Are Menstrual Cups better than Sanitary Pads?

“Oh my, these cramps again.”  “Should I finally make the shift to Menstrual Cups?”

“Hey, could you just check my back when I stand.”

Yes, ‘PERIODS’. Those 7 days of month where mood swings are a matter of fact and irritation is at its peaks.

How much do you know on options around menstrual hygiene products?

When it comes to the options available during periods to contain the blood, every other option widely talked about is either uncomfortable, expensive or environmentally unsafe. Woman to woman, don’t you think we deserve a better alternative which is both comfortable and safe? Coming to the lesser talked options, menstrual cups is one such option which is both cost effective and environment friendly.

Personal stories around Menstrual Cups.

In a conversation with a senior recently about menstrual cups, she had only two questions rather doubts in her mind.

“Does it hurt?”

“Is it safe?”

I understood from her that it wasn’t her alone who had the query in her mind, that there are hundreds of others who were ready to use these cups but have no clue about how it works, what are the factors to be considered while buying them. If you’re one of them, here are some things you can consider while buying them.

  1. Does it hurt?

As to the question about pain and if menstrual cups hurt, I’d say not really. Until and unless your cup is positioned in the right way, there’s no way it can hurt. Regardless, the first few times may be a little uncomfortable till you learn to insert it the right way. On the contrary, menstrual cups have proven to reduce the pain caused due to cramps on those days and are certainly a bliss for woman who go through a lot of cramps and unease. Some online reviews of certain menstrual cups further prove the point where happy customers report of little or no cramps at all during their usage of these cups.

2) Does Size Matter?

As silly as it sounds, sizes do matter and these cups generally come under 3 sizes, small(S), medium (M) and large (L). Small (S) being the smallest in size is recommended for women who’ve never given birth or had intercourse and age around 18 and lesser. Medium (M) on the other hand is recommended for women in their mid-twenties who haven’t given birth yet. Large (L) is specifically for women who have given birth. A lot of brands also require knowing your typical blood flow ranging between 10 to 80 ml which further decides your ideal size. However, the sizes differ from brand to brand and a lot of brands give specified guidelines on the sizes available and the users suitable for it.

3) How to use it?

Every menstrual cup, comes with its own set of instructions. Even then, there are a few things which are common for every person using these cups. A cup needs to be cleaned every 10-12 hours to give the desired results and requires to be sterilized after every cycle with either boiling water or sterilization liquids used in bottles for babies. The insertion and removal of the cup maybe a hassle the first few times but as you start getting used to it, the ideal positions one requires is more clear.

4) How much is it?

In terms of price, a menstrual cup is the go-to for every woman out there who likes to save money! In India, a menstrual cup ranges between INR 500 to 4000 and lasts up to 10 years. You read it right, a good quality menstrual cup can be used for 5 to 10 years if it doesn’t have any tears or holes. Even if you buy a cup every 5 years, the amount you’d be saving is several thousands, typically spent on sanitary napkins or tampons.

5) What to buy and where?

You can easily find menstrual cups on any online shopping platform or big pharmacies. They come in two materials: silicon and rubber. Silicon is recommended for people who are latex sensitive otherwise any cup is okay. Coming to the brands Shecup, Divacup and Boondh are some popular brands available to women in India

6) Does it decrease my period time?

If you didn’t know, a woman bleeds only about 10 to 80 ml on an average during every cycle which is about 4-5 tablespoons of blood. Although not technical, menstrual cups for me personally have decreased the periods by a day as the cup collects all the blood.

7) Say bye to smelly napkins

Last but not the least, cups aren’t as smelly as napkins are and is a lot more comfortable. Cups collect blood which results in keeping away the foul smell.

So, if you’re considering a shift from sanitary napkins or tampons, I’d say go for it! Try it, see for yourself and then choose wisely.

Article by : Shailaja Mantha

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