Menstruation is a natural process of the reproductive system in a women’s body, but many fail to understand that, because of which it has created a culture of taboos in many of the developing and under-developed countries. People are not well-informed about menstrual hygiene and thee potential health risks caused such as vaginal infections.
What is menstrual cup & how it works?
Menstrual cup is a hygienic, reusable bell shaped sanitary product, made of soft rubber and medical grade silicon which is used to collect the menstrual fluid.
Women have been using tampons or pads to protect their clothing during their menstrual cycle. These cups are used as an alternate to tampons and pads and they come in a size of about 5cm (2in) across. They can hold more blood than any other methods, depending on the flow you can use the cup up to 12 hours, helping many women to lead comfortable daily life. The larger cups are always suggested for women above 30 years, who have given birth and also go through heavy bleeding.
Points to consider to choose a right cup:
- Your Age
- Size of your cervix
- Check on your flow. Is it light or heavy?
- Appearance of the cups
- Firmness and the stem styles of the cups
Advantages of Menstrual Cups
The advantages of using a menstrual cups include the following:
- A menstrual cup can be used double the times longer than a tampon. These cups actually can be a great use for overnight and at times where an access to bathroom is difficult.
- Menstrual cups are designed for a long term use, which actually is cost beneficiary and eco-friendly compared to tampons and pads. Because of their reusable quality, there’s less waste generated and fewer tress sacrificed to make the paper based alternatives.
- For a travel friendly girl menstrual cups are the best choice as they need not worry about buying or disposing the products. For a perfect holiday, trekking, road trips or camping menstrual cups are the best feminine hygiene product of choice.
- Girls need not worry about the embarrassing menstrual odour fanning out at the most inappropriate times, because these cups don’t allow the exposure of blood to air.
- Tampons are associated with a rare but fatal condition called the ‘toxic shock syndrome’ (TSS) which disrupts the delicate pH and bacterial balance in the vaginal area.
Disadvantages of Menstrual Cups
The disadvantages of using a menstrual cups include the following:
- To use a menstrual cup one requires practice, the art of inserting and removing the cup is very tactful and one needs to do it properly.
- Maintenance costs high with the use of menstrual cups because after each use you need to sterilize that cup before storing it away.
- Individuals anatomy matters the most to find the right fit for oneself. For women who have fibroids, dropped uterus or a low cervix may face difficulty, has the cup may not fit in place properly.
- Young girls find it difficult to insert when their hymen is in place and also for women who have got an IUD in place, where using these menstrual cups can extricate and pull off the IUD strings. It is always better to consult your personal gynaecologists before taking a decision on this.
- Menstrual cups are way too expensive when compared to the package of sanitary napkins or tampons. Though these cups have a longer lifetime, many people find it an expensive piece to afford.
Dr. BEENA JEYSINGH (Senior Consultant - Obstetrics and Gynaecology )
Columbia Asia Hospital - Sarjapur Road, Bangalore