Blog written by Harini Rayadurgam
Author is an educator and career mentor
I am writing this article after using the menstrual cup for the first-time this month!
I have known about the cup for the past 3-4 years, but never went through a YouTube video, or never read about it enough to try and use it.
I thought, I'm already 40+, max another 10-12 years to menopause so what big difference could it make. Why change?
Due to the covid, there were so many webinars that I was attending about my own topics (futuristic careers, education policy etc), so I was a part of many whatsapp groups on various workshops.
One of the workshops was about alternative menstrual products by Stonesoup's Smita.
I attended it only because it was between 2 other workshops, and my son and husband were busy with exam and meetings, so they wouldn't venture out of their rooms!
But in the webinar, I asked a lot of questions, the way Smita spoke about the products & the support of the whatsapp group made me order the product immediately.
I watched several videos about it. In telugu, tamil, malayalam, english, french, russian, kannada, hindi - by doctors, housewives, professionals, young teenagers! I watched them all!
Really! I’m not joking!
I received the order on time and used some hot boiling water to clean it.
I tried inserting one day without period it was difficult! It took a few trials to understand what to do. I was a bit sore, but at least I understood where & how to insert and what my posture should be, to insert it easily.
When I saw I started my period, I washed it & immediately inserted it. I also wore a pad - for safety sake. I had to try it 3-4 times, but then I walked carefully, I just couldn't feel it at all.
Told my husband to use my son's bathroom for the week as I dont know how this is going to go!
- Absolutely no spotting. Not a single drop came out! I wore pads all days, but it was not required. Totally forget that it is period time
- No trouble to pee/poo/bath/swim
- Remove it whenever you want – 2 hours or 12 hours
- No pervading smell, I used to have bath more number of times during periods and still not feel fresh! With the cup, the body feels so fresh all the time! No smell at all!
- Environmental & Financial benefits as you can use and reuse the cup for 10 years.
- Nights are usually very heavy for me, so it used to be difficult to sleep, now no worries!
- I have been using Adira period panties for stain free nights, That is also a good product, but with a cup, it is no longer required.
- No need to hide pad in cupboard, take it inside bathroom without family seeing it etc. nothing is there to see, carry, throw!
- Travel is easy, especially at my age, dates are very unpredictable, so carrying/using the cup would be much easier than carrying pads, period panties, searching for dustbins etc.
- Maybe if water is not available, you could temporarily clean it with a tissue and reuse till you reach home.
- I had to remove all my clothes to remove the cup safely and clean it, maybe after a couple of months, I could get comfortable!
- During one night, I felt bubbles inside, I thought it was leaking, but it was due to the cup not opening up completely inside. There was a dent, and due to that, it could have leaked! Once I corrected the dent, there was no bubbles, no leakage.
- It is pretty tight. If your stomach or bladder is full, it could be difficult to remove.
- Don’t know if I would ever go out without a pad, maybe a couple of reusable pads could be an added purchase.
- When pouring into the commode, the blood looks scary, flush it a couple of times immediately or pour some bathroom cleaner, as the thick blood stains stay for some time.
- As it is completely inside and stays there, sometimes we feel nothing is there, and get worried if we are equipped properly to deal with periods, especially on painful days.
- As this was the first time, I told my husband to use my son’s bathroom for a few days.
- After inserting it, run your finger around the walls of the cup to check for any dents. Otherwise if there is no vacuum created, so there might be some leakage.
- I was cleaning it 3 times a day on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th days (heavy days), 6am, 2pm, 11pm as that’s how I usually do for the pads, but it totally depends on you!
- Understand how your body is, and your posture while inserting could be different from your posture when you remove the cup.
- The cup is max 1/3rd - half full at maximum flow. So while removing it, ensure that you remove it with care, so that there is no spillage.
- I have an IUD (intra-uterine device for birth control), yet there were no issues, no problems! Yet, if you have any questions, it is better to ask your doctor before using it.
- Join the whatsapp group of Stonesoup, ask your questions, talk to the support people before buying a cup.
- Buy a few reusable pads for travel so you can have peace of mind.
- I work from home, but if you’re working at office, plan your postures to remove/insert so that you are comfortable in the toilets outside.
- At least the first time you use it, prefer to stay home, use pads and note down your feelings each day. This will help you to write down the problems you faced and how you dealt with it.
So, go ahead. Whether you work at home or office, you’re 25 or 45, student or professional, doctor or police woman, full time worker or part time, heavy flow or light flow – the cup is a wonderful way for a comfortable, happy, odour free period while also enjoying environmental and financial benefits.