Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Handling My Lady Business--The Keeper Cup

FAIR WARNING:  This post will contain personal graphic matter.  If you know me, don't run me out of town, I'm sharing this because I wish I had had someone who could give me their first hand experience .  If you don't want to hear about my favorite Aunt Flo, DO NOT read this post.  Come back tomorrow for some lighter fair.  Consider yourself warned...

I first heard about The Keeper menstrual cup back in high school when I was on my I-love-anything-written-by-a-radical-feminist phase.  I then heard about it while reading The Tightwad Gazette and much a I value the opinion of Amy Dacyzyn, the idea of a reusable cup in my nether-regions wigged me out.

Flash forward to 9 months into breast feeding Emerson--it seems that after 18 months of not making an appearance, my period came back WITH A VENGEANCE.  Seriously, it had a vendetta & I could hardly catch a break.  After getting my period every 20-24 days for several months I was SHOCKED at the amount of waste I was creating.  Box after box of tampons wound up in the trash.  Finally I couldn't stand creating such waste & used my Swagbucks to buy The Keeper, a reusable rubber menstrual cup that is used in place of a tampon. 

I went with The Keeper because to my knowledge, it has been around longer than similar products, so I figured if I were to have a problem they could help.  After reading the instructions thoroughly I decided to try it out.  I have to say figuring out how to properly insert The Keeper was hairy for a minute, but after it was in it wasn't that bad.  Sort of like wearing a thong for the first time, at first it feels weird & you think everyone can tell, but after a while you get used to it & forget about it.

My first removal was also a tad strange, the cup sort of suctions, so you have to break the seal to pull it out.  From there you simply dump  the cup (I rinsed mine) & then re-insert.  In my experience it can be worn just as long as a tampon, including overnight, which to me is fabulous.  I have to say I was worried it would leak, or be gross, but I was truly surprised.  As bizarre as it may sound I actually found wearing The Keeper more reassuring & hygienic than a tampon.   

Things you need to know:
  •  The Keeper comes in two sizes, before birth & after birth, so if you order choose B for BEFORE & A for AFTER.  I was a little confused at first.

  • The Keeper is made of medical grade rubber, but if you happen to be allergic to latex you can try The Moon Cup, which is made by the same company.

  • I have read that wearing The Keeper can also cut down on menstrual cramps, & it seems many women get cramps due to the chemical in the tampons, rather than their periods.  I didn't have any cramps, but I can't be 100% certain that was due to The Keeper without a few more months of use.

  • The Keeper is economical. Though it is around $25 to purchase initially, it can last up to 10 years. Think of all the money you will have saved over 10 years!

  • The Keeper keeps A TON of trash out of the landfills.  The average woman uses 11,400 tampons during her lifetime. Flow: The Cultural History of Menstruation, states the average woman throws away up to 300 pounds of feminine hygiene related products in a lifetime.   In the U.S. alone, an estimated 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are disposed annually. Imagine if those tampons weren't adding to our waste. 

I know this might not be for everyone.  I realize that. .  I do however encourage you to at least consider looking into more reusables  in your life.  It doesn't necessarily have to be a menstrual cup, it could be cloth napkins, real dishes, or the like.  I think the important thing to remember is the daily impact of EVERYTHING WE USE & if it is possible to keep some of it out of the landfill, even tampons. 


  1. I had a Moon Cup (that I think I may have thrown away... I am baffled as to what happened to it lol), and I liked it a lot. (I also read about it in TG.)

    I decided to replace it with a Diva Cup. I've had it for a couple of years, and I'm very happy with it.

    My advice is to trim the stem to make it more comfortable. The directions may have said that, but I missed it and eventually figured it out on my own :)

    Lots of money and trash are saved with this investment!

  2. I'm happy to know that both the Moon Cup & Diva Cup work equally well. Good point about trimming the tip too. I think I might try that as well.

    Happy green periods to you! ;)