By Daniel Phiri
OUTSPOKEN legislator and women’s rights advocate Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga says she is going to bring menstrual cups to Parliament to help move her motion on sanitary pads.
Prices and access to sanitary pads have been a topical issue in Zimbabwe with rural girls and women said to be the most affected owing to their biological and economic status.
It had to take legislators to lobby the government to scrap duty on the importation of raw materials needed to manufacture sanitary pads with a view to help reduce the prices, but lack of foreign currency has been an albatross to the move.
Sanitary pads manufacturers were left with no choice but to increase their prices as they are being forced to seek the elusive foreign currency on the black market where it is attracting a huge premium of between 60 to 100 percent.
As a result of this price hike, there have been calls to look for other alternatives that can help reduce the cost of menstruation on women.
Writing on her Facebook page, Honourable Misihairabwi-Mushonga said she had finally come across what can be the answer to the cost of sanitary ware to women.
“So I finally got to see the menstrual cups, they are not bad, in fact, the concept is more like the female condom will update when I have used it. Watch this space!
“Will show them out in Parliament on my motion on sanitary pads, it may raise interest, they are quite handy I agree,” she said.
According to Women’s Health, menstrual cups are an alternative feminine hygiene product meant to replace tampons by collecting menstrual blood rather than absorbing it.
Typically, menstrual cups are bell-shaped, made of silicone, and come in a variety of sizes. Clean up is simple in that one just pour out the contents, wash with mild soap, and rinse.
Menstrual cups are said to be also less likely to leave one dry down there, as the silicone material doesn’t absorb natural moisture the way tampons do.
The cups although they are not yet officially being sold in Zimbabwe they are however believed to be more cost-effective in the long run than tampons and pads.
Although menstrual cups were patented in 1937, the first commercially viable menstrual cup was manufactured in the United States around 1987 and is known as the Keeper.
Top 10 menstrual cups according to Menstrualcupreviews.net
- The Ruby Cup was invented in 2011 by three women on a mission to bring modern “period care” to the limelight and social forefront. It is manufactured in China (the headquarters are in Barcelona). It is sold by many retailers primarily in Europe, with a focus on Germany. The Ruby Cup is made out of 100% medical grade silicone and is available in two sizes. Additionally, the Ruby Cup does offer 4 colours – besides the clear/matte finish Ruby Cup classic.
- Meluna menstrual cups are manufactured in Germany and have just now received FDA clearance to be offered in the United States. Meluna menstrual cups are the only cups in the world that are made from Thermoplastic Elastomer, also known as TPE (a material which is also proven safe like silicone.). The Meluna company offers the largest variety of menstrual cups sold by a manufacturer with many options in sizes, colours, lengths, degrees of firmness, and types of handles.
- The Lunette Menstrual Cup has been manufactured in Finland since 2004. It like many other brands of menstrual cups is made from a silky, medical-grade silicone. The Lunette is available in two sizes (Model 1 & 2) and an array of colors in Lunette’s special limited editions in each size and capacity- Lunette Selene (blue), Lunette Diana (light green), Lunette Cynthia (purple), Lunette Aine (coral red), and Lunette Lucia (yellow.)
- The Yukki Menstrual Cup is produced by a Czech-EU company that manufacturers a number of healthcare products. The Yukki cup is comprised of a medical-grade silicone (silopren LSR 4050). The Yukki Cup is sold all over the world by various vendors and retailers and is available in 3 product ranges (Economic, Classic, and Soft) and each range is offered in 2 sizes. Additionally, the Yukki Company also offers the Yukki cup in single form, pairs, ranges & sizes and in combination with other notable products such as menstrual cup washes and sterilization containers.
- The Divacup is one of the most popular menstrual cups of all brands manufactured today that is made from medical-grade silicone. It is offered in 2 sizes for the best feminine comfort, fit and effectiveness and has received an extraordinary amount of positive ratings from customers that choose it over other brands of menstrual cups time and time again.
- The Anigan Evacup, menstrual cup offers a wide array of options to suit any woman’s feminine menstrual hygiene needs. The cups are made from FDA approved, medical-grade silicone and come in a hypo-allergenic variety of 8 fresh colours. dditionally, there are 2 size preferences available that assure an ideal fit for any women. The Evacup is also available in combination with a sterilization cup, and in an Evacup gift set that includes: One Evacup, a sterilization cup, a heart-shaped heating pad, and carrying pouch.
- The Fleurcup is termed “Flower Cup” from French to English translation. As its name refers it is developed and manufactured in the country of France. It is a nice menstrual cup made from 100% safe medical-grade silicone. It is a rounded cup design that possesses a flat tab stem (that can be shortened), and a firm but subtle rim. The Fleurcup is available in a clear/translucent hue & pale pink, blue, green, purple, orange/red, and black. It is offered in 2 different sizes (Small & Large) that both boast an ample capacity.
- The Super Jennie is a USA oriented menstrual cup that was released to the market in 2014. Although when it was first introduced it was only offered in a single size small, the Super Jennie is now available in two unique sizes (large and small.) The Super Jennie is comprised of FDA approved, medical-grade silicone. It is a softer menstrual cup with a short, round stem. It available at the moment in three colours – the clear-translucent, teal and blue.
- The Luv Ur Body (LUB) menstrual cup originated and was designed in Malaysia but it is manufactured in Nigeria. It is a newer model of the menstrual cup that made its entrance into the market in 2013. This cup is silicone-grade based, FDA approved and ISO certified. The Luv Ur Body menstrual cup is offered in 3 sizes (S, M, L), 4 solid colours (clear, dark green, black and red), and two clear with scribed floral in colours (blue and red.)
- The Lena Cup was just released to the public in July 2015. It is Made in the USA and offers a menstrual cup that is BPA Free, made of Medical-Standard silicone, and that has been FDA approved. It is available in 2 different sizes (Small and Large) and is designed with a flat stem. This menstrual cup also like the LolaCup is only available in a light pink colour. The Lena Cup is made for woman by a woman and is named after the woman who developed the cup.