Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'm excited to open a dialogue about alternative menstrual products. I personally use the Keeper, a menstrual cup made of natural rubber. They collect & hold your menstrual flow, as opposed to tampons which absorb it.

I have consistently used my Keeper during every period for (...counting on my fingers) about seven years. From the first time I used it, I couldn't imagine using commercial tampons & pads ever, ever (ever) again. I love it so much, that I imagine every woman would too. (Though I realize this may not be true).

It infuriates me that so many girls and women do not even know menstrual cups exist. I didn't know until a friend shared with me how much she loved hers. I was in my 20s at this point, and was sincerely shocked about this new information. I was so brainwashed that commercial tampons & pads were my only options, it took some time to process. (I'm not kidding!)  Finally after much thought & research, I bought mine online (for only $35!)

I had an eye-opening experience with a former gynecologist of mine (aka dr #1) who was unaware of the Keeper. Yes, I said my OB/GYN was clueless about menstrual cups. She looked at me like I was a dirty, disgusting psychopath. (I'm not exaggerating). I encouraged her to get informed so she could provide complete information for her patients. I was appalled by her ignorance & reaction!

I believe it can be an empowering experience for women to realize they have other choices than stupid pads and tampons. It really was for me. My tampon/pad brainwashing was extremely ingrained. It's a big money business, after all. I have a hell of a time convincing women, even some of my closest friends, there are other options. Even though the reasons are countless (and my sincere enthusiasm is so over the top, that it is ridiculous). Here are some of those very reasons:

~No bleached cotton to cram in your (often reluctant) vagina.
~No risk of TSS.
~They can last for a long as 10 years, 10 years!
~You never run out of protection. You just have to remember to tuck it into your bag. And believe me, the fear of having to use tampons or pads will lead to you never forgetting it. I never have.
~Environmentally friendly.
~You can accurately keep track of how much you are bleeding each month, and can more easily track changes.
~Some women "recycle" their collected blood & use it to feed and provide nutrients to their plants to help them flourish and grow. I haven't yet, but it seems logical.
~It is totally comfortable.
~It is liberating and empowering.
~It's convenient.
~It's inexpensive, can you imagine the money you'll save!
~Unbeatable for running, hiking & especially camping etc.
~You can leave it in for up to 12 hours (yep, TWELVE HOURS!), which can often mean only having to deal with it in the privacy and (most importantly) cleanliness of your own bathroom... Yay!

The only down side I have ever encountered was not having a spare tampon to share with a woman in need. However, there is almost always another woman around the corner who does have one to spare & share.

Click here if you want to go to The Keeper's website. If you're interested in their informative article that discusses reasons not to use tampons, click here.

There are other brands of menstrual cups. I have heard of the DivaCup & the Mooncup. They are made of different materials, so you may prefer one over the other. These ones are made of medical-grade silicone. Otherwise, it seems they are very similar, though I have not tried them myself. They very well could be just as fabulous.

While writing this post, I googled menstrual cups & discovered a disposable product. (It was news to me). I found one named Softcup. I need to do more research about it, but my initial reaction is yay for yet another choice!

I hope you will leave a comment. I think we could have an interesting discussion!

Thanks Friendos! (My next post on the topic will be about my GladRags). I could continue to ramble on about my devotion to my Keeper, but I think you probably get it...


Jenn said...

Blogger had an error with this comment, so I copied it from my email. Not sure what happened.

Jenny has left a new comment on your post "I'M KEEPIN' MY KEEPER":

A woman I used to work with had one. She discovered one other downside so I'll mention it to you so it doesn't happen. When she was removing it (she went to the washroom during a staff meeting) she accidently spilled the blood all over her pants! luckily they were dark and none of us noticed but she was mortified...I tell this not because I don't 100% agree with you that they are better than pad/tampons but just to make sure you are extra careful if you take it out in public hihi!
I've never used one myself but I have used organic pads/tampons (which unfortunately weren't absorbent enough for my heavy flow boohoo). Mainly I haven't bought the cups because of the large clots I pass I don't know how it would handle that...any thoughts/experience with this?

Jenn said...


Thanks for the comment! (Sorry about the error, I haven't seen that before).

That is a good point, it can be slippery & challenging to get a good grip. So an accident could easily occur & be an unfortunate hassle.

I sometimes have large clots too. I actually feel I have a much better idea of how my clots vary month to month because of my Keeper, since I can see them before I clean it out. When I do have large clots, I just need to dump it out more often. So the clots haven't been an issue for me.

Thanks again for joining the conversation! Please let me know if you have any other questions. :)

KD said...

Wow, this is interesting! Is it similar to the disposable "Instead," that can stay in up to 12 hours as well?? If i ever have periods again I may have to look into these and Gladrags! Thanks for sharing this!

Jenn said...

Hey KD, thanks for visiting my blog & leaving a comment!

I just learned of the Instead disposable ones when I was researching for this post. They do seem to be similar, though I haven't tried them myself.

Hope to chat with you soon!

cj said...

Wow! has it really been that long since we started using those?! Since I got my IUD put in a year ago, my Diva Cup leaks at times now...I am thinking it might have something to do with the IUD string and the cup not getting as good of a seal as it used inside my vagina. Still would not dream of changing back to tampons/pads. My basil plants wouldn't be happy about that either!

Jenn said...


Is that really you? :) Yay!

I'm so happy you got to read this post! I am eternally grateful that you shared your Keeper experience with me. You are the best!

We'll have to talk about your IUD & Diva Cup sometime.

Love you,