NECESSITY is the mother of invention, so goes the adage and women, mostly from underprivileged backgrounds will welcome the arrival of butterfly cups or menstrual cups in Zimbabwe.
These cups are feminine hygiene products inserted into privates during menstruation. The cupa��s purpose is to prevent menstrual blood from leaking onto clothes.
The cups are usually made of flexible medical grade siliconeA� and shaped like a bell with a stem.
The cups can be used over a period of 10 years and already, their success has been realised in countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa.
The Butterfly Cup Company a�� now in Zimbabwe through its Director Ernestine Paterson said they seek to improve womena��s quality of life.
a�?By introducing this product we are increasing the quality of life and well-being of all women. We want to create a happier, healthier, more productive female society that will, in turn, positively impact on the success and prosperity of the country.
Ita��s safe, affordable, discreet and comfortable. It prevents menstrual odour and may reduce period pain,a�? he said.
Comparing The Butterfly Menstrual Cup to other sanitary wear, she revealed that it beats them all as it is environmentally friendly, good for health and a cheaper alternative to monthly disposables.
a�?One cup is reusable for up to 10 years, it does not add to landfill and is simple to maintain as it only requires a minimal amount of water to clean.
a�?The Butterfly cup keeps the natural PH value of the body and can help to reduce infections such as HIV/ Aids and the risk of cervical cancer,a�? said Paterson.
Menstrual cups relieve the financial burden of menstruation. Without having to budget for sanitary pads each month, women are better able to provide for themselves and their families.
a�?The cup is inserted into the vagina to collect, rather than absorb menstrual fluid. Unlike tampons and pads that contain harmful bleaches and chemicals, menstrual cups have no negative side effects on a womana��s body.
a�?The cups provide 12 hours of comfortable, leak-free protection making your period simple and hassle-free,a�? she said.
The Butterfly Cup costs $10 and is now readily available in pharmacies.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care carried out their tests on The Butterfly Cup and it was approved. Its license from the Ministry reads,
a�?The Ministry of Health and Child Care is in full support of the re-usable menstrual Cup. This device has the potential to greatly alleviate the plight of women of all ages.a�?
The Head of Training and Education at The Butterfly Cup Company Nobuhle Shumba revealed that they have been getting positive comments from women and girls who are using the cups.
a�?We are getting overwhelming response from The Butterfly cup users. At first they were afraid to use it only to discover that its user friendly and comfortable.
a�?We are also pushing this campaign to schools because that will mean the schoolgirls will comfortably participate in school activities and wona��t be afraid of staining which makes others mock at them,a�? said Shumba.
A Bulawayo gynaecologist said it is important for girls and women to use menstrual cups as they have been proven to be safe.
a�?Menstrual Cups have proven to be safe, therefore women and girls must stop improvising by using methods which lead to irritations and long lasting reproductive health issues,a�? she said.
The first menstrual cup was created in 1937 by a born American and it became popular in developed countries in 1987. There are 100a��s of cups all over the world with different names and it is becoming a very popular method to manage the womena��s monthly a�?diseasea�?.