G Day 2015!

15598488940_c88f2704ef_nAdolescence for many is about trying to be comfortable in your own skin. While full of exciting new opportunities and changes, many of these bring their own set of challenges. Add to the mix a young girls first period and you are sure to have some stories to share with the grandchildren.

Growing up as the only girl with three active brothers, playing outside all day, camping at the lake every weekend during the summer, was so much fun. I really thought I was one of the boys. Up until I got my first period I was free to enjoy being a child with no major restrictions. Then my period came and suddenly I felt that my life was changing forever. I was no longer allowed to hang out with the boys because now I was a “woman” and so started to hang out indoors with the girls in the neighborhood, listening to 60s music and dancing in our basements.

Feminine hygiene options in the mid-1960s were tampons (which were not popular for girls in my age group) or big, bulky pads which would be attached to elastic belts or could be attached to your underwear with pins to hold them in place. I always felt insecure during my cycle because you always had to hide it. I was always fearful of any leaking, odor or the bulkiness of pads showing under my clothes.

The cramps were not fun either but I dealt with it like all the other girls around me. It really did bother me that no one including family, teachers, etc. had any compassion when you had cramps. If you complained to the gym teacher that you had bad cramps they would make you run around the track.

Looking back to my adolescence, having my period was life-changing. Overall the menstrual experience is not pleasant and I really wanted to do something to improve the way women deal with it. As well, I was not afraid to talk about it openly even when the subject was taboo. Creating The DivaCup has certainly fulfilled my dream of improving our menstrual experience.

But the education has only started.

15785012702_96cf002dd2_zEducation about the menstrual cycle begins around age ten. There is an annual health class session that describes in vague and sometimes clinical terms what would happen to your body physically. Very few questions are asked. No one dares to break the silence or to provide any personal details of their experience.

It was experiences like these that inspired Madeleine Shaw, co-founder of Lunapads International to launch G Day in 2014. G Day is a day-long community-based rite of passage celebration for girls and their caregivers to welcome them into adolescence.

As a girl approaching puberty, Madeleine wished for an acknowledgement of her arrival into adolescence. “I was really excited about what was happening to me, and hoped that there might be some sort of recognition outside of my family that it was special”, the 47-year-old award-winning social entrepreneur explains.

While the acknowledgement never happened, the vision never left her imagination. Two G Day events were held in 2014 in Vancouver, BC for girls ages 10 to 12 and were attended by over 500 people. The gatherings received significant media coverage; their success spawned the movement now spreading across Canada.

Diva International Inc. is excited to share the news about G Day Toronto which is taking place on Sunday April 26th at Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park. The event features an amazing lineup of speakers and artists who will be presenting a variety of material to support girls’ self-esteem and connection to one another and their families at this special time of life.

G Day is an amazing event that is well overdue. It is so uplifting to celebrate becoming a woman and to empower girls that they can achieve their dreams.

Learn more about G Day with these helpful videos from the first and second events, as well as a beautiful testimonial about G Day’s benefits from a parent’s perspective from a Mom and G Day Victoria Community Leader.

Don’t miss out! Buy your tickets today for G Day Toronto! And by using the below codes you can receive 20 % off the ticket price!

  • TOBLOG20G – code for girl tickets
  • TOBLOG20C– code for champion tickets (parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts & uncles, etc.)

Research Opportunities and The DivaCup

PrintA few weeks ago, The Diva Education Team had the opportunity to visit The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Long Island, New York. Diva International Inc. has committed to provide menstrual cups for the Feinstein institute’s ROSE Study (Research OutSmarts Endometriosis) in an effort to help advance the care and knowledge of a disease that affects 1 in 10 women.

You may be wondering: What role does The DivaCup play in all of this?

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.

For those not familiar with endometriosis, approximately 5.5 million women and girls suffer from endometriosis in North America alone. Endometriosis occurs when the endometrium, the tissue that lines the uterus and is shed every month, grows outside of the uterus on other organs or structures in the body. Symptoms can range from painful menstrual cramps to incapacitating abdominal and pelvic pain and infertility. While the severity of endometriosis varies, the more extensive forms of the disorder can cause severe pain and disability. In addition, approximately 40% of infertility is associated with endometriosis.

Pink science equipment microscopeThe team at the Feinstein Institute are welcoming and enthusiastic about the work they are doing. Everyone we met was positive about the study and thankful to have the opportunity to play a part in the research. Bringing years of research and experience together, the team is diverse, dynamic and excited for what can be achieved through the aid of The DivaCup. We met with Peter K. Gregersen, MD and Christine Metz, PhD  the lead investigators on the study, along with the researchers, nurses and medical school interns.  We got to tour the lab (where we saw some fascinating cell samples in the microscope collected from menstrual flow using the DivaCup) and had the opportunity to talk through the many advances the team has already made in the study.

All in all, the trip was both inspiring and educational.

The goal of the ROSE study, which has received funding from the Endometriosis Foundation of America, founded by Dr. Tamer Seckin, is to investigate the cause of endometriosis and bring improved diagnostics and treatments for women living with the disease.

Current diagnosis relies on pelvic exams and ultrasound imaging coupled with laparoscopic surgery. Women with more severe endometriosis often require surgical intervention to relieve symptoms and it is not uncommon for a woman to require repeat surgery. Hormone treatments may be effective in many women, but can have unpleasant side effects. Improved diagnostic methods and better tolerated and more effective medical therapies are needed.

Researchers involved in ROSE are using several approaches to study endometriosis. These include efforts to better understand the genetic basis of the disease and relate this what is occurring at the cellular level in the disease, with particular emphasis on the role of stem cells and the immune system.

They are receiving great feedback and response, but the study is hoping to receive hundreds of samples each year and needs your help! 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.

To learn more about getting involved visit the ROSE Study webpage.

 

Feinstein Empowering®The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Headquartered in Manhasset, NY, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is home to international scientific leaders in many areas including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sepsis, human genetics, pulmonary hypertension, leukemia, neuroimmunology, and medicinal chemistry. The Feinstein Institute, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, ranks in the top 6th percentile of all National Institutes of Health grants awarded to research centers. For more information, visit www.FeinsteinInstitute.org.

Diva Summer News!

I love summer…

I love the warm weather and family get-togethers, but most of all I love the renewal and relaxation summer brings – getting us all ready for the fall. While I’m sad that the days are getting shorter and the weather cooler, I’m excited for the many new things set to launch for Diva International Inc. this fall.

To date, 2014 has been a really exciting year for us and summer 2014 has been no exception!

We launched our new ad creative across mainstream magazines including, Flare, Elle, LouLou, Cosmo for Latinas and many more. Our hope is that this new ad creative will encourage women and girls to “Switch to The DivaCup!” and discover a better way to care for their period.

And, just recently, our first ever television commercial aired in Canada (with US dates soon to come!!!).

did-you-know--televsionFilming the commercial was an experience I will never forget. After weeks of script writing and storyboards, we were ready to turn the camera on The DivaCup. The final piece came together this summer and has been airing in Canada throughout the month of August. Be sure to check out our Facebook page in the coming weeks for an announcement on US dates and stations!

For all our Canadian Divas, you can look for The DivaCup television commercial this week on the following stations: ABC Spark, Bravo, Cosmo, CHCH, CMT, E!, HGTV, LifeTime, M3, Slice, Twist, W Movies, W Network. Quebec only: Addik, Canal D, Canal Evasion, Canal Vie, CASA, Moi & Cie, Musique Plus, Series+.

As a thank you and in celebration of our North American television commercial premiere, we are hosting a “Diva Summer Giveaway” tomorrow (Friday August 22nd, 2014) on Facebook at 12 noon (EST)!

Be sure to “Like Us” today so you don’t miss out!

Thank you to everyone who is helping to spread the word about The DivaCup and sustainable period care.

Have a wonderful last few weeks of summer!

Francine-Signature

 

 

It’s time for change… Switch to The DivaCup!

concept healthy lifestyleToday more than ever, period talk is making its way into mainstream culture, online forums, doctor’s offices and classrooms. This is exciting because it provides a forum for women of all ages to ask questions, provide support and share in experience.

Diva International Inc. is passionate about educating and empowering women and health professional about The DivaCup and all things period. This year alone, The Diva Education Team has distributed thousands of Demo DivaCup Kits while attending medical conferences across Canada and the United States.

These conferences have taught our team a lot about the perception of period care within the medical field. Many of the attendees we spoke with had never heard about a menstrual cup and were surprised to learn about the harmful ingredients still found in disposable options. A number of the doctors we spoke to noted that they rarely talk to their patients about period care. In addition to our team educating doctors, they in turn provided us with great insight about menstrual health and patient care, helping us to better our educational efforts.

These experiences along with many others have reaffirmed the important work our team is doing. They have also taught us that there is a great need for menstrual product education at both the consumer and medical level.

And we are not alone.

In the United States, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has introduced a piece of legislation into Congress entitled The Robin Danielson Act, which if passed, will provide accurate information about feminine hygiene products, helping to draw attention to ingredients found in femcare products that can lead to health issues, including TSS. By advocating for a closer look at regulation regarding the ingredients found in feminine hygiene products, including dioxin and synthetic fibers, there will be better protection for women’s health and the environment. You can support this initiative by signing the online petition by the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research at change.org or on the  Women’s Voices for the Earth website. You can also contact your Member of Congress today and asking them to support the bill.

In addition to reaching out to your Member of Congress, educating yourself and others about the benefits of using reusable period care options is a great way to start a conversation about The DivaCup. You can visit our Eco Divas webpage for some helpful insight and facts.

A special thank you to everyone in the Diva Community who are helping to spread the word about sustainable period care and The DivaCup!

 

With Diva I can…

As we gear up for summer, I can’t help but think of the freedom and ease The DivaCup provides for women (all year), but especially during the summer months.

For me, trying The DivaCup, was life-changing.

Before switching to The DivaCup my summers by the pool were non-existent during my period days. My flow was (and still is) very heavy, that even a super-size tampon would fill up, causing me to frequent the washroom every hour or two (which in a bathing suit, is not fun). With The DivaCup I can go 12 hours before having to empty, clean and reinsert. And there’s no little string to tuck away.

Before switching to The DivaCup, 10 hour road trips with my period, meant 14 hour road trips as frequent bathroom breaks were necessary. With The DivaCup, I don’t need to worry about leaking as a result of sitting for long periods of time when traveling and bathroom breaks are minimized.

Before switching to The DivaCup, period days at the zoo, amusement park or a family reunion were filled with the worry of leaking, running out of product, or just being plain uncomfortable. With The DivaCup, I don’t need to pack backup protection, am comfortable and feel confident against leaks.

And before switching to The DivaCup, the thought of caring for my period during a three day sailing trip or camping weekend was stressful. With The DivaCup, I don’t need to come up with creative ways to dispose of product (no waste!!!) and no need to pack extra protection – stress free!

Last summer the Diva Team put together a series of “With Diva I Can” images to share the many benefits the product has to offer. We did this because, unlike the hassle and waste of disposable options, The DivaCup provides up to 12 hours of leak-free protection, is reusable (no waste) and super comfy (no annoying string or wrappers).

Check out some of our favorites below or share some of your own!

WDIC_Beach 2 WDIC_Drive_in With Diva I can # 1 WDIC_Deck pool image Diva.Golf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divas in the Windy City

Chicago City View

Last week, The Diva Education Team was immersed in healthcare education in Chicago, IL which hosted two incredible conferences, the National Conference for Nurse Practitioners and the Annual Clinical Meeting for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Our first stop, the National Conference for Nurse Practitioners, was a very rewarding experience for our team. Those in attendance were excited to learn about sustainable period care and eager to pass along the information to their patients. Many were surprised to learn that menstrual cups even existed which confirmed to our team that there is a great need for us to continue in our mission to educate and empower women and health professionals about The DivaCup..

Booth-at-ACOG-ROur second stop at the Annual Clinical Meeting for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists was nothing short of incredible. Being a leader in the menstrual cup industry, the Diva Team had the incredible opportunity to both educate and be educated ourselves on products and services that are changing women’s lives for the good. Exhibitors ranged from pelvic floor support tools, prenatal care organizations, gynaecology technology, educational resources, publications of interest etc. The attendees we met were excited to learn about The DivaCup, many hearing about them from patients (thank you to all our Divas for helping to spread the word!!!). We handed out hundreds of Demo DivaCup Kits to doctors residing in the United States, Canada and Internationally.

Our team was pleased to meet and network with many exhibitors including the team at the Women’s Health Foundation (WHF). WHF is “committed to improving women’s pelvic health and wellness” through research, education, community initiatives and resource development and distribution. We learned about the fabulous event WHF is hosting at the end of May, titled: Below the Belt; an event to promote a new resource book for their adolescent pelvic health initiative titled, Below Your Belt. A sample of The DivaCup was also requested by the Collections Librarian at ACOG for inclusion in their History Museum which will help educate even more women and health professionals about menstrual cups.

IMSS---collage

1.) Corning’s Axis Traction Forceps c. 1930-1950
2.) Gynecological Examining Table c. 1900-1920
3.) Vaginal Specula (Roman)
4.) Obstetrical Stethoscope c. 1930

In between shows we had some time to tour Chicago and take in some sights. We walked through Millennium Park (saw the bean!), took in The Sound of Music at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and visited a few museums. One of the highlights for me on this trip was our visit to the International Museum of Surgical Science. The museum is home to four magnificent floors of medical history, spanning from Hippocrates, through to the late 18th century and modern medicine of today. Our team got to explore an entire exhibit on reproduction and gynaecology. The exhibit housed ancient tools used to perform basic pelvic exams, prenatal care and labor delivery as well as old examining tables. There was also an exhibit about nursing which paid tribute to the incredible work of nurses and midwives throughout history and noted how both played an integral role in women’s health as a discipline and practice. Our team would definitely recommend visiting IMSS the next time you are in Chicago.

Thank you to all those who visited The DivaCup booth over the past few weeks. We appreciate your enthusiasm and support!

 

 

 

 

What’s all the chatter about?

tweet-chat revisedIn recent weeks you may have noticed some social media chatter about Be Prepared Period’s April Tweet Chat.

For those not familiar with Tweet Chats, Tweet Chats provide an incredible opportunity to learn and discuss a variety of topics, including periods and menstrual cups! These discussions take place online where 120 character discussion points are tweeted back and forth (with a hashtag like #PeriodTalk) by women and girls from around the world.

The Diva Team is especially excited about April’s topic: The 411 on Menstrual Cups!

Tomorrow (Friday April 11th 2014) we want to encourage all our Divas to join us online at 2pm (EST) / 11 am (PST) for a discussion on everything to do with menstrual cups.

Here is a sneak peak at what to expect at tomorrow’s Tweet Chat:

  • An introduction to menstrual cup use, care,  eco and health benefits.
  • Q & A opportunity with personnel from menstrual cup companies, like The DivaCup.
  • A chance to talk with other women, who like you, are curious about menstrual cups or have questions.
  • Testimonials from fellow menstrual cup users.
  • And… an opportunity to enter for a chance to win a menstrual cup prize pack, including this fabulous DivaCup giveaway.

Be Preapred 2In addition to hosting monthly Tweet Chats, Be Prepared Period also has a website with resources about period care products, puberty and the menstrual cycle, an online storefront where you can buy products like The DivaCup (on sale until April 18th for 10 % off!!!), first period stories and product testimonials. Be Prepared Period also has a sister site, PeriodTalk, which is a 24/7 online discussion portal on all things period. Parents, teens and health educators can post questions and offer their insight about topics related to periods.

We hope you can join us along with Be Prepared Period and fellow menstrual cup companies this Friday for a menstrual cup Tweet Chat!

Be sure to get your questions ready and enter our giveaway for a chance to win a DivaCup Giveaway. Giveaway includes: The DivaCup, DivaWash, reusable shopping bag and a copy of the 28 Days Lighter Diet book (a book that will provide helpful insight and tools for you to get the most of your cycle)!

Join us on Friday and don’t forget to enter today for your chance to win!

Education at its best!

collage

A day in Hollywood before the big show!

Within my first year of working for Diva International, I was given the opportunity of attending the Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, CA. For those not familiar with this trade show, Expo West is North America’s largest natural products trade shows. The show provides an opportunity for distributors, retailers and consumers to explore thousands of products over the course of three days. Those who attend, spend their days walkng up rows upon rows of product booths equipped with personnel who are eager to educate and inform you about everything from organic hand creams to The DivaCup to tasty (and healthy) chocolate treats.

Entering the hall on the first day of the show was like entering this whole other universe. I couldn’t believe it and was instantly pulled in.

There is an energy that circulates in an exhibit hall. Attendees are excited to learn about new products and services and exhibitors are thrilled to be able to network and share the story behind the product they are promoting.

For Diva, the enthusiasm and energy at our booth is incredible. With every conference, excitement about The DivaCup grows. We are reaching more and more health professionals who in turn are educating more and more women about sustainable period care.

Since attending Expo West I have had the opportunity to attend a number of other trade shows and medical conferences and each one offers a unique experience. I also get the incredible opportunity to visit places I would never get to visit; experiencing new things and if time permits, taking in some sights.

The Diva Educator Team was on the road again, reaching out to thousands of educators at Pri-Med South, Pri-Med Southwest and Pri-Med West. The Pri-Med shows are wonderful because they provide the opportunity for an exhibitor to reach family physicians, nurse practitioners, OB/GYN’s and students, all in one place. With each medical conference we attend we are learning about the critical importance of menstrual health education.

Some of the attendees have heard of The DivaCup, others are avid DivaCup users, while still others are hearing about it for the first time. One of the main questions we are often asked is: why The DivaCup? Health professionals are eager to learn why telling women about a sustainable period care solution is important. Many are not aware of the harmful ingredients found within disposable pads and tampons and after talking with our team are pleasantly surprised to learn about the many, many benefits of The DivaCup.

But the education doesn’t end there. Our team works hard to continue conversations with all those who are providing reproductive care and education to women and girls. We provide quarterly updates, links to research and studies and free resources in an effort to empower those who are empowering others.

We are excited for the many shows we have coming up this spring such as the National Conference for Nurse Practitioners and Primary Care Today. As we continue to grow as our company, we are excited to equally be growing in partnership with educators and health professionals; together we are introducing women and girls to a better way to care for their period that is lifechanging.

Inspiring Change…

banner---handsThis past weekend women worldwide joined together to celebrate International Women’s Day. This year’s theme was “Inspiring Change” and the stories and events that surrounded the day were filled with inspiration for a better future (and present day) for women and girls everywhere.

Observed since the early 1900s, International Women’s Day has grown into a worldwide movement with over 1300 scheduled events in 2014 across 78 countries! The Diva Team celebrated the days leading up to International Women’s Day with daily giveaways and organizational spotlights.

With each day’s giveaway our Facebook fans had the opportunity to share what they loved most about being a woman! We received over 600 entries! A few of our favorites include:

“I love being a woman because… I can carry new life inside of me.” – Angie

 

“I love being a woman because… I am beautiful, intelligent and talented!” – Sonia

“I love being a woman because… there’s no limit to what I can do.” – Katie

 

“I love being a woman because… my body is amazing from head to toe!” – Toby

“I love being a woman because… I have awesome curves!” – Jo

 

Each day we also highlighted the great work of organizations whose projects are inspiring change including reproductive education programs, maternal health initiatives, reusable cloth pad distribution and clinical research. Organizations like Plan Canada, the Institute for Reproductive Health, Lunapads’ Pads4Girls Program, Endometriosis Foundation of America and Save the Children are just a few of the many organizations Diva helps to support each year through financial aid and/or social media support.

As we continue with the month’s events we want to encourage all our Divas to do their part in inspiring change for women and girls everywhere, not just today, but everyday. Start small, every little bit counts!

Share how you celebrated International Women’s Day with the Diva Community today!

Francine-Signature

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate who you are, today!

2014 Diva Word

While the New Year is a time to celebrate, too often than not, it can also bring its fair share of stress and expectations. As the clock strikes 12 conversations start about New Year’s resolutions, hopes and dreams and with each comes an excitement that only the New Year can bring.

And then a week passes and the excitement we felt just days before seems to fade as the everyday comes back into focus.

Every once in a while I am reminded of the early days of Diva. Similar to the newness that comes with New Years, we were eager, excited and full of vision. And although we had some tough times, we never lost sight of our vision.

While the concept of a menstrual cup  is accepted more readily today, this was not always the case. We learned early on that although unique and different, The DivaCup was something that needed goals, outlook and perseverance.

As we begin another year, our company is keeping the vision of empowering women with a better period care solution at the forefront of all we do. Whether we are traveling to a trade show, training our sales team or interacting with our Divas, empowerment is key!

For 2014, I challenge you: Rather than looking back at what was, look forward to what is. Each day brings us the incredible opportunity to start fresh and do something new.

And don’t forget:

Every month do something for yourself

 

And likewise do something for someone else

 

Keep learning

 

Keep dreaming

 

Keep doing.

 

Francine-Signature