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For the Ladies: Menstrual Cups

aussiegirl

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  • Added on: June 16th, 2010
To the guys: TMI warning, bodily fluids of the feminine variety.


I'm pretty sure this was one of the first forums I ever saw them mentioned and at the time I was horrified. I can't see a recent thread on it here or in the Health forum (If this is the wrong place to post it, please move it) but I've been converted since then. I received my cup on Tuesday and I'm so excited. Haven't had a 'real' try with it yet when I'm actually on my period but my practice runs leave me full of hope! I've been chatting to some ladies who use it and I fully believe now that this will really REALLY help me with travel in the future. It was one of the things that really put me off going anywhere for too long (or mistimed, hard to predict in advance sometimes) or too far away from modern civilisation. Even thoughts of places like China I was freaking out.


So. What is it? It's a little cup made of medical grade silicone (flexible). You put it inside yourself and it creates a suction seal (it doesn't actually pull on you unless you pull on the cup, removing it incorrectly), and collects the blood. It's reusable. You just tip the blood into the toilet, rinse it out in a (private) sink or with your drink bottle, or wipe it out if you're not in a place where you trust the water/have water, and reinsert. It can be kept in for 12 hours. No more worrying about toilets! No more rushing off every hour on road trips! And you can swim with it in, be seen NAKED with it in (massages anyone? Skinny dipping?), and no one can tell the difference from all accounts I've heard.
It's got a bit of a learning curve to learn how to use it but it seems fantastic. You are not creating waste, you don't need to lug around a bunch of packs of pads or tampons, or crossing your fingers you can find some in the place you're staying at. No more worries about leaking on beds that aren't yours (the time I was in a hotel in Queensland was horrific. I was sharing a room with my brother and he was getting really pissed off that I kept getting up in the night just to make sure I wouldn't leak) You can go camping with it, backpacking, swimming, all sorts.

Plus, the health benefits include: it doesn't suck up your own moisture, so no more painful tampon removals/insertions. There are no chemicals on delicate parts. Many women have reported it lessens their period pain.

There are a bunch of different sizes depending on your tastes (slightly different functions and looks), cervix height, status (if you have children, if you are a virgin), and some are even in pretty colours.

I know I sound like a big ad here but I'm really REALLY hyped up about this, and it's really opening doors in my mind to do with travel. When I went to Europe last I just stacked the pill and I'd not been on the pill before (I don't think I ever want to be again) and I had permanent pms. This would be a much better solution.
http://www.notebookinhand.com - for writers, artists, musicians and actors.

blueberrypicker

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  • Added on: July 12th, 2010
I bought the Diva cup last year and it did not work for me at all, after several tries. I'd love to return it to get my $30 back, but you can't return stuff like that because, well, it's gross, and they don't accept returns. I believe it does work for some women because I have seen glowing reports here and there (you can google it to find forums that discuss it at length). Basically, it was difficult to insert, uncomfortable once positioned, and didn't protect from leaks.

Anyway, just wanted to put in my two cents because I also was looking forward to traveling with it, but alas, no dice. Maybe my anatomy is weird. Good luck to all who try it.

aussiegirl

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  • Added on: July 14th, 2010
There is a learning curve and it often takes women a few months to 'get it', or, your anatomy might be too short for the diva. There are many brands and you have to get the one and style that works for you.
Google menstrual_cup , Livejournal, to find a community that will help you out with it, and also if you want to boil it and send it off, will buy it from you second hand if you decide not to give it another go after hearing their great advice/if your anatomy really isn't right for the brand you have or for cups in general. Lots of people buy second hand, doesn't seem to bother them much.
http://www.notebookinhand.com - for writers, artists, musicians and actors.

blueberrypicker

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  • Added on: July 16th, 2010
Thanks for the tip about livejournal aussiegirl...I might try that.

aussiegirl

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  • Added on: July 18th, 2010
That's great, hope I've helped! :)
http://www.notebookinhand.com - for writers, artists, musicians and actors.

janetlynne

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  • Added on: July 26th, 2010
I've had one for a few years and it's good. I still have to carry around a few supplies, but not a ton like I did before. I did have to cut the end off mine, it was a bit too long and was poking me.

kettricken

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  • Added on: August 2nd, 2010
I've got one and while it did take a little getting used to (thankfully I got it about 6 months before my trip), it is a godsend! I'm 17 months on the road now and have absolutely no regrets. Most places I've been, tampons seem quite difficult to find, but I don't have to worry about that. I packed 6 tampons 'just in case' and they are all still in my toiletries bag, wasting space! One tip... I have found that the disposable toothbrushes you get even in some budget accomm, are handy for giving it a good scrub. And yep, I snipped the end off of mine as it was initially too long.

Highly recommended!

seano

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  • Added on: October 8th, 2010
A friend I traveled with lived by her Mooncup:
http://www.mooncup.co.uk/
--
Sean

purplepixie

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  • Added on: October 11th, 2010
Another vote for the mooncup; I've had mine 2 years and its fantastic whilst travelling and when settled somewhere. I rave about it to other female travellers when they are bemoaning lack of supplies! I scuba dive and swim in it no problem, it's just brilliant.

skygirl

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  • Added on: March 3rd, 2011
I don't know how women manage without them. After nearly ten years on the road, some years teaching diving (on those boats with nowhere to put rubbish, damn it), horseriding, yoga and crazy hippy naked adventures, I couldn't imagine not having one. I've been using my keeper (http://www.thekeeper.com/) for ten years, and it's still going strong. I like that the keeper is made from natural rubber. My only complaint is that I may have to buy a silicon version before my next move to Africa, so I can boil it which makes it easier to clean. They're also safer than tampons as there is no bleach or toxic shock issues involved. And you don't clog up (especially developing) countries with tampons which are a health hazard for the people who have to burn or bury them.

I wear mine for the whole time I bleed, but on my first day I also add some cloth pads (there's hundreds of these brands online or you can make you own) then rinse them in the shower, hang them in the sun til the end of my period and stick them through the washing machine. They are clean, soft, smell great and never stain. It's saved hundreds of kilos of plastic-biological waste combinations (the most difficult to get rid of. I could go into a rant here but I'll try not to!) They are so comfortable that when I recently had to wear a 'normal' pad for a day I thought it was sticky, uncomfortable, smelt bad and was quite revolting!

KellieB

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  • Added on: March 4th, 2011
Great info - thanks ladies!



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