Disposable plastic-based pads ruled the menstrual hygiene landscape for delivering clean protection and an easy lifestyle in a world where women relied on old cotton rags. However, its widespread use has resulted in a can of worms.
They cause rashes, leaks, and restrict physical activity for those who use them. They produce waste piles for the rest of the globe as well.
According to the Menstrual Hygiene Alliance of India, 36% of India’s 336 million menstruation women use disposable sanitary napkins (MHAI). This equates to 121 million women producing approximately 12.3 billion throwaway sanitary napkins, which end up in landfills, blocking waterways, and causing endless pollution.
Thankfully, we now have more alternatives. A menstrual cup is a type of reusable feminine hygiene product. It’s a small, flexible funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or silicone that you insert into your vagina to catch and collect period fluid. It’s made of medical-grade silicone, so it’s safe for menstruation women and girls of all ages to use, and it doesn’t trigger allergies. Since it is internally worn, that is, inserted inside the vaginal cavity, it collects menstrual blood at the source for up to 8 hours and thus avoids constant damp contact with the skin, reducing chances of skin infections and rashes.
The menstrual cup pops open when inserted, generating a vacuum barrier that prevents leaks. As a result, you are free to engage in physical activities such as swimming and other sports. Furthermore, depending on the water quality, one menstruation cup can survive up to ten years. It only requires a few washes during the flow between removal and insertion, as well as sterilising before and after the intervals, for maintenance. As a result, using the menstrual cup reduces the amount of sanitary waste produced dramatically. As the cup is reusable, it is also less expensive in the long run! It is healthier, more cost-effective, and more environmentally friendly too.
Social organisations, governments, and businesses have all played a key role in raising awareness about menstruation cups by dispelling common misconceptions. “It’s never late to start”. Empowered with the right knowledge, we much switch to menstrual cups.
Image courtesy: IANS