I like to wander the exhibit hall at the annual meeting of the American Congress of OB/GYN (ACOG). It’s always interesting to see what company paid the most money for the choice position right at the entrance – this year it was daVinci, the makers of the robot that does nothing but make GYN surgery more expensive. Sadly, the lack of evidence for the daVinci robot did not seem to sway people playing with the toys on display.
Sometimes there are interesting presentations at the exhibits – the CDC had a great booth on the HPV vaccine with lots of information for health care providers to hand to their patients. Studies suggest that if doctors can answer more questions and more strongly recommend the vaccine uptake would increase.
Occasionally there are dodgy products, like the face cream with no chemicals, however, every now and then there is a cool little product that I would probably never have seen and this year for me it was Intimina’s Lily Cup Compact – a collapsible menstrual cup.
It’s a silicone menstrual cup that collapses (see video) into a tiny little case that could be stashed in even the slimmest of purses. Perfect for travel or a night out and a great to keep on hand for those who get tired of digging around for a stashed tampon in a purse, backpack, or glove box only to find it has bloomed out of its wrapper.
Never tried a menstrual cup? They pay for themselves in about a year (sooner if you go through more pads/tampons than average), are more friendly for the ecosystem, and have very high user satisfaction compared with both tampons and pads. With good care (washing with a gentle soap) a silicone cup can last several years.
What about using them with an IUD, could digging around to pull out a menstrual cup increase expulsion? One study addressed that issue and found no increase in the IUD expulsion rate between pads, tampons, and menstrual cups. The study only had 96 women who were cup users, but still the results are reassuring. I have performed many different kinds of vaginal procedures on women with IUDs and all I can say is inadvertently pulling one would actually take some skill. It’s also hard to see why this would be more likely to happen with a menstrual cup than a tampon.
I can’t review the Lily Cup Compact personally as I am, ahem, not in their age demographic, however I have an extra one so if someone wants to try it and send me a review (you would be my very first field reporter!) contact me on twitter and we can direct message.