Menstrual Cups – Can It Replace Sanitary Pads?

Period – A word that grosses out many because a woman bleeding for 5 days is looked upon with disgust and the same blood piled up for 9 months making a human are celebrated. Incredible species we are!

In India, the amount of negligence prevailing surrounding ‘periods’ is shocking. Most of the girls are unaware of menstruation until they get their first period. Women on their period are considered unclean and not allowed to enter the kitchen. Basically, you are being tucked away from society for something that is so natural, so wonderful, so powerful like periods. That’s inhumane!

Pads – A pack of cotton napkins menstruating women use on their periods that is being sold and bought treacherously by wrapping it in newspapers and double-packing it in black polythene, just so that it doesn’t sneak out and cause havoc among the patriarchs!

The stats sure comes as shock to every Indian woman reading this. It’s not about education, even well-educated people follow these baseless traditions of secluding menstruating women. It is pitiable to see that most of our girls do not even have access to menstrual hygiene. Most women in India are still using cloth instead of pads without knowing the implications. The Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission is educating rural women about personal and menstrual hygiene. It also supports eco-friendly, bio-degradable and reusable options such as cotton cloth pads, period underwear and menstrual cups.

Bye Bye Pads. Hello, Menstrual Cups!

The biggest switch I’ve made in my life is moving from pads to menstrual cups. I want to straight away start talking about how awesome it is, but let me first tell you what it is.

A menstrual cup is a reusable, flexible, bell-shaped cup made of medical grade silicone that can be inserted in the vagina to collect the menstrual blood.

Gross, isn’t it?

The topic of menstrual hygiene is still a taboo among a large section of the society. With the growing number of diseases that are solely due to the lack of personal hygiene has forced people to take it seriously.

Periods do not mark a woman ‘unclean’, using rugs and cloth do!

Why Should You Stop Using Pads?

Researches have proved that our sanitary pads contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and phthalates. Apart from this, fragrance, colour, odour neutralizer and so many other potentially harmful elements are also added to make it extra-absorbing and odour-free. This has only made it all the more unsafe.

Let me scare you a bit by listing it down the evils of sanitary pads,

  • Causes uterine cancer
  • Interferes with the reproductive system
  • Pesticides and insecticides in the pads penetrates the body into the blood stream
  • Plastic used in the packaging is non-degradable and hence harmful for the environment
  • Causes infertility and birth defects
  • Disturbs the pH balance of the vagina (normal is 3.8 to 4.5)
  • Ultimately leads to TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome)

I Switched to Menstrual Cups and I Want You To Know This!

It’s been a couple of months since I started using menstrual cups. I finally gave in to the hype about these little blood funnels. I saw it on the internet and read so much about it but the fear of spillage stopped me from using it. A good friend of mine told how she switched to menstrual cups and how convenient it is once you get a hang of it.

After watching so many tutorials on how to properly insert a menstrual cup, I tried doing so. It took a good 15-20 minutes to get it right for the first time. I tried doing this a few days before my periods so that I am ready when I finally get them. Though I got it right, it felt like the cup was not positioned properly and the fear of staining made me use pads for a few days. To my surprise, there wasn’t a spot on the pad even after 3 hours of using it. However, it felt a little uneasy for the first two days.

Now came the terrifying part of getting the menstrual cup out. I almost panicked after trying to pull it out by its end and it didn’t come out. So, I reached for the bottom of the cup and pinched a little to release the pressure and it finally came out. Terrified by the thought that there would be blood all over me and my bathroom would look like a slaughterhouse I took it out. On the contrary, it was such a mess-free process with just some blood on my hands. I easily emptied it and washed the cup and inserted it again.

Menstrual cup is so awesome that anyone can use it and forget you are on your period. I have given birth to a child (a c-section though!) and had few miscarriages in the past and this has made me comfortable seeing and touching my own menstrual blood. However, young girls who have just attained puberty may not be okay with this. However, you know your body better and to use menstrual cups or not has to be one’s own decision rather than an influence.

Also read – Easy Recipe To Conquer Periods Pain!

Benefits of Using Menstraul Cups

Here are the reasons why you switch to Menstrual Cups.

  • Reusable upto 5 years
  • Lesser landfill waste
  • Free from chemicals and fragrance
  • Can be kept for a longer time unlike pads that require frequent changing
  • Freedom to travel, swim or do whatever you want without the fear of staining
  • No more stocking up of pads or rushing to the pharmacist
  • Maintains the vaginal pH balance
  • Easy to carry
  • Saves you a lot of money

Let’s Do The Math

This simple calculation will show you how cost-effective menstrual cups are when compared to pads.

The average cost per pad (popular brands) => 8 INR

Number of pads used in a day => 6

Cost of pads used in a day => 6*8 = 48 INR

An average cycle lasts 5 days. Hence,

48*5 = 240 INR

Total cost of pads used over 5 years = 240*12*5 = 14,400 INR !!!

Approximate cost of 1 Menstrual Cup – 400 INR !!!

And it lasts up to 5 years!

Now, you choose! Cancer-causing pads worth that many thousands or a safe, hassle-free, environment-friendly menstrual cup worth few hundreds?

Honest Size Guide

There are various factors taken into consideration while choosing a menstrual cup. Different brands have their own way of sizing the cups. It usually comes in small, medium and large. The size corresponds to the width of the rim and overall length of the cup. You also have to consider the softness of the material and holding capacity that would suit you. Here is a simpler way of choosing the right sized cup,

Small – Teenager / Sexually inactive / Involved in physical activities like sports, workout, etc.

Medium – Above 30 / Married / Sexually active / Not delivered a child vaginally / Delivered a child through c-section

Large –  Above 35 / Delivered one or more children vaginally

Where to Buy?

Here are some popular brands of menstrual cups available in India,

Simply click on any of the above brands to buy. Please check for the brand’s size guide to know your size and then place the order.

Happy Period!

One Response

  1. Anita Singh April 10, 2019

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