Embracing Menstrual Cups in India: Advantages and Considerations

Menstrual cups, or sanitary cups, are gaining popularity among Indian women. These cups are reusable, making them a greener option than disposable pads or tampons. Both useful and environmentally beneficial, sanitary cups’ growing popularity among Indian women in recent years can be attributed to the fact that they are cost-effective, durable, and have minimal, stress-free maintenance requirements.

These cups have the potential to revolutionize the way women manage their menstrual cycle and can also show a significant impact on creating a sustainable future. However, despite the many benefits of sanitary cups, they are still relatively new to the Indian market, and many women are unaware of their use and upkeep, particularly in light of the destructive effects of pads and napkins on the environment.

This article will explore the benefits, challenges, and prospects of sanitary cups in India.

The Rise of Sanitary Cups in India

Menstrual cups have been around for decades, but they have only gained mainstream attention recently. In India, awareness about sanitary cups grew in the early 2010s. The first Indian-made sanitary cup was introduced in 2013 by the company SheCup. Since then, more companies have entered the market, and today, there are several Indian and international brands offering sanitary cups in the country.

The affordability of sanitary cups is likely a major contributor to their popularity in India. It can be difficult for rural Indians to afford sanitary products like tampons and pads. On the other hand, taking care of your sanitary cup will last you up to 10 years; this makes it a cost-effective choice for a woman throughout her lifetime.

Second, there is rising concern over the environmental impact of single-use sanitary goods. Tampons and sanitary pads contribute significantly to landfill garbage and require years to biodegrade. Contrarily, menstrual cups are reusable and generate considerably less trash. Especially in India, where waste management is a serious problem that gradually improves as people adopt simple concepts, the sanitary cup is a promising long-term choice.

“It is estimated that 121 million women and adolescent girls use on average eight sanitary napkins every month in India; annually, this number shoots to 113,000 tons of menstrual waste generated,” says India Science, Technology and Innovation (ISTI) Portal.

Finally, menstrual cups are getting more popular because they are easy to use and convenient. While using a sanitary cup may initially seem awkward, once your body has adjusted, you’ll find that it’s far easier than other options. When compared to tampons and pads, sanitary cups have a far longer use time (up to 12 hours) and less of a negative effect on user comfort, convenient for women on the go.

Benefits of Sanitary Cups

Sanitary cups offer several benefits over traditional menstrual products: 


As mentioned earlier, sanitary cups are a one-time investment. Proper care can make these cups last up to 10 years, making them more cost-effective than disposable menstrual products.


When compared to disposable menstrual items, sanitary cups make less waste. They don’t have any dangerous chemicals, like bleach or one-time plastic, making them a better choice for the earth.


Sanitary cups (made of soft, medical-grade silicone, rubber, or latex) are designed to fit inside the body comfortably. Once inserted, they are not felt and do not cause irritation or discomfort like pads or tampons.

“Been using the cup since 2019, and it has saved me from the stress, anxiety and discomfort I felt with sanitary pads. Plus, saves me money while I take one step closer to reducing plastic use. It’s been an easy and comfortable experience using sanitary cups.”

B , 25 year old nursery school teacher

Last for a Longer Duration

Sanitary cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, longer than pads or tampons, making them a more convenient option, particularly for women with busy schedules.

Reduced Risk of Infection

Sanitary cups do not absorb menstrual blood like pads or tampons. Instead, they collect it inside the body, reducing the risk of infection.

Breaking Barriers

When users take good care of the menstrual cups and adjust well to them, sanitary cups allow them to engage in activities like swimming, cycling, and running, which they would otherwise hold back from doing during their periods. Cups bring security for women to move with ease without the constant worry and stress about making a mess. A calm mind and body make this already painful time of the month a little easier to bear.


Difficulty with insertion and removal

 Some women may experience difficulty inserting and removing the cup, especially if they are new to using menstrual cups. This issue can be frustrating and may cause discomfort or even pain. It can take time and practice to become comfortable with using a menstrual cup.

Risk of infection

Menstrual cups can increase the risk of infection if not used properly. If the cup is not cleaned and sanitised properly before and after use, it can harbour bacteria that can cause conditions such as yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, or toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Additionally, leaving the cup in place too long can lead to odour, discomfort, or even infection. However, if used with proper knowledge they have lesser risks of causing infection than tampons and pads.

“The first cup I bought didn’t fit and leaked constantly; I had no idea that there were different sizes. The second cup was a lifesaver in terms of exercising and traveling without needing to change pads every few hours.”

D, 18 year old student at Christ University

Messy to use

 When removing the cup, there is a risk of spilling the collected blood, which can be uncomfortable and unsanitary. Additionally, cleaning the cup can be messy and require a sink, which may only sometimes be available in public restrooms, making it messier than using traditional menstrual products. 

Not suitable for all women

 Menstrual cups may not be ideal for all women. Women with a low cervix or a tilted uterus may have difficulty using a menstrual cup, and women with heavy bleeding may need to empty the cup frequently, which can be inconvenient. Additionally, women with certain medical conditions, such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, may find that menstrual cups exacerbate their symptoms.


Menstrual cups can be expensive, especially compared to traditional menstrual products that can be purchased in bulk. While they may save money in the long run, the initial cost may be a barrier for some women.

In conclusion,

Indian women’s growing use of sanitary cups suggests a sustainable and eco-friendly menstrual hygiene trend. Women need proper education and awareness to maximise menstrual cup advantages and minimise infection and discomfort. Sanitary cups benefit women and the environment despite their drawbacks and initial expenses. As these cups gain popularity in India, they must be made more available to all women, regardless of background or medical condition.

Stay tuned for a part 2, deep diving into sustainable menstruation.


Rajarshi is a serial entrepreneur, leading multiple ventures while holding a day job leading innovation at Talview. Based out of Bengaluru, his interests range from tech, engineering and hardcore physics to anime and gaming.
You can find him organising or attending music and art events or on Clubhouse grilling scientists on their latest research at the Quantum Photonics Club. Rajarshi offers lifetime free consulting for socially and environmentally conscious startups. Don’t hesitate to reach out on LinkedIn or Instagram!

Published by ecoHQ

ecoHQ is a platform advocating for sustainability and conscious consumerism in India. At ecoHQ, we help Indians make educated choices about sustainable practices through awareness, advocacy and accountability. We spread awareness about sustainable development, advocate conscious growth and help brands be accountable for responsible solutions. Our ultimate goal is educating you to make the right choices for our people and planet.

Leave a Reply