April 28, 2024 2 min read

About Asan

We asked Ira Guha, Founder of Asan, to answer a few questions about her innovative menstrual cup design.

Asan is a social enterprise working to eradicate period poverty across the world. We designed and patented an innovative menstrual cup that can be re-used safely for 10 up to 10 years. It is an extremely affordable, comfortable and sustainable period solution, particularly for women in rural areas.

Tell us about what you've learned about period management in the settings where you work?

Asan works in both rural and urban settings. We see different challenges associated with period management in these settings.

In urban areas, over 90% of women tend to use disposable period products such as tampons and pads, which contribute to an enormous plastic waste crisis. As these products are non-biodegradable, they are either sent to landfill or incinerated. In countries such as India, waste-pickers have to physically pick apart soiled pads.

In rural settings, there are different challenges – such as a lack of access to safe period products and toilets, as well as poor levels of education around menstrual health.

Most women in rural areas rely on old rags or poor quality pads. These products are uncomfortable and tend to leak – which prevents women and girls from participating in essential daily activities, such as going to school and work. Some villages also lack access to clean water and toilets, which makes changing and cleaning period products an immense challenge.

Finally, poor levels of education about menstrual health lead to the perpetuation of taboos around periods – for example, that women can’t cook or enter certain spaces when they are menstruating.

What is a common misconception about period management?

A common misconception (that we come across a lot at Asan!) is the idea that rural women and girls will not use insertable period products such as menstrual cups.

Our experience suggests that this cannot be further from the truth. We have worked with over 30,000 women in rural India and Africa, who have been extremely open to trying our insertable menstrual cup. This is because it is an efficient and affordable period management option, and women are quick to realise the benefits of a product that is reusable for 10 years.

What is unique about the Asan cup?

The Asan cup is a patented menstrual cup with a unique removal ring, which makes it the easiest cup to insert and take out. The bell-shaped design ensures that the cup sits comfortably, and the red colour of the cup prevents it from staining over time. 

Finally, unlike other period cups, Asan’s sizing is based purely on flow – we have one cup size for light or moderate flow, and another cup size for heavy flow. This makes it simple for users from all backgrounds to easily understand our size guide and choose the best cup for their flow.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in The Maternova Blog

Benefits of intravenous iron to treat anemia in pregnancy
Benefits of intravenous iron to treat anemia in pregnancy

March 19, 2024 5 min read

Read More
A Point of Care Bilirubinometer Using Blood: BiliDx
A Point of Care Bilirubinometer Using Blood: BiliDx

January 16, 2024 2 min read

The BiliDx is a novel system for diagnosing jaundice.  The device uniquely meets the Target Product Profile (TPP) developed as part of the NEST 360 initiative in that it allows blood-based testing at the bedside.   This initiative is part of an emerging global consensus in the Every Newborn Action Plan that countries need functional WHO level-2 inpatient units to care for "small and sick newborns." 
Read More
NASG as a life-saving medical device to stabilize women with postpartum hemorrhage
Clinical Indications for Applying (and Removing) the NASG: Rule of 20

January 15, 2024 2 min read

The garment must be removed upon reaching hemodynamic stability for at least two hours, where it is evident:

  • Blood loss less than 50 mL/hour
  • Pulse less than 100 beats per minute
Read More