Do you know menstrual cup was invented way back in 1937?
That’s more than 8 decades back.
A menstrual cup is a type of reusable feminine hygiene product. It’s a small, flexible funnel-shaped cup-like device made of rubber or silicone that is inserted in the vagina to catch and collect period fluid coming from the uterus during menstruation.
Initially menstrual cups were made of simple rubber and were slightly uncomfortable but soon as the innovation progressed, refined materials like medical grade silicon and even latex were used in their production. In India, however, menstrual cups came in the limelight around 2015.
And now, they are a rage to say the least.
Price range of a menstrual cup starts somewhere from Rs. 400 and goes up to Rs. 1700, depending upon the quality and brand. One menstrual cup can be reused for at least for 4 to 6 years. They can be easily purchased online and from some stores as well.
Everything has its own pros and cons, so does this menstrual cup.
Let’s have a look at them.
PROS of Using a Menstrual Cup
The greatest advantage of using a menstrual cup is it re-usability. As per the reports from the Menstrual Hygiene Alliance of India, about 12 crore Indian women use disposable sanitary napkins. Sanitary napkins contain plastic and harmful chemicals which are hazardous to the environment. Compared to this, one menstrual cup can be reused for several years. Can you imagine the reduction in pollution thereby?
No Hassle of Frequent Changing
Once inserted, a menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours without having to clean it up. Once full, it has to be removed, cleaned and can be worn again. Sanitary pads and tampons need to be changed once every 6-7 hours lest they could cause infection of urinary tract and genital area.
Good-Bye to Odour
The menstrual fluid when comes in contact with the atmospheric air produces a peculiar, unpleasant odor. Sanitary pad users experience this issue all the time. But with a menstrual cup, it becomes an odor-free period because the blood gets collected high up in the vagina and does not come in contact with air.
Chemical Free and Safe
Menstrual cups are made up of medical grade silicon which is absolutely safe for the body. This type of material neither absorbs nor emits anything. On the contrary, sanitary pads and tampons have bleach and deodorizers that contain harmful chemicals.
CONS of Using a Menstrual Cup
Hassle of Insertion and Removal
The procedure of inserting and removing a menstrual cup entails precision. It takes training and practice for a woman to properly insert it in place and remove it without spilling. And so it is not considered user friendly in initial attempts.
One size does not fit all. This is an apt statement here. Menstrual cups come in different sizes but it is difficult to ascertain which one will fit you perfectly. Buying a wrong size will lead to discomfort or spillage and the money will go waste. Cups size depends upon age, body size and whether the women has delivered a baby or not. It is advisable to either talk with your gynecologist or consult with the brand itself to identify appropriate size.
Some women don’t like to use a menstrual cup because of the cleaning part involved in it. Also, in pubic toilets, it becomes difficult to do the cleaning.
Some women might experience irritation, itchiness or chaffing. This can be due to not washing the menstrual cup or the hands properly before inserting the cup for re-usage. Maintaining hygiene of self and the cups is of utmost importance.