‘The Last of Us’ spotlights menstrual cups. But what are they?

‘The Last of Us’ spotlights menstrual cups. But what are they?


Menstruation is a truth of existence, but have you ever questioned how you’d deal with it in an apocalypse? The good news is for us, the hit HBO present “The Final of Us” has the answer: a menstrual cup.

In the most recent episode, “Kin,” Pedro Pascal’s character, Joel, is reunited with his brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna), with teenager Ellie – performed by Bella Ramsey – in tow. Joel and Ellie shell out some time with Tommy and his lover Maria (Rutina Wesley), who lays out important supplies for any zombie-dodging female – clothing and a menstrual cup. (HBO, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.)

Just like a tampon, a menstrual cup is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. But instead than absorbing the blood like a tampon, the clinical-grade-silicone cup collects it. The cup types a seal all-around the cervix to prevent leakage, Gareth Nye, senior lecturer in physiology and maternal wellness expert at Chester Health care School in England, told CNN on Monday.

A cup can go for up to 12 hours before needing to be emptied.

The cup has a stem underneath that can help with insertion and elimination. When it is whole, it can be emptied specifically into the bathroom. The cup is then rinsed or wiped with bathroom paper prior to being reinserted. It ought to be provided a deeper clean up among periods.

A menstrual cup can go up to 12 hours prior to becoming emptied (depending on how significant the menstrual circulation is and the variety of cup) and can last up to 10 years. Nye suggests this would make it a better alternative from the two an environmental and a fiscal position of look at.

Menstrual cups are not a new invention – in simple fact, they have been all-around since the 1930s.

But a 2019 examination revealed in the professional medical journal The Lancet Community Overall health uncovered that that only 30{35112b74ca1a6bc4decb6697edde3f9edcc1b44915f2ccb9995df8df6b4364bc} of the observed 69 international sites supplying resources on puberty stated them a an selection.

“It’s a lack of instruction,” explained Dr. Shirin Lakhani, a previous normal practitioner, now a cosmetic medical professional and women’s sexual overall health expert dependent in Kent, southeast England.

Speaking to CNN on Monday, Lakhani claimed we belong to a “throwaway culture,” exactly where if a thing like a sanitary product or service is reusable, it isn’t regarded as hygienic.

“I consider more instruction is wanted all-around that in schools” on their added benefits and how to use them, she additional.

Nye acknowledged that there were being some downsides to employing a cup, these as the “steep” learning curve on figuring out the “right in good shape,” the prospective messiness, and squeamishness about dealing with blood. But there is also still a “taboo” that can make it challenging to focus on different merchandise.

“When you discuss about women’s health, it is all the stigma linked with it – you are taught to be embarrassed,” Lakhani discussed.

The informal reference to menstruation in a strike present like “The Previous of Us” is a phase to breaking this “taboo” about talking about the month-to-month cycle knowledgeable by 1.8 billion women, a lot more than a fifth of the world’s population.

Recalling how at high university she would sneak a tampon or pad up her sleeve to steer clear of it becoming noticed, Lakhani claimed “increasing recognition opens up the conversation” about durations and the alternative sanitary solutions out there.

It can also aid men and women this kind of as solitary dads, who will need to know how to help their daughters when they start out to have durations, she included.

In accordance to the 2019 evaluation, menstrual cups are protected and powerful, as well as presenting a lower-expense and source-saving remedy.

Penelope Phillips-Howard, a professor of public health and fitness epidemiology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medication who was the senior author of the investigation, told CNN that menstrual cups can be part of a broader resolution.

“In any impoverished established of conditions be it in Liverpool, or London, or anyplace in reduced-center-revenue countries, people truly struggle – females and girls really struggle to be able to take care of their menstruation,” she claimed.

In a planet shifting increasingly away from solitary-use products and solutions, menstrual cups could make a significant distinction.