What the ef, you say?
Let me start by telling you how people respond to this (and I daresay) great invention of mankind. A man, in a rural region in UP, where I delivered an awareness talk, asked, “Madam, yeh kandom ka upari hissa kyun kaat ke laaye ho?” And my maid nearly died from shock when she thought I’d stuff the thing up my vag every month when I bleed! 😛
Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License
But here’s what these genius things really are: Menstrual cups are soft medical grade silicone cups which are inserted inside the vagina. What it does is collect the blood instead of coagulating it like pads or tampons do. Cool, right? No?
Image source: theglow
Now, before you dismiss the idea as icky or go from rolling your eyes to hyper-rolling your eyes thinking why you are even reading this, let me tell you something: THESE LITTLE SILICONE THINGS CHANGED MY LIFE.
Of course, it wasn’t always like that. Even I was like you once and the idea of having a little bell-shaped cup inside of me made me squirm. I was fed up with pads because of the rashes – it prevented movement for days because of those (though I believe some of it was because I am plain lazy) – but also, I was in PAIN. My friend convinced me to use tampons, but the idea of a compressed piece of cotton holding moldy, clotted blood inside me for hours made me nauseous. Also, I had read too many cases of TSS or Toxic Shock Syndrome to even consider giving it a try. That’s when this little wonder called the Menstrual Cup walked into my life, and I started reading up on it.
One fine day, fed up with the nuisance of pads, I ordered a menstrual cup off Amazon on a whim. When I told my mother about it, she acted like I had killed a person. “It’s for ‘married’ women, not for you,” she whispered, shocked. And by ‘married’ she meant ‘sexually active,’ because it is invasive. Mothers, I tell you.
Image source: Youtube
Let me debunk some myths for you right now: a menstrual cup has nothing to do with your being or not being a virgin. It is a hygiene product! Mom, you listening? Get over it, mom.
When it finally arrived, I fervently boiled it in Dettol infused water and then carefully stored it as instructed by its manual. When the crimson wave arrived, I was both looking forward to trying it, and secretly dreading it. I steeled myself and did it. I was really tense and couldn’t get it inside the first time. After a few tries (throughout which my hands shook, btw), it was finally in, and I couldn’t feel it.
I couldn’t believe it. I was free!
Image source: Pinterest
There was no leakage and no mess. It was like my uterus was cramping as usual, but without the messiness of the actual period.
If you need more to go on, here’s why you should consider switching:
1. No more carrying around pads or asking to borrow one
Or, if you forget one, no more whispering to colleagues, “Do you have an extra pad?” Did I mention I almost never had a pad when I needed one? Half of my periods started with a bundle of toilet paper stuffed in my underwear, or with a borrowed sanitary napkin. No more. I carry around my cup and pop it in and forget about it for the next 12 hours.
2. Your washroom won’t look like a Hawaiian fruit punch bowl
No more massacre scenes every time you visit the washroom. The cup collects the blood and all you gotta do it empty it every 12 hours, and pop it back in. YAY.
3. You don’t need to worry about stains
No, this is not some idealistic world I am talking about. It happens. Have you ever had to scrub out your bed sheets after staining them? And do they now look like someone committed a shabbily covered murder on them? Well, no more. If you use these menstrual cups right, you can be worry-free about stains for almost 12 hours. Take that, pads!
4. You get way more aware of your body
No, your blood is not gross. Your vagina is not gross. It’s your body, know it well. This cup demystifies how much blood you actually lose (it’s a lot less than you think), and how your lady parts feel and look like. Get over it.
5. No chemicals, no rashes, no ugh odor
Honestly, I was already sold when I heard this. It DOESN’T feel like you are bleeding! (Except that you are). Since it is made of silicone, it doesn’t irritate nor is it drying.
6. You save a ton of money
Yes, it may not seem like a big deal, but in the long run, you save a lot. Since these are reusable (for up to 10 years!), you don’t have to worry about rushing to the chemist every time you bleed.
Do remember that there is a learning curve to this, but once you do, you will be thanking the person who invented these.
Happy bleeding, ladies!
Featured image source: theglow