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Breaking the Taboo: Menstrual Cups Edition

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Manipal chapter.

While the world is constantly breaking stereotypes and changing at a rapid pace, let’s talk about a change that so many of us are yet to acknowledge and unwilling to give a chance to, the switch from pads to menstrual cups. Okay, so I know that talking about periods itself is an uncomfortable conversation for some, let alone talking about pads, and here I’m trying to have a conversation about menstrual cups. But I want you guys to hear me out, or in this case, read me out, maybe?

So first things first, what is a menstrual cup? According to Healthline, a menstrual cup is a type of reusable feminine hygiene products. It’s a small, flexible funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or silicone that you insert into your vagina to catch and collect period fluid. Once inserted, a cup can be used for up to 12 hours, depending on your flow. As mentioned above, these cups are reusable, and one cup will easily last you 2-4 years.

Well, all of this is good, but why the taboo? According to most women and I’m saying this from personal experience, being someone who used to believe in these concerns and having friends/family who still does, just the thought of inserting and removing a cup is a big NO-NO. Another myth that I read online about menstrual cups is that some women believe that inserting a menstrual cup can lead you to ‘lose your virginity’ (i.e. it breaks the hymen). The concept of ‘virginity’ in itself is a social construct. So, I would like to discuss these myths and concerns one by one and break it down for y’all. 

One menstrual cup costs you around 200 bucks and can be used for up to 2-4 years. Hence, very cost-effective. With the current climate scenario, we need to reduce our usage of plastics. Hence, the switch from pads, which clog up water bodies and landfills. Just imagine the amount of plastic we would cut down on (the average pad is made of 90% plastic) if all of us were to switch to menstrual cups.

The hymen is an elastic tissue that will only stretch but not tear with the use of menstrual cups. And as far as the process of insertion and removal goes, it will take some time to get used to, but it isn’t as uncomfortable as most people think. In fact, once you’ve adapted to the usage of cups, you seem to have a freedom that was previously missing with pads (this I’m telling you after having asked many women who use cups). And no the cup does not go missing inside the vagina as that isn’t physically possible. It might initially feel like it’s stuck but it can be removed pretty quickly. What most menstrual cup users suggest to new users is to start by trying out the cups while at home and slowly getting used to the way it feels. Once you’re confident in insertion and removal, switch to full-time use. 

Most people I know who use menstrual cups have said that they tend to forget they’re on their period because it helps them do things like workout, which is highly unlikely with the usage of pads. All menstrual cup users started out with the same apprehension that many of us have now. But with these many positives and hardly any negatives, I think it’s worth giving it a try. 

Periods are a very natural thing that happens to every woman. It isn’t disgusting, it isn’t something to be ashamed of, and it isn’t something that you need to keep quiet about. Let’s talk it out, the more we communicate our concerns and issues, the more educated we are. It’s high time we break the taboo that surrounds feminine hygiene and everything that comes along with it. 


Swati Singh

Manipal '22

She/Her A hopeless romantic and major foodie
Bhavya is a second-year undergraduate student at Manipal Institute of Technology majoring in Chemical Engineering. Finds comfort in music and a hot cup of coffee.