all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
So this month I have a DivaCup and a set of sea sponges to go along with my (new, longer, heavier-on-the-heavy-days but totally worth it) period. Like cloth pads, they're definitely not for folks who are squeamish about blood, and people who aren't really comfortable poking around inside their vaginas probably wouldn't want much to do with them either.

I think they rock.

The whole first three days of my period (which are now quite light, unlike my pre-IUD period, when the first couple of days were generally the heaviest), I only used the sponges. You can leave them in overnight and they are stupid comfortable. Last month this phase of my period was really irritating, because my flow was light enough that it was pads or nothing, which meant using a lot of pads, and even cloth pads aren't as comfortable as just underwear. This month, I wasn't bothered at all. The sponges don't leave you feeling dry from light flow in the way tampons do, and they're absorbent enough that I didn't feel the need for a backup pad. And did I mention comfortable? Inserting them is a little weird--you have to sort of squish them in a little--but other than that, they're pretty much unnoticable. When you'd usually change a tampon, you take the sponge out, rinse it, squeeze it out, and reinsert.

The past couple of days, as my flow has gotten heavier, I've added the DivaCup into the mix. I was a little more nervous about it, and it's a little more difficult to use, what with getting it inserted and opened up properly, but it's definitely a match for heavier days when a sponge would need a lot more rinsing and reinserting. The cup is a little more noticeable than the sponges, but no more so than a tampon. I'm not confident enough in my insertion skills yet to go without a backup pad, and I haven't slept with the cup in yet. On the other hand, I'm so taken with something I could leave in for more than a few hours on heavy days that I'm already looking at acquiring another cup. (Of a different brand--I'd like to try a slightly shorter cup [the Diva is the longest cup on the market, and it's just shy of being too long for me], and also one that doesn't have little grippy ridges on the base, which I'm finding can be a bit irritating to sensitive bits.)

Both methods both have their gory moments--you can choose rinsing out a bloody sponge or dumping out the undiluted blood from a cup--so they're not for the faint of heart, and there is a certain element of "stick your fingers in there and fish it out" to removal for both. I think the Diva is a little less icky in terms of contact with blood, so if you're interested in trying some kind of reusable internal device but getting blood all over your hand (for example) squicks you out, go for a menstrual cup. The blood should all be contained inside the cup when you remove it--just dump it out, give the cup a rinse, and get on with your day!

(And seriously, if you can bring yourself to try it and have the funds, go for it. You don't even realise how much tampons dry you out until you use something else. My bits are so much happier!)

PS: Neither of them has given me any trouble with my IUD/strings thus far, just in case anybody else out there with an IUD is considering giving sponges or a menstrual cup a try.

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all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
all strange wonders

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