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

How to Wash Your Menstrual Cup (continued)

Continuing the discussion from last week (fifth item on the page): The weekly magazine Science News (8 August issue) published information about washing vegetables, which seems to me might apply to cleaning The Keeper menstrual cup. [People at the Comedy Zone - see item below - stop laughing; this is serious.]

Studies have shown that a combination of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide is much more effective than even chlorine bleach at disinfecting vegetables, and doesn't have to be washed off. The article is on the Web at

I wonder if the hydrogen peroxide would damage the rubber The Keeper is made of?

Your MUM Pops Up in Brazil

Sally Price, professor of anthropology and Dittman Professor of American Studies at the College of William and Mary (Virginia, U.S.A.), sent me an article about menstruation which appeared in the Folha de Sao Paulo, a Brazilian newspaper she says is comparable to The New York Times in the U.S.A. She read it on a flight from Sao Paulo to Rio after teaching four months at the Federal University of Bahia.

The article has three paragraphs about this museum and Web site, and appeared in the sports section!

Does this make menstruation a, uh, blood sport? I wonder if the menstruation scores are posted daily.

That reminds me of the famous and funny essay by Gloria Steinem about what would happen if men menstruated. Would they brag about who bled the longest and the most?

And recently I received a letter from Java, where another newspaper article about MUM had appeared.

Hmmm. Maybe Prof. Price can translate a Brazilian joke I have; everyone else has tried!

Do You Find This Site FUNNY??

Oh, please!

Well, the Comedy Zone does, and actually they gave not a bad review, considering that they're probably just a bunch of giggling guys who look for the exit when the topic of menstruation comes up - just like I used to do.

Letters to Your MUM

More comment on the menstrual cup Instead (go back each week in the News for many more opinions, and read here) which the Akcess Pacific Group bought recently after the Ultrafem company failed:

I tried Instead and hated them. Made me relive the birth-control nightmare of having to install a diaphragm (yuck!). They were difficult to get in, leaked and when removed - what a mess. I'm back with my old reliable o.b. tampons. [All these complaints are typical for many Instead users.]

And she finds Instead too big:

Okay, I just finished reading all the comments about Instead and The Keeper.

I myself live on the West Coast in Washington and heard of Instead about 2 years ago. I have never heard of The Keeper. I found all the mail from users very interesting. I decided to try Instead about a year ago, having used a diaphragm as a contraceptive for a year, so I felt very confident on inserting Instead correctly.

Insertion wasn't a problem, neither was removing it without mishap. The biggest problem was that Instead was just too big. I compared it to the size of my diaphragm, and it is huge! No wonder Instead leaked and felt uncomfortable, not to mention wouldn't stay in place. I am really amazed that we aren't offered a size choice. I would think that an innovative company that seems to understand women's bodies, and their right to choices, would not overlook such a serious need. I think Instead was a great thing, but I cannot use it, due to the oversight of the sizing.

I have really enjoyed your Web site. Thank you for all the input and effort to all the women, and men out there. [You're welcome!]

How does Islam look at menstruation? This is a response to my putting up a discussion of Zoroastrianism (second item down, on menstrual poison, on the page) from a magazine in India. My own knowledge of the subject is close to zero:


I saw your page on menstruation. Great work! [Thanks!]

But I have a question: where in the Qur'an [Koran] does it say that menstruation is a punishment for Eve? You said the Torah, Bible and Qur'an say so. I never found it in Koran.

Could you please point it out for me. [Again, I just re-printed a section of a Zoroastrian Web site.]

And by the way, talking about menstruation and religion, you suggest verse 2:223 of Qur'an, which is not about menstruation. I wonder why you did not suggest 2:222, since it is the one that talk about menstruation, not 2:223. [See my declaration of innocence, above.]

They question thee (O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is an illness, so let women alone at such times and go not in unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you. Truly Allah loveth those who turn unto Him, and loveth those who have a care for cleanness. (QS. 2:222)

This is Pickthal's translation. He used the word illness in the translation. If you look up other translations, you may find that it is translated as "hurt" or "pollution" or other. There is no exact English word. I was told the exact meaning is: something that cause vulnerability (esp. concerning health) which is correct in the case of menstruation.

And please note that this verse explain that the woman is being cleansed in menstruation, which interestingly agrees with Profet's theory. [Margie Profet won a MacArthur Fellowship a few years ago for her theory that menstruation in a sense cleanses.] I bet if Profet were a Muslim, she would be quite surprised.

By the way, if you use other translations, they may use the words "are clean" instead of "are cleansed" that Pickthal uses.

In the original Qur'an, it says "till they are cleansed," not "clean." But as you may well know, it is not unusual for translators to translate according to their interpretation, which might not be correct.



Her message at the bottom of the e-mail reads:

We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them save with truth, and lo! The Hour is surely coming. So forgive, with a gracious forgiveness.

Later the e-mailer wrote:

If I may add: In Islam you can kiss, touch, caress, share your bed, etc., as long as you do not penetrate the vagina during the menstruation.

Reminder: The Museum Closes Until 7 November, But This Site Marches On

Read more about this.

Do You Have Irregular Menses?

If so, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome.

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.

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New this week: Orange Blossom patent medicine - Carefree panty pads (U.S.A.) for teenagers - Menstrual humor - DIRECTORY OF ALL TOPICS

Take a short tour of MUM! (and on Web video!) - FAQ - Future of this museum - Tampon Safety Act - Visit or 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 - A Note from Germany/Neues aus Deutschland und Europa - Letters - Links

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