Interviews with Happy Cup-Owners

juju2 I have asked some menstrual cup owners to share their stories… you all pretty much know mine. However, if you are new to the blog here is a refresher. I would not ask anyone to do something I was not prepared to do myself.

 

Alias/ name Judie

What did you use before you tried reusable products Pads and tampons, usually together as I was paranoid about leakage. Especially when I was relying on public transport, waiting… the whole “do I have time to change?”… “There is no place to change”… stressful!

What do you use now? I use a large JuJu on my heavy days, Ruby at night and light days and very light days I use the small JuJu. In my work bag I keep my moon cup USA for emergencies and in my handbag is a softcup. I also have a sponge.

What do you want to try? I really want to try re-usable pads but I am rubbish at sewing, so I am looking online (and bribing my friend to make me some)… I liked pads to prevent chafing during the Summer months, so basically I would like a viable alternative. In the meantime I am trying washers, but while they are comfy they fall out when I go to the bathroom, so its really only an “at-home” solution.

What are you looking forward to about that product? Snaps that clip the pad in place.

What did you think when you first heard of cups? Yuck! I was grossed out at my friend who thought I would like them as I loved tampons. At that time, I was switching to Anion pads for health reasons. I must admit she only described the rubber one and it sounded uncomfortable and just plain dirty.

What do you think now? I love my cup and would not go back to tampons and pads. They are great for the environment, healthier for me and just plain convenient.

What advice can you give? Don’t knock it till you have tried it. It takes a while to get around the “yeek” factor, but it’s totally worth it.

Pls rate the product/s that you use... Outstanding exceeds expectations acceptable poor dreadful and troll

These have been rated in my above blog… however: Juju, Ruby and Lunette- Outstanding. Sponge, Moon Cup USA- exceeds Expectations. Soft tampon, Washer, Softcup- Acceptable and EE-/Acceptable + is MeLuna.

Reggie

What did you use before you tried reusable products: Disposable Tampons and Pads ruby-cup3

What did you think when you first heard of cups? My main questions were about health and safety, and then making sure I had the money to buy the product. Also how long I really could keep a cup in.I was blessed by being given my first cup, and now I'm saving all the money I would normally spend on Tampons and Pads to buy another cup, and I want to try reusable pads next.

What do you think now? What advice can you give? Pls rate the product/sthat you use... Outstanding exceeds expectations acceptable poor dreadful and troll: I am using a Ruby cup. I love it. I enjoy the freedom of not having to change every time I go to the toilet, nor needing to change so regularly. I use to hate going into the toilets and having to 'crack' open a tampon, or unwrap a pad, thinking others would hear it and know I had my period. Now I love it, no one knows because I don't have to crack anything. My Ruby goes in before I leave the house and I wear it all day, and then remove when I get home at the end of the day. It is great. I recommend the Ruby to everyone, at least have a go.

Next cup I'll try is a MeLuna due to the different sizes and they are cheaper, while don't seem to lack quality.

What advice can you give? Umm .. talk to others who use them about them. Don't be afraid to have a go. If you are unsure, have your first run on a day that you are at home, and maybe wear a pad as well, if that will settle your nerves.

Jane

MeLuna_L_m What did you use before you tried reusable products: I would normally use pads, mostly buy Libra -Now use MeLuna, I don’t really need to try others now- I’m very happy with MeLuna

What did you think when you first heard of cups? When I first heard of cups, I thought it was really gross and some weird hippy thing -now I think its a great way to save money (by not having to buy a new packet every couple of months) and cut down on rubbish (for the same reason) and its also so comfortable. I don’t have to be sitting in grossness all day and getting chafed. Its really freeing.

What advice can you give? Just keep an open mind and maybe give something different a go.

What do you think now? What advice can you give? Please rate the product/s that you use... Outstanding exceeds expectations acceptable poor dreadful and troll: Exceeds expectations… (and its pretty)

JUDIE

Real Cup Blogger… Earned her stripes

Lunette-color1  lunette1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunette

My IT teacher at tafe, says that “real IT people” use the search function rather than the mouse for finding things… if one applies this to “real” menstrual cup bloggers… I think that would be that you have some cups with holes in them sent to you by a company. This happened for me this week. I was very excited after sending a few emails to some cup companies to receive emails back with the promise of sample cups with instructions. I should add here, I have not been paid by any Menstrual cup companies to promote their products, nor will I receive any money if you chose to buy one of their products. I simply write my experiences with their product and their company… and show them to my friends who are interested.

selene So the first cups that have arrived are the Lunettes in the small and large sizes. I have been drooling over a index Lunette for a while now, possibly because they come in pretty colours… in particular the Selene or her Roman name is Luna (blue) and the Cynthia(purple).

The word Luna has a lot of good memories for me. A little girl I used to nanny loved the moon, I told her that in Spanish “she” was called Luna, so every time she saw the moon, she would say… “There’s Luna, she’s my friend” night or day she loved the moon. Luna Lovegood happens to be one of my favourite characters in Harry Potter I love that she looks for the good in people and is a bit of a dreamer.

20100906183439!Artemis Cynthia is another name for Artemis, a goddess in Greek mythology. In the Percy Jackson series, Thalia, one of her hunters, was one of my favourite characters although I had been pronouncing her name incorrectly in my head. cynthia2

I liked Artemis as she liked to protect people, (I like that this cup- protects me) and her relationship with her twin brother added some witty lines to the story.

Now the question is; do I prefer a blue cup or a purple, as I am sure that either will make me often think of my favourite stories, we can all use a little escapism.

First time cup users

I recommend both Lunettes as a first time cup, the Lunette is an outstanding cup (In my grading system). Both cups fold nicely into a punch-down (which is my favourite fold) and the and both open up comfortably first time upon insertion. Neither are difficult to remove, however the smaller is slightly more comfortable in the removal process. This is the Australian website for Lunette, and they have deals as well… http://www.lunette.com/au/store/index.php 

Compared to other cups, I like that the stem is not hollow, this will help it to be easier to clean. I like that there  are grippers on the stem (even though I cut my stems off the cups I use). There are practical grips on at the bottom of the cup, to help with removal. The smaller cup is slightly softer than the larger cup and the rim at the top of both cups is not too thick.

There is a distributer in Australia and they had my order here in under a week (even with public holidays).

You all know… I love deals.

JuJu

In the mail arrived my JuJu sample just in time. It was a nice surprise for it to arrive when I was home. A few weeks ago, I wrote to JuJu and told them that I loved their product, I write a blog and have been showing interested ladies my cups. I also mentioned that I was excited to read of their partnership with Days for Girls and asked if they might have a B-grade sample of the small JuJu as the larger one was a little “intimidating” to some of the girls I was showing my cups to. JuJu went above and beyond my expectations. www-clothpads-org_juju02

Firstly the package was large… that was because there were 2 cups in there… perfect in their boxes along with an extra bag so that I could show the JuJu in all her glory to those who want to meet her… and no holes punched in the side (just air holes).

This was the answer to a question I had been pondering all weekend… What do I do if someone wants to see my cups and I am on my period? Do I wear a tampon??? How about a softcup? Now I don’t need to worry as I have 2 JuJu model 1s so I can just wear one and show the other.

I was keen to see if the JuJu model 2 (smaller) was more user friendly… and ladies she is awesome! JuJu is an Outstanding in my grading system. JuJu model 2 may well be an Outstanding +.

I have a problem with “shrinkage” in that on my light days its kind of hard to get my cup up in there, but I have no issues any other time of the month and I am not sure of the science behind it... In fact this little clip always makes me laugh at the dilemma https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DoARSlv-HU.

The small JuJu on my light days was like a dream. She worked perfectly and was very comfortable. Opens perfectly every time and fairly easy to remove. I could definitely recommend this cup to teenagers and young ladies as well. It has a slightly higher learning curve than the Lunette (a bit harder to remove) but you could certainly use it as a first cup and the website has some fantastic tips.

JUDIE

Homemade Shampoo

For some reason this was not posted when I wrote it a few months back… Maybe he “forgot to post it because of the Prof Snape remark…

I tweaked my regime and am happy with the results.

Tweek 1: wash hair in the morning so that it can air dry really well. One-3 tiny drops of coconut oil may be applied to the ends while hair is still damp. images

2: Only apply coconut oil to the tips at the beginning of the day, applying at night does not give the oil time to sink into the hair before I go to sleep, consequently I woke up continuously with “Professor Snape hair- The book Snape who always had oily hair not the handsome guy played by Alan Rickman”... I have asked Honey to grow his hair like that and been refused... 

3: Make good use of dry shampoo... the best recipe I have found is from http://www.instructables.com/id/homemade-dry-shampoo/step3/the-dry-shampoo-for-dark-hair-recipe/ and uses cocoa, bicarb soda and corn flour.

I usually wash my hair on day 4 now.

As for “now” when I am posting this blog, I wash my hair usually once per week, and Professor Snape continues to be one of my favourite and very layered characters in Harry Potter… just a BTW fact

Judie

Easter Fun…

We hosted a BBQ for both families at our house this year… So we wanted to give our sofas an extra sparkle. Honey had some leather cleaner “somewhere” so I decided to check Google to see what the homemade recipes were like… www.graceandblessings.com/2012/02/29/homemade-leather-cleaner/ is pretty much the same as a few other sites I checked. IMG_0691[1] IMG_0690[1]
We used toothpaste and water then wiped it off and applied the polish to some of the tougher stains on the white sofa and the red sofa seemed to get clean with an initial wipe over and just the polish. It was a bit of hard work but the effort was well rewarded. Time to work off some of those Easter eggs and chocolate.
IMG_0694[1]My neice (I like the Jane Austen spelling) IMG_0682[1]was visiting for a few days and we made some Easter gifts… a way for some women special to us to get the chocolate without having it go their thighs… we made homemade dry shampoo from coco, corn flour and bicarb soda. Yea I had some left over. The HB cocoa powder was the only pure one available at Woolies.
IMG_0692[1]Have you tried pork rissoles? I used some pork mince, eggs, grated carrot, dash of BBQ sauce and a good sprinkle of cinnamon and Chinese 5 spice. Pop that on the BBQ and it was delicious. This it the last one left…
We also had BBQ prawns, I made some dips to go with… homemade Thousand Island dressing (Mayo, tomato sauce and a dash of Mexican chilli powder to taste), Sweet chilli sauce on “Sour cream”- at my house its always Greek yoghurt, we also like aoli with them too.
1138433

Kudos to Coles, with their Fair Trade bunnies this year, they were quite nice tasting too. 
Very excited that I was also able to have  hot cross buns compliments of Coles this year too. They had a gluten, nut and dairy free option right next to the regular HCBs. Not in the freezer this time. (2 years ago I found them like 2 weeks after the fact, enjoyed them but it was nice to have one on Good Friday this year).

Good Friday
With visitors coming for lunch; I decided to make my sister’s family my guinea pigs… I have been missing Tuna Mornay- basically because I am too lazy to make it the “old fashioned way” lol. Honey had never heard of it but I found a few recipes http://www.recipecommunity.com.au/main-dishes-fish-recipes/basic-tuna-mornay-pasta-optional/31656 which you can do…
However, I realised its pretty much a béchamel sauce (found in the every day cookery book or here http://www.recipecommunity.com.au/recipes/french-bechamel-sauce/82101) prefixed with sautéed onions and garlic (and in my case lemon pepper) and add some canned fish (I have used tuna and salmon- bones removed), dijon mustard (a cup each of peas and corn if I can con Honey into it)  I have also switched in chicken breast (From a late in the day “special” chicken I bought the day before)… right at the end of cooking time (I only go as high as 80c as the TM bowl is easier to clean, I add 2-3 extra minutes cooking time)… I add cheese and cook for 2 minutes.
So I squeezed the extra ingredients into the margin and just open my EDC book to cook the mornay now, rather than juggle my computer or iPhone with the food.
Also another tip- I use powdered milk and make up 500mL with 67g of milk powder and water to the 500mL mark and stir. However, when I made the last Fish mornay with salmon, I used the fish water in with the water and milk powder to make it like adding fish stock. I fully intend to try this with “Tuna in spring water” next time.
Mum’s Tuna Mornay had boiled eggs in it, I used raw eggs (once again- lazy) in the salmon mornay but there was not that much difference in the texture or flavour.
I also serve my fish/chicken mornay with rice not pasta. So on “mornay days” I would get out the slow cooker 2 hours before we were going to eat. Cook a huge amount of brown rice (2:1 water to rice) pop it on the hotter setting; walk away… return 2 hours later to perfect rice (soft). If you like it a little more “together”, back off the cooking time about 10-15 minutes. The left over rice is fantastic the next morning for breakfast.
Judie

Cleaning a Menstrual Cup

Each cup maker recommends something different for cleaning cups, some like the Keeper and its silicone twin, do not recommend boiling at all but a 1:9 ratio of vinegar to water. Others have different times for boiling, or recommend soaking in Milton or Hydrogen peroxide and water solution to sterilise. It can get a little confusing.

In my kit I have a mug that I either soak my cup in vinegar and water in or fill with water, stick my cup in and a saucer on top and heat in the microwave for 5 minutes.

Earlier this morning I read an article written by a genuine person (I assume) warning that cups were not hygienic because you are taking your cup out say at work or in a public bathroom and putting it back in with germy hands and for others as you are tipping blood down the sink.

I found the first argument surprising, because you would face a similar situation with changing a tampon. For that reason I like finding a little bathroom that includes a sink with the toilet. If not I would usually wash my hands before visiting the cubicle (as I did when changing a tampon). The body has an incredible ability to fight germs… what concerns me is that when wet, a tampon and pad start to leach the chemicals they contain – your skin is right there so its going straight into your body. Silicon however does not do this.

For the rare circumstance that I need to change at work, a small squeeze bottle like the one pictured is what I take with me and is enough to clean the cup without having to wash any blood down the sink. The blood from my cup goes straight into the toilet. I also check the toilet before leaving for “spills” as I am sure most women do. Once; I have had to flush the toilet a second time. At home, I use the same method, but wash my hands and cup in the basin IMG_0675[1] and ensure that both sink and toilet are spot free when I’m done.

Anion did not make tampons with the safe materials they used to make their pads for a simple reason… When researching women’s health, the owner found that surgeons were finding that regular tampon users have fluff embedded in their cervix.  I think the risks associated with most pads and tampons (especially the ones who are not honest about what they put in their products) are higher than the risks associated with cups. Anion is a safe choice but for me the landfill is an issue. In the end you need to make your own choice.

Judie

More cup deals

Walk_lightlyThere is a new cup company in the USA called Sckoon… http://www.sckooncup.com/buy-sckoon-cupp/why-sckoon-cup-3.html… as they are just getting started, they have some specials going. For those who love the colour variety of the MeLuna but those who have trepidations about the TPE as opposed to the tried and tested silicone… this could be the cup for you. I am totally drooling and to be honest I am not sure how many more haircuts I can skip to feed my MC “habit” because I certainly have not started “saving” in the way most other cup users have saved… what else can I say I am a martyr for science. 

yhst-50313101044085_2269_647929560 Love the bell shape and apparently they are rather nice and soft. They are very pretty with the flower and practical with the grippers.

Also available from this site is the Lunette cup at a discount which also has very good reviews. The Lunette, is one of 3 silicone cups approved in Australia. I also like the way they have named the colours after Greek and Roman goddesses… a little fun.

Home-made toothpaste

When I was a teenager, I read that bicarb soda whitens teeth. I tried it in lieu of toothpaste and the phase did not last for long. My gums and tastebuds sighed in relief when I went back to regular colgate and I laughed when I heard people were making their own toothpaste.

Recently, however I read of many of the nasties in our store-bought paste and realised why it was a handy substitute for jif. I started buying nasty-free paste but at $15 a pop wondered if there was something more economical... To my surprise there were heaps of recipes out there and it was not just bicarb soda and water to make a paste but other ingredients in particular, coconut oil that caught my eye.

I liked the way the nasty-free paste made my mouth feel and the fact that I could clean my teeth and the peppermint would not “wake me” and prevent me falling into a blissful slumber at night. My teeth felt like the food just slid right off, it was fantastic.

IMG_0584[1]Still unsure about the bicarb... Today when Honey said politely that my morning breath was offensive (funny how I tolerate his more than he tolerates mine) I dipped my brush in coconut oil and bicarb soda and went to brushing. The coconut oil protected my teeth and the Bicarb soda got them clean. They had a nice silky smooth finish that protected my teeth during the day from food “sticking on”. I liked it so much I had to pop some on after cleaning my teeth with regular toothpaste this evening. My teeth felt chalky, now they feel silky.IMG_0580[1]

From reading all the recipes out there when I “cook my paste” tomorrow... I have decided on bicarb soda, hydrogen peroxide (maybe some salt for nutrients and because I want to pummel it with our mini mortar and pestle) and coconut oil...

Paste made, teeth cleaned.

I used about a heaped tbs of bicarb, half a tsp of pink salt, 5 tbs of coconut oil and a dash of hydrogen peroxide.

I ground the salt added the bicarb and stirred. Added the Hydrogen peroxide stirred again. It was a bit runny so IMG_0585[1]added more bicarb. Flipped the paste into a glass. Added 3 tbs oil. Stirred liked the consistency but thought it might be a bit strong tasting so added more oil. Stirred it again and tipped the “paste” which was runny into an old vitamins jar (I needed something that blocks the sunlight as the hydrogen peroxide would turn to water.

I dipped my brush, popped my tongue firmly on the roof of my mouth and brushed.

The paste does not foam up like regular toothpaste does as there is no detergent in it. My saliva however mixed with the paste and by the time I was done there was not a “yucky” taste in my mouth. When I get some peppermint oil I will add a few drops to see if I like it.

Update

I used Peppermint Essence in the toothpaste, and it improved the taste. Adding Peppermint Essence to water also made a good nasties free mouth wash. Keeping it near my rosewater however was a mistake, as I accidently picked it up one night mistaking it for toner- covered my face… LOL life as me.   

Judie

Toiletries in your pantry continued

Yes I am still doing the nopoo, and I love it. I wash my hair usually once a week, and touch it up with dry “shampoo” on days it looks a little oily... It was hard to believe in the first fortnight that I would one day be brushing my hair no more often than before I began the change. That eventually a finger comb would usually be enough and my hair would once again get compliments for length and bounce. But now it does. In fact I attended a wedding this week and all I did to my hair was a morning wash, 1 drop of coconut oil on the tips and brush it before I left and it was shiny and cooperative.

Baking soda as soap... it felt nice in the shower, using the watery baking soda solution (which I use for cleaning my basin and hair) as soap, but I do not recommend it unless you are desperate, as after the shower was over I was quite sticky and sweaty within 2 hours, soap however, is a mild antiperspirant and deodorant. I certainly missed those qualities that day. But perhaps that is a mark in its favour health-wise... There really is so many things one should avoid these days.

IMG_0674[1]I finally sourced some sauce bottles that my cousin recommended for storing the nopoo in. I must say the squeeze bottles really help direct the solutions and keep it from getting in my eyes as much. It also stretches the solution further so that there is less waste. I am getting 3-4 washes out of about a 1.5 cup solution whereas popping it in a cup was 1 cup per wash. It took a few months of looking, but I found some at the local baking gadgets store in Keppel Bay Plaza. After that like a day later, there they were in dollars and sense- with lids. I tell myself I got better quality... lol. So the mustard bottle is what I put my “shampoo” into and the tomato sauce bottle is for the “conditioner” as it is red and the red-wine vinegar solution is redish. The small one is what I keep handy for washing things on the basin.

Home-made deodorant

I put half and half baking soda and corn flour in a small sauce bottle and squeeze some out and dab onto the areas I usually put antiperspirant on to. In the CQ heat, it is not effective for summer days, but rainy days and summer nights after a shower it is quite good, though a little messy. If stuck; it may work better if you re-apply it a few times during the day.

 

Judie

The good the bad and the ugly...

I found this guide to be very thorough... If you are considering buying a cup and are wondering which one? http://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/my-comparisons-and-ratings/

Moon Cup USA/ Keeperkeeper-and-moon-cup

There is some animosity in the MC world regarding the Moon Cup USA, made by Keeper. It's too close in name to the Mooncup UK and they are both silicone and apparently people have been ordering on eBay what they think is a UK and its a USA. The big differences are that the Moon Cup by Keeper (silicone Keeper- is the nickname I will mostly refer to it as to avoid confusion) is smooth and not vegan friendly. Being smooth makes it easier to clean but harder to remove. The MCUK is matt, vegan and the stem is better. To be honest I was confused... I thought I had the UK and gave the USA to my sister, but it was the opposite way around. Some very observant people may have noticed the “switch-a-roo” recently. However if you and a few friends want a Keeper or a Moon Cup USA pop on over to http://www.keeper.com they have a “3 for the price of 2” deal going, there does not seem to be an expiration date... This deal is not available on their Moon Cup website. I got a little confused till I read the URL, I thought it might have been a hoax.

It's better than a tampon, it worked for me as a “first time” cup and was my prefered cup for night time. A little difficult to remove due to the wide rim. It’s not a cup I would recommend for teenagers, you might hate cups forever if this was your first. For sexually active women over 25 or who have had babies, the ridge might not be such a problem.  It never fails to pop open, its always the one fold and the one position. But it holds less liquid, and the rigid rim means it is less “cramp friendly” than its competitors. What I mean by that is for my experience, (and other bloggers have found this too) on a crazy heavy day I will always have some “crampidge” when I was a tampon user, sometimes I would find if I used a pad on a non- ridiculous day the cramps would go, and on a ridiculous day, the tampons would make the cramps worse.

Removal and reinsertion can be difficult while you are learning, so its beneficial to have a cup that allows you to go optimally over 8 hours, as the learning curve can be frustrating, oh but completely worth it so keep trying. Once it is in there is not much difference in the feel of a large cup to a small cup. So why put yourself through that more than you need to?

What I did not realise in the first few months is that removal is a technique too. Breaking the seal and walking it out works but folding it back into a C fold makes it come out “more agreeably, but yes it is a little messier”. This takes practise.

www-clothpads-org_juju06JuJu

I totally recommend it to ladies who have a heavier flow and a fairly tight schedule though it has a slightly higher learning curve than other models. Some of my friends have a smaller cup that they change 2x/day in the shower. I obviously have a heavier flow, so that did not work for me with the Silicone Keeper, but it works very effectively with the JuJu. While other silicone cups open for me perfectly every time, the JuJu seems to change, one time its the 7 fold with this position and the next time it wants a C fold in that position (on the 3rd go)... since writing the above, I have found the c fold in the squat position to be the most effective on a regular basis.

Getting a (larger) JuJu out when you are a rookie; did a kid at school ever sting you with a rubber-band wasp? Yep... I rest my case. You definitely do not walk this baby out and it is most suited to heavy days which I have found that I am more “open”. Being a smooth silicone, with less defined ridges, its harder to grip when removing than the Moon Cup USA is and it did ruin my manicure. Yes it is still my favourite, after reading what I have written you can be forgiven for wondering why? Maybe it's the pretty purple bag it came in. But mostly its because I can leave it in for longer on a heavy day, going to work and not having to worry about leakage... There is also the feel of quality about the JuJu that is better than the silicone Keeper and MeLuna. The JuJu is seamless and appears to be made of very good quality silicone, and does not stain as much as the silicone keeper.

Ruby

ruby-menstrual-cup.jpg.662x0_q100_crop-scaleOk I have a new favourite cup and it is the Ruby. She arrived today, I was working on my assignments and Honey came in with a pink parcel. To be honest I thought at 3pm that I had missed out again today, but it came with the regular post. I swear its not the pink envelope or the pink ribbon on the bag, or the fact that its named after my favourite gem...

Ruby is comfortable to insert even on a dry run day... I could not resist and I am glad I tried. The Ruby cup is also a dream to remove... the ridges are not quite as pronounced as the MeLuna ones but they give pretty good grip- much better than what I am used to with the JuJu and silicone keeper. The stem is nicer and has better grip, and the quality of the silicone appears to be right up there with the JuJu.

The best of all my cups and combined (quality silicone, good grippers, easy to insert and remove, feels comfy)... with the social justice. We have a winner. I can totally recommend this cup for a first time user or an MC addict. What's more, over half the women in the world who own a Ruby cup used a Ruby Cup for the first time and its the only one they have. The Ruby cup is an Outstanding cup in my grading system, and I would absolutely recommend it for a first time user.

I am not going to lie, its expensive, however not the most expensive cup I own. Two Ruby cups on special in a sister deal was 80 AUD by the time I paid for postage and pay-pal fees... On the flip side, I no longer waste $90+ every year on sanitary products either- so even though I went with quality, I'm still winning. In the end you need to decide what is best for you, your pocket, and your body.

JUDIE

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