n0m_de_plum (n0m_de_plum) wrote in menstrual_cups,

Horribly inaccurate article from The Stir about menstrual cups

I read an article from The Stir about menstrual cups that really just made me mad.
Basically, it discourages cup use. The author mentions discussing cups with her mother, a nurse, who vehemently opposes the idea and suggests she speak with an OBGYN. She gives the name and link to professional website of an OBGYN, and goes onto discuss the health concerns the doctor supposedly told her about.

She talks about the risk of infection. To her credit, she acknowledges that the cup becoming discolored does not mean it's dirty, but she also says cups start to smell in a way that implies is inevitable. She also makes it seem like washing is so difficult when so many of us get by with rinsing and boiling in plain ordinary water. However, I can at least acknowledge that yes, if a cup is not cleaned, you could risk infection.

The only other real concern she gets right, seemingly by accident, is the issue of some women finding the stem uncomfortable.

She talks about the risk of toxic shock syndrome, and implies that everyone is basically lying when they say it can be left in more than 8 hours.

One point is completely wrong in so many ways. She says it can only be used on heavy days, which we know is wrong since they can be used even when you aren't bleeding. Then goes on to say that latex on light days can be painful. The DivaCup is the cup she specifically mentions, which is not made of latex. She also says that younger and newly sexually active women might find it painful because: "just not that much room to have the cup in place comfortably."
I won't even touch the "not that much room" statement, because I'd lose my mind, but the implication is that being sexually acitive is necessary when we here know that virgins can and do successfully use cups.

The last concern is about emptying the cup in public which, okay is a genuine question that comes up here often. But she discusses how new users might have trouble not spilling it when taking it from the toilet to the sink, and that just seems like the weirdest statement. You're more likely to spill it while removing it then when walking it to the sink (not that the sink is the best place to empty, but that's another issue).

Real issues with cups like there being a learning curve when first to inserting, and needing to know more intimate details of your body live vaginal length and cervical position aren't even mentioned.
Overall, the tone just struck me as very period-phobic. It perpetuate some of the prejudices from the medical community that aren't all that rooted in reality, and some giant leaps to conclusions.
Also, she seems to be doing her best to make cups sounds scary, but even so they don't sound all that scary. The infection point might be the best attempt, but one of her other big 'think twice' points is "You might spill it!!!!! OMG!!!!!1!!!"
It's almost kind of pathetic.
But begs the question, why are some people so invested in detering people from trying cups?
Tags: activism, health risks
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