Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Salon: The Diva Rules

Is blogging like riding a bike? I'm struggling to balance writing and reading and managing my off-line life. I miss being in this space though. Today, I begin again.

It's spring so let's talk about cycles, specifically our menstrual cycle. Did you read Eva's post about the Diva Cup and the book, Flow? I still haven't read the book, but I can tell you about the Diva Cup, a wonderful, green way to deal with your period. After reading Eva's article I knew I wanted to try the cup and lucky me, I won one from my friends at Feminist Review.

Love my cup! My flow can be heavy so I wasn't sure if a reusable container would work for me. May marks my second month of use and I'm sure now that I won't be going back to pads. I gave up on tampons years ago. They weren't ideal for me.

The Diva Cup comes in two sizes (pre and post-childbirth). It's made of bi-compatible silicone and you insert it similar to how you'd use the Sponge contraceptive. I wouldn't say a tampon because when I think tampon I think of insertion as vertical where with the Cup, you want to think horizontal so the cup can open properly. I've never used a diaphragm but the cup works much like the diaphragm: it blocks and holds versus absorbs the way a tampon does.

The instructions are fairly straightforward though I admit, I felt a little unsure the first couple of days. I had no discomfort so I wasn't sure if the cup opened properly (You're suppose to turn it using the stem one full rotation to ensure it opens but how was I suppose to 'feel' a full rotation?). Failure to open properly would mean the risk of leaking so my suggestion is to wear a pantyliner until you're comfortable that you know what you're doing.

I was more confident removing the cup. You simply bear down and pull the stem just a bit; the rim of the cup will emerge and then it's easy to remove then tip the cup's contents into the toilet. Wash the cup ( use clean hands when removing/inserting) with a mild, no-detergent, fragrance-free soap and reinsert.

The first month, I checked constantly to see if the cup was full. I suggest avoid doing this. I pinched and irritate my skin unnecessarily by removing and reinserting the cup too frequently. Better to use a pantyliner and change the cup as often as you normally would a regular pad or tampon. Max is up to 12 hours before changing. I empty my cup approximately 3-8 hours. My cycle goes from heavy first days then tapers off.

This month, I felt like an almost pro. I am comfortable with the cup. Cleaning is easy. The website is very helpful. I like that I'm not creating unnecessary trash and I don't miss forgetting or not having enough pads with me. No rushing to the store and looking for brands I prefer. And while leakage can happen with the cup, I found the cup is a better receptor for someone like me who suffers clots. Anyone who has clots know they can wreak havoc in your underwear. With the cup, a heavier flow shows up with a less damaging spotting in the toilet when I urinate.

Now changing at work can be tricky. You'll need wipes and water you can take into the stall with you or use a unisex bathroom where you have complete privacy and can use the sink. Most public spaces have family bathrooms. The time to remove, clean and reinsert takes little time with practice.

Moving on. Please consider sponsoring me for Take Steps Be Heard. The date is June 26th. It's around the corner and I have very little in my bank.

I joined the walk at the same time I joined a weight loss challenge at work and my goal is to earn a dollar per pound per donor. My 12-week goal is 15 pounds. Fellow participants in the challenge are walking with me for Crohn's and Colitis. If you can please donate.

Each week we have an exercise, lifestyle and food challenge. The weight is coming off slowly and I mean very little. According to nutritionists, given my age, activity level and metabolism, I’m losing at a healthy rate. I’ve worked my way up to exercising 5-6 days a week. I read food labels and I’ve improved significantly in eating only the recommended serving amount.


Helen's Book Blog said...

Glad to have you back and in full force it seems! Good luck with the walk. I have got to get my body moving before I explode out of my clothes! Ugh.

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Thinking Aloud said...

Thanks for the information about the cup. I have a but given up tampons because I find my flow a bit heavy and I fear leakage. The pad does not work well with thongs and I don't like the feel of full coverage panties. I am sold!