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Getting caught short abroad: My story of switching to a menstrual cup


After moving to China for University, Meera Kumar found herself in a tricky situation when she couldn’t get access to period care. After tweeting us about the situation, she finally got her hands on a menstrual cup. Catch up with her unique switch story!

“I came to China for my third year of university and it did not get off to a smooth start. Money was my biggest problem. I had none. My bank transfer didn’t come through for a few weeks and I had borrowed a massive sum of money from a friend to pay for my student accommodation. It was stressful, and I lost a lot of weight which threw off my period. That was my second biggest problem.

My main problem was that I couldn’t get hold of any tampons. I was unaware that in China only 1% of women use tampons, which meant they were hard to get hold of and can be expensive. In desperation, I took to Twitter to ask a few companies for help. Thankfully TOTM replied and about a week later I kindly received a care package in the post.

People underestimate how stressful periods can be, TOTM saved me out here.


Saved by the cup

People underestimate how stressful periods can be, TOTM saved me out here.

I had never used a cup before, but luckily the instructions were pretty simple. I’d read that other people had found it easy to put into place, but truthfully it took me a few attempts to get the hang of it. My advice is definitely stick with it even if you don’t manage to do it perfectly the first few times. When it works it’s incredible!

I’m a personal trainer and my period is the last thing I want to think about when I’m teaching a class or in the gym. To top it off, China doesn’t have very many sitting toilets. When I’m in class, the closest toilets are squat toilets and I’m telling you it is not easy to sort yourself out in there. Squat toilets should be an Olympic sport because the amount of concentration and practice it requires is ridiculous. You have to keep your balance, so you don’t step in the bowl and you have to keep your clothes and your shoes dry. Adding periods and tampons to that mix is just a recipe for disaster so it’s great that the cup can hold more blood than a tampon and I can change it when I get home.


I’m a converted menstrual cup user

The cup is so soft and easy to fold, and once it’s in place, you barely notice it’s there. I previously thought it would be messy to remove, empty and to reinsert but it’s very contained and tidy. There’s the added bonus of not having to panic when you realise there’s no bin in the bathroom to dispose of used tampons and pads. Not only that, but it’s better for the environment because there’s no waste. All of these products are cruelty-free as well, which is immensely important to me because I want to ensure everything I buy is responsibly sourced.

I often wear a pad during the day because it does leak sometimes but I think with practice I’m sure I can do away with any pads. I was also sent daily pantyliners which are so much softer than the ones I used to buy. When I go back to London, I will definitely be buying them regularly.

I love everything that TOTM stands for and I think having conversations about menstruation is very important!”

Thanks to Meera for writing this cup switch story for us! For more menstrual cup switch stories, check out this blog by TOTM customer Donna.

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