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shark week: pads, tampons, cups, free bleeding, etc.

 
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I agree. Looks good!
 
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I just found Art Ludwig's Intro to Menstrual Product Alternatives again. In it he calculates:

36 yrs x 13 cycles per year x 5 days x 4 pads per day = 9,360 pads in a woman's life time.

That's 24 cubic feet of trash, or six thirty gallon trash cans full!
 
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:I just found Art Ludwig's Intro to Menstrual Product Alternatives again. In it he calculates:

36 yrs x 13 cycles per year x 5 days x 4 pads per day = 9,360 pads in a woman's life time.

That's 24 cubic feet of trash, or six thirty gallon trash cans full!



Damn....
 
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This thread led to this document which goes in our wheelie bin pooper:

 
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I'm a MoonCup girl, In the UK we can easily get hold of this menstral cup called the MoonCup, small box found in Boots for about £23. I've been using one for about 6 years now and can't ever imagine faffing around with anything else. Yes you can sleep with it in, and swim, and bath and get on with life. It does take a bit of practice and fitting (chopping off the long bit once you have mastered the bit of relaxing to get it out) follow the instructions and a monthly deep clean. It's descrete, and holds quite a lot of blood, so you probably won't need to clean it in a public toilet very often. I remember horror movie style as tampons casscaded out of my handbag in public in the dark days, no more.
 
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- This will be meaningful for only a small part of the people who see this ! And many who don't see this really should !

Even if every guy who sees this has 'had his intellectual curiosity satisfied' and 'come to terms with it' There is more information in the link below
you might want to look at !


http://www.danoah.com/2015/06/a-letter-to-men-the-lesson-of-the-saggy-burrito-in-my-pants.html

For the Good of the Cause ! Big AL
 
Julia Winter
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I recently saw some menstrual cups that fold flat, like those pill cups with concentric rings that give structure to it. One of those would be so easy to carry around with you, if irregularity was an issue. . .
 
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Paul I like that cheat sheet!

When I moved out here (composting bucket toilet and no running water) I ran into a problem. I was a cup user, and while I was not opposed to the blood in the bucket (it is good for compost!) the problem was, washing it out when my water came from large containers. it was really kind of difficult and I ended up going through too many baby wipes in an effort to stay clean.

I ended up losing my cup a few months later and switched back to tampons. I use the cotton biodegradable types and that's good enough for me. I wouldn't be opposed to putting regular ones in the trash but hey - that blood is a valuable resource! If I'm going to cramp and bleed for 5 days and deal with all the pain and hassle, I'd rather put it in the compost heap where I can get some benefit from it.

Even now that I have cold running water set up, I still probably will stick with tampons. I never really loved the cup the way a lot of women do.
 
Cassie Langstraat
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Underwear For Women Who Have Periods

Just came across this article today. These looks pretty damn nifty and the creator seems like a badass. She also is doing a side gig, TP alternative Tushy: For People Who Poop.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Cassie Langstraat wrote:Underwear For Women Who Have Periods

Just came across this article today. These looks pretty damn nifty and the creator seems like a badass. She also is doing a side gig, TP alternative Tushy: For People Who Poop.



From the Forbes article, the creator, Miki Agrawal, is quoted as saying:

“If I can own the vagina and butthole, I win,” says Agrawal.



Yup, that's badass! (No pun intended!)

 
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Honestly, I think the menstrual cup would be the only one one that list that I would use as an alternative to regular tampons. I am really not sure how to go about cleaning it in a public restroom but I think something along the lines of having a water bottle always with me to rinse it out a little bit before I re-insert it could get the job done.


The great thing about the menstrual cup, the brand I use is JUJU..., is that it does not have to be changed as often as a tampon or pad (flow allowing). So It can be possible to change it at home, rinse it out, and wash it. I usually do in the morning when I wake and before I go to bed. The easiest time is to change it in the shower. But yes, I believe a water bottle would suffice, or finding a public toilet with a washbasin in the cubicle.
On another note, blood is totally compostable.... and valuable. I like the ritual of returning blood to the earth, I totally believe in the potency of feminine cycles....and its something I intend to do when I get my home organised. I wondered about the possibility of a special spot in the bathroom where the blood can be poured directly into the earth?
I really like the menstrual cups because apart from being so much more comfortable at night and being able to sleep leak free, it does reduce cramping somehow, and its a reusable product. My cup should last me about 10 yrs, and it cost about $30.
 
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mary yett wrote:An interesting side note:

My Anishinabek (AKA Ojibwe, Chippewa or Nish) teachers talk a lot about a woman's moon time. This is when a woman's spiritual powers are at their peak. Much of Nish spirituality is centered around the miracle of a woman giving birth and how this connects us to the great cosmic oneness. The most powerful and honoured ceremony in Nish culture is childbirth, followed by menstruation.

Traditionally, women spent their moon time in a moon lodge, away from the regular home and family.They were considered to be "in ceremony" for the entire time of menstruation. Here they spent their time in prayer, singing/drumming and of course talking with the other women there. Food was brought to them and served on special plates that were not used for other purposes.

In fact, a woman on her moon was ( and in traditional settings still is)  not allowed to cook for others or even touch their food, as it is potentially dangerous (especially for men) to eat food imbued with such power. In a similar vein, women on their moon do not go into a mixed male and female sweat lodge because their power is so great it could burn and harm the men.

The sweat lodge hut is itself a symbolic uterus which is crawled into through a vagina/doorway. When one exits after the ceremony, one is reborn.

Traditional women wear skirts as opposed to pants for several reasons. One important reason is so that their vaginas are enclosed in a circle of protection ( a cone of power). Ladies in Nish culture must be very careful where they point the stream of energy constantly coming from their vaginas.

This can be used for the community's benefit, as when the "grandmothers " (post menopausal women) ceremonially sit in a circle and "charge up" sacred items or people preparing for an important event, etc. It can also harm men, especially young men, if it is accidentally aimed at them, so great care must be taken to prevent this.

I hope this is not too purple a topic for this thread. I offer this information as a reminder of alternative attitudes toward menstruation. I am in favour of bringing back the moon lodge - it sounds like a wonderful retreat time. Short of that, at least making the pooper a bit more bleeding woman friendly with clearly written signage about what should be placed in which hole and a jug of water for rinsing would be great.



THIS. A thousand times.
Anyone following "the old ways" (Druid, Native, etc) should get this.
I'm the only female in my household of six. Even though the menfolk don't understand my strange ways, I try to plan meals they can prepare quickly, so that I can be left be to spend those days in prayer and (mostly) solitude. I have collected 100% cotton cloth to cut into strips for collecting my flow, and buried it around the garden edge. The garden LOVED the extra nutrients, it took care of my desire to return my flow back to the earth in a good way, and solved the "where to put it" debacle.
A dear friend living as tradish as possible has told me Cherokee tradish women would fashion buckskin "pads," use a specific bucket of water like a wet pail, rinsing them nightly and taking that water to the earth before washing them carefully. That's what I'm aiming to do as well. Buckskin is super soft, very absorbent (remember the Shammy?), and breathable. As for leak-guarding, I'll have to figure that one out for today's society standards.
 
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I'm not ashamed to say it

D) re-usable pads  



I call them moon pads.  I really do think these reduce period pain.  Before, when I used plastic, I was in the ER every month getting high on morphine - I don't like morphine!  With cloth moon pads, I can manage without tylanol most months.  


It's wonderful there are so many people making and selling these online now.  I don't have a serger and the patterns for straight stitch pads are too bulky or not absorbent enough.  My current problem is it's not always easy to find ones made of natural materials.  I don't like the idea of having pseudo-natural rayon like Bamboo or heavily dyed fabric in my special place.  Anyone know of a good supplier of organic moon pads where the shipping price to Canada isn't greater than the price of the item?  Maybe someone here makes them?  
 
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Wool! Felted wool works really well for a waterproof backing on pads. I make mine like this (http://www.naturalsuburbia.com/2011/07/cloth-pad-tutorial.html):



But, I use scraps of cotton (diaper cloth works really well) and use a piece of felted wool (felted down an old sweater) for the back piece of fabric. It works really well!

It took me a weirdly long amount of time, but I finally found the other thread about pads here (https://permies.com/t/51024/personal-care/purity/putting-monsanto-vagina#411225)

I was going to try and find the shipping to Canada from www.justfussy.com (which makes wool backed pads), but my baby is freaking out. I'll try to find it later!

Edit: looooks like shipping for non-wholesale orders, even to Canada is just $3.00?!
 
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What a great thread!  I have used both reusable cloths and menstrual cups. I think both are great but I LOVE my menstrual cup.

I just wanted to mention that there are many different brands of menstrual cups out there. If you would really like to use one but don't like the one you buy for some reason I'd encourage you to try a different brand, size and/or "stiffness". Some are made to be stiffer and harder to fold and others are very soft and fold easily. There are pros and cons to both types. Some are shorter in length.   They all kind of look alike but if you look closely you can see how different ones are shaped, and some hold more volume of blood than others like the Yuuki. I have used two different brands (The Keeper, and the Yuuki) and I liked both but the second brand, Yuuki,  is definitely more comfortable for me.

If you do a web search you can find articles and videos that do menstrual cup comparisons that could help you find the right cup for you.
 
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Wow! That a man had to bring up the subject I find quite intriguing. Kudos to you, Paul. Naming it "Shark Week" is a hilarious way to refer to it all that I have NEVER heard. That said, let's move on.

As I had a PAP come back as "unusual" I began to think how this could happen. I believe it's from the materials used in feminine hygiene products, specifically the plugs/corks/tampons because they are in closest contact with your girly parts.

I tend to have a very heavy first 3 days, soaking through the "large volume" tampons in an hour and soaking the complimentary pad (an "overnight" weight) as well. And that's if I can make it to a restroom at the first sign of what I call the "goosh". If I have to wait even 30 minutes to be able to change my products, it's a real PITA (Pain In The A$$), sometimes requiring a change of clothing as well. So I want to ask the ladies who are in a similar personal situation, are these homemade pads worth the effort?

I will be looking for some raw supplies to make my own pads, but I want to have some form of clothing protection built in and I'm contemplating using a waterproof diaper fabric (PUL)for the bottom layer. Any ideas on this as good or bad? Also, would like to inquire about how many pads do you make to have adequate coverage between laundry loads?

I already have made my own pee cloths out of a nicely used flannel sheet. I plan on making more for when I move in with my daughter and her family, so all of us girls have plenty. Then the paper TP can be used just for the poo end of things.

I've also never really thought about returning that raw nutrient (blood) to the earth in the ways being brought up in this thread. I just love that I've found PERMIES.com to keep my mind working on things other than my own little corner of the world. Thank you everyone.

 
r ranson
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historical option.  an apron.

spoiler: it worked

 
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I can't say I've tried the reusable pads themselves. I've been using the built in "leakproof" (Knix Brand):



Upside of these it I find the quite durable, breathable, soft and flexible. Great while active. I find I have to give them a gentle hand wash right away and then wash them as a load of "personal items" with a little bit of borax in addition to my regular biodegradable detergent.

They are also great in the backcountry. I find having a "pee rag" and these undies helps my lady bits stay happy when I'm skiing in the backcountry for a week.

Downside: Very much made of synthetic material

I use them paired with a diva cup. Some women say they can use the 'leak proof' underwear stand alone. I'm not one of those women. I loose the same amount of menstrual fluid in 2 hours as an average individual does over her entire cycle. The combo lets me sleep at night!
 
Nicole Alderman
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paul wheaton wrote:This thread led to this document which goes in our wheelie bin pooper:



And here's the updated version!

menstrual products at wheaton labs

 
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My teenage daughters and I all use cloth pads. There really comfortable aside from the middle of the hot humid summer. Then the extra layer of insulation is really noticable.  I've used the cups before and prefer that when it's sweltering! We've always rinsed in water and used that on plants or into the compost.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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That is a fantastic update, Nicole!

I think reusable options have exploded in recent years, and since this thread was started.

This video is pretty awesome at describing some of the options, including some helpful tips and instructions. In it I learned there are period disks which are slightly different than period cups.



 
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…because shark week without a menstrual cup is like a day without sunshine.

(At least that’s the conclusion I came to last month when I went to unpack toiletries and found that my natural nail polish remover had spilled all over my Diva cup and lots of other things and the cup was not salvageable. So, after 16 years of using the same cup brand I decided to try something different.)

This was cool in helping to decide: https://putacupinit.com/quiz/

Cheers,
Saalt-cups.JPG
Saalt brand menstrual cup and wash
Saalt brand menstrual cup and wash
 
Alana Rose
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Alana Rose wrote:….
after 16 years of using the same cup brand I decided to try something different.)



Unfortunately, I’ve found both the soft and firm Saalt cups leak on heavy days, even when changed often.

Rather than buying new cloth pads or period undies this go around, I decided to try making some. (Thanks Nicole for the inspiration!)

I don’t have my sewing machine with me, so I opted for a simpler upcycled pattern using 100% cotton baby blankets from the thrift store. (Hoping they were washed enough times to be rid of possible flame retardants. I found a flannel shirt on the 99 cent rack… but I liked the patterns of the baby blankets more, which were 3 for $1.99.)

https://kulmine.de/stoffbinde-und-stoffslipeinlage-selber-naehen (Here is the website with the pattern & instructions I used. I translated the page to English.)

Hopefully, these work! I’m plan to make all 3 styles and using different fabrics for light, medium and heavy days.

Happy belated earth day!
Cloth-menstrual-liners.jpg
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Cloth-menstrual-pad.jpg
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Cloth-menstrual-pad-folded.jpg
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Nicole Alderman
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Bravo, Alana!!! That's a really cool design that I hadn't seen before. I hope it works out!

Also, if you go post those pictures in the SKIP- Sew a feminine pad thread, you can get one of the nifty badge things a lot of us have under our posts!
 
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I've recently started using period underwear - so far they've been great. I've been buying them from Aisle, which some people might know as the Lunapad people (they have rebranded).

Not as cool as making your own, but I think better than using disposable conventional plastic-y products!

They are expensive, and I wish that I switched years ago to maximize the financial savings, but I used to leak through while sleeping, and it's almost worth it to me despite the prices, on the basis of not having to do extra linen laundry anymore alone. (I bought the boxer-style panties for overnight wear)

I've had to request a return on one of their recently released "base" line products as that line proves to run small - their customer service is excellent, and they often have discount codes available. (They also have a "Refer-a-Friend" program that will save a new customer $10 off their first purchase - send me a moosage if you'd like to use me as a friend for that purpose!)

I purchased a waterproof bag sepertly which has a snap handle i can loop over a hanger in my closet - when I need to change out a panty I give it a quick cool water rinse and then throw it into the bag, and do a machine wash once there's a bit of a collection. To dry them, I hang them up in the closet and find they dry in a little over 24 hours here.

I haven't taken them with me on a voyage anywhere, and would be a bit hesitant to do that because you do want to get them to running water at the very least within a few days of wearing, but they're great for when you're around the house.



 
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I've never been able to use tampons - whenever I tried they always hurt. And the thought of sticking a cup up there just makes me flinch, no matter how much people say they feel fine. I'm so glad I found reusable cloth pads, though, they have been life-changing! I've always had heavy periods and after awhile the plastic/paper pads started making down there ache for some reason. Cloth pads may be bulky and tedious to wash, but I'll never go back except for emergency situations.

On a related note, my periods are now longer but not as heavy thanks to taking norethindrone for endometriosis - even better I'm not bent over in agony every month!
 
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I have tried just about everything else ( Sea Sponges, washable pads, Instead softcups) but I have had my diva for three years and I don't hate my periods anymore. You can leave it in for 24 hours, it takes about three cycles to get used to but I can change it faster than a tampon. You can't feel it, it is MUCH MUCH cleaner, it doesn't interfere with your ph, etc.

The soft cups didn't work for me because of my tilted cervix. Plus, they went up too high, it wasn't comfortable. All other alternatives are messy and too much maintenance.

If the diva cup leaks on you, maybe you're inserting it wrong? It doesn't go in like a tampon, it goes in pointed sort of towards your back (not completely horizontal though). You will need to twist it until it pops open. This creates a seal, IMPOSSIBLE to leak.
 
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Rosa Davis wrote:

If the diva cup leaks on you, maybe you're inserting it wrong? It doesn't go in like a tampon, it goes in pointed sort of towards your back (not completely horizontal though). You will need to twist it until it pops open. This creates a seal, IMPOSSIBLE to leak.



I know for me, it's just an anatomy issue. I've been using cups for 13+ years, and the diva cup has never formed a seal for me just because my vagina is kind of U-shaped instead of O-shaped. The ridge on the diva cup is really rigid. I've had better luck with the Fun Factory cups. Softer, and the ridge is slimmer, much for comfortable to wear for me. It just forms to the shape of the body better than the diva cup imo.

That being said, I've referred to myself as "The Tesla-owner of menstrual cups" because they always fail me, and yet I never stop talking about how great they are! Lmao
I think some of us just don't have the right anatomy to work with cups. Oh well!
 
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