in 18th century France, menses was considered to be "impregnated with subtle vapors transmitted by the essence of life." These were particularly seducing, as a woman was "dispersing seductive effluvia" and "making an appeal for fertilization." Thus, societies have celebrated the seductive aroma of menstruation, rather than stifled [it].
Dear Mr. Finley,
To the woman with the suggestions on how to properly use The Keeper - much appreciated! I have had some problems with mine and will take her advice.
However, she needs to know that she absolutely should never rinse her Keeper out in the toilet bowl (and reinsert it, no less - talk about grot)! As a nurse, I can tell you that ANY toilet bowl, no matter how "clean" looking, is full of heinous bacteria - I can't believe she would put that back into her privates. Instead, (no pun intended), she could take to the toilet either a glass of clean water or a small collapsible water bottle that can fit in a purse - you can get them at camping stores. Please tell her to stop before she starts growing something frightening in her vagina!
Thank you. Keep up the great Web site.
Dear Mr. Finley,
I've written to you before to congratulate you on the site. I want to add some comments about The Keeper.
I've been using it for about a year now and I am very pleased with it. I have VERY heavy periods and The Keeper is just about the only product on the market which has saved my sheets from eternal ruin.
A tip for first time users: try running warm or hot water over it to soften the rubber up so it isn't so stiff. I do this when I'm first putting it in when I get up in the morning and it's made it a lot easier.
Also I think they really do make that tab much too long for women with shorter vaginas. I basically just cut the whole thing off, leaving only just enough to give the cup a good tug to make the seal.
This may gross some of you out, but to get around the restroom problem, I empty the cup into the toilet bowl, flush out the dirty water twice and then rinse the cup from the bowl.
I tend to do this only at work though. If you read your Keeper literature carefully, you will also note that they suggest that you wet a few paper towels to wipe it off with inside the stall after you've emptied it.
This works well too, but bring more than one, use the first to wipe and get up most of the flow, then use the second to finish cleaning it up before you pop it back in.
In response to the suction question: If you're getting very heavy suction, you've probably put it in too far. The Keeper sits LOW in the body and your muscles should be keeping it in place, not so much the suction.
I do have some concerns about blood-borne diseases which were raised by another respondent. [That respondent never fulfilled my request to supply articles discussing problems of cups.] I assume that these are only a problem if you are not emptying your cup often enough and not washing your hands and the cup properly before insertion. Just like with a tampon you HAVE to wash your hands thoroughly if you're going to be sticking your fingers up inside - that just seems like common sense to me. [Apparently there is a potential hazard in the rubber because of its porosity, affording areas for bacteria to grow.]
Anyway, keep up the good work and keep us posted on any developments about The Keeper and disease.
The old Growing Up and Liking It books were still in use in schools as late as 1991, when I was in fifth grade and got the lecture from Mrs. Porter, the nurse. I went to a Catholic school, as did several cousins, and all of us (from four schools in three different towns) got the same booklet, with the 1978 edition cover (last cover on that page). The public school girls got a newer edition called Andrea's Story; it had a more modern cover and different names for the characters, but other than that was word for word the same booklet. [See more covers of the booklets.]
My school also distributed the old belt-style pads into the early nineties. [What an awful introduction to menstruation. Self-adhesive pads became available in the early 1970s.] They were kept in a drawer in the bathroom janitors closet. I guess at one time they had bought quite a supply for the machines and were trying to use them up.
I was interested to see how closely the Hindu and Zoroastrian menstrual taboos were like the Jewish ones. I have been meaning to say that I thought your site you could use some links to Jewish ritual purity laws and menstruation. [Please send some, readers!]
Even though men with sores, etc., are also considered unclean, it is clearly an abnormal condition that makes them ritually impure, unlike women, where a "normal" condition makes them impure. [See Leviticus, chapter 15, in the Christian Bible.]
I believe that in Orthodox Judaism an emission of semen makes one impure for 24 hours also, so maybe that's a little more fair.
On the other hand, if I had eight kids and were living in a crowded house in Bombay, being sent to a room by myself and not having to cook might not be so bad!
(I'm not Jewish.)
I didn't realize The Keeper/Instead debate was on a Web site. [See more comments.] One of my regular net groups had a debate and a bunch of women tried and liked Instead, but couldn't afford the initial fee of The Keeper [about $35, but it's good for 10 years, according to the company]. They haven't reported problems getting Insteads in Seattle and Indianapolis. Is it still bankrupt? [Yes, but see the article above.]
Anyway, one of the more recent comments was regarding the non-sterility of the cups. So, would a dish washing be hot enough to sterilize the cup without damaging it? (And yes, I'd wash the cup the way I usually do before putting it in with the dishes). [I'm no scientist, but I would say "yes."] Are non-industrial dishwashers usually hot enough? Would it have to be the only thing in the dishwasher at the time (which is more wasteful than it's worth)? [I would say "yes" and "no" to each question, respectively.]
I've had my cup since 1993, and I've wondered if running it under water as hot as I can stand for several minutes is totally ineffective. [I don't think it's totally ineffective. I would say it very much reduces the potential problems.] I still prefer it over toxic shock and contaminated landfill waste.
Also, thanks for the photos; the product sites didn't have them for a while. I didn't know what the Instead actually looked like. My Instead-using friends and I have never been able to compare our cups. If we had them with us, it was when they were in use.
Don't trust any belief system in which humor doesn't figure prominently. - Rob Brezny
Okay, I can't resist sending this joke from grade-school days:
Q: How do you know when your pet elephant is on her period?
A: Your mattress is missing!
Great site, I've been there twice today. You are SO BRAVE (my husband is afraid he will turn into a woman if he gets within 10 miles of the place). [People in my office suspect that I am turning into a woman: I've started a museum of menstruation, I have collected three stray cats (only two remain, unfortunately) and I've developed a constant baby talk around the house because of the cats.] And I understand that you even did an interview (bottom of page) with Howard Stern!!! I think you deserve a medal for that one! [I hope it's in the mail!]
I love your sense of humor and your cats (bottom of page).
I'm going to make arrangements for a visit (even if I have to come alone). I can't imagine that a serial killer would display his chamber of horrors on a Web site; however, I'll make sure that plenty of people know my whereabouts! (Just kidding.) [At least one reporter who visited the museum has said she made sure the editor knew she was here, and when.]
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.