TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Around 45 billion products for menstrual period—including pads and tampons—are used by women in the world every year, then thrown in the garbage. The amount of the disposed products is 3.2 million, as the use of reusable products such as menstrual cups or reusable sanitary pads is not popular.
More than 50 percent of the world's population has periods of menstruation, but discussions on the importance of hygiene and reproductive health, plus the environmental impact of using disposable female products are lacking.
Nowadays, many countries are campaigning for Sustainable Feminine Hygiene, which is an invitation to be wiser in using female products; those that use eco-friendly materials and have lesser chemical impacts on the environment, as well as the genitalia.
The use of menstrual cups is said to have a better impact on the environment. Gynecologist Dinda Derdameisya said this trend has also begun to develop in Indonesia; with increasing awareness to use menstrual cups and reusable sanitary pads.
"However, we must also pay attention to how to clean and sterilize menstrual cups properly. Before use, wash menstrual cups thoroughly with antiseptic liquid or feminine soap," Dinda said in a press release of Mainstay Feminine Care, Tuesday, February 5, 2020.
Using menstrual cups without proper care for hygiene can lead to skin irritation. Sterilizing menstrual cups is especially important when traveling or during office hours.
"Make sure you regularly wash or replace the menstrual cup, [don’t wear it more than] 10-12 hours," Dinda said.
Reusable sanitary pads, also known as cloth pads, are more commonly used by Indonesian women. Again, it is vital to make sure that the cloth used is clean and dry.
"You have to hand-wash them using soft detergents that are safe for the skin, after that, dry it under the sun," said Dinda.
Eka Wahyu Pramita | Galuh Kurnia Ramadhani (Intern Translator)