Famous Mooncups Helping Women in Africa
Category : Women
Menstrual cups are feminine products that are changing the lives of many women in East Africa in significant ways.
In this region, many women do not have access to pocket-friendly sanitary pads. Therefore, menstruation presents challenges to school-going girls as well as employed women, since many of them who do not have ready access to sanitary pads and/or tampons are discouraged from engaging in a wide range of productive activities in schools and/or places of work.
During menstruation, many women who can’t afford sanitary pads and/or tampons may fail to report to school or work due to inadequate/ no sanitation facilities which can allow them to change in privacy/ clean themselves, fear of possible leakage, period pain/ cramps, embarrassment or shame.
What is a menstrual cup?
Wondering what is a mooncup? A menstrual cup is basically a feminine hygiene product that is usually flexible, designed like a bell and made using medical grade silicone.
During menstruation, the menstrual cup is inserted inside the vagina to trap menstrual fluid.
There are two major types of menstrual cups; the bell-shaped version that is usually made using latex/ rubber, thermoplastic elastomeric or silicone and the contraceptive diaphragm shaped version which is usually made using polyethylene.
In which ways are menstrual cups changing the lives of women in East Africa?
Menstrual cups are changing the lives of women in East Africa both directly and indirectly.
When using menstrual cups, fluid is trapped and collected far away from the cervix and then held in form of liquid, unlike normal sanitary pads and/or tampons which collect and hold menstrual fluid in semi coagulated form and against the cervix.
Women who use these products have changed their lifestyles since their menstrual fluid is usually collected inside their vaginas and rarely leaks, especially if they’re properly inserted and regularly emptied.
They are usually used by women who need to establish exact amount of menstrual fluid expelled by their bodies, often for medical reasons. The cups facilitate accurate measurement since some of them are calibrated.
Some women from East Africa have reported that they have shorter periods, bleed less and/or have fewer cramps when they use them instead of normal sanitary pads and/or tampons.
Menstrual cups have changed the lives of women in East Africa by making them healthier. Unlike conventional sanitary pads and/or tampons, they don’t contain harmful substances like BPA, chlorine or fragrances, and neither do they result in toxic shock syndrome. Additionally, menstrual cups are hypoallergenic (and therefore suitable for those who have sensitive skin, latex allergies and/or dermatitis), do not contain absorption agents (and therefore don’t result in vaginal dryness) and are very easy to disinfect/ clean.
Menstrual cups are beneficial since they only need to be emptied after every eight or twelve hours. As a result, women who use them don’t worry about heavy flows or the need to change after every 3 or 4 hours.
The products enable women in East Africa to reduce the amount of money that would, under normal circumstances, be spent on buying sanitary pads/ tampons regularly. This is because they are reusable and can last for several months. The money is therefore used in other (equally important) ways.
Women who use these cups are able to have sex with their partners even during menstruation, since there are no soaked and unsightly sanitary pads/ tampons that are usually associated with normal methods of trapping menstrual fluid. As a result, randy men can have sex with their partners every day of the month.
Since menstrual cups are reusable, they play significant roles in the overall reduction of solid waste. On the other hand, disposable plastic tampons and sanitary napkins can take up to 25 years to completely break down.
Menstrual cups have significantly changed the lives of women living in East African countries. It’s therefore important for women who live in other parts of Africa and the world to start or continue using these products during menstruation.