Shop with purpose & support B Corporations

The holiday season is upon us and we’re challenging you to rethink the way you shop. Whether you’re rushing around buying last minute gifts, or buying things for yourself in preparation for 2019 (because #NewYearNewYou), we encourage you to start buying from companies that use business as a force for good. That’s right, we’re talking about certified B Corporations.

Not sure what a B Corporation is? No problem, this video will sum it up for you:

Why does DivaCup care about supporting B Corps? Because we’re one of them! In April of 2018, Diva International became a certified B Corporation. Supporting B Corporations is an idea we’re 100% on board for all day, every day. Certified B Corps set themselves apart through balancing purpose and profit.

Whether you’re shopping for your loved ones or looking for some new stuff to kick off 2019, why not broaden your shopping horizons? We’ve composed a list of 10 B Corporations that will enhance your shopping habits with a whole lot of goodness.

1. ME to WE
You can get jewelry, tote bags, stationary and even chocolate! But get this: ME to WE creates options for you to make a difference in the world with each product you buy from them. For example, purchasing one of their beaded bracelets could help a child from Kenya go to school for 1 year.


2. Lunapads
It’s no surprise that we’re all about reusable period products. Lunapads are the perfect period mate. They make all sorts of cloth pads and of course, comfortable period underwear.


3. Grosche International
Tea and coffee lover? Us too! On top of having great tea infusers and French presses, they have the Safe Water Project. For every product sold, Grosche guarantees over 50 days of safe drinking water for people in need.

4. Causebox
We don’t know about you, but we love the idea of subscription boxes, especially those with a purpose. Causebox is the only B Corporation subscription box service with curated goods from companies that are socially and environmentally conscious–the gift that keeps on giving.

5. Athleta
Bet you didn’t know Athleta was a B Corp. On top of making ethically sourced athletic wear, Athleta is empowering women through P.A.C.E. and fair trade.

6. Patagonia
Patagonia is known for their awesome outdoor wear and their Patagonia Action Works program that supports grassroots activists who are working to find solutions to the environmental crisis. Patagonia also has the Worn Wear program that encourages consumers to repair, share and recycle Patagonia products. Check it out.

7. NaturaBrasil
NaturaBrasil beauty products speak for themselves. Ethically sourced, vegan, not tested on animals and celebrates Brazilian biodiversity- enough said!

8. Plaine Products
This beauty products company packages its hair and body products in aluminum bottles to cut down on plastic waste. Once your bottle is empty, they send you a refill so you can keep using the same bottle.

9. Good Cloth, LLC
Good Cloth makes shopping for sustainable clothes easy as can be. Their goal is to continue curating products from sustainable brands that they trust and believe in. They do this with budget in mind, so it’s ethical shopping made easy on the wallet.

10. Lucky Iron Fish
This fish is the real deal. Lucky Iron Fish is an iron fish that is used as a cooking tool to give you your daily dose of iron. For every fish that is sold, Lucky Iron Fish donates one to a family in need.

These are just a few of the B Corporations we’ve become totally in love with and we hope you do too. We’re proud to be standing alongside these wonderful companies that are making change in a big way. Guess what? You’ll have the opportunity to win a chance to support each of these businesses for our 12 Days of Giveaways. Make sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram for the 12 days!

Tracking Your Cycle: How to Get Started

This post is written by guest author Jessie Brebner. Jessie is a passionate advocate for Fertility Awareness as a gateway to improved health, body literacy and female empowerment. She is currently in training with the Natural Family Planning Teachers Association of the U.K. to certify as a qualified Fertility Awareness Educator, and will shortly be releasing Pen & Paper – the definitive Fertility Awareness charting journal. Head to to stay up to date with regular blogs on menstrual cycles, charting, journaling, natural contraception/conception and more. 

When you reach for your DivaCup every month, do you ever wonder why your period has chosen this exact day to stop by for a visit? Do you keep track of it with an app, or do you prefer to leave things to chance and never wear white? Do you worry when it comes earlier or later than expected? And have you ever wondered what is actually going ON down there behind the scenes to make sure that your period is a regular occurrence?

If these are the kinds of burning questions that keep you up at night, you’ll be thrilled to know that the arrival of your period doesn’t need to be a mysterious guessing game! In fact, your period will always reliably appear approximately 14 days after you’ve ovulated, and this time frame is known as the luteal phase.

Signs of Ovulation

“But… how do I know when I’m ovulating?”

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no one can predict when ovulation will occur with 100% accuracy. You may have heard that ovulation is most likely to occur on day 14 of a 28 day cycle. However, this is not the case for all women, all the time. Most people don’t have a textbook cycle, and will often have shorter or longer cycles than the “average” length listed in medical textbooks. Plus, things like travel, stress, medication, illness, increased exercise or changes in diet can cause you to ovulate earlier or later than expected!

Luckily though, we’re not in the business of predicting ovulation – we’re in the business of tracking. Tracking your fertility signs, that is!

As you approach ovulation, your cervical fluid is affected by an increase in estrogen, and it progressively becomes wetter, clearer and more slippery (like raw egg white). After ovulation, the increase in progesterone causes a rise in your core resting temperature (known as your basal body temperature). Cervical fluid and basal body temperature are known as the Primary Fertility Signs.

Using a Fertility Awareness-Based Method, such as the Symptothermal Method, allows you to track these incredible changes and accurately pinpoint your fertile window. You’ll never be caught off guard by your period again!

Tracking Your Fertility

Pinpointing your fertile window also allows you to conceive easier when you’re ready. You can use the Symptothermal Method as birth control, which has been proven 98.2% effective with typical use. If that’s not exciting enough, tracking your primary fertility signs can also provide a window into your hormonal health. It can allow you to identify issues such as anovulation (lack of ovulation), delayed ovulation, short luteal phase, infertile cervical fluid, PCOS, low progesterone, irregular bleeding and more.

To learn more about your hormones and how to harness them to make life easier, you’ll want to check out the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. Keep in mind that if you want to use the Symptothermal Method of Fertility Awareness as birth control, you’re advised to work closely with an instructor. You can find one here.

A database of Fertility Awareness Educators can also be found here.

To get support and advice, join the Facebook group Fertility Awareness Method Of Birth Control where you’ll find over 18,000 other women who use the Symptothermal Method every day.

Finally, you’ll want to record your observations in an app like, or in a journal like Pen & Paper.

Your period doesn’t need to be mysterious or confusing. Your body has been showing you the signs all along – it’s just waiting for you to stop and listen.


*Please note that all of the above only applies to women who are cycling naturally without the influence of synthetic hormones. If you are on the Pill/ hormonal IUD/ Depo/ Vaginal Ring / Patch/ Implant etc then you won’t see these changes in your primary fertility biomarkers.


Eco-Divas support green electricity and green natural gas with Bullfrog Power

Every individual action we take, no matter how small it might seem, adds up to a bigger collective impact. And if you’re part of the Diva #innerrevolution, you already know that! You understand how much better it is for the environment to use one reusable cup instead of hundreds of disposable tampons and pads. But part of our Eco-Diva Committee’s job is to make sure that we keep finding ways to minimize our carbon footprint. That’s where Bullfrog Power comes in.

We’re excited to announce that Bullfrog Power is helping us take a big step to reduce the carbon emissions footprint of our business, by providing us with green electricity and green natural gas for our company to replace the higher-impact energy sources the average business consumes.

Julia Daly, Chair of our Eco-Divas committee, is one of our awesome #innerrevoluntionaries, who spearheaded the project of becoming bullfrogpowered. “It was great to meet Bullfrog Power, a fellow B Corp, at the B Corp Leadership Development Day,” she explains. “That’s one of the wonderful things about being a B Corporation — we get to be part of a community of organizations that share the same goals of sustainability and environmental respect.”


Why Bullfrog Power?

Once Julia and other members of our EcoDiva Committee learned about how Bullfrog Power could help our office choose more sustainable power sources, they took charge, and learned more about the process of becoming bullfrogpowered.

What we loved about Bullfrog Power is that it also educated many of our team members on how they could adopt Bullfrog for their own homes, and some of our Diva staff members have become bullfrogpowered outside of the office too. With our strong foundation of environmental consideration, partnering with them will enable us to be the leader of sustainable stewardship in the menstrual care industry.

We love being able to support a fellow B Corp member in such a worthwhile and important mission. Challenging the status quo is what the inner revolution is all about, and being bullfrogpowered is just one step on our journey to becoming the most sustainable organization we can be.


How It Works

Bullfrog Power’s generators put green electricity and green natural gas onto the grid and pipeline to match the amount of conventional electricity and green natural gas used by our head office. Across Canada, Bullfrog’s green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities. Bullfrog’s green natural gas is sourced from a unique methane-capture project situated on one of Canada’s landfill sites. Through this innovative technology, biogas is captured, cleaned up, and injected onto the national natural gas pipeline.

Courtesy of Bullfrog Power.


We are proud to be choosing green energy with Bullfrog Power!

To learn more about Bullfrog Power, visit their website at


Get to know your cervix

Defining your cervix

The question may or may not have crossed your mind but it crossed ours… how does one find their cervix? But before we start there, let’s start by re-hashing what and where your cervix is.
Your cervix is at the bottom of your uterus and is shaped like a tiny donut, but rather than dough, it’s made up of strong muscles. The cervix is what allows your menstrual flow to travel from your uterus into the vagina, and then into your DivaCup.

Get to know your cervix

Most go throughout their days not even thinking about their cervix, but take it from us, your cervix goes through quite a lot of changes during your cycle so it’s worth an introduction. It changes textures throughout your cycle, so if you’re curious, getting to know them is easier than you think.
All you have to do is thoroughly wash your hands and then insert your middle finger into your vagina until your middle knuckle is flush with the opening. Some may have to insert further, this just means you may have a longer introduction. You should be able to find your cervix anywhere from 3-6 inches inside the vaginal opening.
Small PSA for those that have Instagram-worthy nails: Please be careful when getting to know your cervix, as you want to make sure you don’t scratch the inside of your vaginal wall.
Whether you use a period tracking app, or you go with the flow (no pun intended), depending on where you are in your cycle, you may notice that your cervix is softer during and before ovulation, and not so soft afterwards. You may also notice that your cervix sits lower during your period.

Your cervix and the DivaCup

For most, your cervix and the DivaCup never get too close, so keep in mind that they can be friends by association, but not besties that go everywhere together. The DivaCup is designed to sit low at the base of the vaginal canal, pointed towards the tailbone, away from the cervix. Having trouble imagining how this works? Check out our how to video.
If you find that your cervix sits lower and you want to make sure it can still be distant friends with the DivaCup, it’s important to know that many people with a low cervix find great success with the DivaCup, since it’s designed to sit low. If you have any questions about the DivaCup and your cervix, our Consumer Care Team can walk you through it and answer any questions you have. They can be reached at
Having a low cervix is often common after multiple births, and can occur naturally as we age. We have found insights and support from pelvic health physiotherapists to be incredibly helpful as they are experts in the area of the pelvic floor. Be sure to check out our pelvic health blog post to learn more. If you have an IUD and are concerned about the DivaCup interfering with the IUD’s strings that from the cervix, we have a blog post that will put your mind at ease, check it out.

Your inner revolution

Discovering your inner revolution starts with getting to know yourself and knowing that the DivaCup is along for the ride. If this is your first introduction to both your cervix and the DivaCup, we’re thrilled you’re joining the inner revolution.

IUDs and the DivaCup

IUDs (Intra Uterine Devices) can be a really helpful option for those looking for a hassle free birth control solution. The hormonal form of IUDs can also provide ease for those living with menstrual related disease and heavy bleeding. These T shaped devices are hassle free, discreet and can be very effective. IUDs need to be inserted by a healthcare provider and the procedure itself only takes a few minutes. Depending on your healthcare coverage, an IUD can be costly, and the insertion experience for some, may be uncomfortable (remember to relax those pelvic floor muscles). Most who choose the IUD route have put good thought into the option and keeping their IUD in place for years to follow is the ideal.
Insertion involves a speculum (the same tool used when you get a pap) which is inserted into the vagina. Then, an inserter is used to place the IUD through the opening of your cervix and into your uterus. Often, having an IUD inserted during your cycle can make the experience more pleasant as the opening to the cervix is a bit wider.
 We are often asked: Can I use my DivaCup with an IUD?  The great news is that yes, yes you can! But,  there are a few things you’ll want to check on before inserting your favorite period care solution with an IUD.

Timing is Everything

The main concern with using a menstrual cup with an IUD is expulsion – basically your strategically placed IUD, falls out. IUDs may naturally expel from the body, and often this will occur within the first 3 months of insertion. For this reason, we recommend that you wait at least 3 months, or until cleared by your doctor, to resume using the DivaCup. In the meantime, cloth pads are a great solution, especially since many experience spotting for the first few months after IUD insertion (sigh).
The good news is that research has shown that there is no increased risk of IUD expulsion with the use of menstrual cups. Unfortunately for some, after insertion, the body rejects the IUD naturally. In other cases, incorrect placement leads to expulsion. Be sure to choose a healthcare provider who regularly inserts IUDs as this will ensure both comfort and proper placement.
After an IUD is inserted, it is important to schedule a follow up appointment with your healthcare provider within 3-6 months to ensure the device is correctly in place. A pelvic ultrasound is the easiest way to determine proper placement.


IUDs have two strings that hang naturally at the opening of the cervix. We recommend checking on these each cycle prior to inserting your DivaCup.. If you have any concerns regarding the strings, or can’t find them, we recommend you check in with your doctor. Many DivaCup users ask their doctor to trim the strings to they won’t  interfere with cup placement.

Know your Cervix:

Did you know your cervix changes shape and positioning throughout your cycle? Since the DivaCup is designed to sit low in the vaginal canal, away from the cervix, the IUD strings shouldn’t interfere with cup placement. However, for those with a dropped cervix, you may find your cup sits close to your cervix. Being mindful of this when inserting and removing your DivaCup is important. Not sure how to find your cervix? Check out our Cervix blog post.
Release the seal… then remove. Regardless of if you have an IUD or not, it is important to first release the cup’s seal before trying to remove the DivaCup. To do this, grip the base of the cup and pinch it gently. Pinching the cup will release the seal and collapse the cup, making removal easier.
If you know your cup sits closer to your cervix, we recommend gently sliding your finger alongside the outside of the cup prior to removal to ensure the strings of your IUD  are out of the way. Once confirmed, gently pinch the the base, release the seal and remove your cup.
Above all, talk to your healthcare provide and take time to understand your body.

Sweet Sixteen with Days for Girls

Like most girls my age, I had been thinking the whole year prior to my sixteenth birthday about what I wanted to do to celebrate. I wanted to do something big for a change and did consider having the traditional extravagant sweet sixteen party. What I didn’t love about this idea was how it would feel like a whole lot of hoopla for just me, and that felt a little uncomfortable. I also felt like a big day like that would come and go and then I would just be left feeling like we’d spent a lot of money on one afternoon. I figured it would be more exciting and satisfying to do something that would make an impact beyond this one special day.

I thought about all the different options that were out there. I considered doing something along the lines of volunteering, collecting food for the local food bank or making hygiene kits for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). The last one stuck and led me to Days for Girls.

A bit about Days for Girls:
Days for Girls increases access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls. Their kits provide period care for women and girls for years and in many communities, Days for Girls supports micro-enterprise opportunities with their basic kit, DFG Pod (Portable Object of Dignity).

Days for Girls actually runs a club at my school. We meet on a weekly basis to cut and trace fabric to help make the reusable pads for feminine hygiene kits. When I first learned about Days for Girls, I remember thinking how incredibly innovative the kit was that they were putting together. Before joining the club, I never thought of the struggle it would be to live with your period in a developing country. It blew my mind that this was a cause that no one talks about, despite it’s monumental effect on girls’ futures.

What I love most about Days for Girls is that it provides a way for so many people to get involved at the very basic level of making hygiene kits. In Canada alone, there are 80 local chapters.

I decided to investigate the possibility of hosting a Days for Girls pad making party for my Sweet Sixteen. I talked to the teacher at my school who runs the club, who then connected me with the local Days for Girls chapter in my city. The local team supports our school club and were more than happy to help me organize my party idea. They even came to my house on the day of to give a presentation about Days for Girls. The eleven girls who were at my party had a similar reaction to mine in learning about Days for Girls and the challenges facing girls with their menstrual cycles in other parts of the world.

We got started, and it was such a blast! We traced and cut out fabric while chatting, eating, listening to music and watching funny videos; such a good time. I thought my friends might get tired of cutting and that we might need to stop and do something else, but everyone just wanted to keep going! In the end we used up all the fabric and counted out what we had made. I had hoped to meet a goal of 160 shield cutouts, but I thought that this might not be possible with the number of girls that were able to make it to the party. Nevertheless, we ended up cutting out 215 shields! My friends were also super generous, gifting $240 in honour of my birthday as a donation to Days for Girls which will help pay for the underwear and soap included in the kits Chapters and Teams put together around the world. Each Supreme Days for Girls kit includes: shields, absorbent liners, washcloth underwear, soap and a care and cleaning bag.

After my party, I was really fortunate to get to meet the rest of the women from the Days for Girls Kitchener branch to deliver the money gift and cutouts. These women meet twice a month, set up their sewing machines and assemble Days for girls Supreme its for those in need.

My Days for Girls Sweet Sixteen was all-round a very meaningful experience. I loved getting to hang out with the girls that are special in my life, while making a difference for girls like us across the world!

Want to host your own Days for Girls birthday party? Get connected with your local chapter here.

Words from DivaCup’s CEO for National Women’s Health Week

Carinne Chambers-Saini, Co-Founder and CEO of the DivaCup

This week is National Women’s Health Week, a week set aside as a reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive health habits for life. The week encourages women to visit their doctors for a well-woman visit and preventive screenings, to get active, eat healthy, take care of their mental health and make positive health choices overall.

The theme this year is What I Wish I’d Known. I believe everything happens for a reason, and even the “challenges” we face have a purpose and help shape you. No regrets, right? Honestly though, there are some things I’d wish I’d known that could have prevented a lot of unnecessary “challenges”. Things like being kind to myself, asking for help and putting my health first. I wish I understood my body and my menstrual cycle more as a teenager.  While we can learn from every experience, we can also learn from others and their insights.

When my mom and I started Diva in 2001, we were on a major mission. Nothing could stop us and we were unstoppable. I would work every day of the week and work late into the night. Who needs sleep? Over time, this leads to adrenal fatigue and other health issues. Especially when my focus was 100% on work and not making time for healthy eating, exercise and sleep!

Caring for your period doesn’t need to be uncomfortable or wasteful. I had a really difficult relationship with my cycle. Thankfully, I discovered a better way early on. For those of you who know the Diva story, you know that by the age of 14, I was already using a menstrual cup. But, even still, while I had found menstrual care that was better for me and actually worked, like most teenage girls, the dynamics of my cycle changed with every cycle. My period took a few years to stabilize. Your cycle is supposed to change as you age. Your first period will not be the same as a period you experience in your 30s or 40s. Our bodies change so much every few years, and with this, so too does our cycles. Add to this, having children, and your cycle experience is taken to a whole new level (we’re talking heavier and possibly more cramps for the first few postnatal periods).

Being healthy takes work. Today, we can go into a grocery store and leave with a fully cooked meal or enough frozen/packaged items to create a super tasty meal in minutes. But, convenience doesn’t always translate into healthy, wholesome foods.

It’s okay to “cheat” sometimes, I love my dark chocolate! I do my best to eat a whole foods diet. I find avoiding sugar, wheat and dairy makes me feel better, and reduces a number of symptoms related to my cycle. But, if I’m being honest, eating healthy takes time and is a lot of work. Meal prep is awesome, if you have the time to prep. Eating local and organic is the ideal, but not always accessible to everyone. With two young kids and a business to run, some nights, we end up ordering take out.

I don’t mind working out, but it’s not a passion of mine. I enjoy being on the move and staying active with my kids, but heading to a cycle class at 5 am is a real struggle for me. The most successful tip for me has been to find activities that I enjoy and can incorporate into my lifestyle. I love practicing yoga and it’s helped me to be kinder to myself and slow things down, even if it’s only for a short time.

Above all, take time to rest and reflect at the end of each day. Be sure to also test your health IQ, get health tips, and find out more about National Women’s Health Week at You also can follow HHS OWH on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Celebrating Diva becoming a Certified B Corp!

You may be asking; What is B Corp and why is it important?

As the category leader in the menstrual care industry, Diva International Inc., makers of the DivaCup, are doing something revolutionary. Becoming a certified B Corporation was the next step for a company that is viewed as one that challenges the status quo by redefining the experience of menstruation, with comfort, health and sustainability in mind. B Corp certification is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.

B Corp is important for DivaCup because as a leader in the menstrual cup category and key player in the menstrual movement, we have a responsibility to you (our community) and the planet to be the absolute best. B Corp gives us the platform to be transparent and accountable. We have been doing the right things for a while, but now we have the ability to demonstrate it and something keeping us accountable to ensure we keep doing the good work we are doing.

Who is Diva as a B Corp?:

With over 2400 B Corps, spanning across 50 countries and 140 industries, B Corps meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. As a B Corp, Diva International Inc. is more than a business. We are part of a global movement of like-minded people who are using business as a  force for good™. Being a B Corp is not only about being the best in the world, but also the Best for the World®. We encourage and mobilize change from within our organizational walls.

“Being part of a global movement of purpose-driven companies that are changing the world, is our vision for Diva. This is why we voice environmental sustainability through both our product and our own company standards.”
Carinne Chambers-Saini CEO and Co-Founder Diva International Inc.

What is a B Corp?:

Think of it this way. Being B Corp Certified is like receiving a Fair Trade certification but for the whole business, not just a bag of coffee. B Corps must adhere to higher standards of how business is done. Performance is measured through a comprehensive auditing process that evaluates a company’s impact on all its stakeholders (e.g. workers, suppliers, community, customers and the environment). Unlike traditional corporations, Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions not only on their shareholders, but also on their stakeholders. The B Impact Assessment looks at Governance, Workers, Customers, Community and Environment.

When does B Corp accountability take a rest?:

Easy answer: it doesn’t. As a Certified B Corporation, the accountability and practice of certification never takes a break. It is not a sometimes, or quarterly initiative, it is an everyday thing. Considering the impact of our decisions and how they will influence everyone, and everything, is top of mind.

Where are these ‘B Corps’?:

B Corps are all around us, in over 50 countries around the world. They represent a variety of industries (over 140) who together are leading a global movement and call to action for businesses to be the best they can for the world. Chances are you have a B Corp near you or that some of brands you love (like the DivaCup) are a Certified B Corporation. Since B Corps keep “good” company with other B Corps, the change we seek® can be seen everywhere.

Certified B Corporations are committed to ensuring that everything we do meets the highest standards of verified performance, transparency, and accountability. We are not in this alone, over 2,400 like-minded businesses are doing the same thing and helping to keep each other accountable. It is about a collective impact doing good, helping to make everything better for everyone involved.

Why did Diva want this certification?:

We became a Certified B Corporation because we’re doing something revolutionary. If you’re a DivaCup user, you’re no stranger to the fact that we are challenging the status quo and have found a better way to care for your period. Not only are we a leader within the category, but we feel a sense of responsibility to take that further. And more importantly, this translates into empowerment for society, the environment, individuals within our organization and of course, all who experience a period.

How does B Corp come into play?:

Diva International Inc. was certified by the non-profit B Lab which helps businesses meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good™. Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the Best for the World® and as a result society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity.

To become a Certified B Corporation an organization needs to complete the B Impact Assessment and earn a minimum score of 80 out of 200. If a score of 80 or higher is achieved, an organization is then required to undergo an audit of the assessment. This comprehensive audit evaluates impact in terms of governance, workers, consumer, community and environment. The measure of impact was developed by an independent, third-party Standards Advisory Council. After the audit, an organization must sign the B Corp Declaration of Independence and Term Sheet. While this may seem as the last step in the certification process, it is really just the beginning of the B Corp journey. B Corps must continue to practice out this commitment to be better in everything they do, every day.

Picturing PCOS: What It Is & How To Sur-Thrive

It’s hard to believe that an acronym as small as PCOS can have such a big effect on a person’s life. PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is an endocrine disorder that effects up to 15% of people who menstruate. There is currently no cure for PCOS and no clear understanding of what causes PCOS to develop in the first place. Many people are left confused and scared both by the myriad of symptoms, but also about their future ability to lead fulfilled and healthy lives. So let’s get into the nitty-gritty of all things PCOS.

Most Common Symptoms

PCOS effects many systems in the body and a person can experience a large number of seemingly unconnected symptoms. Below are four of the most common, but there are many more than just on this list.

  1. Cystsers Unite!: One of the classic, tell-tale signs of PCOS are multiple cysts on the ovaries. These cysts develop in the follicle where the egg would normally be released. This can disrupt normal menstruation cycles as well as impact fertility due to lower instances of ovulation. Many people have no symptoms of these cysts, but they can be very painful, especially if they rupture.
  2. Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: That’s right one of the best diagnostic tools is your hair. Because of the raised levels of male androgens in the blood many people with PCOS experience male-pattern baldness as well as excessive growth of hair on faces, stomachs, and chests. This can of course be very unsettling but there are a number temporary and permanent options available for dealing with unwanted hair including shaving, waxing, and electrolysis.
  3. When It Rains, It Pours: Another of the most common symptoms of PCOS are irregular (or absent), painful, and heavy periods. Some people experience periods that can last for weeks or even months, while others don’t have one at all. This of course can affect your quality of life due to the discomfort and unpredictability of your monthly flow, but also can have implications for fertility.
  4. Gains & Losses: The metabolic symptoms of PCOS are also a common component of diagnosis. PCOS can cause a person to put on excess weight easily, while also making it extremely difficult to lose. This can also lead to insulin resistance and for many diabetes.[1]

Tips For Sur-Thriving With PCOS

With all of the doom and gloom around PCOS symptoms it is hard to imagine a life that is happy, healthy, and fulfilling but fear not cysters below are some tips to help you live your best life.

  1. Extra! Extra! Read All About It: Getting educated and staying informed about this condition is critical. PCOS has begun to receive attention from the medical community with new research being produced and new treatment protocols being offered. Staying current on your condition helps you to make informed decisions and take a holistic approach to your health.
  2. The Balancing Act: A healthy diet is one way to see immediate improvement in many PCOS symptoms. Visit Soul Cysters for delicious PCOS-friendly recipes. Because of the metabolic component of PCOS there are certain dietary considerations to keep in mind when planning meals.
    • One such consideration is avoiding sugar as much as possible. It not only helps to sensitize your cells to insulin again and restore them to normal functioning, but also helps to reduce many of the inflammatory symptoms such as joint pain.[2]
    • Eating whole foods and good fats are also critical to maintaining your health. These food groups can help to control cholesterol, blood sugar and pressure, as well as improve body composition and mange weight.
  3. Get Into The Groove: Movement is important for everyone to stay healthy, but especially for people who have PCOS. Finding movement that helps bring you joy and vitality will not only help treat some of your current PCOS symptoms but will also help to prevent some potential future health complications. Try something fun like belly dancing, swim aerobics, or taking a walk in nature, your mind, body, and soul will thank you![3]

  4. Treat Yo-self: Self-care is an important part of thriving with PCOS. Focusing on ‘you-time’ helps with stress management, improves sleep, and lifts your mood which this condition can all effect. Try incorporating things such as mindfulness meditation, at-home spa days, or even a few extra minutes in a hot shower. The Hormone Diva has a list of self-care activities that are solely focused on PCOS wellness. Anything that leaves you feeling relaxed and centered will go a long way.

So now that you have a better understanding about what PCOS is and how live well after diagnosis what else can be done about PCOS? The medical community is now starting to focus time and resources on answering that question. One very important step is focusing studies on the lived experiences of people who deal with PCOS on a daily basis. DivaCup has partnered with the OM Health Study to help gather this important data. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with PCOS please consider being a part of this study as it will provide critical insights into this condition.




Carinne Chambers-Saini: I’ve Been Working Towards This my Entire Life

If you asked Diva International’s CEO, Carinne Chambers-Saini, if she imagined a day when she would be talking on an all female panel about product innovation at Yale University, at an event exclusively about menstruation (PeriodCon), she would probably say… “Actually yes. I not only imagined this day, I’ve been working towards it my entire life.”

For as long as she can remember, the business of bleeding and menstrual cups has been a part of her life. Her mother, Francine, pioneered the modern menstrual cup industry in the 1990s, and with Carinne’s support, the mother-daughter duo launched DivaCup in 2003. DivaCup is changing the way women experience their cycles and creating new opportunities for conversations around menstrual care.

On February 9, 2018, Carinne will join leading experts and innovators in the menstrual hygiene industry at Yale School of Management’s first-ever conference on periods, PeriodCon.

The conference will bring together industry leaders, policy makers, product innovators, community advocates and practitioners to learn about and discuss common challenges and emerging innovations that address menstrual hygiene globally. PeriodCon envisions a future where everyone has the information, confidence and ability to access safe, innovative solutions for menstruation.

Carinne is excited to lend her voice and passion to empower women everywhere to co-create a new menstrual culture where the experience is anything but embarrassing or shameful.

For Carinne, “Menstrual equity, the challenge of access to affordable and safe menstrual solutions, is a key concern. We are responding to a growing need for industry innovation, to solve the menstrual equity problem. Through product donations and the support of menstrual hygiene organizations worldwide, we are able to empower women to make informed decisions about their menstrual needs.”

Carinne will join other industry leaders on a panel titled: Product Development and Innovation. Being a disruptor in an industry surrounded by silence and stigma has given Carinne and the team at Diva International Inc the opportunity to redefine what menstruation means for every woman, with comfort, health and sustainability in mind.

“It’s been a dream come true and such an achievement to create a product that is changing lives all around the world. What we are seeing is a menstrual movement that’s all about creating a future where everyone has the information, confidence, and ability to access safe, innovative solutions for menstruation.”

Join the menstrual movement and conversation by following Carinne on Instagram (@carinne.chambers.saini) and Twitter (@CarinneChambers).