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Do We Do the Diva Cup?!?

Do We Do the Diva Cup?!?

The famed Diva Cup is the best known in a variety of menstrual cups on the market designed and marketed as a financially and environmentally friendly alternative to disposable feminine hygiene products.  It touts an impressive 4.5 stars as reviewed on Amazon–averaging the opinion of over 2000 users; and the math has come in very clearly and repeatably that even at it’s $40 price tag it beats tampons and pads in our check books every time.

However, CUC, one of the almost 100 negative reviewers on Amazon warns, “doesn’t work for everyone, apparently,” and Alex Logan wrote an entertaining and informative piece called, “An Ode Of Hatred To My Diva Cup,” where she describes in graphic and animated detail her every qualm with the product, which involves seven points from the high price tag, to the gory consequences of dropping the menstrual product on the floor, to finally the cup being lost to the auto-flush gods of public bathrooms.

These unfortunate women have a point–don’t we as consumers deserve to be educated on all of our options before committing to one because it’s most accessible?  That is really the only asset the Diva Cup has over it’s competition.  It’s sold in health food stores, it’s just as easy to buy on an impulse as a chocolate bar or magazine on our monthly or weekly trip to Whole-foods.  A quick search on Amazon or Google of the term, “menstrual cup” will show the variety of other options, all touting an impressive user rating–even our normal everyday tampons rock 4+ starts!

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Some points to consider as you evaluate your options:

1. Are you ready for a thorough knowledge of your lady flower?

Getting intimate with one’s body isn’t for everyone.  Some people are really comfortable with tampons because they come with applicators and then offer a dangly string for extraction.  No such luck with the Diva Cup.  Part of the instructions involve holding the cup that is inside of you with your fingers and rotating it to ensure proper placement.  For those of us who aren’t comfortable with digging around our lady parts but are still committed to the environment, there are also reusable sanitary pads on the market, such as GladRags or New Moon Pads (there are way more than that, these were just a few of the first that popped up upon searching).

2. Location, location, location.

Cleaning a reusable device designed to collect blood can be a scary scene, literally.  Since switching to menstrual cups, I am constantly surprised at the view in the toilet bowl as I dump my monthly’s contents for cleaning.  Another legitimate concern is the use of public bathrooms, if the instructions say to rinse the cup every time you take it out, how comfortable will you be taking it to that public sink at work?

3. What happens beyond the bathroom?

With the adventurous new trend of spending our days off and away from the convenience of flushing toilets and sinks, for example, going camping or for the extremely extreme, backpacking.  The Diva Cup seems unable to stand the test of the our outdoorsy women who do not have access to more than a bottle of hand sanitizer and a facial tissue.

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4. User friendliness.

Ease of use is the concern that comes up most often while doing research.  To insert a menstrual cup, you have to fold it into a little origami pellet and let it open inside the vaginal canal where it can sit under the cervix.  Depending on your anatomy, some cups may be easier to use than others.  The Diva Cup has complicated instructions (as noted above, a woman would be expected to fold it up, place it, then go in and rotate it for proper placement, every time).

5. What is our period protection made of?

One of the concerns women have with tampons is the drying effect, and this is the reason they switch to a cup.  However, flexibility of the silicone used to make the alternative plays a big role in how easy that product will be to use.  The Diva Cup is notoriously pretty firm and inflexible, other products on the market such as the Lunette are said to be much more flexible which eases insertion and tends to be more comfortable.

6. What about when the cup is full?

Then there is the ease of taking the cup out.  The Diva Cup has a tiny hollow stem to assist with pulling it out of the vagina–again, a very intimate process, it may be easier to bear down and engage my abdominal muscles and then grab the cup itself instead of pulling by the stem.  Most, if not all of the other cup products on the market have a longer and differently designed stem to assist with taking them out.

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7. Did they say 12 hours between empties?

A majority of menstrual cups, including the Diva Cup, state that they can be left in place for up to 12 hours without changing, this is because they hold up to or around 30 ml or an oz of fluid where tampons, depending on the size, even Supers can only handle up to about half of that!  So if you tend to have pretty heavy periods and are changing your tampons every 2-3 hrs, you can expect that you’ll need to clean out the cup every 4 to 6 on those heavy days.  That’s right, that 12 hour promise is pretty well known to be inaccurate for many users, anyone who is new to the Diva Cup will want to empty it more frequently on their heavy days (especially at special occasions)!

8. How discreet can a menstrual cup be?

The Diva Cup comes with a purple Diva pouch to carry it around in when you are expecting to start your flow.  That’s right, a bright purple pouch which has the words Diva Cup all over it, imagine taking that out of your purse at the gym, or the bar, or the dinner date when that monthly visitor comes a’knockin’.  Quick mention of the genius design of the Lily cup compact, which collapses into a small disc and comes with a carrying case but still offers the environmental and financial benefits of using a menstrual cup!

9. Comfort.

Despite the company’s claim that the silicone softens in the warmth of the female body, it has been found that due to its inelastic nature, the Diva Cup has inspired more than a few complaints about feeling it on the inside or like something is not in place, or irritation from the stem, the list goes on.  Women all have their individual anatomy and each vagina may prefer a softer material or a larger or smaller diameter of cup.

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All of that said, the Diva Cup does work well for a lot of women.  The take away point being that just because it is the only alternative to disposable products that we have heard of, and the most popular, does not make it the best of these products.  If you are in the market for a replacement to those pesky pads or tampons, do some research and find a product that will work for you and your lovely lady flower!

Featured photo credit: Menstruationstasse (DivaCup) mit Stoffbeutel via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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