Using A Menstrual Cup: “What If There’s No Toilet?” And Other Questions You Always Wanted Answered

Posted: February 15, 2018

The menstrual cup is a fairly new entrant among sanitary options – here are most questions about using a menstrual cup, answered by a user.

Since my timeline is full of people who are suddenly comfortable with the idea of menstruation and what women do when they menstruate, I’m posting this.

This is a menstrual cup. It’s better than sanitary napkins in several ways and if you actually are a Sarath Babu fan and want to wear white pants all the time, this is your best shot. Because you rarely stain your clothes when using a menstrual cup.




What is it?

It’s a small silicone cup that you insert in the vagina during your period.

How does it work?

You empty the cup in the commode whenever it fills, rinse it and insert again. It’s enough to wash it with soap once a day – when bathing makes sense.

When will you know it’s full?

Every woman’s period is different. We all have days when the flow is less and days when it’s heavy. On the days when it’s less, you will probably need to empty it only once in six hours or so. On days when it’s heavy, you will need to empty it once in 3-4 hours. You can figure this out within two cycles and it’s no big deal.

Cups catch more blood than the average sanitary napkin, so you’ll need to use the toilet less number of times.

What if there’s no toilet? Or no water in the toilet?

You don’t need to empty your cup as frequently as you need to change your napkin. Don’t be paranoid. Not having access to a toilet is a problem even if you are using napkins. It’s not necessary to rinse the cup every time you remove it. You can use a tissue to wipe it or just re-insert without doing so. The world will not come to an end.

Isn’t it gross?

No. You are not going to splash around in the blood and play Holi. You will get a little bit on your fingers if at all.

Menstrual blood is like any other blood. Apart from social conditioning, the reason we get grossed out is because we think it smells bad. And it does, on a pad. This is because the blood is in contact with air. Since the cup is inside your body, the blood stays fresh and doesn’t stink.

But how do you put it in and get it out?

Yes, there’s a learning curve. You need to be familiar with your anatomy. But you should get it right within 3 cycles. And once you do, it’s super easy. Many of my friends got it right in the very first attempt. If you’ve used tampons, this should be pretty easy.

How expensive is it and where can you get it?

It’s between 750-1000 bucks and there are many brands available. Many online vendors including Amazon have it.

Cups come in different sizes – there will be instructions on how to pick the size. Read it and find yours. It’s not rocket science. A cup can last between 8-10 YEARS. Yes, years.

Can young girls use it?

The question you want to ask is – will it break the hymen? No, the cup sits lower than the hymen in the vagina. However, I don’t know how familiar young girls will be with their anatomy. They might also be scared of inserting a foreign object in their vagina.

Theoretically, they can use it. While several of my friends and I use the cup, our kids are still too young to menstruate. So frankly, I don’t know how easy or difficult it will be.

Why should you shift?

Because it’s bloody convenient. You don’t feel it at all inside the body. You don’t get rashes. You don’t need to visit the toilet every now and then. You don’t stain your clothes (unless the cup overfills). You can exercise comfortably. YOU CAN SLEEP WELL without that annoying wetness hounding you all night. It’s good for the environment. You leave behind less waste on the planet.

Is using a menstrual cup safe?

I’ve used the cup for over 2 years now and it’s amazing. I know many, many women who’ve made the switch and are all healthy with fully functioning vaginas. It’s more hygienic than a sanitary napkin which has exposed blood and contains chemicals. THE CUP IS SAFE. And you don’t feel like the Sahara down there after the cycle is over, unlike what you experience with pads.

Happy White Pants to you.

Published here earlier.

Image source: shutterstock

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Sowmya Rajendran is a feminist, and an award winning writer of many books for children and grown-ups, and also reviews films. She's a Deputy News Editor with The News Minute.

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