Party On. Period.

We all know the feeling – that moment that makes you reach for The DivaCup and want to devour a bar of chocolate simultaneously. It’s called a period and it is a normal, albeit sometimes inconvenient, part of life.

For some people, periods can mean pulling on a pair of sweatpants, putting on your favourite movie and zoning out for a couple days. Though periods can be a great excuse to spend time relaxing on your own, you shouldn’t feel compelled to hide from the world for days on end just because you’re bleeding. Which, since we are on the topic, is why we’ve compiled a list of fun things you should most definitely try while on your period.

FUN PERIOD ACTIVITIES

Go out and have the time of your life. Just because your uterus is being the ultimate frenemy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take her out with some friends and dance the night away.

Play board games and eat candy. Not feeling a night out? Invite your friends over, play your favourite board game (maybe something period-related?) and pig out on all the candy you want. We know, we know – candy isn’t exactly carrot sticks and hummus but being healthy is all about balance right?

Meet someone new. Whether you have a book club meeting or your friend invited you over for a fun period activities the divacuphousewarming party, making new friends is a sure fire way to enjoy your night, even if you happen to be on your period.

Get stuff done. Have you been feeling the urge to organize your closet by colour or you need to finish a project before its deadline, there is no time like the present to be a boss girl and handle it. After all, just because you are bleeding doesn’t mean you aren’t as capable as ever!

Whatever the heck you want! You are an incredible Diva who can bleed while she does anything! Why let your period stop you from making the most of every second of your wild and beautiful life?

The most important thing to remember is that no matter whether you are on period or not, you should never stop trying new things or being the Diva that we know you are! Because, after all, life doesn’t stop because of your period.

What are some of you favourite activities to do while on your period? Share them with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

 

Diary of a Diva: Living the Green Life

Hi there!

I am 30 years old and like many other women I started out with pads early on. I remember in middle school, pads with wings were not a common product to come by. As one could imagine, it was always an accident waiting to happen. Later, I “graduated” to wings and thought “WHERE HAVE THESE BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!” Then came the challenge of summer and as young ladies know the combination of PE, summer, and being on your period are the perfect storm for paranoia. Asking your friends to check your pants for leaks became the norm or even tying a sweater around your waist (it’s interesting that it’s become a throwback fashion trend). Fast forward to the college years, I finally decided I was grown up enough to move on to tampons. Growing up in a Latin family there were always talk about how only women that are no longer virgins could use tampons. I went ahead with it nervously. I recalled my first attempt at trying a tampon when I was 13 years old, I tried it because one of my best friends at the time used them and I wanted to be cool and try to as well. To save you the trouble, I had no idea what I was doing and I gave up.

At age 21, there I was reading the pamphlet and determined to make this work for me and then SUCCESS! This felt like a godsend. I could finally work out and go about my day without worry. Well, as time went on I realized that having to change one out every 3-4 hours started to became a hassle. Sometimes I wasn’t around a restroom and what if I had to pee?! I had friends tell me they could pee with one on and I thought, “Well there must be something wrong with my anatomical structure because that has never been the case for me.” I accepted it for years and just went on as usual.

A few years later, I remember a friend bringing up the idea of menstrual cups and I immaturely replied, “EW!” I later saw the error of my response and apologized. To be honest the idea of a menstrual cup just gave me the “willies” so I put it behind me. Then, in 2015, I discovered there was a huge cyst on my ovary that led to the removal of the entire ovary. After that my cycle continued on schedule but I then decided to switch to organic cotton tampons since I became hyper aware of the products I was using. I still didn’t feel right even though it was organic. I remembered that previous conversation about the menstrual cup and decided “What the hell, why not?” I purchased The DivaCup and immediately went home and watched the company’s YouTube videos about how to use it, and then I cracked my knuckles and said, “Let’s do this.”

I found the push-down fold to be the easiest and much to my surprise it was easy. Now the question was would it hold up? I tried it on a relaxed weekend and left it in for a normal work day length of time (8 hours) and YES!!! The DivaCup WORKED! No spill, no accidents, no discomfort. I could use the restroom like normal, it had no harmful ingredients, was easy-to-care-for, eco-friendly, AND I could do my fitness routine and not have to worry about it at all!

I became a DivaCup convert for LIFE!!!

diary-of-a-diva-living-the-green-lifeCindy L.

Cindy was born and raised in Southern California and has been happily married for two years. She is a professional Spanish translator and interpreter by day and a green beauty enthusiast and blogger by night. Cindy loves researching healthier natural alternatives and educating herself and others about living an intentionally greener lifestyle.

#DivaDifference Winner: Empowerment, Love and Education

The Diva team is happy to announce the winner of our #DivaDifference campaign! Amanda is an outstanding woman dedicated to encouraging young adults to pursue their goals. She is a passionate community leader, mother and teacher who embodies the characteristics of a true Diva!

img_3598I’m Amanda Harris, a 23-year-old wife, mother, and student. I have had an adventurous 23 years of life; this year has been the most pivotal and the most representative of how I am making a #DivaDifference and plan to continue to do so for many more years.

The parts of my life that I think exemplify this are my pursuit of a Masters of Arts in Teaching, my journey of adopting my son, and steadily being active in volunteering within my community. I have been a proud Diva user for 15 months now, and can’t help but contemplate how my journey with The Diva Cup has empowered me this past year as a woman and an influential person within my family and community. I graduated from Arkansas State University in 2014 with a B.S.E in Psychology; my original plan was to work in the Industrial Organizational field pending the completion of a Master’s program. However, upon graduation I stayed at the same job – bookkeeping for a local farmer. I stayed because it was comfortable, the pay was satisfactory, and I truly enjoyed the people I worked for and with. However, my passion wasn’t fulfilled and I always yearned for a career that I directly benefited the community.

I started using The Diva Cup and went through an empowerment journey that I wish I had experienced upon my entrance to womanhood many years ago. I explored my anatomy, gained confidence in my body, and learned to take control and understand my menstrual options. I overcame the stigma of menstruation and helped normalize the conversation with my friends and family.

My Diva journey inspired me to start mentoring young girls, to make a difference sooner in the lives of young women. Too many things in society place unrealistic expectations on young women regarding their image, body, and behaviors. I aim to help young women realize they are beautiful the way they are and to set their own standards for themselves by empowering them with the ability to make their own decisions. As I began to think about how to make the biggest impact on young lives, I realized where I needed to be – in schools.

After doing a 6-month volunteer sabbatical with my husband, my passions came to fruition. I volunteered 40 hours a week at a local non-divadifference profit where my job responsibilities included coordinating a mentoring program and daily tutoring at after school sessions. I learned three very important things from this experience. I discovered that community involvement/volunteering would always be a regular part of my life, time with family was invaluable, and that my husband and I wished to pursue adoption. I had met a sweet foster child during this time and got insight into the immense need for more foster and adoptive parents within the
United States as well as the need for good educators. I’m so thrilled to say that as of July 31st I am now a mom to a wonderful 7-year-old little boy and a graduate student pursuing a teaching degree.

As of last week, I have started my journey towards a Masters of Arts in Teaching. I plan to make a lasting #DivaDifference by empowering the young adults of our community from the classroom. I also volunteer regularly with my husband and son at our local soup kitchen as our way of giving back to the community. This #DivaDifference award would help substantially with my school costs and help me to continually focus and work towards being the best model of a mother, teacher, and community leader.

Congratulations again to Amanda! We at Diva International Inc. are wishing you much success in the future!

7 Wonders of the Vagina

7 Wonders of the vagina The DivaCup

Vaginas are fascinating; there is no doubt about it. Sometimes, fascination can grow in part due to mystery surrounding the object of one’s fascination. Vaginas are no stranger to this phenomena and it is part of the reason why we have decided to break down some of the mystery, taboo, and stigma about the vagina with #GetVagucated. Here are the top 7 wonders of the vagina, unveiled.

1. The Hymen
The hymen is truly a wonder (or even a mystery) of the vagina. In many current and historic cultures, the hymen was believed to be the marker of virginity. However, many do not understand what the hymen actually is or even what it looks like. The hymen is simply a small piece of tissue that rings around the vaginal opening. The hymen can break during penetration, or it can stretch . Some women are born with very thin hymens, others with no hymen at all. Some hymens break during rigorous activities like sports. With all this variation, history, and a cloud of mystery surrounding its existence (or lack thereof), the hymen is most certainly in the top 7 wonders of the vagina.7 Wonder of the Vagina The DivaCup

2. The Vagina Belongs To a Whole System of Awesome

Even the title of this blog post is technically wrong – but it sure caught your attention, didn’t it? In fact, many are not aware that the vagina is only one part of the entire female reproductive system and that there is a difference between the internal and external parts. Often, many use the term vagina to refer to their entire “down there” lady bits. What many women don’t know is that the vagina is an elastic, muscular tube
only about three (3) – four (4) inches (8-10 cm) long
and it does not connect to other parts of the body. Other noteworthy and anatomically correct names for the other parts include the clitoris, the inner and outer labia, and the perineum.

3. The Clitoris

No list of the wonders of female reproductive anatomy would be complete without mention of the clitoris. The orgasm powerhouse. The clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings and most women require clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm. The clitoris is the only organ whose sole existence is for pleasure. Even more interesting is the origins of this little button of pleasure. Did you know that the penis and clitoris basically start out the same way during a fetus’s development? It is only at about 6 weeks of gestation that each organ begins to form based on chromosomes. In fact, the labia majora would become the scrotum and the labia minora would form the shaft of the penis.

4. The Muscle

The vaginal canal itself is made of some very elastic muscle and tissues that are designed to stretch and return back to its normal size. In fact, the vagina can stretch to up to 200% its normal size and return back to normal. Vaginas are designed this way to be able to stretch to deliver a baby (should one wish to deliver a child vaginally, of course… you do you). After intercourse or childbirth, the tissue returns back to its normal size, however, it is the muscles of the vaginal canal that usually need to be strengthened after childbirth using exercises like Kegels (under the supervision of a pelvic health specialist). Most often, young women do not need to do Kegels as this can create muscles that are too strong or tense. Contrary to popular belief, Kegels do not necessarily make sex better and having a “tight” vagina can even be problematic in some cases. For more information about Kegels and strengthening your pelvic floor, check out our Q&A with a pelvic health physiotherapist.

5. Orgasms7 Wonders of the Vagina The DivaCup Orgasm
Orgasms are a wonderful, magical thing and that is why we are including them in our 7 wonders of the vagina. When a woman orgasms, the muscles in her vagina contract. Those of us who are the proud owner of a vagina can often orgasm multiple times. Orgasms are a powerful painkiller. They can help to alleviate menstrual cramps and interestingly enough, may help reduce feelings of depression in women by producing feel good hormones.

6. Good Guy Bacteria

This may sound like an odd wonder, but trust us, bacteria is incredibly wondrous as far as the vagina is concerned. The vagina is a delicate and balanced ecosystem that contains bacteria which are used to clean the vagina and keep the pH balance in check. Fun fact: your vaginal fluid is made of carbs, amino acids, proteins and other lactobacillus bacteria. Also, the pH balance of your vagina is the same of a glass of wine. Cheers to that!

7. The Cervix

The cervix is a small, donut-shaped opening that connects your vagina and your uterus. If you so happen to birth a child vaginally, the cervix dilates to about 3.9 inches (or about 10 centimeters) to allow the passage of a child. Women can be born with more than one cervix, which is a medical condition known as uterus didelphys. If you have more than one cervix, you have multiple cervices (which is the actual plural form of the word cervix!). If you’re not sure what a cervix looks like, check out this awesome collection of actual images of cervices.

Did you know about all these wonders?

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to get your daily dose of vagina facts and #GetVagucated this September!

Diary of a Diva: From Peace Corps to Conservation

When I committed to joining Peace Corps Morocco in June of 2014, I received a packing list that included, among other things, The DivaCup. I had used similar products in the past but was never very pleased with the results often I had trouble with leaking or had to empty and clean the item several times a day. I knew that tampons would be difficult to come by in Morocco, so before I left, I purchased The DivaCup and hoped for the best.
Peace-Corps

Since that time, I’ve traveled the world and am so happy to have The DivaCup.

During my time in Morocco, I worked at a women’s center teaching aerobics, English, world culture and cooking classes. More than 30 women attended these daily classes, learning things like how to prepare healthy meals, the English lyrics to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” or how to salsa dance. Over the course of my 30 months of service in Morocco, my students and I developed wonderful relationship and shared our cultures, recipes, and music with each other.

Frequently, however, my students would bow out of attending aerobics or dance classes because they were on their periods. In Morocco, this means a week or more of using pads because tampons are completely unavailable. Many of the rural women I worked with would rip the absorptive pads out of diapers and use those, because they were far cheaper than the name-brand pads available at stores.

While my students had to creatively negotiate running, playing basketball or doing fitness classes while menstruating, I was able to keep teaching week after week, thanks to The DivaCup.

The DivaCup also made travel incredibly easy. I vacationed in Europe during my time of service, spending two weeks in Greece, Spain and Italy, and The DivaCup made those journeys so much easier (and cheaper!) than if I’d had to rely on tampons. Even traveling throughout Morocco – when I often had to spend 12+ hours on a bus to get from my home town to the south for work – I was able to rely on The DivaCup.

Divacup-Diary-Peace-Corps-Sea-TurtleAfter my position ended in Morocco, I immediately came to volunteer with a project protecting loggerhead sea turtles in Cabo Verde, a small island nation in west Africa.

Conservation is the name of the game here: we flush the toilets with sea water, as the only fresh water on the island is desalinated and very expensive. We reuse everything, from rope found on the shore (we use it to separate nests in the hatchery) to peanut butter jars (used to hold clothes pins, flipper tags, and so much more).

The DivaCup is especially important to me here, because not only are tampons very expensive, but the small island of Sal has limited landfill facilities, and I would hate to be filling it up with bleached cotton and cardboard applicators.

Thanks to The DivaCup, I am able to live an eco-conscious lifestyle while helping to protect an incredible, endangered species.

Victoria A.