Landscape analysis of menstrual cups (study by PATH)

  • Nancy
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Landscape analysis of menstrual cups (study by PATH)

Note by moderator: this post was part of this thread before: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-men...d-sanitation-systems
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Hi Madeleine,

What a great article! I've shared it through social media - such important topics, both of which need much more attention in terms of impact on each other. I'm attaching a link to PATH's WASH website where we have posted a number of outputs from our work with Vivian Hoffmann/University of Maryland and partners including SEI on menstrual management and sanitation systems. sites.path.org/water/menstrual-hygiene-m...agement-resources-2/

There are so many issues that are not often considered, as you point out. The lack of consideration for how to contain and then finally dispose of used menstrual hygiene products is one. With more women and girls using disposable pads, appropriate systems and awareness-raising will be very much needed. Reusable products offer an important option though different types of products are needed for different contexts of use and users. We've just completed a landscape of menstrual cups, of which there are many! We expect to share the findings early next year. It's fascinating to see studies showing their use and acceptability among women and adolescents in a number of low-resource settings. We are considering approaches that might address some of the barriers to use.

Best wishes,
Nancy
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  • madeleine
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Re: Menstruation management and Santiation systems

Dear Nancy ,
Lovely to hear from you again. Long time no see. I was invited to write this article and as you can see I am still concerned many issues related the menstrual management and sanitation system. I have been following your work and it is really interesting . Thanks for sharing your resources that is really a good source of information. I am looking forward to the landscape study on menstrual cups. I was very happy that other day when my daughter asked me to get her a menstrual cup. I bought here a fashionable Ruby cup and the best part of the deal was that when I purched the cup in Sweden I was also paying for a cup to school girl in Kenya. Very nice. A lot has truly advanced within this field since we had the kick off meeting in Maryland years ago and that is very satisfactory for me! Stay well and I am really happy that you got in touch. Warm regards

Madeleine Fogde
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Re: Menstruation management and Santiation systems

Dear Nancy,

Your wrote:

We've just completed a landscape of menstrual cups, of which there are many! We expect to share the findings early next year. It's fascinating to see studies showing their use and acceptability among women and adolescents in a number of low-resource settings. We are considering approaches that might address some of the barriers to use.


This sounds really interesting, please do share your findings as soon as possible here in this category on the forum.

By the way, I have in the past contributed to improving the Wikipedia article on menstrual cups:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_cup

If you have ideas on how to improve it further or know of good new, reputable references to cite, please let me know.

I've worked with Penny Philips-Howard from Liverpool Uni to improve the section on toxic shock syndrome (or lack thereof) for menstrual cups. We struggled to find decent references to underpin our statements, see here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_cup#Safety

Perhaps you can help with this? You know Wikipedia is one of the first things people turn to when looking for any information concerning the human body, health and related products...

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • Nancy
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Re: menstrual cups, MHM work at PATH

Dear Elizabeth,

Our wonderful intern, Celina Kareiva, updated the menstrual cup wikipedia page last month /https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_cup). She is the lead author on a paper we’ve submitted for publication on the landscape of menstrual cups PATH completed last year so has her hands on a lot of related literature. She added a few references to the "Acceptability studies" and "Developing countries" sections and made the following small tweaks for clarity and accuracy:
  • "However some women do experience leakage due to the location of their cervix." TO "However some women do experience leakage due to the improper use or size of their menstrual cups."
  • "Most menstrual cups are now manufactured from medical silicone because of its durability and hypoallergenic properties. The German brand MeLuna is the only company to manufacture their cup out of TPE (thermoplastic elastomer)." TO "Most menstrual cups are now manufactured from medical grade silicone because of its durability and hypoallergenic properties, though there are also brands made of TPE (thermoplastic elastomer)."
  • Under "Potential drawbacks" she clarified the sentence: "Whilst menstrual cups can also be used by females in developing countries, a lack of clean water and soap for handwashing before inserting the cup can be a problem, especially in rural areas.” TO “Insertion requires diligent washing of the cup and hands so as not to introduce new bacteria into the vagina, which may heighten the risk of UTIs and other infections."
  • She also added an extra sentence under "Cleaning methods" to explain that recommendations vary by MC.
Penny Phillips-Howard has done such in-depth research on menstrual cups – it will be great to see her additions, too.

Once we have our paper published, we would be happy to share it. We are putting together a summary which we should also be able to share.

Our Reproductive Health group puts out an annual publication, called Outlook, aimed at audiences in low-resource settings. This year’s issue is on menstrual health as a cross-cutting issue with many links to reproductive health. It will be issued in February – we can provide a link to it then.

All the best,
Nancy
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