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A gynaecologist explains why you need to switch to a menstrual cup NOW

Published on:28 May 2021, 18:45pm IST
Menstrual cups are all the rage and for all the right reasons. Here’s why a gynaecologist suggests you should make the switch to this menstrual hygiene product.
Dr Sangeeta Gomes
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Menstrual cups can help you manage your periods easily and take care of the environment. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Change perhaps is the toughest and the most resisted things by us, humans. We like to just dawdle and cozy up in our comfort zone, even if it is slightly uncomfortable and bloody. We have read about it and we know for a fact that a single sanitary pad may take anywhere between 500 – 800 years to decompose as the plastic and the gel that helps the solidification is non–biodegradable. If this statistic does not make us—the educated women of today—change, then what will? But for the longest time that we can remember, we have used sanitary pads and now to suddenly give up their well-experienced comfort seems to ask for too much.

We might get more inspired and inclined to try it out after we get to know that a single woman can generate up to 125 kgs of non-biodegradable waste during her menstruating years. Do we even dare to convert it into the number of years it’ll take for the environment to process it? Not only this, but it also has other side effects as well. There is also the stink as well as the germs it gives rise to.

Not to forget that disposing of them into the bin without been seen by the house help or any other members is another traumatizing effort. After the used pad is finally discarded into the garbage, it is manually segregated by the waste pickers, exposing the waste picker to micro-organisms like E.Coli, salmonella, staphylococcus, and other pathogens that can threaten one’s life and prove to be fatal.

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So, if you are wondering as to what can be done and that ‘pads’ are a necessary evil – think again!

It’s time to switch from pads to menstrual cups 

These are small funnel-shaped cups that come in two to three sizes and can be inserted into your vagina. These can be washed and reused as they made from high-quality medical-grade silicon. It can hold more blood than any other form of method. Also, it can be worn straight for six to 12 hours making it comfortable to go to work/outing without worrying about carrying an extra cup/washing it.

Once you have found out the size that you need—depending upon your age, flow, length of your cervix, etc—you can go ahead and buy it without any hesitation. After all it is affordable, safer than tampons as well as sanitary napkins, environment friendly, easier on disposal, holds more blood and can be worn with an IUD. The advantages are many.

What to keep in mind when using a menstrual cup
  • Wash your hands and the cup thoroughly before use.
  • Position your index finger and thumb into your vagina. Gently remove the lower part of the cup till you can get to the base.
  • Remember, if the cup is too full, it can spill and be messy, so be careful. Once out, empty it into the sink or the toilet.
  • Remember to wash and wipe the cup before reinserting.
  • It is recommended to empty out the cup minimum of two times a day.
  • Also, since we are not used to it, it might take time to get used to it.

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But at the end of the day, the thing that we must all remember is that by switching to a menstrual cup, we create NO WASTE AT ALL—especially since a single cup can last for up to 10 years if properly cared for. Educating yourself and others around you is the key to bring about this revolution and save the environment from this huge rising amount of waste that we are contributing to – a non-biodegradable one at that!

Dr Sangeeta Gomes Dr Sangeeta Gomes

Dr Sangeeta Gomes , Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Indiranagar, Bangalore