This week Saathi is launching a new product – a reusable menstrual cup!
It is always scary trying a new product, especially one that is used for your intimate body parts…But don’t worry as Saathi is here to help and guide you through the process of using, cleaning, and maintaining your menstrual cup. It is a completely safe, affordable, easy to use and environmentally friendly product!
Why a menstrual cup?
Before going into the details of how to use, clean and maintain your menstrual cup, find out why using a menstrual cup is an easy, healthy and sustainable option!
- It is safe and hygienic: one amazing advantage of using a menstrual cup is the fact that they collect rather than absorb blood, which reduces the risk of getting toxic shock syndrome (TSS). TSS is a rare bacterial infection that some women get by using a tampon.
- It’s cheaper: you pay for it once and can reuse it for about 2-5 years - unlike plastic tampons and pads which you have to constantly buy and restock; for some women this can come up to over 7500 INR / 100 dollars a year!
- You don’t need to change as often: a menstrual cup can hold up to about 1-2 ounces of blood, whereas a tampon can hold up to a third of an ounce. You can go up to between 10-12 hours with a menstrual cup before having to empty it (depending on your blood flow).
- They are eco-friendly: reusing menstrual cups can last a long time, meaning you’ll be making less waste than pads and tampons do, especially if they have plastic in them (unlike Saathi: Eco-friendly, biodegradable period pads).
It is effective and healthy - both for your body and for Mother Nature.
How it works:
A menstrual cup is a flexible cup that is designed to be used inside your vagina during your period to collect blood. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use your menstrual cup:
Inserting your menstrual cup
- Before using your menstrual cup for the first time, sanitise it in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Remember to not let the cup touch the bottom of the pot or it might melt or get damaged!
- Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands with a gentle soap.
- You have to fold your cup in order to put it inside your vagina. Do not worry as there are multiple methods for you to fold your cup in such a way that makes you comfortable. Experiment and find the right one for you. When you are folding your menstrual cup you need to keep it folded until it is fully inside your vagina. Here are the different folds which you can use:
A C-fold – fold the top rim of the menstrual cup in half so that it creates a C shape.
- Or a Punch-Down Fold – push one side of the rim down into the cup, creating a narrow point.
- RELAX – it is so important for you to relax when you do this as that will help to relax your muscles. Find a comfortable position that works best for you, either sitting down, squatting, standing or sitting on a toilet (this may take a while or a few tries but do not worry). If you are finding it hard, you can use water or a water-based lubricant to make the process easier.
- Insert the menstrual cup in your vagina, and once it is inside you, let your fingers release the fold so that it blooms and “pops” open. The right sound you want to hear is a “pop” or a suction sound – this means that the cup has unfolded properly and has created a perfect suction seal.
- Compared to a tampon, a menstrual cup should be placed lower in the vaginal canal, just make sure that it is in the right position.
- If you are unsure, feel around and make sure that there are no folds, you can do this by gently rotating the base of the cup (not the stem), which can help it to unfold. Once the cup is inserted, try to pull the stem a bit, if you feel resistance, the suction seal has been created and the cup has been inserted correctly!
- Don’t be afraid to cut the stem if it peaks out – we all have slightly different bodies and shapes. But please do that when it is not in your vagina!
The menstrual cup can collect blood for between 10 - 12 hours!
Removing a menstrual cup:
- Before removing make sure to wash your hands properly with a gentle soap.
- Relax and make sure that you are in a comfortable position, maybe try to squat, lie down, sit on a toilet seat or stand up. Relaxing is essential here too as being tense can make it slightly uncomfortable to remove the menstrual cup
- When removing, pull slightly on the stem until you can feel the base. Give the base a gentle pinch so that it releases the suction seal, making it easier to ease out.
- Once you have removed it, empty your cup in a toilet or sink, rinse it with lukewarm water and some gentle soap and re-insert (following the instructions above). Do not forget to clean out the tiny holes just below the rim of the menstrual cup.
- If you have finished your period, boil the cup for 3-5 minutes in water to disinfect it.
- Always remember to keep yourself, your hands and the cup clean!
- Always make sure to read the instructions of our product thoroughly.
- Wear a Saathi pad or a Bamboo Fiber Panty Liners if you are not very comfortable and aren’t 100% sure whether it will leak the first few times using it.
- Get to know your body - take your time to locate your cervix and vaginal canal – we all have different body shapes and forms.
- Never be afraid to trim the stem of your cup if it feels too long or uncomfortable.
- Don’t be afraid to use some little help – use a water-based lubricant for example.
- Practice makes perfect! Practice inserting a cup before your period and you will slowly become a master of it!
Check out our new product and give it a try, as you won’t know whether a menstrual cup is right for you until you give it a chance!
How Can Sanitary Pads Impact Global Sustainability? – Saathi: Eco-friendly, period
- Saathi bags Top 7 World Changing Startup Award in Healthcare Category – Saathi: Eco-friendly, period
- Saathi named to TIME Magazine’s 100 Best Inventions of 2019
Saathi is an award winning social venture which has a patented technology to convert agri-waste into absorbent materials. Our sanitary pads are 100% biodegradable and compostable made from banana and bamboo fibers, which convert into compost in 6 months of its disposal. Saathi pads are good for the body🩸, community 🌎 and environment 🌱. We are on a mission to revolutionize the hygiene industry as a consumer products company that makes products in a sustainable and responsible way.
We are recognized by the UNESCO Green Citizens project, University of St. Andrews, Solar Impulse Foundation and Global Cleantech Innovation Program among others for our innovative, social impact and sustainable work. We are working towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 12, 13, 3, 9, 5, 6, 8, and 14.
Check out a short video of our story here and follow us at @saathipads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Youtube to learn about more facts and myth busters about sustainability, women’s health, and more!