Menstrual cups are a fairly unknown entity for most of the population of India. Same was the case for me, that is, until the Covid-19 pandemic happened. My bored teenage heart, ever eager to do something 'rebellious', found solace in menstrual cups.
I don't remember my first introduction to menstrual cups. However, I can say without a doubt, that it was from the internet. Rediscovering cups in the pandemic ignited a flame in me. I was intrigued. I had to try it. How can I not? The reasons were pretty straightforward. 1. It was a way for me to get rid of my boredom. I could actively invest my time in it, 2. For a frequent complainer about uncomfortable sanitary pads, it felt like a dream come true, 3. It was a chance to try something new and finally, 4. It also gave me a chance to do some good in the world.
So I set off on an adventure. Exploring and researching about cups. Article after article and video after video, embarking on a journey filled with red stained pants, messy bathrooms and a lot of uncertainty. But before that, there was the task of convincing my mom. Hesitant at first (as any Indian parent might be if you declare to insert something in your body), but eventually tired of my constant nagging, she decided to give them a chance. The cup was ordered as soon as the go-ahead was given. There started the not so patient wait for its arrival. On the auspicious day that the cup arrived, I felt giddy with joy. It marked the start of something new.
Inserting the cup properly was the next task on the list. It was daunting, but exciting. Accidents did happen. The number of bloody pants rose. But along with that, so did my confidence.
One thing I realised during this time, is that cups aren't for everyone. Not everyone can depend on cups for five straight days. Sometimes, compromise is the key. So, I did precisely that.
The solution to my red-spotted pants was... drumroll please... The period underwear. Using these two products, the cup and the underwear, ensured that I would never have to worry about leakage again. They had me covered, for heavy as well as light flows. I felt empowered, like the women in the sanitary pads advertisements. (Seriously, why don't they make ads for these?!?) I felt ecstatic, smelt flowery and could sit any way I wanted! I wanted to dance and sing while parading across the street.
An average period, let us assume, consisting of 15 pads for each month of the year, for about 40 years, will lead to using about 7200 (i.e 15×12×40) pads in a lifetime. Compared to that, the combination of one menstrual cup (used for ten years) and 2 period underwear (used for 2-3 years) proves to be a lot more cost-effective and favourable for the environment.
I learned a bit about myself through this journey. First, I can get crazy obsessed with things I care about (aka menstrual cups). Also, anything I care about, will reach your ears some way or the other (I went pad free y'all!!!).
This was my journey towards a sustainable period. I have to say, till date, this has been one of my proudest, most rewarding achievements ever.
About the author- She is an 18 year old student from Fergusson college. She is a part time book lover, part time sportsperson and a full time procrastinator. She is interested in pursuing further studies in economics.