This is a topic about menses, and yes, you should read it

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This is a topic about menses, and yes, you should read it

Postby dj_ultima_the_great » Tue May 14, 2013 3:01 am

If you're a guy (or girl), and the topic of all things menstrual-related grosses you out, then realize that I'm not going into explicit detail here (at least not in this main post), but [link removed] the point of the topic, and I will also ask you to send it along to any ladies in your life. Feel free to hit the Back button now.

For the rest of us, I want to talk to you about this thing I bought recently. The link above is for the Mooncup (UK), which is a menstrual cup. Basically, instead of absorbing the menstrual fluid like a pad or tampon, it collects it in a basin, which you then empty out in the toilet. Give it a rinse (or a wipe down if you're in a public place and can't get to the sink), pop it back in, and you're good to go. A more thorough cleaning can be done post-period. It can be used over and over and will potentially last a lifetime if proper care is taken.

When I started to tell any of my lady friends about this, a blank look crossed their features, because most of them had no idea what a cup is. I had heard about it a few years ago (and they've been around for a surprisingly long while), but being a poor college student at the time, I didn't have time for money-wasting experiments, and I quickly forgot about it.

When I ran across one of Laci Green's videos on YouTube, I was once again reminded. I did a lot of reading, and after lengthy consideration, I went ahead and bought a cup. And, uh...

I don't think I'll ever wear a tampon again.

I could go on about my personal experience with the cup, but I'll leave that to anyone who actually wants to know. PMs or questions right here are welcome, but for now I'll keep this opening post somewhat brief and say this:

Look at the site. The reviews are not bullshit, paid-for "opinions." They are real, and I can back up what they're saying after trying this thing out. Just think about it. It's $30; it will pay for itself in just a few months and can last a lifetime. Even pre-menopausal women would still get their money's worth. It does take a few attempts to work out the kinks, but once you do, you'll nearly forget you're wearing the cup.

I'm happy to have rediscovered this, and even happier that I spent the money to try it out. Even if it's not for you (or you're a guy, obviously), send it along to people who might make use of it. I can't believe that products like this are still practically unheard of, and I'm making it my mission to tell as many women as possible that they do, in fact, have options.

Now excuse me while I step off of this soapbox and tuck it into the bathroom cupboard where my tampons used to sit.

[Mod notice: this is a relevant topic for discussion, but do avoid linking marketing sites for a commercial product! Link removed to steer topic away from commercial purposes.]
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Re: This is a topic about menses, and yes, you should read i

Postby Athena » Wed May 22, 2013 5:17 pm

I've been debating for days and days whether I should reply to this or not. It's not directly applicable to me, but I've come across the discussion in many women's spaces I am a part of. General consensus is menstrual cups are pretty much awesome (well as awesome as a product designed to deal with menses can be). Passing it on may be problematic, as I find that discussions regarding the menstrual cycle are often unwanted and considered uncomfortable in men dominated spaces. Not that they should be, but they are. *shrug*
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Re: This is a topic about menses, and yes, you should read i

Postby Otohiko » Thu May 23, 2013 6:07 am

Guys, moderator notice:
The "General Discussion" forum is named that way because it is meant to encourage discussions. It is not meant to be a free-for-all "I post what I want!" forum, and if someone creates a thread with the intention of discussing something, that is not an invitation to spam it with marginally-related things. Let alone misogynistic slurs and mockery. These are not funny, even if they seem funny to you. The goal of this forum is to make people more welcome in the community, not vice versa. Consider this a caution.

I should also point out that the thread does, potentially, slip into promotional territory for a purely commercial product (which is against forum rules), but there is enough substance here that I'm willing to let it slide for the moment.

Thread cleaned up, off the moderating box, resume regularly-scheduled discussion!
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Re: This is a topic about menses, and yes, you should read i

Postby Ileia » Thu May 23, 2013 6:29 am

There were misogynistic slurs? What did I miss here? o_o
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Re: This is a topic about menses, and yes, you should read i

Postby Otohiko » Thu May 23, 2013 6:47 am

Ileia wrote:There were misogynistic slurs? What did I miss here? o_o


Paralleling behaviour for which a user was banned from this forum with that of a woman on her period is pretty misogynistic.
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Re: This is a topic about menses, and yes, you should read i

Postby Athena » Fri May 24, 2013 2:17 am

DJ Ultima already covered the "deal with it or hit the back button" and that is still in effect. This is fair warning I'm going to get into details. If you think that this is too much information or you can't handle women discussing menstruation in a mature (but not humorless!) manner, then please don't respond. Otohiko made that pretty clear. Men are absolutely invited into this discussion, but please don't try to dominate the space, and review Dave Foley's Kids in the Hall Sketch on Menstruation here. I'm not a uterus owner either, and that means I also have to be wary of taking on an air of authority I don't have. As long as all that's cool, party on! :beer:

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So, I had mentioned that the topic of menstrual cups has come up before in the women's spaces where I usually hang out, and that the general consensus is that they are awesome. I recently asked for details, and I got them. About 50 comments worth. They don't work for all women, and I'm going to delve into the pros and cons of them. I'm also going to avoid the problem of commercialisation of this discussion by covering all of the different brands of cups that I've been told about specifically. Since this is an aggregated type of post based on the experiences of others, I'll defer to DJ Ultima or any other menstrual cup user (or really any owner of a uterus, to be honest) in case someone takes exceptions to my descriptions.

Pros:

+ Lasts a lot longer because washable, reusable
+ Therefore more environmentally friendly
+ Therefore doesn't cost nearly as much money, even for women with heavy flows
+ Doesn't steal natural moisture from the vagina
+ Doesn't cause the headaches/cramps that tampons can sometimes cause
+ Most cups have measuring lines on them so you can figure out your flow
+ Many women feel cleaner, have less period "smell," and have essentially no leaks
+ Some women can keep it in for up to 12 hours
+ Dogs can't eat what they don't have access to (this sounds silly to me, a cat owner, but it came up a lot)

Cons:

- Significant learning curve, both in the case of insertion and removal
- Can be emptied in public restrooms, but cleaning is probably not going to go over well
- Size, shape, and material (silicone/latex/etc) matter: use the wrong cup and You're Gonna Have A Bad Time
- A few women had problems with pH balance, increased rates of UTI, BV, and yeast infections while using a cup
- Some women find no cup suitable at all, even with the many varieties available, cloth pads may be an alternative

Despite all that, most women sung their praises. The biggest issue is the length of the cup compared to the average length of the vaginal canal/height of the cervix. So you will really have to shop around to find your ideal cup. This is a handy chart of all of the brands, their sizes, etc, etc compared to tampons (at the bottom):

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Resources:

Menstrual Cup LiveJournal Community - often has better instructions for insertion/removal than the manufacturer
Menstrual Cups Wordpress - has a lot of reviews, including for two new cups, Lily Cup and Skoon Cup, which are not (I think) included on the above chart.

Hope this helps!
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