Advanced Feminine Protection Technology

A quiet storm is brewing in the "feminine" aisle of your local drugstore: a silent revolution in women's hygiene. At the heart of the matter is a "feminine" technology so advanced it could bring menstruation out of the dark ages and off the "rag," forever. Say "ta-ta" to tampons, "sayonara" to sanitary pads, "adieux" to absorbent underwear and "Hello, stranger!" to a new generation of Plastic Period Prostheses. The future of womanhood has arrived and her name is INSTEAD(tm). Perhaps, you've seen the commercials. Sedated spokeswomen introducing a "unique" and "new" form of "feminine protection." For what modern woman doesn't yearn to be protected -- literally, shielded -- from the vagaries of her period, not to mention the vicissitudes of today's fast-paced world? What product could simultaneously block menstrual flow and bridge the gender gap? We found the answer in next month's issue of Ladies' PC HomeLife & Garden Magazine. We have republished the text of their monthly "feminine technology review" below as a service to our readers: clip & saveINSTEAD(tm)Advanced Feminine Protection TechnologyBACKGROUNDThere's a new menstrual management tool for the 21st Century, and it's called INSTEAD. It may very well be a high-tech silver lining to the dark cloud of being a woman in today's advanced world. In fact, considering the lack of attention paid to "women-only" medical problems such as breast cancer and female infanticide, it's surprising that doctors could take time out of their busy schedules to "gild the tampon," so to speak. But INSTEAD wasn't designed by gynecologists, not even by lady doctors. Audrey Contente, a mother and a triathlete, invented INSTEAD because she felt conventional tampons and pads weren't adequate "hosts" for her "monthly visitor."INSTEAD is made by little-known Ultrafem Inc. but in size and shape it's quite familiar. In fact, INSTEAD is merely a disposable diaphragm with a reservoir tip. To install INSTEAD, simply fold it, leaving the rubber basket hanging down, and insert into the vagina. The product can then be pushed back and down until it comes to rest in the space below the cervix. Once in place, INSTEAD acts as both a dam and collection cup, sealing menstrual fluid off from your "personal environment," even before it reaches the air. INSTEAD claims to provide non-stop protection for up to 12 hours.It may concern some women that "damming up" menstrual blood within the body has a vaguely endometrial ring. Ultrafem, however, suggests there is no demonstrated link between using INSTEAD and developing ENDOMETRIOSIS. Others may be troubled by the contraceptive connotations of the product. Again, Ultrafem clearly states in its literature that INSTEAD is neither a CONTRACEPTIVE nor a PROPHYLACTIC.THE TEST INSERTIONINSTEAD was thoroughly tested in the Ladies' PC HomeLife & Garden lab. Pushing the flexible ring with its rubber reservoir through the vagina to the space below the cervix was not the easiest task for our fem-tech benchmarking team. We wondered, how easy can it really be to position a bloody rubber cup the size of a White Castle hamburger under one's cervix? Some of the more unpleasant side effects of this "installation bug" included the undesired distribution of menstrual blood onto both hands. Compared to the strictly digital requirements of installing an O.B.-brand feminine protection device, INSTEAD insertion turned out to be quite a manually intensive chore.We should note, however, that Ultrafem customer service provided adequate assistance via their 1-800-INSTEAD helpline, where Registered Nurses were available to answer our questions. A call from our lab made at around 3 p.m., PST, was handled as follows:"Thank you for calling to inquire about INSTEAD. How can I help you?""I purchased your INSTEAD and am having trouble inserting it correctly. It's really huge." "Have you used a diaphragm before?""Uh, no. I'm a Lesbian."[pause]"Oh."THE BENEFITS OF INSTEADHopeful that INSTEAD could somehow turn the tide around we decided to turn to the company's extensive product documentation for some insight on the benefits of using this creepy "new feminine protection" device. What are the advantages of INSTEAD?Due to INSTEAD's longer wear time and incredible comfort, you have the freedom to sleep, swim, shop, even have sexual intercourse... INSTEAD is the only feminine protection product that allows you to engage in clean and comfortable sexual intercourse. INSTEAD will not leak, dislodge or get pushed inside you. You or your partner most likely will not feel INSTEAD. Of course, if you are likely to engage in strenuous physical activity or intercourse, please remove INSTEAD and replace with a new one before engaging in any such activity. Sometimes I get an embarrassing odor with tampons or pads. Will there be an odor with INSTEAD?Most odor associated with your period occurs when blood comes in contact with air and starts to decompose. Also, urine and feces cause odor when they come into contact with the tampon string or sanitary pads. Because INSTEAD holds the blood away from the air, you will always feel clean and fresh. Many women have told me how pleased they were at the lack of odor with INSTEAD.Back in the Ladies' Lab, our analog tests of INSTEAD could not conclusively confirm higher levels of "FREEDOM" in the traditionally feminine spheres of sleeping, swimming, shopping and submitting to sexual intercourse with men. Additionally, we could not determine for whom the INSTEAD insured "clean and comfortable" sexual relations. Some staffers indicated that they liked the smell of their periods and missed it when using INSTEAD. There were even some Lab techs who said they actually enjoy getting their menstrual "time off" from their "stinky boyfriends" and everything else they're juggling these days. Product satisfaction in these areas is likely to vary from user to user.What did draw rave reviews from our lab was the long-term pay off of using INSTEAD -- removing the cup full of menstrual fluid after up to 12 hours of sloughing off uterine lining. For the woman (and we know you're out there!) who relishes staring in wonderment at the resulting congealed chunks of blood-clotted tissue, INSTEAD serves those little tasties on a silver platter.THE BOTTOM LINEUnlike other feminine hygiene products, which simply address the needs of a woman's body during menstruation, Ultrafem provides an "instead" -- "an alternative or substitute" for being a woman during menstruation. INSTEAD, if used according to the manufacturer's instructions cited above, can actually transform a menstruating female into a bionic woman, technologically-enhanced and, thus, to the best of anyone's knowledge, virtually Period-Free! By giving today's modern woman the tools she needs to hide her period very, very well, INSTEAD has brought to market a final solution for all female trouble -- a product that can fill the void inside of all women, or at least plug it up for up to 12 hours. ## clip & save It's sad -- but all of the above Ultrafem copy is true. Menstruation is "embarrassing," disgusting even. [Make a mental note: check and see if you or someone you love has teeth "down there."] Women are essentially unclean by today's high-tech standards. However, if their bloody contamination can be cleverly concealed by a diaphragm-like cervical cup, women can be finally liberated to do the things they really want to do while menstruating: sleep, swim, shop, have sexual intercourse, take healthy doses of anti-depressants, do more work for less pay, bang their heads against the glass ceiling, etc.

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