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24 November 2004 @ 02:12 am
Something I should have bought long ago  
A while back, I was reading some book on frugal living and saw a reference to a product called the Keeper - a reusable rubber cup that takes the place of tampons and supposedly lasts about a decade. I forgot about it for a while, remembered it recently, and decided that I wanted to give it a shot.

Fair warning: there is Aunt Flo discussion ahead. It's not too over the top but possibly TMI. If you're one of those guys who freaks out at the mere mention of the word "tampon", you probably won't want to continue reading (heck, you probably stopped reading the post already, so that isn't much of a problem =P).

My Keeper came in the mail today, and since I'm on the tail end of that time of the month, I figured I might as well try it out. While Googling for information on this and the Diva Cup (a similar product made out of silicon, which I decided against because I don't have any problems with rubber and the Keeper is supposedly softer and easier to wrangle), I read that it can take some time to get used to insertion, removal, and the feeling of having one in. Though I need some more practice to get very efficient and proficient at folding something in half and holding it folded while shoving it up yonder, it was much easier to get in than I thought it would be at first, probably because I've been using non-applicator tampons for years. And now that it's in, I don't feel it at all. Again, that's probably because I'm used to regular-sized tampons.

To take the Keeper out, you have to pinch the bottom to break the suction holding it in place. This is rather tricky, but it didn't take me more than a couple of minutes of fussing to get right. As you probably guessed, you need to clean it before reinsertion. I find it best to rinse it with water.

Even if takes you more time to get used to inserting and removing a Keeper, it really shouldn't be a major inconvenience. The Keeper has not been associated with toxic shock syndrome, and it holds 1 ounce of fluid and the average period produces 2-4, so you don't have to empty it as often as you have to change a tampon. Many women seem to like emptying them in the morning and evening when they're at home.

And yes, it is sanitary. At the end of your cycle, you wash it with hot soapy water, and that's really about it. I don't really understand why some people get so disgusted by the idea of reusable menstrual products. Sheesh...it's just blood. o_O

In conclusion, this product seems very promising thus far. If you've been considering one, I highly recommend it.
Current Mood: happyhappy
necessary evilmeanjunglist on November 23rd, 2004 11:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info. I hate tampoons (but like them moreso than pads because they don't bunch up in my panties); I may have to give this a try. Have you had any problems with leakage?
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on November 24th, 2004 12:05 am (UTC)
Nope, not yet. It is a light day, which helps, but the Keeper is held in place via suction, so it's not supposed to leak unless it's not positioned properly or it overflows. (There are small pinholes around the top for the purpose of breaking the seal.) Next time I have a heavy day, I'm going to wear a pad just in case, and I'll post an update on how well the Keeper behaves. It should be better than tampons, though, which often leak even when they're not full. Guh, I hate that. >_>
arafel on November 24th, 2004 07:17 am (UTC)
It should be better than tampons, though, which often leak even when they're not full.

Capillary action, baby! It usually comes down the string, right?
necessary evilmeanjunglist on November 24th, 2004 12:49 pm (UTC)
Sweet. I'd love to know how it works out. If it is as good as the manufacturer says it is, then I am going to get one for myself as well.
setupweaselsetupweasel on November 24th, 2004 12:20 am (UTC)
Where is the Key Master?
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on November 26th, 2004 10:55 pm (UTC)
Mine didn't come with one. I guess it's defective...like those no-Cosby picture pages I linked to recently. =P
teh j00: mrs woolfj00licious on November 24th, 2004 05:48 am (UTC)
Kick ASS! I've been toying with getting one of those for quite a while now. I'm going to definately put that on my shopping list now.
Andreaasd109 on November 24th, 2004 05:59 am (UTC)
I've been meaning to get one too. One of these days I'll actually get around to it.
I tried out a disposable version of this when we went to Mexico (it's called Instead) and was quite pleased with the results, so I imagine this will work well for me as well.
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on November 26th, 2004 10:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'd think so. Reusable cups take up more room than Insteads, so you can't have sex with one in, but getting them in and out seems to involve similar wrangling and it appears that they hold the same amount of fluid as well.
radhardened on November 24th, 2004 06:11 am (UTC)
I've been thinking about getting one of those too.

When I solicited opinions on a private mailing list, I learned that anyone with risk factors for endometriosis might not want to use a menstrual cup. Being a nullipara like us is apparently considered a risk factor, but to heck with that. I got a lot of responses from women who said they found menstrual cups more comfortable and convenient than tampons or pads.

If I do switch, I'm highly tempted to get one of these fabric pads just in case of leakage.
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on November 26th, 2004 04:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the fabric pad link! I read about them a while ago and have been occasionally pondering them ever since. I wouldn't want to carry a dirty one around with me, but I've been thinking about using them when I know I'd be able to change them at home. They're supposed to be more comfy than the disposable kind, they're much less wasteful, and they can be easy to deal with (just keep a bucket of water in the bathroom and throw the dirty pad in, and then change the water and wash the pad when you get a chance). Chester hasn't managed to open the door under the sink where we keep the bathroom trash can, so the water bucket could go in there.
arafel on November 24th, 2004 07:15 am (UTC)
I've heard these discussed in various communities, and the women who use DivaCups and Mooncups seem to like them. If you have an IUD, though, the suction caused by the cup can cause expulsion. I'm not a tampon fan at all, so these items aren't for me, but I hope the Keeper continues to work well for you!
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on November 26th, 2004 04:46 pm (UTC)
Aw poopy...I was thinking about getting an IUD because it seems like a pretty good method of long-term birth control and I doubt I'll be able to use any pills or shots because of a family history of estrogen-related breast cancer. I guess that's out because I am so not giving up my Keeper. At least there are other highly effective birth control methods at my disposal.
Lady Sithladysith13 on November 24th, 2004 07:48 am (UTC)
i also was thinking about trying out the disposable (Instead) version of this thing...i didn't know they had reusable versions of them which is even better. I was always worried about leakage and just general messiness of removal....

maybe i will give it a go. I am really heavy the first day or 2 but maybe after it clams down this is a good option to finish it out....hmmm

The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on November 26th, 2004 04:41 pm (UTC)
I think it should be fine for the heavier days as long as you dump it out frequently enough and wear a pad if you don't think you'll be able to get to the bathroom in time (like overnight). The Keeper does hold much more blood than even the most absorbent disposable menstrual products, so that might be less of a problem than expected anyway. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I'll post an update once I get a chance to try it out on one of my "super soaker" days (which have been known to kill off super plus tampons in 2 hours flat). =P

The Keeper comes out more or less upright and I always take it out when I'm sitting on the loo, so I haven't had any problems with removal mess.
Lady Sithladysith13 on November 26th, 2004 07:20 pm (UTC)
lol i have thoses exact same days!! (super plus tampoon in 2 hours) sometimes less if it is supe awful.

yes, many have suggested at least some kinda panty liner just in case.
MattressGnomemattressgnome on November 26th, 2004 08:21 am (UTC)
Wow, girls are icky...

The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on November 26th, 2004 04:35 pm (UTC)
Eh, you're just jealous because we can't get kicked in the ovaries.
(Deleted comment)
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on November 26th, 2004 11:05 pm (UTC)
It's basically like reusing your own sex toy. =P It's safe - you just have to wash it before you put it away.

I never thought about hot water causing the rubber to crack. Would rubbing alcohol have any adverse effect on the rubber? I read that it's good for sanitizing things, so I'm wondering if it would be OK to use on a Keeper. (I'm also guessing that's what you mean by liquid alcohol, but I wanted to ask and be sure.)