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    On The #PadManChallenge: The Positives, Negatives, And The Bloody Truth

    While talking openly about periods is awesome, pads actually aren't.

    In the past two weeks, the #PadManChallenge has taken over social media, with celebs taking pictures with sanitary napkins to destigmatise their use and the conversation surrounding periods.

    It's actually kickass to see menstrual products held up and talked about openly, in a country where menstrual stigma kills women daily.

    Fact: Only 57.6% of women in India have access to sanitary napkins. They end up using twigs, leaves, and other unsanitary methods, which can lead to cervical cancer and even be fatal for some.

    And while the hashtag is definitely pushing the conversation forward, many noted that celebs were just wasting fresh sanitary napkins for a marketing gimmick.

    This is Chennai-based Sonal Jain, the cofounder of a company called Boondh, which sells a menstrual cup called the Boondh cup.

    Sonal Jain

    She, along with other women, is using the hashtag to spread the word about more environmentally friendly options for your period.

    Green The Red

    Here's the thing: Unlike pads, menstrual cups are made of medical-grade silicone and fit right inside your vaginal canal, and collect the blood that you push out of your uterus. They can be cleaned easily and used the next month again.

    It doesn't require as much changing as a pad does, and is def waaaay more environmentally friendly than a pad, which is not biodegradable. Also, the top layers of pads are made with toxic chemicals that could harm women more.

    "It infuriated me that people are offering solutions without giving it due thought and research... It's just about flaunting one's progressive thought in a circle where most people are obviously not period-shy," Jain told BuzzFeed.

    "As an individual, I can't beat the wave, so I decided to ride on it. I used the same hashtag to create awareness on sustainable options (menstrual cups and cloth pads) to manage one's periods and dismiss myths that cloth causes cancer and disposable napkins are the only ways to manage one's period," she added.

    You can buy Boondh's menstrual cup here and you can read more about using menstrual cups safely here.

    Contact Sonia Mariam Thomas at

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