Alternate Feminine Hygiene Products Part 1: How Menstrual Cups Became My New Best Friends
Around the time I was 14, when I was a little more than three years into my life as a menstruator, I stumbled upon a video where a bunch of American women tried menstrual cups. I told my mum about it, wondering if I could try it too, but was quickly shut down because ‘In India, women only use pads.’
And so, I endured.
Why Conventional Pads Didn’t Work For Me
Conventional pads, no matter how soft and gentle the advertisements claim them to be, would always cause rashes, which would lead to extreme discomfort added on top of the usual inconveniences of a period. Not to mention, you needed the exact right type of underwear (we’ve all got those ‘granny panties’ or ‘period underwear’ which are our most stained and hideous pair of underwear we keep at the back of the closet) and even then, the pad would get rolled up writhing the folds of the labia or press against the inner thigh, staining it too. Sometimes, the adhesive would come off, the wings would refuse to stay put, and overall, it’d be a complete mess.
Even though tampons would’ve essentially eliminated a lot of the problems, I was a little sceptical of the risk of potential infections and the fact that at the end of the day it was a rolled-up cotton tube, which meant, on days you weren’t bleeding much, insertion and removal would be a literal pain in the…
Things came to such a head by the time I was 18 that I couldn’t sleep at night with a pad on and would rather free bleed and spend hours scrubbing blood stains out than wear another pad. The rashes were simply awful!
Finally Getting A Cup
I proposed the idea of a cup again and this time, surprisingly, my mum was a little less resistive about it. We set up appointments with a couple of gynaecologists, but all of them either said they didn’t have any information about it or in a hushed tone told us “Those things are for married women, not young girls like you.” This was a bit of a setback but my next few period days made it clear that I couldn’t continue with pads and thus there was no other option. I convinced my mum and ordered my first menstrual cup. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t wait for my period.
Menstrual Cup Became my No. 1 Life Essential
The moment I tried the cup for the first time, I knew it was the best decision I’d ever made!
For the first time in years, I didn’t have pad burns all over my groin and could sleep without itching and wakeup without blood on my finger nails!
I admit, the process has a slight learning curve, but it stems more from our own inhibitions than the actual complexity of the product.
Cups, especially the ones formulated by My Avni, are so soft and mouldable that my biggest problem with them have been that I sometimes forget I’m wearing one!
I don’t remember the last time I asked someone to covertly check my pants as I walked for stains, because whether you sit, walk or do full on gymnastics with it, the cup stays put. Because you can comfortably keep them up till up to 12 hours, they make for great travel companions as well!
I’ve been using cups for a little over five years now and I’ve never looked at my period calendar and dreaded the date of my next period even if it coincided with an important event because I know my Avni Cup’s got me covered. No wiping the toilet seat after peeing, no seeing the horrendous amount of blood every time you pull your pants down (let’s be honest, no matter how old we are and understand it’s a normal process of the body, the first reaction to blood in the toilet is always a small second of horror).
The cup is small and travel friendly and I can carry it around in my pocket or purse and I don’t need to worry about disposal of pads either, which is another plus! I’m saving up on so much trash! One cup is going to last me for years, which makes it so much more affordable, and eco-friendly!
I’m such a huge advocate for menstrual cups, I’ve convinced most of friends and close family to switch too. My cousin sister started her period about a year ago and I just gifted her her first ever cup!