Hello ladies (and gents?). Today i want to share something a lil personal, a little #TMI maybe. It's a long story so gather around and leave your prude behind!
Disclaimer: it's about menstrual cups. It involves some gory and some arguably "gross" details.
After months of procrastinating, and letting a menstrual cup that I'd ordered with great enthusiasm sit pretty on my shelf, I tried it for the first time today. Honestly it was more due to the necessity than the motivation, since I ran out of pads and didn't want to go to a pharmacy given the raging Covid situation around.
Also, I'm a strong champion of all things eco-friendly and sustainable. (I'm the kinds who composts all the organic waste, runs to groceries stores with plastic bags to get groceries and then emptying those bags out and reusing them for getting veggies and fruits and repeating it like an infinite loop, don't order food in and if I do, reuse those plastic dabbas from food orders till they disintegrate into nothing, reuse RO water for flushing, you get the idea!)
But I have or rather had been using disposable pads for almost 20 years now, and every time I threw a big pile of blood soaked 8-10 pads into my garbage and then saw the garbage collector manually handle it, my heart sank a bit. All that plastic, fiber and potentially bacteria filled stuff going into the landfills! The last straw was when I spotted a bunch of street dogs manage to get their paws and eventually their teeth on the pads! Apparently dogs have a thing for human blood!
And yet I couldn't get myself to use the Cup. I used the sanitary pads with some guilt, but I did them anyway. So I'm glad today happened. And now on to the operational bits.
Here's how i used it. After unboxing the beautiful looking pink silicone cup from its velvet bag, i soaked it into hot water with a spoon of dettol to make sure it was completely sanitised before it entered my insides. Then I washed my own hands well, and tried to place the cup where it's supposed to go. (Hint: sex)
The trick is to fold the silicone and shove it up, it automatically opens up like a balloon inside. After a few initial seconds of discomfort, I forgot that it was even there! Yes there was a bit of a usual period sensation, but no additional pain or discomfort from the cup itself. I let it be there for about 8 hours before removing it lest my cuppeth runneth over!
Now the removal wasn't the pretty part. Since the cup had got completely lodged inside my vajajay, I had to stick a finger up to feel for it and get it out. (Imagine poking your fingers in the blood soaked cavern that is your period pussy!) It wasn't the easiest to locate the stem and even after that, i struggled to yank it out. WTF?
Had my menstrual cup got stuck inside me?
I was just fresh off watching an episode of the Netflix sitcom "The Bold Type" where one of the lead characters gets a "Yoni Egg" dislodged insider her VV, and asks a female BFF to get it out.
NO fucking way! Noone is touching my lady parts. Definitely not anyone who's not a gynaecologist or a sexual partner. That's it. I was going to rush to a gynaec, and that was the first and the last time i used a cup!
But then something told me "millions of women are doing it. Why can't I? Heck, women get a whole ass 5kilo baby out of their vaginas and I'm struggling with a 2 inch silicone spout?!
So spurred on by a new sense of "never say never", in went I again! This time with the enthusiasm of that sperm that contests and wins in the very same area. And hurrah! This time I sat down on the floor, Indian potty style, and managed to pull it out with a little help from the other fingers and with some hurt to my delicate parts. A friend suggested that I tie a string to the tip of the stem to make it easier to pull, just like a tampon. This makes me wonder, why ain't there menstrual cups with strings already on them?!
Anyway back to the silicone cup that was now in my gooey hands. Lo and behold, there it was, about 80% full of shiny deep red liquid.
(I'm not putting up a picture for obvious reasons.)
The bathroom floor managed to get a few blood spots due to my misadventures, but nothing a toilet paper wipe couldn't fix.
I tossed the period liquid into the loo, ran a flush, and washed the cup inside out with the health faucet and then soaked it in microwaved hot water (I've assigned a whole cup for this activity) for a min or so before inserting it back.
Feeling a lot more confident about pulling tomorrow! Am I nervous? Hell yes.
But I cant express that today might have been a paradigm shift in my personal sanitation and what this may mean for years to come. That I might actually be done with pads for good! You know what means??
That's around 3600-4000 disposable pads I won't be contributing to the landills.
It also means a saving of around ₹36,000
But above all, no other poor sanitation work will need to manually handle a piece of MY menstrual waste again.
No street dog will innocently ingest all that hazardous material for play or hunger.
Just all these thoughts alone make me want to deal with those slightly unpleasant few seconds of cup extraction tomorrow and for many more periods to come.
Also, I'm never having a baby for sure!