Ladies' Room Musings: Menstrual Cups
A student was peeing the other day in the library (well, in the bathroom of the library) and she couldn't help but notice a sign on the side of the restroom stall. "Waking up at 3 AM is a bore; with menstrual cups you don't have to do that anymore!" the sign read (or something horrendously catchy of the sort).
"Waking up at 3 AM is all kinds of things," she later explained to the Yowl. "It's awful, terrible, excruciating - and changing tampons is definitely boring."
No doubt because of the creativity of the advertising, menstrual cups have caught on like wildfire around campus. What the hell is a menstrual cup, you ask? It is what it sounds like - a small silicone cup that is inserted into the genitalia during menstruation to collect fluid rather than absorbing it, the inconvenient feature of those old-school contraptions called pads and tampons.
"It's great because you can wear it during fornication,"one young lady proudly informed us. "And you can leave it in for, like, ever. Then when you decide you want to take it out, you get to dig around inside for, like, three hours to find it. And - are you read for this? This is the best part! - you take it out and it's full of red stuff! This is the lining of your insides we're talking about - how cool is that? And you actually get to see it like how it looks inside your body, not all soaked up in a pad or anything! We're really getting back to nature. It's so pure."
"Sometimes it even spills," another student chimed in excitedly. "Then you get to dump it out wherever you want, and then wash it and use it again! The best part is that it's sustainable. Who wouldn't want one?"
There are, sadly, a few drawbacks.
"It still leaks when it's only half full, which makes me think it must be that my cervix that is taking up the rest of the room in the cup," said one consumer. "So I'm thinking about trying a larger cup with a higher capacity. Basically I'm currently between a large lunette or large fleurcup, with a possibility of a large yukki."
I love the amount of awareness this will probably raise, but I don't like the article's untrue statements that cups can be used during intercourse, can be left in forever, take forever to get out, and the indication that all cups leak when they're half full! So I think I will write an anonymous reply to the newspaper, and hopefully they'll publish it. And this is what I've got so far:
In the Defense of Menstrual Cups
In the last week's issue of the newspaper, one section featured a satire on menstrual cups. Perhaps you’ve seen the flyers in the girl's bathrooms with the infamous catchy slogans yourself: “Yo ‘sup! Menstrual cup!”
You're probably wondering, "What the heck is a menstrual cup?" and "Where did this movement come from?" Well, it wasn’t some sort of magical menstrual cup fairy that haunts the girls’ restrooms like Moaning Myrtle. It was me - a cup fan and a student. I’m choosing to remain anonymous for an obvious reason: at this point in my life, I’d rather not become known as “menstrual cup girl.”
But anyway, I would like to take the opportunity to clarify a few things, because apparently, the concept of a silicone menstrual cup that collects instead of absorbing blood is pretty earth shattering. In reality, cups are more sanitary than tampons and pads and just a lesser known alternative. Because tampons and pads sit, soaked full of blood in or next to the body, they encourage bacterial growth. Yay! That's also why they smell. But with "gross" menstrual cups you don't have to deal with any of that.
To address another question that no doubt has been plaguing you, reusable menstrual cups mentioned can’t be used during sexual intercourse. (But because you were wondering, disposable Instead soft cups found at the drugstore are safe.) And just in case you were confused, cups can only be left in for 12 hours, not forever; but even then, cups don't cause TSS like tampons can.
While removing a cup may be a little difficult at first, with some experience it doesn't take any longer to remove and reinsert than it does to change a tampon. Believe it or not, the female anatomy is not designed so things can get lost inside and take "three hours" to get out. And finally, not all cup users have cups that leak when half full. Actually, according to a recent study, cups leak half as often as traditional menstrual products. So take that!
And now I think I'll mention a few things that the article didn't about cups.
The average woman will contribute over 9000, non-biodegradable, dirty pads and tampons to landfills in their lifetimes. Take a minute, and let that disgusting imagine burn in your mind. Done? Good.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t “sustainability” a theme here on campus? Well, my (female) friend, meet the menstrual cup.
Cups are so much more comfortable than itchy pads or stiff tampons, because they're made of soft, squishy silicone. (Some women even notice less cramps during their periods when they switch to cups.) And they come in pretty colors and cute pouches. Really, what more could you ask for?
And did you know that a menstrual cup lasts for ten whole years? No more last minute dashes to the drug store, or awkward waiting at the cash register to buy tampons. And you'll never have to carry around spare tampons anymore, or take excessive quantities of pads on trips just in case. All you'll need is one little cup. And just think about all the money you'd save if you didn't need to buy monthly supplies.
So I ask that you look past your initial shock and disgust, to consider a menstrual product that’s nothing more than a sensible alternative.
- A happy menstrual cup user :)
So I was just looking for some feedback here before I submit it to the paper. Thanks!
EDIT: Thanks for all the suggestions--they've been incorporated. Also, my friend who writes for the newspaper helped me format this and make it funnier.
Post script: My reply wasn't published int he newspaper, but I'm glad I wrote it anyways. And anyone that really wants to know correct information about cups can just read one of my flyers. Or use google/youtube/wikihow!