By Aadya Bajpai

It’s a bright sunny morning, and you’re brimming with excitement at what the day of scuba diving might have in store for you. Spirits are high and you’re truly enjoying yourself until, lo and behold, that time of the month has just announced its arrival.

Every individual on their period can relate to the stress that comes with it when you’re on the move and away from the comfort of home. We’re only too acquainted with issues like finding hygienic spaces, dealing with period cramps and the constant anxiety of spotting and checking for leaks. Now what if I told you that there existed one way to bid goodbye to all these worries for good? Yes, I’m talking about the menstrual cup – a product that is, in my opinion, absolutely revolutionary. I made the switch from sanitary pads to the cup in Jan 2017 and never looked back. What inspired me to do this? It was an article I came across on social media by a young woman who wasn’t afraid to try something new. And by writing this, I hope in some part I can do for you what she did for me.


Menstrual cups are made of soft, medical-grade silicone – safe rubber in simple terms. It’s an environment-friendly alternative to sanitary napkins and tampons. I love everything about the cup and recommend making the switch for the following reasons.

Travel-and-sport-friendly: The menstrual cup is the perfect period companion for a wide range of activities, be it running, swimming, horse riding, cycling, yoga, mountain climbing, many sports and all things travel – not to mention, scuba diving. Once the cup is locked in position in the vaginal canal, it won’t move up or down on its own and neither can you feel it inside you. The cup is tiny; it can fit in the palm of your hand. This feature makes it extremely easy to carry anywhere, especially on your trips. You can get a small pouch to keep it in and you’re good to go.

Comfort and convenience: Since it is designed to rest comfortably inside your body, there is no feeling of dampness or stickiness at all. No dryness, irritation, odour or rashes whatsoever. The process of insertion and removal is entirely painless and a mess-free experience.

Environment-friendly: Perhaps you already know that menstrual cups are reusable; they can be reused for anywhere between 5 and 10 years. Try and compare that with the regular use of sanitary pads and imagine the sheer amount of waste that gets generated. On top of that, sanitary napkins contain plastic, and add to the plastic pollution crisis the world is facing currently. Once you throw that used pad in the bin, you forget about it. But it stays in the environment for hundreds of years. Having been presented with an eco-friendly, sustainable alternative, wouldn’t you take it? As co-habitants of the Earth, we all have a responsibility to the planet, and if you think about it, implementing this one little change in your life can have a huge long term impact.

Health and safety: You must have seen sanitary napkin ads boast about their capabilities to absorb longer, lock away the moisture, being leakage-free, etc. I find this ironic now, because this is exactly what pads don’t do. The blood stays in our panties for hours, rotting away. And unfortunately, smells a lot. The gel used in sanitary pads that apparently lock the wetness in fact contain chemicals, so while there is absorption of blood by the pad on one hand, what you may not know is that there’s also the reverse absorption of chemicals happening simultaneously as a result of the body staying in contact with it for hours. Tampons soak up some of the good fluids from the vaginal wall, predisposing users to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a potentially fatal condition. Unlike both these products, there’s the cup. It’s made of medical grade silicone that doesn’t react with the vaginal walls and nor does it absorb blood. It simply collects it inside our bodies in a clean and hygienic manner, reducing the risk of infections and/or rashes that may come with the use of pads and tampons.

Cost-effective: The cup is a one-time investment for your overall menstrual health. A typical menstrual cup costs anywhere between Rs. 500 and 800. Just one product has the power to replace all the purchases you’d have to otherwise make on pads or tampons every month of every year. It can be used for five to ten years, and is clearly cost-effective. You can start saving now! You may also use it before or after your period is over (for light flow) without any causes for irritation or discomfort. Inserting it in before your period even starts or around the time you expect it to so that you don’t have to worry about it if you have a dive planned later for instance. A great way to avoid those unwanted surprises if you ask me!


As much as I’d like to say that that it was a completely smooth-sailing process for me, that isn’t exactly true. When you try to insert the cup for the first time, you might get it in one go, or struggle a bit like I did. What’s important is that you don’t give up. Keep attempting until you get it right. And you will. It took me almost a month to finally fit the cup in there. I don’t want to dishearten you, but yes, it was hard. And I was really close to calling it quits. But then I discovered a new kind of fold and upon trying it, I managed to insert it in one straight go! That was definitely a ‘Eureka’ moment for me, the sense of victory sweeping all over me.

There’s no correct way to insert the cup, what works for one may not work for another. I’d suggest that you experiment with the different types of folds to figure out which one is for you. These folds are extremely simple and easy to learn with a quick Google search. Once the cup is fully inside you, you’ll feel it open up and slowly stick to the walls of your vagina. The tip of the cup should be right above the vaginal opening. Be careful not to push it too far in as that will make it harder for you to remove it. In order to remove the cup you can use two or three fingers to reach its sides and pinch it. This will break the airtight seal and fold the cup after which you can pull it out.

Give yourself time to get used to the feeling of the cup. I found it really uncomfortable in the beginning and was super aware of it at all times, scared of what might happen. Now it feels so normal that I sometimes forget it’s even in there! You might feel the need to keep checking on it, or removing it immediately after insertion. That’s completely normal. Patience is the key here. It took me 2-3 cycles with the cup to get entirely comfortable with its every aspect, so hang in there.

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What if it gets stuck inside?

It is literally impossible for the cup to get stuck inside. However, the worst that can happen is that you push it too far up inside to reach comfortably. If this happens, do not panic because the cervix won’t let it go any further than your vagina and it cannot get lost in there. Simply squatting and flexing your pelvic muscles to push the cup back down should do the trick.

Can I still use it if I’m a virgin?

Yes, of course you can. Using the cup has nothing to do with your virginity or sexual activity. Remember, the vagina is a flexible muscle after all. The experience is the same for all, virgin or not. Don’t let anyone dissuade you from trying the cup with this reason.

But it’s so small, will I have to empty it multiple times a day?

No! That’s the best part. The cup may look tiny, yet it’s super efficient at its job. I for one don’t find the need to empty my cup more than once a day. Obviously, this differs according to the intensity of each person’s flow. You’d be surprised to see how little we actually bleed, contrary to what pads make us feel.

Does the stalky end stay outside the body?

A lot of menstrual cups have a small stalk at the end to ease locating it and removal. But it completely fits inside the body and no part of the cup protrudes in any manner.


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In India, several brands providing quality menstrual cups are available in the market today. The one that I have been using is by Boondh. The cost of one cup is ?700 and they come in some really cute colors too! I’m personally fond of their products because of all the work they have put into improving the menstrual health of rural women, generating work opportunities for them by creating such lovely sustainable products. Amazon also has a wide variety of options you can choose from. Peesafe is another brand offering good products with affordable pricing.

If you’re thinking of embarking on this comfortable journey with the menstrual cup, congratulations on taking the first step and welcome to the world of worry-free periods while scuba diving! The decision may seem like a scary one but trust me, it’s a decision that your body will definitely thank you for.

The menstrual cup changed my life and it’s bound to change yours too!