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Author Topic:   menstrual cups
lala
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Posts: 6
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Registered: Jun 2000

posted 06-26-2000 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lala     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i was wondering if anyone uses the instead menstrual cup? Because i want to try it, but i am not sure where to get one. Do they have them at the grocery store in the hygine department? please respond.

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Miz Scarlet
Sexpert

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From: Minneapolis
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posted 06-26-2000 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You know, they don't work for me at all. I have yet to find one that fits me without leaking.

But some people really dig them.

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lala
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posted 06-26-2000 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lala     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
well where can one get them?

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Miz Scarlet
Sexpert

Posts: 19846
From: Minneapolis
Registered: May 2000

posted 06-26-2000 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
http://www.thekeeper.com/

There is also another brand (purple and white box, I'm spacing out the name, someone help me...) that you can get at standard drugstores.

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lala
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posted 06-26-2000 05:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lala     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i know but that one isn't disposable! And do sponges leak?

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Miz Scarlet
Sexpert

Posts: 19846
From: Minneapolis
Registered: May 2000

posted 06-26-2000 06:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If disposability is what you're looking for, I think you'd be better off with an organic cotton tampon. The main pull for cups is that they aren't disposable. Organic cotton tampons do not put you at risk or TSS.

Sea sponges can work really well, but you have to change them a bit more often then tampons, in my experience, and you should also have plenty of them, because they need to be thoroughly boiled between uses.

We have a bunch of info about menstrual choices here, too.

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lala
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posted 06-26-2000 06:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lala     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
whats the name like brand for cotton organic tampons? and they don't give u tss right?

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Hanne
Sexpert

Posts: 1538
From: boston, ma, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 06-26-2000 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hanne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you use any tampons at all, you are at risk for TSS. However, if you change your tampons frequently enough, and only use the minimum absorbency you need to manage your flow, you are at a much lower risk of TSS. TSS has to do with leaving the tampon in too long more than anything else, and having blood kept in there much longer than it should be, making a a great place for an infection to start.

However, a lot of women (like me) find that using tampons where the fiber hasn't been bleached with godawful chemicals is a lot more comfortable to use. I sometimes get an allergic reaction if I use commercially-bleached non-organic-cotton tampons. The brand I use is called Natracare.

------------------
Hanne Blank
Associate Editor, Scarleteen

"Be Excellent To Each Other" -- Bill and Ted

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Mophead
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From: Canada
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posted 06-26-2000 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mophead     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How do you find stuff lke Natacare and stuff?

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Miz Scarlet
Sexpert

Posts: 19846
From: Minneapolis
Registered: May 2000

posted 06-27-2000 07:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
But Hanne (hee...you guys get to see staff talk about the facts, which we do all the time to make sure we know what we're talking about, but rarely with an audience):

My understanding was that that risk -- as long as they are being changed fairly regularly -- was based in the rayon fibers and chemicals used in processing commercial brands. Is that not what it is?

(gasp) Have I fallen prey to crunchy-granola propaganda?!?

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Hanne
Sexpert

Posts: 1538
From: boston, ma, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 06-27-2000 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hanne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Missy Scarlet dolling one --

From what my medical informers tell me (I just called my local sex-positive Nurse Practitioner to verify this stuff, so I assume she knows her stuff), the toxic bleaches and synthetic fibers can contribute to TSS by creating a less immunologically sound climate inside the vagina, and because superabsorbent tampons can actually dry out the vaginal lining so that there's none of that nice protective immunologically functional mucous left to help protect the body from bacterial invasion through the vaginal wall.

TSS is a syndrome caused by the very common staph infection -- staphylococcus aureus -- which can breed in any pooling blood or bodily fluids. Staph bacteria are normal and common, and about 1 in 3 people have 'em in their bodies at any given time. Usually they don't cause problems because your body's immune system can keep 'em in check.

What makes the difference between it being just a "bacteria hangin' out" thing and a potentially fatal systemic infection is whether or not that bacteria does two things: multiplies enough to produce toxins that make you sick, and gets a chance to get into the bloodstream.

Both things can happen with tampons that aren't changed often enough or with tampons that are too high absorbency for a woman's needs and which a) collect a lot of blood in them, making a staph breeding pool, while simultaneously b) drying out the vagina and increasing the chance of bacteria and toxins getting into the bloodstream. Any tampon can do it if the other circumstances are right. Some are more likely culprits than others.

Common symptoms of systemic staphylococcus aureus infection (aka TSS) are: a sudden high fever (temperature), vomiting, a sunburn-like rash, diarrhea,fainting or feeling faint or dizzy or confused, muscle aches, and other flu-like symptoms. What can make TSS so serious is that the toxins from the bacteria can damage the kidneys and liver, and can cause you to go into shock. It can happen really quickly, and because a lot of the early symptoms are so much like a case of the flu, a lot of people don't think to go to the hospital until it's quite late in the game.

It's much *less* common to have someone get any infection from tampon use, including the infection that can lead to TSS, if they do the following:
1) Wash your hands before you insert a tampon.
2) Use the lowest absorbency tampon you can get away with.
3) Alternate tampons with sanitary pads during your period.
4) Don't go to bed with a tampon in, use a pad instead.
5) Change your tampon frequently -- every 3-4 hours is a good minimum guideline.
6) If your vagina seems dry inside when you insert a tampon, use a little water-based lube so that you don't scratch or abrade the walls of your vagina in the process.
7) Never use two tampons at the same time.
8) Always remember to take your tampon out at the end of your period! (I guess sometimes people forget.)
9) Use unbleached cotton or organic cotton tampons if you can, since they're less likely to disturb the chemical balance of your vagina and less likely to cause any reactions to residual toxins.
10) If you've ever had TSS or a severe staph infection, don't use tampons at all.

My NP pal Leah also told me that men and children can also get TSS -- not from tampons, obviously, but the same syndrome can happen with internal bleeding or with surface wounds that aren't taken care of very well.

So that's the scoop. Now everyone, including me, knows about 700% more than they ever dreamed they'd live to know about the specifics of toxic shock syndrome.

------------------
Hanne Blank
Associate Editor, Scarleteen

"Be Excellent To Each Other" -- Bill and Ted

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Miz Scarlet
Sexpert

Posts: 19846
From: Minneapolis
Registered: May 2000

posted 06-27-2000 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LOL!

Thanks for doing the extra legwork!

Eventually, yanno, Hanne (and it happens already) unless we're standing in the same room, no one will be bale to tell the difference between us.

I had no idea about men and kids being suceptible. Very interesting.

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Lindsay
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From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 06-27-2000 06:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lindsay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, Hanne, thanks for that...it was very informative, even though I knew a lot of it, because I've had TSS as a result of using tampons (and not changing them often enough, it was about a year ago, and I thought it was perfectly fine at the end of your period to go two days without changing a tampon...), and it is something that I really really hope NO ONE ever gets...it's not fun at all!!! The bad thing about it is that I can't use tampons now, because like Hanne said, if you've had it, you can't use tampons ever again...so I guess I'm stuck with pads for the rest of my life. It's not *that* horrible!!!

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"Who's the king of your satellite castle?"- Dave Matthews Band

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angelic-demon
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From: Chicago
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 06-27-2000 09:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for angelic-demon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
TSS is so rare that when a girl from where I live got it, the local newspaper wrote an article about it. I dont mean to minimize the risk, but at the same time I dont want people to be so paranoid that they are scared off of using tampons. With proper usage following the instuctions on the package, there is a very very low risk of TSS. Dont let it scare you off of using tampons, which I believe to be one of the greatest inventions ever.

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Miz Scarlet
Sexpert

Posts: 19846
From: Minneapolis
Registered: May 2000

posted 06-28-2000 07:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, it really isn't that rare, and it can also contribute to other things like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

No one needs to be scared, just follow the guidelines and use non-commercial brands. It's not that complicated.

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Mophead
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From: Canada
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posted 06-30-2000 01:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mophead     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
But what if I want to use a commercial brand? Am I killing myself?

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Hanne
Sexpert

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From: boston, ma, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 06-30-2000 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hanne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Probably not. Some people are highly reactive to the chemicals used to bleach fibers used in major-brand tampons, and some aren't. I am -- if I used a Tampax, for instance, I'd probably get blisters in my vagina from it, so I just avoid 'em like the plague. But I'm a special case: I have an immune function disorder that makes me have allergic reactions to a lot of things that most people don't have reactions to.

Some of the non-cotton fibers, rayon in particular, have been implicated in TSS cases because they are absorbent in ways that seem to encourage staphylococcus aureus growth. This goes hand in hand with the fact that non-cotton fibers are most often used to add absorbency to super-absorbent tampons.

Steering clear of "super absorbent" or "super plus" tampons is a good idea. These tampons often use non-cotton fibers in them, first off, which can cause some reactivity problems. Second and more significant, to avoid TSS/staph infection, you want to avoid having large amounts of blood being held within the vagina (inside a tampon) for a long time.

If your flow is that heavy, use a regular tampon plus a pad as backup rather than using the super-plus tampons. Or just use pads.

If you choose to use commercial brand tampons, or if you can't find or get organic or unbleached fiber tampons, you will, most likely, be just fine. It's one of those situations where I would probably say to *prefer* the unbleached/organic ones over the others when you can, but when you can't, follow the directions and keep an eye out for possible problems.

------------------
Hanne Blank
Associate Editor, Scarleteen

"Be Excellent To Each Other" -- Bill and Ted

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Mistress Mary
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Posts: 36
From: Park Forest, IL, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 06-30-2000 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mistress Mary     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
can one swim while wearing the keeper? also, several months ago i saw an ad in a magazine for something called instead. the ad claimed a woman could still have sex while she was wearing. is that true? is instead the samething as the keeper?

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Miz Scarlet
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Posts: 19846
From: Minneapolis
Registered: May 2000

posted 06-30-2000 07:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
THAT'S the name of the drugstore one. Thanks, Mary, I've been trying to remember it forever.

They are similar, save that the Keeper is reusable, Instead is not. You could swin with both of them.

In all honesty, I don't know what to say about the having sex issue. Instead is not unlike a small and less well-fitting diaphragm, so I don't think it would harm you in any way, but the material it's made out of is flexible, so I also don't imagine it would really retain the blood it's holding that well if it were being knocked about, either.

In general, I guess that since I don't see a need or good reason to use ANY kind of tampon or cup during sexual activity UNLESS it is a birth control device, unless a gynecologist gave it the thumbs up for that, I'd be wary.

(So many folks from the Chicago area! I'm sorry I moved! Perhaps I'll arrange a speaking engagement for Scarleteen the next time I'm in town.)

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wear*a*smile!
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From: San Ramon, California, USA
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posted 07-01-2000 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wear*a*smile!     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
u can get instead in the same aisle as u can tampons and pads. i heard that instead is not as great as tampons and pads cuz they're not disposable, but my friend likes em' cuz she says that they don't make as much smell because they collect instead of abosorb. so its all your decision. i like tampons a lot cuz they make me feel like i'm not even on my period. pads are cool, too, because people say that they make u feel like u r wearing a diaper, but i got used to them and sooner or later u will
p.s. wear a smile!

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Jastiv
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posted 07-08-2000 10:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jastiv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I use a reusable menstral cup, the Keeper. I found out about it from this site It is great because I don't have to buy pads or tampons anymore. I also don't have to fill up a wastebasket with used menstral products.

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Mistress Mary
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From: Park Forest, IL, USA
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posted 07-09-2000 12:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mistress Mary     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
wear a smile....

the instead menstrual cups ARE disposable. my friend had a big box of em left b/c she freaked out when she saw how to insert the cups, so she just gave the box to me. i haven't used them yet, but i'm willing to try.

plus, there are these commentaries by women who've tried instead and there's this one woman who said she can still have sex when she's on her period when she uses the instead cups. i'm still not getting how that works. there's a # to call if more information is needed (1.800.instead), but that # isnt working so i can't get any more info abt this sex thing. anyone know a website i could go to?

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Mistress Mary
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From: Park Forest, IL, USA
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posted 07-09-2000 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mistress Mary     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AHA! I have FINALLY found the website for the instead menstrual cups (the disposable ones). if anyone is interested the url is htt://www.softcup.com.

another good website on menstrual options and the history of menstruation is the museum of menstruation (http://www.mum.org).

ciao...

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Jadesplace
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From: Sonora, CA, United States
Registered: Jul 2000

posted 07-19-2000 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jadesplace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I use the Instead cups. They are disposable! read the box. they come in a purple and white box. (I have it right here) The thing is that they are safe to wear for 12 hours, yes that is 12 hours. I am 24 and I have used them for about a year. you can buy them at any local grocery store (pac-n-save, wal*mart, Savemart...etc...) Anyway you can wear them to bed without fear of TSS. They are designed for 1 use of up to 12 hours. To be perfectly safe I change mine every 8 hours. Please do not re-use them. Yes it is true that for some women they do leak. but not for all. They dont leak on me. They are actually so comfortable, I cant feel it. I hated tampons, cause they are uncomfortable.and pads... forget about them! I am too active to wear them. I hope that helps hun.

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AngelsBrat
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From: Toronto,Canada
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posted 07-20-2000 07:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AngelsBrat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well i tried instead! My mom got them for me and she told me how to use it and how to take it out ... I was at work at the time and i was trying to get it out like she told me to. It came half way out then spilled all over the place!!! Needless to say, that is the last time i've ever tried to use any. It's tampons only for me!

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Hollie ^_^

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LaLaLaLa
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From: beverly hills, Ca, USA
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posted 07-30-2000 02:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LaLaLaLa     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
http://www.instead.net i think is the link to the despoible ones.

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Milke
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From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 08-15-2000 01:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Milke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Keeper's a wonderful thing, very comfortable, can be kept in twelve hours, ecologically sound, much cheaper than disposables in the long run, but is expensive to start, doesn't allow intercourse, and causes cramp for maybe a minute after insertion. Yes, it's good for swimming, and just about everything else. Instead's good for sex, but that's about it, can be hard to insert, tends to pop or be pushed out of place, but can be reused a few times if you clean it first.

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rumpus
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Registered: Feb 2002

posted 02-22-2002 12:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rumpus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please give Instead another try... i advise doing a test-run at home when you're not on your period at first (unlike tampons, this isn't a problem), then your first one for your period at home too..

they're awesome, you just have to get the knack of it.

i'm one of those types who could *always* feel tampons, no matter what. the best i could do was use OB brand which i only slightly noticed rather than being constantly bugged. -so i only wore tampons when i had to.

man, i use Instead now in place of both tampons & pads. i only keep pads around for over-night times when i think i'll want to sleep for longer than 12hrs.

no feeling them, & the only time they leak for me is the same time anything else did -i.e. when i'm having my heaviest flow & i don't replace them often enough to keep up.

like tampons you can swim, jog, lift weights, etc... but without the constant worry of TSS nagging & no string to interrupt oral luvvvv (or escape bathing suits, or show in community-style showers, etc).

woohoo! i've heard about having sex with them in & i'm looking forward to trying... just haven't been in the mood while having one in & my husband at home all at once!

i'm seriously considering buying the Keeper after this. if this sex thing works out it'll be Insteads, the Keeper & an occasional over-night pad for Rumpus...

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Celtic Daisy
Advocate

Posts: 1747
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 02-22-2002 01:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Celtic Daisy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey rumpus, welcome to the boards. While the Instead may have worked for you, it isn't for everyone. I've heard a lot of not so great stuff about it.

But almost everyone around here who's tried the keeper likes it. Just go with whatever is comfy for you.

------------------
"No self-respecting woman will let a naked man in socks do the squelchy with her'-Jeff Murdock

Erin Jane
~Scarleteen Advocate~

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lemming
Advocate

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From: Clear Lake City area, Texas
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 02-25-2002 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey, I just tried Instead last night and I'm sold on it, too. The thing is just too darn cool. I didn't have any problems with it; of course, one of the caveats on the box is that it's best to figure out how to use it on a light day and then work up to heavier days from there.

Can someone compare the Keeper and Instead for me? Is the Keeper bigger? Smaller? Easier? What?

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~lemming, Scarleteen Advocate

this is what you get for liking it.
"Sebastian, you're in a mess, you had a dream they called you king of all the hipsters - is it true or are you still the queen?" --Belle and Sebastian, "Put The Book Back On The Shelf"

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Milke
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From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow
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posted 02-25-2002 09:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Milke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Instead cup's about half again as wide as the Keeper,but both have to be folded to be put into place, and sit in different places anyway, so that's not necessarily a problem. The Keeper's about the same height as a pouch-out Instead, and the material at the lip of each is about the same thickness ,though the Keeper's rubber, and Instead's plastic. The Instead's good, but I think the Keeper's better, especially since it's almost possible to get it out of place, and I find tyhe Instead a bit too wide, and quite likely to sort of pop out of place. And hey, I've even got a ruler here, so . . .the Instead's about 3.5" (7cm)across, and the Keeper's 1.75" (4.25cm), and they're slightly over two (5.5cm) inches long (Keeper w/o the stem)

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erinpinkhair
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Posts: 11
From: Maine
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 02-26-2002 10:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for erinpinkhair     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If your looking for alternative's for tampons and pads there are several things you can use. I've heard a lot of people that use flannel pads. You can purchase these off http://www.thekeeper.com website, along with the keeper.

Now don't get grossed out, but I've read of people who actually collect their menstral fluid and mix it with water and feed it to their plants. I believe I read this in the book "Cunt" by Inga Muscio.

You can also use sea sponges. Of course you want to purchase a natural sea sponge and then boil it down first. After it's been boiled you make sure the sponge is entirely dry and insert it in. It can stay there for several hours or until full. When the sponge is full you simply take it out and ring out all of the blood in the sink and wash the sponge clean, then make sure it's totally dry and re-insert it. I have never done this so I have no idea how well it works. Please do some research of your own or read "Cunt" to find out more information on this method.

I know that you can also find flannel pads and unbleached cotton tampons at most natural food stores.

I really recommed reading the book "Cunt" though, it has a lot of information about menstration, masturbation, etc.. It's a very very good read. The language is a little rough, so if you don't enjoy reading cuss words this probably wouldn't be the book for you.

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Celtic Daisy
Advocate

Posts: 1747
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 02-26-2002 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Celtic Daisy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey, erinpinkhair! (yay, erin's rock!)

I was just noticing in a couple of your posts you seem to be re-surfacing information that's already been mentioned a few times. Just wanted to send you a reminder to read others reply's as well, so we don't sound like we're nagging.

P.S. Welcome to Scarleteen!

------------------
"No self-respecting woman will let a naked man in socks do the squelchy with her'-Jeff Murdock

Erin Jane
~Scarleteen Advocate~

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