Sustainable Menstruation is the need of the hour. In India, more than 1 billion sanitary pads are used and disposed of every year. There are several problems associated with disposable menstrual waste that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, India is only part of the problem.
Sanitary pads are non-biodegradable, and their primary component is plastic. This plastic takes about 800 years to fully disintegrate. Given the number of menstruating women and billions of pads being disposed of every year, handling menstrual waste has become a mammoth task.
Environment advocacy organizations have recognized the impact of menstrual waste, thus promoting a shift to sustainable and eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products like menstrual cups and cloth pads.
Besides, there are many health benefits of menstrual cup use and other sustainable products.
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a reusable and sustainable female hygiene product. It is a small, funnel-shaped cup made of silicone or rubber that is inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual blood.
Depending on your flow, a menstruator can wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours. Cups hold more blood compared to any other menstrual product. Menstrual cups are made of medical-grade silicone and can be reused for five to ten years. Similarly, cloth napkins are washable and can be reused for at least two years.
Menstrual cups are usually used as an eco-friendly alternative to tampons and sanitary napkins. Popular brands that make period-safe menstrual cups are Moon Cup, PeeSafe, Lunette, DivaCup, LilyCup, and so on.
Read on to know more about the energetic benefits of menstrual cup!
How to reap benefits of menstrual cup use ?
If you are interested in giving menstrual cups a try, your gynecologist can walk you through it. Before inserting the menstrual cup, it has to be boiled to sanitize it remove any bacteria. Then the cup needs to be folded and inserted inside the vagina.
Once the cup is safely inside your vagina, rotate it. This will cause it to spring up and create an airtight seal that keeps the cup secure and prevents any leaks.
Remember that if inserted correctly, you won’t be able to feel the cup. You can do everyday activities such as sitting, walking, jumping, and so on without the cup falling out. If you experience any trouble inserting the cup, it’s best to speak to a doctor.
Reasons why you should switch to a menstrual cup
There are many reasons why a menstruator should consider switching from disposable sanitary napkins to sustainable menstrual hygiene products like the menstrual cup.
1. Save money
Since menstrual cups are reusable, we can use them for years before investing in another. Therefore, buying one cup, which may roughly cost you $30 a year, costs you much less than buying a box of tampons every month.
2. Extra five hours before a change
It is common knowledge that leaving tampons for six to eight hours results in toxic shock syndrome (TSS). However, with menstrual cups, you have the possibility of going up to 12 hours before needing a change.
3. Fewer leaks
With proper insertion, the menstrual cup forms a suction. This limits the possibility of any leak.
4. No rashes
Menstruators are familiar with period rashes. Luckily, there is no possibility of chafing or a pad rash with menstrual cups.
Menstrual cups are just as comfortable as sanitary napkins or tampons once you get the hang of them. Besides, they aren’t as scary as it seems. You can change cups in a public restroom if needed.
Health benefits of menstrual cup use
Menstrual cups aren’t the latest addition to the period-product market. In fact, they have been around since 1937. Since then, the product has been innovated and further refined to make it perfect for women.
There are many health benefits of menstrual cup use. Health and Innovation-aside, menstrual cups are eco-friendly, reusable, cost-efficient.
1. Menstrual cups are safer.
Menstrual cups don’t absorb blood; instead, they collect it. The stale blood can become the breeding ground for bacteria, and it often leads to itching down there and bad smell emitting. In worse case scenarios, a tampon that has been left in your vagina for a prolonged period can lead to TSS.
Toxic shock syndrome is a rare yet dangerous bacterial infection that is associated with the use of tampons and disposable sanitary napkins.
2. They reduce odor.
There is an unpleasant fishy odor that comes with your period. Using menstrual cups can reduce odor as they have an airtight seal, and the blood is not exposed to the air.
3. You can use a menstrual cup even if you have an IUD.
There is a popular belief that the insertion of a menstrual cup may dislodge an IUD, but research has debunked this myth. However, if you are still unsure of using menstrual cups with an IUD, you should check with your doctor.
Answers to your menstrual cup questions
Here are some menstrual cup FAQs!
- Is it hard to insert the cup?
Yes and no. Of course, at first, it will take you time to get the hang of it. But, once you are there, it is easy-breezy. When you are trying the cup for the first time, read the instruction manual carefully and be relaxed. It’s a process, and you will get there.
- Can you wear menstrual cups longer than you can wear a tampon or sanitary napkin?
Yes, you can. Disposable sanitary products need to be changed every five to six hours, or else it poses the risk of toxic shock syndrome. On the other hand, you can keep a menstrual cup inside for up to 12 hours.
- Can you sleep or swim with the cup?
Yes. You can do anything or perform any activity while the cup is inserted.