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07 April 2013 @ 12:46 pm
MY STORY

Hello everyone, I am new to livejournal and to this community so excuse me if I make any mistakes.Also, English is not my first language, please ignore any grammatical errors in the post.
I am 18 years old and come from a traditional middle-class Indian family.I stumbled on cups a few months ago and after much deliberation got one off the Internet through a long drawn-out Net-banking process. Most cup companies do not ship in India and I didn't want to risk buying it off ebay in case I get a faulty one by a knock-off company, so I settled on the Indian brand-Shecup, reasonably priced with minimal shipping charges. I wasn't sure of the brand because according to the measurement charts, it belongs to the longer end of the spectrum and a little pre-cup self-exploration made me realise that I had a low cervix. although my mother initially opposed the idea, she gave in after a mom-daughter sit-down discussion. After a few not-so-successful trials, I finally came out a winner last month.
So goodbye pad rashes, chafing, odour and general gloominess, I am a complete cup-convert now and would like to know the stories of fellow Indian females(if there are any or any from any other country where internal menstrual products are virtually unavailable. 99% Indians have never heard of a tampon.) who found this wonderful new product.
To all other members of this amazing forum, I thank you for all your advice, I have been a lurker since the start of the year and greatly value this community and its members. Thank you.
 
 
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
juliiie87juliiie87 on April 8th, 2013 05:56 pm (UTC)
http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/3054066.html#comments

Glad to know this community helped you in having a nicer period experience ! now it's your turn to spread the word. ;)
geekgirlfoam on April 9th, 2013 12:37 pm (UTC)
I do not use popular social networking sites and am not much of an extrovert. But I do have a good no. of open minded female friends who live away from their homes. I plan to convert them all and knowing that they are just as feminism and social activism oriented as I am, cups will be able to reach a lot of women over here.:)
Jennifer Monoteasy2begreen on April 8th, 2013 10:46 pm (UTC)
It's great to hear your success story -- kudos to you for being an early adopter in India! I became interested in menstrual cups for environmental reasons (less waste, less plastic, lower impact than growing cotton for tampons), but I am amazed how much better they make my life. So much less worry goes into each cycle. I know there are some programs to spread cup use in Africa; I'd like to see the same thing in Asia. Actually, I think greater acceptance of cups would benefit people everywhere. :-) Spread the word!
geekgirlfoam on April 9th, 2013 12:21 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately in my country female virginity is highly valued and people primitively equate the presence of a hymen to virginity. I can't even describe how upset it makes me to see my classmates skip school for 3-4 days straight, the absence of proper toilets, dustbins or any other facility in most state run schools/colleges.

I don't know if this is the right place to discuss the social problems we face, its just that I feel strongly about them and want to contribute to change.

I was fortunate enough to attend a private school where an excellent Biology teacher tackled the taboo subject of menstruation in the most effective and rational way but a majority of our population is clueless about the cause of menstruation or sex health in general.
We do have a government family planning program but that is mainly to curb the out-of-control population and has little to do with general reproductive health of the populace. In fact, having 2-3 children per woman in contrast to 8-9 a generation ago, women in rural areas are facing a lot of hardships dealing with their periods(mind you they are using makeshift rags and the whole process of using, cleaning and drying them is supposed to be completely discreet). I have met many women who after giving birth want to undergo hysterectomy, not tubectomy-popular female sterilization but the complete removal of the uterus so as to free themselves from the crimson burden, understandably so as they do 80% of the total family work + working in fields, fetching water etc.

Unfortunately, such an important aspect of the female existence has been completely ignored by the government. There a few stray schemes designed by mostly male rural heath employees where they give out 5 pads per month per schoolgirl in select areas to cope with "those 4 days", I mean, WHAT!!!

YES, things are that bad over here and I can't even imagine how acceptance to something reusable worn vaginally will have to hundreds of millions of menstruating women in India. Sorry for being a rambling social-activist behind a computer but we really need to bring about a female-centric revolution here and spreading the use of cups should be right there at the top of the list. CUP ACTIVISM- way to the future

Edited at 2013-04-09 12:25 pm (UTC)
Jennifer Monoteasy2begreen on April 9th, 2013 02:47 pm (UTC)
I think you could definitely start a grassroots movement in India. :-) It sounds like you are really passionate about cups, and the need certainly exists. Being comfortable talking about the subject is a great way to start, online or off. Talking to your friends is an excellent first step -- I'm not even there yet!

Also, you could try contacting SheCup to see what they are doing to promote cups, or the people at RubyCup might have some interesting ideas to share from their work distributing cups in Africa.
juliiie87juliiie87 on April 9th, 2013 07:52 pm (UTC)
You might be interested to know about these projects, maybe even get involved in one of them or start your own locally :

http://ecofemme.org/about/who/
http://www.daysforgirls.org/
http://afripads.com/pages/E-history.php
http://www.ruby-cup.com/en/about/what-is-ruby-cup

Edited at 2013-04-09 07:54 pm (UTC)
trejoytrejoy on April 9th, 2013 03:40 am (UTC)
Congratulations on bringing mom around and on your success with the Shecup! It is encouraging to hear. Cups are incredibly liberating and economical (even if you're a cup-a-holic, like me).
loveemcups on April 10th, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
i hear ya! being an indian when it comes to menstrual products sucks! :P
maybe u can contact some cup companies and see if they would like a distributor in india? :)
lovemycup: heartlovemycup on April 10th, 2013 08:56 am (UTC)
I am an Indian too :-) I have a very similar story as yours. I was pretty fed up wid those nasty pads. Though I knew about menstrual cups from long, I was completely unaware of the Indian brand Shecup until this last october (which I ordered immediately on stumbling upon). I was unsure about the process of getting one from outside India (delivery charges, custom duty, process smooth or not, etc.). I felt very sad that inspite of these amazing babies being out there I couldn't get one. It has been a great experience(no bad odour, rashes, conscious sleep, discomfort, wetness and dirty bedsheets now) and now I dont know what to do wid all those leftover pads :D

Yeah, I agree wid u on Indians been narrow minded on this issue. A year ago I was also among those 99% who have never heard of tampons. Like you, I am also keen on spreading awareness. I converted a few....yayy!!! Lets spread d good word :D
juliiie87juliiie87 on April 10th, 2013 01:13 pm (UTC)
I would sugest giving your pads to women and girls in need who can't afford a cup at this time, with some information if they would be interested in getting one in the future. Women's or homeless people's shelters have been sugested, or just financially struggling families in your area.

Edited at 2013-04-10 01:14 pm (UTC)
okwaho_okaraokwaho_okara on April 12th, 2013 03:48 am (UTC)
I think your English is great!!!

Congratulations on discovering cups to begin with and finding one that works for you!!! It's an amazing feeling :). I'm also happy that your mom let you get one!!! That's great :)</p>

Take care and we are all here if you have any other questions/concerns :)

geekgirlfoam on April 12th, 2013 06:13 am (UTC)
Oh thanks. I actually have to brainstorm a lot before a type a sentence,lol.

You see my parents have different mother tongues and we live in an entirely different region of India than what my parents grew up in and I ended learning Hindi and English in school. So, if anyone here wants to translate anything Eng-hindi (in case google translate doesn't work), I will be very happy to help.

I am so happy to live in the information age and discovering cups so early that I can now enjoy my life to the fullest rather than looking forward to menopause( Yes, I admit thinking that way).

Thanks everyone. Bye!!
okwaho_okaraokwaho_okara on April 12th, 2013 04:36 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!

The information age sure is great! I wish I had found out about cups at your age, but better later than never! I am in my late 20's, so still plenty of cup usage time for me :)

I read your reply to another person, and it was really sad to learn about how women and girls in India have to miss school due to periods, and that there is almost no education on sex and menstruation and women getting hysterectomies after birth to avoid their period! That is absolutely tragic, and I hope and pray that those days will be a thing of the past soon. No one should ever have to live like that. Living in dread of the monthly flow and letting it affect their quality of life. I'm so happy that you have found cups and I hope that you will be able to spread the word to those that you know will listen, and hopefully one day soon a lot more Indian girls and women will be able to use and be open to cups. Of course, as you said, there is the cultural barrier to overcome (prizing the hymen and scorning those who have none or not much of one), which I find really sad. It really saddened me to read about the deplorable things that happen to menstruating women and girls in India.

I really hope that things can change for the better soon there.

Take care and happy cupping! :)