Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It Was Fun While It Lasted

I got my period back this week (grumble, grumble, expletive). Aminah is 9 months old, so we had a good run. I was period-free for about 9 months with Miles as well. Combine my lack of pumping skills and dwindling supply with a baby who decides that, yes, sleeping through the night actually does sound like a good idea, and it was clear that my luck was going to run out shortly.

Like last time, my first postpartum period has been a horrible mess (add this to the "Things They Don't Tell You About Pregnancy" list). It's been super heavy, I'm crampy, miserable and since I haven't done this in so long, I feel like I am 12 again, forgetting to change my pad in time and suffering the consequences.

Except since I am 34 and a woman who has given birth twice, I don't do pads, except as back-up. Like most of you I used tampons throughout my pre-baby 20s, but they simply don't work anymore. They have a tendency now to um, migrate and they hurt. And just thinking about all of the chemicals in those things, that live inside your body for 5 days a month, was making me nuts (remember learning about Toxic Shock Syndrome in 5th grade health class? No bueno).

So about three years ago I made the switch to the Diva Cup, a silicone menstrual cup that you wash and reuse every month. The main reason I made the change is because I was having trouble with tampons and a friend suggested the Diva Cup to me as an alternative. I had already used those Instead cups for period sex (this is swiftly turning into a TMI post, isn't it?) so the concept wasn't completely foreign. And then one night I stumbled into a giveaway for the Diva Cup on Twitter and won. I've never looked back.

I really love my Diva. It's reusable, so it has pretty much eliminated the cost associated with having a period (I splurge on the Diva Wash, but meh, you don't have to. Any gentle soap works fine). It's safe, non-toxic and comfortable (it specifically comes in two sizes, for women who have and have not given birth). It has also mysteriously made my periods generally shorter and my cramps more manageable. I don't know how or why, but I'm not complaining. I don't imagine I'll ever go back to any other type of period protection.

I know you are wondering about the "ick" factor of the whole thing and for me, it's pretty much a non-issue. Periods in general are kinda icky and I don't think think they are any worse with a Diva. I don't have a problem inserting the cup into my vagina or sticking my fingers in there to pull it out. Your mileage may vary, but I still think the benefits of the cup outweigh any of these minor cons. You wash your hands well afterwards. Big whoop.

The one thing I will say is that there is no way in hell this thing provides a full 12 hours of protection as they claim on the website. Maybe on my third day I can get away with that, but on days 1 and 2 I am changing it every 3-4 hours, which means yes, I have to change it in a public bathroom at work. I use the handicapped stall with a sink inside it and it's not that much different from being at home.

If you are thinking about the Diva Cup or other menstrual cup, there are lots of reviews online to guide you. There are even a ton of YouTube videos with tips and tricks for inserting the Diva easily. There is a learning curve to it, but it's small. Even after not using it for a few years, insertion was a breeze.

So I just realized that because we are done having kids I'll never get an 18 month break from my period again. We shall continue to meet every 28 days for the next TWENTY YEARS or so. Sigh.

What about you? Have you switched to a menstrual cup or cloth pads? What's your favorite?

Never want to miss an update of the Blacktating Blog? Subscribe here. Follow me on Twitter- I'm @Blacktating

blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts with Thumbnails