For many women, the monthly cost that comes with purchasing sanitary towels and tampons is inescapable. It gets worse for women struggling with fistula as the expenses are higher.
Many end up using pieces of cloth, which do not only smell, but make leakages likely.
For these women, a menstrual cap may provide some relief. Studies have found the menstrual cup is easy to use, leakage proof, environmentally friendly and costs less since it can be reused for up to 10 years.
A 2011 study published in Canadian Family Physician compared the menstrual cup to tampons and pads and found that menstrual cups "have the potential to be a sustainable solution to menstrual management, with moderate cost savings and much-reduced environmental effects compared to tampons."
Menstrual cups are flexible, reusable cups made of rubber or silicone that are worn during the menstruation period. In an earlier study, the cups were found to be very useful in the management of urine leakage in women with fistula.
In yet another study, the cups were tested to determine if users are exposed to infection. The study found less bacterial growth when compared to tampons and sanitary pads. They can be worn for up to 12 hours unlike sanitary pads and tampons which need changing every few hours depending on the user's flow.
In the 2011 study, 110 women aged between 19 and 40 years were involved in the study whose objective was to determine whether menstrual cups are a viable alternative to tampons and sanitary pads.
At the end of the study, 91% of women found that their menstrual management was more convenient and were more satisfied with regard to leakage and were willing to continue using them.