Building a Del Em

I would recommend reading all of the following links before proceeding any further. The better knowledge you have a del em and how it works, the better prepared you will be.

Helpful sites:
Sister Zeus - Menstrual Extraction
Janis Cortese - Menstrual Extraction (Diagram of the del em)
How to preform an ME

When I first discovered the menstrual extractor, I thought it would be impossible to construct because I did not have access to a medical supply store. I called a few stores in towns near by, but none of them had any supplies that I needed. I ended up giving up and getting a medical abortion. It was expensive, uncomfortable, and turns out it was unnecessary. There are many other options so long as you start within the first few weeks after you miss your period. One of them is building the del em.

Parts you will need**:
• A jar [Similar Item]
• A rubber stopper [Similar Item]
• Tubing [Exact Item]
• A one way valve [Exact Item]
• Caulk [Similar Item]
• A syringe [Similar Item]
• A cannula [Exact Item]
• A speculum [Similar Item]

**Do not use these prices to figure up how much the del em will cost you to build. If you can buy these things in store, you can find cheaper generic items that work just fine for what you are doing.

The way the contraption works is that it creates a vacuum in a jar that has one tube to place inside the uterus and another to control the suction. Here is a wikipedia page explaining the history of the del em, and how it works. I will use this post to explain to you how I built it with simple products I found at Wal-Mart for no more than $30. The hardest thing that I could not substitute was the speculum. I have heard of women who use two spoons as a speculum, but I have no idea how they do this. A speculum can be easily obtained for $5 to $10 on eBay, if you have a discreet mailing address you can use. If I was not in college and did not use a P.O. box, this would have been a problem because my parents would have opened my packages Be sure to buy what size you think fits you best. I am a 5'3 female weighing about 87lbs. I'm very small, so I bought a small vaginal speculum from eBay.

The other parts of the del em can be easily put found and put together. Everything I list after this was found at Wal-Mart. First, we could not find a mason jar, which is what everything I read recommended. If you can find a mason jar with a metal lid, I would suggest you get it because it will be larger, but you should only get it if you can drill two holes in the top. You will need a power tool for that. I didn't have access to that, nor the jar, so I found a rubber sink stopper. I had to find a jar that it would fit, and the only one I found quickly at the same store was a large salt shaker. If you can find a larger stopper, I would suggest working to find a medium sized jar. Remember, it does not have to be too large because your uterus is probably no larger than your fist. However, I'd rather be safe than sorry. It would be a pain if you had to stop to empty the jar in the middle of the procedure.

After I found a jar and rubber stopper that looked as if they would fit together, I went to the hardware section and picked up some caulking. The caulk is extremely important because it is needed to make where the tubes go through the rubber stopper air tight. If it is not air tight, you will not get any suction.
Next, the tubing. This was pretty easy to come up with. My boyfriend and I had recently bought fish, and we remembered the tubing from the pet section. We just bought one package of it because the smallest amount we could find was 8 feet.
More difficult to think of was how to find a one way valve. Turns out, these are also used for fish tanks sometimes. We just so happened to come across a one way valve while getting the tubing. Sheer luck. It was amazing.

The cannula took us awhile to figure out. We continually looked online, but when we finally found one it was $80 cheapest. One day when I was cleaning I noticed how similar the tube inside a spray bottle of Shout! (the stain remover stuff) looked to the cannula we needed. My boyfriend just pulled it out of the head. If you can't pull it out, you can easily just cut it off near the top with a sturdy pair of scissors. I imagine any house cleaner you have handy will have a similar tube, and you can use whatever you have. If you have to buy one, just get something cheap. It fits perfectly inside the aquarium tube.

For the syringe, first we bought a baby syringe that is typically used to get infects medicine. It does not have a needle, you don't need one. However, this had very weak suction. It worked but was difficult. We ended up coming across an extremely cheap meat injector. We found one with a removable needle that was only $4. After the needle was removed, the aquarium tube fit nicely over where the needle goes.

Putting it together is not very hard. Fit your stopper into the jar. Ours was slightly to big, so I had to shave down the sides of the stopper to fit. I did this by running an exacto knife around the stopper. You could probably use a pocket or kitchen knife. I shaved off less than a millimeter of stopper. If you have to do this, take off as little as possible then try to fit it in the jar again. Keep doing this until it fits. I would rather have to keep repeating the process than to buy a new stopper and start again.

Once the lid fits the jar take a knife, pocket knife, or exacto knife and stick it on one side of the stopper at a 90 degree angle, perpendicular to the stopper. This will be one of the two holes you stick the tubing into. Turn the knife to create a small hole. Take a section of your aquarium tube and push it through the hole. Use the caulk to seal around the tube on the top of the stopper. Do this again on the opposite side of the stopper creating your second hole and placing another separate section of the tubing. I would recommend you use about two to three feet of tube for each side of this. Do not worry about being exact on these measurements.
Next attach your one way valve to the other end of one of your tubes. Be sure to connect the valve where the air flow will not go up toward the cannula. You will know if you did this right after you attach the syringe. You should not be able to push the air back into the syringe all the way if you connect the valve correctly. If you can, take the valve off and turn it around. Cut off a small section of your left over tube to put on the other side of the valve. This does not have to be anymore than three inches. You will connect your syringe to this small section of tube. This side of the del em is finished.

The other side you will use to connect the cannula (spray bottle tube). You can test your del em to see if it is air tight by placing the cannula into a cup of water and pulling the syringe. If it is air tight you will pull water through. You can add caulk to the underside of the lid as well if you want to be sure that it sealed tightly.

Please read how to use a del em before attempting the procedure on your own.