Author Topic: Mustachian ladies (and interested sirs?)- here's the trick to save every month!!  (Read 12361 times)

Poe

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I have the feeling readers of this blog are mostly male, but hopefully this can help!

Ladies, how much do you spend every month on hygiene products? $6? $10? more? That's a lot of money (and waste!) over the course of a lifetime!

If you weren't aware it existed, now is the time for you to discover the menstrual cup! I had heard of it in high school, but somehow had forgotten all about it until I started reading this blog and looking closely at all of my spendings. A menstrual cup costs about $30 and basically lasts forever if you keep it well. There are usually two sizes, for women who never had children and women who did. That's it!

Here are a few of the advantages:
- Surgical silicone, bendable and harmless
- Blood is never in contact with air = no smell!
- For the same reason, there is no need to change outside of your home
- Will not leak, even when sleeping and doing sports
- Super green solution
- Holy savings!

But! Just like Scientology, all is not rainbows and poneys (or aliens and volcanoes). Here is a disadvantage:
- You might get some blood on your fingers the couple first times.

There you have it. Now go and save money and the environment! :)

KLina

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I can vouch for the menstrual cup! I have a moon cup, and haven't had to buy anything else in YEARS. It is very comfortable and feels much more hygienic than pads or tampons.

boy_bye

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I wish I could make one if these work for me. I've tried several times and have ended up in a lot of pain -- worst cramps of my life!

mamagoose

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I've been wanting to try one of these for a while. Currently nursing and no need for one right now, but when that day comes I'm gonna get one. Seems a lot more pleasant than jamming bleached cotton wads up in there ya know?

windawake

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I am a Diva Cup enthusiast. I've been using mine exclusively for over five years now. It has completely changed the way I think about my period. Also the FDA recommends you change your Diva Cup yearly, but before it was FDA approved the manufacturer said you could keep it for 10 years. That's what I'm going by.

Other tips in this arena: I got a copper IUD (the no-hormone kind, lasts for 10 years) and I love it. My periods were heavier for a few months but they got back to normal and now I never, ever think about birth control. Plus I like that I'm not putting hormones into my body or into the water supply.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 10:22:56 AM by windawake »

windawake

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Oh and a little amendment to your post: they do leak. I usually empty mine in the morning and before bed, but if my period is heavy it will start to leak during the day. I always just wear black underwear and know if it starts leaking it needs to be emptied. If this happens at work, I just dump it into the toilet, swab it with a little TP, and put it back in. Then I just rinse and wash with Dr. Bronner's soap the next time I empty it at home.

And I always get blood on my fingers.

hoodedfalcon

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I've been using Diva Cup for about 8 months now. I've also used sea sponges in the past (be careful when you sneeze or laugh too hard!). The Diva Cup is good once you get the hang of inserting/removing. I found that it will leak during the heavy first few days of my period if I don't empty it at least once during the work day. And yes, blood on the fingers is going to happen. All in all I would recommend a menstrual cup to folks who don't mind getting up close and personal with yourself. :)

train_writer

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For Europeans, the Meluna only costs 13 euros and you receive an extra one in the mail, in my case a sparkly christmas themed one LOL. The service is also great, which is a necessity because they have different sizes and types.

I have mine since 6 years and only switched to the 2nd one because I somehow lost the first .
« Last Edit: February 08, 2014, 09:35:06 AM by train_writer »

Shropskr

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I am short 5 foot nothing and found out with my Diva cup to turn it inside out.  Sounds funny but works wonderful.  Got the hint when I did my research on Amazon.  It is so much nicer than tampons. 

ginastarke

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Love the sea sponges, but the "keeper" seems to apply suction to all the wrong places as I try to put it in- OUCH!! Is the Diva cup any better?

Zoe

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I have a Lunette and I actually have forgotten I was on my period several times. The first day is still uncomfortable for me though. It's like the cup presses on my bladder and it's pretty sensitive. But by the second day I don't even notice it.

I love not spending money every month on feminine products!

abuzzyisawesome

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I tried the Diva cup and had issues with it. I never could fully empty my bladder with it in, it made me super uncomfortable. I have never had children, and have a 'tilted' opening according to the ob/gyn. Should I try a different size? I am ashamed to admit I actually threw my previous Diva cup away after trying t use it for 6 months.

mamagoose

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Other tips in this arena: I got a copper IUD (the no-hormone kind, lasts for 10 years) and I love it. My periods were heavier for a few months but they got back to normal and now I never, ever think about birth control. Plus I like that I'm not putting hormones into my body or into the water supply.

I also have the copper IUD and LOVE it for the same reasons. Initially when I first got married I went off the pill b/c of concerns about the hormones (after 11 years of taking it, eek) and used the Fertility Awareness Method for birth control, it worked like a charm and was a lot of fun having my husband remind me every morning to take my temperature. Then when we decided to have a baby, we used FAM to track my ovulation and ended up getting pregnant the very first time we tried. Now I use the IUD instead of FAM just because I can't even remember to brush my teeth some days with an infant, let alone remember to take my temperature at the same time every day.

crumbcatcher

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Since we're on this monthly subject...

Thought I'd chime in to say that for anyone who has to double-up on protection or doesn't want to use internal products, there are cloth pads available too. They feel seriously nicer than the bleached disposable things and are washable. I've noticed some mustachian moms talk about not wasting money on disposable diapers for babies and opt for cloth instead, and this is an way to give ourselves that same comfort while saving money (and not sending more stuff to landfills).

Lunapads are the ones I have. They are a bit of an investment but worth it over the long run. (Some women make their own instead.)

abuzzyisawesome

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La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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I also have Lunapads and also Gladrags, which are cheaper and a different style. (They don't have the waterproof lining, so one has to be careful with them, but that also makes them more breathable.) I cloth diaper, so the ick factor was all gone! It seems to me that the cup is a better choice for someone who likes tampons, and cloth pads for people who like pads.

I thought about trying to make my own, but I have a work-at-home job and toddlers. It didn't seem like it would really pay off for me to sew my own, but it would be pretty easy for anyone who was conversant with a Serger.

Cheddar Stacker

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I have the feeling readers of this blog are mostly male, but hopefully this can help!

Sooooo, male here, and just learned more than I ever wanted to know about this topic. Anyway Poe, or anyone else who hasn't been here, I thought I'd link to this thread to give you the option to vote. You might be surprised ladies:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/what-gender-are-you/

HappierAtHome

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The cloth pads I had moved around and made a mess.

I'm yet to transition to cloth pads, but a lot of sources I've read recommend using safety pins at the front and back to prevent them from slipping. Obviously you would only 'catch' the outer layer of fabric with the pin, not stick it through the entire pad.

rocksinmyhead

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I am a Diva Cup enthusiast. I've been using mine exclusively for over five years now. It has completely changed the way I think about my period. Also the FDA recommends you change your Diva Cup yearly, but before it was FDA approved the manufacturer said you could keep it for 10 years. That's what I'm going by.

Other tips in this arena: I got a copper IUD (the no-hormone kind, lasts for 10 years) and I love it. My periods were heavier for a few months but they got back to normal and now I never, ever think about birth control. Plus I like that I'm not putting hormones into my body or into the water supply.

wait what?!? you have an IUD AND use the DivaCup?!? I love the idea of the copper IUD as non-hormonal low-maintenance birth control, but I love my DivaCup more and I thought you couldn't use a menstrual cup with an IUD... that's been the only thing holding me back!

windawake

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I am a Diva Cup enthusiast. I've been using mine exclusively for over five years now. It has completely changed the way I think about my period. Also the FDA recommends you change your Diva Cup yearly, but before it was FDA approved the manufacturer said you could keep it for 10 years. That's what I'm going by.

Other tips in this arena: I got a copper IUD (the no-hormone kind, lasts for 10 years) and I love it. My periods were heavier for a few months but they got back to normal and now I never, ever think about birth control. Plus I like that I'm not putting hormones into my body or into the water supply.

wait what?!? you have an IUD AND use the DivaCup?!? I love the idea of the copper IUD as non-hormonal low-maintenance birth control, but I love my DivaCup more and I thought you couldn't use a menstrual cup with an IUD... that's been the only thing holding me back!

Yes! I use them both together and have been doing so for about 3.5 years. There is a rumor that you can't use them together, but my nurse practitioner said the only problem would be if you somehow grabbed your IUD string as you were pulling out your Diva Cup but this is unlikely since the string usually curls up right around your cervix. I wasn't able to use my Diva Cup during my first cycle after the IUD because they were worried about introducing bacteria and getting an infection, so I used sea sponges instead. Then for the first few months I was just careful but I've never, ever had any problems.

I just saw that the Diva Cup website now says that many women use them with IUDs and just to be careful. When I was researching this 3.5 years ago they said not to use them together but I did anyway. It's a winning combination!

KMMK

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I switched to cloth pads a few months back and wish I'd switched years ago. 

I use these ones: http://www.treehuggerclothpads.com/

It's a local small business (but they ship everywhere) and I love their products.

jexy103

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I've heard of the these before (on other threads on this forum), but never really looked into it. I looked at the Diva Cup website today, and they have two sizes- Model 1 for women under 30 who have never given birth, and Model 2, for women over 30 or women of any age who have given birth. I'm turning 30 in May, but I'm very petite- 5'2" and 100 lbs. Should I get the Model 2 because I'll be 30 soon, or should I get the Model 1 because I'm small? I doubt my canal will magically grow an 1/8" on my 30th birthday...

happy

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Menopause works a treat, and its free.

Osprey

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wait what?!? you have an IUD AND use the DivaCup?!? I love the idea of the copper IUD as non-hormonal low-maintenance birth control, but I love my DivaCup more and I thought you couldn't use a menstrual cup with an IUD... that's been the only thing holding me back!

I also use both an IUD and a menstrual cup. Although my strings have somehow disappeared into the aether, so I couldn't pull it out even if I wanted to. IUD = far less bleeding. Cup = sometimes forget that I'm bleeding at all. Plus, no more anaemia. Winning combination!

rocksinmyhead

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wow,  you guys are changing my life here!! @windawake, I too started using the cup 3-4 years ago and specifically remember them saying not to do it, but that is awesome that it's changed... gonna have to have a chat with the gynecologist!

Seppie

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I also use both an IUD and a menstrual cup. Although my strings have somehow disappeared into the aether, so I couldn't pull it out even if I wanted to. IUD = far less bleeding. Cup = sometimes forget that I'm bleeding at all. Plus, no more anaemia. Winning combination!

Have you checked with your doctor or midwife about not being able to find your strings?  This can be an indication that the IUD has migrated. I had an IUD that implanted itself in the wall of my uterus - very scary and painful to remove (though I didn't have any pain to indicate there was something wrong) and with possible lasting repercussions in terms of fertility and/or infection. Luckily everything turned out ok in my case, but I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I had a miscarriage in the year after the IUD was gone, which may have been due to scarring.

On topic: Haven't ever been able to make the cup work - I could never figure out the diaphragm, either - but I am a fan of sponges and cloth pads.


grantmeaname

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There's a great thread here that's been a little sleepy lately but it has a lot of good discussion of these topics. For those of you who missed it, it's well worth checking out.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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I would not use a Diva Cup with an IUD. The thing about IUDs is that when they go wrong, they go    really, really wrong. Life-threatending, miscarriage, health crisis wrong, and it can happen even if you can still feel your strings. More common than people think and truly horrible.

netskyblue

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I've been really on the fence about these menstrual cups for some time.  I'd like to try one, but kind of afraid I won't like it, or I'll find it messy.

I have a Nexplanon implant as birth control, have had it for a little over a year, and I'm one of the unlucky ones who got the side effect of being on my period all the time.  You don't think as much of the costs of tampons & pantyliners when you need them ~12 weeks a year, as opposed to needing to wear them 52 weeks a year.  That stuff's expensive!  And they always, always leak, no matter what brand I use, so I HAVE to wear the pantyliners.

Could the cups really do away with that need?  I'd like to get away from tampons altogether - the last box I read said they were a high % of POLYESTER!  Not even 100% cotton.  Nasty.

rocksinmyhead

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I've been really on the fence about these menstrual cups for some time.  I'd like to try one, but kind of afraid I won't like it, or I'll find it messy.

I have a Nexplanon implant as birth control, have had it for a little over a year, and I'm one of the unlucky ones who got the side effect of being on my period all the time.  You don't think as much of the costs of tampons & pantyliners when you need them ~12 weeks a year, as opposed to needing to wear them 52 weeks a year.  That stuff's expensive!  And they always, always leak, no matter what brand I use, so I HAVE to wear the pantyliners.

Could the cups really do away with that need?  I'd like to get away from tampons altogether - the last box I read said they were a high % of POLYESTER!  Not even 100% cotton.  Nasty.

holy cow! I am so sorry to hear, that sounds like an insane hassle... but I think you would be a great candidate for using a cup! personally I don't mind getting a little blood on my fingers so it doesn't gross me out at all. I actually find it less gross than tampons because I don't have anything blood-soaked sitting in my trash can, and I don't ever have to touch those gross boxes in public restrooms. but, I know others find it messy. if I were you I would sure think the ~$30 cost of a cup is worth trying it out!

windawake

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I would not use a Diva Cup with an IUD. The thing about IUDs is that when they go wrong, they go    really, really wrong. Life-threatending, miscarriage, health crisis wrong, and it can happen even if you can still feel your strings. More common than people think and truly horrible.

How would using a Diva Cup with an IUD increase side effects? The two main risks are perforation (1 out of 1,000, usually during insertion) or expulsion (2-10% during the first year). And yes, you have to be more careful about STIs with an IUD due to the increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease which is associated with decreased fertility if untreated. Pregnancies are much riskier than IUDs.

I've been really on the fence about these menstrual cups for some time.  I'd like to try one, but kind of afraid I won't like it, or I'll find it messy.

I have a Nexplanon implant as birth control, have had it for a little over a year, and I'm one of the unlucky ones who got the side effect of being on my period all the time.  You don't think as much of the costs of tampons & pantyliners when you need them ~12 weeks a year, as opposed to needing to wear them 52 weeks a year.  That stuff's expensive!  And they always, always leak, no matter what brand I use, so I HAVE to wear the pantyliners.

Could the cups really do away with that need?  I'd like to get away from tampons altogether - the last box I read said they were a high % of POLYESTER!  Not even 100% cotton.  Nasty.

The Diva Cup will save you a crap ton of money. But it will also leak until you get it right. And then, even so, if it's full it will leak. I just wear black cotton underwear on my period (but honestly want to replace all my underwear with black cotton ones). Who cares if I get a little blood on them, it's never enough to soak through.

momo5

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I used to use a diva cup, which I loved, btw. and it shortened my period by a day. I have no idea why that happens only that it did.
I had to stop using it when I got my IUD(copper) because the cup created suction and pulled on the device. I think this is why other posters mentioned that it could cause IUD side effects.
anyway, I switched to the cloth pads, I made my own from the scraps from the cloth diapers I was making at the time. so they were essentially free aside from time, but I like to sew so I call that leisure time. I use double sided tape to keep them in place because safety pins leave holes in the underwear.

PMG

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It is refreshing to not be weird!

I've been using cloth pads for a couple years.  I made them myself, using a pattern similar to the ones posted here.  I made a regular pad shaped pocket with snaps that is lined with waterproof fabric (uh actually a piece freebie drawstring backpack).  I then fold a strip of flannel and slip it into the pocket.  This way I can change absorbency as needed.  I have several but I still end up doing laundry more often during menstruation.  The folded flannel (instead of a thick pad of fabric) is awesome because it (dun dun dun!) unfolds and washes cleaner and dries fast.

I still wear store bought organic pad or tampon when I am out of the house just for convenience.  I telecommute a lot, so I usually just use one or two a month. I am definitely interested in the moon cup!  I'll be purchasing one when my stash of (clearance at Big Lots) organic supplies runs low, which, at current usage might be in several years.

I wish I had started sooner.  I wanted to for several years, but got hung up thinking "Well I can't do that when I work summer camp and live in a dorm room for three months..." It seems silly, but it took me a long time to realize that using store bought product for three months a year doesn't have to change what I do 9 months out of the year.  Heck, even just wearing reusable stuff at night and home hours is significant. 

Silly, right?  Wonder what other hang ups I haven't realized yet?


PMG

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While we're on the subject...

Anyone familiar with HelloFlo?  Monthly subscription with your preference of menstruation products shipped to your door... with candy. 

http://helloflo.com  Their Camp Gyno commercial is worth watching.

If I were not living a mustachian/frugal/sustainable lifestyle I'd be subscribing!  They do at least offer organic options as well! 

SisterX

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So glad to know that I can still use my Diva Cup with my IUD!  I didn't even think about it, but I did mention to my doctor (while getting the IUD inserted) that that's what I use and she said it's perfectly fine.
IUD for the win, btw.  I can't believe there's not enough talk about them.  More effective than the pill, with fewer side effects (yes, frugalparagon, fewer side effects) and they last a long, long time.  I wish I'd done this when I was in college.

I had a child in November and I'm wondering if I really do need to get a different size?  Inserting/removing the cup was always a bit tricky and sometimes even painful before (I'm 5'2") , so I think I'll wait to see if there's truly a need to size up.  (Once the cup was up, I'd forget it was there, which is why I stuck with it.  Well, and the money savings.)
I have a daughter, and as weird as it is I started wondering the other day what I'm going to do when she's old enough to get her period.  Can menstrual cups be used for young ladies?  Or would it be best to just start her off with cloth pads?

netskyblue

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I have a daughter, and as weird as it is I started wondering the other day what I'm going to do when she's old enough to get her period.  Can menstrual cups be used for young ladies?  Or would it be best to just start her off with cloth pads?

My mom started me on pads at age 12, and then I started using tampons somewhere around 15-16.    Might depend on how young & small she is when she first gets her period.  Is TSS a concern with cups?

train_writer

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I would not use a Diva Cup with an IUD. The thing about IUDs is that when they go wrong, they go    really, really wrong. Life-threatending, miscarriage, health crisis wrong, and it can happen even if you can still feel your strings. More common than people think and truly horrible.

I would like to point out that these stories are meanly derived from the '80ies and '90ies in the USA. The new generation of IUD, like genefix, mirena, copper, are much smaller and better designed.

They still do inflict discomfort to a small percentage of women, but work fine for most women. If i am wrong, I am interested to read otherwise. In the Netherlands, the IUD is now equally popular to birth control pills for new users.

The birth control pill has more side effects than the new IUDs, but more as a cumulative and thus not only cause of ill effects.

(but I understand the fear for a 'thing' in the cervix completely)

Cinder

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My mom started me on pads at age 12, and then I started using tampons somewhere around 15-16.    Might depend on how young & small she is when she first gets her period.  Is TSS a concern with cups?

Male chiming in here..

Not sure why I find this topic interesting, but I'm just odd like that!

From what I've read, there is no concern about TSS with a cup since the contents are not in constant contact with your body, the the cup itself.  Someone who knows more could correct me if I'm wrong. 

windawake

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I have a daughter, and as weird as it is I started wondering the other day what I'm going to do when she's old enough to get her period.  Can menstrual cups be used for young ladies?  Or would it be best to just start her off with cloth pads?

My mom started me on pads at age 12, and then I started using tampons somewhere around 15-16.    Might depend on how young & small she is when she first gets her period.  Is TSS a concern with cups?

I think TSS has to do with the absorbency factor of tampons and is thus not an issue with cups.

train_writer

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Is TSS a concern with cups?

It hasn't occured, but it is always good to be cauteous.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 01:30:45 PM by train_writer »

rocksinmyhead

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I have a daughter, and as weird as it is I started wondering the other day what I'm going to do when she's old enough to get her period.  Can menstrual cups be used for young ladies?  Or would it be best to just start her off with cloth pads?

My mom started me on pads at age 12, and then I started using tampons somewhere around 15-16.    Might depend on how young & small she is when she first gets her period.  Is TSS a concern with cups?

I think TSS has to do with the absorbency factor of tampons and is thus not an issue with cups.

this is what I've heard too. I still really don't know exactly WHAT TSS is though so I would talk to a medical professional :)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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I think the cups come with the TSS warning--something like "any menstrual product can cause toxic shock syndrome." One website that I looked at recommended that instead of going straight to a cup, younger girls might want to try a reusable sea sponge tampon first. They don't last as long as Diva cups, but apparently you can use them for several months.

SisterX

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Thanks for all the responses!  We tend to be pretty short in my family, and it's looking like Baby Girl (currently in the 25th percentile) will be no exception, since I didn't marry a tall man, either.  So I'll likely start her on cloth pads first.  If she's like me, it'll be about 14 years before this is an issue, though.  :)