Perfect Holiday Break Activities for Campus Divas!

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It is finally that time of the semester! Your stressful exams are over (or very close to being over) and you get the chance to go home for a couple weeks and relax.

Perfect Holiday Break Activities for Campus Divas! | The DivaCup BlogIf you are anything like me, you are going to get home and nap for a week straight. And, if you are anything like me, you will regret it! You finally have time to do things you want to do, don’t waste all of it napping. Admittedly, relaxing is important to regenerating after a crazy semester, but make sure you try some of these fun holiday activities between naps!

Play in the snow. If you live somewhere where the weather is cold and snow covers the ground, I can understand your hesitation. Sometime snow sucks. But not on your holiday break. Get outside. Go skiing or sledding with friends. Visit a skating rink or play pond hockey. Build a snowman or start a snow fight. You will feel like a kid again and if kids know anything, it is how to have fun.

Movies and baking with your best friends. When you finally get a chance to spend some time at home make sure you catch up with your friends! Even if you go to the same school, chances are that during exams you probably didn’t see much of each other. So bake some sugar cookies, decorate them in icing snowflakes and watch your favorite holiday movie together.

Get crafty. One of my favorite things to doiStock_000026693069_Small is find an awesome holiday craft to do and invite my best friends over for a craft night. Last year we did Sharpie mugs and painted quotes and pictures on canvases. It was so much fun and was totally calming.

Pamper yourself.

I would be amiss not to mention the easiest way to enjoy your holiday break: pampering yourself. Give yourself a fancy snowflake pedicure or soak in a soothing bath with a face mask. Whatever way you choose to do it, go for it! After the stress of the last semester, you could use a little TLC.

The single most important thing to remember is that no matter what you choose to do, enjoy it! Next semester will be here before you know it and you don’t want to be wishing you had spent more time doing things you wanted to do.

Until next time,

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Seasons Greetings from the Diva Team!

Where has the time gone? The malls are getting busier, seasonal music is playing and our 12 Days of Diva holiday giveaway is now in full swing on our Facebook page! (Have you entered yet?!) The 2015 holiday season has quickly arrived and it feels like only yesterday we were wishing our Divas happy holidays for 2014.

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For many of us, the holidays can be a busy time. From endless parties to late night shopping, there is usually no time for interruptions — even for your period! That is why The DivaCup is your go-to accessory for your period. Not only can The DivaCup leave you feeling free and eliminate frequent bathroom breaks, but it can also be used as a great holiday gift! Spread the word this holiday season and empower the women in your life to have a happier and easier period experience!

As for the Diva Team, we couldn’t be happier with the outcome of 2015! This year brought Diva International Inc. to an all-time high and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Diva Community. With your help we achieved many milestones and the growth of The DivaCup and Diva International Inc. has been phenomenal!

I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our favorite moments from 2015! Diva International Inc. partnered with a number of highly recognized organizations including: The Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR) and Women’s Voices for the Earth. We welcomed new retailers including: CVS and Target (great places to find The DivaCup for your holiday gift exchange). Our Facebook page reached over 40,000 Likes and we also launched The DivaCup Instagram page as well as added a number of engaging videos to our YouTube channel.

We could not have done this without you! Thank you to our Divas for your passion and commitment to The DivaCup! We cannot wait to see what 2016 will bring!

From our family to yours…

Have a safe and happy holiday!

 

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{Guest Post} Meet Lammily!

Struggling with gift ideas for the young girls in your life?!  Lammily is here to help… literally. The doll known as ‘Normal Barbie’ not only reflects a doll but also an educational resource for parentsLammily Doll and young girls! The Diva Team had the opportunity to talk to the founder of Lammily, Nickolay Lamm, about his vision behind the creation of the doll. Below are a few of his thoughts and hopes for the future of period care and toys!

I built Lammily on a foundation of being true to oneself in a world that pressures the younger generations to conform to standards. I had a vision of promoting healthy lifestyles by creating interactive resources that can be used to guide young girls in becoming strong, confident women who are proud of their bodies.

With the help of her accessories, Lammily explores the realities of life for young girls. Her newest accessory, “Period Party”, promotes positive period conversations. My idea behind the menstrual accessory was to increase the awareness of menstrual health and period talk and decrease the stigma surrounding menstruation.

Lammily DollMenstruation is still a taboo topic in our society. More than that – it’s sometimes still used as an insult.

Something as core to a women’s life and health as menstruation should not be seen as embarrassing in any way, shape, or form. If it weren’t for menstruation, I wouldn’t even be alive right now! So why not celebrate it? Why not make it as accepted as any other bodily function?

I’ve read horror stories of young girls thinking that they were dying during their first period. Parents are wary of approaching this subject. So I feel Lammily’s “Period Party” can introduce kids to menstruation in a very fun and disarming way, and give parents a very useful tool. What can be more disarming than a doll having menstruation?

There have been many mixed conversations when introducing parents to the doll. Some parents think that something like this should only be between parents and their daughters, and that a doll shouldn’t replace that. Others appreciate having the doll as a way to introduce the conversation. Rather than replacing the “first period” conversation, Lammily was designed as a fun tool to assist in the conversation.

In the future, I hope Lammily and her Period Party accessories can help bring menstruation one step closer to not being a taboo subject. I hope that Lammily not only promotes a positive body image, but also assists in the education surrounding menstruation.

Interested in learning more about Lammily and her interactive accessories? Visit lammily.com for information, shopping and the “must see” video, “Da Period Talk”.

Nickolay Nickolay Lamm
Nickolay Lamm is a full-time artist and researcher who has been building a successful career through design content on the Internet. His work has appeared in publications such as CNN, BBC, CBS, Time, Buzzfeed and many more!

3 Perfect Holiday Gift Baskets for the Diva in your Life!

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It is finally that time of year again! If you are someone like me, then you have been preparing for the holiday season since Halloween but there is just one problem: I am a broke student.

Shopping for holiday gifts is something I truly enjoy because there is nothing quite like finding the perfect gift to surprise your loved ones with. But if you are a college student, or a post-grad, money can be in short supply and some of those perfect gifts might not be within budget.

Well I’ve got you covered. Try any of these three Holiday Gift Baskets for the Divas in your life, and even mix and match to make the perfect gift! I guarantee they will be a hit and you won’t have to bust the bank to make someone you love happy.3 Perfect Holiday Gift Baskets | The DivaCup Blog

The Pampered Period Gift Basket. Maybe you know of someone who has a particularly hard time with their period or might even have just started theirs. Either way, this makes a great gift for those Divas who need a little extra care around their period.

The DivaCup and DivaWash. The DivaCup has totally changed my life and giving the gift of a hassle-free period is totally thoughtful. The DivaWash is a great cleanser for The DivaCup, but also makes a really nice non-drying body wash for that drying winter weather!

Cute hot water bottle. There are tons of hot water bottle covers that feature warm, fuzzy animals or comforting knit. Not only will it make the hot water bottle easier to hold, it will transform it into the ultimate cuddling partner!

Hot chocolate. Many girls crave chocolate during their periods and what is more festive than hot chocolate?! Put a can of it in the basket and include a cute mug!

The Twinkle Toes Gift Basket. Know someone who could use a little pampering? I certainly do! And there is nothing better than a great pedicure, especially in the comfort of your own home! Try this gift basket for a Diva in your life; it’ll sweep them off their feet!

DIY peppermint foot scrub. Add some brown sugar, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil together in a cute jar for a tingling, refreshing scrub that will reveal smooth, soft feet!

Fuzzy socks. To extend the life of a pedicure, fuzzy socks or slippers are the way to go! Plus, they are really comfy and warm to wear during those cold winter nights by the fire.

Nail polish. What is a pedicure without a nice nail polish? Include one in your gift basket as a final touch.

The Holiday Cheer Gift Basket. Maybe you are looking for a more generic gift or maybe your Diva happens to love the holidays (ahem…guilty), either way, this gift basket will certainly bring her joy!

Sugar cookies. Decorate some delicious sugar cookies with Christmas trees and ornaments and snowflakes, oh my! Find a holiday cookie tin and fill it up with these yummy treats.

Mittens and a hat. You can never go wrong with adorable mittens and a warm hat, especially when the snow starts rolling in.

Winter candle. Nothing screams holidays like a holiday scented candle. There are so many to choose from so finding one should be easy (buying just one is the hard part!)

What are some of the gifts you are giving the Divas in your life this holiday season? Share them with us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook! You can never have too many ideas.

Until next time,

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Okay, so I bought The DivaCup… now what?!

Congratulations on making the switch to The DivaCup!

You proudly walked out of that store with your new cup in hand, head held high, excited for your period to arrive. Or you quickly stuffed the box into your bag and scurried out hoping no one saw you.

Whichever experience you had with purchasing The DivaCup, congratulations!

Tomorrow when your period is due to arrive, you will open up that shiny new package, take out The DivaCup and experience immediate period bliss… that is the hope anyway.

The truth is for many first time users, finding success with The DivaCup can take a few days, or even a few cycles and that is really okay. In fact, it is more common than you think. Unlike tampons, The DivaCup is inserted differently and makes you get up close and personal with your vaginal health.

We spent some time chatting with our Consumer Care Team (who are menstrual cup gurus) to find out what advice they’d offer to first time users. They gave us lots to draw from and we’ve put it all together for you below.

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Read the User Guide!

First things first, read the User Guide. While you may be able to get away with putting together your new closet organizer without reading the instruction manual, The DivaCup’s User Guide is one you do not want to ignore. Plus, your vagina deserves the best and the best is what The DivaCup can give it. The User Guide not only explains how to insert, rotate and remove The DivaCup, but also gives lots of assurance for first time users.

Before trying The DivaCup, be sure to thoroughly wash the cup (and your hands) with warm water and the DivaWash or a mild, unscented, oil-free soap. If you have longer nails, be sure to clean them well and trim them back a bit.

Use only during Menstruation!

Many of our Divas are so excited to try the cup that they decide to try it while not on their cycle. This is a bad idea for many reasons. The cup is regulated for use only during menstruation, meaning a key element of success is menstrual flow. If you find yourself saying, “What’s the harm in practicing beforehand?”, stop! If the cup is inserted when not menstruating, the vaginal canal is often less lubricated and the cup will not glide in as easy (and will be quite uncomfortable). The cup will also not open as easily which can lead to difficulty with removal and an overall unpleasant experience.

Relax! No really, relax!

You may be wondering what people mean when they say, “Relax your pelvic floor!”. Enter a pelvic health physiotherapist. A pelvic health physiotherapist will not only show you how to relax your pelvic floor, but also teach you how much your pelvic floor muscles matter to the rest of your anatomical make up.

For many first time users, inserting The DivaCup can be tough, because it is different, and much bigger than a tampon. Add tense muscles to the mix and insertion can take on a whole new meaning. With tense muscles, insertion will be uncomfortable and the cup will most likely not open or be placed at the right angle. The reason being, the vaginal muscles are what hold the cup in place. While they are designed to naturally expand and contract, if you are nervous or stressed while inserting the cup, your muscles will react with intensity.

So how does one exactly rest the pelvic floor?

To relax the pelvic floor, take a deep breath in, breathe out and consciously envision releasing the pelvic floor muscles (similar to the feeling you have after having to pee and finally being able to). You can also try imagining that your vaginal muscles are holding a ball and releasing the ball as you exhale with your breath. Your deep breath should be felt deep within your belly, not just in your lungs.

Angle really is everything!

The instructions note to insert the cup horizontally, but what does that even mean?

Unlike a tampon, which is inserted upwards, the cup is inserted horizontally, toward your tailbone. Think of it this way, take your cup and place it on its side on a flat surface (such as a chair). Slide the cup back towards the back of the chair – this is a horizontal motion.

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When you are inserting, pay close attention to your wrist on the hand that is holding the cup. Be sure that as you insert, you are not twisting your wrist upwards, but rather that it is staying straight. If you are turning your wrist as you insert, the cup is most likely also being inserting upwards, rather than horizontally. We would also recommend trying our “Push Down” fold option as this should help the cup glide in easier, open up and allow you to better position the cup at the opening. When you insert the cup horizontally, you should feel it slide into place at the base of the canal and open up. If you find the cup is moving up the canal, it is most likely not fully open. Standing with one leg up on the tub may also help to relax the muscles.

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Avoid lube.

Although it may make sense, we do not recommend using any lubricant with The DivaCup as it may compromise the integrity of the silicone and the vaginal environment. As The DivaCup sits in place for 12 hours at a time, if lubricant is used to insert the cup, the lubricant will also sit in the canal for the same time and may irritate the canal. We recommend using only warm water as this can help warm the cup. Warm water, combined with the lubrication of the menstrual fluid, should help the cup slide in easier.

Rotation: a mandatory, not optional step.

Some may wonder why we instruct that the cup be rotated a full 360 degrees. The reason really is to ensure the seal is in place. Although you may feel The DivaCup open as you insert it, it does not necessarily mean that it is open all the way. Oftentimes it may feel as if the cup is open, but after feeling around the cup, there is still a part of it that is folded in. Once inserted, try sliding your finger along the outside of the cup and your vaginal wall, pressing gently on the sides of the cup, this should open the cup fully, creating the seal and will make rotation easier.

If the cup is not fully open, the cup can move up during wear which can lead to difficulty with removal.

Removal!

Because the vaginal canal is only about 3-4 inches long, The DivaCup will not get lost inside of you. If the cup was not angled correctly, fully open at the base of the vaginal canal, this may lead to removal taking a bit longer than a few seconds. When positioned properly, the stem should sit about a half inch in the canal, with the labia covering the stem.

Similar to insertion, the key to success with removal is to relax your muscles. Because the muscles hold the cup in place, having tense muscles will not loosen the cup for removal. Once relaxed, a trick that often helps is to stand with one leg up on the tub. The reason this position is helpful is that it aligns your body in the same horizontal position you were in to insert the cup. Sitting on the toilet and squatting are also good options, but they can add extra stress to the pelvis.

After taking a few deep breaths, bear down with your abdominal/pelvic muscles (as if you are having a bowel movement) and gently insert your thumb and index finger into your vagina until you can reach the stem. If you cannot reach the stem right away, continue to take some deep breaths and bear down. We recommend five deep breaths in between each time you bear down. A hot shower or bath or taking a walk can also help to relax the muscles.

Once you can reach the stem, gently pull the stem until you can firmly pinch the base of the cup to release the seal. The key to successful removal is actually in the base, not the stem of the cup. Many of our Divas cut their stem off as the stem can irritate the labia. Once you have a good grip on the base with your thumb and finger, squeeze the cup gently, and angle it slightly sideways while moving it from side to side to release the seal as you remove it.

It may also be beneficial to talk to a pelvic health physiotherapist or your healthcare provider as they may be able to offer some insight on the strength of the muscle and pelvic floor. Some customers may experience difficulty as a result of weak muscles, but others may have difficulty with removal as a result of tense muscles. Learn more about pelvic health here.

Clean The DivaCup, every 10-12 hours.

It is really important to clean The DivaCup every 10-12 hours with warm water and our DivaWash. Not cleaning the cup in between uses can lead to some unpleasant odors and irritation. Ensuring the four holes around the brim are clear will help ensure the seal is in place and against leaking. While there are many cleaning products on the market, using DivaWash, or a mild, unscented oil-free soap, are your best options. For a list of ingredients to avoid, please visit our Care and Cleaning webpage.

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Try The DivaCup during the day on your first try!

Our Consumer Care Team is here to help, but they too need to go home to see their beloved families. If you are hesitant to try The DivaCup, we recommend trying it during the day (8:30 am – 4:30 pm EST) so that you can reach out to our team with any questions or concerns. We do not recommend trying the cup for the first time before you hit the hay. The reason being, when we sleep our muscles often relax and if the cup is not positioned correctly, fully open at the base of the vaginal canal, it may move up during wear. Once you have mastered insertion, wearing the cup at night is sheer bliss! With The DivaCup you don’t need to imagine a world with clean sheets on day 1 of your period because with The DivaCup, this scenario becomes an amazing reality.

Connect with our team at support@divacup.com, 1-866-444-9482 or by using our online Contact Us Form. Our Instructional Video below also has some helpful visuals and you can always find our User Guide online for easy reference.

While this is a lot of information to take in, trust us, it will help you when your period comes and you put The DivaCup in for the first time.