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Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! (karma: 21)  en>fr fr>en
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7167, member since Wed Sep 22, 2004
On Thu Aug 03, 2006 01:48 PM
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2006-08-03 13:50:14 fixing markups
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2006-08-03 13:55:21 fix more markups....you may have to click on a few links to see pictures...sorry!
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2006-08-03 14:17:08 added a statement
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2006-10-08 23:16:47 added other folding methods
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2007-07-06 10:18:55 Anywhere you see an * please read the note section at the bottom of the post.
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2007-07-06 10:37:35 fixed to make this look a little bit better
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2007-07-06 11:40:03 added some pattern pages
Bumped by hylndlas (107168) on 2007-12-06 18:50:12
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2008-10-22 20:12:17 link not working anymore. :(
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2008-10-22 20:21:27 .

Ok so I know what some of you are thinkingÂ….Reusable products??? Period??? ThatÂ’s gross!! NO itÂ’s not. Blood is NATURAL!! :) ItÂ’s part of who we are as woman!! You donÂ’t have to throw a party when Aunt Flow comes to town but you can (potentially) make it less of a pain. Pardon the pun.


A list of reusable products!

:)

Washable Menstrual pads:

Image hotlink - 'http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/Images/gladrags.gif'

Have been around for Centuries….in fact it wasn’t until the 1940’s or so that disposable pads took off. Before than woman would just throw there “rags” into the wash and re use them. This is believed to be where the term on the rag came from.

The styles of modern pads veryÂ….but they usually consist of a liner (or two) and some way to hold the pad in place. Some pads use the wing system with either Velcro or snapsÂ….you simply tuck the liners in the pad between the wings and snap it into placeÂ…and presto your all set and ready to go. Depending on how you wash and care for the pads, a reusable menstrual pad can last you anywhere from 3 to 10 years. Prices for the pads can vary (from approximately $12 to $20) depending on the brand and size of pad you select.


Menstrual cups: These include The Keeper,*The Moon Cup (the keeper's version of the diva, it should say made in the USA on the inner rim)*The Diva, *The Moon Cup(the UK company-found at Boot's Pharmacy)*, Lunette and Instead.

*See note at bottom of thread.

Image hotlink - 'http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/Images/keeper.gif'
Image hotlink - 'http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/Images/divacup.gif'

Worn internally, a menstrual cup has a bell shape with a stem at the bottom that you use to pull the cup out. Measuring about two inches across, the opening of the cup forms a seal with your vaginal wall, allowing the cup to catch your menstrual flow. If you are allergic to latex IÂ’d suggest purchasing a Diva as it is made out of medical grade silicone.


Although their large size can seem rather intimidating, menstrual cups are quite flexible therefore allowing you to bend and fold it when you insert it. On average, a menstrual cup can hold about one ounce of blood. You should empty the cup every 6 to 12 hours but be aware that it can be tricky to remove the cup without spilling when you first start using it. A menstrual cup will cost between $30 and $40 but can last for up to 10 years.

ThatÂ’s 10 years without having to buy a tampon! (wow)

Image hotlink - 'http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/Images/instead.gif'

The instead cup is very similar to the keeper however it is designed to fit right up against your cervix and is only designed for a one time use. (Some woman will re-use it although this isnÂ’t recommended.) You can also have intercourse while wearing the insteadÂ…however some woman (like myself) that are small may have problems due to the insteads one size fits all design.

en.wikipedia.org . . .

Where the cup should sit.

en.wikipedia.org . . .

Where the instead should sit.


No reported cases of toxic shock syndrome have been attributed to the use of menstrual cups, nor have any other health risks. Note, however, that due to varying popularity, numbers of cases are not directly comparable between different products, and no option is guaranteed to be perfectly safe. en.wikipedia.org . . .

en.wikipedia.org . . .
This is what the cup should look like when you go to insert it.(This is the method I use...in all there are about 7 differant ways to fold a cup)
1) Fold the cup in half. (They are very flexible)
2) Fold that half in half and viola! Your ready to insert!


Here are some other folding methods that might work better for you.

community.livejournal.com . . .


Sea Sponges:
Image hotlink - 'http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/Images/seasponge.jpg'

Natural sea sponges work exactly like a tampon. They are worn internally, held in place by your vaginal muscles, and absorb your menstrual flow. Similar to tampons, they do need to be changed every few hours. However, unlike a tampon, you do not throw the sponge away. Instead, you either insert another dry sponge or rinse the one you were wearing and then reinsert it. Sea sponges do not have an applicator; instead you use your finger to insert the sponge.
Although silk sea sponges are harvested, they are done so in a sustainable and responsible fashion. The sponges are completely natural and biodegradable. They are not treated with any chemicals or bleach, so you will need to boil your sea sponge before you use it the first time. A package of 2 sea sponges will cost between $7 and $12 and can be reused for up to 8 months.
www.epigee.org . . .





Common myths about Alternative Menstrual products.




But itÂ’s so unsanitary!! Actually NO it isnÂ’t and it some ways it better for you.

Think about itÂ….you wash your underwear right? (Or at least I hope you do!? Lol :) )
You donÂ’t boil it to clean it do you??? Nope just throw it in the wash!! So why do we associate sanitary napkins as being sanitary?
Same reason that toilet paper is white, because it has become normal. ThereÂ’s a complex historical argument behind this, but basically somewhere after the second world war, white became a symbol of sanitation. In actual fact, the tampon and disposable pad industry operates under no regulations that ensure sanitation and they arenÂ’tÂ’ t really all that sanitary. TheyÂ’re just white.
www.scarleteen.com . . .
Toxic chemicals like dioxins are used in the bleaching process as well as materials such as rayon that can cause peeling of the mucous membrane. (ouch!)

In fact some woman like myself have noticed less painful periods and less bleeding since switching over. I used to get killer crampsÂ…..but since the switch I donÂ’t!

This is just some new age hippy thing!

NoÂ….In factÂ…
Through the ages women have used different forms of menstrual protection. The Museum of menstruation has articles and photos of some early forms of menstrual protection. Including among other things, knitted pads, and menstrual aprons. Women often used strips of folded old cloth (rags) to catch their menstrual blood, which is why the term "rags" was used to refer to menstruation. Until disposable sanitary pads were created, all women used some form of cloth or reusable pad to collect menstrual blood. Even after they were commercially available, for several years they were too expensive for many women to afford. It took many years for disposable menstrual pads to become commonplace, but since then in most areas of the industrialized world, their use became almost exclusive.
Cloth menstrual pads made a comeback around the 1970s, with their popularity increasing in the late nineties and early 90's.
en.wikipedia.org . . .

ItÂ’s such a pain to wash them! I like being able to just throw it out and forget about it!

You still can buy products that are chemical free that you can throw out such as organic tampons and pads (found at most health food stores-some grocery stores have started to carry them as well)Â….but why waste all that money and why contribute to the landfill??

Think about it….a reusable cup or pad SAVES you in the long run! You also don’t have to run to the store in the middle of the night to get “tampons”. You always have them!


Here are some more links to help.

www.youngwomenshealth.org . . .
• The DivaCup divacup.com
• The Keeper thekeeperinc.com
• Instead softcup.com
• The Mooncup mooncup.co.uk
• Lunette lunette.fi
• Menstrual Cups and Natural Menstrual Products lunapads.com
• Sea Sponge Tampons, Cloth Pads, and Menstrual Cups gladrags.com

manymoonsalternatives.com . . .- for those of you that are handy and can sew manymoons have pad patterns that you can copy from to make your own!
www.sleepingbaby.net . . .
www.labyrinth.net.au . . .
www.borntolove.com . . .
shewhorunsintheforest.googlepages.com
hillbillyhousewife.com . . .
other great pattern sites!



Hope this article helps! IÂ’ll edit as I need toÂ….please if you see something that needs tweaking let me know! :)









*Just to clear something up.

There are now 2 silicone menstrual cups called a "Mooncup". One (the original, made in 2000) is made in the UK and is called "Mooncup". The second is a new cup (2006) brought out by The Keeper Inc, is made in America and goes by the names "Mooncup" and "Moon Cup" (depending on which website you visit).

liadan.bravehost.com . . .
www.labyrinth.net.au . . .

If you are purchasing a Moon Cup- PLEASE BE VERY MINDFUL of where you are buying it from.

What can you do?

If you've purchased the "wrong" cup
If you have mistakenly purchased a US Moon Cup, when you believed that you were purchasing a UK Mooncup, then you have a few options. The US Moon Cup has a 3 month return policy, so you can return it for a refund. If the seller made the product misleading, then you usually have the right to complain. Ebay should have a system where you can report misleading sellers.

To ensure you purchase the "right" cup

* If you wish to purchase the Original UK Mooncup, it is probably best to do so from their official site (www.mooncup.co.uk) so that you can be 100% sure that is what you are getting.
* If you wish to purchase one of these cups from a website other than their official websites (at places such as ebay), be sure to read everything you can, to ensure that the product they are selling is the one you want. As the USA Moon Cup is being sold using both the "Moon Cup" and "Mooncup" names, you may need to look at more than just the name.
* You can look at the image of the US Moon Cup (this) and the UK Mooncup (this) as a reference to check which cup it is you are buying. Look also at the pouch/bag they come in. Mooncup (UK) uses a natural cotton coloured bag with blue writing and their logo (a sort of U shape with a ball in it).*
* Generally if the store also sells the rubber Keeper, then the silicone Moon Cup/Mooncup is probably the USA Moon Cup (but that may not always be true)
* If you are not sure which cup a seller is selling, ask them. But be aware that some sellers may not be aware that there are 2 products with the same name. They should be able to tell you details about the cup that will answer your question as to which cup it is.
* If they are an English store (Websites will generally end in .co.uk instead of .com), chances are its the UK Mooncup, If it is a US store, chances are it is the US Moon Cup.

*Please note the pouches are generally made from different fabrics and may change between batches of cups, so look at the cup not fabric used on the pouch if you want to be actually certain which one the cup is.
liadan.bravehost.com . . .

181 Replies to Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment!

re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 25788, member since Tue Jul 16, 2002
On Thu Aug 03, 2006 03:35 PM
Great thread! I only have 4 periods a year and they're very light, so I don't know if I'm quite comfortable making the switch. I'd be willing to give the cup a go except that I live in a dorm and if I spilled in the communal bathroom, that would be a nightmare!
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By abbymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2717, member since Fri Oct 04, 2002
On Thu Aug 03, 2006 08:43 PM
Edited by dizzydancer218 (43143) on 2006-08-03 20:44:11 i can't type
Thank you for posting this. I switched to the diva cup about a year ago, and I love it. It feels good to do something not only for myself, but for the evironment.

`abby
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By Tashimember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 1224, member since Tue Jan 03, 2006
On Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:43 AM
Scenario: I go shopping for the day with a few girlfriends, while having a heavy flow. So I go check up on myself and find that the cup is full. I just walk out of the cubicle to the sinks where there is like 10 women standing there watching me empty my cup of period blood, swish it around and rinse it.

These things look great, and I would seriously look into them but how would you deal with public toilets?
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 10290, member since Mon May 06, 2002
On Fri Aug 04, 2006 01:26 AM
^ You can leave them in for longer than tampons, like 12 hours, so you can just wait till you get home/have a bit more privacy. That's one of the things I was worried about too, but the booklet I got with my Mooncup says its unlikely you'll have to empty it when you're out anyway, and if you do, wipe it with some toilet tissue and put it back in.

We'll see how it works out when I get my period in a few weeks.
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! (karma: 2)  en>fr fr>en
By Odessamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11218, member since Tue Feb 26, 2002
On Fri Aug 04, 2006 01:46 AM
Edited by Odessa (22571) on 2006-08-04 01:49:42 added a ps
Hylndlas, you're my HERO!!

I have long been an advocate of alternative menstrual products, especially since the Australian Government decided that tampons and pads were are "Luxury Item" and put a GST on them.
Fascist Pigs.

I couldn't have put all this information as eloquently as you did though. Gold stars for you!

Hope you're doing all right.

Erin.
::righteous babe::

p.s: Scarleteen rocks my socks!
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! (karma: 1)  en>fr fr>en
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7167, member since Wed Sep 22, 2004
On Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:20 AM
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2006-08-05 17:39:14 soapy not soupy doh!
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2006-08-05 17:42:01 various typos...I ran spell check on this and still missed a few
Tashi,

I understand your concerns...however.

I work in a fast paced government job where I barely have time to go to the toilet at times. So believe me I completely understand
Being skeptical.

Here is what I do.

Wash hands prior to....the cup may have ridden up a bit which means I might have to reach for the tab.

Sit on toilet....pull cup out...empty it into toilet.

If I have to pee I will go ahead and do so. Sometimes using my own urine to wash my cup. (It's sterile so why not?) Or I just wipe it out using a wad of Toilet tissue. (Some woman will even take a wet paper towel or water bottle into the toilet with them) Reinsert the cup and than before I leave I wash my hands. When I get home I always can rinse the cup better with warm soapy water.
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By NadiaLadidamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4229, member since Sun Dec 19, 2004
On Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:09 PM
Yay! Just one more reason to love the Fabulous Maggie!

Thanks for this thread, I hope tons of people read it and consider making the switch!

:D
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 10290, member since Mon May 06, 2002
On Sat Aug 05, 2006 08:40 AM
warm soupy water

Soupy water? lol.
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By Armwarmermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3105, member since Fri May 20, 2005
On Wed Aug 09, 2006 08:48 AM
That's really cool! I've seen a thread on here somewhere about this, and I must say it opens new worlds for me. I would definitely try one of the cups, but I can't even get a tampon in yet, so I'll leave it be.

Someday my tampon will go up :)

Ashley
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By sexygymgirl Comments: 21, member since Tue Aug 09, 2005
On Wed Aug 09, 2006 07:37 PM
This sounds like a great idea but I dont know how it would be wearing the same pad over and over again! To me it would smell after a while! but good thought tho!
**Lace**
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By Puss_in_Bootsmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4513, member since Mon Jun 03, 2002
On Wed Aug 09, 2006 08:16 PM
I might have to show this to Mum when I go home since she's going through a bit of an organic/natural products craze. If I had my own credit card I'd just buy some for myself and try them out, but I never ended up getting one on the holidays so I'll just have to wait.

The idea of those sits a lot better with me than what I use at the moment - and I never liked tampons anyways. I'd be delirious with excitement if I could find a nicer alternative. :D
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By ChallengeGravitymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 247, member since Fri Jul 29, 2005
On Wed Aug 09, 2006 08:42 PM
Hmm, I might try this, but how are you sopossed to carry around a cup in your purse?
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By emilytheprincess Comments: 1208, member since Thu Jan 12, 2006
On Thu Aug 10, 2006 01:11 PM
Removed by Theresa (28613) on 2006-08-10 20:03:50 double post
This is so interesting! I have NEVER seen or heard of these products until just now. One of those cups looks VERY nice instead of a ton of pads and tampons under the sink.

Only one concern, does it ever leak at all? I mean, even when I use tampons I use a pad underneath in case it leaks.

Thanks for the info! Karma!

Emily
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By emilytheprincess Comments: 1208, member since Thu Jan 12, 2006
On Thu Aug 10, 2006 01:13 PM
This is so interesting! I have NEVER seen or heard of these products until just now. One of those cups looks VERY nice instead of a ton of pads and tampons under the sink.

Only one concern, does it ever leak at all? I mean, even when I use tampons I use a pad underneath in case it leaks.

Thanks for the info! Karma!

Emily
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7167, member since Wed Sep 22, 2004
On Thu Aug 10, 2006 06:18 PM
This sounds like a great idea but I dont know how it would be wearing the same pad over and over again! To me it would smell after a while! but good thought tho!
Not if you wash them!

Seriously Gym girl....Why not you wear the same pair of underware over and over again don't you???

The pads really aren't any different.....when done wearing them you can rinse them out and throw them in a bucket to soak until wash day. Than just throw them in the wash. It's really not a big deal and they don't smell.
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2132, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Fri Aug 11, 2006 09:16 AM
Excellent information, Hylndlas. I use the Divacup and I love it. To answer Emilytheprincess' question, it doesn't leak if you insert it properly. It takes a bit of practice because it doesn't go in like a regular tampon--it sits much lower. But once you've got it, it's great. And I've never had a problem with public washrooms either--most of the time it's not necessary to empty it before I get home, but if so I just dump the contents in the toilet and wipe the cup off with some tissue.
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By puppies_flyPremium member Comments: 2809, member since Sun Jan 16, 2005
On Fri Aug 11, 2006 05:17 PM
I switched to sea sponges from tampons 2 months ago. For anyone who has trouble using tampons, try these instead because you can actually cut them to the right size if they are too large to be comfortable which wouldn't work with tampons.
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 10290, member since Mon May 06, 2002
On Sat Aug 12, 2006 09:49 AM
Ok, so I have a query - I got my period today, and thought "yay, I get to use my Mooncup". So I tried it out, trimmed the stem, like I was meant to... but its really hard to get it out. I seriously just spend abot 15 minutes in the bathroom trying to get it.

Maybe I cut the stem too short, or my nails are too long or something... but t was really hard. Does it get easier to remove with practice? Or was there something I was forgetting to do? I read the instructions over and over, and went on the website to see if I was doing something wrong, but... there was nothing.

Other than that, its really comfy though.
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7167, member since Wed Sep 22, 2004
On Sun Aug 13, 2006 09:36 AM
^Bear Down next time and try to reach up and pinch the bottom of the cup to release the suction.

You will get the hang on it....it just takes some practice and getting used to! :)
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 10290, member since Mon May 06, 2002
On Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:14 AM
Yeah... I PMed Nadine, and she told me pretty much the same thing. It worked and I guess it just gets easier with practice. I don't think I'd be able to remove it in a public bathroom yet, without people wondering whats going on. lol.

Only one concern, does it ever leak at all? I mean, even when I use tampons I use a pad underneath in case it leaks.

I have only just started using the Mooncup, I'll be honest, but I can't see how it would leak unless you didn't insert it properly. It forms a seal with suction, and there's really no way blood could leak out, as far as I can tell. I have a pretty heavy flow, and tampons often leaked. But I'd be confident to keep the Mooncup in for 8 hours on a heavy day, and not have it leak.
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6373, member since Sat May 15, 2004
On Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:23 AM
How does "absorbancy" compare with the cups? I have a mega heavy flow (Sometimes super tampons last me less than two hours). Would a cup be able to handle more blood or would I still have to change every 2-3 hours?
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7167, member since Wed Sep 22, 2004
On Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:43 AM
I have a heavy flow for a day or so normally...and on my heavy days I have to empty my cup 2-3 times in a day.

In my opinion I think the cup actually holds more than tampons.....because the cup catches the flow rather than absorbs the flow. So since the cup catches the flow naturally you may find that your flow isn't as heavy because liquid isn't being "sucked" or absorbed from your body but caught as it flows.


Does that make sense??
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By MainStreetDancer Comments: 145, member since Fri Apr 02, 2004
On Tue Aug 15, 2006 07:22 PM
I really like the idea of the cup, but someone mentioned that it sits much lower than a tampon. That sounds kind of uncomfortable to me...can you feel the cup at all? Or do you you not feel it, like a tampon? I have serious issues with anything uncomfortable "down there". That's the reason I can't stand to wear pads...or thongs for that matter.
re: Alternative Menstrual Products…be kind to yourself and to the Environment! en>fr fr>en
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7167, member since Wed Sep 22, 2004
On Tue Aug 15, 2006 07:32 PM

I really like the idea of the cup, but someone mentioned that it sits much lower than a tampon. That sounds kind of uncomfortable to me...can you feel the cup at all? Or do you you not feel it, like a tampon?


I can't feel mine at all....in fact there are times when I will "almost" forget it's there than I will remember and say to myself "Oh shoot....better check!" lol

Most of the time though It's fine and I don't have to empty it.
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