Though present since the 1930's, it was only recently that menstrual cups gained attention and women actively started turning to them instead of sanitary pads and tampons; however, in India, still women are not aware about the existence of a product such as menstrual cups which not only has several benefits over the regular sanitary pads and tampons but is also much more affordable.
Let us first understand what a menstrual cup is exactly. Put in simple words, a menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene product, made out of flexible silicone or thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), shaped in the form of a cup; it is inserted inside the vagina during periods.
Several women are turning to menstrual cups due to their advantages, like –
- They are durable and can be re-used for a long time which makes them affordable.
- Menstrual cups have the capacity to absorb more; great for women with heavy flow.
- They don’t have any wings or strings; hence, are more comfortable to wear.
- They do not cause allergies as they don’t contain harmful substances like adhesive.
- They are environment-friendly and a new approach to periods.
However, even though women are making the shift to menstrual cups, you might need to think twice before getting your teenage daughter to try-out menstrual cups. Certain things, like the advantages and disadvantages of using a menstrual cup need to be considered before thinking of it as an option for your teenage daughter.
Is Menstrual Cup Ideal for My Teenage Daughter?
Despite their advantages, there are certain things that you need to consider while using a menstrual cup and, especially, while suggesting your teenage daughter to use one, like –
- Using menstrual cups increases your chances of contracting Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) because the cup allows more air to enter the vagina which gives rise to a favourable environment for bacteria to grow in. Also, in case, the cup is not cleaned properly, your chances of contracting an infection increase.
- A menstrual cup needs to be emptied every four hours and properly cleaned every six hours; and it is a messy process. Also, you need to properly wash hands every time. This makes it an unfavourable condition for teens as not all young girls would take it seriously and end up comprising with their hygiene and health.
- Another major issue is that, unlike sanitary pads, you need to ‘learn’ how to insert a menstrual cup and it might be after several instances that a woman understands how to actually insert it properly. This might prove to be a problem for young girls.
- A menstrual cup can also break the hymen of virgin girl which might be a problem.
Ideally, it would be better if you get your teenage daughter started on her periods with pads or tampons for a year and a half; and then, maybe ease her into using the menstrual cup.
Also, you can get her a pair of period panties which is a patented product of Adira. It is a leak-proof and breathable undergarment that can be used by women during menstruation. It is designed to ensure a comfortable and embarrassment-free period as it prevents all the common areas of staining. It would be the ideal period-starter pack for your daughter, and can also be worn over the cup later on. You should also check out some starter bras for her!
Let your daughter know that periods are nothing to be ashamed of, initiate a discussion and make her feel comfortable to talk about it with you. If you are uncomfortable talking to your daughter about periods and don’t know how to begin the conversation, then you should surely give this blog a read and share this ‘Period Buddies’ video with her!
Cheers for being a cool parent 🙂