Why I Love My DivaCup and Should Probably Be a Menstrual Cup Lobbyist

Update: my knee is doing a ton better! I can even squat now, although I do feel some strain and discomfort when I do so, so I still bend over more than I squat. The coins were right, I’m okay.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today. I’ve been meaning to make a video or a post about this for a while now. I’ve wanted to share my experience with the Diva Cup menstrual cup – so for those of you who are too squeamish to read about BLOOD and VAGINAS, especially BLOODY VAGINAS, perhaps this is the time to stop reading. However, I encourage you to KEEP READING because this shit has changed my life, I swear to god.

So last summer I saw a DivaCup menstrual cup at Whole Foods for ~$45 and I was like psssshhh, that’s fucking expensive. So I did a price comparison check on Amazon and lo and behold, they were only $24.94 (now $27.99 Prime). I immediately bought one after researching the difference between a menstrual cup and the Softcup brand (I don’t recommend these because they’re wasteful and non-reusable) and then watched a ton of YouTube videos about how they work in anticipation of my Amazon snail mail gift.

Before I delve into the many awesome and amazing reasons why I highly recommend menstrual cups, let me just add a few little fun facts in for you.

First and foremost, menstrual cups, like tampons, definitely have a learning curve.
There’s the whole “how the hell do I get this inside of me?” thing, which I found is actually not that hard. There’s several ways of folding a menstrual cup. You can check out this nifty video and see for yourself. I personally prefer the “punch in” fold as it creates a small pointy part that allows for easier insertion, as well as easy unfolding once it’s in.

The learning curve part comes not so much in that act of inserting the cup, but rather making sure it’s inserted properly. In the first couple months of using my DivaCup, I was not unfolding it properly and therefore was experiencing not only leaks, but also EXTREME CRAMPS that were caused by a weird malfunctioning suction/uncomfortable shape inside the vagina problem. There are a couple tricks to making sure you get it to open properly.

1. A great way to fully open the cup if you’re using the punch-in method of insertion, is by squeezing it until you feel it completely pop open and all of the rim is touching the walls of your vagina.
2. Each cup comes with 4 tiny air holes near the rim that allow the cup to create suction and stay in place. These holes need to be unobstructed by all debris, including water, otherwise, you won’t get proper suction and your cup may remain improperly open, which leads to leaks.
3. If your cup still feels like it’s in a dogbone shape or otherwise, you need to twist it around in circles or possibly tap along its rim to full open it. It needs to feel rotund and inflated like it would be outside of you in order for it to be properly in place.
4. Often times another sign of it being properly open is a little “pop!” noise as it fully inflates.

Once you’ve got this part down, you’re set for anywhere between 4 and 12 hours. I’ve even left mine in for 16-18 hours before because I knew my period was light. Because of the vacuum seal it creates once it’s properly inserted, you’re pretty much guaranteed leak-proof protection and it’s amazing. You can do anything. Cartwheels? Swimming? Aerobics? Biking? You’re set. Your cup ain’t going nowhere and neither is the blood that’s pooling in it.

SO, let’s talk about all the other incredible benefits of using a menstrual cup.

1. It will save you a fuckton of money. 
I literally haven’t bought tampons or pads (panty liners are the exception, I’ve always got Kotex ultra thin liners on hand) since last spring. And I have several boxes that are full and some almost full of unused tampons in every size that I haven’t touched since I started using my DivaCup. DO YA’LL KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY I’VE SAVED? My periods aren’t all cute and short like so many other girls that I know. They last anywhere from a week to two weeks – which equals a lot of tampons and panty liners. I’m too lazy to do the math, but I know from rough estimates it’s at least $100. That’s $100 that I can put towards my car loan. BINGO.

2. It’s good for your body.
I haven’t tried other brands of menstrual cups, so I’m going to boast about DivaCup specifically – but it’s made from medical grade silicone, which means it’s biocompatible (safe to insert in your body) much like silicone sex toys! Here’s a little more in depth info straight from their website.

Because of our ISO certification and compliance to FDA, Health Canada, and Australian TGA health regulations, we can guarantee that each DivaCup is made with the same silicone material and grade approved for healthcare applications for over fifty years and that it does not contain any of the following: latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, phthalate, elastomer and polyethylene and is free of colors and dyes. Silicone products have been shown to be biocompatible (i.e. accepted by the human body without adverse reaction), durable, flexible, and easy to sterilize. What’s more, our award-winning DivaCup is the only menstrual cup allowed to be sold in Canada by Health Canada.

Unlike pads and tampons, it leaves no residue inside or outside your body.
Did you know tampons absorb 65% menstrual fluid and 35% natural moisture? They create an imbalance in your pH levels which interfere with the health of your vaginal environment.
Pads? You’re basically sitting in your own blood and endometrial mucus for ‘x’ amount of time, which not only creates odor from the blood being exposed to oxygen, but also a rampant breeding ground for bacteria to grow and create problems. Also? Gross. I used to use pads when I was younger and gross gross gross.

3. It will eliminate odor.
As mentioned above, pads, and even tampons, create odor. This is because they allow blood and bacteria to oxidize, aka react with the air, which in turn create unpleasant odors.
Menstrual cups, on the other hand, block off any possibility for the blood to interact with oxygen. They create a vacuum tight seal in your vagina that allows the blood to pool directly into the cup and never be exposed to air until you empty it, by which time, it will only smell like blood, if anything.

4. It won’t give you TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome). 
Because DivaCup is made from medical grade silicone, you cannot get Toxic Shock Syndrome. Quote Buzzfeed:

TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) is a bacteria-spurred illness that can kill you. If your tampon has even a slightly higher absorbency than your actual flow, you risk shredding. Tiny bits of cotton can cause small cuts in your vaginal walls—a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria causing TSS.

 5. It’s good for the environment.
Menstrual cups contain no bleaches, deodorisers, or absorbency gels! [x]
The silicone they’re made from is derived from silica, which is one of earth’s most abundant minerals.
They’re also made from non-allergic silicone, which means that they’re suitable even if you have thrush, eczema, sensitive skin, and so on.
And obviously, because you’re not throwing away man-produced paper/cotton waste every few hours, they reduce the amount of non-environmentally friendly waste you produce each month. GIVE YOURSELF A HIGH FIVE!

6. It can last up to 10 years.
That’s right. TEN YEARS. The DivaCup website suggests you replace it once a year, but ultimately says that with proper care and cleaning, it’s up to the consumer to decide when to replace theirs, and many websites boast up to a decade lifetime for these wonderful beasts.
$$$$$ IMAGINE THE SAVINGS $$$$$

 7. It helps you get to know your body better.
Now hear me out.
Yes, periods and blood and vaginal secretions are/can be gross. But it’s 100% good for you to know your body and what it’s capable of.
Each DivaCup comes with measurement lines that let you know how much you’ve bled – and it holds 1 full ounce. Typically, a woman bleeds 1 to 2 ounces PER CYCLE, so if you’re the average woman, it may surprise you just how little you may have in your cup when you empty it. Of course, the opposite could also be true. If you have heavier periods, you may need to empty it more often, and may be surprised at the amount you bleed.

8. It holds more than Ultra sized tampons!
Ultra sized tampons, for your heaviest of heavy flows – I’m talking heavier than Super sized tampons – hold 15 to 18 grams of blood. There are 28 grams in 1 oz, which means the DivaCup holds 10 extra grams of blood that would leak out of your Ultra sized tampon. CAN I GET A HIGH 5!?

Lastly, some other interesting tips/tricks/facts/helpful hints:

At the end of each cycle, your cup needs to be boiled for 10 minutes.
This sterilizes it and ensures it’s rid of any remaining bacteria and ready for use next month.

When you boil it, stick it inside of a whisk.
This will help it stay put and keep it from touching the walls of your boiling pot. Silicone can burn, so any damage or deterioration of your cup means you need to get a new one. Securing it in a whisk will ensure its safety in the cleaning process.

You may need to trim the stem.
In its original form, the DivaCup comes with a little ‘stem’ that helps you get it out. I, like others, found it irritating because it stuck out during use, so I trimmed all of it off. Plus, you really don’t need the stem to remove it. All it needs is a little pinch and pull and you’re good.

If you’d like to read more in-depth, clinical information on the DivaCup or menstrual cups in general, or you just want more information, including other bits I didn’t talk about (like how it works with an IUD or different brands and sizes) check out these great links or use your little fingers and get to Googling.

DivaCup Official Website
Why a Menstrual Cup is WAY Better than Tampons
18 Reasons You Should Switch to the Menstrual Cup

Advertisements

A Few Things

Thing 1: I’d really like to get myself a set of Tarot cards. So far I’m drawn to the Dreaming Way deck above all others. I’ve also thought about designing my own deck and doing my own hand-drawn, hand-painted designs. I think that would make the deck even more energized than just buying it off the shelf. But it would also require more time and energy than just giving Amazon $14. We’ll see. It’s in my wishlist.

Thing 2: I’d like to get back into meditating more often again. While reading about Tarot vs. Oracle decks/cards, I found my way to alpha state meditation. What is alpha state of mind? Great question. According to this little article, it is:

The electromagnetic pulse of planet Earth is known as the Schumann Resonance. Although there are fluctuations, this planetary heartbeat maintains an overall measurement of 7.8 Hz. When we relax and slow our brain waves in meditation down to the alpha level – between 14 and 7 cycles per second – and in particular 7.8 cps, we are meshing with the Earth’s deep rhythm and we enter our psychic realms.

So of course I went on Youtube and found some guided meditation videos to help me try it out. And I will be doing so tonight.

Thing 3: Today I was playing around with my crystal quartz pyramid. I stuck it on my forehead (it always makes me feel a lot better about anything and everything when I do that) for a little bit, and then decided to put it on top of my head. After maybe 30 seconds, I tipped my head backwards a little bit and it fell off and shattered in the corner. I’m really rather upset about this for several reasons.

I don’t feel like it’s going to work like it should anymore now that it’s broken and missing a chunk.
I FEEL BROKEN AND LIKE I’M MISSING A CHUNK NOW THAT I’VE HELPED IT ON IT’S WAY TO BEING BROKEN AND MISSING A CHUNK.
Sigh, I definitely feel the need to buy a new one now and they’re not cheap, which leads me into…

Thing 4: I recently got bumped up to low end full time hours, among other kinda yay things at job 1. This means more $ which will be nice. However, I’m desperately trying to save my money for many reasons including:

– Amanda’s wedding and related activities requiring $$$
– Really want to get Chromecast which is not expensive, but would like not to cut deeper into my pockets at the moment
– Desperately need to get my hair cut and colored
– Bills bills bills!!!
– Would love to travel soon (not far, maybe like Chicago or somewhere up north) for a weekend, always need $$$ for that
– Spontaneous events, such as salsa dancing (might/will make a post about that soon)
– General accumulation of “wealth”

No matter how much I’d love to get away from our current system of monetaryness (???) the world is still heavily and prominently dependent on money and therefore I still need it. Sigh.

At least I’m not moping about my nonexistent love life anymore. (It’s still nonexistent.)

Life Sucks and I Don’t Get Paid Enough

Last week, I did some calculations about the amount of money I earn and how it gets used yearly to see what I have left over to use toward new car payments.

Surprise surprise, there are no new cars (aside from the Chevy Spark, really) that I could get with my measly income. Even then, I would still be on such a tight budget, that I wouldn’t be able to buy anything except the absolute bare necessities. That would mean no going out to eat – EVER. No buying new clothes that I might need. Nothing. Zero. Not one penny would be able to be sacrificed for anything. I would be working strictly to pay student loans and car payments.

Not only is this prospect extremely depressing for me, but when I look at it more broadly, I have to stop and wonder how other people manage to put food on their tables making less money than I do. I should however mention that I would make double the amount I do now if I were full time – I am only part time, which is part of why I earn under $10,000. INCLUDING COMMISSION AND MY SECOND JOB!

I’m increasingly becoming more and more disgruntled with the state of the job market, the level with which we cling to money as a means of evaluating a persons worth. As The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony goes:

Trying to make ends meet
You’re a slave to money
And then you die

It’s fucking disgusting, actually. It’s fucking disgusting that the richest 1% of Americans own 40% of this country’s wealth. It’s fucking disgusting that I can’t get a decent job with a piece of paper that put me over $60,000 in debt. It’s fucking disgusting that the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. Where is the middle class?

I’ll tell you what they did when they consolidated the American car companies a few years ago and terminated several brands: they cut out the “cheap” affordable brands. They said FUCK YOU! If you don’t have enough money to buy a Buick, too fucking bad.

However, I came across this article that I think it’s a good reminder to remain positive in the face of trying times. It’s called The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People and it definitely sheds light on the negative things we do to sabotage ourselves.

I’ve been desperately trying to keep a positive outlook on my life in all aspects, but I’ve been very annoyed, sad, angry, and overall negative lately and I REALLY DON’T LIKE IT. I don’t know what these emotions do to me or how they make me act toward other people and I feel like a horrible person. I feel like there’s poison running through my veins and I know that I’m not this kind of soul naturally. I do not enjoy experiencing seething feelings.

Furthermore, and only because my mom came in my room annoyed just now am I reminded of this, but my relationship with her lately has been very aggravating. Like rubbing two abrasive rocks together. She says and does shit that pisses me off and I’m just like oh my god, dear lord save me. Like it’s just another reason why I need a job that pays livable wages and allows me to MOVE THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. I’m starting to go crazy. I’m starting to hermit myself my room or go out shopping just to be out of the house and away from her.

UGH!

If the Government Gets to be Pussies…

I just made my first loan payment out of my own account and it’s making my bank account and my internal soul weep. $346, right when I need to save the most. If the government gets to be pussies and shut down, I feel like I should be forgiven of my student loan debt.

I mean, the whole way higher education is set up is fucked up. It penalizes those of who decide to better themselves by charging asinine amounts of money for classes that are often not taught well, and so on. I know I personally felt like my money was being wasted in several classes throughout college. I mean don’t get me wrong, college is voluntary and I chose to participate. However, I can’t help but feel it’s such a scam sometimes. I’m not saying it’s not worth it – I wouldn’t have learned the times I did without it. But the whole idea of it costing thousands of dollars that I won’t be able to pay back any time soon just blows my mind.

It’s all about money. Everything is about money in this country.

A fond memory I have from college is when the institution took note of the loopholes involving buying books and decided tie them off. Once upon a time, I could rent or buy excessively overpriced books for pennies on the dollar and get a fat stipend. Then the corporation was like no no no! While they marketed it as bundling it in with the rest of your tuition and now you won’t have to worry about paying for books, the truth of the matter was they tied off the loophole. It doesn’t matter whether you decide not to get the book from the school or get it from somewhere else because you’re going to be paying for it anyway. In fact, it’d be stupid to get it from somewhere else because you’d be paying extra.  The best part of all of this was that I was part of student council. When the president told us this, she looked like a fucking crocodile sugarcoating everything to make it sound good and appealing.

Money. I’m telling you, it’s the root of all evil. I loathe that I am a prisoner of it.

 

Moneyyyyy

Day 24.

Today I’m grateful that I have two jobs, despite having less time to myself because of it.

But, on the bright side, having two jobs allows me to be a little frugal with my money and to afford gifts for people for Christmas and so on and so forth.

Money is a dirty thing, but it sure does make the world go round.

Brilliant Ideas from the U.S. Senate

I’m in one of those moods where I need to give a piece of my mind, politically. I’ve already discussed my view points on the whole birth control “controversy” and related topics. Tonight it’s this: quote President Obama on Facebook “Nearly every Senate Republican voted today to double interest rates on federal college loans for more than 7 million students.

My mom told me about this earlier and we both kind of stood staring at each other for the briefest moment before we both said “now THAT’S what needs doubling in this country, STUDENT LOANS.” I mean really. Politics infuriates me point blank. Politics LATELY is igniting a fire under my ass that’s like a blow-torch of outrage and irritation. 

First of all, do these politicians really have nothing better to do with their time than to come up with bills like this? Of all the problems in all the world, why is it necessary to raise student loans interest rates? Answer: so the rich can get richer, so the poor can stay uneducated and poor.

In relation, I have these 2 photos that kind of sum up my ideas and stance on this. The first is the accompanying photo from Obama on Facebook. The second is one of my favorite photos on Tumblr, ever.

It’s ridiculous that we live in the supposed best country in the world, yet so many citizens of this country cannot afford to go to college. Doubling student loan interest rates is just going to keep oppressing people. That’s a sickening agenda.

Absolutely.

Makin’ the Moolaaa.

So today I woke myself up slowly, though with the growing anticipation of going to this great craft/bead store in Berkeley called Munro’s Crafts. It was super easy to get there, although I turned right on the street right before the one I was supposed to turn right on because I half thought I’d arrived at the place. It was literally one street up. Anyway, I bought an orange turquoise that I turned into a pendant, 2 strands of pearls – one this rich chocolate color, the other a mixture of that color with black, original, green, and some other colors. They all look beautiful. I plan on making an ombre necklace out of that strand.

I also bought a strand of these tear-drop shaped stones that I believe are chunks of amythest, citrine, and rose quartz. I turned them into a necklace that I’m absolutely in love with. I took a picture with my phone and a few with my camera, but I’m saving the camera pictures because I want to take some where it’s not on me, and it looks more awesome. Here’s the phone picture:

I also bought myself a premium membership on Deviantart (and signed up to be a beta tester!) earlier because they’re having their once annual buy 1, get 1 free so I’m getting 2 years worth instead of 1 for the same price. Only $1.25 a month! Speaking of spending money, I special ordered 2 rings at work and I’m super excited for them to come in. One of them is this huge bulky one with a really big CZ and a buttload of tiny ones around it, and the other is a crown.

I figure I’m making so much money this week alone from working so much (plus commission) that it’s okay to splurge on myself a bit. But then again, that’s what I always think. My mentality is that money will always come.