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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:31 pm 
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Okay girls, sooner or later when shtf (Shit Hits the Fan) and we find ourselves living for an extended period of time without electricity (some pun intended), we will run out of feminine hygiene products. Sure you can stock up on them now. Some preppers stock up on toilet paper, (I am not one of them), but let’s face it; the day will come when we will run out.

I did some searching on how pioneer women handled this monthly occurrence. There is not a lot of information, probably because they didn’t talk about it much. Therefore, it was written about much.

I did some searching on how Native American women handled their Moon Cycle. Some tribes had menstruation huts. This is where the women would go during their Moon Cycle. I remember a story I heard from a teacher in grade school about these women squatting over a hole in the ground. Since women who live in close quarters naturally begin to menstruate around the same time, these huts almost always had several women in it at a time. What a social event! What a completely foreign way of life to a modern western girl. What a great way to replenish the earth! Imagine, after all those bloody holes were refilled with soil, wouldn’t this be the ultimate blood-meal fertilizer? Setting up a new ‘hut’ on virgin soil completes the cycle.

After digging around and hearing about a couple of my friends going to visit places like Kampala Uganda and the Philippines, I mustered enough courage to ask the awkward question of “How do women cope with feminine hygiene in third world countries?”

Some girls in Uganda for instance have pads, and say they are ‘sick’ when they have their periods, and stay home from school. Those in the villages use rags and sometimes leaves if they don’t have the money. Leaves? I’m not sure if they have a favourite, but if it was me here in the West, I would use the leaf of the Mullein Plant! Mullein plants grow abundantly and they have a soft fuzzy texture, not silky. Another advantage of using Mullein Leaf, is that it is not poisonous.

In the Philippines, more of a developing country, you can find whole aisles of sanitary pads in supermarkets. But they too will eventually run out after a disaster. The older folks remember using rags. Wash and rinse; the reusable alternative!

Then I learned about the menstruating cup. Never even knew it existed! Well, it sounded like a great addition to any female preppers wish list. With wonderful headlines saying it will last a decade, I found myself wondering how it worked. The claims that it is comfortable was hard for me to accept. How can a cup in ones underwear be comfortable? Alas, I further learned that it was inserted, like a tampon. Rather than absorbing like cotton, it collects like in a cup and is sized like a diaphragm. But wait, before you run out and try this Diva Cup, you need to read this hilarious Huff Post article on the Diva Cup written by Alex Logan!

Further back in history, perhaps a couple hundred years ago, I read that poor ladies didn’t use anything at all! Yes, apparently that is what long triple-lined dresses were for. “Say it wasn’t so!” And if this is so, then they were too poor to buy underwear.

Originally I was going to name this article ‘Why Women Need to Know Menstruation Practices in Third World Countries’ But dear prepper girls; you need to stock plenty of underwear! Because without them, you will need to dig a hole or buy a long dress!

Survival Sue


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:34 pm 
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Those menstrual cups are made out of silicone these days. I know hikers who take them on the trail so as not to haul menses-laden garbage down the trail (or irresponsibly leave it in the wild). The silicone is soft and forming and works well for most ladies. They come in two sizes, too, to accommodate for changes resulting from childbirth. They also eliminate the risk of TSS that comes with tampons, since TSS is essentially the result of imbalance caused by the absorption of fluid. Newer cups are thinner and softer than the Diva brand and many ladies find them more comfortable and easier to work with. It does come with a bit of a learning curve. I don't know where Alex Logan got hers, but you can get two menstrual cups for $20-$30 on Amazon rather than the $40 she paid for one. Regardless, in the long run, they are still cheaper than continuing to buy tampons. Some women find the cups so leak-proof they don't wear pads anymore, either. Talk about savings. Maybe she didn't check prices before jumping into a purchase or perhaps she bought it a few years ago when they were still kind of expensive and just got around to writing the story. Not everybody will be comfortable with it, but it's worth a try.

Similarly, the materials tech of today gives us some pretty awesome material for making washable pads. PUL is a moisture barrier and absorbent bamboo materials make for a far thinner pad than we were able to make years ago. Learn how to make your own and it really doesn't take that much material to make a pile of them that will last years and years. If you're not handy, you can buy reusable pads all over the internet - even on Amazon. These materials are the only reason I used cloth diapers with my kids. I once babysat for a kid who wore the old style folding diapers you had to pin and I was pretty much like, "hell no, never going to cloth diaper my kids" back then. I had to bathe that kid several times a day because those diapers were such utter crap, but tech improved these over time. My kids' cloth diapers were fitted, had snaps or velcro, and never leaked. The materials have been out long enough that they're not super expensive anymore, too.

My point is, we're not necessarily limited to the options you mention. Disposable junk will disappear when the manufacturing of them stops, but that doesn't mean we have to disappear into a hut for a week or limit ourselves to the materials of the long past or whatever leaves happen to be lying around. Be prepared. Get some menstrual cups and some washable pads and you'll be good to go when other ladies dependent on a disposable world are desperately seeking absorbent leaves.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:54 pm 
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I am a male but my girlfriend uses the cups and loves them

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:04 pm 
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Anianna wrote:
Get some menstrual cups and some washable pads and you'll be good to go when other ladies dependent on a disposable world are desperately seeking absorbent leaves.


You can make/buy washable toilet paper too. It could be argued that it works better then the paper stuff.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:53 pm 
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I've already made the leap to cloth washable and wouldn't go back if someone paid me. I've tried the cup, been there, done that, never again.

Talked about it here (without any ew moments) ---> http://sixdollarfamily.com/why-i-made-the-switch-to-cloth


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:12 pm 
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My wife loathed the cups with a firey passion.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:59 am 
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The cups apparently take a lot of getting used to. I still haven't had any success with them. I'm going to learn to make my own reusable pads. It seems like the only real long-term solution.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:44 pm 
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My wife is a huge fan of the cups, and apparently her learning curve was not bad at all.

I have no further details then that.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:28 pm 
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Not really interested in making my own pads but does anyone know where I can buy the cloth washable ones?
It's got to be cheaper than buying disposables.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:11 am 
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LyraJean wrote:
Not really interested in making my own pads but does anyone know where I can buy the cloth washable ones?
It's got to be cheaper than buying disposables.

Lunapads.com. I have zero experience with these, but that's an ad that popped up on an article I was reading earlier tonite. (It was about language and customer service, honest!) I'm sure there's others.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:50 am 
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Nope the women wont have a shortage of tampons since most every prepper guy carries a stock of them for fire starting and to plug bullet holes. Quickly guys will realize that they make better barter items for women in need.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:03 am 
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duodecima wrote:
LyraJean wrote:
Not really interested in making my own pads but does anyone know where I can buy the cloth washable ones?
It's got to be cheaper than buying disposables.

Lunapads.com. I have zero experience with these, but that's an ad that popped up on an article I was reading earlier tonite. (It was about language and customer service, honest!) I'm sure there's others.


You can find several reusable pad brands on Amazon.com now, which is nice because of the reviews.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:09 am 
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ineffableone wrote:
Nope the women wont have a shortage of tampons since most every prepper guy carries a stock of them for fire starting and to plug bullet holes. Quickly guys will realize that they make better barter items for women in need.


They're still a one-time use disposable item. They will run out at some point.

Seems to me that cotton plugs would be cheaper if you buy them without the vaginal insertion shell and retrieval system. Can't we get such things via medical supplier?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:21 am 
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Anianna wrote:
ineffableone wrote:
Nope the women wont have a shortage of tampons since most every prepper guy carries a stock of them for fire starting and to plug bullet holes. Quickly guys will realize that they make better barter items for women in need.


They're still a one-time use disposable item. They will run out at some point.

Seems to me that cotton plugs would be cheaper if you buy them without the vaginal insertion shell and retrieval system. Can't we get such things via medical supplier?


I wasn't being totally serious more just joking at how guys are carrying tampons as a prep but not for what women need them for. While yes a lot of preppers carry tampons (usually the ones without the insertion shell BTW) for fire tinder/bullet hole plugs. It is rarely enough to last the entire time of a single woman's period much less be a great barter item in PAW for the person who had a few in their pack.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:28 pm 
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Sphagnum moss, if it can be found in your local, seems an ideal (Anti-septic, low prep work) absorbent.


Lots of cultures have some enforced separation from men and women during the time of menstruation. I'm not sure how practical it is in the PAW though. I wonder if there's any good anthropological studies done on the subject. I remember one documentary I saw on a far eastern society where the women were essentially exiled to a mini village during their period, but the men complained about it (having to do more housework) while the ladies had a holiday.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:30 pm 
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Hello All,
I haven't checked-in for a while and just noticed your replies to my original post. I learned a lot from all your comments. Using and knowing how to make reusable pads seems like the way to go! And I like the Sphagnum moss idea too, for when all other supplies have been exhausted. Soon I will check out lunapads.com.
After reading everyone's replies, I am glad to know that I don't need to change the subject title; LOL, because it still applies. . .


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:50 am 
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I've been researching this stuff for years but never actually tried the cups myself. I finally got over my anxiety and have now tried these. Cheap and simple with their own cute bags to keep them in. My only complaint is that they didn't come with great instructions, but I've read a lot about these and knew how to use them before the cups arrived.

I have the large size because I am over 30 and have borne multiple children. I find it very easy to use and having two makes it even easier since I can wash the used one while I have a clean one in. The industry says you can leave these in up to 12 hours. I suspect, since the cup isn't changing the vaginal environment like tampons do, that you could leave the cup in far longer without ill-effect, but the industry needs to cover its ass, just in case. If you have a very heavy flow, you would need to change them out more frequently. If you work or are out a lot, I suggest keeping a snack-sized Ziplok bag in your purse in case you need to carry the used one until you have a good place to clean it.

For me, these go in easy and there is no leakage, even at night and even in high activity. I may invest in some liners for the next few cycles just in case, but I foresee never buying another tampon or pad ever again. I like these so much that I am buying a pair of the small size for my daughter. She thinks I'm weird at this point and I doubt she'll try them right away, but I think she'll eventually come around. I hope she likes them as much as I do.

Keep in mind, also, that there are multiple types of these and even disposable ones. If one type doesn't work for you, perhaps another will.

I really, really like menstrual cups.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:44 pm 
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I've been using Diva cups since the early 00s. It took me about a year to truly get the hang of it, but I've never looked back.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:33 pm 
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My daughter's cups arrived. I think she may be mortified right now. When I handed them to her, she said, "Mom, ew" and "put them away" somewhere. :rofl:

She does like the little pink pouches. :crazy:

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We had a pretty good thread on women's health issues during the PAW awhile back.

https://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=32424&hilit=feminine+hygiene

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:04 pm 
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Etsy is also another good place to find the cloth pads and surprisingly, Facebook has quite a few groups for sellers who make them and buyers to do their thing. The girl I buy mine from actually is a Facebook seller, but I wouldn't change that for anything. She does quality product and is cheap on price (Usually buy 4 get the 5th free which means $20 or so for 5 of the "regular" size).

My monkey child is getting to that age and what she will use is entirely up to her. I have cloth put back for her to try but if she chooses to go disposable for a bit, I won't force the issue.

On cups, tried one, could only wear it one day a month because of the massive pain it caused. Tried both sizes so it wasn't a sizing issue. Waste of $29.95 for me. The cloth have to be washed but they're comfortable and reusable so it works for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:51 pm 
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I wanted to ensure my daughter has a good experience with this, so I researched the best cups for teens and found this very informative young lady on YouTube:

Precious Stars Pads: All About Menstruation

She discusses reusable pads and a wide variety of cups and she's not at all shy about using proper terms and saying what needs to be said. I highly recommend anybody interested in using a cup watch her videos, especially young ladies. Apparently, companies in Europe send her cups to review, so she has a lot of information on various brands (including comparing several brands to the Diva Cup, which is surprisingly large in comparison). She's sold me on the Me Luna cups, which are made in Germany and I can't find them in the U.S., but they do ship to here from their website and I really appreciate that they have their size information listed on the site. The cups I tried already were just a bit large feeling and are larger than the Me Luna medium, so I've ordered some Me Luna small for my daughter (which are significantly smaller than the smalls in the brand I linked to previously) and their medium for me. The prices are comparable to or even better than what I can get cups for off of Amazon here and the shipping across the pond was a reasonable 6.80 Euros or so. After all was said and done, I got four cups plus shipping for $66 (U.S.) and change (I could have spent upwards of $80 even with free shipping on Amazon!).

Another nice thing about the Me Luna cups is that they have not only various sizes, but also various softness ratings and carry ball stem, long stem, ring stem, and no stem options. To properly remove a cup, you grab the base of the cup rather than the stem and I found that the stem on the ones I bought were bothersome. The young lady on the YouTube videos cuts most of her stems off. You really don't need a stem at all and I think they are just there to give ladies a sense of reassurance. I'm going no stem, but my daughter wanted to try one with a ring and one with a ball. She isn't yet convinced about using one with no stem at all, but she seems more interested in trying the cups after watching the YouTube videos. Anyway, there's a lot of helpful information on the Me Luna site, as well.

Me Luna (It may come up in German - just click the UK flag over on the right for English)

Just a warning about the videos, she does recommend lubrication for young ladies, but you have to be very careful with that. Most companies don't recommend using lube and you absolutely should not use petroleum products (like Vaseline) with these medical grade plastics. I guess if a young lady has a little difficulty getting these in, it would be good to know some things you can use but please educate yourself about what you can put in your vagina with plastic before you use anything. I believe the young lady in the videos uses 100% aloe vera gel and she also mentioned coconut oil. I have not looked into either of these since I don't need lube to insert a cup, so please educate yourself if you feel the need to use any of these additional products.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 3:04 pm 
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Our Me Luna cups arrived today and I wanted to share how these differ from the Charlene cups I bought on Amazon. I didn't take pics of the Charlene cups when they came, but they were in plain plastic wrap with very little in the way of information. You really needed to have information already for those. The Me Luna cups, on the other hand, come with a very informative brochure and a little card with a calendar to keep track of your cycle on one side and some images of how to squeeze these things for insertion on the other.

Image

A major difference is the sizes. The small Charlene is comparable in size to the medium Me Luna with the small Charlene being just a smidge larger at the rim. The small Me Luna looks a lot friendlier for a teen young lady. From left to right, these are the large Charlene, small Charlene, medium Me Luna, and small Me Luna.

Image

Some other notes:
- The grabby rings on the bottom of the Me Luna cups are much better defined. The rings on the Charlene cup are very low and barely there. If your cup is a bit lubricated, the Me Luna will be much easier to grab.
- The firmness is comparable, though the Charlene cups are as smidge softer. This may be due to use, though, as we have not yet used or boiled the Me Luna cups.
- Both brands are medical grade plastic with the Charlene cups made from silicone and the Me Luna cups made from thermoplastic elastomer. It all feels the same to me.
- Both brands can be boiled to sterilize and you can get chemical sterilization tablets from the Me Luna website for those moments when you can't boil (you only need to sterilize the cups between cycles). I don't know if I trust those, considering the warnings on them, but you can make that decision for yourself.
- The Me Luna cups were a bit cheaper even with shipping from Germany. Keep in mind that the Charlene cups are among the cheapest on Amazon for purchase in the U.S.
- The Me Luna cups only have two of the little air-release holes at the top whereas the Charlene have four. I don't know yet if that makes any difference.
- The Charlene cups do not have stem options and I find the stem to be uncomfortable and unnecessary.
- The little drawstring bags that come with the Me Luna cups are superior in quality to the little bags that come with the Charlene cups.

I have had four children (three vaginally) and I find the large Charlene to be a little big for my comfort. It may be more convenient for heavy flow days just because it holds a smidge more, but I think I would rather change a little more frequently than feel something so large in there. I expect the small Charlene or medium Me Luna to be ideal for me, though I won't know for certain until my next cycle. If I do use the small Charlene, I will be cutting the stem off.

The hardest part of using a cup, in my opinion, is finding one that fits you well. For some reason, a lot of cup brands go with large for a certain age and small for a certain age, but the sizes vary a lot and just because you're older doesn't mean your vagina has gotten so large. The Me Luna website has a lot of good information regarding sizing, so please check that out even if you decide the Me Luna cups aren't for you.

Regardless of the brand you choose, I recommend having two cups so that you always have a clean one to put in. I prefer wearing a clean one while washing the used one to have it clean for the next switcheroo.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:34 pm 
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Thanks I will definitely have to check that out. My OB/Gyn already uses the teenager equipment when I go for my checkup so the thought of inserting something large just makes me itchy.

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