Now, one does not have to wait to be pregnant to have the option of stem cell banking. Earlier,in chord cell therapy, the cells were obtained from the chord of the mother when the baby is delivered, thus limiting the scope of collecting stem cells. Investigations on stem cells provide vital understanding of how the healthy cells are reinstated in the place of worn-out, damaged ones in adults, leading to the option of cell-based therapy to cure various ailments.
Many organisations involved in stem cell banking research have come with the novel idea of banking menstrual blood. Studies have revealed that menstrual blood is a rich source of stem cells. The monthly cycle is the result of shedding of the endometrial lining of the uterus, which redevelops every month. In this unique way of collecting stem cells, the woman would be given a collection kit that would consist of a silicone pod and collection tubes. The blood would be processed and preserved in liquid nitrogen chambers at very low temperatures.
The silicone pod is essentially a cone shaped structure made of medical grade silicon. The sides of the pod are to be pressed together and folded into half. After holding the pod which now resembles a cup-like structure is then inserted deep into the vagina, with only the stem remaining out. The stem can be then used to pull out the pod and the liquid can be drained for stem cell cultivation.
This silicone pod is also an extremely cost-effective and convenient option for women who have the bane of buying and using monthly tampons and pads. The pod costs a merely around 20$ and can be used for 2yrs with regular cleaning, with the pack stating a use of up to 5 yrs. These soft, flexible and quite comfortable silicon cups can be inserted to hold monthly periods for a whole day, after which it can be removed washed and reused.
These cups were first patented in US in 1930, but did not manage to conjugate much popularity due to the latex or plastic make which did not go down well with quite a few women. But after the silicon cups were launched in the 1990’s, a lot of women have eventually started using them due their several advantages. These pods made of medical silicon grade are FDA-approved and high on the comfort and safety factor.