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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

TMI: Prepping for Women's "Monthly Visitor"

Original Article

Well, I've waiting long enough.

Here's my post about dealing with "that time of the month" from a prepper point-of-view. If you're of the male persuasion, feel free to copy the URL and email it to your wives. Then click away to some other article.

I'm going to continue now as if I knew you and as if this was something that applied to you... ahem... thanks, men, for going....

ok we're alone.

So, about 6-8 months ago I heard about the Diva Cup. It's a "menstrual cup" and it fits inside the vagina. The job of a menstrual cup is to collect flow in a cup instead of a tampon or pad. Instead of changing it every few hours you empty it once a day, and reuse it up to 5 years. Comes in two sizes, and has a little tab you trim to fit, to make removal easier and less messy. I haven't used it so I can't review it here. It's $40 and lasts a year or two. When I first heard about it, I found it at my local "natural foods" store, but the price tag was too steep.Something I can review for you is the Instead cup. It's $7-9 for a package of 14, but I have only found it at Walgreens (not CVS or my grocery store, although they may order it if I asked).

Each cup is supposed to be used once (for up to 8 or 12 hours) and then discarded. Also, the instructions say to remove the cup completely and rinse it out (if you're out during the 8 hours and want to empty it) however I have found much easier and less messy to just catch the edge of the ring and tip it out. It's easier to simply push it back up instead of completely taking it out and reinserting it. After my first cycle doing it the rinsing and replacing way, I began using one cup per period and I haven't had any trouble of any kind doing it that way. I heard that they now make another version to be used for this way (one each menstrual cycle). Here's a picture:

It's an extremely flexible ring with a plastic, cellophane-like cup. The cup is crumpled in the middle of the ring and thus comes flat in the individually wrapped packages. To insert it, you pinch the ring flat and insert it similar to a tampon. Here's the video:

There are two interesting things to note when looking at the Instead cup from a prepper point-of-view. First, the amount of sheer cubic storage needed to store a year of supplies is very low. if you bought one package of Instead cups and one box of 60 of pantiliners you'd be set for a year. TWO BOXES! Less than $15 probably. If you invested in some washable pads like fellow prepper Enola Gay makes (called Naturally Cozy) you'd have a bigger initial investment, but they wouldn't run out. Here is a photo of one month's worth, so you can imagine how small a year's supply is!

The other interesting thing is birth control. If there isn't a supply of hormonal BC, the Instead cup can work like a diaphragm or cervical cap. It blocks sperm from entering the cervix and starting the trek to your eggs. I did this once, and it worked out fine with no complaints from my husband. Be sure to empty the cup before sex though, so there aren't any... messes. :)
Here is an EXCELLENT, MULTI-BRAND FORUM full of great info on all the options- how to insert etc etc.

The last thing I wanted to say about all this is really into the "too much information" territory.

Another thing I think is helpful for preppers about any of the menstrual cups is blood. Obviously, blood is the whole reason you have to think about dealing with your period. In America today we are really distant from anything personal or messy. Our babies are "delivered" to us. Our meat comes in a styrofoam tray. OB tampons are "fringe" because you use your own! finger! as the applicator. It's just too foreign for many women. So if TSHTF when there is an injury or disaster, and we come in contact with blood, it is unusual and uncomfortable.

Using the Instead cup brings you closer and more familiar with your own body. You will see and smell and interact with and wash blood from your finger/ hand. At first it's gross and weird, but as the months go by, it's not such a big deal.

Here's a funny Aussie post also about menstrual cups.

I so hope this has been helpful!

The other other thing I wanted to throw out there while we are talking about girlie stuff is the GoGirl. It's a flexible thingie that lets girls pee standing up. Great for being stuck on the side of road while evacuating too late before a hurricane, while camping, or traveling somewhere iffy.

We're so pleased you are reading Farming Salt & Light! Choose how you live!