you should always keep in mind they last for a minimum of 5 years so if you calculate the per period cost, it’s barely 6–30 Rupees
They do not have any chemicals or artificial fragrance(sanitary napkin and tampons have dioxins which are known carcinogens) and as they are made up of inert substance they won’t cause any infection or rashses
Lastly it’s eco-friendly so you aren’t contributing to the pollution by disposing menstrual hygiene products.
I’ll try to answer some FAQ’s regarding the use of menstrual cup
Is it safe to use menstrual cup? Menstrual cups are generally a very safe option for period care? They are made up of medical grade silicone hence they are hypoallergenic.
I am small built, can I use it? The answer is Yes . Menstrual cup comes in several sizes . Also vaginal wall are very elastic they can easily accommodate the cup
I am a virgin, can I use it? Yes, but using the cup will stretch your hymen. It is up to an individual whether or not they should take this risk (PS : Virginity is just a state of mind)
Is there a specific ‘way’ to insert it? Yes there are several ways if folding and inserting the menstrual cup ( I’m attaching an image you can further go and watch some YouTube tutorial for this )
5. The blood continues to remain inside me until I empty it. Is this hygienic? Absolutely it is more hygienic than the blood getting soaked into a pad for the same amount of time
6. Do I have to sterilize it after each use? Or once at the end of the cycle is enough? Before starting to use the cup sterilize it by boiling it in hot water, now everytime you empty it first wash it with cold water (you may also use antiseptic) At the end of the cycle sterilize the cup again by putting it in boiling water , dry your cup properly and store it in some cloth bag until next cycle
7.How often do I need to empty the cup? This is variable and depends on your flow. You can keep a menstrual cup in on normal-to-light days for as much as 10-12 hours at a stretch with no leakage and no danger to your body .
Turns out menstrual cup was invented in 1932 and it took 88 years to reach to me and I don’t know how many more years or decades will it take for it to reach the women in our nation.There is so less discussion about menstrual hygiene in India that I won’t be surprised if still more than half of the women in India are not entitled to enter certain parts of house while menstruating,given a corner to sit and treated like trash while they bleed . Remember Periods are not Too Gross,Too weird, Too Inappropriate to talk about. So dear women out there, switch to this option without waiting any more years and make your Period, Modern Period.
Why should I use a menstrual cup?
I have been using the same menstrual cup for over half a decade now and I cannot recommend it enough. From the first time I used a menstrual cup, I have never even felt the need to turn back to the sanitary napkins that I used before. I have been lobbying for the cause of menstrual cups for years now. I have pulled about five of my female friends with me to make the switch as well. They now hold the menstrual cup in high regard as I have always done. So allow me to convince you as well.
Menstrual cups save you money. It does not matter if you are rich or poor. Every cent matters. After investing about three hundred to five hundred rupees in my first menstrual cup, I have since then never paid for a sanitary napkin.
You never “run out” of menstrual cups as you do with tampons and pads. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, bleeding into your bedsheets? Have you then realized that you have run out of your pad/tampon and had a mini heart attack? You won’t ever have to deal with that when you have the cup.
Menstrual cups do not dry your vagina. They do not add chemicals to your vagina. You and your vaginal flora are safe in the silicone hands of menstrual cups. This also drastically decreases your chances of getting infections.
Menstrual cups are great for the environment. None of us here are climate activists giving speeches at the UN. But with this single step of switching to menstrual cups, we are making the fight against climate change and pollution much easier.
This is the biggest selling point of menstrual cups: they are insanely comfortable. Once you have placed the menstrual cup inside appropriately, you can pretty much forget that you are having your periods. You can forget the feeling of having your soaked pad sticking to your crotch forever.
They can hold much more menstrual fluid than tampons or pads. For people like me who do not like frequenting the bathroom, this is the deal maker. You can go up to ten hours (depending on your flow) without even having to think about needing to change.
In my opinion, menstrual cups are a win-win situation where I’m not losing out on anything. If you are afraid of pain or discomfort, you just have to buy a soft menstrual cup that would be gentle and flexible. Hope you decide to make the switch!