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  1. #21
    Registered User JennyLynn's Avatar
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    Ok. I broke down and bought a cup (Blossom). I get a good seal but the stem is a bit long. Is it ok to trim the stem down a bit?

  2. #22
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    Yes! Trim the stem. But not too short. Sometimes it can help to pull on it to get it off.

  3. #23
    Registered User JennyLynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildmtnchild View Post
    Yes! Trim the stem. But not too short. Sometimes it can help to pull on it to get it off.
    Awesome! Thank you!


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  4. #24
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    Has anyone had a chance to try the Thinx panties on the trail for periods? They look life changing! Lol.

  5. #25
    Registered User theinfamousj's Avatar
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    They hold as much as a panty liner. You'll need a lot of them. That is why most of us go with something immediately reusable (cup, sea sponges) because we only need the one. Reusable pads and reusable pads which look like undies (Thinx) require bringing a lot in and packing a lot out.

    I like them as at home period panties as a backup to my cup on the heaviest day of my period. I would never trust them as my sole protection since their capacity is so little. But they are comfortable when wet.

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  6. #26
    Registered User kestral's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that taking lots of NSAIDs like Motrin or taking aspirin can "thin" the blood, making periods much heavier, and unusual excercise can alter period times and duration. Taking a diva cup or whatever even if you're not expecting to menstruate is a very good idea. They are lightweight and not very big.

  7. #27
    Registered User Luna Anderson's Avatar
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    I think that everyone has a regular cycle and you should pay attention to it before a hike. It becomes tricky when you keep going on the trail while periods. The diva cup and other feminine products are just for the worst case.

  8. #28
    Registered User Erinswan's Avatar
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    My first hike I took Birthcontrol through out to stop periods, however the next time I used a Lunnet menstral cup. It worked great. I will say the birth control gave me more even homones and better ability to to miles daily. I have serious cramps without though.

  9. #29

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    I like the DivaCup in real life, but I just can't get it to work for me in the woods (anything longer than a day hike). My hands always have a layer of ground-in grime on them when I thruhike, which makes me reluctant to stick them in any orifices; the blood from the cup gets under my nails and in my cuticles; and water is often a hard-earned and precious commodity. Short of bringing disposable gloves, which defeats the purpose of the 'greenness' of the cup, I haven't been able to find a solution. Does anyone else have this problem? Cuz it seems like y'all love it, and I struggle.
    Usually I just go with packing out tampons and pads and bear-hanging them with my food at night. But then, what if I start leaking in the middle of the night? I try not to wear the tampons more than 8 hrs for fear of TSS, but again, things get tricky when it gets dark early and you have to get all your food and smellies up.
    I've been thruhiking on and off for about 15 years, thousands of miles accumulated, been menstruating like an adult for about half of those and I still don't have a great system down. I'm reluctant to change birth controls for health reasons. Any ideas? I did recently buy 1 pair of Thinx for home/work, but washing them in the woods doesn't seem doable.
    "Either that kid has a lightbulb up his butt, or his colon has a great idea!"

  10. #30
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    ^I started using a Diva cup before moving to North Africa where tampons could be hard to find, and I still like it for "normal life" now that I'm back in the US, but I feel exactly the same as you about cleanliness in the woods-- it's just not a device I'm comfortable using without access to soap and running water. Instead, I found it easiest to just use tampons and pack them out. In fb groups I see so many women talking about cups in the backcountry, and I don't get it. That means a lot of extra time and water for handwashing multiple times throughout the day, plus digging catholes to empty it, whereas with a tampon I can just use hand sanitizer because my hands never get messy in the process, and you can do it during any pee break without worrying about privies or catholes.

    Tampons aren't a perfect solution, but it's the best system I've found. I've also heard women who've had good results skipping their periods altogether while backpacking through depo shots or IUDs or skipping the placebo week on the pill, but I'm also wary of trying something new just a few months before a thru hike because the side effects are so unpredictable.
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  11. #31

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for your input, KnightErrant! Good to know I'm not the only one questioning the cup in the backcountry. Definitely sticking with tampons for this summer at least. Double-bag 'em and we're good to go.




    Quote Originally Posted by KnightErrant View Post
    ^I started using a Diva cup before moving to North Africa where tampons could be hard to find, and I still like it for "normal life" now that I'm back in the US, but I feel exactly the same as you about cleanliness in the woods-- it's just not a device I'm comfortable using without access to soap and running water. Instead, I found it easiest to just use tampons and pack them out. In fb groups I see so many women talking about cups in the backcountry, and I don't get it. That means a lot of extra time and water for handwashing multiple times throughout the day, plus digging catholes to empty it, whereas with a tampon I can just use hand sanitizer because my hands never get messy in the process, and you can do it during any pee break without worrying about privies or catholes.

    Tampons aren't a perfect solution, but it's the best system I've found. I've also heard women who've had good results skipping their periods altogether while backpacking through depo shots or IUDs or skipping the placebo week on the pill, but I'm also wary of trying something new just a few months before a thru hike because the side effects are so unpredictable.
    "Either that kid has a lightbulb up his butt, or his colon has a great idea!"

  12. #32

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    The Diva cup is awesome and life changing. The problem with tampons is estimating how many you need and/or irregular periods which catch you unprepared. I have been stopped by ladies asking for sanitary supplies. If nothing else, I recommend carrying one for backup.

    The Diva cup requires no more hand washing than using tampons, in fact it is less as you only have to empty it once per day (and you only use two fingers). Removing, inserting, and placing tampons in bags multiple times per day still requires hand washing and more often.

  13. #33
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Man y'all are tuff as nails. Alot guys think they're tuff the stuff you'll have to deal with is on a different level. Much respect no disrespect but I'm so glad I'm a man.

  14. #34

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    Thinking like an OR nurse doing sterile/clean technique, etc. etc. I am super aware of what I touch, and what has touched what. When I use tampons, my fingers stay completely external, they never touch the part of the applicator that is internal, no issue. For the cup, I have to pry, prod, twist, poke, and pull. To get the thing in, you have to fold the rim next to itself, meaning your fingers touch the part that will be internal. In fact, I believe the instructions tell you to twist it 180 degrees to get a good seal. Granted, a healthy vagina is actually really resilient, and despite what culture tells us, clean (as in not a bacterial breeding ground). Still, if I'm going to be days away from a shower and medical care, I'd rather keep my dirty fingers on the outside, jusssst to be safe.

    But to each her own! Everybody's anatomy is a little different. Tampons are pretty lightweight, so I don't mind carrying them. If you need one, just holla, I got ya, girl! Good for nosebleeds, too ;-)



    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    The Diva cup is awesome and life changing. The problem with tampons is estimating how many you need and/or irregular periods which catch you unprepared. I have been stopped by ladies asking for sanitary supplies. If nothing else, I recommend carrying one for backup.

    The Diva cup requires no more hand washing than using tampons, in fact it is less as you only have to empty it once per day (and you only use two fingers). Removing, inserting, and placing tampons in bags multiple times per day still requires hand washing and more often.
    "Either that kid has a lightbulb up his butt, or his colon has a great idea!"

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by littlefoot33 View Post
    Thinking like an OR nurse doing sterile/clean technique, etc. etc. I am super aware of what I touch, and what has touched what. When I use tampons, my fingers stay completely external, they never touch the part of the applicator that is internal, no issue. For the cup, I have to pry, prod, twist, poke, and pull. To get the thing in, you have to fold the rim next to itself, meaning your fingers touch the part that will be internal. In fact, I believe the instructions tell you to twist it 180 degrees to get a good seal. Granted, a healthy vagina is actually really resilient, and despite what culture tells us, clean (as in not a bacterial breeding ground). Still, if I'm going to be days away from a shower and medical care, I'd rather keep my dirty fingers on the outside, jusssst to be safe.

    But to each her own! Everybody's anatomy is a little different. Tampons are pretty lightweight, so I don't mind carrying them. If you need one, just holla, I got ya, girl! Good for nosebleeds, too ;-)
    Funny! You’re an OR nurse so you’re all about sterility, I’m an OB nurse so I’m all about vaginas!

    You’re exactly right, to each her own. I feel like women don’t try it because they don’t like the idea of it and I want them to know that it’s an excellent, and even life-changing, option.

    Happy trails.

  16. #36
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    You know, I was thinking the same as Traffic Jam- my hands need to be washed the same whether I use a tampon or a cup, but it's been probably a decade since I used a tampon that had an applicator and I forgot those even exist!

    I just wash my hands with soap before dumping it, and clean under my nails with the nail on the other hand while soapy. I've not worried too much about having water on most of the AT, but I'd probably reconsider my method in a desert hike.

    Quote Originally Posted by littlefoot33 View Post
    Thinking like an OR nurse doing sterile/clean technique, etc. etc. I am super aware of what I touch, and what has touched what. When I use tampons, my fingers stay completely external, they never touch the part of the applicator that is internal, no issue. For the cup, I have to pry, prod, twist, poke, and pull. To get the thing in, you have to fold the rim next to itself, meaning your fingers touch the part that will be internal. In fact, I believe the instructions tell you to twist it 180 degrees to get a good seal. Granted, a healthy vagina is actually really resilient, and despite what culture tells us, clean (as in not a bacterial breeding ground). Still, if I'm going to be days away from a shower and medical care, I'd rather keep my dirty fingers on the outside, jusssst to be safe.

    But to each her own! Everybody's anatomy is a little different. Tampons are pretty lightweight, so I don't mind carrying them. If you need one, just holla, I got ya, girl! Good for nosebleeds, too ;-)

  17. #37

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    I'm almost 50 and still have regular periods. I have tried the cups while at home and I will point out something that I eventually figured out so if you have the same problem I will just warn you that a cup may not work for you.

    I suffer from constipation and have for years. I generally do not poop anywhere except my own home on a regular basis. So if I visit someone for a few days or am backpacking, I won't poop until I ABSOLUTELY have to or until I return home. This is NOT a voluntary decision. So, what does that have to do with menstrual cups? When constipated I have found the cups leak quite a bit. It's just, shall we say, a space/logistical issue.

    So if you suffer from constipation, I would suggest you won't have much luck with a cup.

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  18. #38
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    Some of you have mentioned various types of birth control, and several have been dubious. If you are totally against hormones, then more power to you. I will say that I take BC pills daily and my doctor prescribed them so that I get 4 packs every 3 months so that I can skip the placebo week. I know that some people don't have a period often with IUDs or depo, but that isn't the case for everyone. With the continuous pill, you have more assurance, so if you are doing it more for the no periods thing, the pill might be better. I takes a couple of months to get the hormones fixed, so I wouldn't expect it to work immediately, but if you are planning a thru hike or a long hike and already take BCP, then it might be something to think about. Personally, my husband and I both got fixed after our 3rd kid, so the BCP pills for me are strictly period control pills, which means that I am not the best at remembering to take them. I often miss a pill (or 2) and take them at random times of the day, and they still work to stop my period, as long as I don't miss 3 or 4 pills in a row. When that happens, I just late nature take its course. Anyway, to each their own, but if you are already on pills or you are looking at just not having to really deal with a period but aren't so invested as to wanting a 5 year IUD, then I can attest to the skipping the placebo week method. And like I said, my OB prescribed them that way so it isn't even an issue with insurance (for me).

    That being said, my 10 year old started and so we are going to have to deal with something on our month+ long hike next summer. I can't imagine having her try to use a diva cup or a reusable pad! She won't even wash dirty dishes because "they're too gross!". Do any mom's out there have experience with the period issue with their younger daughters? Are pads practical? I don't want to push her into tampons until she's ready, but I also think that pads might just be too messy on trail.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracysibole View Post
    Some of you have mentioned various types of birth control, and several have been dubious. If you are totally against hormones, then more power to you. I will say that I take BC pills daily and my doctor prescribed them so that I get 4 packs every 3 months so that I can skip the placebo week. I know that some people don't have a period often with IUDs or depo, but that isn't the case for everyone. With the continuous pill, you have more assurance, so if you are doing it more for the no periods thing, the pill might be better. I takes a couple of months to get the hormones fixed, so I wouldn't expect it to work immediately, but if you are planning a thru hike or a long hike and already take BCP, then it might be something to think about. Personally, my husband and I both got fixed after our 3rd kid, so the BCP pills for me are strictly period control pills, which means that I am not the best at remembering to take them. I often miss a pill (or 2) and take them at random times of the day, and they still work to stop my period, as long as I don't miss 3 or 4 pills in a row. When that happens, I just late nature take its course. Anyway, to each their own, but if you are already on pills or you are looking at just not having to really deal with a period but aren't so invested as to wanting a 5 year IUD, then I can attest to the skipping the placebo week method. And like I said, my OB prescribed them that way so it isn't even an issue with insurance (for me).

    That being said, my 10 year old started and so we are going to have to deal with something on our month+ long hike next summer. I can't imagine having her try to use a diva cup or a reusable pad! She won't even wash dirty dishes because "they're too gross!". Do any mom's out there have experience with the period issue with their younger daughters? Are pads practical? I don't want to push her into tampons until she's ready, but I also think that pads might just be too messy on trail.
    I recommend you encourage her to get in the habit of recording her cycle on a calendar, it makes trip planning much easier (if she is regular). Both my girls were irregular the first few months.

    My girls also very quickly transitioned to tampons as they hated pads but I think that even when using a tampon, a light pad is necessary protection for a young girl. Neither tampons or pads are hard to carry or dispose of when hiking, just wrap duct tape around some plastic ziploc bags so she feels more secure/private about carrying it around.

    If you approach the situation with the attitude that it’s not a big deal to take care of yourself when out hiking and give her the information that she needs, she will be just fine.


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