New this week: A Note from Germany (Camelia pads) - DIRECTORY OF TOPICS

Call Your Congressman About the Proposed Tampon Safety and Research Act! Here's How and Why.

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.

The members of this group are The Exploratorium (San Francisco), Franklin Institute Science Museum (Philadelphia), Maryland Science Center (Baltimore; this is the lead institution for the project), Museum of Science (Boston), Museum of Science and Industry (Los Angeles), Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago), National Museum of Health and Medicine (Washington, D.C.), New York Hall of Science (New York City), and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (Portland).

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.

I Need More Health Info on Menstrual Cups

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.

Take care!

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 3.

"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 significantly disrupted."

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, says Venbrux.

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.]

Thanks, Rachel

Read More About Odors and Pheromones

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.

Jim Kohl

© 1998 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

New this week: A Note from Germany (Camelia pads)

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