If you’re like me then the impromptu tampon shortage disoriented you sooner than you could replenish your OB stock. Also, if you’re like me, who likes to shop for things when I need them, you probably woke up, on your periods, made a call to order for your OB only to be told hizo ob siku hizi hatustock ( we no longer stock ob) which is quite the messy situation to be in both literally and figuratively.
I have used tampons for more than 5 years and I can tell you I’ve never wanted a different option. Most people go on and on about how they cannot fathom the insertion process or how it must feel weird walking around with something inside you or how they’d never use tampons ever in their life. These claims are not true. After insertion of the tampon, one does not feel a thing while conducting their daily activities also, before insertion of the tampon, one is allowed to lubricate it to easen the process in addition, the normal vaginal secretions help evade extreme discomfort during insertion. In hindsight, I never got around to liking the mundane sanitary towels – Always etcetera. I always felt like I was walking around wearing a pamper and the uneven pigmentation on the skin around the genitalia that results can cause one cosmetic issues. Other than that, I have nothing against sanitary towels but once you go the tampon way, there’s no turning back.
Tampons ➡️➡️Menstrual cups?
I recall washing my hands after about an hour of tampon hunting in supermarkets and chemists after which I got on Jumia and searched menstrual cups. Most of the menstrual cups on Jumia are extremely affordable contrary to what you might be thinking but they are global items. We have menstrual cups being sold by recent startups in Kenya but they are yet to pick up in Kenya hence the pricing is ten fold more than the global option.
One cup is reusable for up to five years or more. This makes their long-term cost lower than that of disposable tampons or pads, though the initial cost is higher. Menstrual cups are also promoted as more practical and eco-friendly than pads and tampons. Given that the menstrual cup is reusable, its use greatly decreases the amount of waste generated from menstrual cycles, as there is no daily waste and the amount of discarded packaging decreases as well.
Menstrual cups are the best option after tampons as highlighted above. Unlike tampons, Menstrual cups do not carry the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) which one of the major adverse effects of prolonged tampon wear(more than 8-12hrs) and can be life threatening if not treated promptly.
The Kenyan menstrual cup goes for an average of 3000 Kenya shillings. After enquiry, Tuskys kisumu have their cups going for 2000 Kenya shilling. On Jumia one can always find discounts that being the one of the major merits of shopping on Jumia.
We both know the choice I went for at the end.
Personally, I’d recommend use of a menstrual cup in the place of a tampon. The overall cost is cheaper albeit the initial cost can be high, reusable (you can use it for 3 upto 5 yrs) and just like the tampon, is it portable and depending on your flow, you can wear it for upto 12hrs!
Lastly, from experience, order yours early enough before your menses hit again! Pads can be very unreliable especially when you’re used to tampons!