Menstrual cups: This is what you need to know.
Ladies, let’s talk about menstrual cups for it’s that time of the month.
Strangely, all this time I was thinking the menstrual cups popped just recently! But the first commercial cup was developed back in 1937 by Leona W. Chalmers.
But why not pads?
A joint report by WaterAid India and Menstrual Health Alliance India in 2018 estimated that
1| 121 million women in India use disposable sanitary pads and used a conservative 8 pads per period amounting to over 12 billion pads.
2| If not treated properly, each pad can take more than 800 years to decompose.
3| To give you a fair idea, each pad has around 5-7 polybags of plastic.
4| An average woman uses more than 15000 pads in her lifetime.
However, it is not just the environmental benefit that motivated me to use it, but also the eventual comfort and ease. I started using it early this year. After all, you won’t know if a menstrual cup is right for you until you try one, right?
Why I love Menstrual Cups:
1| Menstrual cups can last up to ten years depending on the manufacturer and what they are made of.
2| You can buy them for anything between 300 rupees to 3000 rupees a cup saving you a lot of money over the long term.
3| You don’t have to worry about forgetting to carry tampons or pads in your handbag.
4| They are made of silicone which means they are soft, and you can’t feel them.
5| You can leave them in for up to 12 hours and even wear them before you start to avoid spotting.
6| They are easy to clean – simply rinse under running water, dry with a tissue and you are good to go.
7| You know they are sterile as you boil them at the end of every period.
8| The risk of TSS is nearly non-existent.
9| They don’t leak.
Some effective, tried and tested tips to help you make the switch:
Being eco-friendly yet comfortable during your period is probably the last thing on your mind when it starts and making the switch to a different menstrual hygiene product can be scary – but it is possible – if you take things one step at a time.
1| Plan Ahead
This is something you need to do when you are nowhere close to starting your period. Trust me, the chances of this happening otherwise are slim.
Do your research on the size and formation of the cup you need – there are plenty of helpful videos and websites.
Also check out the different materials available – I would suggest the softer silicone cups but that’s just a personal opinion.
Once, you have all that figured out – buy the cup you feel suits you best.
2| Using the cup for the first time
Try it when you’re not on your period so that nothing comes as a surprise on the show day. Since it is a transition, you can even use the usual sanitary products for the first couple of days of your period. Start using the cup on your third or fourth day or when your flow is lower. Apart from instructions from the manufacturer, there are plenty of videos online on how to insert a cup comfortably.
3| Be prepared for leakages
3| Be prepared for leakages
Use a pad or a liner the first few times you use the cup. Until you get the technique right, leakages are inevitable.
Girls, it’s a process, do give it a shot. You can start using the cup more and more as you become comfortable with it. Remember, patience and perseverance are key.
Learning how to use it, remove it, finding the right size and formation requires a bit of a learning curve. But it’s all so worth it. I hope I have given you some incentive to get started on your journey to a greener period.
Until next time,