We have a history of brilliant people, who have been ridiculed for their ideas, like Galileo for suggesting that the earth was round, Copernicus who was mocked for his heliocentric view of the universe, and Einstein who was opposed for his theory of relativity. So, it’s no wonder that whosoever thought of the idea of inserting a device in a woman’s vagina for collecting the blood, back in the early 1900s, was definitely a maverick way ahead of their times and were heavily critiqued for this idea. However, in 2021 as most of the skepticism and uncertainty regarding menstrual cups is behind us, let’s take a quick recap of the journey of how we went from considering menstrual cups an abomination to embracing them in our lives, and mind you, the journey of a modern woman’s need to ‘cupvert’ has not been that simple.
Origins of the menstrual cup
It’s hard to believe, but menstrual cups have been in the market for almost 100 years now. According to some reports, the first prototype of the menstrual cup can be traced to the 1860s - 70s, and were called catamenial sacks, but never made it to the market. The menstrual cups that we know today were initially patented in 1932 by a midwifery group called McGlasson and Perkins. Post that, the first usable commercial cup was licensed in 1937 by American actress Leona Chalmers, and was made from latex rubber, but due to outbreak of World War II, and the ensuing shortage of latex rubber, its production was stopped. Moving on, many menstrual cup companies like Tassette or the Keeper, kept floating the idea of menstrual cups. However, owing to the taboo surrounding periods, the dubious nature of inserting something in the vagina and the repercussions of using rubber for the same, menstrual cups seemed like a far-fetched idea during that time.
Menstrual cups in the new age
With advancements of the 21st Century, a new material, known as medical grade silicone was introduced. Unlike rubber latex, it didn’t cause allergies or toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and was safe to be used for making menstrual cups. The rest, as they say, is history. Companies banked upon this opportunity and women loved the idea of a hassle-free period product. Not only was it leak proof, it was also extremely convenient upon use. The risk of leaking through a sanitary napkin, catching an infection via tampons or polluting the world with sanitary waste seemed like a thing of the past. Working women, teenage girls and even women with sensitive skin found their true calling in menstrual cups. And what’s more, activities like stretching, jogging or rock climbing, that appeared difficult while using a sanitary napkin, felt like a breeze while using these cups. People who travelled often found it hard to find sanitary stations in public restrooms or the general lack of hygiene, however, with menstrual cups and their easy-to-use method of removal, dumping blood and re-inserting, that problem too, was now forgotten.
A woman’s need to cupvert
Besides the fact that a menstrual cup is easier to use, one cannot possibly stress enough about the environmental benefits of these cups. According to a survey by Menstrual Health Alliance India, 36% of 336 million menstruating women in India use disposable sanitary napkins, which means around 121 million women who dispose at least 8 sanitary napkins per menstrual cycle, thereby adding 12.3 billion disposable sanitary napkins to the landfills. Menstruation is a back-breaking process and while we do believe that every woman has the right to go by her cycle seeking her personal comfort, we must also take precautions to take care of Mother Nature that seems to be at risk of deterioration and degradation, if we don’t do anything now.
All these above-stated reasons are why Carmesi curated its menstrual cup, to take care of those who find it hard to “cupvert”. The menstrual cups are made of 100% biocompatible medical grade silicone, which are reusable and void of any toxic chemicals or irritants. Apart from that, for those who don’t know how to use a menstrual cup, it’s usage friendly with a set of instructions coming alongside a pouch to store it in for future use. Definitely sounds like a product you need in your period care kit, no?