That visit from Aunt Flo is every girls least favourite time of the month. 16 years and approximately 192 periods later, after having somehow gotten used to wearing the monstrosity the world calls sanitary pads, I came across this seemingly crazy, albeit very intriguing invention *cue drum roll* the Menstrual Cup.
The first time I heard about them, I thought they were a) gross, b) scary, and c) not going anywhere close to my vagina. So what exactly is a Menstrual Cup? Its a flexible, funnel-shaped cup made of medical-grade silicone thats inserted inside the cervix where it collects the menstrual blood instead of absorbing it like a tampon does. Like Sirona Menstrual Cup For Women
thats made with high-quality, toxin-free, odor-free and hypoallergenic silicone. Just like me, Neha Kothari, Senior Analyst at Citibank too thought it to be equally gross, Ewww! Why would I ever want to put it inside my vagina and collect blood in it? Apparently, women the world-over are singing its praises, there must be something to it. As they say, theres always a first time. This pressed all the right buttons mostly because Im devoted to staying environment friendly for eons now. Since we can wash and reuse the menstrual cup umpteen times, it enables us to reduce our carbon footprint in the environment. I knew I had to give this a go.
But it doesnt necessarily come easy to everyone. And it sure didnt for me. Neither did it for Jivita Budhrani, Assistant Manager at ASCENT Foundation, who struggled and eventually succeeded. She divulges, It took me all morning to figure how to insert it. I knew I would be spending all day doing this. Patience is a virtue, eh?
Although one cue that genuinely bolstered up my process came from Sharanya Iyer, Travel Blogger at TrulyNomadly. She urges you to, Try it first on a dry day. You know, on a day you dont have your period. Its not that bad when you get the hang of it. Boy, did I take her up on it! Aside from this, what I also realised along the way is that ordering just any cup doesnt cut it. You need the right cup size for your body (there are different sizes available based on your flow, your sexual activity, and even the length of your cervix). Try SanNap Menstrual Cup
which comes in three different sizes. Dont get overwhelmed, cause its not rocket science.
Heres e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g you need to know about Menstrual Cups before using it for the first
- Keep calm and don’t rush it. It’s going to take you more than a couple of attempts to wedge it into your cervix correctly. I memorized the instructions on the box, watched the how-to YouTube video about 5000 times, only then did I try it out. What may begin with a rough start will definitely have a smooth-flowing, oops, sailing end.
- Breath in. Breath out. Repeat. It’s important to relax when you’re putting it in. And don’t panic when you can’t get it out. Trust me, it gets easier. P.S: Squatting helps.
- Hygiene level: To the max. When using pads or tampons, there are toxins that get absorbed into our body often leading to what’s called Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Want to know some horror stories? Google it. And guess what, you can say goodbye to that period smell which, as we all know, is very real.
- One menstrual cup will last you up to 10 years. Listen to the sound of all that money you’re saving. Ka-Ching!
- Psst: It takes 500-800 years to decompose a sanitary napkin. Can you even imagine the repercussions it has on the environment? There’s no comparison with menstrual cups that’re eco-friendlier in nature, right?
- Unlike tampons and pads, you don’t need to change it once every few hours. Now, you can go 10-12 hours straight without making a dash to the ladies’ room. Hello tension-free traveling!
- The first time is horrible, but it does get better. You do feel uncomfortable when its
wedged up and takes some getting used to, but by Day 2 youll be quite capable of forgetting
its there at all (especially since you dont have to worry about changing it every couple of
- It can leak
sometimes. But that’s ONLY if it’s placed improperly or if you have heavy flow. I wore a pad along with the cup for the first two days, just in case.
- Warning for those suffering from hemophobia: It is a blood bath. Accept that your hands are going to get a wee bit bloody when you’re emptying the cup and washing it. Nothing washing your hands like you normally do can’t solve. Rustic Art Menstrual Cup has an added advantage since it comes with cloth pads.