For decades, most of the women have been presented with two options to deal with the bloody days – a cloth or a sanitary pad, in that order of our respective privileges. But there’s another alternative that the pad companies don’t want you to know – the menstrual cup.
Menstruation, we don’t talk about. We don’t educate. Not culturally. We only quietly pass on the pads in black polythene bags, hide ‘em under our skirts and hint a girlfriend in a hushed tone about her bloody stain. But it is 2019, and so we shall talk. About uterus, ovaries, vaginas, menstruation and how we deal with it.
Until a few months back, I’d have never imagined I’d fall in love with a pretty-big cup I was expected to insert (read: shove) inside my vagina, let it collect my period blood and keep it inside until I literally remove with my fingers. And yeah, wash and reuse it too.
“That’s an ultimate sacrifice for environment lol”, I remember texting my girlfriend, making up my mind to never try it!
It was until Deep Bajaj, founder of Sirona India sent over their Sirona Cups for a trial.
“This is definitely not going inside my vagina,” I said as I quietly put the cup back in its box, back in a corner of my cupboard.
But, as more and more stories about menstrual cups kept appearing in the media, I began to explore the possibility of trying it once. Adventure. And so, on one adventurous day, I tried. And that changed my life. Here’s why I think THE SWITCH was my best ever decision:
1. A Menstrual Cup Can Last For You Like…Forever!*
According to Sirona Menstrual Cup’s website, one menstrual cup can last you for almost 10 years with proper care. On average, a woman menstruates for 42 fertile years of her life. Which means you can really get through your entire life buying just 4-5 menstrual cups!
Taking care of a menstrual cup:
To clean the cup, you can sterilize it before and after every cycle. To sterilize, simply rinse it normally and then place it in a pot of water and boil it. Boil for 2-10 minutes and then remove and allow it to dry. During your cycle, after removing the cup, empty its contents, wash the cup under cold or warm water and then reinsert it.
2. Go Easy Peasy On Your Wallet:
Before hitting menopause, an average Indian woman spends around Rs. 1,20,000 only on sanitary napkins. Sirona Reusable Menstrual cup comes for just Rs. 349 and can be used for as good as 10 years! Which is an expense of just Rs. 1400 spent on buying 4 menstrual cups over an average of your 40 menstruating years.
Now think of all that you could do with the money you save!
3. Don’t Worry About Changing The Pads All Day
A period cup can hold up for up to 12 hours with medium to heavy period flow. Menstrual cups can hold almost 5 times the amount of blood compared to a sanitary napkin. So yeah, you can basically chill all day without worrying about carrying and changing the pads!
4. Almost never leaks
Women have bonded over ‘can you check for stain’ with each other for decades. This is something you might miss after moving to a cup because it just doesn’t stain! If inserted properly, menstrual cup forms a suction, collecting all the liquid in it without a spill.
Meaning, go all white if you want without worrying about staining your pretty dress!
5. Swim, run, dance, never bother!
Can I workout when am on periods? The short answer to this is me screaming a YAASS!! It’s not me, it’s the doctors saying this – physical activity is highly recommended when you are menstruating. It helps minimize cramps, reduces menstrual flow and also elevates your mood.
However, you shouldn’t enter the ocean or the pool without wearing something to prevent the blood from leaking out of the suit. While sanitary napkins get soggy and leak, a menstrual cup will make sure it quietly sits in, collects the blood while you cardio your periods away!
6. Say bye to rashes and dryness
The process of making sanitary pads in India hasn’t changed for decades, quotes an article. The only innovation by big companies are cosmetic. Sanitary pads, to provide maximum absorption are made of different layers – the cover stock, distribution and collection layer, absorbent layer, back layer and siliconised paper.
“Products used to make commercial sanitary napkins seem innocuous but they may be laced with dioxins, petrochemicals, and fragrances. When these chemicals come in contact with sensitive skin, tissue may get irritated. Dioxins are carcinogenic in nature hence the risk of cancer increases even at very low levels of exposure,” writes Anuradha Barman, S.D. Asagekar and Pooja Katkar in the paper An Overview on Sanitary Napkins published on Technicaltextile.net.
Among other benefits like reducing dryness, odor and cramps, menstrual cups are also a great alternative for you to save yourself from toxic shock syndrome, a potentially fatal illness caused by a bacterial toxin.
7. Your switch to menstrual cup can save the planet, no exaggeration!
Indian women use 432 Million pads annually, generating 9,000 tonnes of total waste. Since sanitary pads contain plastic, which doesn’t biodegrade, it will take at least 500 to 800 years for them to decompose. Pads incineration also contributes to environmental pollution by releasing toxic fumes. Solution?
Switch to the cup! A Sirona menstrual cup can last you for 10!
8. It’s not that gross, actually
Hesitation with menstrual cup is a mental block, I confirm. It’s not painful, it easily gets in and it’s not gross. I mean, we’ve collected our blood in a slab of adult diaper all the time. Why would we gross out with the idea of collecting our flow in a cup?
Disclaimer: This post is a part of our collaboration series with Sirona India to address intimate and menstrual hygiene issues for women, which are not adequately and responsibly addressed in our country.
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