Lifestyle and health, sustainability, sustainable

Menstrual Cups- An Introduction

I bleed each month to help make humankind a possibility. My womb is home to the divine. A source of life for our species. Whether I choose to create or not. But very few times it is seen that way… We menstruate and they see it as dirty. Attention seeking. Sick. A burden. As if this process is less natural than breathing. As if it is not a bridge between this universe and the last. As if this process is not love. Labour. Life. Selfless and strikingly beautiful.”
– Rupi Kaur
Well, this post is not about breaking the Period taboo, however each time we bring this topic up and talk openly about it, it in a way does make us feel more empowered, it does make Periods and period talks Normal.
And the best thing that happened to my Periods in these past 24 years is Menstrual cup!
Most of you will know that I have clothdiapered my son and as a CDing parent and as someone who looks for alternative sustainable solutions to almost everything around, I had to give a try to Menstrual Cup.

Those of you who don’t know much about  cups would  question the need to use a cup when there are several good quality pads and tampons available.

The pads may be good absorbents, but they are not eco-friendly, no matter what these brands claim, the pads do stink more often than you would want, and sometimes they leak too. Menstrual cups to me have meant freedom, it makes me feel like I’m not on my periods, wish there was a magic potion for PMS and the pain that periods bring.
Bringing here answers to some of the frequently asked questions about menstrual cups-
    • What material are these made up of and how are these eco-friendly?              These are made up of Medical grade silicone. The average user throws away an astonishing 125 to 150kg of tampons, pads and applicators in their lifetime. Silicone made menstrual cups are eco-friendly because they last 1-5 years. Imagine the number of pads you will add up to the land-fill in all these years. Hence, in comparison to disposable sanitary pads these are way better. In fact, silicone is a greener substitute to plastic as it is derived from silica that over few years goes back to it’s natural form.
    • Is inserting a cup easy?                              Easy or difficult differs from user to user, some get it right the first time, some need to try a few times. There are many ways  to insert a cup, The most popular ways to do it are-   C fold & Punch Down method.  C-fold- Take your cup, fold it in half so that the lips touch together, then slowly bend the cup in half again lengthwise. You will see that the point of insertion looks like a C (or U). The other popular method is Punch down- Hold your menstrual cup. Use your thumb to push the lip of the cup down towards the base of the cup. Then remove your thumb as you squeeze the edges together.
    • Does it not hurt?                                          Not really, it may be slightly uncomfortable initially, but it should not hurt.
    • Are there chances of infection?                No, not at all. The blood remains inside the body, so there is no chance of contamination unlike it is in case of pads.
    • How often does one need to empty it?    Since each woman has different flow pattern on different days, you may have to check every few hours in the beginning to understand your pattern. Say in every 2 hours when you begin.
    • Does it not leak?                                            If inserted well, it will not leak.
    • Howdo I clean the cup?                        Cleaning is very simple, during your cycle you just need to wash it each time you empty the cup, once the cycle is over to you should cleanse it in hot water (to sterlise it). Dry it and keep it in an airy place. It is advised to sterlise it before and after your monthly cycle.
    • What are the things I should follow to maintain hygiene while using the cup.    Using clean cup and washing it under running water whenever emptying it is important. Another thing to take care of is that your nails should be short and hands clean.
    • What are the various brands available? There are several brands available in India now,  to name a few-              Sirona, Boondh, Rustic Art, Stonesoup And SheCup to name a few.

Hope this has motivated you to give cups a try! Do connect if you have any questions.

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