Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cups, Pads, and Girls in Uganda

by Dr. Margaret Aranda

Although the menstrual cups seem to be newly promoted, it is interesting that they were first marketed in 1937.  And to think that the companies that invested in selling them all failed. In the 1950’s, the menstrual cups were marketed by Tampax® as the Tassette® ( 

Today, they are making a comeback, but not just because of the eco-friendly characteristics having to do with less trash and less land fill discard. The menstrual cup (Figure 1) has advantages because it may prevent the need to change a pad or tampon more frequently, as it can hold a bit more blood than some realize. There are special cleansing solutions available for washing.

Figure 1. The Menstrual Cup.  Menstrual cups come in different shapes, sizes, and textures, and over a woman’s lifetime, they cost less than disposable options.

There is also the cloth menstrual pad, carry pouches, and cleansing solution so that eco-friendly considerations are optimized (Figure 2) with pads.

The Menstrual Pad.  Menstrual pads can also be used as incontinence pads. The soft cloth texture is combined with aesthetically pleasing color tones for added comfort. 

LunaPad is one brand of menstrual pad, out of many.  The pad is washable, and is available in different ‘flow’ strengths, from the Starter kit to the Heavy Flow kit. To add to the simplicity and portability of the concept, they also sell waterproof carry bags, pouches, and cleansing solutions. They offer the Divacup as an alternative to the tampon; as with all menstrual cups, it can be worn for 12 hours. The Lunapanties are hipsters that can help hold in the pads.  For the post-menopausal woman, the same products can be used for urinary incontinence, obviating the need to purchase disposable pads for urine leakage. A particularly nice feature of the Lunapad website is the Pads4Girls Program, which assists girls in Uganda with every donation.

It makes sense that if you live in a third world country and have your period and no pads, you will miss school (if you have a school).  In fact, if you stayed home from school every time you had a period because you were bleeding and had no pad, those missed days would add up to about 20% of your entire school year that was missed.  Missed school may lead to dropping out of school, and an incomplete education.

Studies show that Ugandan girls that drop out of school are more likely to get married, pregnant, die in childbirth, contract HIV, and earn less than girls who graduate high school. So the Pads4Girls Program sends a pad kit to a girl in Uganda. You can even register on the website to make a charitable donation to keep girls in school during their periods, and I think this is a seriously worthwhile endeavor. 


If you would like to Order Dr. Aranda's books, 


Dr. Margaret Aranda's Books:

No More Tears en Espanol
Face Book Page: Stepping from the Edge
Little Missy Two-Shoes Likes to go to School
From Menarche to Menopause: A Journey through Time

To Pre-Order the official book, No More Tears, Click Here


Age 31: The Color Blue

Additional Articles by Dr. Margaret Aranda

Medical Disclaimer: Nothing on this website is meant to diagnose, treat, or practice medicine. You must be seen in person by a physician for appropriate and individual medical treatment. If you have an emergency, call 9-1-1 in the USA.

Link Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any links that go outside of this website.

Full Disclosure: Margaret A. Ferrante, M.D.  is an Institute Physician with Cenegenics Medical Institute.  She receives no monetary compensation for hosting this website you are on, which is independent and not affiliated with Cenegenics. The information presented is for education and awareness.  Dr. Ferrante currently sees patients out of the Cenegenics office in Beverly Hills, CA. 
To book an appointment for a free Consultation, please email her at:

WITHDRAWAL OF OPIOIDS AND PAIN MANAGEMENT WITHOUT OPIOIDS By Dr Forest Tennant   We are pleased to share information from Dr. Forest Ten...