Keeping the growing menace of pollution in mind, it has become necessary for us to switch to organic sanitary napkins. Further, women in urban areas have switched to a new availability as the bio-degradable pads have been reported to pose a great risk on women’s health.
Biodegradable napkins take many years to decompose, and this is one reason why one needs to switch to organic napkins. According to a report mentioned in the Clean India Journal, one woman can generate up to 125 kg of non-biodegradable waste through her menstruating years alone and each of the soiled napkins would take anywhere from 500-800 years to decompose. Approximately 58 per cent of 350 million women in India use sanitary napkins. The report also cited that around 9000 tonnes of sanitary waste (432 million pads) is being generated annually in India.
If you wish to switch to organic options, here are some you can opt for
These cups are made of medical grade silicone that collects blood when it is inserted into the vagina. The reason it is hygienic is that in comparison to napkins, there is no foul smell, rashes or itchiness. One buy it online through popular e-retailers.
What is a menstrual cup?
Menstrual cup is a reusable personal hygiene product inserted into the vagina during menstruation. They are small, flexible funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or silicone. It can hold more blood than other methods traditionally used by women.
As you can wear a cup for 6 to 12 hours, depending on whether or not you have a heavy flow, it is ideal for overnight use too.
Prior to use
Before using the cup, consult a gynaecologist to find the correct size. Most menstrual cup brands sell small and large versions.
Consider these steps to figure out the correct size:
» Your age
» Length of the cervix
» Whether or not you have a heavy flow
» Firmness and flexibility of the cup
» Cup capacity
» Strength of the pelvic flow muscles
» Whether you gave birth, and if so if it was vaginally or not
Smaller cups are suited for women younger than 30 and haven’t delivered vaginally. Larger size are often given to women above 30 and have given birth vaginally or have heavier flow.
How to put the cup?
It is not a difficult task, just follow the steps below to insert the cup:
» Wash the hands thoroughly
» Apply water or a water-based lube to the rim of the cup
» Tightly fold the menstrual cup in half, holding it in one hand with the rim facing up
» Insert the cup, rim up, into the vagina. It should sit a few inches below the cervix.
» Once the cup is in the vagina, rotate it. It will spring open to create an airtight seal that stops leaks.
If you feel uncomfortable after inserting the cup, please speak to your doctor.
How to take the cup out?
One should always remove the cup after 12 hours of use.
To remove the cup safely follow the following steps:
» Wash the hands thoroughly.
» Place your index finger and thumb into your vagina. Pull the stem of the cup gently until you can reach the base.
» Pinch the base to release the seal and pull down to remove the cup.
» Once it’s out, empty the cup into the sink or toilet
» Used cups should be washed and wiped clean before reinserting to the vagina.
Menstrual cups are durable and will last from 6 months to 10 years with proper usage.
Merits and demerits
Many women are increasingly using the menstrual cups as they are affordable. Moreover, they are more safer than other methods and can hold more blood. They are eco-friendly too. Most reusable cups need to be taken out before sex, though the soft disposable ones needn’t be taken out before sex.
However, the cups can prove to be messy and may be hard to insert or remove if the right fit is not found. They may cause an allergic reaction and vaginal irritation, especially when the menstrual cups are not washed properly.
Menstrual cups have an advantage over disposable napkins or tampons as they do not contribute to the issues posed by solid waste.Since menstrual cups are reusable, solid waste generation can be reduced. The disposable napkins take 25 years to degrade because most of them are made of plastics and this cause high environmental impact.
Menstrual cups are reusable and can be used for 10 years. They can be emptied in a small hole in the soil or in compost piles.
Since menstrual fluid is a valuable fertilizer for plants, pathogens of sexually transmitted diseases will quickly be destroyed by the soil microbes. The water used to rinse the cup can also be disposed in similar way.