The menstrual cycle is one of the most amazing phenomena that a “normal” woman gets to experience BUT having to wear bloody damp pads the whole day and night with irritation, rashes, and bad quality of sleep along with being fearful about the Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) if you’re using a tampon, every single month, is definitely not amazing, in fact, it is really annoying. So, can we get rid of it and enjoy our periods? As the title suggests, YES!! And that’s through a menstrual cup.
What’s a menstrual cup?
It is a small cup-like device made up of silicone that is to be inserted inside your vagina to collect your menstrual blood. Unlike other period products, it doesn’t absorb but collects your blood. You flush it after the cup is full and re-insert it again, and you’re good to go!
It’s totally normal to feel that way but as the saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover” you’ll eventually realize that choosing a menstrual cup is the best decision you’ve made. Of course, everyone is a newbie at the beginning, and you might not succeed in the first go and for that patience and practice is the key. You might be frustrated and might experience some sort of pain because it’s a new thing that you’re trying. Don’t get freaked out with the word “pain”, it’s trial and error, there’s a learning curve and once you learn how to use it properly, you won’t even feel that it’s inside, and you’ll even forget that you’re having a period! Personally, it took me 2 cycles to learn to use it properly and from the third cycle, I decided never to go back to tampons and pads again!
Why menstrual cups?
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of choosing a menstrual cup over other period products.
• It’s environmentally friendly. On average, a woman uses 6000-7000 pads or tampons from menarche to menopause and since they’re non-biodegradable, they remain in the environment for more than 200 years. Just imagine the load we’re putting into the environment every single month! Hence, choosing a menstrual cup is a wise decision for the environment, as well as your health.
• It’s a healthier choice. There are least or no chances of TSS due to the use of menstrual cups. Furthermore, using tampons and pads for more than 6 hours is unhealthy BUT when it comes to the period cup since it is made up of silicone, it does not react with your body, and you can use it for 12 hours straight depending on your flow.
• You can do everything with the cup in, WITH EASE: yoga, exercises, dancing and even swimming. Once inserted properly there’s no chance of any leakage and that’s one of the best things you’ll get to experience.
• You’ll experience an odor-free period. Unlike with pads, the menstrual cup doesn’t allow the blood to react with outside air which prevents the odor.
• It’s pocket-friendly. Once bought, you can reuse the same cup for 10-12 years!
I don’t think it’s an over-exaggeration to say that it’ll make your life much easier than you had ever thought of. Mark my words, and you’ll feel it after you’ve learned to use them properly.
I don’t think there could be any cons of using a menstrual cup but let me give you an honest review based on my experience.
• You’ll find it difficult to use and might experience discomfort when using for the first time typically if you’re sexually inactive and have not even tried tampons. But after you explore more about your body type and find the best way of using it (don’t worry, you will!), the problem’s solved.
• You’ll be recommending it to every girl you meet and this is the reason why I’m writing this article LOL honestly!
How to use it?
Well the cup is to be folded (there are many types of folds that you can find on Google, and it varies depending on what works best for you) and inserted inside your vagina until the cup is totally open inside, you perform it by squatting down or by stepping one foot on a bathtub/commode. Make sure that it’s created a seal. I recommend you to go through YouTube for proper guidelines as it’s more convenient to learn visually.
After your period is over you may sterilize it via a sterilizer, or you can simply boil with caution and keep it safe.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
1. Will I lose my virginity?
Ans: First, you have to keep in mind that the condition of your hymen is not responsible to determine whether you’re a virgin or not. The hymen is just a thin tissue present on the vaginal opening, and it may or may not tear while you use the cup, even if it tears there’s no need to worry, it is totally fine.
2. What age groups are the best eligible to use the cup?
Ans: Everyone is equally eligible, it is made for every girl be it those who’ve just started their periods or teens or mothers.
3. How do I know my size?
Ans: It basically depends on how high your cervix is and how much you bleed but if I have to suggest, I’d suggest you follow the size chart provided by the company itself.
Where to buy it?
It’s easily available on online stores like Daraz, Padashala online shopping, Jeevee app, and probably on pharmacies nearby.
Lastly, don’t be scared, relax, calm down and give it a try. It’s a MUST. Enjoy the fuss-free periods, all the best!
Article Credit: Aarya Adhikari
Aarya is currently pursuing her higher education at Adarsha Vidhya Mandir (AVM) in grade XII.