New this week: Two German Carefree panty-liner ads for younger teens and preteens, and two with peculiar copy for teens, also from Germany - A Note from Germany (Prehistory of Menstruation) by Petra Habiger/ Neues aus Deutschland und Europa (Vorgeschichte der Menstruation) by Petra Habiger - inSync between-the-labia pads ("miniforms") - DIRECTORY OF ALL TOPICS

Call Your Congressman About the Proposed Tampon Safety and Research Act! Here's How and Why.

inSync Between-the-Labia Pads March Eastward!


Hilary Reinmuth, of the A-Fem Medical Corporation, writes that her company's inSync "miniform" pad (picture at left, object at right; the wrapped pad is at left), which sits within the vulva (see diagrams, instructions and a Q & A) for light urinary or vaginal discharge, will be sold in stores nationally (U.S.A.) by the spring of 1999.

If you are not on the West Coast of the U.S.A., call 1-888-8INSYNC for a free sample or to order a box.

Interestingly enough - at least to me - the pad started its career in Washington and Oregon, just where Ultrafem's Instead menstrual cup began, and is moving to the east, as did Instead. And this is A-Fem; the other company is Ultrafem, if you see what I am driving at. Apparently the northwestern part of the U.S.A. is receptive to innovation, and A-Fem is located in Portland, Oregon. But Instead failed, although it may be revived. (It was; call 1-800-INSTEAD.)

I wish the company luck!

Letters to Your MUM

A writer muses on the probable waste of time this museum is, but if I really want to do it . . . .

It's curious to think that you, having no substantial and concrete education in the area of women's health such as gynecology or obstetrics, and being male, hold such an interest in a subject such as menstruation. You actually take it upon yourself to make the museum just because there is not one already existing. But, if it were of that much interest to you, I'd think you'd go into the medical field under OB/GYN, to get the medical information that you don't have on the subject.

It's just odd to me that a man would have so much interest in something that does not pertain to his life so greatly as it does a woman's life.

And someone who said that if a woman were to take over, or start a museum such as this, she would most likely be a lesbian, might not be completely right.

If there was such a general interest in menstruation, a woman, who was a trained professional in the subject of gynecology, would be more likely to start a museum than some lesbian who decided to start a museum of menstruation to preach her political motives and her "all men should die and are evil, women will prevail and rule the world, all they need is each other" attitude, but I could be wrong there.

My point is that the only way you can make a museum of menstruation is its history in culture and its marketing history, which is what you have done, according to your Web page. Good for you.

If someone were to take it in the completely medical manner, there would be nothing to the museum, no interest, considering that a menstrual cycle is nothing much more than the rise and fall of certain hormones that cause a woman to lose her uterine lining, prepared for pregnancy when the ovum is not fertilized.

So, cheers to you, because I'm sure in some cultures a woman's cycle is greatly celebrated, signifying the coming of womanhood. It'd be much more interesting than something any woman could find out from her OB/GYN.

Though I don't find the topic too interesting myself, I'd bet there are a few out there who do.

Your problem would be that there are a few and not many. If it is what you want to do, go for it. I just came across your page and thought I'd comment. And to say, use that B.A. in psychology [actually, philosophy; I try to be philosophical about the operation], because, though you are going in the correct and most interesting way possible to make a museum about a woman's menstrual cycle, there just isn't a general interest.

Good Luck anyway.

Here's more about the discussion (fifth letter down) of menstruation and religious texts, specifically Eve:

Nowhere in the passages concerning menstruation in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the New Testament, or the Koran does it state that Eve was being punished by God with menstruation. This viewpoint was a much later development by Christian theologians and rabbinic scholars (I am not certain about Islam). The Christian Church Fathers maintained this view without doubt, hence the "curse of Eve" (Genesis 3: 13) becomes "the curse" (i.e. menstruation) for all women (God's curse was childbearing, not menstruation).

However, the major text on menstruation for both Christians and Jews and to some extent, for Muslims (who also value the Hebrew Bible) simply lists proscribed action during menstruation (see Leviticus 15). A good English translation of this passage will not refer to menstruation ("niddah") as "defiling," "sinful," "an abomination," or "impure" (common mistranslations and misreadings), but as a physiological process (or the time of sexual separation during that process). Other references in the passage simply refer to niddah (menstruation) as "unclean," as they do men's seminal discharges, which have similar ritual proscriptions.

Many Jewish feminists have taken Leviticus 15 as a positive opportunity to celebrate their menses.

Read the original texts and judge for yourself! [And see the bibliography of menstruation and religion.]

Kathleen O'Grady

Trinity College, University of Cambridge, England

It's always nice to hear from places outside the U.S.A.; I spent thirteen years in Germany and miss it. (See the links page and the articles by the Bavarian Petra Habiger):

Dear Mr. Finley,

We are the Graz Women's Health Center and part of the network of Austrian Women's Health Centers. We set up a link to your homepage. We would like to ask you whether you will also set one to ours. We now have a short English version of our home page and national/international links. We would be happy to thus strengthen the international women's health linkage and network. [Great!]

All the best for your good work! Let me know by reply, THNX,

Helga Kloesch-Melliwa

free-lance documents librarian at FGZ Graz, Austria


Frauengesundheitszentrum Graz/Austria:



She's looking forward to her next period!

Hi Harry,

I found out about MUM through Lonely Planet's Web page as they recently did an article on traveling during your period and options to handle menstruation. I have really enjoyed reading all the information on your site, especially in relation to menstrual cups.

Like most women, I had never really heard about them and I am very intrigued about this new option. I've ordered a Keeper and am looking forward to trying it out during my next period. I don't think that I've looked forward to getting my period this much since I was fourteen and waiting to start! I'll report my experiences back to MUM to include with.the other comments on menstrual cups. [Do I have a new columnist?]

Keep up the great work! You are one enlightened guy! [Aw, shucks, m'am, it ain't nothin'.]


The author of a book in the bibliography of menstruation has a Web site:


Your list of books on the subject of menstruation includes Tom Riley's The Price of a Life: One Woman's Death from Toxic Shock. He has a Web site at

A Canadian e-mailer enthuses about her MUM but not necessarily about men:

Hi! I just had to write you and tell you I think your site is fantastic!

I know, it sounded kind of weird to me at first, too, but I had to check it out. I never thought about the history of tampons before. My sister, my friend, and I have looked at parts of your site over the last couple of days, and it's pretty fascinating. I think I will be visiting again a few times before I am finished! Keep up the great work! [Will do, and thanks!]

[At the bottom of the e-mail was this spine-tingling message:]

Men are like fine wine: They all start out like grapes, and it's our job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you'd want to have dinner with.

The Keeper and Instead menstrual cups:

Love your site! [Thank you!] I received the task of telling my younger preteen cousin about women's bodies. I am so grateful that I had found this site a few months prior. She really liked it and it made talking to her soooo much easier. I also have learned quite a bit from this site about the history of women's periods and what they use. I have looked for books on the topic, but I was unable to find any. [One is Period, from Volcano Press.] Again I am thankful for your guts to enter into the area of women. Thanks. [You're welcome.]

I have looked for The Keeper menstrual cup in several of the big drugstore chains located in my area. I can't find it anywhere. [They may sometimes be found in health food stores.] I went to the link you provided, but it really didn't give me much info. Is the only way to get it is to order it? [Write The Keeper, Box 20023MM, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45220 U.S.A.; I believe it still costs $35 plus $2 shipping.]

I have tried the Instead cup, I like it, but I also would like to try The Keeper. But since I have been doing some reading on your site, I didn't realize how low The Keeper sits in the vagina. [Some people cut off part of the little handle because of this.] The only problems I have found with Instead is that if I twist in different ways or sit wrong, it pops out of place. [Instead has its problems, but some women love it. Read more comments about Instead and The Keeper by going back through the last several news pages and here.]

Reminder: The Museum Closes Until 7 November, But This Site Marches On

Read more about this.

Do You Have Irregular Menses?

If so, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome.

Jane Newman, Clinical Research Coordinator at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University School of Medicine, asked me to tell you that

Irregular menses identify women at high risk for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which exists in 6-10% of women of reproductive age. PCOS is a major cause of infertility and is linked to diabetes.

Learn more about current research on PCOS at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University - or contact Jane Newman..

If you have fewer than six periods a year, you may be eligible to participate in the study!

See more medical and scientific information about menstruation.

PREVIOUS NEWS | newest news | first page | contact the museum

New this week: Two German Carefree panty-liner ads for younger teens and preteens, and two with peculiar copy for teens, also from Germany - A Note from Germany (Prehistory of Menstruation) by Petra Habiger/ Neues aus Deutschland und Europa (Vorgeschichte der Menstruation) by Petra Habiger - inSync between-the-labia pads ("miniforms") - DIRECTORY OF ALL TOPICS

Take a short tour of MUM! (and on Web video!) - FAQ - Future of this museum - Tampon Safety Act - Visit or contact the actual museum - Board of Directors - Norwegian menstruation exhibit - The media and the MUM - Menstrual odor - Prof. Mack C. Padd: Fat Cat - The science and medicine of menstruation - Early tampons - Books about menstruation - Menstrual cups: history, comments - A Note from Germany/Neues aus Deutschland und Europa - Letters - Links

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