Did you know that a single woman can generate up to 125 kgs of non-biodegradable waste while menstruating? Or, that a single sanitary pad takes almost 500-800 years to decompose?
I made you feel a little guilty, didn’t I? Amidst flowing blood and the pricking cramps, I am sure the last thing your mind would dwell into is the plastic waste you produce. It seems rather disheartening when something so natural and beyond your control, faces a societal taboo along with an ethical questioning.
A few years back, I started looking out for eco-friendly options and eventually, came across organic sanitary products. However, along with the continued leakage and rushing to the toilet for a change, came the price that burnt a hole in my wallet. Not to mention, the lack of enough options in India. Moreover, my sanitary products still added to the landfills albeit for lesser years.
Eventually, hunting down trends, I came across the much talked about “Menstrual Cups” less than a year ago on Woovly. But, there was a fear of the unknown! There were many questions that haunted my mind; Would it be safe? How do I stick my finger in there? What if I get an infection? How do I figure my size?
Soon enough, I brought myself a GynoCup Reusable Menstrual Cup. And, I have not gone back since! Once you switch to cups, there is no need for ups.
What Are Menstrual Cups?
They are small and flexible conical cups made out of medical-grade silicon (or sometimes, latex) for holding blood rather than absorbing it like pads or tampons.
GynoCup Reusable Menstrual Cups are toxin free, allergy free and FDA-approved. Being soft and flexible, they are easy to insert and create a vacuum to help prevent leakage. They give me much freedom to move around, exercise and even swim without worrying about my comfort or flow.
Unlike pads that are chafe and risk rashes and cotton tampons that make the vagina susceptible to dryness, menstrual cups don’t make you feel a thing! Made out of silicon, they don’t absorb, rather they collect the blood and help maintain the vaginal pH level.
How To Use Them?
Unlike pads and tampons. I admit, they are a bit difficult to use. But, once you get used to it, there isn’t anything better.
- With clean hands, fold the cup’s rims into a C. Squat down and gently spread your labia using your fingers.
- To make the insertion easier, apply a water-based lubricant gel onto the cup. Gently and carefully, push the folded menstrual cup into your vaginal opening.
- When it is in, twist the cup until it opens up and sits in your cervix. Make sure the elongated end is faced towards your vaginal opening for its easy removal.
- You can use the cup for up to 8-hours depending on your flow. (Hello, peaceful sleep.) While removing it, take out the cup and drain the contents into the toilet.
- Make sure you wash the cup properly before re-inserting.
Nevertheless, don’t you worry about putting your fingers in. Your periods are natural and so is your vagina. Deep breaths and a little hand washing does the trick! (Especially if you are new to this). I suggest wearing a panty liner when you try your first menstrual cup to help with possible leakage from not having inserted it properly.
Of course, one of the major factors that led me to switch to these was affordability. As opposed to other sanitary products, menstrual cups are a one time buy that last for years. At a cost of ₹399 on Woovly, my GynoCup Reusable Menstrual Cup will last me for 10 years while minimizing my monthly waste creation. (So sustainable!)
Nevertheless, the trick is to keep it clean and sanitized of recurring use. I sanitize my cups once or twice a month by putting them in boiling water until they are clean. If you are willing to skip the boiling water, then I suggest investing in GynoCup Menstrual Cup Sterilizer that steams and kills 99% infectious bacteria with convenience.
Once you get used to it, it’s easy-breezy!
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