When American actor Leona Chalmers invented the menstrual cup in the 1920s, most Indian women hadn’t even heard of disposable sanitary napkins, let alone used them. Almost a century later, more than 336 million girls, women, transgender and intersex people in India are still trying to come to terms with the idea of inserting a budget- and eco-friendly silicone cup into their body.
Despite their long history, menstrual cups are hardly known in India, compared to the widespread acceptance and use of disposable sanitary napkins, especially in the developing countries. Made of medical-grade silicone, menstrual cups are usually reusable.
In her book, The Intimate Side of a Women’s Life, Chalmers included the first diagrammatic instructional description of how to insert menstrual cups.
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