Several alternative forms of menstrual protection are available from specialty shops or the internet. Examples are shown in Figure 3. Menstrual cups are flexible, nonabsorbent containers made of natural gum rubber or medical silicon inserted in the vagina that can collect about one ounce of menstrual fluid. They can then be emptied, washed, and reused. Sea sponges can also be used, but they must be cleaned thoroughly and sanitized by boiling before reuse. Disposable interlabial pads are composed of materials similar to modern tampons. These are worn externally and held in place by the labia. They are most suited for light menstrual flow.
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