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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

# Asia Fashion Blogger # Bangalore Fashion Blogger

How to have a Happy Period using Menstrual Cups

Hello ladies!

What's the one thing you wish you weren't born with as a woman? Don't you always wish there was a better way to deal with those five days of hell? I really hope that some day scientists come up with a solution to eliminate this process altogether. But that's going too far, init? Back in the day, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers suffered a great deal because of the red monster. They had no sanitary napkins or tampons and had to make do with a dirty piece of cloth. They'd get several infections and have also had to live through the embarrassment of staining their sarees. What's even worse is the way they were treated. They weren't allowed inside the house during that time of the month. Going to a temple or being a part of religious ceremonies was completely out of question. They probably did not want to dirty the surroundings and hence these rules were made. I think it's bonkers and frustratingly ridiculous that women still follow this crap without even knowing why it was done in the yesteryears.

Things have been way better for us and yet, we seem to face so many difficulties and are not willing to embrace new remedies. While Padman created a whole new revolution in rural areas, this subject is still a taboo and women in villages refuse to openly talk about it. Folks in the urban areas have it better but from cramps to stains to acne to mood swings, there's nothing about these five days that can cheer you up. "Have a happy period", this commonly used tagline for most sanitary napkins, is definitely a myth. Agreed? I thought so too, until I was introduced to this genius invention called the Menstrual Cup. A cousin of mine recommended this to me and on the same day, a close friend could not shut up about it. That's when I decided that it was high time I gave it a shot. What is a menstrual cup? It's just a silicone cup that has been medically engineered to be inserted into a woman's vagina to hold all of the menstrual fluid or blood. It's completely safe to use and is like 200% hygienic! 


Any new product in the market should come with a pre-requisite and there are a lot of things you need to know about using a menstrual cup before you start your purchase. I have made a list of some basic things you need to know -

  • If you've had gynecological problems in the past or if you have a sensitive vagina, then it's best you consult your gynecologist before taking this step. 
  • I would recommend talking to a gynecologist even for girls in their early teens or unmarried Indian women as well. 
  • You need to know the size of the cup you might need. It depends on your flow and if your vagina has stretched after pregnancy. I guess "trial and error" is the solution here.
  • The brand you use is very important since you're inserting something inside your private part and you don't want any infections down there. Do a thorough research on the subject and then only consider it.

So using a menstrual cup can be quite a task in the beginning. But once you get the hang of it, there's nothing like it. Here's how you do it -

Insertion and Removal

Sit on your toilet bowl with your legs wide open or in a squatting position. You need press the cup into a half and insert it into your vagina. Make sure that the cup opens up inside and is fully inside so that you're comfortable. If required, you can grease the cup with petroleum jelly during insertion. Insert two fingers into your vagina and try to hold on to the base of the cup by pressing it and then pull it out. If you get a cup with a tiny tail at the bottom, I am sure this process is much easier.

Maintenance

Empty your cup every 2-3 hours during the first two days depending on your flow. Wash it with water and if required some soap as well and insert it back. Once you're done with your period, make it a point to boil the cup in water and sterilize the same and place it in the little bag provided.


Brands and Price

I have started using this Medium sized cup from Stonesoup.in and I purchased it from Health and Glow for about 835 INR. If you are looking for a cheaper option, then I believe Sirona has some good options too. Another option you can try is by this brand called Rustic Art.

I used it for five days straight and while it has a million pros, there are some cons too. So here's a list of things you should know before you make a decision to switch over -

Pros

Environment friendly - This is the biggest reason for me to start using menstrual cups. We don't realize the negative impact we are causing on the environment by using sanitary napkins and tampons. A menstrual cup is reusable and you don't have to worry about disposing it.
Lack of bad odour - I don't know about you, but I have often noticed that when your period blood mixes with the toxins on the sanitary napkin and your sweat, urine etc. it creates this foul smell that makes you really uncomfortable. A menstrual cup collects your blood even before it is exposed to the outside world and trust me, the blood is odourless.
Cheaper in the long run - Since it's a one time investment, it's quite cheap in the long run. Sanitary napkins and tampons of good quality have become unimaginably expensive these days. I end up spending at least 200 INR every month. But this is definitely going to reduce my expenditure.
Overnight usage - You can use it at a stretch for 10-12 hours and you can sleep with it on. I have literally travelled overnight on a bus with the cup inside me and did not feel weird at all.
Say goodbye to stains - If inserted properly, the cup holds all your blood and doesn't allow it to reach your underwear. Hence, you don't have to worry about stains on your clothes.

Cons

Difficult to insert and remove - You need to really get used to inserting and removing it because it can get really tricky. After a 2-3 days, I had no trouble in insertion or removal.
Hard to use if your flow is heavy - On the first two days, if you have heavy flow, then you better use a sanitary napkin with it because there are chances of leakage and also you need to empty the cup evert 2 hours so that it doesn't leak. That can get a tad bit annoying!

Some Q&A

Does it cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)?
I am no expert to answer this question. However, based on my research online, there's a chance that it might cause TSS. To avoid the same, you could probably invest in an extra cup and sterilize the cups before every insertion. The key is to keep the cups as clean as possible.

Does urination get affected?
Absolutely not. Your urinary pipe is completely different from your menstrual pipe. I definitely have faced a slight amount of resistance while peeing, but with a little extra force all is well.

Does the cup bruise your vagina?
I haven't experienced anything like that. However, just to ensure that the insertion and removal process is smooth, grease your cup with some Vaseline as mentioned before.

Is there any vaginal irritation?
Nope, haven't faced that at any point. Once inserted, you don't even feel that it's there.

Does a tiny cup like that hold a lot of blood?
Yes, it holds all your blood, but to be on the safer side, make sure you empty the cup every 2-3 hours.

Why I urge all women to use this is because of the trillion benefits it has on a woman's health and sanitation and most importantly, on the environment. Every time I dispose a sanitary napkin, my heart sinks a little. But now, with this brilliant product I am so grateful that my impact on environmental pollution has reduced by at least 10 sanitary napkins every month. How cool is that, huh? Do you bit, guys! The world is sinking in filth. With that, I'm gonna sign off and actually mean it when I say, "Have a happy period!" :D

Love,
Hand On The Hip

P.S. This is not a paid or a sponsored post. If you have any comments or concerns or if you believe I haven't given the right info, please feel free to comment below or correct me. I have written this post solely based on my experience and research and I may or may not be fully accurate on the subject.