LD on reuseable menstrual products - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 26 Old 11-27-2006, 02:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
bouchiemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mother Nurture, Lexington, KY
Posts: 48
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DS is just shy of 13 months and AF has returned Before DS I used all commercial disposable products. But after 13 months of CD, it seems silly to go back to disposable tampons or pads. I have dial up and it would take me forever to search all the posts for answers to my questions. So, I'm hoping you Mamas can help me here in one place. I need a basic overview of everything - how many do you need? what fabrics are availabe and what works best? what do you do when you're out? what features are good/bad? I was a mostly tampon girl - don't like to feel set and sticky down there. Are those cup things any good? Do they actually work? Any other tips/information would be great! By the way, I did read the cloth pad reviews and I'll be checking out the sites for the products recommended there. So, you don't have to give product reviews, but I'll listen to everybody's 2-cents! Thanks!
bouchiemama is offline  
#2 of 26 Old 11-27-2006, 01:20 PM
 
hubris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: VA
Posts: 5,329
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I switched to my Diva Cup after AF returned post-Griff's-birth. Like you, becoming a crunchy mama using CDs made me rethink other disposable products.

I love the Diva Cup - I was also a tampon girl pre-kids. I can wear it twice as long as I could go with a tampon, which is nice on a heavy day. I also have some cloth pantyliners with PUL from Rhythm & Blues pads that are great for lighter days or backup on really heavy days. And sometimes I use GladRags nighttime pads at night.

There are tons of threads on cups here - search for "diva" in this forum and you'll find lots of experience/advice. Number of pads seems to be a personal thing. I myself find that I can do with just a few panty liners and a few nighttime pads, because I wash them frequently (with Reese's CDs) and I don't fully rely on cloth since I use a cup.

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know  - e.e. cummings
hubris is offline  
#3 of 26 Old 11-27-2006, 02:46 PM
 
gemasita's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Apex, NC
Posts: 1,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I use the Diva too. LOVE IT! Sometimes forget I am having AF altogether.

I use cloth pantiliners as back up so I don't really have to deal with stains or what to do when I'm out in public (storing the dirty ones, etc).

Jamie, DW to Jeff, birth and postpartum doula and Hypnobabies instructor.
4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
gemasita is offline  
#4 of 26 Old 11-27-2006, 03:44 PM
 
perl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: OR
Posts: 907
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Another satisfied Diva cup user here! I totally love it. No icky squishy feeling, no gnarly string hanging down, no vile odors. It was quick to learn how to use, and it's sooo nice not to have to buy and dispose of tampons and all the wrappers and things that come along with them. I've also read about people saying that the flow is shortened and I'm happy to say that now I'm one of them - yay!!
perl is offline  
#5 of 26 Old 11-27-2006, 04:40 PM
 
Amari's Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lima, OH
Posts: 539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Another diva lover here.

My uterus/cervix is tilted to the left side, so I don't get quite as good of a seal as alot of mamas do. I wear cloth pantyliners as a backup for the occasional leak/spot.

I, too, have had shorter/less crampy cycles after a month or two of using the diva (after DD and before this pregnancy).
Amari's Mama is offline  
#6 of 26 Old 11-27-2006, 05:53 PM
 
MissLotus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,212
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am not (yet?) a user of the Diva cup or anything, but am curious about why it makes the cycles shorter! That sounds good to me.
MissLotus is offline  
#7 of 26 Old 11-27-2006, 06:53 PM
 
Amari's Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lima, OH
Posts: 539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The theory I've seen/heard is that disposables are so absorbant, that they actually pull more moisture from you than you would normally flow. And, in the cases of tampons, that they are so absorbant, that in the process of pulling that extra moisture, they are actually creating micro-tears on the walls of your vagina that bleed.

There's lots of research to be had for searching on the internet. Something like, "benefit cloth menstrual product".
Amari's Mama is offline  
#8 of 26 Old 11-27-2006, 07:28 PM
 
ashleyhaugh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 4,423
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ive been using cloth pads for about a year now, and i like it so much better. i get mine from www.motherandmaiden.com , and theyre great

*~*Ashley*~* newly single mama to Tristan 10/01/2007
ashleyhaugh is offline  
#9 of 26 Old 11-27-2006, 08:13 PM
 
sphinxie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,336
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you preferred tampons you'll probably like cups the best. I'm a diva cup person and really like it. I'm planning to get some cloth pads for the very light days though, cause I do get tired of the cup after awhile.
sphinxie is offline  
#10 of 26 Old 11-27-2006, 11:22 PM
 
MissLotus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,212
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amari's Mama View Post
The theory I've seen/heard is that disposables are so absorbant, that they actually pull more moisture from you than you would normally flow. And, in the cases of tampons, that they are so absorbant, that in the process of pulling that extra moisture, they are actually creating micro-tears on the walls of your vagina that bleed.

There's lots of research to be had for searching on the internet. Something like, "benefit cloth menstrual product".
Thank you, that's very interesting!!
MissLotus is offline  
#11 of 26 Old 11-27-2006, 11:33 PM
 
ledzepplon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 5,775
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemasita View Post
I use the Diva too. LOVE IT! Sometimes forget I am having AF altogether.
Me, too!

Seriously, I LOVE my Diva Cup. I can't imagine using anything else.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
ledzepplon is offline  
#12 of 26 Old 11-28-2006, 12:04 AM
 
*bejeweled*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Love the Diva too! And really love Lunapads. They are the best! I got a starter kit of Lunapads and then added to it. It makes AF so much more pleasant and personal.:

I will never go back to disposables.

Me afro.jpg reading.gif Wife and Mom to modifiedartist.gif cat.gifdog2.gif.
*bejeweled* is offline  
#13 of 26 Old 11-28-2006, 12:10 AM
 
mumkimum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ohio-land
Posts: 2,879
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been using the Keeper almost 10 yrs now & love it. One of the best things is that down there is SO much less achy than with using tampons. There's some kind of 'disposeable' version of a menstrual cup you can purchase if you want to try something more similar to a menstrual cup before making the purchase - which isn't a bad idea. I forget right now what its called though.

I also like glad rags to use sometimes instead or in addition to.
mumkimum is offline  
#14 of 26 Old 11-28-2006, 02:20 AM
 
kaydee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Hither & Yon
Posts: 2,510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I tried both the Diva and the Keeper and wasn't happy with them; they felt quite uncomfortable and also leaked. Then I got a Mooncup (sold from a UK website but shipped anywhere) and love it most of the time. It's smaller, so it fits me better. It can be a bit messy, particularly as you are learning to remove it, and I do find I have to change it often on the heavy flow days (I wear it with a Glad Rag). It does leak at night, so I still use tampons and a Glad Rag then.
kaydee is offline  
#15 of 26 Old 11-28-2006, 02:54 PM
 
SusannahM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was going to try the sea sponge tampons after AF comes back after this pregnancy. It just sounds the most comfortable to me. I've tried the cups before and didn't really like them too much.
SusannahM is offline  
#16 of 26 Old 11-28-2006, 05:43 PM
 
solidcitizqueen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: TX
Posts: 253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Diva girl here, but Mooncup (UK) is great too. Former Insteader for 10 years. Have used a nasty plug or paper pad for emergencies before getting Diva, and they should be outlawed! Have used sea pearls (sponges) on light days, or "intimacy nights", and find them helpful for daughter when she has a YI (to treat it naturally). After switching to cloth t.p., I entertained cloth pads, but just can't stand the moisty messy red stuff. I love my Diva, because she takes care of all that for me. DD is on Diva too, since 2nd cycle, and we're never looking back!
solidcitizqueen is offline  
#17 of 26 Old 11-28-2006, 06:42 PM
 
kaydee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Hither & Yon
Posts: 2,510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SusannahM View Post
I was going to try the sea sponge tampons after AF comes back after this pregnancy. It just sounds the most comfortable to me. I've tried the cups before and didn't really like them too much.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot--I tried the Sea Pearls for a while, too. They were comfortable, but a complete messy disaster for anything but the lightest flow. YMMV.
kaydee is offline  
#18 of 26 Old 11-29-2006, 12:39 AM
 
CarrieMF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Alberta/Saskatchewan
Posts: 8,930
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
I entertained cloth pads, but just can't stand the moisty messy red stuff.
They're not like that at all. The majority of women bleed less with cloth than with disposable. Also, this is hard to describe until you experience it, but most of what you bleed never makes it to the pad. it stays inside until you go to the bathroom and pee, the peeing action is enough of a kegal to push it out so it goes into the toilet instead of on the pad.
CarrieMF is offline  
#19 of 26 Old 11-29-2006, 12:45 AM
 
Lynski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 1,016
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was a die hard tampon gall until I tried cloth. Since I tried it, I haven't even had the urge to buy any tampons or even look up Diva cups and such. It's SO not as yucky as you think. Even if you go with the Diva or something similar, I'd suggest getting some cloth for backup or nighttime just in case.
Lynski is offline  
#20 of 26 Old 11-29-2006, 12:53 AM
 
MonP'titBoudain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
Also, this is hard to describe until you experience it, but most of what you bleed never makes it to the pad. it stays inside until you go to the bathroom and pee, the peeing action is enough of a kegal to push it out so it goes into the toilet instead of on the pad.
Hmm, interesting! With me it was too moist but I think that was just because I had previously only used tampons. I hate pads, hate the dampness (although that IS better with cloth vs disposable) and I hate the uncomfortable wad between my legs. Makes me feel like I'm waddling around with a diaper on! I love my diva cup, although I almost gave up on it 'cause I kept inserting it wrong. It took me about 4 cycles to really get the hang of it. I use my own cloth pads as light liners and sometimes I'll use them instead of the cup 'cause like pp, I get sick of the cup after a while. that's my 2-cents!

me, wife to dh, the movie geek (7/01), mama to ds1, budding Star Wars geek (10/05), dd, budding princess of the dirt (03/08) and ds2, budding extrovert. watch out! (8/10).
MonP'titBoudain is offline  
#21 of 26 Old 11-29-2006, 01:03 AM
 
Starflower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Western WA
Posts: 2,442
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also switched to Diva cup a few months ago. I ordered it from their website. They're a Canadian company. I've been very happy with it. Took a bit of getting used to but I always hated tampons and pads. My flow was only 4 days this cycle - it used to be 7. The only leaking I've ever had is on a super heavy day when I needed to empty it out and didn't make it in time. On my heaviest days (and I have always had very heavy menses) I usually change the Diva cup 3-4 times in 24 hours. Once it's a medium flow, I only change it out 2X per day. And I can feel when I need to change it out most of the time.

It cost me about $35.00 to purchase but I've saved so much money and waste by using it. I also had to trim the "tail" a bit to get it comfy, but now that I've figured everything out, I actually forget I have my period sometimes unless I am having bad cramps.

A couple months after I got my cup via mail, they built a natural foods co-op about a mile from my house and they carry the Diva cups there. You may be able to find Diva or Keeper at a local natural market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkimum View Post
I've been using the Keeper almost 10 yrs now & love it. One of the best things is that down there is SO much less achy than with using tampons. There's some kind of 'disposeable' version of a menstrual cup you can purchase if you want to try something more similar to a menstrual cup before making the purchase - which isn't a bad idea. I forget right now what its called though.

I also like glad rags to use sometimes instead or in addition to.
I had tried the disposable cups, called Instead, a few times before and always found them to be very uncomfortable for me, especially during removal. Plus I didn't like the idea of having to throw them away - it seemed like a lot of non-biodegradable stuff to toss in the trash, kwim?

I believe the main difference between Diva and Keeper is that Diva is medical-grade silicone and Keeper is natural latex. Keeper-users, please correct me if I am wrong. I've never tried Moon cup.

Good luck with your search.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
Starflower is offline  
#22 of 26 Old 11-29-2006, 02:00 AM
 
solidcitizqueen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: TX
Posts: 253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
They're not like that at all. The majority of women bleed less with cloth than with disposable. Also, this is hard to describe until you experience it, but most of what you bleed never makes it to the pad. it stays inside until you go to the bathroom and pee, the peeing action is enough of a kegal to push it out so it goes into the toilet instead of on the pad.
Let's just say I've improvised w/ wash cloths before, and I know that feeling of when I had NO warning of erruption, and how moisty and messy my panties have been. I'm a HEAVY bleeder (and cycle about 7 days most months) on the first couple of days. I also don't like bunchy in betweens of any kind (when I wear panties I wear thongs, and go commando in skirts), and feel like I'm wearing a pillow. I could see it if I were a SAHM though, for sure. If Diva didn't work for me, I'd suck it up for a couple of days while alternating w/ Insteads again, or pearls. I realllly reallllllllllly like the idea of cloth pads though, and love hearing about how cloth girls just love 'em!
solidcitizqueen is offline  
#23 of 26 Old 11-29-2006, 05:11 AM
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 47,599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I have a divacup and I needed something as "backup" the first month, wore a "backup" pad (but didnt' really need it) the 2nd month, and now I just change my undies as needed. I used sposie pads for backup because I already had them in the house when I purchased the Divacup.

I tried the Instead cups and HATED them. They leaked, needed to be changed more often than a real menstural cup, and you still needed to take extras with you when you went out. What i love bout the Diva is I put it in and I'm all set to go- no need to restock my purse!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
Ruthla is offline  
#24 of 26 Old 12-01-2006, 04:18 PM
 
EnviroBecca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 5,168
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
detailed article and index of shopping sites

Quote:
how many do you need? what fabrics are availabe and what works best? what do you do when you're out? what features are good/bad?
You need as many pads and pantiliners as the disposables you would use on your heaviest day, multiplied by the number of days you go without doing laundry. (You can wash them in with your regular laundry, in cold water to avoid stains. I put mine in a zippered mesh bag so they don't get lost amid bigger items.) You need only one cup; just don't forget where you put it!

I think flannel is most comfortable against my skin. The best absorbency I've found is terrycloth or hemp fleece for the inner layers. There are a lot of cloth pads with synthetic microfleece next to your skin, but I don't use those because the stuff has never been safety-tested, and I'm wary of microfibers in my most delicate areas.

I use cloth pads only at home or on short outings when I won't need to change. I use a cup (Keeper) and cloth pantiliner the rest of the time. When I empty the Keeper in a restroom where I can reach the sink, I rinse it, but in a stall I just blot w/TP and reinsert. It's unusual for me to have enough leakage that I need to change pantiliners, but if I do I fold the used one wet-side-in and snap the wings around it, tuck it in the inside pocket of my purse, and rinse it ASAP after getting home.

There are so many different styles of pads, I think the best approach is to try one of each kind that sounds good and then order more of your favorites! One thing I do want to mention is length: If you walk a lot, unless you wear very tight panties, you want pantiliners at least 6" long and pads at least 9" long, because as you walk they tend to migrate slowly backward...and that is not something you can correct discreetly!

Oh, also, look for pads (esp. for heavy flow) that don't have stitching along the crease between the middle part and the wing, esp. stitching through a waterproof layer. If you have a big surge of flow, the watery part will go right through the stitch holes.

I wouldn't bother with Instead cups. They're a very different shape, so they don't give an accurate impression of what the Keeper/Diva/Mooncup is like. Also, both Keeper and Diva (not sure about Mooncup) have a money-back guarantee, so you can try it out without wasting money. The only thing Insteads are good for IMO is stashing in various places in case a period starts unexpectedly--they CAN be reused a few times, so just one will get me home to my Keeper, whereas if I stash tampons I need to stash 3 of them.

The explanation I've heard for why a reusable cup shortens your period is that it creates a mild suction that helps the flow come out, whereas a tampon blocks it up and a pad is kind of neutral. I've had shorter periods with the Keeper (3-4 days) than I did with tampons (6 days), but if I use cloth pads for most of my period that lengthens it by a day or so.

CarrieMF wrote:
Quote:
Also, this is hard to describe until you experience it, but most of what you bleed never makes it to the pad. it stays inside until you go to the bathroom and pee, the peeing action is enough of a kegal to push it out so it goes into the toilet instead of on the pad.
That's interesting but definitely not universal. I bet it depends on the amount of flow and maybe also on certain details of your anatomy.... I have a heavy flow, and although I do get a sort of surge when I pee, I can soak a cloth pad in an hour or two.

Hope this is helpful! I love reusables!

Mama to a boy EnviroKid treehugger.gif 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby baby.gif!

I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more. computergeek2.gif

EnviroBecca is online now  
#25 of 26 Old 12-01-2006, 11:09 PM
 
CarrieMF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Alberta/Saskatchewan
Posts: 8,930
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonP'titBoudain View Post
Hmm, interesting! With me it was too moist but I think that was just because I had previously only used tampons. I hate pads, hate the dampness (although that IS better with cloth vs disposable) and I hate the uncomfortable wad between my legs. Makes me feel like I'm waddling around with a diaper on! I love my diva cup, although I almost gave up on it 'cause I kept inserting it wrong. It took me about 4 cycles to really get the hang of it. I use my own cloth pads as light liners and sometimes I'll use them instead of the cup 'cause like pp, I get sick of the cup after a while. that's my 2-cents!
It could have been the fabric on top. Some wick away the blood that does get on faster than others.
CarrieMF is offline  
#26 of 26 Old 12-04-2006, 02:58 PM
 
masherrell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Indiana
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I use the Keeper. I find that my periods are more mild. I believe because of the lack of chemicals. Totally shorter periods about 4 days. Sometimes I do forget about it. I love the low odor. Tampons always seemed to cause a strong odor mainly because they absorb the blood. I maintain a consistent vaginal moisture also. My PH levels are not effected either. I did have yeast infection issues when I wore tampons. No more. The next time I have to buy one I will be buying one for my daughter also. She will be 13. You only have to buy one every ten years. You are saving like 3,000 dollars. I use organic tea-tree oil soap in between uses to help as an antibacterial and helps with the odor. Great investment.
masherrell is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off