Information brought to you by Pee Buddy
Whether you like it or not, your periods are your monthly companions for a major part of your life. Ensuring proper menstrual hygiene is not only necessary for your health, it also allows you to fully take part in your daily activities without any worries. One of the most popular menstrual hygiene products that most women opt for are sanitary pads. These are probably the first menstrual hygiene products you were introduced to when you started your periods.
While pads are definitely convenient to use, there are definitely some drawbacks associated with their use. These are quite expensive and can put you at risk of infections if not changed regularly. Also the monthly pile of pads that end up in your trash are not really the best thing for the environment. They mostly end up in landfills where they do not decompose easily.
If you are wondering whether a safer and cheaper alternative to these products exists : let us introduce you to the secret of experiencing a better, more comfortable and environmental friendly period : menstrual cups.
By switching from sanitary pads to menstrual cups, you are doing a favour both to your body and the planet. Let’s discover how.
#1. Menstrual cups are safer than pads
Cups are made of medical grade silicone which makes them non-toxic, compared to other items. PAds on the other hand have certain toxic chemicals which on prolonged usage can be absorbed by the vaginal and labial walls. Some sanitary pads carry BPA along with many other chemicals. These can get absorbed by the body and interfere with the reproductive system over the long term. The cotton used in the pads is derived from cotton plant. This plant is sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals become a part of the pad and can enter the bloodstream through vaginal walls and interfere with your internal organs. Medical experts have also suggested that there is a risk of pelvic infection due to long term use of pads.
#2. Menstrual cups can help you save money
While you will have to spend money for a menstrual cup at one go, since it can be used over the long term it ends up costing you much less than pads. While menstrual cups
are available in the price range of 300- 2000 Rs, you can easily use them for one year and even more. On the other hand while using pads, you will end up spending anywhere between 150-300 Rs every month depending on the brand you use.
#3. Menstrual cups can help protect the environment.
Did you know that a sanitary pad can take anywhere between 500-800 years to decompose after ending up in a landfill?
An average woman menstruates for 38 years. In that time, she throws away 150 kg or close to 300 pounds of disposable products. Worldwide, it is estimated that 432 million pads are disposed every month. Can you imagine the volume of menstrual product waste choking our landfills? The plastic and other chemicals used for manufacturing these pads slowly leach out into the landfill and contaminate soil and groundwater. In some areas there is an informal practice of burning used sanitary napkins. This can lead to release of toxic gases like dioxins and furans.
A menstrual cup
, is made of medical grade silicone and can be reused for a longer time. Depending on the brand and your personal preference you can use them anywhere for 1 to 5 years. This means that by using a menstrual cup you can do your bit towards protecting the environment.
#4. Menstrual cups are ideal for heavy flow
Periods are never a lot of fun and if you experience a heavy flow, constantly changing pads and being worried about leakages can make this a even harder time. Even with the longer and more absorbent pads, the risk of leakages still exist. Menstrual cups can hold more of your period blood than a pad. It is capable of holding twice as much liquid as a pad can absorb. This makes it a better option for women who deal with a heavy flow. Due to the suction quality the cups also leak a lot less so you don’t have to worry for 8 to 12 hours after you have inserted them.
#5. Menstrual cups are gentler for your skin
Nowadays majority of the sanitary pads available in the market are loaded with artificial perfumes and fragrances which can cause skin allergies and irritation. However, menstrual cups
are made of pure medical grade silicon and no additional chemicals or perfumes are added in them. This ensures that use of menstrual cups can help you eliminate the risk of eczema and allergies.
#6. You don’t have to change your menstrual cup throughout the day.
While most experts advise that pads should be changed every 3 to 4 hours, a menstrual cup need not be changed for upto 12 hours. This means that you can insert them once in the morning and would need to empty it only after you reach home. If you are experiencing very heavy periods then also you may need to replace it only once during the mid-day. This means lesser runs to the bathroom and a more relaxed and laid back day for you.
#7. You can help save the dignity and health of waste collectors by switching to menstrual cups
You would definitely think of switching from pads to a more sustainable and long term use option such as menstrual cup if you knew how your soiled pads are handled. Since most of our cities lack a proper source segregation and depend on waste -pickers, it is these people who have to handle your soiled pads. The soiled pads are taken to the outskirts of your city and often manually segregated by waste-pickers and are eventually buried in a landfill. Since these waste-pickers do not have access to personal protective equipments such as face-masks or gloves, they have to handle these used pads with bare hands and are exposed to diseases caused by microorganisms such as E coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus and pathogens that cause hepatitis and tetanus.
Your switching to menstrual cups will ensure that waste pickers would not have to go through this undignified work and avoid a major health risk since menstrual cups unlike pads do not have to be disposed after single use and can last much longer.
Click here to check out the unique menstrual and intimate hygiene Sirona products from Pee Buddy.