Are you a Cup Girl?
When there's a cup - there is a Way!
Don't be scared of the fact that we shall be talking about mensuration today! Being an Indian - the only option which was ever given to me as a teenager was menstrual pads and in emergency cloth or tissues! I know I still fall in the elite section since I was a regular pad user and many women out there in the world - haven't even seen a pad once.
But from today onwards - forget cloth or pads or tampons - GO CUP!
I have hated periods since day one and never understood the fairness in bleeding through 5 days straight every month! And add to that for those 5 days - I have to stick pads to my panties and act as if everything is normal while my uterus walls might be screaming in agony.
You might come across many reviews out there about menstrual cups - most reviews are done just for review's sake and maximum are first time users - which isn't exactly useful either. I saw many YouTuber's making endless first-time reviews with awkward issues - but when you come across people who have been using it since a year or more - the reviews were all positive - like 100% legit positive.
So here is my story - My journey with Cup started in 2016 February - Now, I am a very PROUD CUP GIRL! And I have been recommending cups since then to everyone - more like swooning about them - once you go cup, you just can't return.
Leona W. Chalmers invented the cup in the 1900's - takes a lady to know and understand a lady - right? And imagine it took 100 Years to shine some light on it and get it to the mainstream market! The entire women all across the world will be thankful to her for eternity!
I came across the Diva Cup brand on one of the Buzzfeed videos on a menstrual cup. Believe me, I felt as if I am living under a rock that day. I was up the entire night and I researched endlessly about the menstrual cups. What motivated me, you ask?
Pads are the worse - You always feel squeamish and damp. It's like a monthly monsoon season in your panties and sticky neither region always.
You are ALWAYS SCARED of SPOTTING. Has it leaked? Am I showing? Has the blood ruined our lingerie?
You have to carry endless pads around apart from what you already have stuck to your vagina! And change it - so yeah find a washroom - hope for some source of water - carry polythene or newspaper and then wrap the used one to throw it out. It's quite an effort to do - in first 2 -3 days of period at-least.
To think like endless times before peeing or pooping - because again - yes again you have to change the pad or at-least manage and clean the blood seeping out of you every time.
To endless rashes, sensitive skin, redness due to endless chafing between skin and pads and the annoying itch you get near your panty lines!
Add to that the weird mix of scented pads and the blood mix. That's some weird smell.
So you do get an idea of how I hate pads from the bottom of my vagina aka heart!
Here are some additional benefits of switching to Menstrual Cups!
So I researched and researched - couldn't go for tampons - never understood it to be honest - saw too many cons than pros. So when I came across cups - I was blown away.
Menstrual Cups has been quite prominent in US, UK, Canada and few other countries since 2010 but I believe it hit the Indian Market by 2015 or so (Not Sure Entirely!) but I was really sceptical of any cup in Indian Market - to my surprise I did find Eva Cup brand - and that was my first cup cost barely like INR 700 something then.
Why I love menstrual cups? Give me a reason as to why not???
Biggest Point - One Cup goes for like straight 7-10 years! If you wish to change it on an annual basis then also it's shit cheaper than monthly pads. You just wash it and store it and before your periods just dip it in hot water clean it and its ready to use!
You insert it once and its good to go for 8 - 10 hours on your heavy flow days and up to 12 hours on your light days.
You can pee and poop as you please and even fart, nothing I mean nothing will happen down there - It's almost like you are not on periods. Why? Because ladies, as you know your Urethra is separate from your Vagina so when you pee - you just pee out of Urethra and the blood is intact in the cup in your vagina, so unless you remove the cup there is NO Blood when you go for your day to day business in the washroom. So you avoid the entire mess of cleaning it again and again.
You can jog, swim, dance, wear tights - go about your life like a daily basis.
You have no panty line issues - no rash issues - no itch issue. No funny smell down there either.
You don't have to carry newspaper - polythene or anything to throw anything out.
The first time you use it - you need to figure out a few things first -
Different Cup Sizes - Before giving birth - you need to use the small or medium-size cups - post-birth the large size cup.
All cups usually have a stem attached to them - you need to cut the stem as per your vagina size and comfort (For me - I cut it off at the stem beginning itself).
See the youtube videos or instructions on how to fold them ( I usually just fold it in U- Shape and swoop it goes in. Once you insert - pinch it down a bit so that a vacuum is created and then push it up and I am done for the day!)
Whenever you insert it - dip it in warm water first - makes it easier to insert it.
For removing it just pinch the bottom of it and pull it out. Pour the blood out and clean and push it in again.
Last but the most important thing - Understand your uterus and vagina, love it, play with it and trust it and its power and its capacity - it can produce a whole human being - it can definitely handle a tiny cup. You have to accept your menstrual blood as just blood - and it's okay to look at it. Call me gross but I actually like seeing it every-time and get in awe of the female body and its wonders.
In pads, you aren't really sure if you got every blood and mucus out - In cups - I feel cleaner from inside. Maybe because the vacuum the cups creates hold and while pulling it out it almost sucks out everything.
Last but again most important - less wastage and you save the planet by not using endless pads!
To All Virginity Lovers - fearing the tearing of virginity seal aka hymen - it's all a big myth. Kindly see this - THE VIRGINITY FRAUD - By Nina Dølvik Brochmann & Ellen Støkken Dahl | TEDxOslo
There are many myths in which people have claimed that some woman forgot the cup inside. That's like a rare one in a million kind of thing where you may be too forgetful by nature but trust your vagina - it will push it out for sure. You have to wash it thoroughly every time you take it out and insert it back in. My Routine during periods -
First 2 Days - Insert it - Take it out once during the day - Let's say post-lunch. Wash it. Reinsert. Then again take it out during the night before sleep - wash it and insert. So that's morning - afternoon - night so that's 3 times in a day in total.
For Next 3 Days - Only morning before starting the day and night before sleep. Only 2 times. That's it.
Personal Experience -
Periods are a bliss now - except the periods back pain. (Yes, I am the back pain girl, not the abdomen pain!)
No hassle whatsoever - I just insert it in the morning and go about my day as usual and refresh it once before sleeping. I have travelled extensively with cups be it work or leisure. I have done a whole day extensive shopping in Chandni Chowk on my 2nd day without any issue!
No spots - all my panties intact - no washroom dramas.
To be honest - I do forget I am on periods many times during the day - Only on first day, I am conscious due to the periods back pain post the 1st day it's like walking on clouds.
So to all the women out there- A BIG SHOUT OUT - try it for at least 2-3 months. Get comfortable with your own blood - it's your blood and your body. The first time seems an effort and difficult because, to be honest - many Indian women don't even know what their vagina looks like - let alone exploring the depths of it. Spread those folds and explore it first and understand yourself and your body, nurture it, nourish it, embrace it and love it. Love yourself includes loving your vagina and embracing the periods as well.
Have a Happy Period, Happy Vagina, Happy Life!