In September last year, I briefly worked on an NGO project that involved raising awareness about clean and healthy periods among underprivileged women. Part of the drive also included distributing free sanitary products among these women. I pitched the idea of distributing menstrual cups to the women owing to the fact that they'd last for years and make periods unbelievably comfortable and affordable for them.
However, the project head (a guy) immediately dismissed the idea saying, "No, they are very difficult to use" and to say I was left aghast would be an understatement. I mean I would have listened had he been a woman with any semblance of authority on the topic. Probably, I would have asked for even less and would have just given him the benefit of doubt had I not been using menstrual cups for almost half a year at that time. Oh, and I would have definitely believed him had menstrual cups not changed the entire idea of periods for me.
But how much can we really blame the guy for that's a common perception that people keep holding against menstrual cups. As we mark the 6th World Menstrual Hygiene Day today, we decided to share with you a first-hand experience of menstrual cups and how they can literally prove to be the game changers during your period days. Have had your reservations about using menstrual cups? Read how they changed periods for me and you'd surely be converted.
Okay, I know that there exists an ongoing debate about whether or not menstrual cups can really ease your cramps. There are some who claim that the cups can drastically help with the pain by stretching your vaginal muscles a certain way and there are some who claim the contrary. If you were to ask me, I certainly belong to the first category of people for I have almost quit using pain killers since my switch and that's a biggie because I always had to pop one (sometimes even two).
I am one of those people who experience very heavy flow during the menstrual cycle and thus sleeping during my periods has always been a nightmare. Until I switched to menstrual cups, I was always supposed to sleep on my side, that too in a particular angle, and even that couldn't help me with the constant fear of staining the bed. Naturally, I used to have a very disturbed sleep cycle, and that for me used to be the most irritating part of being on periods. However, since I have started using the cups, that has nicely changed for me. All I need to do it empty my cup before going to sleep and I can easily rely on it for my 8 hours of beauty sleep post that.
The wide, thick mouth of the menstrual cups scares the crap out of you? Let me help you there: inserting one is nothing like what you might have imagined in your mind. Made out of silicone, latex, or a thermoplastic isomer, menstrual cups are as soft as it gets, and given that you know the right technique to use them, they are way easier to use when compared to tampons. Plus, the ease of wearing one is unbelievable. Given that you insert it right, you wouldn't even realise that you are bleeding like a faucet down there. This might sound like an exaggeration but here's a true story: I once legit forgot to take out my menstrual cup for a good 20 hours because it was my fifth day and I just assumed that I had already removed my cup.
Owing to the fact that I have heavy flows, I have always had a constant wet feeling during my periods. Now, this might not be the case with those with a moderate or light flow but for me, it killed my very peace of mind and made me irritated all throughout the period. Tampons made me feel too dry and uncomfortable down there by soaking in the natural moisture as well. However, menstrual cup just did the task sans those difficulties and I owe them big for this one!
My menstrual cup has made period management amazingly flawless for me. In the name of disposing of the period waste, all I really need to do is empty the cup in the toilet flush it, and voila we are done! No hassle of period waste wrapped in papers or clogged toilets anymore. 10/10 for this experience!
Before switching to menstrual cups I was using a mix of tampons and pads to ensure maximum ease and caution during the periods and that easily used to bring my period budget every month to over 500. My menstrual cup cost me 799 bucks and has lasted me the entire year and certainly has a long way to go. Just for a perspective: I saved 5,200 bucks on menstrual hygiene products last year.
Lastly, menstrual cups have given me a big lesson in going eco-friendly. Seeing my period waste reduced to nothing has inspired me to aim for overall sustainability. Now, that's awesome and not just for me but the entire planet! How do you not love something that awesome?
As we mark the World Menstrual Hygiene Day today, how about we all vow to aim for healthier, more sustainable periods?
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