MUM Lends Items to a National Women's Health Traveling Exhibit, The Changing Face of Women's Health
This museum has lent copies of several booklets
published by menstrual hygiene products companies to a three-year
exhibit traveling to the members of the National Health
Sciences Consortium in the U.S.A.
It looks like an interesting and informative exhibit, covering risk,
control, prevention and detection, with a resource center added.
The exhibit starts February 1999 at the
Maryland Science Center, 601 Light Street (phone 410-685-2370), Baltimore.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Office of Women's Health and the Office
of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health are
sponsoring the exhibit.
The following letter and some people I have talked with have warned
me that menstrual cups may be more dangerous than I thought (I was aware
of some danger).
Hello! My friend recommended I check out your site - I'm very impressed!
I see that we're neighbors - I live in Bethesda, MD. Maybe I can come by
for a visit one Sunday? [Sure!]
I have some real problems with your advocating
menstrual cups. I have no taboos about menstruation or my body in
general - that's not my objection. Those cups are VERY unsafe. Blood-borne
pathogens love the things; they multiply like crazy! I'm not sure why they
are so much more dangerous than tampons, but they are. Study after study
I've seen quoted confirms that. I think this is another example of feminism
run riot; people want to "be free with their bodies" and forget
to do some basic scientific investigation first. By the way, this problem
with the menstrual cups is the same thing that prompted the FDA to withdraw
the cervical cups (used for contraception) from the market; the incidence
of Toxic Shock Syndrome skyrocketed in women who used those things.
I've asked the letter writer to send me references
to the studies she's mentioning or the studies themselves.
And you, Readers, please send
me any scientific studies - no dealers'
opinions, please - and I will be happy to discuss and publicize them here.
Read a New Section of This Site
Welcome Petra Habiger, a new occasional
contributer to this museum Web site!
She will report on developments in women's culture,
especially menstrual, in Germany.
She introduces herself in A Note from Germany,
and sends an interesting early ad from the maker of the first disposable
pad in Germany, Camelia.
I reproduce this news release from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions:
Non-Surgical Treatment Ends Pelvic
Pain In Women
Pelvic congestive syndrome, a painful disorder
in women, which often goes undiagnosed and untreated, can
usually be cured by plugging blood vessels in the ovaries, according
to a study by Johns Hopkins radiologist.
The treatment offers hope to the estimated 15 percent of women 20 to
40 years old with the condition, which is caused by varicose veins in the
ovaries, says Anthony Venbrux, M.D., director of interventional radiology.
The bad veins cause blood to pool in the ovaries and pelvis, leading to
sometimes crippling pain during and after sexual intercourse, especially
before or during menstruation.
A minimally invasive treatment that shuts down veins and eliminates
blood pooling, the technique relieved pain in 9 of 11, women treated at
Hopkins and Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii.
Venbrux reported results of this study at the 23rd Annual Meeting of
the Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology, Tuesday, March
"Most of the women I see are at the end of their rope," says
Venbrux. "They've become dependent on narcotics to ease the pain, and
had multiple surgeries and psychiatric treatment. And their sex lives are
The problem is made worse in part because many doctors are unfamiliar
with the condition and fail to diagnose it, according to Venbrux, and a
fourth of those undiagnosed women undergo unneeded hysterectomy--removal
of the uterus--which rarely solves the problem.
To detect pelvic congestion syndrome, radiologists first insert a catheter
into a vein in the neck, groin or arm and guide it to the pelvis. A fluid
is injected to make the veins in the pelvis visible on X-ray. If the X-ray
shows very tightly coiled veins, tiny coils or glue-like
liquids are introduced through the catheter, plugging the veins.
The procedure, which takes less than two hours, requires
light anesthesia and generally does not require hospitalization,
Other authors of the paper include Anthony Eclavea, Paul R. Cordts and
James Buckley (Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii).
Letters to Your MUM
"Instead . . . really changed my life"
Dear Mr. Finley,
I wrote to you a few weeks ago about my concern that Ultrafem [see
the dress Ultrafem gave this museum], the maker
of Instead [menstrual cup, and comments],
was going out of business. Well, my fears came true. The
plant in Missoula [Missouri] closed down last week, laying off all but
6 people. The stocks are down to ridiculously low prices because
everyone has sold. I am very sad about this, because I just discovered
Instead a few months ago and it really changed my life (it sounds crazy--but
it really did! About 25% of a woman's life, between puberty and menopause,
is spent menstruating, and this product really made that 25% much, much
smoother and more pleasant.)
I tried The Keeper but it won't seem to keep in place and leaks like
crazy. Instead was perfect in every way. Do you know if it is unsafe to
use a diaphragm as a menstrual cup? [I hope to put information about this
here soon.] That is perhaps my only choice left.
I find it distressing that such an excellent product is going to become
unavailable. Unless a miracle happens (i.e. Ultrafem finds a new investor
fast), Instead is gone forever.
"Tipped uterus" and Instead
I tried it [Instead menstrual cup, and comments], thought it would be great, but was unhappy
with the product. After several attempts I still couldn't figure out how
to get it inserted correctly so that there would be no leaking or FLOODING.
I've been told by my gynecologist that I have a tipped uterus; I thought
maybe that could be the problem of not being able to get it to fit.
I called Instead's 800 number [which no longer exists], asking if this
could be the problem.They were very vague - I don't think they knew. If
they are aware that this is a problem for women with my condition I think
they should note this on the outside of the package so that I don't have
to waste my money on their product. [She probably won't have that opportunity
much longer, since the company seems to be failing.]
Since current information on human pheromones is available on your
site, you may be interested in looking at my site. It also contains current
information, as related to my 1995 book on human pheromones.
© 1998 Harry Finley.
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