While reusable menstrual cups have been on the market for some time, convincing those who have spent most of their lives utilising tampons and sanitary pads has proved to be challenging. Though they’re healthier and eco-friendly, the prospects of messiness and insertion or removal issues are enough to put many off. An Industrial Design graduate from Northumbria University in Newcastle, Ailsa Inglis, may have developed a solution to this quandary.
Called Nixie Girl, Inglis’ product aims to make menstrual cups more appealing to a younger market in the hopes that it will motivate a lifetime of use. She is also seeking to remove some of the stigma that hounds products of this nature as well as the embarrassment that surrounds the healthy and natural process of menstruation.
"Since the average woman uses nearly 11,400 tampons or pads in her lifetime, isn't it time as a generation we start to consider what's in these products?” Inglis pondered in an interview with Dezeen. “And, are other options like menstrual cups better for future generations if we spent a bit more time on designing for the user experience?"
While she’s cognisant of the media's grip on the female hygiene industry and how this influences society today, Inglis also believes that industrial designers have the power to endorse a cultural shift regarding the perception of periods. For this reason, she’s adjusted the design of the traditional cup to make it more appealing to a wider range of people who menstruate.
Made out of a flexible silicone, Nixie Girl’s design includes a curved higher back lip for a greater degree of comfort and support against the cervix. There is also a visible groove to show the user the best spot to bend it for insertion. A silicone string attached to the end for easy removal should also ease first-time users fears of the cup getting ‘stuck’.
Also considered in the redesign was the product’s packaging, which Inglis developed as a hard case with two different sections – one for a used cup and one for a clean one. Nixie Girl even comes with a sterilisation product that steams the cup using a shot of water, rendering it ready to use in a mere eight minutes.
To view Inglis’ full portfolio and see more of her work, visit her Linkedin page.