I woke up to a message from a friend, that read, “I’m doing it! Trying the period cup for the first time today. I’m nervous for sure but also a teeny bit excited!”
While I am cheering her on, I still haven’t ordered the menstrual cup. For people like us who are still hesitanat here are two more stories.
Nandita from Kerala
“I started using the cup in August last year. I first thought about it when a young and kick-ass ecologist and environmental activist named Jis Sebastian who I interviewed brought it up. Jis has to travel to remote forests and villages for a lot of her work but she totally swore by the cup. A few months later, I finally decided to take the plunge. I found out there was a local brand of cups which were manufactured by a couple in Thrissur, Kerala, so I ordered one. In the 3 days it took to get delivered, I hungrily lapped up info from YouTube and discussion fora online. The feedback was so overwhelmingly positive that I couldn’t wait for my next period. Finally, the day was here and I took my sterilised cup with me into the bathroom. My best friend was cheering from the outside. My first period with the cup was definitely nerve-racking. I was so tentative that I did not insert it enough. When I finally did insert it properly, I was a bit disconcerted to find that I couldn’t feel a thing. It felt like I wasn’t wearing it at all. I was elated, but still afraid of sleeping with it. I used to take it out every 3-4 hours out of paranoia that it would be sucked up into my intestine (biology, fail) or something. This is totally unnecessary; the cup can hold at east 7 hours of bleeding on my peak day. During the first few days I finally got convinced that it’s not possible for the cup to disappear into the darkness and I realised how much I had underestimated gravity (if you squat for long, it will slip down enough for you to reach the tip and pull it out comfortably). For me, those initial clumsy fiddles with the cup helped me get familiar with me body in a way I never had before. I’d never even used a tampon before. Just getting over the icky perception, getting your hands bloody (those initial days) was invaluable because I now accept and feel proud of the fantastic phenomena that takes place inside my body. I feel like such a warrior when I look at my cup filled with rich red blood and it’s kind of poetic the way the blood swirls into the drain when you throw it away. I realised that pads somehow make our periods feel dirty – maybe the advertising has a lot to do with it? With the cup, you get to see the blood it all its gory glory and this experience has really changed things for me, personally and practically.”
This is from an email Sowjanya wrote,
“As everyone else might’ve mentioned already, the menstrual cup experience has been absolutely blissful, with less leakage, less frequent changing, more comfort and cleanliness, and even reduced cramps / backache.
But I actually wanted to mention something else. The health and environmental aspect of it. During my undergrad research project, my fellow batchmates were working on a group of chemicals called Endocrine-disrupting chemicals. These are basically harmful chemicals that hinder the normal functioning of your hormones, and even cause mutations in your genes, and they are found in practically everything we use from soaps and shampoos to pads and tampons. Some of the absolute worst of these chemicals are found in our sanitary products to make them smell good and be ‘odour free’. To my horror, my lab friends extracted some of these chemicals from human maternal blood and amniotic fluid, and tested them on fish (most of which died, obviously because of horrible mutations). So not only are we poisoning our bodies with such products, these products then end up in landfills and oceans, and wreaks more havoc there! That was one of the major reasons I switched to the cup.”