Most women buy pads or tampons when choosing feminine sanitary products, but there is another device called a menstrual cup, which could bring a positive change in how you manage your period.
Menstrual cups have been around for over 70 years, but are still relatively unheard of. Made from soft medical grade silicone they are inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual fluid. Once inserted, the cup forms a seal by suction making it leak-resistant. They are not absorbent but collect more fluid than pads or tampons. They can be worn for up to 12 hours and require a rinse with water before re-use.
Freedom Cups is one organization, which is bringing the cup to many women in underprivileged communities. Often these women skip meals so they can afford to buy sanitary products or they run out of cloths to use to absorb their fluid. Some even resort to using mud, which poses a risk of infection. Girls also miss out on school regularly because of their period. A cup can help solve these issues.
One cup can last for years making it an environmentally friendly, healthier and cheaper alternative. You reduce the waste generated by non-biodegradable sanitary products and save money by not always having to buy them. There is also no exposure to harmful chemicals that are sometimes found in sanitary products and the risk of toxic shock syndrome is lower in comparison to tampons.
By working on a “buy 1, give 1” model, Freedom cups have distributed 900 cups in countries including Cambodia and India. They also teach women on how to use them, maintain menstrual hygiene, reproductive health and cervical cancer. By purchasing a cup you will be helping to develop education and allowing women better access to sanitation during their period.