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Old 10-17-2006, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My sister was horrified to find that I have been using tampons for years. She told me that her GYN told her that they are very bad for a women's body. Has anyone here ever heard this? Do you have an informative website or article to read? If you do, please post it to this thread.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:35 AM
 
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I had used them for about 20yrs and over the past 2 yrs or so I switched to the diva cup. I have tried to move toward a more chemical free living. I quit using disposable diapers then it dawned on me that I am placing a chemically bleached cotton product next to my cervix 1 week a month. I can tell you my periods have shortened after using the diva cup. I dont have any websites to share but it just "dawned" on me that it probably wasnt good.

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Old 10-17-2006, 12:28 PM
 
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It wasn't until I started using a diva cup that I realized that vaginal discharge didn't stop during a period. Just with 2 months of using it, I notice a huge difference in just how I feel during my period.

I don't have any sites bookmarked, but I know I've read in numerous places about how bad they are.

You might have more luck if you look in Natural Home and Body Care forum.

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Old 10-17-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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I may be asking for TMI, but here it goes. How long were your periods when using tampons and how painful were your cramps compared to using the Diva cup? I'v heard about these recently but I'm feeling sceptical.
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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Mine were 7 full days pretty heavy ( super tampons) now I go about 5 1/2 days with only 2 days being what I call heavy. those days I use cloth panty liners. I havent had craps for 15yrs LOL those went away after I had my firrst son.

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Old 10-17-2006, 02:27 PM
 
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I got an email from a friend awhile back that changed my mind (forever!) about using tampons. It said, in part:

Tampons contain two things that are potentially harmful: Rayon
(for absorbency), and Dioxin (a chemical used in bleaching the
products). The tampon industry is convinced that we, as women, need bleached white products in order to view the product as pure and clean. The
problem here is that the Dioxin, which is produced in this bleaching process,
can lead to very harmful problems for a woman. Dioxin ispotentially
carcinogenic (cancer-associated) and is toxic to the immune and reproductive
systems. It has also been linked to endometriosis and lower sperm counts
for men. For both sexes, it breaks down the immune system. Last September the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that there really
is no "acceptable" level of exposure to Dioxin, given that it is cumulative and slow to disintegrate.The real danger comes from repeated contact. (Karen Couppert, Pulling the Plug on the Tampon Industry).

I'm sure there's a ton of more info out there if you do a simple search. I'm so glad I got the Diva and have been sooo happy with it. I don't have to carry around tons of "supplies" and don't leave messy trash in my and other people's bathrooms. It's so freeing!
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:11 AM
 
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My cousin nearly died last year from Toxic Shock Syndrome caused by a tampon. She was in the hospital for over a month, and on a ventilator for about 2 weeks. In all honesty the doctors didn't think she would make it. Thankfully she lived, but she has problems from it.
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:38 AM
 
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another very satisfied customer of the Diva Cup! there is a slight learning curve, but when you get the hang of it, it is just as quick and easy as inserting or taking out a tampon, is quite comfortable, and i love not having to worry about whether i have to buy more tampons/pads every month. i thought for a long time about making the switch, but just couldn't quite wrap my mind around it. now that i've done it, i wish i had made the switch sooner!

tampons are bad news. you can get organic unbleached ones, but even still...i don't think it's worth the risk when there are safer alternatives out there. i used them for years, but now would never ever give up my Diva.

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Old 10-18-2006, 02:11 AM
 
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Cramps are the same for me for diva vs. tampons. But my cycle is 2 days shorter using the diva.

I love that I don't have anymore waste. No pads and tampons to toss or flush. No paper or plastic wrappers. No need to waste gas rushing to the store to get more.

I did the math one time. Diva = $30 (approximate for 10 years). Pads and Tampons = $650 ($5 per cycle for 13 cycles each year for 10 years)

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Old 10-19-2006, 11:43 PM
 
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Well...I don't know if they are bad for everyone, but I certainly don't use them anymore. I found out that they were responisble for me having crippling bladder/urethral spasms, bad crams, and heavy bleeding leadign to anemia. I switched to cloth, and in one cycle, I went from seven days heavy bleeding to three days moderate, and haven't taken a painkiller in seven months now. I only sih I had thought to change years ago!

However...no one else i know seems to have any problems with the tampons, so I guess it's all individualized.
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Old 10-20-2006, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Very helpful information mamas. That's it no more tampons for me! I have been concerned that using a device like the Diva Cup would be...

1.) Inconvenient and messy.

2.) Uncomfortable. I don't think I would be able to use something that I was aware of.

3.) Won't work well enough. I have a VERY heavy flow. I suspect endemetrosis, which I now suspect could be partially a result in using tampons. I am going to the GYN next month when my health insurance kicks in.

Could some of you elaborate on my concerns? For the moment I will be using cloth liners. I think it would be great if Mothering would publish an article on the dangers of tampons and better alternatives. Don't you?
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama_kass View Post
Very helpful information mamas. That's it no more tampons for me! I have been concerned that using a device like the Diva Cup would be...

1.) Inconvenient and messy.

2.) Uncomfortable. I don't think I would be able to use something that I was aware of.

3.) Won't work well enough. I have a VERY heavy flow. I suspect endemetrosis, which I now suspect could be partially a result in using tampons. I am going to the GYN next month when my health insurance kicks in.

Could some of you elaborate on my concerns? For the moment I will be using cloth liners. I think it would be great if Mothering would publish an article on the dangers of tampons and better alternatives. Don't you?
(1) It's not inconvienient at all - the opposite in fact - you don't have to remember to take tampons out with you! If you are in a public loo you can just empty it and wipe it with loo roll - you don't need to rinse it everytime.


(2) It is not uncomfortable at all- you cannot feel it when it's in. (I had to cut the whole stem off though and most of my friends did too)

(3)I can't imagine it wouldn't work well enough even if your flow is very heavy - you may have to empty it more often but even if I leave mine for 8 hours it is never more than about half full - it does hold a lot. The only reason it may leak is if you have weak pelvic floor muscles and maybe don't get a good seal. I would think that unlikely though.

I have been using a mooncup (that's what they call it here) for the last 3 months and I can honestly say it is so much better than tampons. You have to get over the initial "ick" factor but it has made my periods 2 days shorter and I no longer have cramp. I would reccomend it to anyone (have already converted several friends lol!)
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Old 10-21-2006, 01:49 AM
 
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I've read about the DivaCup here on MDC forever now and am always intrigued but still too chicken to make the leap. I never used tampons in my life until two years ago at the age of 30, but I have since read so much about the bleached cotton or rayon being terrible for you and the delicate area you are placing it in. Ugh..... So I'm still pondering.

Can anyone explain to me though why your periods are shorter with the Diva or why you think tampons cause a longer period? Mine is literally 2 days so maybe I'd get down to 6 hours or so with the Diva?

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Old 10-21-2006, 03:55 AM
 
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They definitely work with heavy periods. I'm having my first postpartum period, which is always the biggest ever for me. No discomfort once I cut the tail off of it. I do know I need to kegel more which may explain a little slippage, but it also has a learning curve to know where to place it so it works for you.

As for cramps, my 1st PP period is usually really painful, but this time, very little cramping. I am just amazed at how much better I feel!

And my period is almost over after 5 days... usually it's 8! Why is it shorter? I'm not sure, though I would think it has to do with the chemicals interfering with hormones maybe? I don't care why it works, I just know it does!

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Old 10-21-2006, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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More very helpful responces. Thanks so much mamas.
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:33 PM
 
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I used tampons from the time I got my period until maybe...oh, I dunno...shortly before my last pregnancy. I started getting really bad headaches while using them. I suspected it was the tampons but wasn't sure so I started using pads part time & it didn't take me long to see it WAS the tampons. Not sure why but I am not using them anymore. Beyond the headaches, they made me dizzy and just generally yucky. It took years of use for me to feel that way & I'm not sure why it started but I'd rather use pads than endure that.

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Old 11-09-2006, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK mamas. You talked me into it. I bought the Diva Cup. It arrived yesterday. It looks BIG. It comes with a really cute bag. I'm so excited to read the little pamphlet. I told my sister and my best friend. They are all waiting in anticipation of my review. Thanks so much mamas. As always you are the best.
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Old 11-09-2006, 03:06 PM
 
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The diva cup sounds kinda messy though. I have looked at before on line and it looks huge, how big is it really?
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Old 11-09-2006, 04:21 PM
 
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someone mentioned possible leakage/slipping with weak pelvic muscles....Im pretty sure mine are weak since I recently had my 4th 9lb+ baby lol (and I do kegels but things just arent what they used to be LOL)

Do you think its still worth trying one?
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Old 11-09-2006, 04:24 PM
 
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Tampons give me migraines. It took me forever to realize it but they do.
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Old 11-09-2006, 04:25 PM
 
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Well I've had two 9 pounds babies and use a diva fine.

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Old 11-09-2006, 04:54 PM
 
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Is it anything like those instead cups? Those didn't exactly work for me.
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Old 11-09-2006, 05:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AdoptChina View Post
someone mentioned possible leakage/slipping with weak pelvic muscles....Im pretty sure mine are weak since I recently had my 4th 9lb+ baby lol (and I do kegels but things just arent what they used to be LOL)

Do you think its still worth trying one?
I think I have weak pelvic floor muscles (I try to do my kegels but they're hard!) and I have a Keeper - basically the same as the diva but made of rubber. It sometimes leaks a little (like at the end of the day there's a little spot or smudge on the pad, sorry if that's tmi), so I wear a thin cloth liner. I should add, even before I had a baby I never used tampons bc they always leaked, so maybe it's just something about me. Anyway, it's still WAY nicer than a pad (or a tampon), and needs changing a lot less.
I would think it's worth a try - even if you need a small pad for backup.

My cycles are also shorter (from 7 days with 3 of moderate-heavy bleeding down to 5 days with 2 of moderate bleeding, the rest just spotting). I don't get why but I'm not complaining!
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Old 11-09-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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Is it anything like those instead cups? Those didn't exactly work for me.
It's the same but different. The Instead cups sit right up over your cervix and the Diva/Keeper sits pretty low down.
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Old 11-10-2006, 01:49 AM
 
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Is it anything like those instead cups? Those didn't exactly work for me.
Very different. I've used both and they are different in size/diameter and position.

I'm a happy Mooncup user who went from 7 day periods to 5 days periods when I switched from tampons and/or disposable pads to cloth pads. My period stayed 5 days when I switched to the Mooncup.

Something in those pads/tampons makes a difference... what, I don't know. It's a common thread though, many women report shorter AF when using cloth pads or menstrual cups.
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Old 11-10-2006, 05:09 PM
 
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I've suffered from endometriosis for several years now. Although studies (including one large-scale one done in Germany in the 90s using monkeys) quite conclusively show a link between Dioxin (which is found in tampons after bleaching) and endometriosis, because the Dioxin messes with both your hormone levels and with your immune system. Tampon manufacturers insist that the levels are safe, but just think: you are placing the tampon inside your body where the chemicals can be readily absorbed, and it's not just one tampon either but thousands over a woman's lifetime!

Here is a page that explains more:
http://www.center4research.org/wmnsh...ponsafety.html

When I learned of the dangers of tampons I was not surprised, because I have always known that using tampons makes my endo pain WAY worse, but I never knew why. Now I know it's from the harmful chemicals and I have decided never to use bleached tampons again.

I have been using a type of tampon made from sea sponges called Sea Pearls. They're messy because you have to rinse them out every few hours (and then reuse) but I like them because they're very soft and comfortable--and best of all they cause me no pain.

I have also switched to using organic cotton, reusable menstrual pads. It's a pain to have to wash them, but they're very soft and comfortable and much cheaper over the long run than buying another pack of Kotex every single month. I got my pads from www.lunapads.com.

I feel that I am doing something good for my health by not placing bleached chemical products in or on my most sensitive areas!

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Old 11-10-2006, 06:00 PM
 
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Just wanted to mention that you can buy unbleached 100% cotton tampons, although they are pricey. Rayon is no longer an ingredient in most tampons, as it was linked to TSS. I have always noticed that I have more cramps when I wear tampons instead of pads. I haven't tried the DivaCup but I know there is a size specifically for women who have had children, so that shouldn't be a problem. I bought Instead right before I got pregnant so I never got to use them either I'm thinking about just switching to cloth pads.

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Old 11-11-2006, 01:16 AM
 
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Cloth pads are nice Stacy...very soft, no sweaty plasticky feeling, no adhesive strip getting stuck where it doesn't belong! I find them a lot more comfortable. The ones I bought are not bulky either. The only problem is washing them, but I was shocked to find that if you rinse/soak them as soon as you take them off, they come totally clean, not even stained.

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