Menstrual hygiene and sanitation are essential aspects of public health. But stigma is associated with creating awareness about personal care hygiene or sexual health. In many parts of the world, women still use cotton cloth during their periods, which is highly unsafe and can cause infections. As per an expert forecast, the global sanitary pads market stood at $ 18,426 million in 2016 and was projected to reach $ 26,215.23 million by 2022. It shows that the awareness of menstrual hygiene has increased across the globe.
Recently, with the increased use of sanitary napkins, issues have arisen about their disposal and further degradation. They cannot be reused or recycled and often clog the sewage pipelines. They can be cleaned using manual labor and take up a lot of space in landfill sites. However, these are easy to use but not easy to manage. At this point, an evolution to the best option is required – using menstrual cups. These are easy on the pockets, and the reusable variants are also available, so they are not harmful to the environment.
What are menstrual cups?
It is a small, flexible cup made up of latex or silicone. Like sanitary napkins or tampons, it does not absorb the liquid but instead collects it. It is imperative to maintain proper hygiene before inserting it.
Is it safe to use?
It is entirely safe to use. It reduces menstrual cramps and pain and reduces the chances of infection. Initially, it may be irritating for first-time users, but nothing to worry about. It is less messy and odorless, which becomes a concern during periods.
For how long can it be used?
It is safe to use a menstrual cup for 12 hours (approximately). It depends on the user’s discretion, flow rate, and comfort.
What can be the problems related to the usage of menstrual cups?
It can be challenging to find the right fit initially, and the insertion can be messy too.
How do you clean menstrual cups?
They can be washed with soap and water, and it is crucial to dry them properly. After the cycle, they can be sterilized by boiling water and drying.
Though using a menstrual cup is a safe option, it is always advisable to consult your gynecologist for a consult and weigh your options. It is vital to address the stigma and normalize discussions around menstrual and sexual health, which will benefit every woman in the long run.
Dr. Chandrima Chatterjee is a Dental surgeon by profession who is currently working in the domain of pharmacovigilance. She is also experienced in working in Public Health, with an inclination toward mental health.