Half of the human population menstruates, and always has since the beginning of time. Menstruation is a natural, feminine sign of fertility. But across the globe, too many women are embarrassed and ashamed of their period.
In some countries, girls stop going to school entirely because of menstrual taboo within their communities. But many reject this sexist standard, and have started to push back. An India-based organization, the Myna Mahila Foundation, tackles menstrual taboo head on to ensure that one day, a girl’s right to an education will never be jeopardized by her cycle.
The problem with pads
That doesn’t mean that women’s needs are met in the rest of the world. Pads and tampons fail horribly at preventing leakage and can add to physical discomfort. Production of these products leads to massive pollution to our environment. Millions of plastic tampon applicators are collected on coastlines every year, doing significant damage to marine wildlife.
These circumstances motivated the creation of the FemmyCycle cup. “Nobody should be held back by their period,” FemmyCycle inventor, Dr. Alfred Shihata, says.
Shihata is an advocate for menstrual cups, which collect blood rather than absorb it. The reusable silicone cups can provide up to 12 hours of protection, and can last years with proper cleaning.
While we can never undo menstrual inconvenience entirely, embracing menstruation rather than viewing it as an embarrassing secret can lead to innovative ideas that save money, protect wildlife and solve some of our period’s most interruptive qualities. By rejecting menstrual stigma we protect ourselves and we take significant steps towards creating an equitable future for women and future generations of bleeders all over the world.
Dr. Alfred Shihata, Founder, FemmyCycle, [email protected]