Menstruation Part III: The Alternatives

After my initial surgery for Endometriosis and upon refusing my doctor's prescribed treatment of "Lupron Therapy,"  I realized that proceeding within the Western Medical Model came with great risks. I needed another way to fight this disease. It was at this point in my research that I stumbled upon some information about monthly menstrual products.

I learned that both disposable pads and tampons were full of highly toxic chemicals that could be contributing to my monthly pain and infertility. I also learned that some women had claimed their pain had been all but eradicated by the use of alternative menstrual products. Terrified to put anything inside my body, post hysteroscopy/laparoscopy, I immediately purchased some cloth pads. My pain was greatly diminished almost immediately and I credit cloth pads with a large part of my recovery (along with diet and lifestyle changes) and continue to use them to this day. (I will further address the issue of cloth pads in a later post.)


But active women's lives require more options than cloth pads and so I began to ask my friends and later clients about what they used when they needed to go swimming, do yoga, belly dancing, ballet or to attend other activities/events which required the use of an internal menstrual product. I was shocked to learn that there was another option available, besides tampons, that was safe, effective and, unlike tampons, was not associated with the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

This is the menstrual cup.

Menstrual cups are not new. They have been around for about 80 years and, of particular note to this former professional actress, were developed by an American actress looking for exactly the same sort of product that I was.

Basically, they are little bendable, flexible cups that are typically made out of natural gum rubber (latex) or silicone (appropriate for those with latex allergies) that a woman folds up and inserts into her vagina during her menstrual period. Once inserted, and with a little positioning, the cup opens/blossoms out and creates a seal within the vagina, where it remains to catch the menstrual flow. The woman is encouraged to empty the cup, about as often as she would change a pad (but some women find they can wait for up to 12 hours), directly into the toilet. She then would wash her hands and rinse out the cup (or wipe off with toilet paper, if in a public restroom) and reinsert. The cup can be boiled to sterilize and it is reused with each flow. Menstrual cups can last up to 10 years, so the financial savings is immense. Because they are made from materials that have been time tested and medically approved for use in the body, menstrual cups are safe and, from what I understand, extremely comfortable to use.

Many women claim that (when inserted properly) the cup cannot even be felt within the body. But what is best about the product is that, because it catches menstrual flow as opposed to absorbing it, there are no toxic chemicals or bleaches sitting inside a woman's reproductive organs and no interference with cervical fluid (which is of particular importance when reading your fertility signs with FAM). As an additional bonus, many women claim that use of the menstrual cup actually shortens their days of menstrual bleeding. It has been hypothesised that this may be because of a "vacuum" effect that is involved in the seal of the cup in the vagina. This would help to "draw down" the blood so that the menses becomes more efficient. For religious Jewish women who are ovulating a day or so before the mikvah, this would certainly be worth looking into as a way of remedying this particular "fertility problem."  I do want to add that no company that I am aware of who manufactures the menstrual cup makes this claim, but anecdotal evidence seems to abound both on popular web forums, reviews and even amongst my own friends and clients.While there are no guarentees that it will make your period shorter, it is certainly worth a try.

All of these reasons really make the menstrual cup the ideal internal menstrual product for those who are trying to conceive (TTC) with the methods recommended by Wise Woman Fertility.

And now it gives me great pleasure to announce the first Wise Woman Fertility blog giveaway, open WORLDWIDE.

One of the leaders in menstrual cup production, The Diva Cup, has graciously offered to donate one of their famous silicone menstrual cups to Wise Women Fertility blog readers!

To enter, please follow these 3 steps.

1.) First head on over to the Diva Cup page and "like" them.

2.) Then, scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the "follow" button for Wise Woman Fertility in order to follow us on our blogspot.

You get a bonus entry if you like us on facebook. You get an additional bonus entry if you "share" this link with others. This can be on your facebook page, twitter, my space or your own blog!

3.) Finally post a comment under this post with your name and an email address where I can reach you, in the event that you've won. Be sure to state within that post if you applied for the bonus entries, telling me specifically that you liked the page on facebook and where you shared the link to this post, and I will add the additional entries to your name. Only one post per person.

One winner will be picked at random (using random.org) on Monday, March 7th, 2011.

(Fun factoid: this date corresponds with the first day of the new Hebrew month of Adar, the month of "joy.")

Thanks to The Diva Cup for their generous donation and also for donating a Model 1 Diva Cup, for demonstration purposes, to the "Wise Daughters" and public speaking lectures offered by Wise Woman Fertility.

And thanks to you for entering!

Good luck!

58 comments:

Chavelamomela said...

I entered! Plus I also "shared" on facebook for my bonus entry.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my diva cup and would love to gift one to a friend.

-Chavi/Eve

Mar-y-Sol said...

I've been wanting to try one!!! Hope I win :-)
Okay, I liked diva cup, I like you, sharing post on fb...
Mar-y-Sol Salinas
marysolsalinas@att.net

groove said...

i liked diva cup (ive actually "liked" them for awhile now)- i followed you- i liked you on fb- and ive shared this link.

amber townsend
daughterhecate@gmail.com

twigo said...

love mine - hope to win one for my dauter who recently became a woman!
i like the Diva
I like your post
i like you......
Chana Twig twigo@013.net.il

galwithawand said...

Hi there! I've already 'liked' Diva since last year, I've also followed your blog, 'liked' you on facebook and shared this link on my facebook and twitter and blog!

-Wu Han
wuhan1234567890@hotmail.com

Thank you!

Emily said...

Ooh exciting - was just talking to M about this two days ago and now want to get one b/c of the mikveh problem that I definitely have... Liked Diva cup, following you, linked page on my FB. Enjoying your blog very much!

Randi K. said...

Like diva cup, like you, follow you.

The ShanMonster said...

I'm entering, please!

Also, as a personal note, I have not found that menstrual cups shorten my period at all.

Julie said...

I was already a fan of DivaCup. Am now a Follower of Wise Woman's Blog.

Bonus entry, I am now a Fan of WiseWoman on FaceBook too.

My email
shethinksmedia(at)gmail(dot)com

Thanks!

amy said...

I like them and I follow you :)

~Amy
amjro82 at gmail dot com

Cat said...

I like Diva Cup on facebook.

I followed Wise Woman Fertility's blog.

I liked you on facebook.

I shared the link on facebook.

Cat

bcmdesouza@hotmail.com

Margaret said...

Like, Like, Follow, Shared, Commented :)
I have been wanting one of these for ages! :D

YogaMama said...

I like DC on facebook.
I follow your blog.
I like you on facebook.
I shared the link on my facebook.
I shared on my twitter.

foreversuperstar at hotmail dot com

Mama to a Sweet Thing said...

I Like The DivaCup on FB
I follow you through GFC
I like you on FB
I shared on my blog's FB page (Mama to a Sweet Thing) and tagged you in the status

Thank you so much for this giveaway, I would LOVE to try the DivaCup, as we are TTC #2 right now!(our 1st took 2 years to conceive)
Sarah Laing
tenenda@hotmail.com

Marya said...

entering!

Anonymous said...

Yay! thanks for putting up this give-a-way. I've been wanting to try the Diva Cup ever since The Great OB Tampon Shortage (still going on!).

Let's see, I did the following:
liked Diva Cup on Facebook
liked Wise Woman Fertility on Facebook
Followed the blog
Shared on Twitter!

Let's get the word out that there are alternatives.

Acacia Daniels
hlk95945@yahoo.com

Medicine Woman said...

The ShanMonster: Thank you for your comments about the mensrual cup NOT shortening your period. May I ask how many days of bleeding/spotting you typically experience?

mama to a sweet thing: Have a look around the website, because this is what I do. :) For women practicing FAM, conception usually happens within a few months, provided she is otherwise healthy and there are no other impediments to her fertility.

Of course, this might postpone your ability to use the Diva Cup, though. ;)

Nice to meet you, ladies! I hope you enjoy the blogs (have a look at the "blog archives" tab at the top of the page). Please feel free to comment or contact me with any questions.

J. Rivkah @ Wise Woman Fertility

nlconover said...

Liked Diva Cup on FB.
Follow this blog!
Liked Wise Women Fertility on FB
Posted an update on Twitter about this giveaway.

Facebook name: Nicole Conover
Twitter name: The Clean Hippie


email: nlconover@hotmail.com

Miriam G said...

You know I love you too :)

If I win I think I will have to make the donation to Ashrina, as I have a diva and with the rate I get a period, it should last until I hit menopause!!!

(BTW, when i've used it, it didn't shorten my period either, but I don't know if that counts for anything as i've only used it a handful of times...)

Geordanna Cordero-Fields said...

Thank you so much for this post! I will be writing about the diva cup on my blog and twitter as well and will def share your blog as well!

Geordanna Cordero-Fields

My Facebok page about my fight against Stage IV endo: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Updates-on-Geordannas-fight-against-Stage-IV-Endometriosis/144604458883527

I liked your facebook page as well as DivaCups'

I also shared your blog on my facebook page as well as DivaCups website/facebook page.

my email is: georgyfields@gmail.com

Medicine Woman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Medicine Woman said...

Geordanna, you may be interested in reading the past blog posts where I detail some of my own experiences with Endometriosis, which I have since healed, With the Help of The A-mighty! The tab "blog archives" will allow you to surf around easier on the blogs.

And I noticed that you would like to begin your family...that's what I DO! :) I help women with fertility issues to concieve. I espically enjoy helping clients with Endo and PCOS, as these are conditions that I, too, once shared and they are close to my heart.

Thanks for joining and nice to "virtually" meet you.

Kelly said...

~I like Diva Cup on facebook (Kelly Deaton).
~I follow you on google friend connect (Kelly Deaton).
~BONUS: I like you on facebook (Kelly Deaton).
~Additional Bonus: I shared on twitter (@dkad23) Twitter Link: http://twitter.com/dkad23/status/40859972363497472
Thanks for the chance!
Kelly D. ~ dkad23(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Hey,
I'm now a follower and Yaron likes you on favebook!
shoshiblustein@yahoo.com

Stephanie said...

I like Diva Cup on facebook.

I like Wise Woman Fertility's

I liked you on facebook.

I shared the link on facebook

sabogan@msn.com

beccajoy said...

Ooh, I hope I win! I have been wanting to try the Diva Cup for a while now! Thanks for the giveaway and very useful info!

I liked Diva Cup on facebook.
I am now following you.
I liked you on facebook.
I shared this link on facebook.

Rebecca Mann

beccajmann at gmail dot com

The Trophy Wife said...

I am a Public GFC follower. I Liked Diva Cup and Wise Woman on Facebook. And I shared it on facebook.com/obsessionsttw

Thank you for hosting the giveaway!

obsessionsottw at gmail.com

Foot Prints said...

Like on Facebook
Like Diva Cup
Share the link
Following the blog

meje1123@yahoo.com

Andrea said...

Never tried the Diva Cup, but I've heard great things and would love to have one.
Liked Diva Cup and Wise Woman Fertility on Facebook
Following the Blog
Shared Wise Woman Fertility on Facebook
andreacrandall at hotmail dot com
Thanks!

Erin said...

like you, like your blog, sharing both. omw to like diva cup now! always worth a shot, right?

Erin Nichole on FB!

MichelleH said...

I consult on natural healing and livestyle choices. Love the divacup - once you get your head around the concept, it's great! Eco friendly, simple to use, saves money. Awesome product! www.bouquetsoflife.org

Celia said...

I would love to try one! (I don't do FB, so I guess I'll have to pray this one little entry wins!) --Celia <><

Dust Bunnies And Books "at" yahoo "dot" com (remove the spaces and convert the words in quotes)

Medicine Woman said...

If you don't do facebook, no problem! Just share the link ANYWHERE (your blog, webpage, twitter, or in a mass email, on a list serv you are on, etc...) and you'll get ONE bonus entry! Good Luck!

Miri said...

I'd love to try one- I've just switched to cloth pads, so far so good

I like diva cup, like you and follow you

miriamkay@hotmail.com

Pam Narynski said...

Sure would like to win the Diva Cup. I have liked DC, Wise Woman and shared it on FB.

Jenn said...

I would love to try a Diva Cup, so I have done the following:

1. liked Diva Cup on facebook
2. Started to follow your blog
3. liked you on facebook.
4. shared on facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1054159504.

My email is jennbelcher @ comcast . net (minus the spaces)

Anonymous said...

I've been using a cup (from a competing company) for about 10 years now. Can't say enough in its praise. There's no discomfort, no smell, no mess, no expense ... best thing EVER. - LFE

Anonymous said...

Like, Follow!

Rachael (B-G)
moon__star@yahoo.com

C Yocheved said...

I'm a follower! :-)

Anonymous said...

Roxanne Breton
rdposcar at yahoo.com

Liked Diva Cup FB page
Liked Wise Woman FB page
Following to Wise Women blog
Shared on my FB

Robin said...

Hi.

My name is Robin Arnon and my email address is robin.arnon@yahoo.com.

I liked Diva Cup FB page
I liked Wise Women FB page
and I followed Wise Women Blog

Jennifer said...

I liked Diva Cup on Facebook and am following the Wise Women Blog (Jennifer Mo).
ailanna at hotmail dot com

Merry said...

I've been a Diva for years now.
Liked you both!

mhughes@warren-wilson.edu

Emma said...

is there a way to enter this contest without liking them on facebook that seems a bit too public for me.

Ehlara said...

Liked Diva Cup on FB
Followed you on GFC

Liked you on FB
Shared on my FB page

A friend has raved about her Diva Cup - I would love to try it out!
ehlara [at] gmail.com

Medicine Woman said...

Emma,

Diva Cup, who is generously sponsoring this giveaway, has requested that those who enter "like" them on facebook. I would guess that if your profile settings are on the strictest privacy that your name would be the extent of what anyone could see.

Thanks for writing in! And please post again if you'd like to enter.

Nurit said...

I follow you and liked you on facebook.
Would love to have one and spread the news about menstrual cups!

nurittrauthwein@gmail.com

Ashley said...

Liked Divacup on FB
Like WWF on FB
And sharing on FB

agriff09 [at] gmail . com

sara said...

I followed and shared the link via twitter!

I hope that I win...I had a diva cup before and have been meaning to get another!

Kayla said...

Pefect timing! I just ruined my Diva Cup by forgetting it boiling on the stove. All the water dried up and cooked my poor cup.

2 bonus entires for liking on FB and sharing this link on FB.

Thanks so much!

Kayla M.
kayla.mccalister@gmail.com

natalia said...

I like Diva Cup on facebook.

I followed Wise Woman Fertility's blog.

I liked you on facebook.

I shared the link on facebook.

pigcorazon@yahoo.com

THANKS!

Stacey B said...

I liked Diva on Facebook.

I followed WWF.

For bonus I liked WWF on Facebook too.

For second bonus I tweeted a link to the giveaway! My user name on Twitter is Pillworm!

Thanks for the contest.

Stacey Ball
staceyball@gmail.com

Everyday Erica said...

I liked Diva cup on facebook followed you, like you on facebook -posted this on facebook

http://www.facebook.com/indypassionlady/posts/198488550174874


Indypassionlady@gmail.com

sticpixie said...

I have liked Diva cup and Wise Woman. started following your blog and share
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=697083686

Julisuz said...

Shared on my fb page, already "liked" the diva cup, "liked" your fb page and started following your blog!
suzileigh@gmail.com

Heathen Family said...

I love my Diva Cup! I will like on fb and follow your blog! Awesome!

Anonymous said...

I liked you on fb and followed your blog. Thanks for bringing this product to the attention of the female public. It's safer for women's health and for the environment. Two-in-one smash hit.

Medicine Woman said...

Thank you all for entering. The contest has ended. Click here to see the winner: http://wisewomanfertility.blogspot.com/2011/03/and-diva-cup-winner-is.html