Diva Cup Review

On January 29th, 2014, posted in: Menstruation by

*The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of Family Tree Clinic.

By: Kathleen

Sick and tired of changing your tampon every few hours, feeling a waterfall between your legs when you stand up, or the constant worry of leaks? So was I, until I tried the Diva Cup.

What is the 4-1-1: The Diva Cup is a silicone cup that you fold and insert into your vagina. Once it’s in there it will open. The key is to make sure the cup has fully opened by spinning the cup. No need to worry about overflow, the cup holds 1oz of fluid and most cycles release 1-1.4oz total. Removing the cup takes getting used to. You must break the suction seal, I pinch it in on the sides, and it slide out easily.

The Diva Cup is:

Economic: At roughly $40 the cup can seem expensive but in the long run you save a TON not continuously buying tampons, pads, and liners. Plus, It will last you a few years.

Environmental: The average person disposes of between 10,000 and 15,000 tampons, pads and applicators in their lifetime. I like to keep my waste to a minimum, and this seemed like an easy and affordable change.

Safe: The Diva Cup is made of natural, un-pigmented silicone which contours to your body and doesn’t contain any nasty toxic business.

Easy: This product can be worn for up to 12 hours! I don’t feel it at all after insertion, it warms up with your internal body temperature and molds for a perfect fit (cool!). It will not get stuck or break off (I’m looking at you tampon string!). Plus, when inserted correctly, the Diva Cup does not leak. EVER.

What I didn’t expect:  I am more in touch with my cycle which has been an empowering experience.  Bonus: I find it easier to speak with my health care professionals about birth control or other questions concerning my sexual health because I’m more in touch with what’s going on with my body.

Size:

               MODEL 1:  UNDER 30 Years old and never delivered a baby

               MODEL 2: OVER 30 OR Delivered a baby vaginally or by C-section.

Cons: I have been using this product for almost two years now, and these are some of the tricky parts.

  1. It took a little experimenting to get used to inserting the cup.

  2. It can be frustrating to make sure the cup is fully opened in the vagina.

  3. Public bathrooms….This is probably the biggest drawback, because a sink isn’t available in the stall (for rinsing purposes). In my experience, this hasn’t been a huge concern because you can keep the cup in for so long and it holds so much that there is rarely an emergency to change it. Plus, if access to rinsing isn’t possible, you can always empty the contents and reinsert to be washed later!

  4. If you use this product while you use a NuvaRing, you could dislodge it when you pull out the cup. However, as NuvaRing users knows, if the ring is removed or dislodged it can easily be reinserted.

Where do I find one: The diva cup website has a great locator tool to help you find nearby stores that stock this product, or you can find plenty of online retailers that can ship the cup directly to you. There are often online deals and sales too.

There are a multitude of cup type menstrual products out there, find the right one for your body and you won’t be sorry!

Calmidia? … Klamidyan? … Chlamida?

On January 28th, 2014, posted in: STIs by

*The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of Family Tree Clinic.

By: Meg

Why did they pick such a difficult name to spell???*

I’m guessing that, even if you might not be able to spell it correctly, you know that chlamydia is a pretty significant sexually transmitted infection (STI). Actually, chlamydia is the most common reportable STI in the US, causing 1,412,791 documented cases in 2011. And because the disease often doesn’t cause any symptoms, it’s estimated that many more people are infected and don’t know it.

Chlamydia is spread from person to person during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, and an infected pregnant woman can transmit it to her baby during the birth process.  Currently, the infection is most prevalent among adolescents and young adults.

Symptoms:

The symptoms above are signs that someone may be infected with chlamydia. But like I said, chlamydia infections often come with no symptoms, so it’s a good idea to get tested if you think you may have been exposed.  Testing is easily done through a urine test and infections are easily treated and cured with antibiotics.

Safe sex practices like barrier methods are great ways to prevent transmission of chlamydia, as well as other STIs.  For more information about chlamydia, check out the Center for Disease Control & Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health. If you’re interested in getting tested, call Family Tree Clinic to set up an appointment!

*Chlamydia comes from chlamys, a Greek word for cloak. During infection, the chlamydia cell drapes across the infected cell – just like the Greek cloak!

 *The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of Family Tree Clinic.

By: Kathleen

So you like to go downtown…..and I mean DOWNtown. And that’s cool, oral sex is a wonderful thing. I am here to provide you with the information you need so that next time you make it from one end of your partner to the other, you have all the fun and none of the infections. Before we begin, Herpes is a very common, manageable virus that impacts a large portion of the population. So this is important business!

Step One: What is going on down there? The Herpes virus that enjoys chilling in the genital (this includes anal) region is called HSV-2. While HSV-1 can also cause genital sores, HSV-2 is the most common culprit.

If you have contracted this virus, it is not curable, but it is also very manageable.Typically, the longer you have Herpes the shorter the outbreaks are and the more time you’ll have in between each one.

Symptoms can include-tingling, itching/burning blisters that pop and crust over

Episodes of these symptoms normally arise when your immune system is weak. So things like: emotional and physical stress, poor sleep or nutrition can be triggers for an outbreak of sores. Symptoms usually subside within 12 days but sometimes they linger for longer.

Step Two: What is happening with these cold sores on my mouth? Is that Herpes?

Yes- the Herpes virus that likes to chill up near your mouth is called HSV-1 (again, HSV-2 can cause oral sores, but they are most commonly caused by HSV-1). This strain of the virus acts under exactly the same principles as the one in the genital region. The only difference is that it likes living up near your kisser!

Step Three: Can I get Herpes on my genitals from someone with a cold sore? YES! And you can also get cold sores from performing oral sex on a partner with HSV-2, genital herpes. This type of transmission is less common, but still possible.  HSV-2 likes the genitals better and HSV-1 likes the mouth better, but it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be shared. It is most commonly transmitted through direct skin to skin contact with a sore when a sore is present, but it is possible (but rare) to spread the virus when the sores are not present. Which means, it is crucial to communicate with your partner(s) about what is going on with your body, and take the necessary precautions.

How does Herpes move? Herpes is passed through touch and direct skin to skin contact with the sore. Barriers like condoms and dental dams reduce the amount of contact and are a good way to help prevent transmission.

How do I know if I have Herpes? If you’re having what you think is an outbreak on either your mouth or genitals, a doctor can tell you what’s going on. If you don’t have an outbreak but want to be tested, ask for a blood test; this can tell you whether you have HSV-1 or HSV-2 and you can plan your sexy time accordingly! If you do have Herpes, antiviral medications can help reduce the intensity of the breakouts.

Take Away Message: Herpes is extremely common and still complex and confusing. It is important to take precautions, but also to remember that if you are not having outbreaks, the likelihood of transmitting the virus is pretty low.  There is a lot of stigma about herpes, but remembering that it is common, manageable, and has no long term health implications is super important as you embark in any sexual relationship.

 

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