I remember being a teenager and having a nightmare of that red spot on my white skirt (thanks to the stupid convent rules) which still gives me shivers. It is one of the most embarrassing situations for a girl. I won’t say that fear has gone but I am pretty sure I am more equipped with my weapons of feminism now. I remember having my first period. I knew about “the logic” or so I thought so it wasn’t a surprise when I saw that red spot on my pink underwear. But the shocking part came later when I told my mom about the ‘situation’, She told me to follow her and I did. Without saying a word she gave me that white fluffy Stayfree pad from a bright blue attractive packet. I looked at her with an inquisitive eye, she told me to go to washroom and “use” it and no other words were exchanged. I still could not understand of why ‘the topic’ wasn’t discussed before, during and after my little situation.
So I got to know about pads through the advertisements these big hotshot sanitary pads companies threw on every channel but what about other products? I didn’t know about tampons until a college friend gave it to me because I refused to attend a pool party as I was having periods. That opened a new door for me. I could do stuff which I was unable to do for years while on periods. I wonder if my Mom would have ever told me about this magical tube.
I am really glad that people are opening up and accepting that period is not a curse or an embarrassment but it is a natural biological process that indicates that you are a healthy woman. So I would like to share my wisdom which I have gained through several bad experiences on this platform where no one would make a big deal out of this topic.
The various menstrual product options for Indian women:
Pads: So Indian Market has been marketing sanitary pads which show how free we can stay once we use them or how amazing our crotch smell once we switch to scented pads. Well, a variety of pads are available in the market and you can use them according to your flow and needs. They are pretty easy in usage and availability; also they are available in many varieties.
The problem which I personally face using them is that they make me feel as if I am wearing a diaper and I can’t be my usual self because they keep me reminding that I am having ‘those days’. Also there is one part of my mind which keeps imagining the pad losing its grip and spreading the word of your sexual health to the world.
Tampons: Tampons are not known to many Indian women (I can’t brag much, my discovery on this product was pretty recent too). But what we don’t realize is of what we are missing (FREEDOM!!!!). As Indian women we can’t (read: not allowed to) discuss vaginas or things which can go inside them, hence the ignorance. Tampons are cylindrical tubes (made up of absorbable material) which are inserted into the vagina and they absorb menstrual blood and no, they don’t hurt. Swimming and exercising become pretty easy once you start using them. Also the possibility of your childhood terror coming into action reduces.
Menstrual Cups: So this is something that might freak you out the first time you hear about it or in fact see it but once you have used it and get accustomed to it, your life will be much more than 50 shades of red. It is a cup which also is inserted into the vagina(yes, this too) which works as a vessel which stores the period blood exactly like that bucket which you have kept under the leaking tap in your bathroom.
This is the least messy amongst all the three weapons. But it needs an experienced hand to insert the cup inside you know what (shhh..) properly.
None of them is bad or good, it is about your personal choice and your lifestyle. Some people are dedicated to use one of them throughout their lives while a few like to mix and match. All of them should be changed after a few hours for better hygiene (as mentioned on their packs).Now that you are aware of your choices, go use your weapons wisely.
Author: Rupakshi Puri
Rupakshi is the Chief Psychologist at Cogxio.com.She is a free spirited lass and a dreamer too!!
Editor: Divya Rosaline