To Cup Or Not To Cup? - A Lowdown On The Menstrual Cup

Periods – the monthly subscription that’s been flooding women’s inboxes since puberty.”

Women have been menstruating for as long as they have existed. For ages now, the menstruating population of the world has primarily used disposable sanitary pads and tampons. However, there are many options to deal with menstrual health and hygiene, which are rarely considered, including the menstrual cup.

The menstrual cup was invented way back in the 1930s, but only recently has it come into the light as a viable menstrual hygiene option. However, women in India are still unaware of basic information about it. They have questions ranging from “How do I use it?” to “Does it hurt?”, and “Is it hygienic?” to “Where do I get it?”. But don’t worry! This video will give you the lowdown on this device.

Some of the most common concerns are around the actual process of using the cup, and whether it’s painful. But the cup is made from medical grade silicone which makes it soft, flexible, and comfortable. The process of insertion and removal of the menstrual cup can feel a bit tricky at first, but after a couple of cycles it gets a lot easier. The cup can be used for ten to twelve hours on an average, and one cup can last for up to five to ten years! Your wallet and the environment will thank you for all the sanitary pads you didn’t buy in this time.

There is a definite lack of advertising about the menstrual cup, and they aren’t exactly available at your neighbourhood pharmacy either. But several companies like Boondh, SheCup, and Diva Cup, offer menstrual cups online, in a range of different sizes and prices. So ladies, do thorough research on the right one for you, and take your pick!

Lack of information, coupled with the general taboo surrounding the topic of periods in India, has an entire country’s women skeptical to make the switch. However, the conversation and acceptance around the menstrual cup is slowly increasing. So do your research about this eco-friendly and cost-effective device, and the next time your inbox pings with this  ‘monthly subscription’, you can make an informed decision whether – “To Cup or Not to Cup?”

Watch the entire video to know more about the menstrual cup, and follow Vitamin Stree on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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