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I Tried A Menstrual Cup For The First Time

Debashruti Banerjee

8 min read

After a decade of menstruating, I finally said my goodbyes to sanitary pads and bought my first menstrual cup. Read on to find out how it went, what I learnt and whether I’ll keep using it.

Ever since I got my period at 12, I’ve always been bewildered by period privacy. Why can’t I buy a pack of sanitary pads without the stores wrapping it in newspaper and then a black plastic bag? Why must so many schools have no provisions or educational modules about menstruation? Why, on top of bleeding, cramps and a plethora of PMS symptoms, must we also deal with thigh chafing, underwear-ruining and occasional odour? It took me a while to discover the world of alternative, reusable and sustainable menstrual products一menstrual cups stood out. How on earth did I not know about this revolutionary product when it’s been around for nearly a century (American actor Leona Chalmers designed the first ever period cup in 1937)?

A trophy-shaped receptacle made of medical-grade silicone, rubber or latex, the menstrual cup is folded and inserted into the vagina like a tampon一where it opens and creates a suction, thereby holding blood and discharge until emptied. “When cleaned appropriately and well-maintained, a single cup can be worn for up to 12 hours and last up to 10 years,” says Kolkata-based consultant gynaecologist Dr. Priyanka Sinha of Apollo Clinic, New Town.

The conversation around sustainable menstrual products and menstrual cups has only become more audible in the last few years of internet prominence. This may be due to a variety of reasons一insufficient knowledge on how to use it, less to none marketing, cultural or religious apprehensions and more. For me, personally, the only hesitation was whether I’d be able to use it right. Otherwise, I desperately wanted to leave my pad days behind. So I got my nerd game on and scouted the entire internet (and the attention of a few kind cup-veteran friends) to know as much as I could about this device before committing to it.

Based on the height of my cervix, flow intensity and no history of vaginal (or any) childbirth, I picked my cup size with fair confidence. However, every period experience is different. After it arrived, I waited a few weeks for the red notice with a mix of nervousness and hope.

Related story: How To Use A Menstrual Cup And Why

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