First up: This is great info for ladies, but also great for guys, because… let’s drop the squeamishness about periods, yeah?
Menstruation is the number one reason girls miss school in developing nations. (Femme International 2013) The stigma surrounding it as well as the lack of resources prevents girls from being able to go to school on their period in places all over the world. The lack of facilities available to change a tampon or pad makes it challenging, or downright impossible for young ladies to be in the public sphere during their time of month. Many girls and women use a rag wrapped in cotton or have to budget their small income to allow for the purchase of expensive, feminine hygiene products. And many are forced to just stay home for entire weeks. Terrible, right? At least a great, simple solution exists: Menstrual cups.
In developing nations, like Kenya for example, the menstrual cup allows girls and women to go to school and work. It can transform their lives entirely. Femme International is an NGO working to make menstrual cups available in Kenya, as well as trainings for women (and men) about menstruation. So far, results have been positive.
In places like the U.S., the menstrual cup is an incredible, easy resource. (Click this article for sizes and cup options.) Periods make up a pretty large portion of a woman’s life. Making it easier is pretty great.
Let’s looks at some of its benefits:
1. The cup allows women to have a comfortable, hassle free period.
2. The cup is leak-free. It creates a vacuum seal inside the vagina.
3. It only needs to be dumped out every 12 hours.
4. Tampons create the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome and expose the body to toxic chemicals like bleach, where as the menstrual cup is made with surgical grade silicone and does not leach toxins.
5. Replacing one-time-use-period-products with clean, reusable cups is good for the environment.
6. And, last but not least, the menstrual cup saves a ton of money. With washing, one need only buy a new cup every couple years. In-fact, you don’t even have to replace one for up to ten years.
The menstrual cup is an all around, fantastic option. And in developing nations, it can be life changing.
*Check out the sources below to read an article about how the cup is affecting change in East Africa. Also, the sources below have great resources for use and maintenance of a cup.
Diva Cup. “Care and Cleaning” Diva International. 2012-2014. Web January 2015. http://divacup.com/how-it-works/care-and-cleaning/
Femme International “Addressing Menstruation and Affecting Change.” 2013. Web. January 2015. http://www.femmeinternational.org/the-issue.html
Rubli, Sabrina. “How Menstrual Cups are Changing Lives in East Africa”. Huffington Post. December 2014. Web January 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sabrina-rubli/menstrual-cups-east-africa_b_6313436.html
Tunstall, Jill. “Toxin-free, Easy to Use and Eco-Friendly: What’s Not to Like About the Moon-Cup?” The Guardian. August 2009. Web. January 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ethicallivingblog/2009/aug/17/eco-friendly-periods-mooncup