Women around the world has been using tampons and sanitary napkins during menstruation since many years but they have their own hazards and disadvantages. The discomfort associated with sanitary napkins are constant awareness of bulk and friction, fear of leakage, problems in disposal, chaffing of the skin, contamination of the pad by urine and feces and hence infection.
Tampon can cause vaginal infections and can be associated urinary tract infection.
The modern solution to have a hassle free period is menstrual cups. It is made up of medical grade silicon and is worn inside the vagina during menstruation. The cup needs to be removed and cleaned for hygienic purposes depending on the women’s flow. . While the concept of menstrual cups continues to be fairly new in India, gynecologists have continued to encourage their use instead of cloth, sanitary pads and tampons.
How to use it
A menstrual cup is designed to engage and retain itself in proper position. It acts as a catch basin for the flow of blood and seals of upper vagina like a diaphragm. A menstrual cup is folded in a c-shape, and then inserted into the vagina. It unfolds automatically after insertion and creates a light seal against vagina walls. You may need to twist the cup a little to ensure that it is fully open inside the vagina.
Following are some of the advantages of using menstrual cups
- Safe, sanitary and comfortable
- More hygienic and no risk of infections especially serious infections like Toxic shock syndrome
- Can be sterilised and reused
- Cost effective
- Can be worn for longer durations (upto 12 hours)
- Can be reused hence no issue of disposal
- Can be used by women of any age
Following are the few shortcomings of using menstrual cups
- Proper sterilization is must for reuse
- May be difficult to insert or remove for initial few months but can be resolved with education
- Advised to remove during intercourse
So clearly the advantages of using menstrual cups are more than the disadvantages which can be overcome with education.
For a developing country like India, the use of menstrual cups is encouraged as many women in the rural parts of the country do not have any access to sanitary napkins. Women and girls refrain themselves from social gatherings while on their menstrual cycle due to fear of leakage and inadequate sanitation facilities. Menstrual cups can surely work wonders for these women.
- Dr Prerna Gaur