I’ve always used pads! Bachpan se leke ab tak I’d never have expected to use any other menstrual product. In fact, I was the pad-girl for all menstruators at school. But, something a little more alluring paid me a visit in 2018. I watched a video about a woman who used a menstrual cup for the first time. It was a shock to me that something like it even existed. I pushed the knowledge to the back of my head because I knew my family would never let me get one.
Fast forward to 2020 and I’m officially a cupvert (that’s menstrual cup + convert)! What did my parents have to say about it?
- “How come we’ve never heard of such a product? If it was so cheap and sustainable there would be ads about it na?” -duhhh, you expect people in this country to show ads about putting a cup in a vagina? They don’t even like showing the real colour of menstrual blood.
- This was in whispers without making eye contact “Menstrual cup means you have to put it inside na? So your hymen will break?” – Not always, but yes I do not care about that at all. Nobody is going to care whether I have a hymen or not.
- “You know using it will damage your internal organs.” -It’s a teeny weeny cup, no it’s not going to damage any internal organs.
After I got all that out of the way, somehow I landed up with my very own menstrual cup. I cannot begin to tell you how freeing it was to have control over my body and my menstrual products. It also gave me a LOT of knowledge about what’s happening inside me!
Do you know how much blood you lose every period? HAH, I do have that knowledge. Which is super helpful because I’ve had a couple of WEIRD periods since the start of the very first lockdown.
I noticed that there were some days when my period decided to pop-in quite late. I’m a stickler for punctuality so I was pretty annoyed. She gave no explanation at all considering that she’s usually on time. I’m the kind of menstruator who, after 28 days, can usually expect to get that familiar gut-punch and an urge to check Zomato. I started to think that maybe it was stress affecting my period but I could not pinpoint any source of stress in my life at the time. I kept thinking that I’d been impregnated with some demon child and another Chucky movie would be produced about my life. Late periods are no joke, it’s almost like it’s purposefully screwing with you.
Apart from the lateness of it, there was also one time when I had absolutely no blood in my cup. That usually doesn’t happen on day 1 or 2 but it happened that time. I told myself to stop freaking out and stop listening to sad songs because that would affect little ol’ period even more. After a day and a half of an empty menstrual cup, my period came back rushing and gushing.
Like I mentioned, I’ve had pretty regular periods since they began all that while ago. But last year during the lockdown I started spotting randomly. I honestly thought I was dying and couldn’t fathom what I had done to bring this on. Why don’t people speak about spotting? It seems like such a weird phenomenon! The one time that it happened to me, I spoke about it to a few friends. Only then did I realize that they had experienced similar things!
It made me feel motivated to speak about my period more often. There might be someone out there who’s cowering in a corner, afraid of their period. If we speak about these experiences it might just bring some light and hope into our lives, right?
2020-2021 has been an odd year for my period. It has made me feel scared and confused at some times by being later than expected, spotting, and just disappearing too soon. On the other hand, I’ve never been closer to my period because of my menstrual cup. I genuinely know so much more about my body and I feel like I’ve punched generational norms in their face.
So, to the annoying part of COVID periods, I’d like to say “I’m over it, PERIOD!”
Author: Beverly N
Beverly is a writer and mental health professional. She loves reading books, making art, petting dogs, and avoiding unknown phone calls. Her life is all about making herself laugh (and maybe others too sometimes?) Here is her Instagram handle: @beverlynon
Edited by: Divya Rosaline0