Travelling On Your Period With A Menstrual Cup + Tips

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This blog is going to be for all the ladies out there in which I’m going to talk about how travelling on your period with a menstrual cup. And for any guys here, please do share this across with your female friends.

So I’m hoping that many of you would have heard of menstrual cups if not using it already. For those who don’t know, menstrual cups are the new Eco-friendly, reusable alternative to tampons and pads. I am writing below blog based on my research and experience on the topic. P.S. I live in India where period is a topic discussed in a hush-hush manner most of the time, but I think it is necessary for all us women to know about this solution which we all should have definitely known earlier to make our lives easier.

What are menstrual cups?

Menstrual cups are majorly made of silicon or latex rubber and works in a way very differently as compared to pads/tampons as it collects the blood instead of absorbing it as in the case of the latter.

Their shape is in the form of a small sized cup (smaller than your fist) curved at the bottom having a small notch to help in insertion or removal of it. It is carefully inserted into the vagina at the start of your period. It is recommended to empty the cup and wash it once in 12 hrs maximum or before that, depending on your flow. Menstrual cups are washable hence you can reuse it during your next cycle. (Ya that’s why they’re called Eco-friendly). Since they are so eco-friendly, if you are looking to follow the principles of sustainable travelling, you should definitely  start travelling on your period with a menstrual cup and try to avoid pads.  

Travelling on your periods with a menstrual cup – how they can save you and nature?

Travelling on your period with a menstrual cup might sound really uncomfortable but with after few attempts, you will definitely find it convenient to use.   First let us consider that you are using pads or tampons while travelling. Disposal of these is a major concern especially more when you travel or trek to remote villages which do not have proper waste management system. Even if any other place then you will be just contributing to the waste wherever you are. Apart from that, you may develop rashes or infection if you wear it for a longer period as you’re travelling. Just to avoid all of these let me share some tips on how to use menstrual cups during travel.

Tips for travelling on your periods with a menstrual cup

  • Washing the cup : You can go to washroom as usual and wash the cup using any soap which is available with you, and then insert it back. Suppose you are on a trek, then use your water bottle to clean the cup or just a tissue is more than enough to clean it and insert it back. No hassles of disposing a tampon/pad.
  • Easy to carry : A single cup is far more light and easy to carry as it fits anywhere in your luggage than carrying a big large stock of your sanitary pads.
  • Always carry hand sanitizer : This one is most important as your hands needs to be very clean while inserting or removing the cup as you don’t want to get infected. So always carry a portable hand sanitizer and enough tissues with you wherever you go.

Disadvantages of using a menstrual cup

Really there are not many logical disadvantages of using a menstrual cup. Few of them can be

  • First time insertion/removal might be hard for some.
  •  It can get really messy until you get the hang of it.

Advantages of Menstrual Cup / Why you should opt for it?

  • It collects your menstrual blood instead of absorbing it. The major disadvantage of pads and tampons which many are unaware is that it absorbs your menstrual blood, i.e it can alter the natural PH of your vagina whereas a menstrual cup adopts according to your body temperature thereby reducing risk of any infection as such.
  • Cost of a menstrual cup is INR 600 for 8-10 years whereas pads will easily cost you more than INR 1000 for just a year!
  • Menstrual cups can hold more blood – frequency of changing it is almost 12 hours as compared to pads that need to be changed more frequently.
  • Most important point – pads/tampons create non biodegradable waste and take up-to 800 years to decompose.! Well, if this doesn’t alarm you then let me state another fact – Consider that an average woman menstruates for about 38 years during which she is expected to amount to about 30,000 Kgs of garbage..!! Menstrual cups create less or no waste at all..!

This itself should be your sole reason to try out menstrual cups. Being an educated enough person to read this blog and understand the need for adopting more Eco-friendly practices, it should be us who can be an example for other women by start using menstrual cups now that you have an idea about the enormous advantages of it.

The use of menstrual cups is a win-win situation because it’s far more comfortable than orthodox pads as you can go swimming and every other water adventure sports possible which is not possible if you are using pads. I can understand if you are in a dilemma whether or not to use it as I was also in the same situation before. But I can assure you that after I started using menstrual cups there was no looking back. Try menstrual cups once and experience the freedom it gives you and your menstrual cycle won’t be a setback anymore 🙂

How to use menstrual cups?

There is always a learning curve attached to anything when you are switching to something new, so this has too and more than anything you will get to know your body better. What matters is if are you willing to adapt to the change or not, so please be persistent for your own good 🙂

Below I will list down the steps involved in the process of inserting and removing a menstrual cup :

  1. When you buy your cup for the first time you must sterilize it in hot water for about 5 minutes and then keep it aside in the cloth bag provided to use it during your menstrual cycle.
  2. First and foremost thing is maintaining the hygienity as you will be directly in contact with your lower body. Hence prior to insertion, cleanse your hands and the cup thoroughly using proper cleanser. It is recommended to use your daily soap to wash the cup or regular water to make sure that you are not allergic to it.
  3. Hold the cup with your hand and fold it in the middle such that it makes a C shape or Do the punchdown fold.                                        I always prefer the punchdown fold as it requires very less space to get in, hence more comfortable. It may sound weird but trust me, once you insert it properly you won’t even know it’s there!
  4. It can stay there upto 12 hrs then remove it by slowly feeling the base of it and gently pulling it down. When you get a proper grip on it, pinch the base of the cup so that vaccum is released and pull it out completely (this a very important step, you will hurt yourself if vaccum is not released). Empty the contents into the toilet, wash it using your regular cleanser and insert again.
  5. After your menstrual cycle is done, sterilize the cup in hot water again for 5-6 minutes and keep it away in the cloth bag.
  6. Till you get the hang of using it properly, I suggest you also pair it up with a pad to avoid leakage.
  7. Please take your own time to figure out the right and easy technique for you and your body. It may take 4-5 menstrual cycles to get adapted to it completely. And PLEASE don’t panic while inserting/removing it because your muscles needs to be relaxed.
  8. (Let me tell you that when I tried menstrual cups for the first time it took me a long 20min to insert the cup. I even thought of giving up and retrying the next time but eventually I got the knack of it. Now it doesn’t take me more than 2min :). So I request you all please don’t be frustrated at just one try, it’s new for all of us and hence try till you get it and I assure you won’t regret it

Please feel free to ask any questions or give any suggestions on the above blog. I will make sure to answer it to the best of my knowledge 🙂 Please do share among your well wishers who may find this helpful. Thanks 🙂

Click here to buy the Boondh Cup

Also read: Winter Trekking Jacket Guide – The Best Jackets for your next trek

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