Rolling your own tampons.
May 26, 2002 9:41 PM   Subscribe

Rolling your own tampons. Necessity. Mother. Invention. Thanks, Teresa.
posted by maudlin (60 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
"Roll another one...Just like the other one..."

Actually, it makes sense to have some kinda solution like this, I suppose. I seem to rcall an old girlfreind telling me that some women use Natural Sponges instead as well. As a guy, I'll admit I mystified by what-all that means.
posted by jonmc at 9:45 PM on May 26, 2002


Rolling your own dog ears. Doberman. Tape. Tampons. Thanks, Deva.
posted by quonsar at 9:58 PM on May 26, 2002


Rolling your own boilies. Fish. Bait. Balls. Thanks, Daniel.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:26 PM on May 26, 2002


jonmc: sea sponges.

what? i don't use them.
posted by sugarfish at 2:08 AM on May 27, 2002


Isn't this crying out for toxic shock syndrome? (not that I use 'em either...)
posted by bifter at 2:31 AM on May 27, 2002


Everything I've seen suggests that TSS is linked to absorbency. The risk is higher the "stronger" the tampon or the longer it is left in place. So, since paper towels are less absorbent, I should think that they're actually safer in that regard, so long as they aren't the coloured or printed variety.

I'd imagine that occasions wherein one would be forced to roll their own would be occasions in which they'd be much better off with an enviro- and body-friendly alternative.
posted by Dreama at 3:02 AM on May 27, 2002


What an incredible drag.
I'm so glad I don't have a vagina.

Occasionally losing my mind and drilling a pumpkin, watermelon, or plush toy seems so relatively maintenance free by comparison.
posted by dong_resin at 3:05 AM on May 27, 2002


Roll your own vagina. Pumpkin. Watermelon. Plush toy. Thanks, dong_resin.
posted by pracowity at 3:20 AM on May 27, 2002


I was worried that you were going to link to this, pracowity.
posted by dong_resin at 3:45 AM on May 27, 2002


Darnit Dreama, you beat me to that keeper link. Anyway, I'll just chime in that it's completely and totally swell, and requires no folding. (Of course, there is a *rinsing* requirement, but describing that would really raise the grossout level of this thread.)
posted by JanetLand at 8:10 AM on May 27, 2002


High five, Janet, Dreama beat me to that link as well. I might also suggest the Instead Softcup as an alternative, too, although it's not as environmentally-friendly as the Keeper.
posted by Oriole Adams at 8:20 AM on May 27, 2002


THanks for that Keeper link though i'm not sure I'm ready to order. I like that tampons absorb - dunno how I'd feel about a cupful to pour out... but eco-friendly and no socks to boil or whatever it is - so I probably will, once I get used to the idea.

I've certainly resorted to stuffing some rolled toilet paper in when i run out of OBs but I wouldn't have thought that was a "trick" people couldn't figure out for themselves.
posted by mdn at 8:22 AM on May 27, 2002


How do you manage to rinse a Keeper in a public washroom? Do you carry a separate little clean cup with you, fill it with warm water from the sink before going in the cubicle, then pour and swish over the toilet? (God forbid that you drop it in the bowl, of course).
posted by maudlin at 8:25 AM on May 27, 2002


I think I just walked into the wrong room. Can someone point me to the hardware department?
posted by pracowity at 8:26 AM on May 27, 2002


Those instructions are too hard to follow. I need pictures. Not that I need tampons, but, I mean, um, yeah, where's the power tool section again?
posted by Hankins at 8:31 AM on May 27, 2002


How do you manage to rinse a Keeper in a public washroom?

Well, if no one minds my sharing . . . I don't ever have to. It holds a lot, and I only have to, er, empty it morning and evening. If I did need to, however, I don't imagine I'd bother with the sink -- just dump it out, wipe up a little with toilet paper, and then, er, put it back, and wipe up a little more. I would think that would be sufficient.

[Oh, I just LOVE being a girl!]
posted by JanetLand at 8:32 AM on May 27, 2002


I presume there's only girls in here by now, so a couple of questions Janet: can you feel it when it's in, and does it affect your muscles? I sometimes think that carrying things internally can't be good for the muscles that have to keep them in.
posted by Summer at 9:03 AM on May 27, 2002


I'm terrified to use tampons. What's wrong with pads?
posted by sadie01221975 at 9:22 AM on May 27, 2002


Summer: you likely don't have to use muscles to keep it in, it probably stays put by itself (like a diaphragm or a tampon). And carrying objects internally is actually good for the muscles, many doctors and sex therapists recommend carrying objects internally (in addition to normal Kegel exercises) to improve muscle tone in the pelvic floor.
posted by biscotti at 9:29 AM on May 27, 2002


Well, Summer, kegel exercises are supposed to be good for you. And heck, if drugstore.com sells the kegelcisor, it can't be bad, can it? Oh, and I hear those muscles are good for certain activities beyond what drugstore.com might have you think . . .

But I guess I should be going to ogle some table saws or some such. Don't mind mind me.
posted by whatnotever at 9:30 AM on May 27, 2002


I'm getting one.
posted by Summer at 9:55 AM on May 27, 2002


I prefer gladrags. And I found that OxyClean works pretty well in getting out the stains too.
posted by meep at 10:03 AM on May 27, 2002


I've done the roll-your-own thing for about 12 years now since I got tired of shelling out $4 a month to an industry that thinks I smell bad, don't know my own body or would ever wear white slacks while at the beach. I find that toilet paper generally works as well as paper towels and I've had no adverse reactions [fewer than I ever had with those scary super-absorbent things my mom always called "the Plug"]. This is probably the first time I've mentioned it publicly due to the aforementioned [and witnessed] ick factor among certain people when discussing it.
posted by jessamyn at 10:40 AM on May 27, 2002


I never could get the hang of the Keeper, but I'm 100% with meep. Gladrags rock my world. Once I got the hang of them, I've only gone back to those nasty, throw away plastic things (dry weave? It's like strapping a plastic grocery bag on your crotch) under absolute necessity.

As for a folded up paper towel, I'd bleed through that in approximately two mintes. Still, it's a pretty good trick to have up my, um, sleeve.
posted by jennyb at 10:45 AM on May 27, 2002


I never could get the hang of the Keeper, but I'm 100% with meep. Gladrags rock my world. Once I got the hang of them, I've only gone back to those nasty, throw away plastic things (dry weave? It's like strapping a plastic grocery bag on your crotch) under absolute necessity.

As for a folded up paper towel, I'd bleed through that in approximately two mintes. Still, it's a pretty good trick to have up my, um, sleeve.
posted by jennyb at 10:47 AM on May 27, 2002


Gladrags: May no woman ever have her purse snatched again.
posted by crasspastor at 10:53 AM on May 27, 2002


Hands up those of you old enough to remember the classic sanitary belt and all-cellulose pads.

The belt in the linked page dates from 1945, but I'll tell you that they looked exactly the same in the 70s. (And no matter how many new ones you bought, they all seemed to develop a healthy case of rust on those viciously toothed buckles within a couple of months).

And if you ever wore one of these, the alleged sexy appeal of the thong may still escape you.
posted by maudlin at 11:02 AM on May 27, 2002


Necessity. Mother. Invention

No this is the Mother of Invention.

Yes, I've worked Zappa into a thread on menstruation. Call the nice young men in their clean white coats....
posted by jonmc at 11:18 AM on May 27, 2002


The main benefit of gladrags is not getting one's short 'n' curlies grabbed by adhesive. Ow.
posted by meep at 11:25 AM on May 27, 2002


May no woman ever have her purse snatched again.
that's 'snatch pursed', crasspastor.
posted by quonsar at 11:35 AM on May 27, 2002


Well, getting back to the keeper, if I'm straining any muscles to keep it in, I'm not aware of it. In fact, to pull it out you need to squeeze the bottom of it a little, to break the suction. I would say you need to give yourself a couple of "rounds" with it to decide whether you like it or not -- it definitely feels a little peculiar at first, but by the end of month 2 I didn't notice it anymore.
posted by JanetLand at 12:08 PM on May 27, 2002


Both the Keeper and Instead can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time, so as a rule you can time it so that you usually don't have to worry about emptying it in a public restroom.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:09 PM on May 27, 2002


: blink :
: grin :
Hot damn! Um...ladies, I'm assuming these things listed are also good for...ah..."chunky days?!"

(The boys will be out of this thread for sure now...)
posted by metrocake at 12:53 PM on May 27, 2002


*does spit-take with gazpacho*

Uh.. hafta.. go..
posted by dong_resin at 1:19 PM on May 27, 2002


Why would guys leave this thread? Especially guys who spend an inordinate amount of time online?

I mean, we all have our porn, no matter how 'enlightened' we appear as we post (okay, I don't appear enlightened, but some do.) And every guy who's done the lonely late-night free porn scavenger hunt has run into MUCH worse things than a mere text-based thread about feminine hygene products.

Then there's sites like Ogrish (danger: sick), which seem to have a nearly 100% male audience (or at least five nines.) Some of us, myself wholly included, even seek out the most terrifyingly disturbing images.

I fear not your tampons, ladies. In fact, I found that little bit of instruction quite useful. Hell, I even rolled along with the article. It's always good to have a new skill.
posted by fnord_prefect at 5:14 PM on May 27, 2002


metrocake:
I've found gladrags more absorbent and longer-lasting than any paper product. I've not been chunky myself, so I cannot report on that. I've just got to say that there's less mess spread around than with the "standard" equipment.
posted by meep at 5:36 PM on May 27, 2002


*makes note to never go over to fnord prefects place for bloody marys*
posted by jonmc at 6:16 PM on May 27, 2002


It doesn't feel like a boyzone in here today . . .
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 7:21 PM on May 27, 2002


Chunkies?!

I've never been so glad that when my wife went on the Pill, her periods stopped. Breakthrough bleeding once in a blue moon. And the cramps she used to get, gone.

If you're on the Pill, ask your doctor about doing away with the no-pill (placebo) week. Last I heard, it's been decided that there's no physical need to bleed. (Some women identify very strongly with menses, and get a little... well, let me be uncouth and say "weird", when they don't have a period.)
posted by five fresh fish at 9:36 PM on May 27, 2002


I remember, maudlin. Had to resort to them again after the birth of my kids, too. Lovely. This whole thread reminds me yet again how much I am looking forward to menopause.
posted by Lynsey at 10:25 PM on May 27, 2002


Some women identify very strongly with menses

Connie Willis rocks.
posted by maudlin at 5:35 AM on May 28, 2002


How cheap do you have to be??? Not willing to spend $4 a month? Come on!! This reminds me of a story my mom told me about this lady who saved money on toilet paper by buying old patterns from garage sales and using that instead to wipe her bum. Toilet paper is made from wood fibers. It can't be good to shove wood fibers up there repeatedly....tampons are made from cotton for a reason. This whole subject is really amazing. If a homeless person is willing to spend way more than $4 a month on cigarettes....they can afford a box of tampons. I'm not even going to comment on the "Keepers" accept for the fact that there are some really disgusting people out there.
posted by Sonserae at 5:42 AM on May 28, 2002


Golly. Here I thought I was just trying to save natural resources and reduce landfill waste and stuff by using a Keeper. I didn't realize it made me disgusting.
posted by JanetLand at 8:20 AM on May 28, 2002


To five fresh fish's point, there was a thread last summer about a "new drug being developed [that] would eliminate menstruation," involving much sharing & caring on the topic of Do We Really Need To Bleed.

And then there's the Malcolm Gladwell article from a couple years back on how the inventor of the birth control pill had reasons for designing the pill to permit monthly menstruation that had more to do with his Catholic faith than any sort of science or "nature". Long, but very worthwhile.

Sonserae: thanks for your contribution.
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:28 AM on May 28, 2002


Hey, look at it this way Sonserae: more dri-weave for you.

Metrocake: again, I can't speak for the Keeper, but Glad Rags do wonders for those chunky days.
posted by jennyb at 9:08 AM on May 28, 2002


I'm not even going to comment on the "Keepers" accept for the fact that there are some really disgusting people out there

How is it more disgusting than a tampon? It's only blood anyway. And bits of womb lining.
posted by Summer at 10:11 AM on May 28, 2002


homeless person is willing to spend way more than $4 a month on cigarettes

fortunately, I am not addicted to tampons. and my point was giving any more money to tambrands seems like giving more money to companies encouraging women to feel weird and shameful about menstruation. screw it.

It can't be good to shove wood fibers up there repeatedly

why is that? as anyone who has spent even a small amount of time in the online world, you know that women have shoved all sorts of things "up there" and the vagina is remarkably resilient. in my twenty or so years of menstruating, the only problems I have ever had were from the super-absorbent tampons literally sucking the moisture out of me and causing terrible chafing. the roll-your-own variety is much less abosbent and so reduces toxic shock risk, is available in every bathroom, and requires no [possibly embarassing] trips to the sink.

I can't imagine why you would think any of this was disgusting Sonserae, no one is asking you to change your feminine hygeine ritual.
posted by jessamyn at 11:11 AM on May 28, 2002


It can't be good to shove wood fibers up there repeatedly

Most non-organic tampons contain rayon, which is made from wood fiber.
posted by jennyb at 1:45 PM on May 28, 2002


giving any more money to tambrands seems like giving more money to companies encouraging women to feel weird and shameful about menstruation.

Add to that companies who could give a damn about women's health (physical or psychological) or about the environment, and are happy to give us products which pollute our bodies with toxins then add millions of tons of waste to ever-expanding landfills, or worse, our waterways.

Thanks, but no thanks. If seeking to opt out of that ideal makes one disgusting, I'll be disgusting.
posted by Dreama at 3:36 PM on May 28, 2002


the roll-your-own variety is ... available in every bathroom...

ATTENTION: TOILET PAPER IS NOT CLEAN.

There is a shocking amount of fecal matter on the ends of toilet paper rolls. You do not want to be using public restroom toilet paper for roll-your-owns. Carry your own, or use the toilet paper in your home, but don't use public restroom TP!
posted by five fresh fish at 4:41 PM on May 28, 2002


How cheap do you have to be??? Not willing to spend $4 a month?

Sonserae, I offer you the opportunity to give me $4/month (or one lump sum of $48/year). While I will attempt to use the funds to purchase a hygiene-related product, I will be allowed to do anything I want with the money. I will provide you with a monthly mini-report letting you know how I spent the money. I hope you are not too cheap to accept my offer. Thank you.
posted by gluechunk at 5:26 PM on May 28, 2002


contemplating the nick "gluechunk"
posted by NortonDC at 7:01 PM on May 28, 2002


Dear Gluechunk, knowing I'm giving $4 to someone that is shoving dirty toilet paper inside them is something I cannot allow myself to do or promote. How about if I buy you a box of tampons every month?

As for the people who are bent on saving trees and all that....toilet paper is made from trees, so get off of it. Toxic shock is not caused from some "chemical" that the tampon companies put in the product. It is caused from bacteria and keeping the thing inside your body too long...and for that, they aren't to blame.

There is a reason why tampons are individually wrapped. They go through a sanitation process that toilet paper doesn't. How many assembyl-line workers touched the toilet paper before you shoved it up your pooter?

As for the disgusting part....I don't feel menstruating is disgusting....but rinsing out an old tampon that has been used....well....that turns my stomach and if I saw someone do such a disgusting thing in a public restroom, I'd call the health department. Oh....as for public restrooms....don't bother....you'd be wasting precious water and toilet paper and all that...you better resort to the bushes and use leaves.

(Let the venimous rebuttal begin!)
posted by Sonserae at 7:29 AM on May 29, 2002


sonserae, the Keeper is basically a rubber cup. You can click on that link above to take a look. It catches the menstrual flow and you empty it. Some people do use socks or rags that they boil every month, but they don't take care of that in public restrooms.

You use toilet paper on sensitive areas of your body - it's probably safer in the vagina, because there are so many cleaning bacteria & stuff - it's self-cleaning - and using toilet paper is probably safer for toxic shock because it's not as absorbent. That's why I only use it as a back up, if I don't have a tampon or something; I could certainly never work out with a home made "tampon". In fact, OBs have been the only tampon that never leak for me, though of course the keeper would work too.
posted by mdn at 8:20 AM on May 29, 2002


As for the people who are bent on saving trees and all that....toilet paper is made from trees, so get off of it.

Exactly, which is why some of us don't advocate paper-based tampons or pads at all, commercially made or homerolled. They unnecessarily use trees, but moreover, they cause pollution and they aren't the healthiest choice. Follow through, soncerae.

There is a reason why tampons are individually wrapped. They go through a sanitation process that toilet paper doesn't.

Do you have anything which can substantiate that claim?

but rinsing out an old tampon that has been used....well....that turns my stomach and if I saw someone do such a disgusting thing in a public restroom, I'd call the health department.

Who has said anything of the sort? Nobody has suggested that anybody rinse out anything in a public restroom, and I don't know anyone stupid enough to think that they could reuse tampons. I don't know what the health department could do about it even if they did, but no one has said that anyone should do that anyway!

Do you enjoy adding nonsequiturs just for kicks, or are you really not getting the point of anything anyone has said here?
posted by Dreama at 8:28 AM on May 29, 2002


If you're not recommending paper-based tampons, perhaps you're recommending cotton-based? Cotton: a destructive crop that requires immense amounts of chemicals to grow.

Or perhaps you're using natural rubber: obtained through virtual slavery in the forests of South America. Sustainable, yes, but the ethics of the companies that purchase the raw rubber latex sap are no better than Nike.

You could use vinyl. Petroleum product, 'nuff said.

Hemp-based products would be ideal, but the DEA would have your ass for that.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:23 AM on May 29, 2002


Dear Gluechunk, knowing I'm giving $4 to someone that is shoving dirty toilet paper inside them is something I cannot allow myself to do or promote. How about if I buy you a box of tampons every month?

For the record, please note that I never stated that I need tampons or other menstruation-related products. The money would have been spent on "hygiene-related" products of my own choosing. I was primarily interested in parting that $4 from you every month. I am somewhat disappointed that you are too cheap to take me up on the offer/project.
posted by gluechunk at 1:30 PM on May 29, 2002


If Men Could Menstruate" by Gloria Steinem
posted by Tarrama at 9:12 PM on May 29, 2002


And that's why I love Gloria Steinem.

As for this thread, I am disgusted by my periods, but that's probably mostly because I stopped for 6 years while on Depo-provera and had to re-learn everything. The whole thing grosses me out and I hate it. I don't want to be a man and definitely don't have penis envy, but I sure wish I didn't have to put up with that crap every month. I will never understand women who love to menstrate. Blah. Yuck. There is nothing at all to love about it. You can have mine...that would be cool with me.

That said, I'm glad I live in a time where there are so many choices for products. I would die if I had to use a "belt" and reusable pad. YUCK. The rubber thing looks interesting, but I think I"ll just stick with the good old-fashioned tampons. But whoever said it up top is right, it's always good to have a backup should you need one.
posted by aacheson at 9:35 AM on May 30, 2002


Nothing like a backup! There's a lady at the Cleveland Clinic who swears by Chux on her chair so she can persist at her desk job at "that time of month."

(Back in the good old days when women were still rich enough to take off work, they used to give us a few days by ourselves in a hut with a dirt floor ... or couches in the ladies' room, where you could lie down for an hour or two. Now that we're equal, we just get painkillers, a lecture, and a hysterectomy, although not necessarily in that order.)
posted by sheauga at 7:42 PM on May 31, 2002


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