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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » keeper-like?

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Author Topic: keeper-like?
negative*nancy
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I live in toronto and I wanted to get a keeper now that my period has returned after having my baby, but i'm still not fully comfortable with ordering things off the internet. Mainly because i don't have a credit card and i have to send money orders or checks... not to mention that mail is being pilfered through these days.

I know that there's the Instead cups, but they're not totally reusable, i don't think? I didn't see anything on the website...

so does anyone know if i can buy a keeper-like product in stores, in Canada?


Posts: 361 | From: toronto, ontario, canada | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Milke
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Good For Her has 'em. Real, live Keepers, available locally. How cool is that?
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Lady Moonlight
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I've never used Keepers, but I did use the Instead cup. Bleah! The dratted thing leaked every time I moved, and I ended up having to wear pads with it. I gave up after two or three months and switched to natural sponges. No more allergic reactions (like I was having to tampons), and no more leakiness!
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negative*nancy
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hey lady moonlight - are the instead cups re-usable??
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alaska
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Nancy, to the best of my knowledge (which isn't first hand, the Instead isn't available over here), Insteads are one-time use only.

To those who have used them: how are you supposed to dispose them? Empty them in the toilet and throw the cup in the bin?

------------------
Caro
~Scarleteen Sexpert~

"Through repetition the magic will be forced to rise."
Alchemical Precept


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Lady Moonlight
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According to the packaging, Instead cups are one-use only, although it's supposedly safe to leave them in longer than tampons.

That being said, I rinsed it off and re-used the same one for about 24 hours before getting a new one. I'm not recommending it, but it worked for me.

And yes Caro, your guess on how to use them is exactly right. Empty them into the toilet and throw the cup into the trash.


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miss_pinkling
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what are cups?

Posts: 15 | From: somewhere over the rainbow! | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Jill
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Cups and Keepers are alternatives to tampons or pads. You can find information on the Instead cups here and information on the Keeper here. What cups and the Keeper do is catch the blood in a little cup instead of absorbing it. Once or twice a day you just remove the cup, empty it, and (with the Instead cups) throw it away or (with the Keeper) wash it and reuse it. Just a couple of options. More can be found at http://www.scarleteen.com/pink/ontherag_5.html

Scarleteener opinions can be found at:
http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum22/HTML/000017.html
http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum2/HTML/001346.html (more recent)

I'm sure the search engine could give you some more information.


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rekling
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i *love* my keeper.
getting my period makes me happy because i get to wear it.
that being said:

i've heard of a few people who have had leakage issues with the keeper. one common cause of that problem is when you put it in. it needs to form a suction, but since you insert it folded, if it doesn't completely unfold, there's a nice little place for menstrual fluid to pour out.

i haven't met as many people who use instead. some love it, some hate it. you are supposed to throw it away after one use-- however, i've heard a lot of people say that the only reason for that is because it is only fda approved for one-time use, so i know people who have washed it and reused it a few times, although they *have* thrown it away at the end of each cycle.

the keeper, on the other hand, lasts for up to 10 years (provided you don't lose it or boil it or have a child [in which case you could just get a new one in size "a"] first). its a good idea to empty it a few times a day, about as often as you would change a tampon (if you were being very good about it), to prevent the slight risk of toxic shock that comes with any internal menstrual product. i usually rinse mine when i empty it, too.
although they're a bit on the pricey side, they last a long, long time. if it works out for you, you will have saved a lot of money in the long run. unfortunately, some people just don't like it, or it doesn't work with their body, in which case you might be upset about having spent so much money.
good luck!
love and wearing my keeper right this minute!
-rek


Posts: 72 | From: oberlin, oh / new york city | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Milke
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rekling, twist the Keeper after you put it in, and it shouldn't leak. Also, cutting the stem part off completely can make it more comfortable to use, and I know women who've successfully used the B size after childbirth. (Just bits of info I've picked up, not completely aimed at you). I've had mine for three or four years now, and really, really like it. It's just too bad that information about, er, alternative menstrual supplies isn't easier to get, or wider spread.
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rekling
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milke
mine never really wants to twist around. i usuall find that with a bit of jiggling combined with some kegel-ing, i can get it into place. i've never had any leakage that couldn't be attributed to blood that was already below the level of the cup before i inserted it.
i've had mine for nearly a year, and i love it! i had to wait for my period for a week after i bought it, and i couldn't wait to try it! i've used it every cycle since then.
i've cut about half the stem off mine-- i have friends who have needed to actually shave the entire stem off with an x-acto knife to get it to be comfortable.
i'm also lucky enough to work at a center that sells keepers at cost, so mine was only $17.50. in less than a year, it has more than paid for itself! it is definitely difficult to find alternative menstrual products, especially living in small town ohio most of the year,and not having the credit card to order off hte internet. i'm currently making my own pads since i'm semi-allergic to most commercial ones. but i'm running into the problem of underwear: i wear men's boxerbriefs, which are difficult to put a sticky pad in, but while that is possible, i have yet to settle on the best way to get a homemade pad (like the ones sold by many moons, or gladrags) into that kind of underwear.

and i'll make a seperate post about a related topic...
what has your experience been with using the keeper while on antibiotics? it was somewhat uncomfortable for me, and when i removed it, there were pieces of skin (kinda like the pieces of skin that you might get from your mouth, thin layers) all over it. a friend of mine says this always happens to her-- i've never experienced it....i figure it could just be pieces of endometrial lining, but i'm still not sure i liked it...(i've switched to pads for the rest of this cycle, which is seeming to be incredibly annoyingly short)...

hugs and no more antibiotics (hopefully)
-rek


Posts: 72 | From: oberlin, oh / new york city | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Milke
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I've never used the Keeper whilst on antibitoics, but losing bits of skin definitely doesn't sound good. So right now pads probably are best. And as for the mens' underwear, this is going to sound weird unless you know exactly what I'm talking about, but I think I have some idea how to deal with it. Y-front underwear sometimes has a double-layered pocket part in the crotch, and if you have a few pairs you use just for periods, you can put a pad or a bit of cloth in there, and it stays in place quite well. Having inherited some boys' underwear from a partner who bought it accidentally, that's what I do.
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eryn
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I've been using my Keeper for 9 YEARS and I LOVE IT. Not one tampon, not one pad during that time - gosh, I'd like to figure out how much I've saved in terms of money (as well as the environment).

Anyways, I don't believe you are shedding skin - but simply discharge that looks like a thin layer of skin. I've experienced it myself and was a bit alarmed at first but when talking to my doctor about it (she's totally kewl with the keeper)she assured me this was discharge and quite normal.

Hope this helps you feel better. Also another line of pads out there that are totally cool are LUNAPADS!!!


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PoohBear84
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After reading this, i really want a Keeper, they sound really cool, do you know where i could get one in NYC... there are probably tons of places, i just don't know of them beuase i've never looked. And how does it work?
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rekling
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hey poohbear...
i know that bluestockings, the women's bookstore (on allen just below stanton) sells keepers. or you can order one online from their website, which is http://www.keeper.com

its is a natural rubber cup about 2 inches long, with a stem that you can cut off (many women i know choose to shorten the stem of theirs), which sits in the lower third of the vagina, with the opening up around the cervix. it is held in place by suction, which you need to break, by inserting a finger up around the seal, in order to get it out (although sometimes if you don't put it in right, it can fall out-- that happens to many women who have just started using it. to insert it, you fold it in half and in half again the long way, and slide it into your vagina.
it definitely requires a certain degree of comfort touching your own body to insert and remove it. ever 6-8 hours (as frequently as you would change a tampon) (or sooner if you have a heavy flow), you remove the keeper and dump out hte contents. then, different people do different things. some simply reinsert it. some rinse it off with plain water, and some wash it with some warm soapy water, being careful to get *all* te soap off. personally, i always wash it with very warm water, and i prefer to use some mild soap if its available. do *not* boil the keeper-- they melt. then you reinsert it.
at the end of your cycle, wash it well and put it away in a dry place. some people like to "sterilize" theirs in a solution of vinegar and water (presumably using the same proportions of vinegar and water that one would use for the vinegar/water douche).
they come in 2 sizes: B for before childbirth, and A for after childbirth. and keepers last for up to 10 years.
for more info, check out the keeper page, or the blood sisters site (an amazing menstrual site at http://www.bloodsisters.org) or the museum of menstruation at http://www.mum.org

god luck getting one! i love mine-- i couldn't wait for my period to come when i bought it.

love and capoiera sore-ness
-rek

**Just fixed your mum link**

[This message has been edited by Milke (edited 01-21-2002).]


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PoohBear84
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Thanks so much!!!

I just have one question about it... i'm a really small person, would they have one for really small women, or does the before pregnancy fit all? Has it not fit some?


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Milke
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I've never heard of anyone not being able to use a Keeper. You fold it to insert it so it's not too big, and the vagina is extremely elastic, so if it needs to stretch a bit it can. And by stretching, I mean temporarily. It won't just get bigger and stay that way. I've also never heard of anyone's falling out, and I imagine that'd only happen if it wasn't pushed in all the way. I think it's held in more by muscle than by suction.
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rekling
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theoretically it is in fact held in by suction-- if it doesn't completely unfold when you insert it, it won't be as effective (ie some blood may leak out, and if you have a larger vagina or very weak muscles it could fall out).

its definitely not held in all by muscle-- i can "birth" it part of the way out, but i still need to break the suction go actually get it out. plus, i can do my kegels with it in-- if it was held in all by muscle, that wouldn't be possible, it would come out!

another thing-- some people like to put it in in the shower...because there's more room to squat (which is helpful to insert it) and they find that they are more relaxed then...its not held in totally by muscle but muscle helps...which means that your muscles need to be relaxed to get it in.

it probably is possible to be too small for a keeper (most likely if you are simply not finished growing/not done with puberty, though-- any fully "developed" woman shouldn't have too much trouble using one)...
in all likelyhood, most people have no trouble fitting a keeper into their vaginas. however, some peole find them to be very uncomfortable. they are a good bit bigger than tampons, and some women simply don't like the feeling of having something in their vagina. it's definitely a matter of personal preference-- its okay to not like the keeper, just as its okay to use only the keeper, and give up on tampons or pads all together...

-rek


Posts: 72 | From: oberlin, oh / new york city | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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