Hello Boss Ladies! I’m Meenal Velani, the face behind the sustainable period care brand Hiccup. I’m super kicked to talk to you about all things periods, menstrual hygiene and the one SUSTAINABLE thing that links them both—A MENSTRUAL CUP—what we call a Hiccup. :)
I often get asked many questions about menstrual cups like “Are they good for you?”, “Do they cause infections?”, “Will I lose my virginity if I wear a cup?” among other practical usage questions like “Does it get messy?”. This Menstrual Hygiene Day, in association with Boss Lady Cosmetic, we’re here to put all your questions to rest and myths to sleep. Here we go!
“What exactly is a menstrual cup?”
For those of you who haven’t discovered it yet, a menstrual cup is an alternative period care device to sanitary pads and tampons. It is a more sustainable and a healthier option. While pads and tampons absorb blood, in the case of a menstrual cup, it collects it as opposed to soaking menstrual blood when inserted into the vagina.
“Inside the vaginaaaaaaaaa? How do you get it inside?”
It’s simple. Grab a Hiccup, fold the super flexible silicone cup (there are multiple ways to do it!) and insert it into your vagina while squatting or standing (you do you, girl!). Let it do its job while we forget there’s anything down there at all! Skip the difficult parts like rashes due to pads and other difficulties you face on your periods. A detailed breakdown of how to prep your cup before usage, how to fold it, wear it, and use it is up on myhiccup.in. Check it out!
“How do I know how long I can wear it for and how do I clean it?”
A menstrual cup can comfortably last you a good 12 hours. However, if you feel your flow is heavier, you may have to empty it before the 12-hour deadline. Trial and error will lead you to figure out a time cycle that suits your body and then you’re good to go. Empty it, clean it, reuse it as you like it!
Cleaning a cup only takes two things—a mild soap/wash and water. Once you empty the cup, use the soap/wash to clean it, rinse it thoroughly and it’s ready for reuse. However, when your cup takes a break between monthly cycles, sterilise it in a kitchen pan (without letting the cup hit the bottom or the sides of the pan) for upto 5 minutes and cool it completely before use.
“What’s all the sustainability hype with the cup? Isn’t it made up of plastic?”
While a menstrual cup is made up of medical-grade silicone, each cup lasts you upto 10 WHOLE YEARS *insert drum roll*! That comes to just about 3 to 4 cups per menstruator in their whole lifetime in comparison to an average of 11,000 single use products like pads or tampons. Also, not only are the single use products made of plastic but are also non-biodegradable which means they clog our landfills for nearly 500 to 800 years! (Yes, the first pad/tampon you ever used is still lying around somewhere on the face of the earth!).
Hence, a menstrual cup is a more sustainable option that significantly reduces tonnes of waste released into the environment by nearly 800 million menstruators in India alone on an everyday basis.
“You say menstrual cup, we hear KACH$$$NG! How?”
Just as a menstrual cup is easy on your period, it’s easy on your pocket. We did some math at Hiccup and found out you spend an easy-peasy Rs.1,00,000/- on your period care products. With a cup that lasts you over 10 years and costs you under Rs.1,000/- per cup, you can spend a little more on the food craving therapy your period needs, guilt-free! Makes you want to make the switch, doesn’t it?
“How is Hiccup linked to cancelling Period Poverty?”
As Hiccup, and as menstruators, we understand the pain of not having access to resources. Can you imagine not having access to infrastructure like toilets, period care like pads, tampons or even cups, clean water and other waste management resources for a hygienic and seamless period experience? Or even education about understanding proper processes, care and hygiene? Period Poverty is the lack of any of these, combination of these, or all of these factors. It is vastly prevalent in a developing country like India and the rural belts usually bear the brunt. We strongly believe nobody should be punished for something that is a biological and involuntary function of the human body, and that menstrual cups can put an end to period poverty!
“Can a HICCUP be the solution?”
We really do believe so! We have partnered with several organisations to reach out to fellow menstruators who are devoid of this “essential” access. Did you know young teenagers drop out of school due to inadequate period care products? They also end up substituting it with rags or paper that might adversely affect their health. With a cup, they don't have to worry about spending recurrently on single use devices that break their bank and can benefit just like anybody else from any other part of the country or the world.
BIDDING ADIEU TO “MYTH”ICCUPS
HICCUP is not just a solution. It is, perhaps, a long-term, more sustainable and
cost-effective solution, made for all, making periods and the planet better.
Go, find yourself a Hiccup on myhiccup.in, follow our journey on @my.hiccup, and join us in ending period poverty, one Hiccup at a time!