I am sitting here thinking about how my period felt before I used the cup and I don't remember much. I guess the system shuts out unpleasant memories quickly! This post is long due and is another attempt at talking about the keeper cup (my attempts at getting folks to use it by gifting them cups hasn't gone anywhere), an amazing product I have been using for almost 2 years now.
Last Jan, I was browsing through Aravinda's articles and I came across one called "Greeting Aunt Flo". She talked about the keeper cup and I looked it up immediately. The website had pictures of a cup with a little stem that you essentially insert in, so the menstrual blood is collected inside your body. The cup essentially acts as a seal, a plug. The principle is different from the rest of the sanitary products for women - pads and tampons, both absorb. The cup, on the other hand collects.
I used various pads as a teenager, always hating the wetness and perpetually in fear of a leak. Pads with wings weren't all that great either. Then came the thin ones, again not very different. It atleast seemed better than using a cloth and washing it each time, the way my mom described her experience. I started using tampons when I started running. I was training for the marathon and did not want to miss runs because of the chaffing caused by a pad. The tampons worked fine, though they made me feel a little dry. Since I had already used tampons, the idea of using the cup didn't seem so different, from the point of inserting something in. So I decided to give it a shot.
After a few attempts, all their instructions of push, twist and tug made perfect sense. It really is a simple process. The only problem here, and a big one at that, is your mental block about the product. I just don't feel the cup. I love not having to deal with wetness, smell, rash, leaks that were so common with the pads. I have run with it, gone swimming with it. In short, its been great with letting me do all the things I want to.
That is one aspect. The other, very important aspect for me is having a product that is reusable. All I need to do is wash the cup with some warm water and soap and reuse. I have been trying to reduce the amount of waste I generate and am really glad finding an alternate to chucking pads and tampons every 4 weeks.
The cup also makes sense from an economic point of view as well. It is supposed to last 10 years (Mines 2 years old and seems fine). It cost me about 30 dollars, I would have spent that much in 4 - 5 months on pads!
For those of you who use tampons, this is a no-brainer. For those using pads, you don't know what you are putting yourself through unless you try the cup! You won't dread your period, infact, you will hardly notice it.