Author Topic: Menstrual Cups  (Read 51200 times)

exceljunkie

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Menstrual Cups
« on: May 23, 2014, 08:32:55 AM »
So, I'm going to go out on a limb here. I know most people don't want to talk about menstrual products but I just read MMM's blog post on his shower frequency (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/12/30/are-you-cleaning-out-your-own-wallet/), and I felt empowered to bring this up here.

I did not learn about menstrual cups till I was in college. And I only learned about it because there was an group on campus (Student Sexuality Info Service) that I was pretty much required to bring to my hall for a program when I was an RA. The cups are super comfortable, safe, no leaks ever (if used correctly), and pretty much infinitely reusable so super environmentally-friendly. The two most popular ones are the DivaCup (silicone, around $25) and the Keeper (rubber, around $20). The company that makes the Keeper seems to be shifting to silicone with their Moon Cup product. If we estimate the cost of pad/tampons at $4 per month, you get your money back within 5-6 months. I got mine for $5 because they were subsidized through the school for the program. 

Have you ever seen menstrual cups at a store? I'm pretty sure conventional stores don't sell them because it would kill their pad/tampon business. I have only seen them at super crunchy health food stores (I don't shop at whole foods, but maybe they sell them there now). If you know what to search for, they're easy to find online.

Maybe some other day I'll come back and write about cost-effective birth control. (Spoiler alert: IUDs.)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 08:37:43 AM by exceljunkie »

smalllife

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2014, 09:16:00 AM »
I've seen them at Whole Foods and a few other natural/local grocery places with a beauty section.  They only have Diva Cup and occasionally the Keeper though . . .
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MicroRN

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 11:02:48 AM »
I have a DivaCup, but I don't find it all that comfortable.  I've never liked tampons either.  I like cloth pads though.  There are the disposable cups (Instead) that I've seen at the regular stores, but I bought my DivaCup online. 

IUDs are also awesome, although I happen to have a baby courtesy of ParaGard.  Unfortunately 99.4% effective does not equal 100% effective!  I've been pretty happy with the Mirena too.  Definitely cost effective though.  I paid a $20 office visit copay for the Paragard, for something that should last at least 10 years. 

abhe8

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2014, 11:04:33 AM »
I love my diva cup. Ive had it about 8 years.

exceljunkie

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2014, 11:32:27 AM »
I have a DivaCup, but I don't find it all that comfortable.

Ok, I actually didn't really think it was comfortable when I first got it. I didn't use it for a couple of years then tried it again; it was something I really wanted to like. I don't know if I just got used to it or what, I don't even feel it anymore.

IUDs are also awesome, although I happen to have a baby courtesy of ParaGard. 

Umm... keeping my fingers crossed with my Mirena!

lsaurus

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2014, 11:36:40 AM »
I love my diva cup! I feel like a crazy cult follower because I tell all my girl friends about it.  They think it sounds awful but I was really annoyed when I started using it that nobody had told me about it.  I went 10+ years using stupid gross tampons before I found the diva cup.  I have seen them for sell at REI.

MicroRN

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2014, 11:41:28 AM »
Umm... keeping my fingers crossed with my Mirena!

It's very rare!  I still recommend IUDs all the time, because they are still more effective than just about anything else.  I have a uterine shape abnormality that likely kept the Paragard from being that effective.  I actually got pregnant with it twice in 1.5 years, one miscarriage, one term pregnancy.  The Mirena is probably better for me because the hormones make the placement less of an issue. 

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2014, 11:43:34 AM »
I used the Keeper back in the day and hated it, but I forced myself to continue using it until it got lost (no idea how it got lost). Tried sea sponges next ....issues with laughing/sneezing/ick factor in public restrooms made me give those up pretty quickly. Fast forward to last year and I decide to try the Diva Cup...Gave it 7 months, and I just don't like it. It leaks. It is awkward to insert. It sometimes hurts to remove. blah blah. Back to tampons for me.

smalllife

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2014, 11:46:26 AM »
I love my diva cup! ... I was really annoyed when I started using it that nobody had told me about it.  I went 10+ years using stupid gross tampons before I found the diva cup. 

+10  I can't believe these haven't caught on!  So much better.
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Cressida

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2014, 11:46:59 AM »
It's not uncommon to stop having periods when you're on the Mirena. (This has been true for me.) So it can be a cost savings in more ways than one, if it works for you.

LizI

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2014, 12:43:47 PM »
+1 for both cups and IUDs. For me they work especially well in tandem due to the lighter/irregular periods on the Mirena. My Mirena cost me $5, and I'm going to have my first one replaced in July. I'm trying to convince all my friends to take it up, but doctors in Australia seem a little reluctant to prescribe the Mirena to women who haven't had children yet. I had zero issues but a few of my friends have been talked out of it in favour of Implanon or the plain old boring (and expensive, and tedious) Pill.

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2014, 01:51:43 PM »
I love my Diva Cup.  I seriously wonder why no one told me about this years ago.  I bought it off of Amazon.  It does come in two sizes.  One for women who have given birth and one for those who haven't.  If one size doesn't work, some people have good results with the other.
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brycedoula

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2014, 01:59:13 PM »
Canadian response here:

I bought my first DivaCup @ London Drugs; paid about $40?? LOVED IT. Unfortunately my cat got ahold of it & chewed some holes in it (yup, he's weird like that).
I LOVE my 2nd Diva Cup. I haven't bought tampons in probably 4 years, and that's an expense I really don't miss. I don't usually have any daytime leakage issues, unless I get lazy and don't empty it as often as I should on day 1 or 2 of my cycle. So I wear a pantiliner just in case. Sometimes it will leak a bit @ night (due to cervical position and/or flow) so I'll put an old towel down to protect the sheets & mattress.

I have definitely seen them @ "crunchy" stores, but London Drugs is a pretty mainstream store up here.

It took me a few cycles to get comfortable changing it in a public washroom, but it's all good now.

However if I'm going camping or someplace where I can't wash my hands appropriately before/after I will use tampons.

Nkenga

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2014, 08:50:20 AM »
I've tried the Keeper - leaked like crazy, the Diva cup - fewer leaks, but I still had to be extremely careful, and finally (trumpets please), the Lady cup! I had to order it online, and I THINK it was about $30 bucks, but I've been using it for over 2 years and am SO glad I kept trying after two failures! And I could NEVER use tampons - I would get Toxic Shock Syndrome symptoms within 2 hours of inserting one. So I was even happier to find a menstrual cup that works for me - no more pads!

windawake

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2014, 10:59:56 AM »
I've had my DivaCup for five years now and love it. Has anyone replaced theirs from it just being old? On the website they used to say you could wait 10 years to replace it, but now it says you should replace it once a year. Mine seems to still be going strong but I'm curious when I should get a new one. Anyone else experience this?
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fallstoclimb

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2014, 09:11:03 AM »
Oh I def don't think you need to replace once a year.  That sounds like a profit-driven recommendation to me.  I've had mine for about 4 years and I love it.

For those who found it uncomfortable, you can trim down the 'stem' part and that might help. 

NumberCruncher

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2014, 09:34:37 AM »
Umm... keeping my fingers crossed with my Mirena!

It's very rare!  I still recommend IUDs all the time, because they are still more effective than just about anything else.  I have a uterine shape abnormality that likely kept the Paragard from being that effective.  I actually got pregnant with it twice in 1.5 years, one miscarriage, one term pregnancy.  The Mirena is probably better for me because the hormones make the placement less of an issue.

It may defeat the purpose of getting an IUD, but you could "double up" and have IUD + barrier protection (i.e. condom)

copper IUD - 99.4% effective
hormonal IUD (mirena) - 99.8% effective
condom - 82-98% (typical-perfect use) effective

Assuming barrier and IUD are independent: (.2%)(18%) or (.2%)(2%)
0.004%-0.036% chance of pregnancy in any given year

The effectiveness is always per year - probability of getting pregnant in, say, a 15 year window with a Mirena would be around 3% (binomial distribution). It's still the most effective measure if you only use one method, and way better than something like perfect condom use (26% chance of at least one pregnancy in 15 years with PERFECT use).

exceljunkie

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2014, 12:26:42 PM »
Umm... keeping my fingers crossed with my Mirena!

It's very rare!  I still recommend IUDs all the time, because they are still more effective than just about anything else.  I have a uterine shape abnormality that likely kept the Paragard from being that effective.  I actually got pregnant with it twice in 1.5 years, one miscarriage, one term pregnancy.  The Mirena is probably better for me because the hormones make the placement less of an issue.

It may defeat the purpose of getting an IUD, but you could "double up" and have IUD + barrier protection (i.e. condom)

copper IUD - 99.4% effective
hormonal IUD (mirena) - 99.8% effective
condom - 82-98% (typical-perfect use) effective

Assuming barrier and IUD are independent: (.2%)(18%) or (.2%)(2%)
0.004%-0.036% chance of pregnancy in any given year

The effectiveness is always per year - probability of getting pregnant in, say, a 15 year window with a Mirena would be around 3% (binomial distribution). It's still the most effective measure if you only use one method, and way better than something like perfect condom use (26% chance of at least one pregnancy in 15 years with PERFECT use).

Lol, thanks for running the numbers. I think I can live with the 3%.

frugalamber

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2014, 12:39:07 PM »
I've had my DivaCup for five years now and love it. Has anyone replaced theirs from it just being old? On the website they used to say you could wait 10 years to replace it, but now it says you should replace it once a year. Mine seems to still be going strong but I'm curious when I should get a new one. Anyone else experience this?

I just got a new one after 3 years after reading the recommendation too. My old one is also fine and completely usable but yellowed a bit. Seriously, i had such good experience with Diva cup, not sure why it is not more mainstream.
My cramps and backaches on first 2 days have reduce so much after the use of diva cup that sometimes i forget ladies still have cramps.

frogger

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2014, 06:24:44 PM »
I love mine (DivaCup) and I'll never go back to tampons/pads. I think I've used it for a little over a year, and while the learning curve was a bit steep that first cycle and the stem was pinchy until I trimmed it, it's one of the better purchases I've ever made. I use them with reusable cloth pantyliners (Party in My Pants) as backup and I only had a bad leak once--no more inversion poses in yoga on the first couple of cycle days. :P

I got mine via Amazon. Never seen them in stores, though also haven't looked.

HSLmom

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2014, 07:37:17 PM »
I love mine :) If it's uncomfortable you might want to try 'kegaling' it up there, I have to do that to get it where it should be, then it stays no problem.

I use a cloth pad as backup on heavy flow days.

ABC123

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2014, 08:04:53 PM »
I love my D C also. I wear cloth liners as backup as I do get leaks occasionally, but I also always wore a pad with a tampon as I got leaks with that so maybe I am just shaped weird. I have been using mine about 3 years. I have had it almost 5 years. Used. It one month, then got preggo sooner than planned so it got put away for a while. Most of the time I do not feel it at all. But every once in a while I just cannot get it to go in right no matter what I do, so I still keep some sposie fem prods on hand just in case.

exceljunkie

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2014, 09:21:08 PM »
Just wondering, have any of you ladies told any other friends about menstrual cups? I have a small group of friends that all know--it came up in conversation this weekend, but I'm not sure about the others. Is this something you would ever bring up?

PMG

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2014, 07:18:51 AM »
While we're on the subject...

I've used one for a while.  Still adjusting.  Skeeved out by cleaning it.  Anyone care to share their habits? During cycle and after? I have a rainbow cup and they recommend boiling it after each cycle.  Do you keep an extra kettle designated for your cup?  I keep imagining different scenarios.  "No honey, don't cook pasta in that pan.  That's what I sanitize my bloody silicone in..." 

BPA

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2014, 07:26:49 AM »
I wanted to get one, but had nearly all my cervix removed four years ago.  I've been told that it might not work for me because of that.

Has anyone had success with a cup in my situation?

Zaga

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2014, 08:24:12 AM »
I did some rather extensive research before buying a cup, because I'm a very small woman, inside and out.  I ended up getting a Lunette size small, as it was the smallest on the market in 2007.  Love it!  I've been using it since, and it's amazing!  I think it was $45 including shipping, best money I've ever spent.

Later I decided to get a backup cup, and went with a Ladycup small from France, they had a 2 pack deal going on, so my best friend and I each got one.  They worked out to $39 each including shipping.  I'm not quite as crazy about this one, it's okay and works, but it's not as great as the Lunette.  The silicon of the Ladycup is sort of slippery and hard to grip, which makes removal difficult at times.

For cleanup, at the end of each cycle I soak my cup in a 50:50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water overnight.  This bleaches out any blood stains and the cup looks new again.  I never boil them, I figure the hydrogen peroxide does a good enough job of sterilizing.  7 years and I have had no trouble with infections or anything using this method.

I do tell friends about the cup, with mixed reactions.  Some think it is the most awesome idea ever, and others are totally grossed out.  At least I try!  One friend who was totally grossed out at first *may* be coming around.  I don't bug her or anything, I only mentioned it once, but she has brought it up again as a possibility for her.  Sometimes it just takes some time to get used to the idea of something so very different from typical.

mango

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2014, 10:54:36 AM »
I bought my first cup, a DivaCup on amazon. 6 months in I accidentally dropped it in the toilet and decided to buy the Lunette cup (blue) with some Amazon credit.

I wish I had known about cups earlier in life, would have saved me so much hassle. I've brought it up to a few girlfriends and now they're considering cups. Woohoo!

edit--

I also have never boiled my cup. I take it out at the end of the day and empty it, I'm not really grossed out, its just blood. Wash with some soap and then pop it back in again in the shower. At the end of my period I just wash it again with soap/water and then I pour some alcohol over it and/or hydrogen peroxide (separately) and let it soak/sit for a minute or so. 2+ years, so far so good! Really love not having to buy pads/tampons and not having to take out the trash so often.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2014, 10:57:41 AM by mango »

exceljunkie

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2014, 09:56:55 AM »
I keep imagining different scenarios.  "No honey, don't cook pasta in that pan.  That's what I sanitize my bloody silicone in..."

Hilarious!

I do tell friends about the cup, with mixed reactions.  Some think it is the most awesome idea ever, and others are totally grossed out.  At least I try!  One friend who was totally grossed out at first *may* be coming around.  I don't bug her or anything, I only mentioned it once, but she has brought it up again as a possibility for her.  Sometimes it just takes some time to get used to the idea of something so very different from typical.

Thanks for sharing. I'm just thinking about  my off the wall reactions (I tend not to have too many filters) to my friends suggestions and how often I come around.

windawake

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2014, 08:41:43 AM »
While we're on the subject...

I've used one for a while.  Still adjusting.  Skeeved out by cleaning it.  Anyone care to share their habits? During cycle and after? I have a rainbow cup and they recommend boiling it after each cycle.  Do you keep an extra kettle designated for your cup?  I keep imagining different scenarios.  "No honey, don't cook pasta in that pan.  That's what I sanitize my bloody silicone in..."

I should probably boil mine after each cycle, but I don't. It's usually every other since I don't want my roommate to be home while I'm doing it. I boil it for the required 20 minutes in a normal pot, take it to the bathroom, put a little castile soap on a rag, and scrub it with the rag. It's the friction of the rag that really gets it clean. Before I discovered that, it was always discolored. I also use a Q-tip to clean out the stem and toothpicks to poke out any residue in those little holes around the rim. It's not perfect, since mine is kinda old, but it looks pretty damn good for a 5-year-old DivaCup once I'm done.

In light of the fact that people eat their own placenta, I think it's okay to boil a DivaCup, wash the pot thoroughly, and use it for food.
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rocksinmyhead

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2014, 09:05:09 AM »
In light of the fact that people eat their own placenta, I think it's okay to boil a DivaCup, wash the pot thoroughly, and use it for food.

ROFL!!! I'm with ya. I still wait until my boyfriend is out of the house to boil mine though... shhh he doesn't know :) Also I'm going to have to try your rag trick because I have a hard time getting rid of the discoloration on mine!

I think I've talked to friends about it, I don't really remember. My friends are a pretty open bunch. I actually heard about it initially from my fellow summer camp counselors back in the day so I'm really glad they were fine talking about it! I've definitely talked to my mom and sister about it and I think my sister might finally be ready to get on the wagon... she thought it sounded kinda gross/weird at first (as most do) but I pointed out that I actually find it less gross in a way because you don't have bloody tampons sitting around in your trash can, and you never again have to open up those nasty little boxes in public restrooms. Eeeeuuuuuggghh.

LizI

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2014, 11:20:24 AM »
In terms of cleaning, I soak my cup in a 50:50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water for an amount of time (it's clean in a matter of hours), and this brings it back to new. I have a habit of forgetting though, so I probably only get around to doing it a few times a year. Otherwise just soap and warm water at the end of each cycle before putting it away (and between emptying it).

As for telling friends, I actually bought a friend one for her birthday (I knew she was interested so it wasn't as creepy as it sounds). Another friend was really grossed out by this though. Most of my friends don't get it at all, I've actually found guys are way more open to the idea, weirdly. Whenever I've brought it up with a boyfriend (to give them prior warning, just in case I forget to put it away after cleaning and they're like "What. The. Hell. Is. That?!") they've been really receptive to the idea.

And yes, I have to agree with the convenience. When I first started using it I remember having an epiphany as I was leaving the house and realised I no longer had to lug tampons around with me "just in case". Everything I needed was already inside me! Also there are no more issues with those pesky loos that don't have bins.

Oh and for Canadians, MEC (and probably other outdoors stores) stocks the DivaCup. I bought my Lady Cup online, they often run two-for-one deals etc.

exceljunkie

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2014, 01:25:26 PM »
I soak my cup in a 50:50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water for an amount of time (it's clean in a matter of hours), and this brings it back to new.

Going to try this next time round.

ABC123

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2014, 01:45:24 PM »
Does hydrogen peroxide hurt the silicone at all?  I use Dr. Bronner's soap in a foamy soap pump for hand washing, and just use that for cleaning my diva cup as well.  I boil it every month or 2 at the end.  But using peroxide sounds like it would be a much better way of ensuring it really is clean.

Zaga

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2014, 01:51:24 PM »
Does hydrogen peroxide hurt the silicone at all?  I use Dr. Bronner's soap in a foamy soap pump for hand washing, and just use that for cleaning my diva cup as well.  I boil it every month or 2 at the end.  But using peroxide sounds like it would be a much better way of ensuring it really is clean.
It doesn't seem to hurt the silicon at all.  As I said above, I have been using hydrogen peroxide to soak my cup for about 7 years.  I think I would have noticed by now if it was causing any problems!

Kmp2

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2014, 10:29:40 AM »
I have been using my diva cup for 7 years - I sized up from size 1 to 2, when it started to leak about 4 months before I turned 30. I trimmed the stem down as small as it could go and it was so much more comfortable. I bought my SIL one, because she teaches sex ed in school - seriously luna pads and diva cups should be covered! Silly Tampax and Always sponsoship... She has yet to use it, but she has been pregnant or breastfeeding for the last 3 years...

As for cleaning I rinse with water daily during use, and wash with soap and water after a cycle. Every few months I boil it for 20 minutes - but I don't even wash the pot afterwards, 20 minutes of boiling water will kill anything - so I just rinse it out and put it back in the cupboard... I have backpacked, and boiled water for drinking, then drank it with the tiny dead buggies still floating in it so I get if that grosses some people out.

I have some super eco-green friends that refuse to even try it??? and some others that jump right on the band wagon that I didn't think would even like to hear about it. I couldn't predict who would even be open to it - so I mention it to everyone once, but that's it.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2014, 12:50:43 PM »
In terms of cleaning, I soak my cup in a 50:50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water for an amount of time (it's clean in a matter of hours), and this brings it back to new. I have a habit of forgetting though, so I probably only get around to doing it a few times a year. Otherwise just soap and warm water at the end of each cycle before putting it away (and between emptying it).

As for telling friends, I actually bought a friend one for her birthday (I knew she was interested so it wasn't as creepy as it sounds). Another friend was really grossed out by this though. Most of my friends don't get it at all, I've actually found guys are way more open to the idea, weirdly. Whenever I've brought it up with a boyfriend (to give them prior warning, just in case I forget to put it away after cleaning and they're like "What. The. Hell. Is. That?!") they've been really receptive to the idea.

And yes, I have to agree with the convenience. When I first started using it I remember having an epiphany as I was leaving the house and realised I no longer had to lug tampons around with me "just in case". Everything I needed was already inside me! Also there are no more issues with those pesky loos that don't have bins.

Oh and for Canadians, MEC (and probably other outdoors stores) stocks the DivaCup. I bought my Lady Cup online, they often run two-for-one deals etc.

yeah, my boyfriend was way less grossed out by it than I thought he would be. he actually thinks it's pretty hilarious and interesting, and makes jokes about it being a vampire shot glass (which even grosses ME out, LOL)

SisterX

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2014, 05:38:48 PM »
I second both the Diva Cup (or any menstrual cup, but that's what I have) and the IUD.  Why didn't anyone tell me about these options before?

I will say, the IUD (ParaGard or whatever it is - non-hormonal) has made my period way heavier.  It might be because I'm still breastfeeding, but ever since I got it implanted I've had periods heavy enough that it requires me to empty the cup about every 4 hours during the day for a couple of days.  On the other hand, I've had very little cramping and if heavy bleeding is the worst that can be said for the IUD (as opposed to all of the AWFUL symptoms I had while on the pill) bring it on.

I do tell some friends.  Mostly if the topic comes up in conversation somehow ("Ugh, I hate getting my period!") but that gets less and less as we ladies grow out of our 20s.  But since I heard about the Cup from a friend, I figure I should pass the info along to others.  :)

saveandinvest

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2014, 06:27:40 PM »
I found out about the menstrual cup two days ago reading a book on frugality.
When I came across this idea, I was completely blown away, I wish I had known earlier!! After going through the pain of using and carrying around napkins and tampons, worrying about blood stained sheets, feeling guilty over piles of trash each month, I am glad I found an alternative at last.
I ordered it immediately on amazon and cannot wait to try it!
Though changing it in the public bathroom will be a challenge so It would be great if you could share your tricks/ideas with us :)

monkey

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2014, 10:24:54 PM »
I found out about the menstrual cup two days ago reading a book on frugality.
When I came across this idea, I was completely blown away, I wish I had known earlier!! After going through the pain of using and carrying around napkins and tampons, worrying about blood stained sheets, feeling guilty over piles of trash each month, I am glad I found an alternative at last.
I ordered it immediately on amazon and cannot wait to try it!
Though changing it in the public bathroom will be a challenge so It would be great if you could share your tricks/ideas with us :)

I have a couple Diva Cups and a couple different Melunas and have been using them for a few years now. (I prefer the Diva Cup to the Meluna because it's made of a slightly softer material, so it's easier to fold and more comfortable to put in). I bought 3 of the cups online, and one in a large chain drugstore. It did take me awhile to learn how to put it in so it'd be comfortable and not leak, so if you're less-than-dextrous like me, I'd recommend wearing pads as backup until you get the hang of it. I definitely wouldn't recommend changing the cup in a public bathroom until you've mastered it.  The cups are big enough that most women can easily go 8-12h between changes of the cup, so if you're working, you can do it before you leave and after you get back.

There are actually menstrual cup communities (believe it or not) that have way more info that anyone would ever want or need about their cup. :D I found this one useful: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com. It covers different folds, cleaning methods, troubleshooting, etc., and if you can't find the info you need you can just ask.

I also have a copper IUD. I don't think my periods are heavier but the cramping definitely is. I'm too forgetful for pills, though, and I'd rather be crampy than deal with the side effects from hormonal BC. :)

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2014, 11:52:12 PM »
Yes, just like overconsumption, I feel like there's a negative cycle (ha) with tampon/pad alternatives.  The alternative is in the minority so people are less comfortable talking about it, therefore fewer people know about it, therefore it becomes even more of a minority, etc.

So I say, talk about it just to spread the word.  I only ever knew women who talked about it because they had problems with traditional methods (too heavy, cramping, etc.) and I figured since those methods worked fine for me, it wasn't worth the bother of changing.  But the cup is totally more comfortable!  (Possibly TMI, but there's a great advantage if you have light periods because you can empty it out and immediately put it back in, whereas with tampons, taking one out tends to leave things, um, kind of too... dry to immediately put another one in.)

That's good advice from Monkey about taking advantage of the 8-12 hours between changes so you can just do it at home when you first start.

Funny story about that and male attitudes.  When I got it I was telling my SO about how awesome it is and for some reason something I say makes him think I haven't emptied it out that day and he's like, "You have to empty it out at least every twelve hours."
And I'm like, "Oh, I know, I did--wait, how do you know that."
"I was, uh, in the bathroom and needed some reading material."
"So you chose my menstrual cup instructions."
"It was that or the Ayn Rand book you had in there."
Okay, well, maybe it's not that funny.  I thought it was funny.

lifejoy

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2014, 06:29:16 AM »
Yes, just like overconsumption, I feel like there's a negative cycle (ha) with tampon/pad alternatives.  The alternative is in the minority so people are less comfortable talking about it, therefore fewer people know about it, therefore it becomes even more of a minority, etc.

So I say, talk about it just to spread the word.  I only ever knew women who talked about it because they had problems with traditional methods (too heavy, cramping, etc.) and I figured since those methods worked fine for me, it wasn't worth the bother of changing.  But the cup is totally more comfortable!  (Possibly TMI, but there's a great advantage if you have light periods because you can empty it out and immediately put it back in, whereas with tampons, taking one out tends to leave things, um, kind of too... dry to immediately put another one in.)

That's good advice from Monkey about taking advantage of the 8-12 hours between changes so you can just do it at home when you first start.

Funny story about that and male attitudes.  When I got it I was telling my SO about how awesome it is and for some reason something I say makes him think I haven't emptied it out that day and he's like, "You have to empty it out at least every twelve hours."
And I'm like, "Oh, I know, I did--wait, how do you know that."
"I was, uh, in the bathroom and needed some reading material."
"So you chose my menstrual cup instructions."
"It was that or the Ayn Rand book you had in there."
Okay, well, maybe it's not that funny.  I thought it was funny.

Haha good story about the SO! Made me chuckle :)

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2014, 06:47:31 AM »
Funny story about that and male attitudes.  When I got it I was telling my SO about how awesome it is and for some reason something I say makes him think I haven't emptied it out that day and he's like, "You have to empty it out at least every twelve hours."
And I'm like, "Oh, I know, I did--wait, how do you know that."
"I was, uh, in the bathroom and needed some reading material."
"So you chose my menstrual cup instructions."
"It was that or the Ayn Rand book you had in there."
Okay, well, maybe it's not that funny.  I thought it was funny.

LOL!!! I found it hilarious :) those dudes can really be surprising with their interest level in various womanly issues!

fallstoclimb

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2014, 10:00:06 AM »
yeah, my boyfriend was way less grossed out by it than I thought he would be. he actually thinks it's pretty hilarious and interesting, and makes jokes about it being a vampire shot glass (which even grosses ME out, LOL)

LOL.  omg that is so gross. 

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2014, 12:29:18 PM »
I used both a diaphragm and a cervical cup (not together) for contraception back in the day, and the diaphragm (not the cup) for menstruation.  It was great.  Maybe 5 years ago I got a Diva cup and I just never really liked the thing (also how I felt about my cervical cup, which is a similar design).  Hard to insert, hard to remove, then one day I dropped it down a porta-potty by mistake, so that was pretty much that.

Then I discovered the Instead cup, which is a LOT more like a diaphragm, and that's my current system.  They're supposedly "disposable," but I haven't disposed of one yet, just wash with soap and water same as I did with all those other tools, and reuse (I've never boiled any of them and doubt the Instead would survive it).  And count me among the fans of the "take it out in the shower" method.  Sure, it's got a bit of a Psycho look to it, but it's by far the easiest context to deal with the mess, IMHO (porta-potties, OTOH, are at the low end of this scale, even ignoring the dropping it problem).

For public restrooms:  wipe out thoroughly with toilet paper, wrap, and stash in your purse, using another clean one until you get to a private location for washing the cup with soap and water.  A nice thing about Instead is that you get a 6-pack for not much more than $6 (see e.g. Amazon), so you can keep one stashed in your car bicycle, one in your purse, one in your office, and yes, carry a spare on you when you're out and about.  Though I find I rarely need to change mine other than a.m. / p.m.


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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2014, 09:30:45 AM »
I used both a diaphragm and a cervical cup (not together) for contraception back in the day, and the diaphragm (not the cup) for menstruation.  It was great.  Maybe 5 years ago I got a Diva cup and I just never really liked the thing (also how I felt about my cervical cup, which is a similar design).  Hard to insert, hard to remove, then one day I dropped it down a porta-potty by mistake, so that was pretty much that.

Then I discovered the Instead cup, which is a LOT more like a diaphragm, and that's my current system.  They're supposedly "disposable," but I haven't disposed of one yet, just wash with soap and water same as I did with all those other tools, and reuse (I've never boiled any of them and doubt the Instead would survive it).  And count me among the fans of the "take it out in the shower" method.  Sure, it's got a bit of a Psycho look to it, but it's by far the easiest context to deal with the mess, IMHO (porta-potties, OTOH, are at the low end of this scale, even ignoring the dropping it problem).

For public restrooms:  wipe out thoroughly with toilet paper, wrap, and stash in your purse, using another clean one until you get to a private location for washing the cup with soap and water.  A nice thing about Instead is that you get a 6-pack for not much more than $6 (see e.g. Amazon), so you can keep one stashed in your car bicycle, one in your purse, one in your office, and yes, carry a spare on you when you're out and about.  Though I find I rarely need to change mine other than a.m. / p.m.

Thanks! I might look into this if anything happens to my Divacup (I keep a couple of pads as backups at the moment). It's such a wonderful thing that I don't have to keep going out and buying this stuff regularly anymore!

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2014, 11:26:31 AM »
In terms of changing over in public, I try to find an all-in-one washroom with a sink so I can rinse it out and put it back in. Otherwise at a pinch a wipe out with loo paper can tide me over, but it's not ideal. I definitely prefer changing it in the shower; it's easier in terms of rinsing and disposal, and I can get into a better position for putting it back in. Maybe carry a stash of baby wipes or similar if you're in that situation often, but I find I rarely need to change it while I'm out and about. Having reusable cloth pads as back-up certainly helps.

Second for that menstrual cup blog/forum. When I was first looking into them I found that a fascinating resource. People do go all out, any question you could possibly have has been dissected in full somewhere on there. I especially found the different folding methods helpful.

exceljunkie

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #46 on: June 13, 2014, 12:42:01 PM »
I found out about the menstrual cup two days ago reading a book on frugality.
When I came across this idea, I was completely blown away, I wish I had known earlier!! After going through the pain of using and carrying around napkins and tampons, worrying about blood stained sheets, feeling guilty over piles of trash each month, I am glad I found an alternative at last.
I ordered it immediately on amazon and cannot wait to try it!
Though changing it in the public bathroom will be a challenge so It would be great if you could share your tricks/ideas with us :)

Which book was this? I've yet to find one that mentioned menstrual cups :)

saveandinvest

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2014, 08:30:15 AM »
I found it in the frugal living for dummies!
http://www.amazon.com/Frugal-Living-Dummies-Deborah-Taylor-Hough/dp/0764554034

I finally received my cup and cannot wait to try it!!

skandrae

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2014, 03:40:35 PM »
I've had my Diva Cup for eight and a half years now, and I love it. I made some reusable pads to go with it, because of crazy heavy flow/laughing/sneezing, and I haven't looked back.

I had one period that came on early when I was away from home and I had to buy tampons and pads, and it was the worst two days I could remember since my pre-DC days.

I should have been saving up my unspent feminine hygiene money since 2006 - what a stash I would have by now!

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Re: Menstrual Cups
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2014, 08:37:37 PM »
Another thing I think I should mention on this thread is using a sea sponge during period sex. You can get them as natural/reusable alternatives to tampons online or at natural foods cooperatives. I put it in before a date and leave it in during sex. The nice thing is that it blocks blood but allows for natural lubrication. There have been times when I haven't told the guy I'm dating that it's in there and he doesn't even notice. It is a little hard to get it out if your period is pretty light, and it's kind of gross if you're not using condoms. I've done both, though, and it's not a big deal either way. I keep intending to sew a string into mine for easier removal and keep forgetting.

Anyways, this strategy totally improved my sex life. I've been doing it for years and don't really know what other ladies do on their periods for sex besides abstain (yeah right) or just make a mess (ew).
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