For most menstruating folk, periods can be a little bit of a hassle. Besides the constant cramping and emotional turmoil your body finds itself in, the added requirement to stay clean can be a bit of an inconvenience. That’s why I present to you the menstrual cup – a strong contender for ‘most evolutionary scientific finding’, in my opinion. Allow me to build my case-
One cup can save you a lot of money and time! The science behind its working is that it uses a suction force to collect the somatic period (blood, mucus, and all that jazz) and also helps to contain the period odour within your vaginal passage. Because of this, you only need to clean it out after 12 hours, thereby quashing bi-hourly bathroom runs!
‘Toxic shock syndrome’(TSS) is a life-threatening phenomenon associated with tampons. Although rare, TSS can cause low blood pressure, nausea, rashes, and more. Even pads have been known to cause rashes and irritation because of the chemicals in its gel. The cup, on the other hand, is made of silicon, which is gentle on the skin (unless you’re allergic), and therefore, makes it the safest option at the moment.
Let’s look at some numbers – the average cycle lasts 5 days and the average pad-user will go through at least 6 pads a day. So, for one cycle, you would consume 30 pads! Annually, this number goes up to 360 used pads! Now, the average woman’s menses begins at the age of 10 and can very possibly last till they’re 50. This means that just 1 woman goes through roughly 14400 pads! Now multiply this with half the population; the environmental impact of using pads, and even tampons for that matter, is devastating. investing in a good quality cup will allow you to utilize it for up to 10 years after which it can be disposed easily.
The insertion and removal of a menstrual cup is an intimate ordeal. Don’t let this dishearten you; in fact, think of it as a learning experience – you will learn to explore your body. This process of familiarizing helps you and also your partner deliver diligently. When it comes to the hymen, one must remember that it is a thin tissue that sits at the opening of your vagina. Probabilistically speaking, the chances of it “lasting till marriage” are very, very low; don’t let this be a reason to stop you!
Remember that, at the end of the day, the cup is still a foreign object that is going to sit inside of you. Therefore, one must be careful to sterilize it before insertion. This can be done easily – let it sit in boiling water for 5-7 minutes, after which you just need to cleanse it with a mild soap and that’s about it! Another caveat – like your clothes, cups come in different sizes too! You can gauge how big your cup needs to be simply figuring out how deep your vaginal passage is, for which I’d like to reiterate – explore your body!
The transitional process can be quite tedious and will most definitely leave you with a bubble in your mouth. Especially if you’re a virgin, it can be uncomfortable to shove unfamiliar things up yourself. That’s okay! Start by practicing before the onset of your cycle. See how your body and mind react to this new sensation. You’ll find yourself stigma-free and sure in no time!