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  1. #1

    Default Dealing w/ periods on the trail?

    It just so happens the past three times I've gone backpacking, I've been on my period every single time :/ It is extremely frustrating to deal with and in the past I've just carried out my feminine products as I go, but I'm just wondering what my other options are and what seems to work for all of my fellow lady backpackers!

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    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Welcome to White Blaze!

    There are a few popular options for the trail...

    The first is to just keep on using and carrying out your feminine products - Thank you for that! There are too many who think nobody will notice if they just leave their products.

    The second is the Diva Cup - http://divacup.com/ Based on a loose poll of friends, this is becoming more widely used on the trail. Saves money and only involves a little fuss.

    The third option is Luna Pads - http://lunapads.com/?geoip_country=US I was unaware of this option until someone mentioned it on White Blaze a while back. Sounds like it would save money, save space in the landfill, and I hear the pads dry pretty fast. This sounds like a great solution for anyone who wears lots of pads.

    There are most likely other options out there, but those are pretty much the basics for dealing with having your period on the trail. I hope this information helps!

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    I'm too old to care anymore, but I understand that some women choose to block their periods with hormones for the duration of their hike. So that's another possibility.

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    If you are also looking for birth control, the Mirena iud works in terms of not having a period. Usually takes about 2-4 cycles but it gets lighter and lighter til you don't have to worry about it at all. I would only do that if you wanted the no-period and birth control option. Not so sure I would use it just to avoid a period, though.

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    Registered User virginia jen's Avatar
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    Diva cup is the way to go. I also use an liner pad made by newmoonpads.com. I carried 2 pads and the diva cup, totaling 3oz for all, and used it exclusively on my sobo hike.

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    I also use a cup; mine is Lunette. It's a lot easier to keep clean than clean cloth pads, which are what I prefer when I'm not outdoors. If you went with pads, I would get a Scrubba or devise one yourself. You'd have to get them REALLY clean.

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    What is the correct way to empty the diva cup on the trail? Would you follow the same set of rules for using the bathroom (away from camp & water, dig a hole, etc)?

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    Registered User BlueFeather's Avatar
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    My personal experience of the Mirena (hormonal IUD): I bled every day for 3 months after insertion (it was light bleeding, but I'm not exaggerating when I say every single day). After that stopped, I still had my periods every month, but they were slightly shorter and slightly lighter than previously. I still used regular and super tampons, though. I still had cramps but they were MUCH milder on the Mirena. Every woman is different, and despite still having periods, I absolutely loved it. I wouldn't rely on it to stop your periods completely, though. It may for someone who has light periods already, but my baseline periods are very, very heavy, so maybe that's why it just toned them down for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CallMeetHike View Post
    What is the correct way to empty the diva cup on the trail? Would you follow the same set of rules for using the bathroom (away from camp & water, dig a hole, etc)?
    Assuming so, I wouldn't want someone's blood mess close to where we eat or sleep and somewhere less likely to be stepped in and dragged into the shelter.

    I've heard the cups are great, but I'm wondering how/if it's a big mess trying to empty. :\

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    Default Cups

    Quote Originally Posted by CallMeetHike View Post
    What is the correct way to empty the diva cup on the trail? Would you follow the same set of rules for using the bathroom (away from camp & water, dig a hole, etc)?
    Assuming so, I wouldn't want someone's blood mess close to where we eat or sleep and somewhere less likely to be stepped in and dragged into the shelter.

    I've heard the cups are great, but I'm wondering how/if it's a big mess trying to empty. :\

    I've never thru-hiked but skipping periods with the pill/patch/ring sounds appealing.

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    Mirena did not work for me, the results are very individual, and I eventually had a DaVinci robotic assisted hysterectomy due to my age/station in life and my menstrual issues. Best thing I ever did.

    Having said that, if I were younger I'd consider trying a Diva cup or something like that, although dealing with the tampons, packing them out, wasn't so bad as long as my flow wasn't too heavy.


    "Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by JessNicole3608 View Post

    I've never thru-hiked but skipping periods with the pill/patch/ring sounds appealing.
    This is what I would plan on for a long hike. I'm not sure if I want to bother for the month I'll be doing the CT next year year though.

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    Registered User MamaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CallMeetHike View Post
    What is the correct way to empty the diva cup on the trail? Would you follow the same set of rules for using the bathroom (away from camp & water, dig a hole, etc)?
    Yes. Follow the same LNT rules for bathroom use, digging a cat hole and being conscious of distance between the cat hole, water source and general human activity. You can also empty the cup into the privy, but be careful to hang on to it!!!! I do remember one poor girl who accidentally dropped hers in a privy. There is no recovering that, and she had a new one sent in her next mail drop.
    LT 2013, AT NOBO 2015, MSGT 2016, PCT 2017/2018

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    For those of you considering Diva cups, make sure to try at home through a few cycles. For some reason I could never get mine not to leak. It would work for an hour or two then leak. I also tried a different version of cup, same issue. It did not matter how I positioned it. I was bummer to not be able to make it work.

    Also, it was messy to empty. And I do mean messy! I am not grossed out by bodily functions at all but I can see where some women would not like the cups, especially on a hike when having to clean the (sometimes copious) blood off your fingers.

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    Registered User theinfamousj's Avatar
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    I am a Diva user/lover. I got it because I seemed to always weekend warrior while Aunt Flo was visiting and wanted something less stuff-y to solve it. Digging a cat hole and dumping seemed right up my alley.

    If you want the *best* source for menstrual cup information and advice, the most comprehensive, and, well, the best, you need to go to the LiveJournal Menstrual Cups community.

    http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/

    Did I mention they are the best?

    And one of the things they have are sizing charts and sizing guides. Much like people have different feet size, so too do they have different sized vaginas with differently depthed cervixes. It makes sense to get what fits ya!

    Nearly six years ago, when I lucked in to my fitting Diva, there were only two choices: Diva vs Keeper. Since then, the market has exploded. One of the first steps I recommend that a lady visit her Gyno and get her depth-to-cervix and diameter measurements so she can buy a menstrual cup that actually fits.

    And even then, there is one hell of a learning curve; usually lasting three cycles. But once you get past that learning curve it is so worth it.

    I have used my menstrual cup for six years and wouldn't go back. No way. No how.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

  16. #16

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    LNT practice indicates that menstrual waste should be handled the same way as bathroom (like you said; 200ft from water, away from camp, 6x6 hole the whole deal.)

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    I love this sub forum!!! I never had faith in the menstrual cups. I someone mention hormones so I had to chime in. I had a heavy flow when I did. My period stopped 6 yrs ago, I'm guessing because of the weight I gained because I was only 44 and women are having periods still at that age. I think taking injections like depo lupron would benefit women who don't want to be bothered w/ periods while on the PCT or AT trail. I had heavy periods and my Dr prescribed depo lupron injections every 3 months which stopped my period. WORD OF CAUTION. Your body gets immune to the shots and depending on how long your on the injections, you start having to get your injection sooner. I was able to go 3 1/2 months between injections and then I started having to watch the calendar after the 2nd month or my period would start. These shots put you in early menopause FYI. I had hot flashes at 39. LOL

  18. #18

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    I love my Diva, but it's not bombproof. Certain body motions/positions can cause mine to leak. Pairing the Diva with period panties takes care of that worry. I've only tried Thinx, but other brands are out there. Thinx has a variety of styles with varying absorbencies. The Sport cut Thinx are my favorite while being active/outdoors. I was hesitant to try period undies since I hated cloth pads (bulky, hot, uncomfortable) so much, but they're a completely different beast. The Diva is worth the learning curve. I haven't used disposables in over ten years.

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    My friend loves the Diva Cup - so much that she swears she will introduce it to your daughter (currently age 6) when she begins her cycle.

    My friend tried it out for a cycle before we hit the trail, and then she used it on the trail. She was very happy with it, and she now uses it for every cycle - on trail or off.

    Thankfully, I had a hysterectomy! However, if I hadn't, my husband insists he would purchase me a Diva Cup based on what he has over-heard from others!

  20. #20

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    My cycles have become irregular which makes me love the diva cup even more...just throw it in my hygiene kit and no worries.

    My daughter has an IUD w/hormones that does nothing to suppress her periods so she's also a devoted diva cup user and had her first experience hiking with it a few weeks ago. She found that a small, squirt bottle works great for rinsing (just like mom told her).

    My other daughter had depo shots and her cycles were also unaffected but so far, she's not interested in trying a cup. She had to bail on a hike once when she unexpectedly started and didn't have supplies.

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