Many girls of the rural areas don’t attend school during their menstruation because of the stigma attached to it and the unavailability of proper supplies. The issue of affordability and privacy in the rural areas can be resolved through availability of better alternatives to sanitary pads. One very good option for the latter is using menstrual cups. The pros of using such a cup are as follows –
- These cups are reusable and can be used for 3-4 years if maintained with good hygiene.
- Menstrual cups are also very environment friendly unlike pads as they are mostly made of silicon, rubber or latex , unlike sanitary pads, which are made of plastic and can only be used once. On an average, a woman utilizes 3,500 sanitary pads throughout her lifetime. That, alone, is enough to suggest how much of money and resources we would be saving if we shifted to using menstrual cups.
- They prevent discomfort and leakage while walking and sitting as well. If placed righteously, menstrual cups can be a safer options for school going girls as it would provide them will ease while doing activities and resolve their fear of leakage in school.
- Menstrual cups also prove out to be the best alternative because they are a one-time investment. In rural areas, regular supply of sanitary pads is a big issue. In this scenario, menstrual cups can persist for a much longer time.
- Although India is a progressive country, the mentality of some people of the rural area refuses to change. In some households, it is a myth that wearing a menstrual cup can lead to the breakage of the “hymen” of a girl. Hymen is a tissue while surrounds the entrance of the uterus of a girl. The condition of the hymen is heavily linked to the honor of the family since they consider it as a proof of her “purity”.
- Menstrual cups are still not available in almost any of the chemist shops in India in the urban areas only, let alone the rural areas. As of now, menstrual cups can only be ordered online, which the people from the rural area don’t have the access to.
- There are still a lot of myths in the society surrounding the usage of menstrual cups with regards to safety and health which need to be debunked as soon as possible!
- Menstrual cups and other period supplies are still not a part of the period education which is imparted in schools. The girls need to be made aware of the mere existence of these products firsthand.
If more awareness is raised about the affordable alternatives to sanitary pads and about periods in general, we can succeed in finishing the problem of period poverty and the stigma that periods make you impure, in this country. The education of the girls of our country shouldn’t continue to pay the price of this mindset and belief system !