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Author Topic:   The Keeper
lemming
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Posts: 3154
From: Clear Lake City area, Texas
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 01-21-2003 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All right, well, I'd been using the Instead menstrual cup for a couple of months and loved that, so I took the plunge and bought a Keeper.

The Keeper comes with a 3 month guarantee - if you don't like it, you can send it back. So I figured it was good for a try, and I'd read a zillion notes from people that loved it.

I'll keep you posted on my Keeper adventure.

Some links for your perusal:
More about the Keeper: http://www.keeper.com/
I bought mine at Lunapads, which has lots of other cool stuff, too (and they sent me a sticker!): http://www.lunapads.com/
I first learned about the Keeper at the Museum of Menstruation: http://www.mum.org/

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Laurel Lemming
Scarleteen Advocate

"Maypole/The ties that bind you will unwind/To free me one day/And everything decays..." - XTC, "The Wheel and the Maypole"

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lemming
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From: Clear Lake City area, Texas
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posted 01-22-2003 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was looking for something like this before I bought the Keeper, so I thought I'd keep a little journal here of what my experiences are like. Mods, move to VP if you see fit.

Keeper Update, Day 1.

So I got the Keeper in the mail yesterday. I guess I should have remembered that any plain-wrapped packaging would be defeated by the customs declaration, "RUBBER CUP."

It's much softer and squishier than I had imagined - and also much bigger. I should get my period tomorrow or Friday, so I decided to start figuring it out today, while the boyfriend's at work. (He claims to be just fine with the whole idea, and he looked at and learned about my Instead cups, too - but somehow I don't think he needs to hear my mutters of confusion in the bathroom. The first thing he said when he saw the Keeper was, "...That's...big.")

And it is big. You're supposed to fold it in half, then in half again, and stick it in. This is okay, but they tell you not to use lubes ('cause it's rubber, I guess?), so it could have been more comfortable.

Then it unfolds inside your vagina and creates a seal that holds it there. There's a little tail on the end that you can use to position it. The tail was too long by half. Time to remove the cup and trim it down.

Removal is...uh...difficult to say the least. You're supposed to grasp the bottom of the cup and squeeze it till the suction breaks. It was hard to find the cup, and hard to get ahold of it. Note to self: trim fingernails.

The suction didn't break, no matter how much I squeezed the bottom of the cup, till I had brought the thing all the way to the mouth of my vagina - and then, with a very, very odd feeling and a sucking sound, it POPPED out. Sigh. Trim the tab, rinse and repeat.

All I can say is that this is going to be much more difficult with blood in the equation..

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Milke
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posted 01-22-2003 05:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Milke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lem, I'd suggest removing the tab as completely as possible, and pushing down a bit when you remove it. I've never heard the warning anout lubes before, but I'm not sure how a water-based one would be a problem. Umm . . .it may cramp a bit for a minute or two after insertion, and it will darken a bit with time and use. Those are my random-ish tips o'the day.

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Milke, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP

as long as there are stars above you . . .

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lemming
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From: Clear Lake City area, Texas
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posted 01-22-2003 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks. The tab is evil. EVIL. And it doesn't even seem to be remotely helpful.

Note to self: buy water-based lube.

I'm used to the pushing down and the minute of cramping from Instead, but the tab bit is GOOD to know. ;]

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lemming
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From: Clear Lake City area, Texas
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posted 01-24-2003 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, update 2. This one is short.

My period started last night. I put the Keeper in overnight, and held my breath and crossed my fingers - yay! No leaking! And it was much easier to put in on my period.

So. Verdict on day 2? Awesome, reusable, and comparatively cheap (at $35 total, it's less than tampons for a year, and it lasts for 10).

I would say that one should expect some getting used to it, especially if you aren't used to menstrual cups of any sort, but I definitely wish I had done this years ago.

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Celtic Daisy
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posted 01-24-2003 08:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Celtic Daisy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just wanna say, I'm so glad you put this up.

And second, I've been thinking of buying one for a while, but I don't know if I want to yet. I guess we'll see.

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'You've got the eyes of ten women. Not in a jar! I wasn't accusing you. I just mean your eyes are really nice'-coupling

Erin Jane
~Scarleteen Advocate~

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LilBlueSmurf
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posted 01-24-2003 08:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LilBlueSmurf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Same here ... I tried using the Instead cups a few times, but i always end up leaking, and i don't understand why I don't really want to spend that much on something i'm not going to be able to use ...

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Miz Scarlet
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posted 01-24-2003 08:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Keeper has a MUCH smarter design than the Instead cups. Really, you can tell just by looking at it, and looking at a diagram of the internal female anatomy.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

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lemming
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From: Clear Lake City area, Texas
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posted 01-24-2003 08:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After using the Instead cups for several months (though I will admit, not exactly as they're directed; I rinsed them when I emptied them and only threw them out at the end of my cycle, and I was just fine), I'd say I like the Keeper better, even after just a couple of days.

The Instead cups, as Heather said, are really not too well designed; I never had a problem with one leaking or trouble inserting one, but they're very flimsy and ...strange. They're also not fantastic if your cervix doesn't like being bumped, since they sit around it, and while putting Instead in you may very well knock your cervix a bit.

The Keeper's solid; it's big, and it's difficult at first to insert and remove - but I've not had any leaks or even felt it at all. It doesn't go up by the cervix; it sits sort of low in the vagina, and it stays there by suction. The suction part is very weird to get used to, and can make sounds that are hilarious in your own bathroom, but could be really weird if anyone's around. I heard a whistle at some point and looked around, startled - then I realized it was coming from the Keeper. Ah, good times.

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lemming
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posted 01-26-2003 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I can already tell you why the Keeper people offer that refund guarantee. You can have my Keeper when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

This is obviously the best invention ever. BUY ONE! USE IT! TELL YOUR FRIENDS! Once I figured out how to use it - and let me tell you, I did have second thoughts when I first tried - I was sold.

It's like not having your period. Seriously. I only have to think about it two, maybe three times a day. Emptying it in a public restroom has not even been an issue; I can empty it before I leave and when I get back. I don't have to carry around little tampons that the security people at the airport blush when taking them out for inspection. I don't feel it at all while it's in, thanks to dear Milke telling me about snipping off the Evil Tab of Evil.

Fan-freaking-tastic, people. ;] My work here is done.

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Laurel Lemming
Scarleteen Advocate

"Maypole/The ties that bind you will unwind/To free me one day/And everything decays..." - XTC, "The Wheel and the Maypole"

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youcancallmepunk
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posted 01-26-2003 11:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for youcancallmepunk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, question time:

I've tried using tampons, and they were beyond uncomfortable. They seem to make me bleed less, if that is even possible. And I don't bleed enough to soak a lite tampon, so it hurts everytime I take the little sucker out. So with that said, would the Keeper possible be easier to use? Or what out it be just as difficult because I don't bleed that much?

I'm seriously thinking of getting one, considering all the praise ya'll have for it. Plus I live in a house full of chicks, so if I can sell them on it, we can really reduce the trash coming from our bathroom.

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lemming
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From: Clear Lake City area, Texas
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posted 01-26-2003 11:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd say at the least give it a try. You get three months to try it, and if you don't like it, you send it back to the place you got it from and they refund the purchase price.

It sounds like your flow is really light; I don't know if this would make it easier or more difficult to use the Keeper. However, I would say that it won't dry you out, as it's nonabsorbent; it just holds your menstrual flow.

Worth a shot, I'd say. I don't think it could be any more uncomfortable than a dry tampon, and it might well be less.

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roziline
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posted 01-31-2003 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for roziline     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
is it hygeinic to send it back? if you've used it will they just rinse it off a tad and then give it to someone else?

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Rosie
the girl dreams are made of =)

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lemming
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posted 01-31-2003 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No *way* would they send it to someone else; for one thing, that would indeed be a public health risk, and for another, the Keeper comes with a little rubber tail that's pretty long - they expect you to cut it to fit your needs, and you would notice if it had already been cut.

(Incidentally, you can cut the Keeper's tail and send it back; however, they won't accept for return a Keeper that's been boiled or otherwise "abused.")

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Laurel Lemming
Scarleteen Advocate

"Maypole/The ties that bind you will unwind/To free me one day/And everything decays..." - XTC, "The Wheel and the Maypole"

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celery
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posted 02-12-2003 04:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for celery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How often do you change The Keeper?

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Milke
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posted 02-12-2003 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Milke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Personally, twice a day, or more often.

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Milke, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP

Anyone perfect must be lying, anything easy has its cost
Anyone plain can be lovely, anyone loved can be lost

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celery
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posted 02-12-2003 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for celery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also, can you buy them at stores? Or do they have to be ordered online

[This message has been edited by celery (edited 02-12-2003).]

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KittenGoddess
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posted 02-17-2003 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KittenGoddess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I must confess I'm not the ultimate authority on this...but I've never seen one in a store.

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KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Sexpert (and Labia Lady)

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Alaska
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From: mad(e) in Germany
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posted 02-17-2003 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alaska     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by celery:
Also, can you buy them at stores? Or do they have to be ordered online

I think Keepers are available at a limited number of natural food stores. Maybe send an eMail to the folks at http://www.keeper.com/ ?

And just as a footnote regarding changing the Keeper: it's actually more emptying than changing, because you use just one Keeper, for all your cycles, for the ten years the Keeper hopefully lasts..

And I still long for one. argh!
Go dow, evil $. Go down!

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Caro
~Scarleteen Sexpert~


Spike: (In response to being asked to fight a troll) "I would, but I'm paralyzed with not caring very much."

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Alaska
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From: mad(e) in Germany
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posted 02-17-2003 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alaska     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
yay, kitto! instantaneous posting! same minute! that hasn't happened with us in a while, eh?

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Milke
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posted 02-18-2003 08:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Milke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
celery, Good For Her, which is in Toronto, has them. It is an adult shop, but since we're not talking about something that's not intended for those under eighteen, if you're underage, it should be fine to ask an adult you trust to get one for you. There may well be health food shops in the area that have them too, so Alaska's advice was spot on.

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Milke, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP

Anyone perfect must be lying, anything easy has its cost
Anyone plain can be lovely, anyone loved can be lost

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KittenGoddess
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posted 03-14-2003 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KittenGoddess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You talked me into it, lemming. I just placed my order today.

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KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Sexpert (and Labia Lady)

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kythryne
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posted 03-15-2003 01:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kythryne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just chiming in to say that I bought a Keeper last fall, and I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever use anything else again. (Enthuastic much, me?)

It took most of my first cycle to get used to putting it in and taking it out, and there was a bit of leakage the first day or so until I learned how to position it properly, but nothing a pantyliner couldn't handle. I found making sure that it was slightly wet before putting it in helped -- lube would do the same, I suppose, but I just rinse it under the faucet and pop it in. And as has been noted, removing the tab is a Very Good Thing.

(A side note: do not allow a cat to accompany you into the bathroom while removing and inserting the Keeper, as the Keeper is prone to making funny "squoishick!" noises upon entering and leaving your vagina. The cat will be entirely too ingrigued, and will trot over to look quizically up at your crotch, causing you to nearly drop the Keeper into the toilet while laughing hysterically at the cat's expression. )

I have VERY heavy periods, and I only have to change mine twice a day at most. I also, for whatever reason, no longer get terrible cramps -- just a bit of twinging. Hooray! I hardly even notice that I have my period anymore.

I bought mine at Bluestockings, a femminist bookstore in NYC. Best $35 I've spent in a long time.

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KittenGoddess
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posted 03-24-2003 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KittenGoddess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And 10 days later...my Keeper has arrived!

I'm really quite impressed with the speed of delivery I got from Lunapads (I ordered mine from Lunapads, using the advertisement found in our On the Rag article). Honestly this has been one of the best online purchasing experiences I've had in quite a while. It arrived quickly, and exactly as promised. I agree with lemming...I'm sure the mail room people were amused by the customs declaration sticker reading "Rubber Cup".

I'm rather excited about my next period so I can finally find out if this is as good as everyone says it is.

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KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Sexpert (and Labia Lady)

[This message has been edited by KittenGoddess (edited 03-24-2003).]

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KittenGoddess
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posted 04-15-2003 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KittenGoddess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So I finally got to try out my Keeper.

The verdict: I really think I like it.

The size is a tiny bit intimidating. I'll admit that it was bigger than I'd expected. However, once you fold it down for insertion, it's not nearly as large as it seems. I don't quite have the hang of inserting and removing it yet. But like everybody says, I think that just takes a bit of practice and getting used to. I'm finding it a bit more difficult to keep folded up while I insert it, and more than a little bit difficult to get the seal to break. The first couple of times I tried it, I looked like I'd been trying to staunch a gaping head wound using just my hands. However, through the course of my period, I got alot more proficient at it. I'm not getting terribly messy anymore, so that's a good sign. I feel confident that by my next cycle, I'll be just fine.

I do agree that it's SOOO much more comfortable than any other product I've used. I really don't feel it at all when I'm wearing it. And I've had no leakage...which I find to be a massive plus. I usually have quite a bit of clotting during menstruation which tampons don't handle very well (clots have a tendancy to go out and around the tampon). But the Keeper easily and completely contained the clots. I didn't even have to think about them or worry about them at all. And my tissues feel so much healthier in general after using the Keeper. I wasn't dried out after removing the Keeper. When I use tampons, I often find that inserting a new tampon after removing the old one is extremely difficult simply because my tissues are sooo dry. That's not even an issue with the Keeper.

Overall, I really like it. A good investment that I'd recommend to anyone.

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KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Sexpert (and Labia Lady)

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UKgirl
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posted 04-17-2003 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for UKgirl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
whilst looking for a UK stockist of the keeper, I came accross this: http://www.mooncup.co.uk/
it seems to be exactly the same thing, only made from silicone rather than natural rubber. I don't have any allergies that I know of, so would these products be equally suitable? Or is there some other difference i've missed/don't know of?

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Milke
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posted 04-17-2003 08:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Milke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Mooncup (or Divacup, if you're in N America) should work as well, if not better than the Keeper. The advantages I can see are that it's easier to sterilise it (boil it, or put it in the dishwasher), and that it shouldn't harden over time, as rubber can. It might tear more easily, but unless you're doing something really awful to it, I can't see that being a problem. This just seems to be the next generation of menstrual cup; retaining the same shape (which is about seventy years old), and using a new material.

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Milke, with an L, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP

I still love you, oh, I still love you
...Only slightly, only slightly less than I used to

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ookuotoe
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posted 04-17-2003 08:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ookuotoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aside from the fact that the first thing I would do with a Mooncup is check to see if it glows in the dark, they're nearly identical products.

As you pointed out it's made from silicone so it'd be useful for those with allergies. Also the Mooncup can be boiled but the Keeper can't. Ooh, and both the Keeper and Mooncup are cheaper there than anywhere else I've seen the Keeper.

Thanks for pointing it out UKgirl!

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lemming
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posted 04-18-2003 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The only thing I'd point out is: Who makes the Mooncup/Divacup? I know that the Keeper is woman-made by a small company; if the Divacup is made by a large conglomerate, I'd much rather support the Keeper people.

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Milke
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posted 04-18-2003 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Milke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not sure, but I suspect the Mooncup may be related to the Keeper in terms of manufacture, since the design is VERY similar, if not identical, and they're both sold out of little places in Kitchener.

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Milke, with an L, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP

I still love you, oh, I still love you
...Only slightly, only slightly less than I used to

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UKgirl
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posted 04-18-2003 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for UKgirl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
but on the other hand the company that makes the Keeper is based in Canada, but the mooncup is made in the UK (though the divacup is made in Canada)

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Neros_Neptune
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posted 05-05-2003 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Neros_Neptune     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey, I dunno if people read old posts, but mine I made the other day was closed so I have to ask here, I don't want to start more threads.

Today I was testing the keeper after cutting the tab and I couldn't get it out I had a horrible time with it, my fingers wouldn't reach the top. Should I give up? I really want to use it, but I'm a bit scared about it actually getting stuck.

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lemming
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From: Clear Lake City area, Texas
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posted 05-05-2003 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Babe, didn't I ask you in the other thread to try to 'bear down' with your muscles? This will push the cup further down your vaginal canal, and you should be able to get a finger round it then.

Anyway, you don't need to reach the top of the cup with your fingers, just the base. Squeeze the base firmly and the suction should break. 'Bearing down' with your muscles can help with this as well.

Remember that it will take a few cycles and some practice to get the hang of it, just like anything else.

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Laurel Lemming
Scarleteen Advocate

"Maypole/The ties that bind you will unwind/To free me one day/And everything decays..." - XTC, "The Wheel and the Maypole"

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Alaska
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From: mad(e) in Germany
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posted 05-15-2003 06:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alaska     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
re divacup/keeper:

it looks to me like the keeper folks are phasing out keepers: i contacted them asking for advice on where to get one in montreal, and they told me they had "supply issues", and told me to get a divacup (which i did, and can't wait to use later this week).

someone in canada maybe ready to give both places a call to find out whether they're the same people, just revamping the keeper? i really think that's what it is.

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Caro
~Scarleteen Sexpert~

Anya: "Well, at first it was confusing. Just the idea of computers was like, whoa, I'm eleven hundred years old. I had trouble adjusting to the idea of Lutherans."
Tara:"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad, and it's depressing."

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Milke
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posted 05-15-2003 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Milke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
P'raps I should. I was considering ordering a Divacup, but had heard they were harder (material-wise) than Keepers, which sort of put me off that.

**ETA a link that might be useful, for reading about others' experiences.**

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Milke, with an L, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP, MF

I still love you, oh, I still love you
...Only slightly, only slightly less than I used to

[This message has been edited by Milke (edited 05-15-2003).]

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UKgirl
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posted 05-16-2003 04:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for UKgirl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Milke:
I was considering ordering a Divacup, but had heard they were harder (material-wise) than Keepers, which sort of put me off that.

Well, I've got my mooncup now, which is made out of the same stuff as the divacup, and its very flexible. I've never seen a keeper (other than pictures) but I can't imagine its much more soft. I'm not due on by period till Sunday, so I'll let you know how I get on, but I've done a "dry run" with it, and its very comfy.

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Blue Roses
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posted 05-16-2003 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blue Roses     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yay for the Keeper! :-) It is a pain, though, having one in college, because I'm emptying it in what is basically a public restroom and it's a bit awkward. There's usually one of the little powder-room type ones if I look hard enough, though, so I can use that. It doesn't embarass me or anything, given what else goes on in our bathrooms, but I like to be able to rinse it off rather than just wiping it out, and for that I need a sink that I don't have to walk to.

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Alaska
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posted 05-17-2003 03:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alaska     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by UKgirl:
I've done a "dry run" with it, and its very comfy.

I've done a dry run with my DivaCup, too (will have to wait three weeks before I can use it, duh!), and I can not imagine that the thick latex would be even more comfy than the silicone. - I read the livejournal you linked to, Milke, and I can see why long users of the Keeper might find the DivaCup too "hard" - the folding did take getting a hang of it, but as a plus, it unfolded very easily after insertion. - It worked very well on my first attempt.
From my experience with other silicone things, I find that they warm up well, and gets more flexible then, so, yeah. We'll see.
All ultimately just a matter of personal prefererence.

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Caro
~Scarleteen Sexpert~

Anya: "Well, at first it was confusing. Just the idea of computers was like, whoa, I'm eleven hundred years old. I had trouble adjusting to the idea of Lutherans."
Tara:"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad, and it's depressing."

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LilBlueSmurf
Sexpert

Posts: 5209
From: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 05-22-2003 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LilBlueSmurf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just ordered my DivaCup

I'm soooo excited ... They told me it'd be about 5-10 business days ... So it SHOULD be here before my period starts. Yaaaaaay

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frozendreams
Activist

Posts: 118
From: dayton ohio usa
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 05-22-2003 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for frozendreams     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ok ive been reading this thread for quite sometime and i thought it would be really gross because i wouldnt want to take a cup of blood out of my body, however you guys are making me consider getting a keeper.

i do have one problem though, you couldnt really have spontaneous sex with the keeper in because that would be a bloody mess (literally). and i have thought about those reusable pads but i dont think that i would like to wash them out. not to mention that i dont wear pads.

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formerly unhappykoger
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