March is Endometriosis Awareness Month!

Illustration of yellow ribbon for EndometriosisMarch is known for many things; daylight savings, first day of spring, change in wardrobe and spring cleaning.

For those of us who work in menstrual health, March is also recognized as a month that promotes advocacy and awareness of endometriosis. Throughout March you may see women (and men) sporting yellow ribbons or public campaigns that include flashes of yellow. While all of these are important, like many other diseases, it’s equally important that we draw awareness to endometriosis all year long.

Often a silent disease, endometriosis affects one in ten women of childbearing age in the United States, and 176 million women worldwide. As a menstrual related disease, endometriosis occurs when the endometrium, the tissue that lines the uterus and is shed every month during menses, grows outside of the uterus on other organs or structures in the body. Because of its location, outside of the uterus, this growth is not shed during menses and symptoms can range from painful menstrual cramps to incapacitating abdominal and pelvic pain and infertility.

Diva International Inc. is committed to helping to draw awareness and further advance research for all women living with endometriosis. Over the last two years, we have offered support and partnered with organizations like the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) and The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research because we believe that by working together, a cure can be found.

PrintIn 2014, Diva International Inc. committed to provide menstrual cups for the Feinstein’s ROSE Study (Research OutSmarts Endometriosis) in an effort to help advance the care and knowledge of endometriosis. Over the  next five years (and beyond), the goal of the ROSE study, which has received funding from the Endometriosis Foundation of America (an organization co-founded by Dr. Tamer Seckin and Padma Lakshmi) is to investigate the cause of endometriosis and bring improved diagnostics and treatments for women living with the disease. One element of the study includes asking participants to provide a sample of menstrual flow through the use of The DivaCup. The DivaCup easily collects flow, is super comfortable and if women choose, can be used as their preferred femcare option after they’ve submitted the sample.

There are many ways the Diva Community can help with endometriosis awareness. We’ve listed a few ideas below, but also want to hear from you! What are you doing this March to help advocate for endometriosis awareness?

Enroll in ROSE:  The ROSE study is actively looking for participants. Women both living with and living without endometriosis in both Canada and the United States can participate in the ROSE study to help find answers for those who are suffering. Learn more here.

Draw Awareness:  Wear a yellow ribbon and distribute information brochures to start the conversation.

Educate:  Healthcare providers and educators play a key role in diagnosis. Teaching patients and students about the symptoms of endometriosis helps ensure early diagnosis and support. Educating young girls that “killer cramps are not normal” is at the forefront of mission behind the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA). You can help EFA in their educational efforts by downloading and sharing their resources or by giving a gift to their Paint the Town Yellow campaign. The Diva Team was especially excited to see a feature article by Endometriosis Foundation of America co-founder, Padma Lakshmi in the March 23, 2015 issue of People!

Be SupportiveL  Women living with endometriosis, live with the symptoms year round. Many struggle with infertility, cramps so painful they miss school or work as well as a host of other issues. Simply asking about the disease or if there is anything you can do to help goes a long way.

*** If you or someone you know experiences painful periods it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider to ensure early detection and support. This guest post by the Endometriosis Foundation of America provides more details about the disease and links to resources and support. 

 

Diary of a Diva: On being a Diva in the Yukon!

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
Robert Service

Hey! My name is Veronica and I am a 21 year old who was born and raised in Yukon, Canada. The Yukon is an amazing place to live if you love mountain biking, hiking, camping, music festivals, wildlife, mountains and vistas that take your breath away.

VH.1.revisedI love the summer! Every day is a new adventure; I don’t have to worry about school and the sun barely sets, which means I can read in my tent at midnight without a headlamp! I am a busy bee during these precious months, and The DivaCup helps me do all the things I love!

I have always been uncomfortable talking about menstruation. Even though I have almost completed my Biology degree, talking about cramps, cravings or synchronizing cycles is something I try to avoid. I despise pads because they feel like diapers and at the end of my cycle, my crotch would feel dried out and irritated. Tampons were a better option but leakage was a major issue. There really was no happy medium, and I quickly became worried about how much waste I was creating and what I was putting in and near my body.

In my greenhorn year of university I discovered a miracle worker, The DivaCup.

This product has answered my prayers in so many ways! The DivaCup is so easy-to-use, can be left in longer than tampons, is reusable and makes my vagina and me happy! I still cannot get over how I haven’t experienced any leaks with The DivaCup. When using The DivaCup I can still do all of my favorite things like rock climbing, mountain biking and running. So when my summer job had me working in the remote wilderness taking care of high school or elementary school children for up to 12 days at a time, I wasn’t worried!

Using The DivaCup in the wilderness is easier than you would think! All it requires is some extra toilet paper and a water bottle. The best part is you’re not creating any waste so you don’t have anything to pack out! Now when I talk about menstruation I become excited to share with other women and teenagers about the power of The DivaCup and how you don’t have to change your lifestyle around your period. I am confident that no matter what things I do in life, my DivaCup will be there to make sure I don’t miss out on the things that make me love the Yukon.

VH.2.revisedVeronica Huggard
Veronica was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. She is an cctive outdoor enthusiast and loves mountain biking, running, rock climbing and cross country skiing. This past summer, her work focused on leading Yukon youth to various locations of the Yukon where conservation based works that connects people from around the territory while teaching biology, teamwork and leadership. She is also currently pursuing a Biology Undergraduate Degree.

 

 

Why we need to remember International Women’s Day

IWD Banner-FBYou may have seen something online, in-store or heard a promo on the radio for International Women’s Day.

If so, you may be wondering: Why have a day for women?

Since the early 1900s nations around the world have recognized the need to set aside a day each year (or a few days) to draw attention to women’s achievements, past struggles and to look ahead to a better future for all. The world needs a day like International Women’s Day because we often forget that still today many women do not have access to fundamental rights.

In 1975 International Women’s Year was celebrated and within this same year, the United Nations designated March 8th as the official International Women’s Day. 40 years later we continue to press on, challenging the division that continues to exist, the prejudice that so often goes unnoticed and the day-to-day struggles women in all walks of life face.

At the same time, International Women’s Day acts as a good reminder of how strong women are as well as how much we have and can accomplish. The day is not just about hardship and overcoming barriers, it’s about celebrating the many accomplishments made by women or made on behalf of women.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day proposed by the UN is:

Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!.

 

Picture it!

Simply put, start with a vision for your life or for the women in your life and work towards making that vision a reality.

International Women's Day BlogWhy do this? Because it is important to be reminded that many women do not have access to the most basic necessities in life, including period care. It is also equally important to be reminded that many of these same women do not have access to fundamental rights, clean water, food, shelter or education.

Throughout the years here at Diva International, our focus as a company has always been to empower women with a better period care experience. Besides our product, The DivaCup ,offering 12 hours of leak-free protection, being easy to use and saving women money; it really does make being a woman easier!

However, in the early years of our business we quickly realized that unfortunately not all women have access to period care, even within North America. Each year we dedicate a portion of our time, resources and finances to support organizations like Femme International, Because I am a Girl, Sustainable Health Enterprises, One4Her as well as local women’s shelters and residences that are offering women a safe place to reside. We do this because it ensures we remember, as a team, that all women deserve to be treated equally.

In addition to supporting these incredible organizations, Diva International uses our influential reach online and through social media to educate our Diva fans about events like International Women’s Day, Day of the Girl and Menstrual Hygiene Day. These days set the stage for amazing projects within women’s reproductive health to be heard, initiated and implement in regions around our world.

Together we can make a difference; we can work towards answering the call the United Nations has presented the world with:

This is the time to uphold women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and focus greater attention on women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part.

I want to challenge all our Divas around the world to make a difference in the life of a woman, not only on March 8th, but every day. It matters to us. It matters to her. It matters to her community…  and it matters to the world.

 

Francine-Signature