I used a menstrual cup for three months and here's what happened to me...

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The first month was, let’s say, messy. It took me two days to get used to a cup inserted inside me...

Around four months back, I and my husband decided to go on a week-long beach holiday. We finalised our destination, booked our flight and hotel tickets and were all set to head out in a few months.

Except there was just one problem- my periods.

Although I’ve never really experienced irregular periods, but I can safely say that they do not magically come on the exact same day and time each month. I am almost always chumming a day in advance or a day later (from my previous month’s date), as most other women.

So hitting a beach, although perfect, became a not-so-perfect situation for me. I wanted to swim in the ocean without having to worry about my periods.

I tested a menstrual cup...

And since I was so excited to not miss out on anything during my holiday, I decided to test menstrual cups during the three months before I was to leave.

The first month was, let’s say, messy. It took me two days to get used to a cup inserted inside me. But by the third day I got used to it.

The second month was relatively easier. I could maneuver the cup easily and the third month was a breeze. So it suffices to say, I didn’t have any issues with the cup and was ready to hit the beach without the worry of leakages.

But if you are wondering whether to opt for a menstrual cup or not and if it is safe, don’t take from me, take it from the expert.

We spoke to Dr Madhushree Vijayakumar, Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Motherhood Hospital, Bengaluru, to understand how menstrual cups work and if it is suitable for all.

Q1: Are menstrual cups safer than say sanitary napkins or tampons?

Ans: The safety of using menstrual cups depends on the user. The user has to make sure that the cup is cleaned well each time after use. It is suggested to clean the cup with warm water along with savlon or betadin.

The cups can sometimes cause discomfort as they are not watertight and airtight and have chances of leakage. These menstrual cups are not recommended for sexually inactive women.

Q2: What brands are available and at what price point?

A: Currently, three Indian companies manufacture menstrual cups that can be bought online or at pharmacies across. These are Shecup by MediAceso Healthcare Pvt Ltd. for Rs 695, Vcup by Earth Care Solutions for Rs 970 and Silkycup for Rs 400.

I used a menstrual cup for three months and here's what happened to me...

Q3: What are the advantages of these cups? 

Ans: Helpful for the busy bees and the one who has field visit job. One need not change for up to 8-10 hours. They are reusable hence cost-effective. Finally, they are more eco-friendly than others.

Remember that up to 3-5 years of usage is recommended due to hygiene factors. However, it should be cleaned thoroughly with Savlon after each use.

Q4: Should women switch over to these cups (from napkins and tampons)?

Ans: If they want they can switch to these cups. If not then different other options can be discussed. It is better for ladies with a heavier flow.

“If someone is planning to switch to menstrual cups, options should always be discussed first with a doctor,” recommends Dr Vijayakumar.

Q5: What are the things to bear in mind while switching to menstrual cups?

A: Women must remember that a correct technique should be learned to avoid slip and leakage. There is a myth that these cups make changes to the cervix, it is not true, they do not.

Also, women with cervical cancer should not use these cups and neither should those suffering from pelvic diseases, inflammatory diseases, endometriosis problems or infections. They should preferably use other methods.

Remember that although these menstrual cups are a bit expensive, they are easy to manage, reusable and can go a long way, especially when you’re travelling.

So in case, you’re planning to buy one, watch the video to understand how they work.

Read: 17 things to teach your daughter about her periods

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(All images courtesy: Youtube, Wikicommons)

Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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