Why did I decide to give the menstrual cup a try? 

menstrual cup
Photo: Pixabay

As someone who cares for the environment, I have always been conscious of my daily habits and how they contribute to the bigger picture. When it came to my menstrual cycle, I knew that the traditional method of using pads was not sustainable in the long run.

Each pad I used would sit in a landfill for years, and I could not help but feel guilty about my contribution to the environmental crisis. That is when my friends told me about menstrual cups. At first, I was sceptical and a little intimidated by the idea of using a menstrual cup instead of a pad. But after doing some research and hearing about the benefits from my friends, I decided to take the plunge and try it out for myself. 

First attempt: Overcoming my initial fears and concerns

During the 2020 lockdown, I purchased a menstrual cup. However, my first attempt at using it on a non-period day resulted in discomfort and the fear of being unable to remove it. These negative experiences left me hesitant, and I stored the cup away for about three years.

menstrual cups
Photo: Unsplash/ Inciclo

Recently, a friend encouraged me to use the cup again during my period. This time, I was determined to succeed and regain control of the situation. Surprisingly, I felt no fear or nervousness. Although the first attempt caused some discomfort, it subsided after 15–20 minutes, and I was able to use it with ease. I barely felt the cup inside me, except for the typical menstrual cramps. The best part was feeling liberated from using pads.

Period freedom: The amazing benefits of menstrual cups

Switching to a menstrual cup has numerous benefits, with one of the main advantages being that they only need to be changed every 8–12 hours, depending on the heaviness of your flow. I was amazed to see that the cup was only filled with 10 ml of blood for the entire day of my period. In contrast, if I had used pads, I would have needed to change them at least four times a day, making me feel like my flow was much heavier than it was.

However, the main challenge with using a menstrual cup was to ensure that it did not leak. I decided to test it out by wearing white pants to a training session, and to my delight, it did not leak at all. The only time I experienced leakage was during the night when my flow was particularly heavy.

Overall, I feel like switching to a menstrual cup was one of the best decisions I have made as it has many benefits:

  • Pad-free, rash-free period: Menstrual cups eliminate the need for bulky pads, preventing any potential rashes or discomfort caused by the adhesive on pads.
  • Feels like non-period days, even during heavy period days: Using the cup offers a more natural feeling compared to pads, allowing for greater freedom of movement and a more comfortable experience.
  • No foul smell: The cup is made of medical-grade silicone or latex, preventing any unwanted odours that can come from using pads.
  • Easy to do any sort of exercise or walk, dance freely: The flexibility of the cup allows for unrestricted movement, giving you the freedom to engage in any activities without worrying about discomfort.
  • No pad waste – giving back to the environment: Switching to the cup is a more sustainable choice, reducing your contribution to the waste generated by disposable pads.

Who does not love saving money?

economic empowerment money saving
Photo: Pexels/ Cottonbro

With a menstrual cup, you can save your hard-earned money and invest it in something more worthwhile than buying pads every month. It is a one-time investment that will last you for years to come, and it is a lot cheaper in the long run compared to pads.

Say goodbye to spending your precious money on overpriced pads and embrace the economical and eco-friendly menstrual cup, which starts from only Rs 500. 

Imagine, only a Rs 500 investment for 10 years of happy and hassle-free periods, whereas each packet of pads costs around Rs 100, and we require at least two packets per month. That is a whopping Rs 24,000 for pads over 10 years. So, do not fall for the pink tax and switch to a menstrual cup today.

Meanwhile, here is a list of must-know rules for happy cupping:

  • The right size matters: Choosing the right size ensures a comfortable fit and maximum protection against leaks, so take the time to find the perfect fit for you.
  • Double protection, double comfort: For extra peace of mind during the first few uses, pair your cup with period panties or cotton pads until you feel confident in its protection.
  • Keeping it clean and sanitised: To keep your cup clean and hygienic, make sure to boil it for 2–3 minutes in advance after each period. Wash it regularly during use.
  • Safe and sound: Proper storage in a clean pouch or container is essential for keeping your cup in good condition and free from dust and other particles.
  • It’s just a matter of practice: It’s completely normal to feel nervous during the first few insertions and removals, but with practice, you will quickly find a technique that works for you and forget you are even wearing a menstrual cup.

Go green with your flow: Discover sustainable period options

menstrual cups, sanitary pads and napkins
Alternative menstrual hygiene products. Photo: Pexels/ Vanessa Ramirez

While menstrual cups may not be the perfect choice for everyone, there are various sustainable period products available to select from, such as reusable cloth pads, period underwear and organic tampons. These alternatives can offer a more eco-friendly and cosy period experience.

Moreover, menstrual cups can be a great choice for individuals with sensitivity or allergies to the chemicals and materials usually found in disposable pads and tampons.

Using a menstrual cup allows individuals to control their period experience and make choices that resonate with their values and lifestyle, contributing to personal health and the planet’s well-being.

Menstrual cup magic

After trying out a menstrual cup, I am now a believer in its magical powers. Not only am I helping the planet, but I am also enjoying a more comfortable and stress-free period. Although there might be a small learning curve, the incredible benefits are worth it.

I urge anyone who wants to make a positive impact on their health and the environment to give menstrual cups a chance.

Let every girl experience the freedom of a pad-free and hassle-free period because they deserve nothing but the best. Do not let your period hold you back.

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Bajracharya is an edtech trainer and learning designer at NabaGyan Center, an innovative learning centre for learners of all ages. She is an enthusiast of eco-friendly practices to promote sustainable living.

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