Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Next Time Aunt Flo Visits...

This article is a discussion of female hygiene products. Move along to happy fluffy bunny blogs if this offends.

Now here's a surprise. You're not being given the whole story by the "happy period" people at Alw@ys and the shiny sanitary plastic Tamp@x people. There is a real third option; one that doesn't involve the tedious washing of re-usable cloth pads. I've been using this for over ten years, will never use anything else, and can't imagine why more women don't give it a try.

It's called The Keeper. Essentially, it's a small-ish rubber or silicon cup that snuggles up against your vaginal walls, near but not touching your cervix, and simply holds the fluids back. Simple in execution, comfortable to wear, and it makes 17,000 kinds of sense.

Keeper-Maria-Hand

Does 17,000 seem like an odd number? Well.... it's the number of pads and tampons the average woman uses in her lifetime. Can you even imagine that amount in a landfill? (go here to see it. )Next, try to picture the bleaches and harmful chemicals that went into their production. And now, the amount of packaging waste. Cardboard, "discreet" plastic pouches and wrappers. That's a massive pile of waste, girl.

Now let's do the math on the money aspect of the scenario. Having not bought the things for years, I really have no idea, but Mother Google knows all... lesseee... roughly $10 for 36 tampons, the same price for 48 pads. That makes the totals (are you ready for this?) $4700 spent over your lifetime for tampons, or $3500 for pads. Wouldn't you rather go to Mexico for a week... twice, rather than buying pads and tampons?

Now. Back to The Keeper. You pay roughly $50 CAD (at today's exchange rate) for a solid ten years of use. (Mine's over ten years and shows no sign of deterioration.) You simply fold it in half, in half again, insert, wiggle a little until it's a nice circle again, and forget about it. Well, not too long... the little holes at the top of the cup to help release the suction will eventually leak if your flow is heavy or if you leave it in for too long. So... you whip it out (by pulling on the stem) when you need to visit the lady's room, empty it neatly into the bowl, clean it with water if available, or t.p. if not, and fold it up and stick it back in. Look! You've saved a tampon already.

When you don't need it anymore that month, a nice wash with hot water (not boiling... this breaks down the rubber) and soap, and then you tuck it back inside the sweet little cloth bag that it came in until you need it next month. "Hand-made by retired seamstresses" the website says. Awww.

Seriously. Why aren't we all using this? Okay... granted, it takes a woman who is not squeamish about her body, its functions and its discharges. However, if you can bring yourself to use tampons, you can get used to, and eventually love, the idea of the Keeper. And even if you are a little on the squeamish side... maybe the environmental and monetary savings will make you think about getting a little more cozy with your bod. And honey, that ain't such a bad thing.

edited to add: Tammy says that they won't ship the Keeper to Canada anymore... but has found a site for the
The Diva Cup. It looks like the same thing. Thanks, Tammy.

12 comments:

Velda said...

I had no idea this even existed....not sure I'd use it...hmm interesting.

~Tammy said...

OMG I have to get myself on of these little gems!

I'm off to see if I can find them sold anywhere in Canada!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

~Tammy said...

I'm back! :)

The Keeper can't be shipped to Canada, so I linked from their site and found The Diva!!

There are a couple places here in town that sell them, so I'm hoping to stop by on my way home from work and pick one up. I'm super excited to end this hate relationship pads and tampons.

Thank you again!

Susan said...

Tammy... I have seen them for sale in some health-foods stores in Canada. Try Rainbow Natural Foods or Mother Hubbards... they must be available.
It's a crying shame that they don't ship to Canada. I don't understand that... but it looks like the Diva is pretty much the same.

You're welcome! :)

Aline la Bergère said...

Giggle...good for you Susan! I've been using mine for over a year and what a blessing it has been. I save all that money for more yarn. Mine is from Diva and I bought it at a Quebec health food store.

XUP said...

Diva Cups are for sale in several natural food stores in Ottawa -- also the enivro-type stores and they're totally IT. Thanks for posting this. It's amazing how many women are unaware they even exist.

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

Very interesting. Sometimes we need to depart from fluffy bunny issues. I'd be interested to know how heavy a flow that device will accommadate.

raino said...

okay, first this is amazing and second, how the hell did i NOT know about this....not that i've been looking for it but REALLY. this is amazing!

raino said...

good meeting you today!

knitjo said...

Your analysis of the cost and environmental pluses has me thinking that maybe I should get one and introduce this to my pre-adolescent girl. Can you imagine never having to tie your jacket to your waist in class because of a leak? Always having it close by and ready not having to look for a toonie to get pad/tampons in the washroom...I know I've seen them around...

~*Jobthingy*~ said...

hmm interesting. i have heard about this but never actually known anyone that used it.

Linda said...

Well, too cool! Who knew?! Oh - you, I guess. I had no idea.