Menstrual Cup Victory? Perhaps… Thanks to a Vlogger

So I have been using the menstrual cup for a few years now, but would always have anxiety the first time inserting for that cycle. I was confident in all the cup could do, however popping that sucker in was a task. I mean I would try standing up, squatting, legs open, sitting down and probably any other position you could think of. At the beginning of every cycle I would go search for the least-vague answer on how to insert the menstrual cup. And so three years later I came across it, a vlogger named Sarah Tran (click on her name for the link) . She gave the best description on how to pop that sucker in that actually works. Her method is different from the directions on the box of the cups I have used. I have tried her process now for about 1 year and I get success about 85% every time. I don’t know why it’s not 100% but I would chop it up to user error. It’s like brain fog every time and I have to refresh my memory. Just give it a try, the menstrual cup really is great to have once you master the technique

Boric Acid and Chronic Yeast Infections

So boric acid is a household staple, it’s used to clean floors, clean sinks and is even used for laundering purposes. Yep it’s pretty universal, but did you know it can also treat yeast infections? Yes, that is correct, not orally (it is toxic and should not be ingested) but vaginally. There are different strains of yeast, hence the reason why sometimes over-the-counters and prescriptions can still leave some women without the relief they so desperately need.
According to PubMed’s search engine, a review article was completed in the Journal of Woman’s Health over the efficacy of boric acid in treating yeast infections that were not responding to standard treatment. In this review of case studies, randomized clinical trials and case reports that support using boric acid as a safe alternative. Of course talk with your GYN about your options and if you are pregnant, don’t use this treatment at all.

Menstrual Cups, Part 1

Pad Rash (click here) much? Or just tired of bulky pads and strings to pull? Have you ever heard of menstrual cups? They are rubber or silicone apparatuses that remain in the vagina for upwards of 10-12 hours, depending on your flow. They work by producing a light suction that collects your menstruating fluids slowly and gradually.
I’ll be sharing more in-depth posts and reviews in the near future. if you were contemplating purchasing one check out a few pros and cons I’ve gathered below and click on te link to check out a few popular brands
Pros:
• You never have to worry about strings to pull.
• Due to the suctioning of menstrual cups, a barrier is formed and because of that barrier odor is absent are usually very minimal.
• If you have sensitive lady parts, this is a Godsend. There aren’t chemically treated layers of fabric relentlessly brushing up against your skin.
• It is super environmentally friendly.
• It is very cost effective
• It is also very easy to pack or take with you.
• You will never feel like you have forgotten it up there….like those pesky tampons.

Cons:
• Get ready to explore your lady parts because it really takes some practice and getting used to.
• You have to extract it or “pull it out”.
• When you pull it out… be careful!! If it spills…RED RUM, like all over the place!
• You have to sanitize it. You can do so with vinegar and water boiled. There also other methods used to sanitize it.
• Generally, you need to wash it out after each use, so if you’re at a restaurant or any place other than home…it gets tricky.

There are different hacks and tricks you need to research to figure out what works best for you upon insertion. If you just bought one, I suggest wearing a liner or light pad for a few cycles until you get the hang of it. Once you do it’s like learning to ride a bicycle every twenty-eight days.

Suds and Clam

    Have you ever used the smell-good sudsy body wash only to have a bad bout of vag irritation follow for the next few days? I have gotten a lot of questions with concerns from women over the years involving non specific pruritus ( itching ). It’s super annoying and can really ruin your day if you have the most basic of plans. However, what I have found is the best way to beat this ailment is to stick to dye free, perfume free suds. I know, I know…you like the smells of berries and flowers. Yes….your nose does, but your clam doesn’t. Whose winning? Your best bet is to first see a doctor about it, but cut out all perfumed body washes. I even had to stop baths where I only used a squirt of body wash. Even sensitive soaps would be a bit too much after a few days of regular usage. What worked the best for me was the yellow Johnson and Johnson tear free baby wash. No this is not an endorsement and at the time of me writing this I have not been paid for anything….though I am not shunning that idea. But Johnson & Johnson tear free baby wash is what I have used for 5 plus years and it never fails.Yes it does have a light fragrance, but it does the job. Of course you must also make sure you rinse your lady part well…this includes the labia minora and labia majora.

    Ladies, do not feel hindered about using your fingers. A bulky wash cloth sometimes is just that….too bulky. I also have learned from previous experience that I can’t wash my hair in the shower anymore, the conditioner and shampoo run down and wreak havoc. So again consult with your GYN to rule out a more serious condition and remember to treat your lady part with dignity and respect. Listen to her, she usually has a lot to say!

The Dreadful Pad Rash

Some may have never experienced it and some face it every few weeks, it’s the dreadful period rash. I am going to keep it real ladies…I never knew what the heck this thing was until I stopped pulling the wool over my eyes. I mean putting two and two together sometimes is more like a Sherlock mystery than an Ah-ha moment. I wore pads when I was younger and no I didn’t always change them every 3 or so hours because I never bled much. But It would have been nice if someone would have told me that you sweat down under and when you add little to no air circulation and blood it creates the perfect storm for PR. I was too ashamed to bring it up to anyone and besides it went away after a few days and sometimes didn’t show up at all.

So after years…I figured it out; it was the pads. So I would change my pads so frequently that I turned a bit OCD. Well, I found more relief with tampons. Oh my goodness with the tampons I only would experience minor skin irritation and it was only when I needed a panty liner (which actually was every cycle) but it was so mild I could deal. So after the mild irritation I figured I’d just do the tampons no liner. Yep I threw out underwear a lot and had a substantial amount of period undies….but I felt better and didn’t view my cycle as a co-morbidity. As I mentioned before I am a VERY delicate flower and have been since a little girl.

Unfortunately I had to switch my tampons because the more commercialized products had chemicals in them that were beginning to agitate my vaginal environment…but that will be in another post. So when the tampons were forced in to retirement for a while, I of course had to switch back to pads. This time though as a nurse I knew about chemical dermatitis and skin irritations caused by different agents and chafing. It all made sense and I went to my local Whole Foods and picked up some organic pads, liners and tampons. They worked more effectively and I experienced less symptoms less frequently. So I took my research a bit further and ordered some organic cloth pads and liners from amazon and I liked them it was just a bit much for me. I still used the cloth liners the most and washed them in hypoallergenic detergent ( I still use ALL Free and Clear ) with the organic tampons.

So the irritation subsided and so as far as Vag Hacks go-I can’t forget to mention that I most definitely changed underwear or liners when I felt moist and always used my blow-dryer (click here to read how). Another Vag Hack is to keep that area very dry and clean and use chemical free products with no dyes. I put a few tags below. I have used some but not all of the products. Sometimes you have to just try and see what works best…and that is what we call life.

Vaginal Wetness …..

Taking a bath or shower feels awesome, especially right after a long day. However, if you’re like many other women, then right after that awesome feeling comes the incoming wetness in your underwear or between your legs. You dab dry, might even use toilet paper to aid in “drying” your vaginal area, only to notice the dampness again. Well you are not alone and If you don’t know what it feels like…(insert clap here ) you my fraaand are lucky! But for the many others that do experience this, you may appreciate this post. I have come across a few possible solutions in my life but also remember your vagina is like a cave…heheheh. And when water goes in….it may take it a while to trickle back out.

GYN-First if you have an odor coming with the wetness or unusual discharge call your GYN. I can’t stress this enough ladies. Find a Gynecologists you can be friends with. This makes everything so much easier.

Blow Drying- This is what I use. On a low setting for about 60 seconds or more if I need more time. I do this every time I get out of the shower. It’s great but has become addictive. I feel so fresh and clean and DRY!!! At first I had to use cool air, but now the warm setting is my fave. Blow-drying really can dry you out, so I am cautious to never blow-dry for too long and I always keep the dryer at a certain distance waving it back and fourth. But again this is what I do…not saying you should try it.

Next is a panty liner. It doesn’t have to stay on for hours but for a few minutes to catch the water so your underwear won’t get wet. Isn’t that the worse feeling in the world!

You can also try a dry washcloth or towel between your legs for a few minutes after you get out. It will absorb any after-moisture once you have exited the bathroom.

I’m sure there are many other approaches. I have had ladies hypothesize that their wetness was caused from yogurt to detergents. Do you have any you have heard of? Drop a line in the comments.I’ll update and revisit this post.

What is a Jolly Clam?

Well… a Jolly Clam is a happy honey pot, a happy lady part….are you getting the subtle references?  It’s another name for our ” Lady Garden”. And as beautiful as they are, they can also be quite temperamental. My JOLLY CLAM is a blog geared towards those complexities that ladies deal with….all the time.  To have one is to know one. While she has a lot of power,  if her jolliness isn’t on point, it can throw your entire mood off and consume your thoughts.

As a registered nurse, I’ve had my fair share of conversations with women who were dealing with lady part issues. I had my disclaimer, to always check with your doctor but then I would tell them either about my experiences or others that were similar in nature. Growing up ,” vagina” was a taboo word and it was rarely mentioned. But I had issues with sensitivity at a young age. I remember my mother telling me to put the  “medicated Vaseline”  ( it was in a brown jar, do they even sale this now?…who knows) down under because I was always irritated. It wasn’t due to improper wiping or inappropriate touching….I was just a delicate flower.

Well I had so many issues and it led me to think that  clearly something was wrong with me. But as I grew unashamed in talking about my issues with other women, I came to realize many women, young and old, were having similar concerns.

So I set out to have a place in the world where any knowledge I gathered or attained could be used to help others. So now of course I have to lay out the disclaimer that this blog is not for medical advice. I am not and never will diagnose and this is not medical information. It is for entertainment and if you find it informational….great! Just check with your doctor or medical provider if you are having any concerns. And I definitely must put a plug in for the GYNs. If you do not have one, get one ASAP. Keep up with your annuals/ PAPS and don’t be ashamed to ask questions.

I hope you enjoy this blog and I hope you tell other women, young and old about it. Heck, single fathers with daughters should know about this as well. Drop a line and let me know what issues you are having and together we can tackle them or at least attempt.