New this week: A second Lee Miller Kotex ad (1929) - San-Nap-Pak napkin ad (1932) from Love Mirror (magazine cover also shown)

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Name That New Tampon!

The American Food and Drug Administration, which regulates tampon absorbency, is seeking a name for a proposed highest-level absorbency tampon in the U.S.A., absorbing 15 to 18 grams of fluid. Johnson & Johnson already sells one outside the U.S.A. in the guise of the largest size size of o.b. tampons. Apparently many American women and some companies have asked for this largest size.

The toxic shock calamity of 1980 and later, often associated with the Rely tampon, pushed the government to control the size and labeling of tampons.

Now women choose from junior, regular, super and super plus, ranging in absorbency from six to 15 grams of fluid.

The Washington Post newspaper, which reported this news in the 5 February 1999 Business section, also described how tampons are tested, using the Syngyna testing apparatus.

Suggest a name before 21 April.

Letters to Your MUM

How she uses the menstrual cup Instead

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!

Some praise for your MUM

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.

Some more praise for your MUM

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.

The BBC wants to hear from you if your cycle is a blessing, makes you creative, if you have experience with menstrual seclusion, or know about current research !

Here's your chance to say how you feel about menstruation!

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.

Ali Kedge. or

Help Wanted: This Museum Needs a Public Official For Its Board of Directors

Your MUM is doing the paper work necessary to become eligible to receive support from foundations as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. To achieve this status, it helps to have a American public official - an elected or appointed official of the government, federal, state or local - on its board of directors.

What public official out there will support a museum for the worldwide culture of women's health and menstruation?

Read about my ideas for the museum. What are yours?

Eventually I would also like to entice people experienced in the law, finances and fund raising to the board.

Any suggestions?

Do You Have Irregular Menses?

If so, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome [and here's a support association for it].

Jane Newman, Clinical Research Coordinator at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University School of Medicine, asked me to tell you that

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.

Learn more about current research on PCOS at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University - or contact Jane Newman.

If you have fewer than six periods a year, you may be eligible to participate in the study!

See more medical and scientific information about menstruation.

It's Too Late to Call Your Congressman About the Proposed Tampon Safety and Research Act! Congress Had More Important ;-) Things To Do! Here's How and Why for Next Time.

New this week: A second Lee Miller Kotex ad (1929) - San-Nap-Pak napkin ad (1932) from Love Mirror (magazine cover also shown)

PREVIOUS NEWS | First Page | Current News page | Contact the Museum | Menstrual Products Safety | FAQ | DIRECTORY OF ALL TOPICS

Take a short tour of MUM! (and on Web video!) - FAQ - Future of this museum - Tampon Safety Act - Contact the actual museum - Board of Directors - Norwegian menstruation exhibit - The media and the MUM - Menstrual odor - Prof. Mack C. Padd: Fat Cat - The science and medicine of menstruation - Early tampons - Books about menstruation - Menstrual cups: history, comments - Religion and menstruation: A discussion - Safety of menstrual products (asbestos, dioxin, toxic shock syndrome, viscose rayon) - A Note from Germany/Neues aus Deutschland und Europa - Letters - Links

© 1999 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute work on this Web site in any manner or medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations to