I talk to women about menstrual cups everywhere these days. Be it on long bus journeys when someone asks me for a pad, be it during sessions on Sustainable Menstruation or in public loos, I accost women irrespective of where they are and dwell at length about the magic of this revolutionary product. Just as I pitch them the product, I see question clouds popping in their heads. Here are some of the most common doubts I have been asked!
- Do I have to take the cup out each time I pee?
Breaking News: Menstrual Blood Comes Out of the Vagina!
Does this sound far too obvious to be on the top of the list? It’s not. Literally, every single woman (young, old, not-so-old, with kids, without kids) I have spoken to about menstrual cups has asked me – are you sure you don’t need to remove it when you are peeing? No, you don’t. And that’s because urine and menstrual blood come out of different openings in the female body. While urine comes out of the urethra, menstrual blood (white discharge, and babies also) comes out of the vagina. And these are two separate openings!
- What if my cup gets lost inside?
Ufff, NO. Your cup won’t get ‘lost’!
For the longest time in my life, I feared using an internal period product, tampons even, simply because I was of the firm belief that the said product would get lost inside my vagina and could never be found again. Visions of running to the nearby student hospital (I lived in a student town, you see) and asking them to remove a foreign object from my vagina would be nothing less than mortifying. But a roommate once asked – even if it gets ‘lost’, where will it go? It won’t. Because there’s something called as the cervix that connects the vagina to the uterus. And nothing can go past the cervix! Check the diagram below for more clarification!
- Can I use the cup if I am “unmarried”?
Oh yes! You can use the cup if you are “unmarried”.
Conversations in our country work in euphemisms. So, instead of asking, “are you sexually active”, you’d be asked “are you married?” When such is the case, cup-curious aunties will most definitely raise their eyebrows at “unmarried girls” successfully using a cup. Tell you what, ignore the eyebrow raises and the open-mouthed wonder. Yes, as “unmarried girls” who have not given birth, some cup folds might not be possible, but there are a lot of teenage girls using cups! You can check out Precious Stars Pads Youtube Channel for more helpful videos.
- Cup with Copper T/IUD? Yay or Nay?
Apart from the fact that both start with the letter ‘C’, they have nothing else in common. You can use your menstrual cup without any issues as the cup is placed at the end of the vaginal canal, whereas a Copper T is inside the uterus. Yes, the thread definitely hangs out, but you can ask your gynaecologist to trim it short so that it won’t come in the way of insertion/removal of the cup.
- I have excess white discharge. Can I use a cup?
Firstly, white discharge is absolutely normal. If you think it’s icky-yucky-gooey and you don’t like it, then remember that it’s your body’s natural way of keeping your vagina happy and healthy! The only real reason you should be concerned about white discharge is when a) it’s excessive b) it’s smelly and/or c) it’s any other colour other than white/off-white. And yes, I do know women who use a cup when they have excess white discharge. So go ahead and use one!
If you have more such questions, throw your prudishness out of the window, and join us on our Facebook group ‘Menstrual Cups, Cloth Pads India’.