I am terribly disheartened to learn that Instead is out of business. [It's not! Call 1-800-INSTEAD.] *Sigh.* If MEN menstruated, there'd be a Federally funded research project to find the very BEST way to handle it!
Anyway, I have reused the Insteads now for nearly three years! I've had NO problems and the things are quite sturdy. I believe that the method I use is what contributes to my success.
I use the Instead, then when it comes time to change, I either wash and reuse it, or I wash it and place it in a small net bag (the kind used to put stockings and other fine washables in for laundry) and take another Instead out and insert it. I may go through three or four cups during my period and I'm a heavy bleeder.
Once the last cup is used, rinsed out and deposited in the net bag, I zipper it shut and toss it in the wash. That's right, I throw the things in with the laundry on gentle cycle. I do NOT run them through the dryer. Rather, I air-dry them and they are clean and safe for next month's usage.
As to the mess on the hands: who cares? It's MY blood and not shameful or anything like that. To solve the problem of public restrooms, I carry a small bottle of Purel Hand Sanitizer, which is a waterless alcohol-based cleaner. I simply withdraw, empty, reinsert the Instead, wipe my hands with toilet paper, apply the Purel and my hands are perfectly clean when I exit the stall.
By the way, laundering the Insteads renders them clean and "like new" in that the "waxy" coating on the material they are made of is restored. I examine them for roughened places or thin spots, but so far, after nearly three years continual usage, they are FINE!
I suspect that the differences of experience that women have, between tampons, Insteads and The Keeper are based on internal configuration. One is not better than the other, but individual women differ and so each one needs a certain configuration. For me, Insteads has been a blessing!
I viewed your site today. I found it very interesting and informative.
After seeing what other women have gone through during this time of month made me feel fortunate to be a woman of the new millennium. I will pass the address along to friends. You answered questions I have often wondered about.
I had heard about your site on Howard Stern some time ago.
I just today stumbled upon it myself. It was soooooo interesting. I was soooooo surprised.
Thanks. I really enjoyed my visit.
Please, may I post a letter on your letter page?
I'm researching a documentary for the BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation] about menstruation - myths and facts and blessing or curse.
I have much information about the curse and predjudice but I am finding scant information about the blessing! I was thrilled to find medical information linking surgery for breast cancer and the menstrual cycle and the New Scientist report about differing medication levels required during the 28-day cycle, and the research about eating requirements differing during the cycle etc., but I want to hear from women who have evidence of the cycle as a blessing, for example, artists, writers, etc., who are at their most creative whilst menstruating.
I also want to meet women who practice menstrual seclusion, as with menstrual huts of the past [and of the present; women still use menstrual huts].
And anything and everything to do with research into menstruation.
Next week I am interviewing Mr Peter Redgrove and Penelope Shuttle who wrote the first book on menstruation that offered positive information, The Wise Wound, 1978. I am very excited about asking many questions resulting from the book. If you have any questions for them pertaining to the book or their second book, Alchemy for Women, about the dream cycle corresponding to the menstrual cycle, I would be delighted to forward them to them on your behalf. They are not on the net so any questions would have to have addresses!
Thank you so much for this glorious Web site [many thanks to you for saying that!] and I look forward to hearing from visitors to your site.
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Irregular menses identify women at high risk for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which exists in 6-10% of women of reproductive age. PCOS is a major cause of infertility and is linked to diabetes.