TMI Tuesday: Aunt Flow’s Baggage

| November 22, 2011 | 54 Comments

My first capture of leaves changing in FL. Woot!

Okay, I don’t think I’ve ever done a “TMI Tuesday” post, but let’s pretend that it’s a normal act here on Clumps of Mascara, mkay? Although I can be quite prude-ish, I really do enjoy TMI (too much information) conversation. It’s the free spirit neo-hippie in me and discussing things that used to be taboo can be enlightening and informative.

But of course, I’m a little immature so they can be funny too. 8)

One of my favorite TMI discussions that I love rapping with my gal pals is talking about our periods. As much as I haaaaaaate that red monster, I find it fascinating. I think our reproductive systems are just so complex and interesting. I could talk about it all day. Especially since, growing up, I didn’t talk about it much. You know, because everyone was so embarrassed or whatever. I don’t really care anymore. The fact of the matter is, women all over the world have periods, will have periods or had periods. We are all in sync. I’ll be Justin (haha, see what I did there?).

Soooo, while I’ve always been a pad wearer (because tampons are just too painful for me considering I’ve suffered from dysmenorrhea for years), I’m thinking about switching to using menstrual cups. I’ve got my eyes on the Diva Cup. Have an open mind here, okay? There’s nothing particularly attractive about ANY of Aunt Flow’s baggage, but in attempts to green up my life a bit, a menstrual cup sounds, dare I say it….cool.

Some of y’all out there are probably already freaking out and when I first heard about menstrual cups, I was too. I was all like,

“Wait, so there’s basically a cup of blood just chillin’ under my cervix?”

“Won’t it spill or leak out?”

“It’s reusable? But how….” 

“Won’t it hurt going in?”

And while I haven’t tried the Diva Cup yet, my apprehension has been eased a bit after reading a very honest blog post from one of my favorite bloggers. In her comment section, many women admit to using the Diva Cup and products like it. Soooo, they are saving a crap ton of money (Diva Cup @ $30 can last for 10 years) and they aren’t exposing their lady parts to chemically saturated pads and tampons. Aaaaand, they aren’t clogging landfills. Excuse me, but with that many benefits, shouldn’t we all be wearing menstrual cups?

Maybe.

The learning curve will probably suck for me but I’m willing to give it a try. And as Caitlin mentioned in her post, she felt using the menstrual cup helped her be a little more connected to her period because she was able to monitor her flow. That part sold me. I’m obsessed with my reproductive health and I like the idea of being able to see what’s goin’ on up and around there. A girlfriend of mine said she used to be squeamish at the thought of it but figured if she could pick her dog’s poop a few times a day, getting that close to her own body’s fluids wouldn’t be THAT bad.

So yeah. I’m going to give the Diva Cup a try.

What do you think? Would you try menstrual cups or do you think you’ll stick to pads and tampons?

Also — let me know what you think about these kind of posts. If you have any ideas for what we can talk about on TMI Tuesday, let a sista know. 8) Or, if TMI Tuesday scares you a bit, let me know that too.

 

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Comments (54)

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  1. Claire says:

    Yes, there’s a learning curve. But overall, the Diva Cup rocks!
    Claire recently blogged about I’ll just leave these right here.My Profile

  2. Bajan Beauty says:

    Okay, wow! I didn’t even know anything like this existed. Very interesting. I despise tampons, something not natural about have a cotton wad jammed in your vajaja all day. It looks pretty cool but I’m wondering how secure the seal would be.

    • Brittany says:

      Agreed. Are sanitary napkins a walk in the park? No. But the idea of tampons never sat well with me. It seems like a total violation of my vag’s privacy. Seriously.

  3. Kate says:

    If you don’t like the Diva cup, you should try re-useable pads…made from very soft cotton or hemp, and you just wash ‘em! I personally have never tried the diva cup, but I would totally be willing to give it a go. Luckily, right now…no period because of nursing. Maybe I should nurse her til she is 10, just to stop my period. Yea!
    Kate recently blogged about I can’t believe it is Wednesday again.My Profile

    • Brittany says:

      As if I needed another reason to breastfeed when Baby Clumps comes around. I bet the Mom of the Duggar Family hasn’t had a period in like…20 years. Wow! And I don’t know about re-usable pads. I realllllly bleed. How’s your TMI with a side of TMI?

  4. Lauren says:

    I’ve always wanted to try the Diva Cup. I looked into it about two years ago and never bought one. Thanks for posting this and I will probably end up buying one. Let us know how it goes.

    * Oh, and I love the idea of TMI Tuesdays. I think its good to talk about these sorts of things with other women.

  5. Jordan says:

    I think I might just stick with pads… not sure I’d like the idea of having to wash anything… it is a cool idea though.

  6. Jazz says:

    I’ve never heard of the Divacup before!! But after reading up on it I’m seriously considering trying it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with TMI Tuesday, we’re all grown up women here. We should be open to discussions about our complex bodies.

  7. Em says:

    I’ve been using the Diva cup for over 2 years now and I love it. When you apply it you twist it a little to create a “vacuum” seal, so it’s really secure. For the first day of my period I use pantyliners as backup but it really does the job. I also find that I have less menstrual side effects (cramping, etc) with it. Highly recommended!

  8. Victoria says:

    I’ve never used the Diva Cup but I am interested in it. I am waiting for my current stash of tamps and pads to be used up then I am planning to buy one and see where it goes. I love the idea of TMI Tuesdays btw. We women need to stick together and talk about this stuff!


  9. Ive heard of these…hence my mom being a nurse. I dont think I will try this anytime soon. Yeah, not for me…seen em with friends, but this lil lady here will not use em.
    Stefanie (IFCURVESCOULDTALK) recently blogged about OUTFIT OF THE DAY: My new jacket and meMy Profile

  10. Kim says:

    I’m gonna sit this one out..I’m not ready to be quite that green yet. I wonder if you will do a review .. now that would be an interesting TMI.

    hmm other topics could be of the numbers 1 and 2s kind..

  11. Helly says:

    I really want to try a mooncup or something similar, but I’m worried about spending a lot out on it and then it not being right for me. I hate using tampons and pads, but I have to use both. I really bleed too. TMI high five!
    LOVE TMI Tuesday :)

  12. Cristine says:

    The jury is still out on the cups…

    but I LOVE the idea of TMI Tuesdays :)

  13. Danielle says:

    I love my Diva cup! There’s definitely a learning curve (use a backup the first few times) but it will be worth it. I’ve been using mine since April/May and I won’t ever go back!

    Will you please post a review after a few months so maybe others will be convinced, too? :)

    PS – love TMI Tuesdays!
    Danielle recently blogged about PhotoMy Profile

  14. Ana says:

    I’ve heard of these. They sound interesting. My sister said she wants one. I can’t stand tampons! Idk why when I have them on I can’t pee right! WTF?? I know I have them on right! *shrugs!* Damn pads get expensive!! This sounds like a good investment!! Do they all run @ $30 or there any for cheaper? lol. I want one!!

    • Brittany says:

      I’ve heard some gals are able to get them from Amazon e-tailers for cheaper. They are pricey but they’ll pay for themselves quicker than pads and tampons will. Woot!

  15. milaxx says:

    I never used the Diva cup, but I did use Instead cups which are similar. I started using them as a matter of self defense. I used to have extremely heavy periods and a tampon alone wouldn’t work. What did work was a combination of the instead cups and a pad. Best yet on lighter days I could use the instead cups and not have to run to the bathroom every 2 hours for fear of staining my clothing.

    I say go for it. Once you get the hang of inserting it, it should be really comfortable.


  16. Brit,
    TMI Tuesday is pretty genius. We have to be in touch with our bodies. Then you took “Red” and turned it “Green”,wow!
    Yolanda Triplett recently blogged about Thursday Thinking by YoTrip for November 17, 2011-Magic’s Milestone: 20 Years Later, He is Still Here(Vol.11, Iss.3)My Profile

  17. Jerilyn says:

    So I like the idea of using an alternative to the regulars. However, what if the cup runneth over? LOL O_o

    Should one still wear a panty liner just in case? The Diva Cup looks amazing but I guess I would have to hear your review first before making that move. Great post.

    • Brittany says:

      According to users, the cup creates a vacuum seal so there isn’t a chance of leakage. Unless you’ve inserted it incorrectly. When I test mine, I’ll be wearing a pantyliner just in case. The more reviews I read about these menstrual cups, the more confident I feel about them.

  18. Virginia says:

    I’ve suffered from dysmenorrhea since I was 16. I couldn’t use pads, no tampons..nothing. Not even the pill helped. If I had known about the diva cup, I would have tried it I actually like this post. Were all women, and suffering from the same condition as you, its nice to know I’m not alone. Btw..I used pads and the pill untill I had my daughter . The myth is that pds get easier after childbirth. My dysmen. Actually got worse (and it was already pass out from pain bad), so now I’m on the depo shot, and I feel great.

    • Brittany says:

      Another dysmen suffer. *hugs* My periods have improved significantly in the past year or so. I went from throwing up and not being able to move while on my period to actually…living life through it. Which was totally unheard of when I was in high school. I’ve never been on birth control but I tried every natural thing in the book to get rid of my dysmen. Nothing worked. Then one day my period came and it was….manageable. I didn’t even have migraines. Time healed me and I am praying to God that I never have to re-live those dysmen days.

  19. Madeline says:

    I LOVE my Diva Cup and have become sort of a Diva Cup evangelist. I tell EVERYONE to get a cup!
    Madeline recently blogged about Color Club Earthy AngelMy Profile

  20. Cathy says:

    I Have heard of this but my question is if your in a crowded public restroom how do you go about rinsing it and cleaning it etc. I would totally freak If I saw a woman cleaning her cup in the sink next to me lol idk

  21. Kimberly says:

    No need to live in the dark ages. This TMI is an interesting subject and, as I have read, some haven’t read about the Diva Cup. And, others’ comments are enlightening.

    If the diva cup is anything like a diaphragm, I would hate it.
    Kimberly recently blogged about Pop A Bottle, Birthday Beyotch!My Profile

    • Brittany says:

      The Diva Cup isn’t like a diaphragm but another brand called Softcup is. It fits more like a contraceptive diaphragm. That cup is definitely not up my alley either.


  22. I have been using the Diva Cup for about 6 months now. I purchased it because I was really sick of having to buy tampons. I suffer with uterine fibroids, and as a result, I have REALLY heavy periods and clots. The doctor jokingly says I “flood”. I could literally soak thru an ultra tampon in an hour. This greatly limited what I could do during my period. Who wants to carry oodles of tampons around, plus I could have unexpected “gushes”. Embarrassing. With tampons I also had the problem of leaking all the time, dryness, and irritation.

    So, I invested the $30 in a Diva Cup just to give it a whirl. It took a day or two to get used to putting it in, but I eventually got the hang of it. I like that I can have the Cup in and feel totally free. I can go wherever without a worry. If I need to use a public restroom I wash my hands, grab some extra paper towels and wet them, then go into the stall and take care of things. I use the wet paper towels to wipe the cup and re-insert. When I’m at home I empty and wash with a mild soap. The Diva Cup is far more comfortable than any tampon I have ever used. I also noticed that my flow has gotten a tad lighter and I don’t cramp as severely.

    Like others have said, the lip of the cup creates a vacuum and that is what keeps it in place. Leaking is almost non-existent for me. There are a couple of small holes in the cup that allow you to break the seal for removal. If the cup gets full it is possible for blood to seep through those tiny holes. After about 2 months though, I learned how to tell when the cup is almost full and I empty before any spillage can occur. I do wear liners just to be safe. I even ordered some re-usable pads when I first got my Diva Cup. I really enjoyed using those too.

    Oh, the Diva Cup has a stem on the base that helps you pull it out. I found that stem to be uncomfortable so I trimmed it down. I thought I would be grossed out by the whole menstrual cup thing, but turns out buying it was a really good thing for me. I no longer dread my period.
    PolishedPonderings recently blogged about Rescue Beauty Lounge Orbis Non SufficitMy Profile

  23. kia says:

    gotta love you! we’ve talked about our similar bouts of dysmenorrhea…=( during that time i don’t want to have to fool around with getting to close and personal with my vag. i actually want to believe i don’t have one around that time! i’d be curious to hear about your experience…
    kia recently blogged about How to Choose a ConcealerMy Profile

    • Brittany says:

      Ahhh yes, I remember our loooooong emails and talks about our painful periods. The only reason I’m considering the cup is because my dysmen isn’t as painful as it used to be. Giiiiirl, if it was, I couldn’t even entertain the thought of menstrual cups. When I tried to wear tampons, it seems like my cramps were 10x worse, so I know exactly what you mean about not wanting anything that close to the vag. So yeah…wish me luck!

  24. LoveVex says:

    Omg I just spent the day looking at diva cups becausr my friend said its amazing and now you are mentioning them on clumps. It’s a sign.

  25. Alice says:

    I’ve been using a DivaCup for about 3 years and it’s literally changed my life. I have super heavy flows (especially in the first few days) to the point I usually would have to get up every 3 hours to change a tampon at night. With this bad gal, I can SLEEP ALL NIGHT. ^_^

    The learning curve is a little steep (if you get it BEFORE your period starts, I recommend testing it out just to get the hang of it to avoid any leakage.

    It IS possible to leak, just like any other period system, it’s not perfect. But it’s really easy to know WHEN it’s time to take it out. For me, I can feel a little “popping” sensation when the cup starts to lose suction. However, this ONLY happens (for me) on the first day or two when I’m basically turning into Niagara Falls.

    Alice
    Alice in Nappyland
    Alice recently blogged about Holiday Food Guilt and Why You Shouldn’t Have ItMy Profile

  26. Nana says:

    I started using the Diva Cup two years ago and it changed my life! No more crazy “goosh” when I get out of bed in the morning (you all know what I’m talking about.) I don’t have to worry about having tampons with me and I feel so much more protected against leaks. There is a learning curve. I first tried it out during a snowstorm so I was home and could adjust and watch for leaks.

    My sister (who uses one too) said that using one was like gardening. You might have to get your hands a little dirty,but you will be happy with the results.

  27. eight says:

    I love TMI stuff too, especially with it comes to women’s health! There’s something so liberating about discussing periods, isn’t there?

    I’m a pad girl too because I’m paranoid about tampons and Toxic Shock Syndrome (which I know is very rare, but I still have that irrational fear). I’d love to try the Diva Cup too. I’d probably still keep pads for backup/travelling, but saving all that money and helping the environment sounds awesome.
    eight recently blogged about Coming soonMy Profile

    • Ambreen says:

      I wear pads too. I like the Always infinity but its always messy. Especially the first day when you find out your monthly friend comes to visit. TMI warning: dang I just HATE the smell, makes me want to pass out. TMI end! I tried tampons once or twice cuz I got a free sample. It was ok but I’m too scared of TSS to use it at night when I’d need it most. Not sure if I would try Diva but its interesting. Wouldn’t it hurt? I’m interested in your review! I think this TMI Tues is fine. I mean if someone is uncomfortable then don’t click on it & don’t read it.

  28. Cinnie says:

    My BFF has used a cup for several years and loves it except that she believes she has an unusually short vagina or low cervix, as the little stem that sticks out the bottom (which you grasp to pull it out) reaches right to her opening and is uncomfortable when sitting.

    Most stems are able to be trimmed for comfort, but she’s trimmed hers almost to where it’s too short to be grasped for removal and it’s still too long.

    However, if you’re a bit longer in the vagina (what a weird measurement) or your cervix sits higher, it should be fine.

    As for chemical saturation of pads and tampons, lots of health food stores stock organic, non-chemically-treated menstrual supplies. You can also sew your own pads out of organic fabrics. There are instructions all over the ‘net.

    LOVE this topic, ADORE you for bringing it up! There’s more to beauty than merely cosmetics!

    • Brittany says:

      Cin, tell your BFF that there are other menstrual cups on the market that may fit her more comfortably. From what I understand, the Diva Cup is the longest brand. Others like Fleurcup, Yuuki and Softcup may be be better suited for her body. There are a lot of women that have lower cervixes or smaller vaginas and they find that using brands whose cups are smaller, are better.

      I like the idea of sewing my own pads. Why didn’t we do THOSE kind of things in Gril Scouts? Dag.


  29. I’ve used a mooncup (the UK version of a Diva cup) for years and I really recommend it. It took a LOT of getting used to and I still have slip ups once in a while but I’ve saved a ton of money and I feel as though I’m doing my part for the environment. I do still use pads sometimes when I know I’m not going to be in a comfortable environment because changing a mooncup can get really messy but I still wouldn’t go back on them.

  30. Jessica says:

    I always haaated pads, but tampons never worked much better for me. I found out about menstrual cups and did a whole lot of research before picking up a MeLuna (they have varieties with glitter in them! lol I am ridiculous I know) a few months ago. It’s a bit more high-maintenance than pads/tampons when it comes to changing out your cup, but it’s seriously the greatest thing I’ve ever purchased in my life. Except that it makes me period so bearable, I forget I’m on it and have a habit of leaving it in overnight. Then it gets kinda gross. >__>

  31. Jenny says:

    I just bought one from amazon.com (cheapest price) and I can’t wait to try it. I’m just about done with my cycle now, so I’ll try it next month. I hate having that dry feeling when removing tampons, and when I’m at work I constantly have to think about removing a tampon and changing pads, it’s such a pain. Good luck if you try it though.


  32. wow it’s the first time I heard about this lol seems like an interesting idea!

  33. Erin says:

    I highly recommend Instead Softcups! They’re basically a disposable version of the Diva Cup. They recommend you clean the Diva Cup by boiling it and that just sounded kinda awkward to me haha. With the Softcups, you just toss em out!

  34. Jessica says:

    The diva cup and I are not meant to be. That demonstration video terrified me. No me gusta.

  35. Molly says:

    ah! i loove the diva cup… there is a learning curve, but once i got over it.. well, i’m in love now. tampons and pads are just.. gross. ugh. so happy i have my cup.

  36. Erin says:

    Good for you for being on top of your reproductive health! I am all about women’s health and if I had any measurable semblance of a period, the small neo-hippie (thanks for the new vocab word, because it’s totally me) in me, screaming to get out, would be all over it. I’ve heard nothing but raves, so best of luck!

    Found you through youtube and a mascara-lovin’ youtuber, LeeLee. Have a great week!
    Erin recently blogged about The most random Christmas sighting… and our anniversary (pictures out the wazoo)My Profile

  37. Kelly says:

    I’m going to have to sit this one out as well. I can’t stop myself from cringing at the idea of sticking this up my vajayjay and the cleaning aspect. smh It maybe just as messy as having a pad. More power to the women that like it.


  38. [...] the very first TMI Tuesday was all about something us gals know too much about. Our menstrual cycles. In that post, I talked [...]

  39. Monica says:

    My initial thought when I saw this was “ohhh I bet that stank!” LOL! I’m sorry! LOL! But seriously it is interesting…

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