The menstrual cup is here! Most women have heard of it, but some still haven’t. What is a menstrual cup, you ask? It is exactly what it sounds like. It is a cup that you insert into your vagina when you have a period. The mechanics are just like a tampon, except that it opens up like a cup once inserted into the vaginal opening. Once you are done using it, take it out, give it a wash, and it’s ready to be used again. They can be used for up to 12 hours at a stretch! Ooooh, what a relief!
Most menstrual cups are made of 100 per cent medical-grade silicon. These are safe to use and do not have to be changed every 4-6 hours like pads and tampons.
The chances of contracting toxic shock syndrome with tampons and pads are low, but there still is a chance. With the menstrual cup, this risk is completely eliminated as bacteria don’t have any breeding ground. Pads and tampons also have chemicals and perfumes that may or may not agree with our skin. Rashes and infections are common in women who use them. On the other hand menstrual cups only have advantages.
We spoke to a few women who have tried, tested and recommend these menstrual cups.
Once you pass a landfill in the city outskirts, it’s hard to ignore how much sanitary waste we produce. Just reading the figures and seeing how waste managements systems are not in place to handle this volume made me want to move to a more sustainable method of menstrual care.
Asmira Ali*, a 26-year-old HR professional from Bangalore, told us that she switched to menstrual cups because of its environmental impact, “I think women can learn to adjust to a menstrual cup because if they understand the waste impact of a single pad, it will shake them and move them to make good changes”.
Another reason why we recommend the cup – one single cup can last you 10 whole years! That’s 10 years of no pads or tampons! Those are some big savings if you think about it.
Malvika Tiwari, a design professional from Bangalore also made a point, “Once you pass a landfill in the city outskirts, it’s hard to ignore how much sanitary waste we produce. Just reading the figures and seeing how waste managements systems are not in place to handle this volume made me want to move to a more sustainable method of menstrual care.”
The silence and taboo around menstrual hygiene in our culture is the reason there is so little development in this field.
Malvika also spoke about the taboo of menstruation in our country, and how the reviews for menstrual cups were mainly from women in western countries, “the silence and taboo around menstrual hygiene in our culture is the reason there is so little development in this field”. Many women are still not aware that there are eco-friendly options available to them. It’s not just about being eco-friendly, these cups are easy to use, they save you loads of money, they have high capacity and are healthy and non-toxic.
Shopkeepers hand you the pads in black plastic bags, and everyone knows what that is used for!
Manju Basha, a software engineer from Bangalore explains this perfectly, “Recently, 6-7 months back, one of my friend introduced me the concept of ‘Menstrual Cup’. Since then it’s been bliss, I need not bother about hiding napkins or buying it from a shopkeeper or disposing of them. I can swim when I have my period! More than all of this, the satisfaction of not disposing bio-waste and spoiling the environment can never be described with words.”
So, what’s the verdict?
The menstrual cup has benefits not only for you, but for your wallet too, and most importantly, it is an eco-friendly solution to menstruation and waste management. So, ditch the pad, and switch to the menstrual cup!
* – name changed on request
Pic credits: slate.com, helloflo.com