Friday, June 26, 2015

Review/Giveaway: The Keeper Menstrual Cup


I was actually pretty psyched to get to review The Keeper, because I’ve been meaning to get a menstrual cup for a while. Score! The catch is, I have to talk (gasp!) about periods (double gasp!!).

(Everyone finished clutching their pearls? Good. Ahem. Moving right along.)

Ok, so I know like half y’all are gonna be like, “What the heck is a menstrual cup?”

A menstrual cup a little reusable rubber cup inserted into the vagina that catches menstrual blood until you dump it out, rinse, repeat. 

Tampons and sanitary pads dominate the feminine hygiene industry, but the menstrual cup has actually been around for about 80 years, invented by a woman named Leona Chalmers. (Read more about the history of the menstrual cup here.)  It catches the menstrual flow rather than absorbing it, so you can leave it in without having to worry about Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) for up to 12 hours, and it holds significantly more fluid than a tampon, so you don’t need to fool with it a lot. Its reusability means it’s much less wasteful than pads or tampons, and more economical.

The menstrual cup disappeared from the market for about 20 years before The Keeper brought it back in 1987. And I am here, Gentle Readers, to tell you all about it.  You’re welcome.

When I opened my little package that arrived in the mail, Steve peered over and said, “What’s that?”

“You don’t want to know.”

“What is it??”

“Something I’m reviewing for Reviews, Chews, and How To’s.”

“What is it???”

“A menstrual cup thing.”

“No way! Really?”

“Yes.”

“No!...Really??”

“Yes, really.”

“Ugghhhh….noooo….that stuff freaks me out!”

I LOL’d hard. I wasn’t really surprised at his reaction. Menstruation is something that’s been happening to the higher primates for a very long time and has still not ceased to freak us out, even in these enlightened times. Menstruation carries with it some hefty psychological baggage, with undertones of uncleanliness, sex, and shame. It’s something we “just don’t talk about”, which is why I understand that coming to you, Dear Readers, with a message of, “Hey, this thing is pretty cool and super practical, here are several good reasons you should get one. Thing is, you’re going to have to stick your fingers in your vagina!” is a harder sell than it should logically be.

But hear me out on this. 



The best thing about The Keeper, in my opinion, is the environmental impact (or lack thereof). Disposable feminine hygiene products are incredibly wasteful. Over 12 billion pads and tampons are disposed-of annually, and I’m a big believer in treading lightly on the Earth when possible. Since The Keeper collects the menstrual flow instead of absorbing it, you just wash it right down the drain and re-insert, and you’re done.

Another huge bonus: you don't have to empty it very frequently. The Keeper will hold an ounce of fluid, and most women will only produce 2-4 ounces of fluid over the course of their entire period. I have a pretty average flow, and I found I typically only have to empty it once in the morning and once at night. And I love the idea of being able to take The Keeper backpacking or camping without toting around a box of tampons and trying to dispose of them outdoors. 

No more buying packages of tampons (or forgetting to), which is expensive as well. The Keeper is $35, which may seem kind of expensive, but it pays for itself over the course of a couple months. If a box of tampons is $5 and you use one box each month, you’ve paid for your cup in 7 periods. The cup itself lasts for 10 years, so you’re saving some cash.


They were kind enough to send me both the Moon Cup (silicone) and The Keeper (rubber latex). Each comes in a handmade bag with no logo, and no unnecessary packaging to dispose of.  As they say, "Our cups are practically impervious to damage during shipping, so why not keep things simple?"
 
Since The Keeper is made of rubber (and the Moon Cup made of latex-free silicone), you don’t have to worry about chemicals used to treat and bleach the cotton in other feminine hygiene products, or the source of the cotton itself. It’s also made sweatshop-free in the USA.

However, the down side of The Keeper is that it takes a little practice to use, and will probably take more than one cycle to get your technique down. 

So far, I've used it for two cycles and had a little bit of trouble with leakage on my heavier days, but after consulting their Q&A page, I realized that I probably had it positioned incorrectly. 

I expected my first "public bathroom experience" with the Keeper to be a real hassle, but I was pleasantly surprised that dumping it out and wiping it (and your fingers) clean with a bit of TP got the job done without leaving you looking like a murder victim when exiting the stall. 

I learned you can be rougher on it than you think you should be. I’ve found that putting your foot up on the toilet makes insertion a little easier, but YMMV. Their website provides clear instructions for how to fold it and insert it, as well as how to clean it.  Just like back when we first learned to use a tampon, practice makes perfect.



I personally preferred the texture of The Keeper, being a little more substantial, while the Moon Cup was a little softer and squishier. Both worked well, though, and the Moon Cup is a great option for those with latex sensitivities. 

I think the benefits of using these are definitely worth the cost of the practice necessary to use it. 

Learn more, purchase a cup, or join their newsletter for specials and environmental tips at http://www.keeper.com

Meanwhile, The Keeper is generously offering one menstrual cup, (The Keeper OR Moon Cup, your choice) as a Giveaway for you, Dear Readers.  See below!




To enter the giveaway, leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Rafflecopter, then leave the name you commented under and your email in the box in the Rafflecopter entry. (This allows us to contact you if you win!)  This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.

This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY
and will end just before midnight ET on 7-10-15. 


The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway.  In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Good luck everyone!
  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 


32 comments:

  1. I've been thinking about switching to one of these. Maybe it's time.

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  3. I learned that the keeper has been around since 1986. That's awesome!

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  4. I love that it lasts so long! ive only tried the diva and liked it but would love to try a different shape!

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  5. It can last up to 10 years..amazing

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  6. A simple cleaning is what it needs rather than some harsh solution used on it

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  7. I've heard of these but never tried it because I always thought it would be messy. Glad to know it's not and last for years. #ProductReviewParty

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  8. I learned that sterilization is not necessary!!

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  9. I've heard of the Diva Cup, which sounds really similar. This is really cool, I might try it out!

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  10. I learned that you do not have to do any sterilization! I would love to try one. TSS has always scared me.

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  11. I learned that you can clean them with vinegar/water instead of boiling like I've always heard.

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  12. Im surprised by how long it should last!

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  13. I've used cups before, but I've been wanting to get one that's meant to be reused. I'll definitely have to get one soon

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  14. I have never even heard of these before. I had a hysterectomy about 3 years ago, so I can't give an opinion. Interesting though...

    TEXT Wars: A Game About Texting and Driving

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  15. I learned that they recommend using a gentle vinegar solution to clean the cup, and it doesn't need to be sterilized. I've been wanting to try a menstrual cup for awhile but wasn't sure which one to get. I would love to try one of these cups.

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  16. Using vinegar and water is just as effective at cleaning this menstrual cup as it is to clean the bathroom. I like that alot! :)

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  17. I learned there's no reason to boil the cup and that if you don't it actually lasts longer!

    Melanie

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  18. I learned it is made in the USA, been around since 1986 and with proper care the Keeper model will last for around 10 years.

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  19. i learned using a menstrual cup diminishes chances of getting tss drastically

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  20. You can wear it overnight. That is great

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  21. I learned it can last up to 10 years and it is so much better for the environment!

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  22. The history was interesting, I didn't know the menstrual cup had been around for such a long time.

    Trish B

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  23. I learned sterilizing it can reduce the life of the cup.

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  24. The company has been around for many years.

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  25. I've learned that you don't need to boil them, which is nice.

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  26. I learned that it's better to clean the cup with vinegar and water rather than boiling it.

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  27. I learned that an average woman throws away 250 to 300 pounds of tampons, pads and applicators in their life.

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  28. They have been around since 1987 and are the leaders of the cup. I totally want one ...been considering it for a couple years now. Thank you.

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  29. I've learned that they do not have to be changed as often as tampons. As a high school student this fact is a relief

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