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Technology and Menstruation

September 29, 2009

So, lately I’ve been thinking about how technology has impacted women’s experience of menstruation. For example, I regularly use a website to track my period. In some ways, it feels kind of awkward to get email reminders – “You have approximately 1 day until the start of your next period”. I feel like I should be more in tune with my body and know when I’m going to get my period without the help of a computer program. But, most of the time I miss the email reminder in my junk folder anyway and it’s hard to pass up sweet graphs:


So I try not to worry about it too much. Lately, I also started using a DivaCup ( I have been slowly switching all of the beauty/bath products I use to more environmental/sustainable/less toxic). I feel like the technology that people use for “feminine hygiene” (what an awkward phrase) says a lot about who they are. Sure, there are some people who have some sort of physical/medical reason for what they choose – but it’s a cultural choice for most people. It says something about what your relatives use, your feelings about your vagina, your relationship with blood etc. Using the DivaCup has totally changed my understanding of menstrual blood – I never realized that the consistency changed over the course of my period. Also, it feels surprisingly clean considering that I have to be all up in my vagina to use it.

Interestingly, the DivaCup has  very different advertising/instructions than it’s primary competitor, The Keeper. The DivaCup is much more commercialized and therefore plays into more of society’s fears surrounding menstrual blood as dirty. The DivaCup recommends boiling it after every cycle and replacing it after 2 years. The Keeper recommends just washing it with soap & water and replacing it after 10 years. Granted, the DivaCup is silicone while The Keeper is latex – but I don’t think those two materials are different enough to warrant such different life-expectancies. It’s funny, I feel like I’m never going to be able to trust instructions ever again – they seem to have more to do with cultural standards than scientific realities.

Somewhat related, I was reading Penelope Trunk’s blog and stumbled upon an interesting post about this twitter:


There was a huge backlash, as could be expected. However, I think it makes so much sense to post something like that on Twitter – that’s the sort of stuff that women have to deal with. It’s so important to talk about women’s health – we ought to use social networking tools to do it.  I like the idea of using the internet to open doors to discussions that would not otherwise happen.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2010 21:17

    Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

    Hey, I found your blog in a new directory of blogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, anyway cool blog, I bookmarked you. 🙂


  1. Twitted by womanatherbest

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