Menstrual cups are bell-shaped cups made of either rubber or silicon, and are slowly but steadily replacing tampons and pads. The cup is folded and inserted into the vaginal opening where it opens up and gets sealed against the walls of the vagina. Period blood is then collected in the cup; usually, the cup is removed once every eight hours, depending on the flow, and cleared and washed.
Menstrual cups have come a long way since their debut in the 1860s. However, they only gained popularity in the 1930s when American actress Leona Chalmers patented the menstrual cup technology. They were not widely popular then because of concerns about inserting them and their complete rubber construction. The cups are now gaining popularity again due to their softer construction and because more women are speaking about its benefits.
American actress and producer Candace Cameron Bure has recently spoken up about her first menstrual cup experience – she encouraged women to find the right size for them and expressed the incredible comfort she felt using a menstrual cup. As a working woman, she felt that the cup offered her long-lasting comfort and peace of mind; rightfully so, since the intervals between cleaning out the cup is far longer than what pads and tampons offer. Further, the issue of leakage is also minimised. While not all experiences may be smooth, it is important that one keeps an open mind and find the right size, relax and try this revolutionary product.
The advantages espoused by a menstrual cup far outweigh the disadvantages, if any.
Are you doubtful about using cups? Here are some arguments that might help you make up your mind:
Lower costs and lesser landfill waste
Most cups last for many years. This provides significant cost savings as compared to tampons and pads. Given the reusable nature of these cups, the sanitary waste piled up in our landfills is minimised and it also ensures that lesser natural resources are used-up for making the alternatives. However, note that some menstrual cups are disposable, so ensure that you read the box and label carefully before investing in one.
Larger intervals between changes
Depending on your flow, tampons have to generally be changed every three to five hours; menstrual cups, on the other hand, are designed to hold larger quantities of blood. On average, menstrual cups are to be cleared every eight to twelve hours, thus making it perfect for a long day.
Balance of vaginal pH
Tampons soak up all vaginal fluids along with the blood, which may disturb the pH balance in your vagina. Since menstrual cups only collect blood and not absorb it, the pH of the vagina remains intact.
Fewer visits to the pharmacy
Since menstrual cups are made for long-term use, it eliminates frequent visits to the pharmacy to stock up on menstruation essentials.
Menstrual cups are easily available online and also at any pharmacy or departmental store. Since they come in various sizes, finding the perfect fit for you will not be a difficult task. The only way to know if it is the right product for you is to give it a try!
(Edited by Kanishk)