Menstrual cups are healthier, as well as, more convenient and cost effective than pads
◊ By Sunita Jaju
A lot of women committed to sustainable lifestyle choices have inhibitions about switching over to menstrual cups. That is normal. However, for the next five minutes, just bear with me as I take you through some of the most compelling reasons why you need to give menstrual cups a try.
1 Menstrual Cups are Eco Friendly
A woman uses 7,000 to 8,500 pads/tampons in her lifetime. Since pads are made of chemical-based products, they are not easily biodegradable and take hundreds of years to naturally decompose. That is a lot of unsustainable mess! Menstrual cups, on the other hand, create zero waste.
2 Menstrual Cups don’t Expose Vaginal Skin to Chemicals
Using 7,000 or more pads means exposing the vaginal area to chemicals in them, those many times. These chemicals are superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) and dioxin, used to bleach cotton. Dioxin can cause side effects such as ovarian cancer, immune system damage, inflammation, allergies and rashes. SAPs, because they contain bacterial toxins, can cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Some of the other ingredients used in making a pad are wood pulp, plastic and artificial fragrances. You didn’t know that, did you? Also, cups don’t dry up your vagina unlike other products.
3 Menstrual Cups are Convenient
This is what most women are afraid of—the presumed inconvenience of inserting a cup inside the vagina. Here’s the short answer: It’s so convenient that you won’t feel a thing. Long answer: Menstrual cups are made of soft, flexible silicone. You will not only feel comfortable (while inserting and removing it) but you will also be able to enjoy various physical activities without a hassle—swimming, jumping, jogging, gymming, anything!
4 Menstrual Cups are Easy to Change
Most pads need to be changed every four to five hours because they get dirty. If not changed frequently, they cause rashes and a lot of inconvenience. That is not the case with menstrual cups. If you have regular flow, you only need to change the cup once every 8 to 12 hours. Simply pull it out, drain the menstrual fluids, rinse in running water, and re-insert.
5 Menstrual Cups are Cost Effective
A cup will cost you around ₹600 to ₹3,000 and can last for up to 10 years. On the other hand, you end up using around 12 pads per period. Each pad costs roughly ₹10. You do the math!
6 Menstrual Cups don’t Stink
Pads start to smell after a couple of hours because the iron in the blood starts oxidising when it comes in contact with oxygen. However, in a menstrual cup, there is no scope of blood coming out of the body till you pull the cup out. Result? Odour-free period.
7 Menstrual Cups can be Worn when Expecting a Period
When you know a period is expected, you can simply wear your cup and forget about spotting. This is especially helpful when you must go to work or travel but don’t want to risk an unpleasant surprise.
8 Menstrual Cups are Great for Travelling
Simply carry the cup in a cloth pouch and you need not worry about being ready for your period. No matter where you are, you just need a bathroom and running water to change the cup, unlike pads and tampons that need to be disposed in a certain way.
9 Menstrual Cups don’t Leak
Once you get comfortable with the cup, you will never have to worry about any leaks. A lot of women do wear a cloth pad with the cup for an extra layer of protection. However, in most cases, it is not required.
10 Menstrual Cups mean Clean Periods
Once you start using a menstrual cup, you will wonder how you ever put up with messy pads and tampons. After making the switch, you will never go back to any other menstrual hygiene product, I promise.
The author is co founder, Rustic Art, an Indian brand of organic personal care products, biodegradable laundry products and menstrual cups