What is a Menstrual Cup?
What is a menstrual cup?
You keep hearing about it once in a while these days. That friend of yours has ‘switched’ to it and says she feels liberated. The lady next door told you about it the other day and you pretended not to notice. When you are buying feminine hygiene products online, this menstrual cup pops up as a suggestion. You are wondering, ‘Gosh! What is a menstrual cup in the first place? It sounds downright scary!’
At F5 Escapes, we promote sustainable, responsible ways of travel. Most of us in F5 Escapes are fans of sustainable living. We are passionate travelers, and yes, women. Many of us have made the conscious switch to using menstrual cups and we hope we can convince you to make the switch too. Less trash, more travel, more freedom, more joy!
A beginner’s guide to a menstrual cup
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a small cup, made of medical grade silicone, which aids in collecting the menstrual fluid inside your vagina during your period. It may or may not have a stem or a bulb like protrusion in the end which helps in easy removal of the cup from the body.
How do menstrual cups work?
It doesn’t do any work, it just sits there!
The menstrual cup is inserted in the folded position, into the vaginal canal. Once inside, it opens up and forms a seal against the walls of the vagina, thereby firmly locking itself in place. For the next 8-12 hours, it collects the menstrual blood inside it. Depending upon the heaviness of the flow, this time period may be more or lesser. It can be taken out twice a day, emptied, cleaned and re-inserted.
How does it feel like, having a foreign object inside the body?
Yes, wearing the menstrual cup does have a learning curve. But once you are used to it during your first two cycles, you won’t feel like you have something up there!
Why should I switch to a menstrual cup?
Because it is good for the environment. It eliminates the need for sanitary napkins which is non biodegradable waste.
Because it is reusable. Once you invest in a cup, you can use it for the next 10 years!
Because it is economical. It is a one-time purchase and works out much cheaper than tampons or sanitary pads.
Imagine all the watersports you can indulge in!
What about leakage?
If you insert your cup properly and empty it at regular intervals, you don’t have to worry about leakage. You can in fact sleep in whichever angle you want! If you are still worried you can always wear a cloth pad for overnights.
What about virginity?
Well, we would like to say that if you are a menstruating girl, whether you are a virgin or not, sexually active or not, you can use a cup. Please do talk to your family doctor / gynaecologist if you have too much of inhibition. Smaller size cups are available for use for virgin/teen girls and progressively larger cups for sexually active women, mothers who delivered normally, mothers who delivered via C-Section etc.
What if the cup gets lost inside?
The vaginal canal isn’t an endless one. It is a pretty short one, accessible by fingers. All you need to do, is to break the seal by pinching the bottom of the cup and you will have the cup coming out in no time.
As they say, practice will make you absolutely perfect!
How much does a menstrual cup cost and where to buy?
A menstrual cup costs anywhere between Rs. 500 and Rs. 3000 in India. There are several good brands. You can find some good quality cups here – Hygiene And You
How discreet will the menstrual cup be?
It is a small cup that
- comes with its own opaque pouch,
- easily fits into your handbag or carry bag,
- is absolutely discreet, no worries!
Does the menstrual cup contain any chemical coating?
Not at all. A menstrual cup is made of a non-reactive substance, silicone, which is what many medical grade devices meant for staying in the human body are made of. The menstrual cup comes in different colours. There may be some brown coloration with prolonged use.
How will I feel once I switch to a cup?
You may feel that you understand your own body much better. You may not have those dreadful pad rashes anymore. You may feel free and liberated.
With those FAQs, we sincerely hope that you wouldn’t ask ‘What is a menstrual cup?’ again!
‘F5 Escapes’ is a Bangalore-based, experiential travel company, with a focus on redefining the way women travel in India. The premise of F5 is an ambitious dream – to put India on the global travel map as a preferred destination for women from across the globe.
F5 Escapes offers fixed departure all-women group tours, customized itineraries for families, groups and solo travellers. We also do in-city engagements which include #JustGo travel meetups, workshops to educate women on travel safety, sustainable menstruation, motorbiking etc.