Saturday, January 30, 2010

Two resources: cervixes and menstrual cups

Last night, I was at a potluck/Tu B'Shevat celebration with a bunch of people including one other Maternal/Child Health student from my program. That is a 99% guarantee that at least one of the following will come up in conversation: 1) breastfeeding 2) birth 3) birth control in general 4) IUDs in particular. There was a little cluster in the corner of myself, a social work student, my fellow MCHer, and her roommate (a med anthro student) and we managed to hit 3 and 4 (and 1 came up later, prompted by a reading from the seder that likened growing your own food to breastfeeding).

We also discussed two websites: One was a website that I was showing to everyone in my class last year (in case you're wondering, yes, I do have a bit of a reputation), but which I'm not sure I ever posted here: the Beautiful Cervix project. This began with a project undertaken by a student midwife to photograph her own cervix each day throughout one menstrual cycle. I found it completely fascinating, especially since I had just read "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" and thought it was neat to actually be able to SEE the changes the cervix goes through. Since then she's added photos of other cervixes (cervices? according to the Internet either is acceptable), including a women who are pregnant, have IUDs, have gone through menopause, etc.

The other website is a LiveJournal community forum on menstrual cups. I've had the Keeper for a little over a year now, but I didn't know about this website until my fellow MCHer told me about it last night. All I can say is, I wish I'd found that site a year ago! The Keeper has worked great for me when it's in - no leaking and comfortable. But I've found myself avoiding using it sometimes because it's been so hard for me to insert and remove; I was contemplating switching to a DivaCup to see if that would make things easier, or just giving up altogether and investing in a whole lot of LunaPads. Things I could have learned sooner if I'd known about that forum: 1) there are many choices of menstrual cup, above and beyond just the Keeper or the DivaCup; 2) there are many ways to fold a cup for insertion, which I think is about to make my life so much more comfortable, and 3) there are multiple ways to size cups (among other "myths propagated by the cup companies"). I'm willing to give some new techniques a try to see if I can stick with the Keeper, but if not I'm reassured I have many more options!

This concludes your Very Hippie Post of the week ("Visualize your cervixes, ladies! And catch your moon flow with a non-disposable product! Bliss and peace!")

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