Blog / Menstrual Cups – Not Everyone’s Cup of V!

Menstrual Cups – Not Everyone’s Cup of V!

05.07.2024 | Ashy Anil

It was in 2014 when I came across a random article on social media that talked about how a particular period product is making it easier for women in an African country to manage their sanitary needs better. I was already on it and came across the word Menstrual Cup. The idea of collecting blood in a silicone cup and throwing it away was foreign to me. I was only taught one way of managing periods: to use a sanitary pad.  
As a woman with PCOS who struggled in every menstrual cycle, the periods and the pains were not kind enough to me. I don’t remember a cycle where I did not have any hiccups. For me, pads were not just doing it; my flow had its own personality. After my brief meet-up with that social media article, I thought of giving it a try because the pros outweighed the cons.  
There was a huge problem ahead of me at this time. The concept of menstrual cups was relatively unheard of, and it was not easy to find them. After a long process of searching and calling shops, I found one store that sold menstrual cups. I read up on their sizes and confirmed what I wanted, and I took my sweet time to understand how to use it. I fondly remember going to the shop I found, and they had just four pieces, and a lady assisted me with them. 
I awaited my next period, and when it did, I was excited and nervous to try out my cup. The insertion and adjusting took some time and practice, but once it was in, the switch flicked in me where everything felt comfortable. Though each on its own, the best part was when I did not worry about “disposing of” my pad. I was taught to wash it, remove the blood and then wrap it and throw it. I loved the seamless feeling of my periods.  
Once I got used to it, I started advocating it to my circle. However, the reception of the idea could have been better. It was met with disgust, curiosity, and even labeling me weird! Some of the remarks I came across were, “How can you put your fingers in your vagina like that?”, “I can't imagine having to see our period blood,” “So you keep it in for 12 hours! Ew!”. It was hard to convince others about the benefits of using a cup, as everyone was finding it hard to challenge their deep-rooted ways of menstrual management.   
Menstrual cups have some great benefits such as reduced rashes, can be up to 12 hours, and are very easy to carry. They are also very eco-friendly and don’t make you feel icky, even on your heaviest flow days. You do not have to worry about hygienically disposing of your pads or tampons in a public setting or at home. You can easily pour out the blood, give it a quick rinse, and use it again. 
There are few disadvantages to using menstrual cups, except for the first-time investment in getting one. It could also be difficult for menstruators concerned about losing it in the vaginal canal. There is a slight chance of not getting the right size according to the height of your cervix, but most brands are self-explanatory on how you can pick the right size to suit your needs.  
Menstrual cups have changed the life of many, including mine. Though it has been around for a very long time, women have only recently been more open to this method of menstrual management. For the last eight years, I had only bought two packs of pads on two occasions when I forgot to take my cup. I believe these cups also help menstruators get closer to themselves as we get to know our bodies better. We can hope for a time when advertisements for menstrual cups are also normalized and menstruators are slowly introducing menstrual cups as a great menstrual management option without having to give an explanation or judgment. 
If you or somebody you know wants to understand more about menstrual health and hygiene consider reaching our ‘Support’ and ‘Engage’ verticals for affordable and inclusive help!    
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