After reading through much of this site and some others I only have one question remaining in my mind: why arent cups more widely known and used? I have lived in three countries since I began my cycle, yet the only place I have ever seen menstrual cups advertised was in the UK. Both in Edinburgh, where I lived, and Cardiff, where my mother lived. The other two places I have lived are Nuernberg, Germany and San Diego, California.
The lack of widespread knowledge in Germany just baffles me. For a country with so many laws on products and chemicals where the people are naturally green in many ways due to the laws, there is almost no knowledge here of menstrual cups. Lunettes site said that if one lives in Finland of Germany we can just pop into our local apothecary and pick it up. I was so excited that first thing this morning I started calling around to the apothecaries in my area wondering what the shelf price would be. Amazingly, not one carried the cup, big chains as well as small independent shops. One woman was even confused about what I was asking for, and she works in the field!!!! At least here there are not advertisements for tampons and pads all over television, which brings me to my next city...
San Diego, I know that there are areas that are strictly conservative, but there are also thriving areas like Ocean Beach and North Park that are full to the brim with juice bars, holistic health centers, vegan restaurants and any other type of establishment you expect to cater to the green, feminist, and any other non mainstream culture you could think of. And in San Diego we go have tv and billboard ads plastered all over for tampons and pads. Not that I have an issue with it, I do feel women should have choices, and as of right know I dont have enough knowledge to say I wont try a few different cups for a year or two and then happily go back to my all cotton, no extra waste applicator OB tampons, but I honestly hope not. What irks me about that is obviously its not that were culturally squeemish about feminine hygiene, it seems to be the cups alone that are left out of the ads. Why? Seriously, if any of you can answer that I would really love to know. And for those of you in other countries; how does the knowledge measure up?
The Mooncup UK site says that menstrual cups were released to the public in the 1930's, that means that my grandmother and her 6 sisters, my mother and her 13 female cousins, and myself and my 28 female cousins have all be having cycles since that time, yet in asking around in my family NONE of the women had even heard of the products. To be fair, many of the women in my family suffer from problems with their reproductive systems, so many of them just dont pay attention to most of the commercials, preferring instead to keep to their old world (we are off the boat Italians) cloth napkin method so they know exactly whats being put near the already fragile systems, but wouldnt you think that somewhere in 50 women, who also have female friends, we would have heard of them somewhere before my mother and I happened to live in the UK 2 years ago?
With so many companies going green and so many women so totally unhappy with their choices (luckily I am not one who was usually unhappy, just one who likes to test all my options and make an educated decision), why havent these companies chosen to do a bit more magazine to tv advertising? Im sure for companies who have vegan, green, or vegetarian approval those organizations would help sponsor some more ad money until the profits could cover it themselves. I dont really mean this as a means of strictly profit for the companies, but more importantly a large scale education initiative.
Anyhow, I just ordered my first cup a few hours ago, I chose Mooncup UK because it was that or Lunette here in Germany, and while I paid more for the Mooncup Uk than I would have elsewhere (I had to order it on Ebay from a doctor in Austria who uses discreet packaging) I got a better idea of which size would be better for me from the documentation on this site than I did foe Lunette. So, I will be purchasing a Lunette on my next pay check where I have a bit more money to play with if I order the wrong size. I am insanely excited, and as I am on the pill and can see how many days I have left Im sure I will have a week or so to learn before the next cycle. It just annoys me to no end that I was not fully educated about the options for my own body and the care of it so I could test and make my own decisions before now, almost 10 years from my first period.