Friday, November 28, 2008

feminine product reviews

happy buy nothing day! it's a holiday that everyone can enjoy, regardless of income. no purchase necessary!

contrary to the spirit of buy nothing day, i have a couple of product reviews for you.

no matter how opposed a gal is to accumulating stuff, once a month or so she's going to need a few accessories.
(as a side note, if you can't imagine what you'd do without menstrual products maybe you should donate to goods 4 girls, a charity that distributed cloth pads to girls in africa so they can attend school all month long. they're cool because they take both cash donations and handmade cloth pads, so people who don't have money can just sew some pads and make a big difference in a girl's life)

first, the keeper. i love my keeper. it's similar to a tampon in that it's internal, but better than a tampon in that it isn't a health hazard, holds more, is reusable, causes a lighter flow, is cheaper, is generally more comfortable*... i like it. there are a few different types of reusable menstrual cups. the divacup is another popular brand. the keeper is a little sturdier, the divacup squishes more easily. i suspect that i'd prefer a divacup for that reason, but i'm not about to trash my perfectly good keeper or go out and buy another. it's not like i can use more than one at a time, right? and the keeper is made in the states, so it's more ethical. either item is pretty freaking ethical, though. and economical. and environmentally friendly. look at this.

the downsides:
it sometimes seems to exacerbate cramps. i guess the walls of the cup push back against painful muscles or something. either way, when i'm really crampy i take it out.
public bathrooms can be a problem. i like to rinse it out and put it back in whenever i pee, which is hard to do in a little stall. i've found ways around this, like finding smaller, one-toilet bathrooms, but it is a little inconvenient.

the pros outweigh the cons by a lot.

but any girl who's ever had a period will tell you that accidents happen. regularly. and a reusable cup is no different from a tampon in that it can only hold so much. i generally prefer to have some extra lining in my underwear for my cycle, to keep me from needing to throw out perfectly good undies because of stains.

that's where this comes in:my organic cotton/ hemp pads from claire de lune. they're so ridiculously soft, i want to rub them on my face all day long. instead, i let my crotch enjoy them. and they are definitley enjoyable. after using cloth i could never use a scratchy, stinky, gross disposable pad. more common are lunapads or mother and maiden pads, but i prefer the smaller sellers on etsy and other places, since the prices and the customer service tend to be better. i throw my cloth in the diaper pail, but lots of other women just throw them in the wash with everything else. claire de lune says this in her store:
Find a medium sized Tupperware container or buy a funky teapot to use as a soaking pot. This will reduce staining and keep you from having to launder everyday.
Hand or machine wash. I like washing by machine with like colors in cold-warm water. Cold will preserve the flannel better.
Tumble dry hang on your line!
If you are worried about staining try throwing in a natural oxybooster.
personally i'm not that worried about having a stain here or there. that's what they're for, right? and i spend less time rubbing them on my face when they're less than pristine.

*many women find cups to be uncomfortable until they trim the stem. trim the stem, baby!

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