Do you remember when Kiran Gandhi ran the London marathon on her period without a tampon? It exposed how we are actively concealing something that happens to all of us.
Due to the fact that we are assigned as female, we have to go through the gruelling monthly chore of having to deal with cramps, break outs, being bloated and mood swings. And men wonder why we’re grumpy – it bloody hurts.
The commodification of menstruation revolves around the concealment of it – Why? For who? For what? The most popular methods are pads and tampons. The former simply being glorified diapers and the latter, though convenient and less messy, is simply too dangerous. Recently, model Lauren Wasser made headlines from losing her leg after contracting toxic shock syndrome from a tampon. At 27, with a highly image-based occupation, Wasser developed TSS which turned into gangrene, causing her right leg to be amputated below the knee. She now models with a prosthetic leg determined to reignite her career.
Personally, I try not to use tampons as it worsens my cramps and I’ve always feared that I may be the unfortunate one to suffer from TSS. You know when you leave it in for 5 hours and think, “S**t! I hope I don’t die!” The menstrual cup is something that we women should consider taking on board. The circular, body-conscious shapes are said to make cramps better, it’s safe, and you can see how much fluid accumulates in the cup. On those days when your cramps feel like someone’s squeezing your insides which makes you keel over into foetal position, you can see in the cup the volume and the viscosity of the blood which, in turn, helps you understand why you thought you were being tortured by a higher power.
The menstrual cup makes you interact with your period a lot more than what a tampon or pad would. It removes the stigma of menstruation when you’re forced to handle it in a severely intimate way. Your body will inform you of the flow of your cycle which will help you understand and prepare for the next month. It’s also very eco-friendly. 1.75 billion women are of menstruating age and 12,000 tampons are used in a lifetime per person. It’s also a lot more cost efficient. You can spend $140 on 4 cups during your lifetime or $4000 worth of tampons. Also, there’s zero reported cases of TSS. That’s enough for me to go out and buy one of these novelty cups. Here’s to defying this ubiquitous oppression of hiding menstruation. It’s not disgusting, it’s natural.
Here’s a super kawaii infographic for you to see the benefits of using this tampon alternative.