Menstruation products have been made more efficient and safe over time. The change has come a long way – from cloth to pads to tampons, and now finally the menstrual cup. While pads and tampons used as absorbents that requires them to be disposed of after one use, the menstrual cup collects the blood instead, making them reusable and thus, environmentally-friendly. However, as with other menstrual hygiene products, lack of awareness has caused some bad press for the menstrual cup.
Have you been thinking about switching to menstrual cups but have not had the courage, for whatever reason, to do so? We try to debunk some common myths surrounding them:
Myth: Periods are unsanitary and period blood should not be touched
When you remove or insert a menstrual cup from/into your vagina, chances are that you will touch some blood. This is unavoidable but is not a reason to freak out. Period blood is like any other blood and there is no reason to make a big deal of it. Menstrual fluid is composed of blood and other dead cell deposits from the uterus; be sure to maintain general cleanliness concerning your body and the cup – wash your hands before and after inserting or removing the cup, and wash the cup with soap before and after insertion, and you are good to go!
Myth: One size fits all
Vaginas come in different sizes and colours, as do menstrual cups. Fears that the cup will get stuck inside your vagina or that your vagina is too big for the cup, essentially stem from the notion that menstrual cups come in one size. This, however, is not the case. Menstrual cups come in various sizes and you must choose one that is ideal for you.
Myth: It is difficult to pee with the menstrual cup inside
A common misconception is that peeing is difficult while using a menstrual cup. For this, we have only one advice – please get to know your body better. A close inspection of genitalia will show that there are three openings – the urethra, vagina, and the anus; the urethra is the opening from where you pee, and the vagina is the opening from where you bleed. So there is no need to worry!
Myth: Menstrual cups affect virginity
Another recurring myth is that inserting a menstruation cup will cause one to lose their virginity. This is absolutely untrue since the hymen – which is supposed to be the virginity determining factor – is essentially an elastic tissue which is flexible and cannot be broken because of a menstrual cup. Furthermore, the cup only stays in the outer vagina and does not go in as far as the hymen.
Myth: Menstrual fluid will flow backwards into the body when lying down
Absolutely not. The uterus pushes out the fluid through the cervix and vagina. The cervix is shaped similar to a donut, with a small opening that does not allow the fluid to move in the reverse direction.
Menstruation is a biological phenomenon and it needs to be discussed more openly and widely. Speaking about menstruation in hushed voices is harmful to society as a whole. This makes way for superstitions and incorrect practices to take control of the narrative. Dispelling questions in menstruating persons’ and others’ minds is essential to ensure health and hygiene. It is important that baseless rumours and myths are dismantled and instead, we make way for cleaner technology that is designed to promote health and the environment’s welfare.
(Edited by Kanishk)