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Menstrual Cup, The New Taboo; Everything Women Need To Know About The Menstrual Cup

Posted: August 15, 2020

Menstruation has long been a topic of taboo and the advent of menstrual cups, an eco-friendly alternative has re-ignited debates over the “cup.”

Menstrual cup has become the taboo of the hour and everyone seems to have their own reasons not to use it. People since eons in our country are not willing to discuss the topic of periods, use of sanitary products, sexual health and what not, openly with teenagers. Menstruation has been always considered as a hush-hush topic in India, most of the menstruating women find it shameful, feel disgusted and awful about it.

The taboo surrounding menstruation

Women feel hesitant to talk about it and try to skip the conversation as much as possible regarding periods and the sanitary supplies available in the market. Women cannot be seen as the soul culprit for this unacceptable behavior. Our society has imprinted it in our heads that menstruating is shameful.

Whenever a woman goes to buy a sanitary pad the shopkeeper covers the pad packet in multiple layers of brown paper and puts it in a black polythene bag hence, pads hold the value of garbage even before coming in use.  Why do these people make women feel like criminals? I don’t think so  that when a murderer buys a stabbing knife, he receives it all wrapped to utmost precision so that nobody sees it, then why are sanitary- napkins go through the process of cheap gift wrapping- Oh no! I mean to say the unnecessary wrapping practices to hide the material which is not supposed to be hidden.

My main aim in this article is to break the taboos relating to menstrual cup but before that, I would like to break a major taboo that Indian women swear by, which is hiding their sanitary supplies, I am proud to be a women and not ashamed of menstruating therefore, with all the grace I am proud to click a picture with my menstrual cup!

Anatomy of the menstrual cup

Menstrual cup is mostly bell shaped with a stem attached to its bottom which makes it easy to pull it out from the vagina. It is made up of medical grade silicon commonly known as latex. Latex is also used for manufacturing condom. Latex is a thermoplastic isomer which belongs to the same family of polymers also known as “elastomers.” They are elastic in nature and easily adjust according to the shape of your vagina. Menstrual cup are approximately 5-7 cm in height, have a radius of 46 mm with minute holes on the top crimp which makes it easier to vacuum stick to the wall of the vagina. Menstrual cup does not absorb the menstrual blood or mucus secreted form the vaginal wall but it collects it.

Does one lose their “virginity” by using a menstrual cup and does it get stuck in there?

Before answering this question I would like to ask few questions to each one of you, who are running their eyes over this article. What do you mean by virginity? Does having a hymen make’s one pass the virginity test? What is virginity test? Who the hell is taking this test? Is society above personal comfort? I would urge each one of you to brainstorm on the above questions.

To be honest there no need to brainstorm on the aforesaid questions, rather than stop judiciously trusting the absurd hypothesis of the Indian society. Coming back to the main question; yes, using a menstrual cup does ruptures your hymen. Scientifically speaking having a hymen does not amount to one’s virginity, it can also get ruptured due to vigorous physical activity. The next question is does it gets stuck in there? FUNNY, isn’t it?  Whenever I suggest married women, who have children and are menstruating from over a decade, to use a menstrual cup, I always come across this same question. Practical answer to this premise is, if women can push-out five to six pounds babies from their vagina in contract to that it’s just a menstrual cup which has got a woman’s back in the actual time of difficulty and is more dependable than a man!

Why should we choose menstrual cup over tampons and pads?

As, shown in my picture above which states, “five problems one solution”. There are five main reasons one should not use tampons and pads:

Tampons and pads are non-recyclable

A woman menstruates for about 40 years from menarche to menopause (approximately a woman continuously menstruates for about 6.5 years) and in the course of this period a woman uses seven million pads which are non-recyclable. One pad takes about 500-800 years to decompose, a single women contributes to about 125 kg of non-recyclable waste during her menstruating years.  Why are we trying to make mother earth a landfill of blood socked pads?

Do not lock the odor

Blood which is absorbed by tampon or pad comes in direct contact with the air and reacts with it. Henceforth, the blood absorbed by tampon or pad start to smell.

They are not pocket friendly

A women spends about 40-45,000 INR for her sanitary supplies during her menstruating years. To be honest this a huge wastage of money and in return of the money you just get plastic which is not skin friendly, human friendly and most importantly causes hazardous damage to the environment.

They make you feel bad, for being a woman

Using tampon or pad is a very tedious and cringe worthy task because one has to continuously change them in frequent intervals, avoid light colored cloths, carry supplies of tampons and pads and on the top of all this the feeling of being petrified because of the fear of staining pants.

They are prone to infections

Pads and tampons can cause serious bacterial infections, yeast infections, infertility and even cancer. Pads and tampons contain a dioxin, an environmental pollutant which harms the bacterial fauna of vagina and disturbs the vaginal ph.

To the aforesaid problems there is one simple solution switch to menstrual cup, Right Now!

  1. The menstrual cup doesn’t cause any hazardous effect to the environment. They are made up of medical silicon. Ergo, start to degenerate after 10 years.
  2. They create a vacuum and stick to the vaginal wall because of the vacuum stick, menstrual blood does not react with the air molecules, no odor is experienced.
  3. Menstrual cup is extremely pocket-friendly.  One cup costs around 300 INR and lasts for 10 years
  4. It gives the best period experience as one has to empty the cup after twelve hours. Sometimes one even forgets that they are on their period.
  5. It is free from dioxin and saves one from a number of vaginal infections, maintains the vaginal ph.

Ergo, the conclusion is that put all the five menstrual problems into trash along with pads and tampons and switch to one solution which is the menstrual cup.  By making this switch you contribute not just a bit but a lot to mother earth, by not creating a landfill of tonnes and tonnes of blood soaked pads and leaving them behind for 800 years to decompose.

COVID-19 has already taught us the value of resources and our environment. let’s do our bit as sisters, girlfriends, wives and mothers most importantly as learned menstruating women to save mother earth.  I am proud of all the women who will try to do their bit to make mother earth a healthier and happier place for the generations to come.

Image source: Pexels

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