LETS TALK PERIODS: ARE MENSTRUAL CUPS THE SOLUTION TO PERIOD POVERTY? - IGBOAFRICANA
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LETS TALK PERIODS: ARE MENSTRUAL CUPS THE SOLUTION TO PERIOD POVERTY?

by - July 21, 2021

menstural cup


Has anyone ever asked you if there was a topic you could speak about for three hours nonstop what would it be? well, I got asked recently and periods were the first thing that came to mind. 

In another installation of my "Let's talk periods" I'll be sharing with you some personal and factual opinions, I have about the latest menstrual innovation that is finally making an entry into the Nigerian market, MENSTRUAL CUPS. 

In case you're reading this and have no idea what these shot glass shaped devices are, they are a reusable feminine hygiene product. Its small flexible funnel shape makes it easy to insert into the vagina to catch and collect period fluids. It's made from either rubber or silicon and to date holds the most amount of period blood than any other methods like pads or tampons. 

Sounds amazing right? 

Despite this, there is still the huge lingering question of what actual solution do these cups provide outside holding more menstrual fluid. 

After seeing a ton of ads for these products, one key marketing USP (unique selling point) that is consistently hammered upon either subtly or plain as day in your is this products ability to fix period poverty, which makes sense as a solution seeing that this is one of the biggest issues in feminine hygiene especially in third world countries like Nigeria. 

However, can we really and truly say that menstrual cups are the future if we're ever going to solve the problem of period poverty? 

To help us get an answer to this, I think a quick period pro and cons list would suffice, on this list, I will be grading menstrual cups in the five areas I feel are most important for any feminine hygiene product. 

1. Easy to use
2. Market Accessibility 
3. Safety 
4. Pricing / Pocket Damage
5. Sustainability

Have you used menstrual cups before? Grade it here before looking at my scores!  

Easy to Use 

Like tampons, it may take a bunch of youtube videos and reassurance from your friends who have tried them before that this product will not rip your vagina, and neither will it get lodge in your cervix. 
so on a scale of 1-10, I'll grade on how easy it is to use, I'll grade this a soft five (5) 

Accessibility

Are menstrual cups easy to find and buy? the simple answer is no. 
perhaps in a few more years, we can work into stores and pharmacies to get them, but for now, it's limited to online stores and distributors. 

Safety 

So far, there have been no ill reports regarding the safety of menstrual cups, however, brands tend to leave a disclaimer that the product is as safe as how well it's used. There are also some concerns on UTI but none has proven, so in the safety department, I'll rate it a Seven (7) 

Pricing 

I'm not even going to beat around the bush on this, but menstrual cups are way too expensive in my opinion, and even though they're supposed to last for up to twelve years, i don't see the average person having enough money for this now, so I'm going to rate this a 2 on the price scale. 



Sustainability 

Right from where we left off, this product is great for the environment and is a sustainable gold mine, however, it only works if a lot of us make the move, and with the current price and availability I don't see that happening soon, so I would rate this an above-average seven (7 ) 




Now with all this said, do I think this is the solution to period poverty, the short answer is no, the longer answer is wrapped in between how it can be with proper distribution and price adjustments, till then, we'll just have to do the much we can with what we have. 

Want to read more on my period series? check out this article about PMS. 


Hey, have you heard of RED? well, it's this awesome book I wrote with bedtime stories for adults, the paperback is coming to Nigeria this august and you'd be able to order a copy right here on www.igboafricana.com.ng 





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