Lancet Study Claims Menstrual Cups Are Safer, Healthier & Totally Harmless; Plus Its 100% Eco-Friendly 

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Till date, these were being advertised as a sustainable and more convenient alternative to sanitary napkins or tampons. But, now menstrual cups can perhaps be hailed as the medically-approved best option for menstrual hygiene, as per the latest study published in the acclaimed journal The Lancet

So far, the opinions of women about menstrual cups have been quite divided about the menstrual cup. While a group of conscious users are enjoying its benefits and actively advocating its use, a lot of women are still averse to the idea of the cup, mostly due to the notion of it being unsafe, uncomfortable and harmful for vaginal health. 

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

The Report Collated Findings Of 43 Studies

However, the Lancet report can put all the myths and misconceptions to rest. It corroborated the findings of 43 studies across both low-income and middle-income countries to arrive at the conclusion that “menstrual cups are a safe option for menstruation management and are being used internationally.”

The report explored the capacity and feasibility of the menstrual cups on a variety of parameters like leakage, acceptability, and safety and availability. The introduction to the study clearly emphasises the need for safe and affordable menstrual hygiene products for women across the globe.

Menstrual Cup Has Been There Since 1930s

The hype around the menstrual cup is fairly a recent development, with more and more women searching for sustainable menstrual alternatives, but the product itself has been around for many years, even in the 1930s, especially in Western countries. However, the lack of finesse in the initial designs was a roadblock to its popularity, states a report by National Public Radio.

The present menstrual cups available in the market are much more advanced in design and convenience. Made of medical-grade silicone, latex or rubber, these cups are meant to be inserted inside the vagina. The cup acts as a receptacle and can hold menstrual blood for upto 8 to 12 hours, depending on its quality and capacity. It can be removed, washed and put back in again.

 

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The study has also found menstrual cups to be more leak-proof then pads or tampons, while also lasting for a longer duration.

Ideally, one menstrual cup can last comfortably up to ten years for a woman, thereby drastically bringing down a woman’s average expense on menstrual hygiene. At the same time, it can save the planet from a huge load of trash from pads and tampons, each of which takes up to 500-800 years to decompose.

No Rash – No Trash – No Cash

“No, there is no pain in keeping the cup in your vagina for a long time. True, initially one might feel its presence but after using it a few times, it almost becomes a part of your body,” reveals Dr Meenakshi Ramoo Bharath, a veteran gynaecologist from Bengaluru, who pioneered the Green The Red campaign for menstrual hygiene.

Since the cup is not absorbing the blood like tampons or pads, it prevents any foul smell which occurs due to chemical reactions with the superabsorbents. Also, it prevents any sort of rash or irritation arising from excess chemicals in the pads. “It is the No Rash – No Trash – No Cash way of maintaining menstrual hygiene,” she remarks.

“For the past four years, we have been advocating the use of menstrual cups to all women. Finally, this Lancet report is going to give the concept the credibility it long needed,” she asserts.

 

Global Experts Appreciate The Study

Recently, quite a number of non-profit foundations across the world have started distributing menstrual cups among women in marginalised communities with limited access to menstrual hygiene products. For them, menstrual cups are way cheaper and easier to use than primitive options like rags or even hay and charcoal.

Though some communities still continue to view menstrual cups as a cultural violation for young women due to its penetrative usage, experts feel that the Lancet study can put their debates to rest.

In a conversation with The Hindu, Dr Penelope Philips-Howard from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine lauded this study as a trailblazer. She mentioned that at a time when 1.9 billion women are menstruating around the globe, such a detailed, comparative analysis of all menstrual hygiene products was the need of the hour.

This comprehensive report published in an esteemed medical journal like The Lancet is ought to give menstrual cup the limelight it truly deserves. If you are yet to make the bold switch from the itchy, chemical-laden napkins, now you have no more reason to hesitate.

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‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

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Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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