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Kai
15 September 2012 @ 11:47 am
I am very excited to hear that a "Parent's Guide to Cups" may be in the works.

Here's one for the other side of the spectrum:  My Tale of Peri-Menopause and Cups.



I was 12-13 years old in 1970-71 when I found my mother's Tassaway http://mum.org/TassAd.htm in the medicine chest.
Me: "What's this?"
Mom: "It's for periods.  Do you want one?"
Me: "Eeeewwww!"
And I regretted having said it even as it flew out of my mouth. :o/

Fast forward nearly 4 decades to my 50th birthday.  I was shopping for herbal hair dye online when I spotted an ad for a Diva in the SALE column of a web site.  "Is that what I think it is?  YES!"  And I ordered it on the spot.

Due to age-related (and it could be worse if I'd had children) prolapse, the Diva turned out to be much too long for me.  Thanks to this list, I learned that flipping it inside out would shorten it.  More thanks to this list, I also learned that enlarging the anti-suction holes around the rim would make it easier to pop open.  Afterward, I bought other shorter cups that have worked even better.  50-52mm length happens to be ideal for me.

And then peri-menopausal symptoms started to strike.  Of course, everyone knows of the hot flashes.  Tofu or soy tablets help fend those off.  But why are the nightmares kept secret?  They usually come hand in hand with night sweats.  And they seem to come in clusters -- 4-5 nights, then OK for a few weeks.  Black Cohosh supplements are good for them once they arrive.

Next came unpredictable spotting and irregular periods.  If I hadn't had my cup(s) I would have been afraid to leave the house for fear of having disaster strike.  Unlike tampons that shouldn't be worn in anticipation or for peace of mind, it's OK to pop in a cup if you think you might spot or flood later.  And if it turns out that you just spotted a little, that's OK.  It's not like you're "wasting" a tinged tampon instead of filling it to capacity each time you check it.

Lemme tell ya, my cups have been a godsend throughout this very unpredictable time of life!

Though it's not a common symptom of peri-menopause, to add to my woes, I developed a profuse bleeding issue.  Oh, joy.  Using the measuring lines on my cups, I tracked and wrote down my blood loss on a paper calendar.  When I brought the information to my Gyno, she asked, "How did you measure this?"  I showed her my cups and directed her to the size charts.  She had never heard of cups before and now thinks that they are (her emphasis) "WONDERFUL!"  On subsequent visits, the several nurses asked, "Do you have your cup with you?  Can I see it?  What was that web site again?"

I'm 54 now.  And I still have an occasional period out of the blue.  Sometimes, I get some very light spotting for a few days.  Will it become anything?  It doesn't matter.  I pop in a cup.  If it does, I'm covered.  If not, I didn't have to deal with a bulky pad or liner or wear a tampon "dangerously."

(Edited to fix clumsy wording.)


So TELL YOUR MOTHERS!!!  With your experience, help her pick out a cup.  Don't let her tell you that it's too late -- especially if she's not fully menopausal yet.  Getting through "The Last Chapter" is so much easier and more convenient with a cup than with traditional period products.  You already know that she will wish she had gotten one years ago.
 
chamekke: cha_mekke_in_kimonochamekke on September 15th, 2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this wonderful post! I agree, cups are a boon to anyone with a period, wherever they are on the spectrum from menarche to menopause.

My only perimenopausal symptom (so far) is a highly erratic period, but obviously that's the salient one where cups are concerned. And as you say -- the menstrual cup has been a godsend. It has saved me so much worry. Unexpected period? Heavier than usual? Doesn't matter!

Example: I was performing tea ceremony last weekend in silk kimono. That's the kind of thing you do NOT want to worry about spotting on! So I used my cup 'just in case' and sure enough... Well, let's just say that I've never been so grateful for my little TPE chalice.
Kai: 50IsntOldkuradi8 on September 15th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
:o) It sounds like we have both had many "kiss my cup" days.
melissa569melissa569 on September 16th, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)
"TPE Chalice" I love that! :)

Just for kicks, this wekk (my cycle) I tried going it with only the cloth pads. They were a lot more comfortable and did better than the disposables. But I only made it like a day before I went back to the cup, lol. It was mostly the trips to the bathroom, not as "clean" without something internal.
chamekke: DW_dalek_procrastinate_by_book_freakchamekke on September 16th, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
*nods* I use cloth pads, too, but mainly as backup to the cup. Like you, I like relying mainly on internal protection.

So far I've only needed the backup once: at the end of a cold, when I had a tickly-cough attack that went on for ~5 minutes (quite a long time). Next time I went to the bathroom, surprise, leakage problem! Luckily I was using one of Homestead Emporium's light-day pads at the time, and although it was 'only' a liner, it did its job perfectly.
m03m on September 15th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
Never mind telling my mother... she's past menopause. I may be entering perimenopause as we speak. Not all of us are that much younger than you are :-P

And yes, even if I do have to empty my cup every two hours on my crazy heavy day, I don't want to think about what I would have done without my cup! Spend the day on the toilet I assume...

This is a great post. And we need a perimenopause tag.
Kai: 50IsntOldkuradi8 on September 15th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
Of course, you're right that we're not all youngsters. :o)

But according to the poll just a few posts down from this one, 75% of the respondents (so far) are 18-30 years old -- young enough that most of their mothers or other significant cis-females in their lives are pre or peri menopausal.

I'm putting on my best crackly Granny voice when I say: These newfangled cups aren't just for young folks! ;o) And I'm an old broad who is really, REALLY happy for mine.
m03m on September 15th, 2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
*old broads high five*
elephantus45elephantus45 on September 16th, 2012 12:18 am (UTC)
I tried telling my mom and I got the "ewwwwieee!" response from her. Which I did not expect from her at all. </p>

But she has a hysterectomy several years ago. I have been telling friends and I certainly will tell my daughters if I have them.

juliiie87juliiie87 on September 16th, 2012 01:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your story.

My mom is just a few years younger than you are, and going through menopause atm, but she's strictly a tampon gal and that's that. Don't need anthing else to shove up there, thank you very much. I can tell she finds my little colored cups collection a bit odd, and she's doubtful ever since I overflowed and we had to stop for toilets several times in a row. That one time, she promptly offered me one of her tampons to "put in and be done with it". I pretended to use it, reinserted my cup which finally stopped misbehaving, and we were both satisfied. ;)
Kai: 50IsntOldkuradi8 on September 16th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
Some OLD quotes:

In her case: "What the farmer don't know, the farmer don't want."

And conversely: "It's hard to keep 'em down on the farm once they've seen Paris." (Pronounced "pa-REE" in the song.)