ジャねこ] (theinfamousj) wrote,

For those who Menstruate or Love Someone who Does

Those who know me in person know that I am not at all shy about discussing bodily functions. As such, I have a surprise for everyone: I menstruate. ('Cause I'm a girl, 'n all.)

So I would now like to alienate all of my new readers have a frank conversation with all other menstruating folks and/or folks who love menstruating folks about the best kept secret in the whole world:

Menstrual Cups! Say what?

A menstrual cup is an insertable. A tampon is an insertable. A sanitary napkin is not an insertable. But a menstrual cup is not like a tampon. A tampon absorbs, gets full, leaks when full, and gives you Toxic Shock Syndrome.


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A menstrual cup is more like a dam to a river. It doesn't absorb anything. It holds back all the watery blue fluid goodness from one's period in the place where it originates, allowing you to let it flow into the toilet whenever is convenient to you. It will "get full", but has a much larger time span to fullness. It can hold more than an Ultra absorbency tampon, all without the TSS risk.

Oh yeah, and you only need one for your entire lifetime.


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They run around $30 to $40 new-from-manufacturer, which is equivalent to 3-4 months of tampons. Except it lasts until menopause. So it is a larger outlay, initially, but will save you HUNDREDS of dollars in disposable menstrual products in the long run.

Is it any surprise that the big-dogs of advertising (Always, Kotex, et al) don't want you to know they exist?

Since stores can only make the sale once
(unless your toddler takes a pair of scissors to your cup { happened }, or a dog you are house sitting for chews it up { happened }, or you accidentally set fire to your cup to see if it is flame retardant { happened; it is not }),
is it any surprise that they don't devote shelf space to menstrual cups
(though Trader Joe's sells them, CVS sells the Instead brand, and Whole Foods sells them),
but instead devote shelf space to higher grossing disposables?

For that matter, stores don't devote shelf space to reusable diapers, either.

Just because they aren't more in the public eye, doesn't mean that the FDA (and the Canadian version of the FDA, and the European versions of the FDA) don't regulate the heck out of these products. They are real. They are out there. They just aren't terribly profitable for our "Designed for the Dump" economy.


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There is a decent-sized learning curve associated with using a cup, but once you get over it, you will never go back to anything else. My learning curve lasted two cycles, because I didn't have anyone to talk to about it. My roommate's learning curve lasted less than once cycle because she was able to rely on me and this fantastic community (menstrual_cups), which has appeared sometime in the 6 years I have been with my cup.

Yes, that's right. 6 years. One time payment of $30.

And with this community (mc_sales), there are occasional $20shipped cooperative bulk-buys (because buying in bulk helps drive the price down) on a brand new cup.

Cups now come in more colors, shapes, sizes, styles, and materials than they did when I was first starting out.

But there is a caveat. They force you to get to know your girlie bits. Yes, you have to touch down there to insert and remove. But it is pretty much like using a non-applicator tampon.

For being adventurous, you get all this: a shark week where you are able to wear white leggings to yoga, no matter what the position your teacher twists you into. The ability to have sex without leaving a mess on your partner. A lessening of cramps. A shortening of Aunt Flo's visit. Less money out of pocket. Easier packing/more space in your backpack. And less environmental impact.

What can you do with the tampons you no longer need? I've heard that they burn well, too!

More Reading
Menstrual Cup Comparison Blog
menstrual_cups -- The motherloade of information.
Positive Testimonials

People I Have Introduced To Cups, Who Now Use Them
kazeldya8
My Roommie
My Roommie's Friend
Margaux
Mom (menopause)

People I Have Introduced to Cups, Who Do Not Use Them
NO ONE
... just saying


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Tags: frugal, hiking, travel
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