5 Reasons Why We Believe Menstrual Cups are an Ideal Solution for Women in Developing Communities


Femme’s Feminine Health Management Program is all about ensuring that schoolgirls have the education and resources they need to manage their monthly cycles in a safe and effective way. The educational component works to provide a deeper understanding of their bodies, and break down the stigma that so often surrounds menstruation.

The distribution component of the program distributes Femme Kits that include reusable menstrual management supplies – namely menstrual cups! Menstrual cups are made out of surgical grade silicone, and are inserted into the vagina to collect, rather than absorb menstrual fluid. 

Menstruation is a huge reason why girls in developing communities miss school, often because they don’t have access to feminine hygiene products, and the alternative methods they resort to are ineffective. Femme distributes menstrual cups because we believe they are the best option for women. Here are a few reasons why:

1. SUSTAINABILITY: Unlike commercial sanitary pads, menstrual cups are reusable. Even better, they can be reused for up to 10 years! This means that women no longer need to spend their hard-earned income on buying sanitary products, and can use the money for things like school fees, shoes, and rent. Providing disposable sanitary pads is the definition of an ineffective band-aid solution: it will only help for one month. By providing menstrual cups, the FHM program is ensuring that these women are set for the next 5-10 years. 
2. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY:  It is estimated that the average woman will use around 12,000 tampons in her lifetime – which takes up a lot of room in landfills around the world. In communities such as Nairobi’s Mathare Slum where there is no garbage collection, disposable sanitary supplies end up in the river and streets, causing major hygiene issues. Menstrual cups are easy to keep clean and safe. After her period is complete, it is simply boiled in water for 5 minutes before being put away until next month. In communities where access to potable water is a struggle, menstrual cups require much less than reusable pads. 
3. 12-HOURS OF PROTECTION: This might be the best part – menstrual cups provide 12 hours of comfortable, leak-free protection! So many girls we have spoken to told us that they would leave school in the middle of the day because their schools didn’t have appropriate latrine facilities, or they were teased for leaking. When inserted correctly, a vacuum seal is created which prevents any leaking. And it lasts for twelve hours. This means that girls are able to attend school or work without having to worry! They are able to feel in control of their bodies, which boosts their confidence, their academic performance, and helps them feel clean.

4. HEALTHIER FOR A WOMAN’S BODY: Tampons and pads are actually filled with a lot of harmful toxins and dyes, which are not healthy for a woman’s body. Without access to safe menstrual management supplies, women will resort to alternative methods such as rags, leaves, tissues, even newspapers and mattress stuffing. Not only do these methods not work, but they are uncomfortable, and extremely unhygienic. They lead to yeast infections, UTIs, and other infections that can lead girls to the hospital. Menstrual cups are very hygienic to use, and help girls feel clean during their monthly cycle (so long as proper hand washing occurs!).

5. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING: When we ask girls how they feel about the menstrual cup after a few months of use, the word that comes up the most often is “free”. They feel confident, and are able to participate in activities in and out of the classroom. They felt as though they were performing better in school, as they were better able to concentrate. They felt free. 
By distributing menstrual cups, Femme is providing a sustainable and safe alternative to young women. The FHM Program removes the financial burden of menstruation and helps girls feel in control of their bodies. 

Menstrual cups are an amazing option for all women! Visit Ruby Cup to see how you can begin using one today!

To donate a Femme Kit is to give the gift of confidence, and help keep a girl in school – every day of the month!

Note: Girls have the option of selecting either menstrual cups or reusable pads in their Femme Kits, to make sure they have the method that is the most comfortable for them.

Sabrina Rubli

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