Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Warning - contains talk of what I call 'Lady Week' edited



I did say 'warning' in the title for a reason. I'm going to be talking about periods and I ain't dressing it up too much! I am a woman and since the age of 11 have been enduring this special kind of biology which is magic in one way but has me declaring I AM SO COMING BACK A MAN most months.



Some folks call it Time of the month, they've got the painters in, the curse, Aunty Flo is visiting , and a quick search on the old G oogle finds a whole host more.

The article here had me laughing as apparently the French ladies call it 'The English have landed' https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/menstruation-study-finds-over-5000-slang-terms-for-period-a6905021.html
This is the link in case you want to read it for yourselves!


Anyway. I'm now mid to late 40s and I'm assuming I'm perimenopausal. I have an App on my phone for monitoring my cycle, it's a pretty pink flowered icon app. It's called 'Period Diary'.


I don't know why I bother with it because these days I vary from 23 - 31 days and it is becoming a real pain in the arse. Heavy, flooding, maximum strength winged products and plugs deployed and still ruined underwear and sitting on towels, sitting on carrier bags underneath the towels, layers of towels to lie on in bed  etc. Always seem to be on on my holidays and high days. Getting me down.

Go for a hysterectomy cried my chums - I don't really want to. It's not natural. If I neeeeeeed one then I'd have one, but frankly I think I'd be told I'm just complaining and I hate going to the doctors - not sure anyone actually likes going do they?

So the products I was buying.

Super strength tampons, night time  super plus surfboard sized pads that I'd double up at night. I would never ever risk a regular tampon or light flow until the very last day or the 'dregs' as I call it.
I was also getting so so sore on the skin and would sometimes have really heavy cramps. The kind that double you over and then that feeling of dread that you'd suddenly flooded everywhere. I changed to organic cotton products - o holy fortune. But instant relief from really sore, itchy, irritated skin 'down there'. But if you really really think about it. All these years I have literally been  throwing my money in the bin. I followed a blog on here for a while about cloth pads and dithered for ages about making my own. But decided the washing and soaking would not be for me at all.

So after a LOT of research and watching some pretty informative ( warts and all ) excellent reviewers from braver than me wimmin on the old tube of you. I watched this one fully. She was brilliant I thought. If you want to watch it here is the link>>>   https://youtu.be/Kd8Uo_SusBo
You can buy the diva cup - the one she is reviewing on here from Ocado!

I went on Amazon and looked at all the different ones you can buy and again read the reviews. I made my mind up. A lot of research says that the chemicals in the products can increase cramps and pain and clots etc. And I certainly experienced those - passing what looked like great clumps of liver - which was a very big concern re using this cup. All the plastic waste I'm creating isn't great. It's shocking actually. Plus all the landfill with the rubbish I throw away not to mention the tampons that get flushed away. So I looked again.
And ordered this. It was £15.


A bit pricy I thought but the considered my monthly spending on the Lady Aisle in the supermarkets. Actually could pay for itself in two monthly cycles.

I was a bit tentative about it. I was worried about it over flowing as I flooded and had to change my sanitary products so often.
I felt a bit squeamish but told myself to get over myself! It's only blood and it's only my body!

Luckily I started my period on a Saturday so I could now experiment. I first read all the instructions thrice. It's made of medical grade silicone. It's squashy and soft. The bobbly bit on the end is harder and solid and is trimmable if it protrudes once it's in. Also do not be alarmed over the sizing. The Small is for virgins, youngsters and women who haven't had a baby. I chose L because I've obviously gone way past the small size criteria.
So I popped it in.
I say 'popped it in' as if it was easy! The first time it was tricky. I had to try three times! You have to squish it in and then insert like a tampon, then grasp the bottom and twist it a little to make the seal! So you can see the top has a rolled edge, this folds in on itself to make the whole thing more cylindrical. Then you kinda grapple with it, holding it into the cylinder shape, pointing it slightly backwards and upwards at an angle and shove/push/encourage it in. Then holding the hard nobly bit, twist it and it then opens out and locks into place. The first time I wasn't sure. The second time I kinda felt it open. The next I didn't. I also was rubbish at remembering if it went in better for me folded edge towards the top or the bottom. The nobly bit the sits inside. For ladies with a shorter front bottom it may protrude and be felt. Clearly my cavernous nether regions were a perfect size for it.
I'd truly have struggled to do this pre slimming world if I'm honest - as my short T. rex arms would not have been able to reach over my big fat belly! ( I did say it was warts and all ) ( JUST POINTING OUT I DO NOT HAVE WARTS DOWN THERE!)
and if you are not bendy, it might be tricky too. The lady on You Tube stood up to insert hers. I tried. Not a chance!  I then went downstairs. The HG asked me how it felt.


 "A bit bizarre," was my reply.
I actually couldn't 'feeeeel' it in the same way you don't really feeeeel a tampon, but you feel it because you know something is there.
And then I just got on with my day. I didn't have much period pain if I'm honest and I was waiting a lot for that tell tale feeling of ' oh no, I've just flooded everywhere'. But it didn't come. I was wearing a back up pad incase I'd not got it right and I was back n forth to the toilet every half hour checking!

Not a drip. After three hours I was curious as to what was happening. So I washed my hands and sat on the loo, legs akimbo. You have to find it and then slide a finger gently up round the side to release the suction of the seal. That did make me go a bit ewwwwww because the cup felt warm. I took a deep breath and eased it out. And looked. It wasn't overflowing. It was about half full and there wasn't really much mess on the outside. I had the tap running at the sink which our sink is next to the toilet, so I tipped the contents down the loo and rinsed the cup in the cold water. Re inserted, which felt more comfortable, washed my sink and hands and got on with my day. I still kept checking the pad throughout the rest of the day. The next time I emptied it was after 6 hours. It was almost full. There was NO smell and as it was night time I could safely put it in and leave it for 12 hours. There was no more mess really on my hand than you'd get changing a full tampon.

I filled in my friends who I'd told, how it was going.
I was impressed so far. The next morning, there was no spotting at all on the pad and I realised I'd actually slept right through which is unheard of for me, especially on day 1 and 2 of my period. I don't sell well because I'm scared of flooding the bed which I have done before. So the next morning, I will admit it was a bit more gross as it was full to the brim, but I tipped it away, rinsed and again no smell - I'm thinking it's because the blood doesn't have chance to meet the air - popped it in and think I was fully converted. The big tests were would it come out when I was using the toilet for 1s and 2s! Or 3s as a little soul at school says
They said, in answer to my , why have you been so long in there question, I did a surprise number 3! I was baffled til they went on to explain, it when you go for a number 1 and end up doing a number 2 as well!!!!!

So when I was using the toilet I tried my best to push it out. It stayed put. That was a mind settler too.
By the end of my period I felt like a pro!
The absolute best thing for me was not having to go out armed with body form and tampons during the day. No skin soreness from them either. Also I have no need now to keep grotty knickers for my period. I didn't seem to be menstrauting for as long either. Done and dusted in three days. Could be a one off so will monitor that.
My period wasn't as painful, but then not all of them are so am reserving judgement on that one until it happens. Leaving it in all day means no having to change it at work or at night. All it needed at the end was a two minute boil in a pan after washing, to sterilise it for next time and it comes in a little cotton pouch to keep it.
The HG mentioned that I hadn't been moaning and 'going on' as I usually do!

I am converted and can almost say I'm looking forward to my next period! Of course I'm not - but I'm certainly not viewing it with the same dread, disappointment and negativity. Indeed I'm a bit sorry I wasted all this time NOT using one!



If you made it to the end, well done!! I do say in my profile that it's my blog and I'll write what I want to! If you have any questions about it, as a one time user so far I'm not expert but I can do my best to answer honestly.


Lots of love from
Rachel *Lady Plunger* Radiostar xxxx








43 comments:

  1. Omfg did I actually read this 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
    Can't remember my google password ffs so I'm posting as anonymous but it's meeeee really

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  2. So glad you've found something that works for you. I'd like to use a Lady Plunger but for certain reasons I can't.

    I did change to the super expensive organic cotton items you mentioned, after reading that the chemicals in traditional products can increase cramps etc, it was a bit of a life changer for me. I probably save the extra cost in all the painkillers I no longer take, plus I don't have to take days off and can get out and about more than ever before, which is a huge relief.

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    1. It was bliss the first time I used those natural products and I can't believe I waited so long to even look for them. Who would have thought that the chemicals in the other products could cause cramps?!!! I think it's bc they draw out the flow rather than letting it just flow! No point being squeamish! It's just life!!

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  3. Rachel, this is a brilliant post, good on you for writing it. Fascinated by your experience. I’ve been wondering about these for running. As an aside, a lot of pre and during period symptoms can be diet related- the usual culprits are alcohol, sugar and dairy products. If I cut those out or drastically reduce them I get no headaches/ cramps/ grumpiness/ night sweats. Also low magnesium levels can affect them too. Thank you so much for this brilliant post. CT xx

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    1. Thanks for your comment CT. I've been lucky PMT wise throughout my menstrual career but have read about evening primrose before. Plus I'm already taking magnesium following your advice a few months back and it does work in combatting fatigue and insomnia. Whilst wearing the cup I rowed, hula hooped - the bending down and picking it up version and stepped on my stepper with no I'll iffects at all. I don't think running would be compromised at all!

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  4. Sounds great, I hope it works well for you, plus as you say no more throw away products. I am lucky like my mum, I went through my menopause early, and periods are a far distant memory.

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    1. Lucky indeed Marlene. My mum had to have a hysterectomy in her 20s so I'm really unsure of when my ovaries will stop working!

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  5. A great post Rachel and something which isn't discussed openly enough considering it is a huge part of our adult lives. I've been curious about the lady plungers for a while now so it has been good to read your experience and thoughts. X

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    1. Thanks Jules. I've just edited the post to include the YouTube link that inspired me. X

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  6. My daughter has used a moon cup for ages now and she absolutely swears by it. She'd never go back to tampons, never.
    J x

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    1. Aww I could have just asked you Joy. I've seen very very few negative reviews if I'm honest.

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  7. Amazing post...well done you...I suffered with heavy flow and clots for years along with dreadful cramps. Debilitating to say the least. Now I'm through the other side...but falling to bits...hence hospital appointment tomorrow! Can't win can we?! x

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    1. Thank you for your kind words x Good luck at the hospital today x

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  8. What a brill informative post! I'm 54 and am going through the "change" - LMP around Xmas time - sooo hoping it was my last!! I used to have all the problems you describe and once considered a "moon cup" - but never got round to it (sounds similar to your version). The heavy periods I could manage - it was the nightmare that is PMT that was horrendous for me.
    Thanks for your honesty in today's post.

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    1. Thanks Mrs x I've another 8 years of periods to go then by yours and my early 50s friends experiences x

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  9. I am so glad that I don't have to go through this every month now.
    What a brilliant post though and I'm sure many people will find it helpful.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Thank you Sheila x I'm laughing a lot that most of my readers don't need one! And also super jealous! But that would be wishing my life away!! Xx

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  10. I am firstly so pleased for you that this is working so well for you! How great is that!! Secondly, I congratulate you on writing about this and sharing about it. Well done you!!!!!!!!!!!!! As someone who has been through a lot of this and is now having a very early - not caused by surgery - menopause I just wish that more people would talk about this sort of stuff. Going through the flooding etc was so grim and the only upside of said early menopause is the thought of not having to deal with that again, so you have my total sympathy about that and also my greatest joy that I hope you will not have to deal with it any more. Long may things keep going well for you!!!

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    1. Thank you Amy x They certainly don't tell you all of this n the glossy tampon adverts or in biology lessons at school!

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  11. Not sure if you will see this as I’ve never commented on a blog before! A very informative blog which also made me smile! Can’t wait for next months update.

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    1. Ahhh but you get it first hand from the horses mouth dear friend! X

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  12. Very matter of fact post which would have encouraged me to try one if I still needed to use protection. If you do eventually need a hysterectomy, please don’t be put off by horror stories. I was 40 when I had mine and it changed my life for the better-no more embarrasing floods, ruined clothes, beds, car seats. I had endometriosis combined with a huge fibroid. Life had become intolerable and limiting although the two things had been treated for many years without success. I recovered well, had 3 months away from work and did not gain weight as predicted. Nearly Easter break so enjoy that and hope the weather improves.

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    1. I'm so pleased it all went well for you and life improved so greatly. I think I'm lucky that I've not had endrometriosis or fibroids which sound horrendous x

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  13. Amazing, I want one of those now. Thanks for sharing your experience! x

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    1. Thank you x good luck with finding the right one for you. X

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  14. I saw the warning but have to admit it was a somewhat more detailed account than I anticipated. You have my sympathies. With a wife and three daughters the worst I’ve had to bear is that every time I opened the airing cupboard a cubic metre of sanitary products tumbled down on me.

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    1. The worst??!! No mood swings?!!! I now feel sorry for my poor dad with his three daughters!

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  15. Very interesting and informative post. My DIL used the cup and she thought it was great. In my 20's, 30's and 40's I had terrible cramps, back ache, day off work just about every month. I started taking evening primrose in my late 40's and things improved greatly. Most months it was just an inconvenience but rarely any pain. I don't know how much credit should be given to the evening primrose but I sure wasn't going to stop taking it!! The downside was that I started when I was 12 and had my last period 2 weeks after my 60th birthday!! I should have owned shares in all those lady products, the money I have spent over nearly 40 years!

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    1. 60!!! Mother Nature can be very cruel! 40 years - you should so get a long service award xx I've never struggled with PMT or bloating etc but I've heard good things about Evening Primrose.

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  16. Brilliant post - almost wish I had my periods back again so I could try it! Perhaps not.
    xx

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    1. Thank you Mum x ...be careful what you wish for!!!

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  17. Great post and so informative. I'll not be getting one, of those cups, as I'm so close to the end now. I had 6 months free last year and then they came back but much lighter and now hardly anything. I'm so looking forward to the freedom of no more periods. Carolx

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    1. Hey Carol, thank you xxx I long for freedom!

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  18. Great post, thanks for sharing...

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  19. Really informative post Rachel. Thankfully I'm over that part of my life now and have to say it happened with minimum fuss, just the same periods but closer together then further apart which would catch me unawares. I know a lot of people really struggle with exactly what you've described, flooding, sitting on newspapers etc so feel eternally grateful I didn't have to go through that.

    There's a diary on MSE and moon cups came up. I was surprised at how many younger ladies use them. For them it's convenience and also environmental. xx

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    1. It's amazing how once to do your research how many people actually use them! I'm such a hillbilly!!

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  20. Thanks Suzanne x for 'informative - you could say tmi!!! I can't help wondering not only about the environment but for girls in third world countries.

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  21. I don't regret my hysterectomy at 41. It was a relief, my uterus literally dropped out. Large babies and all that. I do not miss my monthlies at all.

    I have memories of buying scented pads once by mistake. Hive all along my inner thighs. I mean who makes scented pads!

    If you are passing large liverlike clots, you need to see a doctor.

    May you continue to have good luck with your cup and may it never run over.

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    1. Thank you! I will go see the doctor if it happens again x

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  22. Wow, what an interesting read. Thank you for your frankness. I think too many women suffer in silence out of embarrassment or shame. It is comforting knowing how others deal with this. Everything you wrote about mirrors my own experience. My mom went through the same thing, but our gynecologist recommended waiting for menopause. I'm done raising a family and want a better quality of life. The unpredictable and heavy periods are wearing on my nerves. Leaving the house always requires planning. I never leave the house without an "emergency" bag filled with a change of clothes, pads, tampons, cleaning wipes, trash bags, and small blanket/throw. I've cancelled or not attended events/vacations due to my periods. Not to mention how this affects my mood and my relationships. When something affects how you live your life on a daily basis on this level, then it's time for a change. Sadly, a Diva cup is not going to solve my menstrual issues. I welcome a hysterectomy.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I hope your hysterectomy happens sooner rather than later. Like I say it was only my first time. Who knows what will happen next time!

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