Read a partial history of the menstrual cup!
First cup? Tassette, Tassaway, The Keeper, Daintette, Foldene
And read comments from people who have used a cup.
Do cups cause endometriosis? Not enough evidence, says the FDA.
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
MUM address & What does MUM mean? |
Email the museum |
Privacy on this site |
Who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! |
Art of menstruation |
Artists (non-menstrual) |
Asbestos |
Belts |
Bidets |
Bly, Nellie |
MUM board |
Books: menstruation and menopause (and reviews) |
Cats |
Company booklets for girls (mostly) directory |
Contraception and religion |
Costumes |
Menstrual cups |
Cup usage |
Dispensers |
Douches, pain, sprays |
Essay directory |
Extraction |
Facts-of-life booklets for girls |
Famous women in menstrual hygiene ads |
Founder/director biography |
Gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux |
Humor |
Huts |
Links |
Masturbation |
Media coverage of MUM |
Menarche booklets for girls and parents |
Miscellaneous |
Museum future |
Norwegian menstruation exhibit |
Odor |
Olor |
Pad directory |
Patent medicine |
Poetry directory |
Products, some current |
Puberty booklets for girls and parents|
Religion |
Religión y menstruación |
Your remedies for menstrual discomfort |
Menstrual products safety |
Seguridad de productos para la menstruación |
Science |
Shame |
Slapping, menstrual |
Sponges |
Synchrony |
Tampon directory |
Early tampons |
Teen ads directory |
Tour of the former museum (video) |
Underpants & panties directory |
Videos, films directory |
Words and expressions about menstruation |
Would you stop menstruating if you could? |
What did women do about menstruation in the past? |
Washable pads |
Read 10 years (1996-2006) of articles and Letters to Your MUM on this site.
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.


A History of the Menstrual Cup (continued)
Gynaeseal (1980s-1990s, Australia)

Excerpts from promotional material for Gynaeseal,
owned by the Powerhouse Museum, Australia

The Powerhouse Museum Web site writes of this multipurpose device (picture below),

Promoted as 'the ultimate in menstruation management', Gynaeseal was launched in 1989 but does not appear to have gone into mass production. Neither the government nor any commercial companies in Australia showed interest in the product.

[And my search for it on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office site with its search engine found nothing.]

Early Kotex had a flaw similar to Gynaeseal's that I think killed Gynaeseal and forced Kotex to rethink its instructions: too complex. As best I can understand - I'm just a male - most women want to get through menstruation as fast as they can. Carrying and assembling three pieces of Gynaeseal (two pouches and an insertion "spoon" carried inside a container, which could be considered a fourth piece) is too much. Also, many women - you? - would hesitate having to use both hands to get the device in. (See the diagrams below.) 

Early Kotex gave instructions about how to cut apart its pad and flush (several times!) down the toilet, helpfully showing scissors. Do you carry scissors with you? With menstrual blood on them? Would you take the time to carefully chop up the wet mess? I can hear the lady waiting outside for your stall: "What are you doing in there?!"

Not that you need another example but think of the origami tampon that amused a French woman and her friends years ago. They e-mailed their thanks for showing it.

But in Gynaeseal's defense, an insertion device would probably increase sales of most menstrual cups. Again, most women want to spend as little time and endure as little mess as possible dealing with their menstruation. Many early American tampons had no inserter; Tampax rode to the rescue with its tubes. O.b. of course is known - notorious? - in the U.S. for lacking an inserter.

Megan Hicks, of Australia's Powerhouse Museum, generously contributed these photocopies of some documents at that museum to MUM. MUM (this museum) owns neither original Gynaeseal documents nor the cup itself. She also donated to MUM photocopies of a very early education booklet for girls, the Australian edition of Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday.

See two items I donated to the Powerhouse Museum: the Tassaway and the Instead menstrual cups seen on the Powerhouse Web site. Original yellow packaging holds and conceals the Tassaway. See the Tassaway itself on MUM.

Below: Excerpt from a single page of the promotional package. Some of it looks expensively made.
The Powerhouse Museum Web site has a photo of its Gynaeseal and carrier.

Below: "It's fitting." is a phrase nicely covering appropriateness and how you get the darned thing in.
Below: Looking more pedestrian but informative are the following.
Below: Article from Australia's The Age, 18 June 1987 included in the promotional material.
Left: Rely tampon was closely tied with toxic shock syndrome (TSS) in the 1980s.
Below: Included in the Gynaeseal package. The "(10)" probably refers to a footnote not included in MUM's photocopies.
Below: Also included in the Gynaeseal promotional package.
The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, which lies southeast of Australia.
Many of these customs are the same or similar to customs in other parts of the world, Germany, for example.

Read old comments from people who have used a cup.
See the  First cup? Tassette, Tassaway, The Keeper, Daintette, Foldene

© 1997-2013 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute any of the work on this Web site in any manner or medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations to