Starting this upcoming week, Paleo for Women is going to be embarking on Birth Control Week! Which will likely in fact last more than one week. Or one month. Did you know there are nearly two dozen different types of birth control?!
And we shall be talking about all of them!
September will be the month of Your Sex Life, Your Pleasure, Your Method. I want to help you find the most empowering, most healthful, and most delightful birth control method for you. This should be more than a bit of a blast.
In addition to the posts in this series, be sure to check out the book I wrote on the subject. Birth Control Unlocked: Your Body, Your Options, Your Guide is available here.
Following this will be explorations of menopause and conception and pregnancy and breastfeeding, Oh. My.
Beforehand, I would like to “kick off” the birth control series by introducing and advocating to you the wonders of The Diva Cup, which is a an alternative to pads and tampons. Each of these methods have their own pluses and minuses, but in my opinion, the Diva Cup’s pros sometimes appear lifesaving and far outweigh it’s cons.
The Diva Cup is a small, bendy 1 oz. cup that you insert into your vagina to capture blood flow. It is uniquely designed to suction to the walls of your vagina, so 100 percent of the time it is inserted correctly it does not leak. Most women do not shed more than 4 oz of blood per menstrual cycle, so the cup does not need to be emptied all that often– for some women just at morning and at night.
To insert the cup, simply fold it in half (like so), wiggle it up there, and rotate it once or twice in order for the suction to take hold. If you tug on the bottom afterwards and it doesn’t move easily, then it’s suctioned.
To remove, really get your fingers up there, disrupt the suction around the sides, and pull out (keeping the cup vertical!).
Pull out the cup when you go to the bathroom, pour the blood out into a toilet or sink, and re-insert. Over time, you can probably learn how heavy your flow is at different times of your period, and learn how to time your Diva-emptying for optimal cleanliness.
For women starting out on the Diva Cup, it might be wise to also wear pads while you get used to how the cup works. It takes a time or two, for example, before learning the difference between suction against the vaginal walls and just plain hanging out in there.
Moreover, I think most women on their first month of the Diva Cup go through an interesting and hopefully hilarious learning experience. I had more than one episode in a college library being stuck in a bathroom stall for fifteen minutes while yanking vociferously on that damned suctioned cup that just won’t budge, for example.
Step number one with the Diva Cup is don’t. panic.
But trust me, it comes out, always. We just all need to learn the shape of our vaginas and how to navigate them with the Diva Cup.
Diva Cup Cons
-It requires being intimate with your vagina and cervix, something that some women just aren’t ready for.
-It can be interesting navigating public bathrooms.
-You can totally get blood all over your hands from time to time.
-You can totally get blood all over the bathroom if you’re a bit of a doofus about it, ie, pulling the cup out sideways. Plus it’s just hilarious– life goes that way sometimes.
-The suction can make it tough to pull out once in a while, but gets easier and easier with practice. (Read: don’t give up!)
Diva Cup Pros
-It’s environmentally friendly (no waste!)
-And therefore is perfectly suited for camping
-It’s biologically safe (the company sells a special soap if you’re interested)
-It’s way cheaper in the long run (only 35 dollars up front… 3-6 months worth of other methods)
-It’s comfortable (and in my experience, completely undetectable once inserted)
-It’s hassle-free (once you get the hang of it)
-You don’t have to carry tampons or pads around with you
-You can sleep with it in
-You may spot a bit at the beginning as you learn the Diva Cup, but later will almost never leak
-So therefore it’s great for athletics
-There’s no string or bulkiness, so the Diva Cup makes bikinis and lingerie worry-free
–The Diva Cup sits high up against the cervix, so vaginal lubrication can still come through the vagina
–You can still have pleasurable and blood-free oral and manual sex!
In all cases, I recommend trying it. No harm, right?
The reason personally that I love it so much is that it is empowering. More freedom, less fear of spotting and/or needing to change things. More benefits for the environment and your pocket. More intimacy with your own body. More pleasure. More sex. Huzzah! More life.
Have experiences, positive, negative, hilarious, mortifying, with the Diva Cup? Share in the comments! Would be an honor to hear them.