Tag Archives: cycle

The Diva Cup: Menstrual Cup Review

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Diva Cup

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

About Diva Cup:

“The Diva story began in the heart of a young girl named Francine. Over time Francine’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for better menstrual care led her to discover menstrual cups. Today, in partnership with her daughter Carinne, Francine is changing the way women view period care.

My vision for a healthy, more sustainable feminine hygiene product began when I was just a teenager. Each month I would go through the motions of “dealing” with my menstrual cycle. Yet, I quickly grew tired (and frustrated) with the unsanitary, uncomfortable and impersonal feel of disposable tampons and pads. As I grew older, and began researching alternative menstrual care products, I was excited to learn I was not alone in my passion.

The day I discovered menstrual cups, was the day my dream turned into reality.

For ten years, I pioneered the menstrual cup industry, selling and promoting these innovative products around the world. In 2001, the best part about my vision came to life as my daughter Carinne and I began experimenting with our own designs and ideas. After years of experience and research we designed The DivaCup, a reusable menstrual cup that encourages a more positive period experience. I wake up every day excited to share The DivaCup concept with young women, and those a little older, who are not only looking for a better product but also a new relationship with their menstrual cycle!”

 

DivaCup Logo-1 DivaCup on Bag M1-M2-boxes

“It goes where? I have to do what? Yes, you wear The DivaCup in “there”, in your vagina… but we promise, it is not as scary as it sounds. In fact, your body will thank you for giving it the period care it deserves.

The DivaCup is a reusable, bell-shaped menstrual cup that is worn internally and sits low in the vaginal canal, collecting rather than absorbing your menstrual flow. Menstrual cups have existed since the 1930s when women were searching for an alternative to the choices of the time. Yet, its breakthrough into the feminine hygiene industry is much more recent.

Many women feel uneasy about changing their menstrual care routine. Years of dealing with the sights and odors of disposable tampons and pads cause the familiar reaction: “ick!”. The DivaCup empowers women to connect with their bodies and menstrual cycles like never before. Perfect for all activities (on air, land or sea), its easy care and use make for a better period experience. Wear The DivaCup for up to 12 hours without leaks or worry.

The DivaCup Features:

  • 12 hour leak-free protection!
  • Made from the highest quality healthcare grade silicone to assure comfort and durability.
  • Does not contain any of the following: latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, phthalate, elastomer, polyethylene, and free of colors and dyes.
  • Reusable and eco-friendly – no waste, no chemicals.
  • Features extra grip ridges for easier removal.
  • Cleared for marketing by the US FDA and the Australian TGA and the only reusable menstrual cup allowed to be sold in Canada by Health Canada.
  • Diva International Inc. is the only ISO 13485:2003 certified menstrual cup manufacturer and head office in the world!

Discover the healthy, “non-ick” alternative to traditional feminine hygiene products. Join women worldwide by switching to The DivaCup today!”

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My Thoughts:

Oh. My. Periods. My menstrual cycle is the only speakable health “ailment” that I struggle with controlling the pain of. Because of my debilitating menstrual cramps, I am always eager to find new products that make my time of the month a little less painstaking, inconvenient, healthy and more tolerable.

Diva Cup was of interest for me for several reasons:

-The fear of “toxic shock syndrome” which can be caused by leaving a tampon in for too long, allegedly.

-Making my monthly period less of an expense. The Diva Cup is reusable, so there’s no more endless boxes of tampons that I have to go through.

-The material that Diva Cup is made of appears and seems to be one of the safest that you can use: BPA free and free of many harsh materials that have been found to leach into the body and cause health issues (however big or small they are)

-The ease of use. I think the idea is brilliant–and there’s no waste like there is with pads and tampons.

So, here’s where it simply has to get really real! 🙂

My experience with the Diva Cup has been pretty good. The capacity of the cup itself is sufficient enough to allow me to leave it in for several hours on end even on my heaviest days. They offer instructions on how to insert the cup (like you read above, yes, you wear it inside your woman part!) and following those worked well for me.

This may be a bit graphic, but there’s truly no way around it if I’m being frank. I have had a few issues with the cup leaking while I’m wearing it. It doesn’t appear to be because it is overflowing. Rather, it seems to be a matter of the internal “seal” that it’s supposed to form not being intact. The instructions do suggest that you insert the cup halfway, then rotate it–I’m thinking this is supposed to insure that the seal is solid. However, sometimes I have a hard time mastering that and the result seems to be leakage. Not much leakage, but still.

That said, I will take responsibility for the fact that it may be operator error. They supply adequate instructions–I just haven’t mastered my “technique”, so to speak.

The other issue I’ve had is that when I take the cup out to empty it, its kind of a messy ordeal. At home, it’s perfectly fine because I have privacy to deal with it. However, in public restrooms, it’s kind of an ordeal. I am a heavy bleeder, so when I take it out, it’s just not always a clean and tidy ordeal! I end up having blood on my hands and use a lot of toilet paper to not have it be a complete disaster. Finding a way around that mess is another aspect of the Diva Cup use that I’ve yet to get down pat.

The capacity of the diva cup is enough, in my opinion, that I could probably always be able to avoid having to empty it in a public restroom, assuming you are home mornings and evenings. It’s just been a matter of getting used to how quickly it fills up. It’s proving to last a long time, unlike tampons. I just had a few public restroom experiences that were messy. In hindsight, they weren’t even necessary because the cup wasn’t full. It’s just hard to tell when it’s inserted when it’s full.

All of that said, I still see it as a better alternative to tampons, because of what it’s made of, because it saves money, and because it is reusable. I’d recommend it! It just will take a little bit of getting used to.

Have any of you tried the Diva Cup? I am eager to hear your thoughts, if you’ve had similar struggles and how you’ve remedied them. Please, don’t be afraid to be candid in sharing your thoughts and experiences!

 

 

 

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Improving Endurance and Fueling Your Body To Do So

Running and cycling outdoors both require the ability to endure a few things:

elevated heart rate

for a specific duration of time

muscle fatigue/cramps

upper, lower, or full body

perspiration and preventing dehydration

drinking water and replenishing electrolytes is essential

dizziness

especially when exercising in the heat

depletion

energy stores empty out

In regards to prepping your body nutritionally, a few things come to mind:

Fuel your body.

Eat foods that provide you with the optimum amount of nutrients (fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts)

Do not consume empty-calorie foods.

(foods lacking a strong nutritional value). These foods include: soda, processed foods, candy, bakery items, etc.

Hydrate!

When running and/or cycling on a regular basis, it is important to keep your body adequately hydrated, to restore the fluids you’ve lost during exercise to keep digestion regular, to regulate your body temperature, and to avoid dry mouth.

Consider smoothie making.

A smoothie is a fantastic way to combine several high-nutrient items in a tasty and easy to ingest way.

Reach for super foods.

Foods like chia seeds, hemp seeds, acai berry, spinach, mixed berries, almonds, avocado (just to name a few) are excellent foods to keep on hand–both for smoothie making and to have as snacks.

In regards to prepping your body physically, these things are important:

Adequate stretching is necessary.

Before running and cycling alike, stretching your legs will not only prepare them to perform, but they will feel loose, more mobile, and ready to work. The prime movers: quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles should be main focus. Even though your upper body is not the main force moving you, it helps your overall readiness to do a few trunk twists and arm circles to get your blood flowing to all extremities.

Don’t forget to breathe!

Even outside of exercise, taking deep breaths throughout the day will help maintain proper oxygen distribution to all muscle groups. Deep breathing also forces air into your lungs, which increases blood flow to and from your heart. In high school is when I became more aware of my breathing while running. Once I maintained an awareness of my breathing throughout my run (in through my nose, out through my mouth, deep breaths, frequently), my running routine was exponentially more enjoyable, not to mention my performance was increased.

Find your stride.

This translates directly to running more so than cycling. For me to find my stride, I let my body “relax” into the natural way that my body advances forward. Knees aren’t too high, you’re not pounding the pavement, and your arms are not flailing. You are striding forward, cushioning your feet as they contact the ground, aware of your breathing, and settling into your authentic gait. While cycling, you can similarly find your own natural rhythm, one that gets the most power out of your legs without exhausting yourself immediately. This comes with time, but when you find your authentic gait and rhythm, you’ve reached a new level of enjoyment!

Progressing and becoming better for future workouts: Strengthening your legs muscles should be your main focus.

Also, as my high school volleyball coach always told me “If you want to become a better jumper, jump more.” This applies directly to running and cycling. If you want to become a better runner, run more. If you want to become a better cyclist, ride more. There is no substitute for running and cycling as the preparation for those activities, respectively. However, it will help your performance to isolate and develop each of the main muscles that your body uses to run and cycle. The single best exercise you can do to strengthen legs is a one-legged squat. Simply described, you basically balance on one leg and squat down as far as you can while maintaining balance and ability to push yourself back up. Other great exercises to strengthen legs include squats (using both legs), lunges, and calf raises. You can also do more advanced versions of these by performing squat jumps, lunge jumps, and jump roping.

Continue reading this article.