April 14th, 2009

Pad vs cup costs in India

Seems like the fact that a cup is worth five years of pads in India is causing some surprise(ref. to my previous post). I thought I'd explain that.

1. Exchange rates. 1 USD = Rs 50 and more, currently. Rs 50 in India is going to buy you a LOT more basic amenities than $1 in the US. For example, I can get a chicken roll on the street for Rs 15($0.3), or at the best places for Rs 25($0.5). A piece of pastry at well-known chains in the city for Rs 35($0.7). An 8-pack of Kotex is - I kid you not - Rs 22. Yes, that's hardly forty-five cents. O.B tampons are Rs 166 for a pack of 20, that's $1.5 for 10.
I was a Whisper Ultra/Whisper Choice girl in my pad days, and since I bleed light, I'd need hardly a dollar's worth every month. Whisper, manufactured in India and doesn't have to pay for the international Kotex brand name, so provides twice the quality Kotex does, at about 1.5 times the price.
Most of the rural population still uses rags. Yes, rags. Not our beautiful and comfortable cloth pads.

2. Average standard of living. In my city, a healthy young adult can survive easily on Rs 10,000. Which is $200. Including house rent. The Rs 2000($40)-odd I'm spending on my cup is equal to my travel+snacks+cellphone budget for a month(I'm a college student so that's how I measure, lol). Of course, Kolkata is probably the cheapest metro in the world ... living in Mumbai is nearly 10 times that expensive.
But yeah... the postage for my cup would get me a pair of nice pump shoes, lol. Or a T-shirt. The cup itself costs me as much as 50 mL of Nina Ricci perfume, lol.
Electronics obviously cost the same everywhere, since it's a global market. Then again we also get Chinese stuff dirt cheap, might be cheaper here than there. Not sure really.

3. Things are, in general, cheaper here. Reason #1: It's available in plenty. The land is fertile, we have an ENORMOUS population so labour is incredibly cheap... cost of production gets slashed right there.

I guess I'm rambling now... basically I just wanted to give you guys an idea of how ridiculous the Alicia Cup thingy is. And also to show you exactly how hard it's going to be to create a market for menstrual cup users in India.
On the other hand, a 5-day bleeder who uses OB tampons would have her cup pay for itself in about two years... less if you count inflation. And given the benefits of a cup, I feel it's worth that much. So slowly, I guess the rich women in India might get interested in cups and find a way to produce them locally. I'm sure that'll work out cheaper. And then there are people like me, who feel that the long lifespan + increased comfort + "I love my cup factor" outweigh the majorly steep cost.

PS: Mods, I'm not sure how to tag this!

Cup suction and removal

Just wanted to share my technique for removing the cup as, after years of struggling to release the suction (and therefore just removing it without doing so...) I finally found a way to get it out that works for me.

Ok, what I do now is rather than pinching the base with my thumb and first finger, I now use my middle finger and thumb and use my first finger to slide up to the rim and release the suction. It can get a bit messy but it makes removal a hell of a lot easier!

What does everyone else do?

Cloth Pads

Hi again. :] In my last post, a small discussion started on cloth pads. I am most definitely buying some today, most likely off of Etsy or some P.I.M.Ps. (really excited!) A few questions though, as always.

1. What style do you prefer? (snaps, or none?)- wouldn't it ride around in your underwear if there would be nothing "holding it down?"
2. Any favorites (brand-wise)?
3. Any suggestions for first timers (me, lol)? what to buy, cleaning methods, etc.

If you have ANY opinions at ALL about cloth pads, please let me know. :D

pre-IUD insertion questions

This is also posted on IUD Divas. I am taking the plunge and getting a Paragard IUD this Thursday afternoon. I have a few questions about using a menstrual cup with the IUD that I  hope you guys can help me out with. Thanks so much for your help; this community is so supportive and I appreciate it so much.

1. I hate, hate, hate pads. I'm thinking about buying some cloth ones. When they tell you not to use internal menstrual products for a while after insertion is that because of the risk of infection or expulsion or both? How long do you guys think it is reasonable to wait before using tampons or a cup? I've also heard of people using sponges right after insertion. Would that be less of a risk for some reason?

2. I've read on a poll on IUD Divas that using a cup seems to pose the same amount of risk of expelling the IUD as using tampons and that you should "be careful" when using them.
    I just bought a miacup and have only used it for one period (I'm on day 5 now). It is working really well for me. I had a Keeper several years ago but it kept leaking and I gave up on it.
    Which is to say that I don't have a ton of experience with cups but would like to be able to use mine with my IUD. I have fairly long vagina so removal is a little bit difficult. I have been bearing down, grasping the tab with one hand and inserting a finger of the other hand to break the suction. I seem to need to get the finger over the rim of the cup, pinching the base doesn't work. It usually comes out smooched in half and is a little messy.
    I feel concerned about using the cup as I'm not experienced with it. Is the risk only from getting the strings caught or can the IUD really be pulled on from the suction of the cup? I'm also not sure what I can do to "be careful" when removing it. Should I be running my finger all the way around the rim to make sure the strings aren't caught between the vaginal wall and the cup? And if using a tampon has the same risk as the cup what can I do to prevent the strings from being caught by a tampon? Are sea sponges any safer?

I'm sorry but I still can't figure out how to put this behind a cut. The Livejournal help gave so many ways to do it and I don't know anything about html. Could somebody send me a link to the correct directions?

Thanks for your help.

I'm so sad right now!

I was just about to start my third cycle with my trial (inside out) Blue Cup...I was literally thinking how lucky I was that I paid $7 for a cup that lasted...and right as that thought entered my mind, it split down the side.

I'm so sad!

I also use an (inside out) Diva...so I'm ok. But it's not as comfortable with it and it leaks just a smidge.

I'm not sure if I can stomach the extra money to buy a full price Ladycup, but I really liked it a lot. A lot. Lot.

So it made me wonder...how is everyone else's trial Ladycups going, now that a bit of time has passed? Who's been even luckier than me, and not experienced a split at all?