Exclusive: How Keela Cup Founder Jane Hartman Adamé Used Her Disability to Inspire the Best New Menstrual Cup

I’m a huge fan of menstrual cups — well, I’m a huge fan of the idea of menstrual cups.

Not only are they eco-friendly (no more landfills full of tampon applicators), but they also save you a ton of money ($45 once in a lifetime, or $20 every two months for decades).

But I’ve tried using a menstrual cup (in this case, the Lola Cup), and damn did it hurt. So when I heard about the Keela Cup, I was obsessed.

The Keela Cup is the new kid on the block and is all about comfort and easy removal.

The inspiration for the cup first came when founder Jane Hartman Adamé became frustrated with her own experience using menstrual cups. Jane has Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, a connective tissue disorder that can affect your mobility. In an interview with Femestella, Jane explained,

“With my disability, my joints are hypermobile so I bend in ways I shouldn’t, especially if I’m not focusing on my movements (and instead focusing on say, a slippery cup somewhere up in there). The combination of tensing certain muscles while bending and reaching can sublux (slightly dislocate) my joints, which my body then responds to by contracting the supporting muscles. By the end of it all, I may have to re-set my joints and deal with ensuing spasms that can last for a week or more.”

So reaching up inside yourself to un-suction a menstrual cup from your cervix? Not exactly the most comfortable.

And Jane isn’t the only one to feel this way. Many women (both able-bodied and disabled) have had difficulty removing menstrual cups and have even ended up in the hospital. The suction is often so strong that users are unable to remove it themselves and need the help of a professional.

And so came the birth of the Keela Cup! According to Jane, this is exactly how it works:

“Keela cup has a very special pull string stem, which originates from the top rim of the cup and passed through a watertight seal in the bottom of the cup. When you pull on our stem, it deforms the top of the cup, which prevents that suction force from occurring at the top. This means you can remove the cup without reaching into your body.”

With the use of a tampon-like string, the cup hopes to eliminate the pain and unease of removal. But even if you’re still not ready to give up your tampon addiction, Jane understands.

“Even with improvements, cups still won’t work for everyone. Some folks have religious or other reasons for not using insertables; others may have trauma that inhibits them from interacting with their vaginas in such a way. I would urge people to look into other reusables, such as cloth pads. I’m also not anti-disposable, which might surprise people. I wouldn’t shame anyone for whatever method of menstrual care works for them.”

The Keela Cup is currently trying to get funding through a Kickstarter Campaign (which you can check out here) and although they’ve already raised nearly $23K, they still have a long way to go! And in case you don’t know how Kickstarter work, the entrepreneurs only get the money if they raise the entire amount.

Not to be completely biased, but I’m personally rooting for Jane and the Keela Cup. I would love to have a cup that doesn’t feel like it’s sucking out my cervix.

Jane and the team are still in the process of perfecting Keela, so if you have any suggestions based on your own experiences to make it any better, make sure you reach out to Jane via their Facebook page.

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.