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09 April 2012 @ 02:43 pm

Hi all,

I'm a undergraduate anthropology student at Georgia State University and a huge fan of this site. I'm doing a short class project on alternative health systems, etiologies, and practices and I'd like to include some of your word and/or opinions if that's all right with you. I'm really fascinated by this community and how it contributes to menstrual cup usage and alternative approaches to understanding menstruation.


If you're interested in discussing, here are some of my questions: 

How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?



Obviously this will be anonymous! I will not mention the name of website or the community in the project or anyone's usernames especially. Participation is voluntary, and feel free to PM me if you don't want to post publicly. Write as much or as little as you like. If you have anything to add or critique, please do. I am open and eager to all opinions, viewpoints and considerations.

Thanks so much everybody! I look forward to responses!

 
naked_beauty_21 on April 9th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

I found out about menstrual cups when I was randomly browing the internet and ran across an article about cloth pantyliners. (This is the article: http://www.oddee.com/item_96921.aspx) I clicked on some links within the article and found out that cloth pads are commonly used as backup for menstrual cups. I had no idea what a menstrual cup was so I googled it. I thought it was really weird at first but after reading more about cups I was intrigued by the health benefits and cost-saving potential. Creating less waste was a bonus, too!

Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

Nope! :)

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

Using a cup has definitely changed my conception of menstruation. I don't have that little nagging feeling that I could be hurting my health like I did when I used tampons. And I don't have plastic disposable pads sticking to my lady bits all the time. I don't dread my period anymore.

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

I have told all of my close friends about them and recommended them to them. One friend uses cloth pads now, and another friend is shopping around for a cup. My mom was a little grossed out by them but hit menopause before she had a chance to try them.


Michellemichelleh324 on April 20th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

I learned about them in 2004 while on LiveJournal. I was 16 at the time, so I had to speak to my mom about cups and about how I was interested in them. I was sold on the idea of the life cycle of cups and how much money I'd be saving in the long run. I was never once grossed out.

Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

Menstrual cups keep me more in tune with my body. I've never felt any type of shame over it like other ladies feel towards their cycles or even touching themselves down there, and I feel like cups are a big part of that. Additionally, I like how environmentally friendly and cost effective cups are.

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

Yes, definitely. Cups simplify my period. I actually can measure how much I bleed which is a crazy thought when you consider tampons and pads which do things to hide your period bloods in some of the grossest ways possible. It also helps to know that I'm not putting any of those harsh chemicals in my body. Because I like my cup so much, I advocate to friends the uses of cups (and have switched a few over!). Many of my friends still seem to be so put off on the fact that they see the blood and that they have to put their fingers inside of them.

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

All the freakin' time!! My mom considered getting one about 2 years after I first bought mine, but has delayed constantly since she always thought menopause was knocking on her door. I tell my friends (switched 4 friends onto cups) at all kinds of gatherings when there are females gathered around. I even post on my Facebook about it.
rachaelhubbard on April 9th, 2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?
I've known about Instead cups since they came out when I was in high school, and I heard about Diva cups online somewhere when those came out when I was in college (I'm turning the big 3-0 this year for reference). My initial response was appropriately juvenile - "Ew! Gross!" What finally motivated me to try one was a twofold thing - first, having a child completely removed any taboos or inhibitions I had left about my own body, bodily fluids & reproductive system. Secondly, I cloth diapered my kid, so it sort of opened my eyes to the fact that LOTS of things I took for granted as "disposable" could in fact be used in a reusable form.


Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?
No. Though I know there is a lot of crossover with those communities, I sort of resent it. I was WAY too high risk for midwife care. The experience of medical crisis during pregnancy fundamentally changed my personal views on midwifery/alternative medical care versus "traditional" modern medicine. I wish cups would become more mainsteam and popular, as they are cheaper (and of course better for the environment, though that is not my main concern.)

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?
I think every year I age, I change my view on how menstruation is conceptualized in our culture!

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?
I know at least one woman in my family used a cup before me. I've mentioned it when it comes up in conversation (which, being known as "the cloth diaperer" it does fairly regularly).
Lady Anna Crawleytheaterbrat on April 9th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

A frugal living book was my first introduction to a cup. I was interested because of the cost savings. I got one because I was too embaressed to buy tampons/pads.

Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?
I do recycle and try to live a somewhat green lifestyle (not buying bottled water and using reusable shopping bags.)

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

It makes me sad that I was too embarassed to tell my mother when I got my period. She found out by doing my laundry after I had it for about 3 months. She bought me one box of pads but then I was too shy to ask for more so I would resort to making my own using paper towels and plastic bags. I used to sneak to the drugstore and buy tampons but I was very ashamed of doing so. The main reason I got a cup was so I wouldn't have to have the embarassment of buying tampons or pads anymore.

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one? I told my 2 friends about it only after I had been using one for about 5 years.


efoughefough on April 9th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

I first saw one in REI (Outdoor Store) and thought "yuck!" Now time has passed, I've dug catholes, wiped with my reusable pee cloth and had to pack out disposables. YUCK! I saw them again on REI's website when looking at pee funnels (for camping) and as I'm going to Alaska for 10 days that might intersect with my period, I gave them a second thought. I found a website with videos and then this group. I realized it was safer, cleaner, more environmentally friendly and would be WAY easier to deal with on the trail than disposables.

Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

To a certain extent, yes. I definitely think of it as an environmentally friendlier product - why throw away when you can just rinse and re-use? - but also as a safer, saner product for users compared to disposables. In the beginning, though, I just thought about the convenience when hiking/backpacking.

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

I've always seen menstruation as a burden. I think the cup makes it less of a burden, which is why I think more people should be educated about them. You can leave them in for longer, they are certainly more cost effective than disposables, there is a much lower risk of TSS, for most women they are more comfortable than tampons or wet pads, and they give you more freedom than pads do. Globally, they reduce waste, which is a good thing.

Menstruation is not dirty or wrong, but some cultures feel that way. A menstrual cup has less "evidence" to dispose of (just the blood itself), which makes it more private, in my view. Not spending money on disposables gives those on tight budgets more cash in their account - more financial freedom. I find it more liberating, and safer, certainly.

So, I think the menstrual cup is kind of a revolutionary product for women*.

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

Yes. Most definitely.

* 2nd read and trying to be conscious of gender neutrality while still being true to the purpose of the poll leads me to point out that the cup also seems liberating, in terms of the privacy aspects, for those who do not identify female but who do have female reproductive organs. While menstruating, a person does not have to carry extra pads or tampons or throw out soiled items, which would maybe be awkward in some situations.


Edited at 2012-04-10 02:29 am (UTC)
KaleidoscopeEydkaleidoscopeeyd on March 31st, 2014 10:51 am (UTC)
Wow. I never even thought of the wonderful advantages of cups to males who menstruate. Great point.
juliiie87juliiie87 on April 9th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

I probably saw an add online or a website that sold keepers or Mooncups years ago, I have a vague memory of some hardcore hippie device, that didn't look very convenient or appealing to me at first. I certainly didn't see much advertisement or heard anything from my friends and relatives before I got seriously intersted last summer (reusable menstrual products don't get much publicity here in Europe, they can't be found in regular stores or any store in my country). More recently I saw Lunapads sticker in the rest room at my university, something about "eco periods" which got me interested. Then I think I stumbled upon this community pretty fast and learnt everything I know now (a lot !). So first it was probably the "green" aspect that caught my eye, and then when I started researching online about TSS, the health factor became most important. The "saving money" factor mattered too, but it was more as an excuse to justify the first investments hehe.

Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

I was already trying to go green before I used a cup (mostly recycling, saving water here and there, buying local food). Once I got my cup I realised I still used disposable pantyliners almost everyday, so I ditched those and started a cloth pad collection lol. I'm very aware there's a strong ideological dimension to the practises of "natural womanhood", and I'm trying to stay out of it, and keep a critical mind about it, although I've certainly been confronted to A LOT of information about cloth diapers, home birth, midwifery, breast feeding, and so on. I'm not a mom yet so I feel I still have time to consider all of those options.

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

I think it has... I've learnt so much about my body, about the female anatomy in general... and I find it fascinating. Mind you, I was already interested in sexology and this kind of stuff before. I was amazed to find out that menstrual blood doesn't have to stink ! I'm still a little grossed out by it, but not so much now, I just deal with it, and I was even slightly fascinated at first too. I still need to warn people / make jokingly apologies before I talk about menstrual business with my friends and family, but I've certainly increased the frequency to which I bring up the subject !


Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

I've introduced them to my best friend, my roommate, my mom and step mom (just recently) and 4 girls my age I was working with at university. One of them used one already ! I was very surprised, since she was the first I mentionned it to. All the other women had never heard of them, and most girls my age (25) were interested in trying one after I made my little presentation. None of them have actually bought one just yet, but I'm hoping I can help at least some of them make up their mind and pick the right brand/size for them. I want to share my knowledge to make other women's life easier, this is why I come back to this community so often. :)

Edited at 2012-04-09 11:19 pm (UTC)
mikayla_224601mikayla_224601 on April 10th, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
:) I love questions!
I found out about menstrual cups when I was searching how to reduce cramps, someone posted to try one. Had never heard of them before until then. After that I just researched them and decided I wanted one. I thought they were great! I REALLY wanted one. I was a little concerned because I'm only 14 but I still wanted one. What motivated me was that I was sick and tired of feeling so uncomfortable with my periods and feeling like I was peeing myself, plus tampons scared me. I hated how they ruled my life and I didn't want people to find out I was on my period when I was in the bathroom stall ripping open my pad rather loudly... :'( And pads smell SO bad! :(

I don't really understand your second question...

I used to dread my periods, they used to rule my life. "I can't go over to my friends house because I'm on my period", "I can't go on long trips because I'd need to change my pad". Those kinds of things, freaking out over them months ahead. Now it's kinda like "Oh, I have my period. Cool." :) MUCH better!! <3

I don't suggest them to anyone because I'm so young, people would think I'm disgusting. No, really. I told my sister and she said "I don't like to shove random things up my vagina..." She just doesn't get how AMAZING they are! :)

KaleidoscopeEydkaleidoscopeeyd on March 31st, 2014 10:56 am (UTC)
Obviously you are older now but I wanted to say good on you for being brave and open minded enough to try a cup at 14. Had I known about them that young I would have been intrigued, but way too shy and nervous to seek one out and actually try it.

I'm waiting on my first one now. I'm 25. Do you still use yours? Any complaints?
mikayla_224601mikayla_224601 on April 8th, 2014 01:40 am (UTC)
Hey! Yes, I am 16 now. I've been using it for...3 years (I think). I LOVE my cup! It is definitely the greatest invention ever, and the best thing I have ever purchased. It will change your life, I swear. At first it was very difficult for me. I cried every time I tried to put it in, honestly. But I was also 14 and hadn't really...touched anything down there before. I am sort of embarrassed by it. I don't tell people for sure, for fear that they'd think it's gross. Actually, my own sisters think it's gross and they're 21 and 23 :/ But anyway, I have had barely any problems with leaks, and if I do, removing it and putting it back in has always worked. The only complaint is that I have a smell issue. My cup smells really bad and I haven't found a way to fix that problem yet. Oh, and I find it can often be messy to take out. Have toilet paper ready! I use sooo much toilet paper... Other than that, it is fantastic, and I think you will really appreciate it once you get the hang of it. Good luck! :)
Arrow_Bright: Benedick & Beatricearrow_bright on April 10th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

Oddly enough, I first learned about them in high school (~5-6 years ago) on a forum called Godawful Fanfiction (sadly, it doesn't exist anymore) in the off-topic section. I don't remember what the thread was supposed to be about, but one woman was talking about how she really loved her Keeper Cup and how her cramps aren't as bad anymore not that she's not exposing herself to toxins via tampons. My initial reaction was, "That's...kind of bizarre." I didn't think it was gross; I just thought it was very strange and different. I did look go through the website and look up all sorts of stuff about it, but I didn't get one until last summer because until then I had no money to buy it (my mom would buy a big pack of tampons and pads from Costco and split it with me). What motivated me was that I hated buying tampons and pads all the time because they were so expensive. I also liked that they were safer and more environmentally friendly.

Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

I can see how cups relate to those things, but at the same time I think that they are for everyone and not just for alternative lifestyles. That is, they have benefits beyond the environment, health, etc., such as comfort and convenience. For example, it's so nice to be able to travel with only some cloth pads and my cup.

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

I used to think it was kind of gross, but that was mainly having to do with the icky plastic blood-soaked pads and tampons. I was never really grossed out by the blood itself. I also find it less as an inconvenience now because I don't have to worry about running out of supplies, etc. It also helps that my cramps have nearly disappeared since I've started using my cup cloth pads. :D

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

No. The topic hasn't really come up with my friends or family, though I probably wouldn't hide it if the topic did come up.
tinkerandcrabtinkerandcrab on April 10th, 2012 02:03 am (UTC)
Surveys are fun!
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

I read an advertisement for the Keeper in the back of an environmental awareness magazine called "Garbage!" that my high school library had a subscription to. This would be back in 1992 or 1993. My interest was piqued, but I never pursued it... the concept was a little out there and scary at the time. Years later my brother's wife mentioned that she was trying one out... but I never asked her about her experience once she got it. Then about 6 months ago a close friend of mine ordered a Keeper Moon Cup but it got lost in the mail or something so she ordered a 2nd one... and she ended up having 2 cups so she offered to sell me one, and I thought "what the heck?" So I guess I would say my peers most influenced me in trying one out, I figured that my friend and I could share our experiences with each other and I wouldn't be by myself trying this new technology. That, and I was becoming more and more dissatisfied with the way tampons were sucking my vagina dry every month.

Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

Hmm... I am definitely someone who is concerned about the environment and sustainability, although I don't think that I would have tried menstrual cups for that reason alone... I mean, compared to the waste that my take-out food habits produce, my tampons were a mere drop in the bucket in terms of the garbage that I personally create. Although, I will say that I think my cup use and my participation in this online community has made me more aware of certain women's health issues such as the use of IUD's, and also the whole "no shampoo" movement in personal hygiene.

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

Well, I would NOT say that I've adopted a "yay ra, I love my period!" attitude, although I have found myself kind of looking forward to my cycles lately because using the cup is still a novelty and a fun challenge for me. And cup use (and this community) definitely influenced me to locate my cervix... I never ever attempted that before.

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

Not really, it hasn't come up with anyone, and I'm not about to introduce it in conversation. What someone uses for their period is a pretty personal decision. I have a couple of friends that I've shared my "menstrual cup adventures" with, but one of them no longer menstruates and the other one already uses cloth pads and *might* consider trying a cup, but I'm not going to push it.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on April 10th, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

No. While I like that they are far greener than disposables, my favorite feature is that I no longer have to (UGH!) take my purse to the ladies room or smuggle a tampon. Using a cup is DISCREET -- especially when I'm at my outside job where I'm surrounded by a dozen macho men and my purse is in my vehicle way over there and the porta-potty is way off in the other direction. In and out empty-handed with no tell-tale side trip.

-----

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

No, not really. But especially when my cups were new, I looked forward to my period so I could "play with my new toys."

-----

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

ABSOLUTELY!!! I'll mention them to anyone and everyone, including strangers if periods come up in conversation. Funny, I have had far fewer guys "run away screaming" (both figuratively and literally) than gals.

-----

How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

I'm probably the oldest here on the Cups List. I think it was the summer of 1970 (so I was 12) that my mother used Tassaways. Even though they were supposed to be disposable, she figured out that they could be washed and reused indefinitely. I found one in the medicine chest and asked her what it was. "That's for periods. Do you want one?" "EEEEWWWW!!!!!" fell from my lips before I could stop myself and I always regretted having said that. Only weeks later, I don't know what prompted it but my father's booming voice echoed throughout the house, "That's because you're supposed to throw them away, not re-use them repeatedly!" Then she went back to tampons, and my opportunity to get Tassettes/Tassaways of my own was lost.

Throughout the years, I saw cups advertised in women's magazines and always meant to mail-order one but never actually did.

Decades later, on my 50th birthday, I was searching an online drugstore for something completely different when I saw a Diva advertised in the SALE column. "Is that what I think it is? YES!!!" I ordered one on the spot.

That was (exactly) 4 years ago. And my cups have proven to be a GODSEND throughout peri-menopause. This past year has been particularly hellish -- and cups have made it a lot easier to deal with the uncertainty and the surprises.
Goat Friendsfrolicnaked on April 10th, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

I heard about them on LJ, in vaginapagina. I was already sort of exasperated with disposable menstrual products, so my initial reaction was mainly curious. Maybe a little weirded out, but not much. I decided to try one because disposables were ineffective and expensive for me, and cloth pads seemed like more hassle than cups. (I've since tried cloth pads too and know that my initial thought about them was both right and wrong, depending on the person, but that was the clinching thought at the time.)


Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

A little? I'll be honest: my primary motive is selfish as cups work better for me than more mainstream products. Even so, I definitely believe they're healthier for me than are disposables, and my cup has had the side effect of promoting better bodily awareness (in terms of cervical positioning, measuring and recording menstrual flow, etc.). Additionally, it's not exactly bad to know that I'm sending less waste into landfills (or that I'm spending less money on products every month!) -- but those are not my primary reasons for cup use (and in fact, I might use a cup if it didn't have those side benefits).


Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

In terms of the nitty-gritty, yes. I can see the different... strata... of menstrual blood in my cup sometimes. Blood, clear fluid, clots, sludge. It's kind of funny, knowing all that happens and that it's normal. Additionally, having a community of cup users has sort of helped me realize that the majority of people who menstruate seem surprised -- when they start cup use -- about how little blood they're actually losing. On the other hand, I was surprised by how truly much I was losing -- but then again, being able to bounce this off of other cup users let me know: 1) I wasn't completely alone; 2) that this was, in fact, something that merited medical attention; 3) some possible causes and solutions.


Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

Yes, to family and friends who I'm close enough to talk menstruation with and who've expressed dissatisfaction with what they were using before. For ones who haven't raised the subject, I have not brought it up, either.
hortense in exileapolliana on April 10th, 2012 03:57 am (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

An acquaintance mentioned it once. Mostly, my motivation was to reduce the smelly trash I produce every month. Seriously, a trashcan full of menstrual blood smells *awful*, invites flies, arrant dogs, etc. It's not attractive.

Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

Environmental sustainability, partly. It's amazing to think of the amount of trash, not all biodegradable, every menstruating woman produces--and which is produced by all of them, collectively. It's ridiculous to throw it in a landfill when it can be flushed down the toilet. So partly sustainability, partly that it makes my own house more pleasant, partly just the inelegance of disposables, as a design solution to the problem of menstruation.

I don't have any other "alternative lifestyle practices" or conceptions of women's health.

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

Hm. Don't know about my concepts, but having vulvodynia I've been hesitant about inserting things/exploring, etc., and this has made me more comfortable. In the old days, inserting a tampon would make me nauseous (and getting them out was even worse).

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

Not really. My mother doesn't menstruate.
acat112233acat112233 on April 10th, 2012 05:54 am (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

I found out about menstrual cups when I was considering visiting a vegetarian intentional community focused on sustainable living. On an online forum, the women who had stayed there suggested using a menstrual cup. (I did not end up going. This was back in 2002.) I thought it sounded like an interesting idea, although was unsure of it. I was concerned with health/safety issues. Also, I had only heard of the Keeper and I was concerned of having an allergic reaction to the material. I became motivated to try using one after being given a couple of silicone menstrual cups as gifts in 2008 and getting back into a health-conscious lifestyle in 2012.

Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

It is not a necessary connection; although, these ideologies often coincide.

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

Absolutely. I felt very removed from the process and from my body when using disposable products. For me, I now feel a new connection to my body and my cycle, a sense of peace and understanding. My feelings of disgust and dread were replaced with a newfound respect.

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

Yes, pretty much anyone willing to bring up the topic of menstruation will get my opinion on the matter, which includes an argument for the use of menstrual cups.
lzarrd on April 10th, 2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
Wow- thank you all for your thoughts on this. This is illuminating and will definitely help to authenticate my project.
Summers0mmer on April 10th, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?
I learned about the Keeper cup online 9-10 years ago. I read up on menstrual cups at MUM online but that may have been a few years later. I'd seen and used Instead cups when they were first available, but they are too large to fit comfortably and stay in place.

Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?
No. I use a cup because it's convenient and makes sense for my life and circumstances.

Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?
I pay more attention to my cervix's location. Often I'm struck by how different the point of view is on this group versus the general population.

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?
I'm a new user and have not. Many of my friends already use cups.
pinkmathpinkmath on April 11th, 2012 01:07 am (UTC)
YAY!! Survey!
How did you find out about menstrual cups?

I was getting a rash from every single (disposable) pad brand I tried. So I was on the internet trying to find something other than pads. I'm not sure what website I originally learned about them.

What was your initial reaction?

My initial reaction was "I want one, it won't kill me or give me a rash!" My mom was rather freaked out at first. But she eventually bought me one on the condition that it was made in the U.S.A. (We're big on buying U.S. made products first.)

What motivated you most to try using one?

My motivation was no rash and no risk of TSS. I am beyond scared of tampons. My mom was firmly against cloth pads and told me hundreds (okay, okay a couple dozen) stories about her awful experience with cloth pads.


Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice?

No. It's simply the solution to my problem.


Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation?

I've learned a LOT about my body. I went from not knowing where my vaginal entrance is and being unable to fit one finger inside. To knowing my cervix location and being able to fit two fingers inside.
I dread it less. Now I can pop in a cup the night before my period starts so I don't end up waking up in the morning to lots of blood.

Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

Haha yeah. Poor kid won't read over my shoulder any more! I was writing an email (to my not menstruating mom) I mentioned my cup then realized she was reading over my shoulder. So I started talking about my cup, how much I love it, why it's such a good idea, and about the different brands. She freaked out pretty bad.
moonhoney925 on April 13th, 2012 08:04 am (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

I found out about menstrual cups (Diva) on a friend's Facebook status. I was curious about them, a lot of people did find them funny (in a high school immaturish way) but I thought wow I'm going to look into this further. Around the same time I was wondering if there was a greener alternative to tampons- that is really what motivated me.


Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

Not sure about fertility, I was more after the environmentally conscious side of using cups and I'm happy to say that I no longer have any waste regarding my period. I compost the blood in my bokashi bins. I just wish that I had heard of them earlier.


Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

Like most other cup users I too have learned more about my body but I was already using tampons so it was not an overly huge issue for me. I have had kids though so most of what I regarded as taboo previously no longer applies.

I come from a family where my mother is devout Catholic and superstitious nut so I just tuned out when she come up with nonsense such as "You have heavy periods because you're defying God" and "Don't touch the plants when you've got your monthly because you'll kill them", etc. Pfft, whatever.

My conceptions basically changed when I was planning to have a child. I must admit that I do look forward to my periods now because I get play with "my new toys" , also I like to see how much blood I actually lose- could not really see that with tampons.


Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

I have not really had the chance to as I have only been using them for my last 3 cycles. If the situation arose I would definitely try to promote them.


Edited at 2012-04-13 08:06 am (UTC)
wiesoauchimmer on May 4th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
How did you find out about menstrual cups, and what was your initial reaction? What motivated you most to try using one?

i was searching the internet for extra extra large tampons to deal with my heavy flow. couldn't find those, but found the site of a gyno in my country that sold the mooncup UK and promoted it as a solution for problems with heavy flow, cramps and TSS. i was most of all happy to have found something to try and ordered it on the spot.
it was only a couple months later that i stumbled over this community in my search to educate myself more about the wonderful life improvement the cup presented to me.



Do you relate using a menstrual cup to another alternative lifestyle practice, such as environmental sustainability or alternative conceptions of women's health and fertility (for instance midwifery)?

while i myself am a vegetarian, and i had a midwife for post-birth care (the birth itself was in a regular hospital), none of those things are particularly related for me. at the time when i started using cups i would have gladly gone for anything that could handle my flow without me having to set my alarm for every three hours during my heaviest night, even if it had been 10 times worse for the environment.




Has using a cup changed your conception of menstruation, whether just learning about yourself/your body, or menstruation as a biological occurrence, or how menstruation is conceptualized in our/your culture?

definitely. i don't hate my periods anymore. my bad cramps that would have me live on pain meds for a week have completely vanished to the point where i have not taken a single tablet since i started using cups. i can sleep through the night again, EVERY night of the month. i don't have to make sure that i'm never further than half an hour away from the next toilet. speaking of toilets, i don't have to go there every 1 1/2 hour on my heaviest day anymore. i don't have to pack half a bag full of disposables when i'm travelling during my period anymore. no last minute rushes into the shop on the way to work when i've forgotten to restock at the end of the last period. my period doesn't smell anymore. no dried out feeling and hard to remove half full tampons at the tail end of my period. no worries of soaking the tampon full of dirty or chlorinated water while swimming on my period. and i could go on and on.




Have you promoted or suggested menstrual cups to family or friends since beginning to use one?

all the time. whenever someone mentions cramps or other period related issues, asks for a tampon or anything else, i totally swamp them in cup information. and i have converted a couple of friends so far and a few more are on the verge of taking the plunge.