Menstrual Cup 101 : The Best Guide on What You Need to Know NOW!

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menstrual cups are life changing!!!!!

through this mini-series on the what, how, where, when and ouch of menstrual cups, i hope to clear all doubts that anyone might have and “cup-vert” as many sisters as possible! 

let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…

what is a menstrual cup? a menstrual cup is a small re-usable menstrual hygiene product, made of silicon which is used to collect blood and vaginal discharge during your periods.

it is small…

contrary to popular belief, a menstrual cup is not so big it’s painful to insert. remember, your lady bits are pretty elastic and can fit a lot of things through em, including a full grown baby. a menstrual cup is a walk in the park compared to that.

it is safe(R)…

compared to pad and tampons, menstrual cups are very safe. let’s break it down. if you were to hold a cup of water in your hands for 1-2 hours, what happens? your palm and finger prune up because your skin has absorbed water. but what is a silicon cupcake molds were to hold the same water for the same time? no difference right? it’s the same principle here.
sanitary pads soak up blood during a period and constantly expose all of your lady bits to the soaked up cotton for hours until you change. 
a tampon is worse because it does the same to your insides. 
menstrual cups are safer than pads and tampons, they are non-toxic, non-reactive and “collect” blood rather than “soak” it up!

it is expensive…

compared to a pack of sanitary pads or tampons (atleast in india) it is expensive, the boondh cup costs about INR. 590, while the stone soup cup costs INR. 835. there are others in the market such as the famous diva cup, the luna which cost INR 1000 and upwards.

it is IN-expensive…

a menstrual cup is a one time investment. it lasts you a good 5+ years. so your cost per cycle use is actually much less than a pack of sanitary pads.
as someone who used pads for 2+ decades, let me tell you that you need to buy different packs. a regular for light flow days, an XL for heavy flow days, the MONSTER for the nights and the panty liners for the pre and post coverage. all this on an average cost me INR. 350 per month. i recovered the cost of my menstrual cup in just 2 cycles not accounting the fact that i wont be buying anymore pads in the future!

it is easy to use…

if you google menstrual cups, you will note that there are NOT many horror stories about it. that comes as comments and response to every youtube video or blog post that is trying to do good. 
in a world where people are rushed to the ER with testubes and cucumbers up their vajayjay, in a world where pierced and/or tattoo-ed vajayjays are common, people are still stuck up about using a tiny little silicon cup approved for that VERY use.
my mom tells me people had the same notion about shifting from home made cloth pads to sanitary napkins about 30-40 years ago, so i am just chalking this up to evolution and related thought processes.

it is eco-friendly, zero waste, sustainable…

one of the things that got me researching menstrual cups was that it was eco-friendly. an average sanitary pad takes 200 years to decompose. that means each woman is filling up the landfills with an average of 15 pads per month, 180 pads a year for an average of 40 years ( 7200 pads) which will NOT go ANYWHERE until her great-great-great-great grand daughter is born. *think about that*

also, think about the people who have to handle the menstrual waste as part of garbage. no city in the world disposes of sanitary pads like medical waste from hospitals which is technically what it is. so pads and tampons soaked with blood and discharge fill up the land, leech into water sources and infect more than you can imagine.
menstrual cups break this cycle forever!

it is LIBERATING…

i can not explain in words how liberating it feels to use a menstrual cup. tampons can sure do much more than sanitary pads. but menstrual cups can DO IT ALL. 
you can sleep in your birthday suit on your heaviest flow night and wake up to a clean bed! *drops mic*

it is THE FUTURE…

inspite of all the progress we have made as humans, basic necessities evade many. more so with feminine hygience products because of the taboo or shame associated with it.
in india, when you ask for a pack of sanitary pads, they are provided to you wrapped in paper!
thousands of kids across the world, miss school once a month for the lack of access to these products.
cloth pads are great alternatives but you will have to dry them out in the sun somewhere and wash them somewhere, all of which poses an issue to many.

menstrual cups are the future. you can use a menstrual cup in the privacy of your bathroom. you can dispose of the contents and re-use it in the privacy of your bathroom. there is no smell as associated with pads and tampons. there is no issue of disposal. there is no issue with packing a big pack of pads because a menstrual cup is just as small as as shot glass and fits into your palm. 
we have seen governments and organisations fight against vaccination and win. menstrual cups have bigger barriers to break considering corporate power rather than notions of taboo. 

this is exactly why i hope this series will help atleast one sister “cupvert”. feel the change. spread the word.


~ in this series…

* what you first need to know about your vagina
* inserting and removing a menstrual cup
* typical concerns and questions 
* tips and tricks for using your menstrual cup.
* menstrual cups – brands and options.

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