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A public conversation about our worlds.

  • Monday: Morgan J. Locke
  • Tuesday: Madeleine E. Robins
  • Wednesday: Maureen F. McHugh
  • Thursday: Bradley Denton
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Brain Activity



Only Women Bleed

January 6th, 2008 by Rory Harper

I’m a Guy, as I’ve mentioned before, so I have no idea whether the device I’m writing about tonight is widely known in the not-Guy community.

However, She Who Is Awesome posted about it in her LJ last night, after learning of it this week, and considers it something of a revelation. She’s always near the cutting edge with her technology, as witness her independent discovery of the EeePC, so I thought I should mention it as a public service. She’s pretty ecstatic about its potential, and I figure that you not-Guys who haven’t heard of it might also benefit from hearing about it.

The subject is: the Diva Cup, a menstrual cup that might well replace other expensive, messy, and sometimes dangerous devices, for some women.

Here’s the vid that brought it to her attention. Darned if I know whether it’s NSFW.

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Here’s the Wiki on menstrual cups.

I’ll never be able to personally evaluate whether it’s all that superior to other methods for dealing with lunar cycles, but the manufacturer’s website makes what sounds to me like a good environmental argument for promoting its use:

Since The DivaCup™ is reusable, it is very economical. As well, you can feel confident that you are doing your part in environmental conservation. Landfill and pollution problems are on the rise and continue to be a worldwide concern. In 1998, 7 billion tampons and 13 billion sanitary pads and their packaging made their way into landfills and sewage systems in the USA alone!

Furthermore, if only Carrie White had known about it, a lot of lives might have been saved. You pubescent girls out there with rage issues and secret powerful telekinetic abilities, which I believe includes all of you, should at least check it out.

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Posted in Daily Life, Health and Safety, Horror, Rachael is Awesome, Rory, Technology | 17 Comments »

17 Responses

  1. Caroline Spector Says:

    Sorry to pop your cutting edge bubble, Rory. But menstrual cups have been around at least since the 70s and, no doubt, well before then.

  2. Rory Harper Says:

    Sure, Caroline, I got that from the Wiki. I do have the impression that they’ve been pretty obscure and not-all-that-good until fairly recently.

    What I don’t have a clue about is whether the Diva and Moon cups are actually something new and useful, or just more of the same old thing that women everywhere already know about.

    I sure had never heard about them. I’d think they’d be pretty widely adopted if they were common knowledge. It seems like a better way of managing an age-old issue, to me.

    But I’m a Guy, so this may be just one of the Secrets that I’m not privy to. Or, more accurately, haven’t been paying attention to.

  3. Caroline Spector Says:

    I don’t think they’re all that obscure, Rory. I just think there’s a reason they haven’t been all that popular.

  4. Rachael Says:

    I actually never heard of them before I came to Austin, and the only reason I think I heard about them here is because of all the hippies not down with pollution.

    I’ve been using the disposable version for about six months and I have to say, it’s pretty much the best thing ever if you’re not squeemish.

    I actually did research as to why they didn’t catch on, and it’s because they came out around the same time as the tampon applicator. That gave tampons a much faster learning curve and didn’t make girls have to get up close and personal with their anatomy.

  5. Rachael Says:

    Also, yeah, it’s not new, the first brand came out in the 1930′s!

  6. Caroline Spector Says:

    Yes, and tampon-like devices have been around since the ancient Egyptians.

    A tampon history:
    http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bltampons.htm

    A moon cup history:
    http://www.mum.org/MenCups.htm

  7. Madeleine Robins Says:

    I think newer materials have improved them.

    Also, I think the nice lady doing the demo is adorable. But then, I’m a sucker for a Scots accent.

  8. wanderlust Says:

    Love, love the DivaCup! It’s so nice to see a guy help spread the word. The DivaCup is a “gadget”. It’s something to make our menstrual periods a lot easier! It’s been around for ages, but the soft silicone is a step up from some of the other cups available. I think the only reaosn they’re not as popular as some other methods is that there’s a steep learning curve. You have to be pretty comfortable with your body to use one! It’s totally worth it though…

  9. Rory Harper Says:

    Thanks for commenting, wanderlust!

    Being a guy, this whole discussion has reminded me of Gloria Steinem’s classic meditation on the subject, “If Men Could Menstruate”:

    http://www.haverford.edu/psych/ddavis/p109g/steinem.menstruate.html

  10. Xtin Says:

    God, Mooncup, how I love thee.

    When I first found out about these, on a rather shrill tree-hugging type site (I say this as an inveterate tree-hugger myself) it told me that I was likely to use 10,000 tampons in my life. I thought, pshaw — crazy hyperbolic alarmists.

    Then I did a quick back-of-the-envelope.

    Himmel!

    I bought one the next day. Most comfortable environmental friendliness I’ve ever had the good fortune to, um, insert.

  11. Rosa Says:

    This is an old post, but still had to add my words of recommendation for cups. I use a Lunette, and it’s the most marvellous invention! That part of life is so much easier to cope with now, cleaner, too. It is not as messy as newbies to the idea think, and this little thing has lessened my crampy discomfort, so that’s got to be a good reason to try one. Plus, it’s so great to have one small item, rather than having to have a large stash of supplies; it just makes sense!

    They don’t seem to be widely known about, but that may change as more brand options become available, and women get more comfortable talking about it.

    A cup can last up to 10 years, so clearly, the companies selling disposable products have more interest in promoting products that need to be purchased more regularly.

  12. SASa Says:

    Sounds gross

  13. Jesse Says:

    WOW!!! I know I go through a lot of tampons in one month, in ten years I think I may have exceeded my humanly limit. One of my girl-friends asked if I’ve ever heard of it and I have to say never… now that I know though I am pretty sure I’m going to invest in one. Thanks for posting this video, I’m definitely going to share it with my friends.

  14. Joanna Says:

    http://www.softcup.com/

    There’s also soft cups which unlike some of the other types similar to it doesn’t prohibit intercourse during a woman’s period. These cups are disposable, but some women reuse them for awhile the same you would a diva cup. These, unlike the diva cup, can sometimes be found in local grocery stores, but you have to look ages amongst the rest of the typical product to find the tiny white n purple box. They’re not popular b/c of the gross factor. Everyone’s too used to just absorbing in some way even at the risk of TSS.

  15. jess Says:

    To Caroline Spector
    yes Egyptians used to use tampons sure.. but they also used huge springy devices on women’s necks to force the length of the neck for beauty.. and many many other stupidity.. how long it has been used for does not make it right..
    you will soon learn that not any material and object should be put inside your vagina.. not the ancient tampons that were made of material that accelerates bacteria growth and specially not the modern types that are infused with all these chemicals that are related to disease in long term use and in some cases death on a short term period.
    so learn to stop being in denial about your sexuality and deal with your own bodies natural cycle like a woman should and stop letting your flesh come in contact with what these tampon and pad advertising companies want to make you believe its safe.. and do some reliable research..

  16. Voney Says:

    I have tried the Diva Cup. I like it very much and I think they are not widely used because they are not widely known about. I am in my 40s and just heard about them 2 years ago.

  17. Fern Says:

    I recently purchased the Diva cup and I love it. When else can you go to bed with your pajamas and no underwear during the heaviest time of your period. And no matter how long they have been around, most women have no idea about it, though I am doing my best to tell everyone about it….

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