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.
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