No matter how long we have been riding on the crimson wave, periods have and will always be a bit of a nuisance. The internet is filled with period horror stories of first times, heavy flows and ‘surprise arrivals’. For a majority of Indian women, sanitary napkins or cloth have been the primary way of menstrual protection. We have all been there, lurking around our mothers’ dressers curious about the foreign object!
But growing up as a pretty active teen and later as an on-the-go adult, I craved for a more dynamic solution. I had tried tampons but hated having to change them quite frequently. I even experimented with many brands of pads which claimed they keep you ‘super dry’ but instead just gave me a rash!
After GST, the taxation of menstrual pads further extended my need to look for alternatives! I got the idea about using the menstrual cup from one of my favourite YouTube series Stuff Mom Never Told You and decided to give it a try! So here are some tried and tested things you should know before trying the menstrual cup!
Menstrual cups work by sitting inside your vaginal tract, just below the uterine opening. Now, this is the main reason why most women do not wish to try it due to the taboo surrounding it and most are just queasy about the process. You just have to get past all that to be able to use it!
Menstrual cups are designed in a way to fit snugly inside your vagina and stay there. You can go about your day - be it at the gym, or at the office if inserted correctly the cup won't be an annoyance.
The makers of the cup claim that it gives 12-hour protection before you have to empty it out. In reality, on my heaviest flow day, it lasted me an entire day at the office (which is a 10-hour deal). I would suggest you wear a pantyliner with a menstrual cup to be on the safe side if any leakage occurs!
The reusable kind is available online right now and comes in three sizes - small, medium and large. The small sizes are recommended for pre teens or petite girls, the medium can be used by women who haven't given birth and are below 30 and the large one is for women who have given birth.
For me, the menstrual cups were more hygienic as compared to pads. I didn't have to deal with the odour (menstrual blood only smells when it comes in contact with air) or any skin rashes as the skin never comes in contact with the flow. You can put on a pair of clean plastic gloves if the blood makes you queasy!
Unfortunately for women in India, the state of sex and reproductive education in schools has been extremely poor. As a result, women are unaware of their own anatomy. You will require some repeat tries to figure out how your vaginal tract is actually shaped with all its bends and turns! Once you are familiar, inserting the cup would be a breeze.
The reusable cups are more complicated to manoeuvre as compared to the disposable one. But they work pretty much the same way. Use disposable cups to practice insertion and use and if you are comfortable with the product, switch to the reusable ones!
It is important that you follow the instructions for insertion that are given on the pack. They are pretty explanatory and will help avoid any complications that may arise during use of the cup.
The reusable cups can last you years if they are maintained properly. This will save you money as you won't have to buy pads every month. They are also environment-friendly as pads generate a lot of waste.
Menstruation is a big part of woman’s life and we understand the amount of time and resources it takes up! This is our attempt at making your life a bit more easier! Buy one here and don't forget to share your menstrual cup stories with us!