Monday, July 20, 2015

The DivaCup! A Gal's New Best Friend? or Foe?

I have recently returned to work after taking about a year off to stay home with my babies again. I work in an office full of men, I am literally the only female, other than they occasional customer. And even then those are far and few between as I work in what most would call a "heavily male populated workforce". It doesn't bother me, except where bathroom issues are concerned.

We all know that men and women have very different bathroom practices, as well as expectations when it comes to cleanliness. Not saying all men or women are the same with bathroom hygiene, just different. But that's not the issue I am trying to get to...another blog another day!

No I am talking about that time of the month. The most dreaded week of every woman's month.

SHARK WEEK ... ! 

... DUN DUN DUN!

Well that's what we have deemed it in my household anyways!

To the point...there is nothing more embarrassing than being the only female in an office and being on your period! I'm not ashamed that I have one, or that my body is just doing what it is supposed to. But I'm embarrassed because of noisy wrappers, the trash which is a dead pan giveaway that I am on my period, the possibility of odors, leaks, etc...there is just a lot of crappy things about a period that really suck!

So all of that being said, I read an article online about women using menstrual cups and how they simplified that time of the month.

Menstrual wha-whats?!

A menstrual cup is a cup that is placed inside your vagina during menstruation to catch all of the blood. It only has to be taken out once or twice a day to be dumped, washed, and put back in versus a tampon or maxi pad change every 3-4 hours or so.

Yeah, so initially I thought yuck too! There is no way I could use one of those.

But then I thought about it some more, and started researching the brands that are out there. And it piqued my interest. The biggest selling feature for me was that  I could work all day and not have to worry about changing anything! Not to mention all night! And not to mention it was $40 one time a year versus $20 a month every month of the year for an annual total of $100-150! That is a lot of savings when you think about it. 

So I bought The DivaCup, Model 2, since I have had children. Model 1 is for women under 30 that have not had children, and Model 2 is for women ages 30 and over or women that have had children whether via c-section or vaginal delivery.


Photo Courtesy of DivaCup!

**TMI ALERT**

Now to the nitty gritty. My first time using The DivaCup...it was...shall we say...interesting?

There are two techniques you can use to insert the cup, feel free to visit their site for instruction on both. But before you begin anything wash your cup, using a mild unscented soap, as well as your hands. To me it is easier to insert while sitting relaxed on the toilet. 

I prefer the second option or the "Push Down" option. It makes the rim of the cup much smaller and easier to insert. 

I had trouble inserting it the first couple of times. It is safe to assume that everyone does. Before I used mine I did a lot of research. So I am going to offer some tips for newbs like myself:

Tips For First Time DivaCup Users:
     1) Practice inserting before your period comes. Get comfortable with the technique you find most beneficial to you. Like I said I like the "Push Down" method while sitting on the toilet.
     2) Once you have about half of the cup inserted, I take my index finger and run it around the edge of the cup to ensure that the bell has opened completely.
     3) I then push the cup (back towards my tailbone) until the tip is about 1/2 inside. I also cut the end of the tip off as it made me feel very uncomfortable.
     4) Twist the base of the cup a full 360 degree turn to make sure it is suctioned properly.

Was it painful to wear?
I was paranoid the first day. I took it out half a dozen times to make sure it wouldn't overflow, or that it wasn't leaking. Once I realized that once it was in and secure, I was good to go. I do have to admit that I was very conscious of it the whole time. Mostly because the silicone was still a little stiff, and it is something totally new. As far as discomfort, when inserted correctly, I had none. However at one point I inserted it too far and it caused a lot of cramping. I simply took it out, replaced it correctly and the cramping stopped.

I am in love with the DivaCup. I feel like my period is now no longer a cause for concern or embarrassment. I am considering buying a second cup, one to have in my purse and one for home. Just in case I am ever out and about and need it, I will have it.

I also feel like I could go on a 5 day camping trip while on my period and I wouldn't be concerned in the slightest, other than keeping it washed. I like that I am now able to see just how "heavy" I flow, and I am much more aware of what is happening in there. Not to mention the fact that  I am helping make the planet a little greener!

I highly recommend it to any woman that wants to free herself from the burden of tampon and pads!

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