kmericks
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    • kmericks

      I love the disposable ones. I use one or two per cycle, cause my period can be pretty erratic and properly sanitizing a diva cup three times a month seemed excessive. I have found the trick is to run it under hot water when you’re inserting a new one. It loosens up the plastic ring and makes it malleable. Then whenever you empty and re-insert it, your body heat is enough to keep it softened. The only time I have any issues with leaks is the first day or two when my period is super heavy, but I just use a pantyliner since any leaks are pretty minor. After day two, I don’t even have to empty it more than once a day, so I love it. Plus, I can have sex with one in and not have to worry about changing the sheets.

    • kmericks

      For the sake of balance, I’ll share my experiences (Lucia, it was great that you shared - not so great that you had bad experiences). I love my Paragard. This is my second copper IUD (my first was some other brand but it was recalled right around the time I need to switch it so the one I have now is Paragard). There are definitely some not-great side effects, mostly heavier periods and worse cramping. I had mild-moderate periods before, unpleasant but definitely bearable. Now, my cramps are miserable and, while I haven’t had to miss work, I spend a solid two evenings per month laying on the couch asking my fiance to bring me food/water/whatever I need because it hurts to move. For that, I would suggest getting a TENS machine, it helps me a lot. My period is heavy enough that for the first two days, I’m hyper vigilant about checking my menstrual cup every few hours because I’m convinced I’ll leak (though I rarely do), but it’s handle-able.

      As for the pros, the peace of mind is ridiculous. I don’t hate condoms, so we use them anyway (I don’t like the feeling of semen inside me, not sure how I’ll deal with trying to get pregnant!) but every once in a while, we don’t and I have a little panic attack until I remember that I’m protected. That’s how little I think about my IUD. I like the reassurance of not having to think about taking a pill or inserting anything, but also knowing I really don’t have to worry about an unwanted pregnancy (which, due to my medical situation, would be dangerous for both me and the baby. So it’s not that I just don’t want it to happen - it can’t happen).

      Yes, the insertion process is anything but pleasant and my first one took its sweet time “settling in” so I needed an internal ultrasound to make sure everything was a-ok, but I’d do it all again in a heartbeat based solely on the fact that I, unlike many of my friends who use other BC methods, don’t keep a pregnancy test under the sink for “just checking” moments because I am so confident in my worry-free IUD. I also love the fact that, now that I am at the point in my life that I am planning for kids in the next few years, I can go get it taken out and get pregnant that night if I want, there’s no detox or readjustment time needed. But I get that some people don’t care about that because they don’t want kids in the future.

    • kmericks

      I didn’t realize tattooing animals wasn’t common practice everywhere. I mean, it’s fading in popularity here and more people are opting for just a microchip, but lots of my previous pets were chipped and tattooed when we adopted them (it’s done during the spay/neuter surgery so they don’t feel any pain). I think the only reason they aren’t doing it as much is because the tattoos would fade or become hard to read over time, but I’d like to think that if one of my animals (especially my farm kitties who can’t wear collars because it’s dangerous) went missing, the tattoo would signal to whoever found them that they should be taken to a vet to get scanned for a microchip rather than just assuming they are a stray or abandoned.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying any kind of abuse is okay and I’m over the moon that little Toby has a loving home now, but I’m just surprised by how many people are appalled that he was tattooed since it’s so common here in Alberta, Canada.

    • kmericks

      I love mine, but I use a semi-disposable kind called SoftCups. They are technically disposable, but they’re well made so I use one or two per cycle, which is still WAY cheaper than tampons or pads. They stay in with pressure rather than suction because they sit right under your cervix, behind the pelvic bone, and when you want to take it out, you just sit on the toilet and bear down like you’re trying to poop and the edge of it will be pushed forward so you can grab it easily. It’s less cumbersome than a Diva Cup because it’s basically just a soft plastic ring with a little pouch of plastic wrap as the cup part, so it expands as needed and doesn’t poke down like others if you have a short vaginal canal. Plus, because it’s shorter, you can have sex with one in (just make sure you’re fully turned on before inserting anything or else your partner might feel it if your vagina hasn’t lengthened fully). If you do decide to give them a try, I suggest running it under warm water before you insert it to soften up the plastic ring and make things a bit easier. The heat from inside your body keeps it soft once it’s in, but the first time putting in a fresh one can be a little stiff.

    • kmericks

      The (not so) funny part is, even if you keep them from spending the money, they’ll find a way to be pissed. Back when I used a dating site, I was texting a guy and he asked me out for coffee much later in the week. Between when we made those plans and when the plans actually happened, I went on an amazing first date with my now fiancé. I knew after the first date that I was too smitten by him to give anyone else a fair chance and that it would be best to cancel my other date and save us both the time and money rather than leading anyone on. I spent quite a bit of time crafting a sincere text to the first guy about why I didn’t feel it was fair to him to go out for coffee if I knew I wouldn’t be truly invested in seeing where things might go. He completely flipped out on me about how all girls are the same and have done that to him three times that month (yeah, okay bud) and how I owed it to him to go for coffee.  I shouldn’t have ignored the warning signs when he complemented me on the size of my breasts within the first five texts. Long story short, guys like that will find a way to freak out on you either way.

    • kmericks

      Try SoftCups! They’re much smaller and easier to handle, in my opinion, and they don’t rely on suction, so I find that there’s more room for user error as your body heat will soften the ring and it will find it’s way into the right spot even if you didn’t put it in perfectly. I’ve convinced a handful of my friends to try them and nobody has said anything about pain and they’re all got the hang of inserting it within the first few tries. It’s worth looking into if you feel like giving the menstrual cup world another shot.

    • kmericks

      I use SoftCups, and I absolutely love it! I’ve also converted quite a few of my period-having friends. They’re a disposable menstrual cup (disposable is a flexible term here. I use 1 or 2 per cycle, rather than a dozen tampons/pads) that is much smaller and less obtrusive than a Diva Cup and you can even have sex with one in, if you want. On my super heavy days (I have a copper IUD so I have heavier and more painful periods than I would otherwise), I use a pantyliner as backup, but it’s so easy to empty/change that I don’t mind checking whenever I go pee, if I’m worried it might be full. Just grab it, dump the blood, wipe it out with TP, and stick it back in. On regular/light days, I can go 12 hours without checking it. And since my periods are fairly unpredictable and I get some spotting around ovulation time, I like that I can put one in whenever without risking TSS or the pain of removing a dry tampon. As a tip, if you do decide to go the SoftCup route, try running it under warm water before you insert a new one. The ring softens up quickly with warmth so it’s much easier to insert that way. Once it’s been in you, your body heat will keep it soft so you don’t have to worry about doing it when you check/change it.

    • kmericks

      It’s definitely worth trying out some other brands if you find it painful. Personally, I’m a fan of SoftCups, which are disposable (I think of it as halfway between tampons and divacups as far as waste goes, since I use 1 or 2 per cycle) and much more flexible and smaller. You can even have sex with one in! It’s basically a plastic ring with a bit of plastic wrap hanging down below it (obviously, they’re much more complicated and effective than that description would imply, but I’m just referring to how it looks) so there’s no “nub” to poke you or anything. If you do try SoftCups, try running it under hot water before inserting it for the first time, it’ll soften up the ring and make insertion easier. When you empty it, it’ll be soft from your body heat, so you only really need the water when you start a new one.

    • kmericks

      It’s definitely worth trying out some other brands if you find it painful. Personally, I’m a fan of SoftCups, which are disposable (I think of it as halfway between tampons and divacups as far as waste goes, since I use 1 or 2 per cycle) and much more flexible and smaller. You can even have sex with one in! It’s basically a plastic ring with a bit of plastic wrap hanging down below it (obviously, they’re much more complicated and effective than that description would imply, but I’m just referring to how it looks) so there’s no “nub” to poke you or anything. If you do try SoftCups, try running it under hot water before inserting it for the first time, it’ll soften up the ring and make insertion easier. When you empty it, it’ll be soft from your body heat, so you only really need the water when you start a new one.

    • kmericks

      Try a Softcup! A box of them is around $12 so it’s a nice non-committal way to try menstrual cups. Plus, they’re disposable (I use 1-2 per cycle) so you don’t have to sanitize them like you do with a Divacup. As a bonus, because they are considerably shorter and more flexible, you can have sex with one in, if you’re the type of person who gets extra revved up during your period but doesn’t want to deal with a mess. My friend converted me and I’ve brought three other ladies onto the Softcup train.

    • kmericks

      Completely second Elephant’s comment. My fiance proposed with a Forever One moissanite last month and nobody has questioned if it’s a diamond. I mentioned that I wanted moissanite to a few close people before we got engaged, so I’m sure some have guessed, but that’s okay because for me, the amount of money he saved on the ring shows how well he knows my priorities more than if he had gotten me a diamond. Plus, I’m pretty klutzy so I like that if I ever lose or damage my ring, it won’t cost me an arm and a leg to replace/fix.

    • kmericks

      Ha! Glad to know others are as straightforward as I am. At first, I was going to go with the ‘tell a close friend what I want so he can ask them’ strategy but I didn’t want anything to get lost in translation and I wanted to make sure he knew how much I wanted a moissanite over a diamond. One day, when I knew that step in our relationship was approaching, I came home from work, opened my computer to the ring I had designed online, and said “I like that one, get me that or something very close to it when you feel like buying me a ring.” Last month, I came from work once again to find candles arranged in a snowflake on our coffee table, my favorite song playing, and the love of my life asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. He added some personal flair with a few minor details, but stuck to the overall look of what I wanted and I absolutely love my ring. Some people might think I was too forward, but I’m the one who is going to wear it everyday, it makes sense to me that I would have the most input into how it looks. I hope your story turns out the same way, Oliviamae!

    • kmericks

      Moissanite fan over here! I got an absolutely beautiful moissanite ring from my fiance last month and I’m 10000% in love with it. And I love that my partner didn’t have to stretch himself too thin financially to get it. I saw a great point on a message board once and it’s completely true… I’d rather be his wife with a moissanite than be his girlfriend waiting on a diamond. We have plenty of other things in our future that I’d rather spend than money on, so his choice to get me a moissanite just proves how well he knows me and our shared values.

    • kmericks

      Agreed. I got engaged last month and love my moissanite ring. Nobody has questioned if it’s a diamond, but I’m not hiding the fact either. I understand that, for some people, diamonds are their jam but, for me, I think that my fiance honouring my wish of saving some money for our wedding/life together by getting me an equally beautiful but less expensive shiny rock shows just as much love and respect as a diamond. Plus, if a having a diamond becomes more of a priority for me in the future, I can swap out my moissanite easily because the setting is essentially the same for both.

    • kmericks

      I can’t go be on any hormonal birth control for similar reasons (I’ve never gotten a blood clot but I have a very strong family history of a clotting disorder, so it’s likely) and I decided to go with a copper IUD about 4 years ago. I know it seems like a strange concept, and I’ll be honest about the fact that getting it put in isn’t all that fun, but not having to worry about getting pregnant (please still use condoms if you aren’t absolutely 10000% sure about your partner’s STI status) for years at a time is soooo worth it. Since getting mine, I’ve been on a “referral rampage” telling all of my friends who don’t like the pill or hormone about this wonderful option. It is, of course, 100% up to you but I just wanted to share my experiences as a converted IUD cheerleader. Once it’s in there, you don’t even think about it. My partner and I use condoms most of the time because I just don’t like the feeling of having semen inside me, but every once in a while we don’t and I have a little mini freak out until I remember that I’m protected. It’s THAT easy to forget about the tiny metal protection warrior defending the fortress that is your uterus.

    • kmericks

      They were demanding that he accept it in the sense that the results are not rigged, as he was alleging when he thought he would lose. Nobody is saying the actual results were tampered with, but that the fact that he could win while Hillary Clinton won the popular vote is the sign of a broken system and that a large portion of Americans are indifferent to systemic problems like racism and sexism. So yes, these are a lot of the same people. Someone can say “please do not falsify the reason that you lost” and “I am unhappy with the results of this historic decision because of the vast amount of negative consequences that will follow and for what it says about half the population of this country” and not be contradicting themselves in the least.  Has your passive aggressive curiosity been satisfied? Good, I’m glad we cleared that up.

    • kmericks

      The only one that had a child holding it said “liar, cheat, racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe, president?!?” and I’d be proud as hell if my kid were woke enough to rock that sign. There are no “cuss words” or vulgarities, just truth. Why would you wash their mouth out with soap (also, can we acknowledge that that’s a ridiculous way to punish a child)? I can’t stand this idea that every effort should be made to keep kids “innocent” and sheltered. They need to know that there are bad things in the world so that they can grow up to fix them. No, they shouldn’t be terrified to leave the house, though in a world where Donald Trump is in power that is a reality for some, but having every adult tell them that things are peachy when they aren’t is doing them a disservice. Kids are taught to hate, they don’t do it naturally. That hate comes from fearing things that are different from what they are used to. Expose children to the world, and they’ll become more caring members of it.

    • kmericks

      I think of it as a test of their ability to manage life rather than how rich they are. I don’t need a partner who will buy me a fancy car for my birthday, but if we make roughly the same salary, we should have roughly similar spending habits and priorities for saving. I save as much money as I can because I am very focused on achieving my future goals and I’m willing to give up a few comforts in my current situation in order to set myself up right. I need a partner with the same priorities, so if they spend every penny they have on “wants” rather than “needs,” we probably won’t be great at making joint financial decisions. When the questions in this quiz are so limited, my criteria can come off as being “high standards” but in reality, I’d be way happier with a partner who is much worse off financially but is working on their situation rather than someone with a trust fund who will blow through it in a few years. It’s about having compatible lifestyles, not impressive funds.

    • kmericks

      Have your financial situation decided on beforehand. We decided to open a joint account that is used to pay for shared things like the mortgage payments, bills, and groceries. We both contribute a certain percentage of each paycheque to cover off all those expenses and the rest goes into our personal accounts to spend it like we did before (meaning we don’t buy gifts or pay for date night dinners out of the joint account since those are choices, not necessities). When there’s extra in the account after everything is paid for that month, it goes into a joint savings account for traveling or a puppy. That way neither person has to stress about nagging the other one for their share of the expenses, and we can each still save our own money for personal goals and priorities while getting a feel for how we’ll handle money if we eventually choose to combine all of it down the line.

    • kmericks

      That arguing over the little things is going to happen, but it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. I never realized just how passionate I am about the proper way to load the dishwasher, but it turns out I am and I can’t help complaining when he does it wrong, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still great together. It’s not going to feel like a rom-com montage, moving is stressful and you’re two separate people with a whole lifetimes of doing things a certain way. I don’t care if you “practically live together already,” when you’re at someone’s house, they get final say of how things are done. When you share a home, you need to negotiate how things are going to run in your new space. It takes time and you’ll get frustrated when they don’t read your mind and put stuff away where you want or invite people over at the last minute, but you’ll find your groove soon enough and eventually, you’ll wonder how you ever manged without seeing their goofy face every day when you get home.

    • kmericks

      I hear ya! I was diagnosed at 14 months and now, at 24, it’s fairly well managed by meds and has been for about a decade. I have a friend that I met in university and he knew I had RA but never really understood what that meant. I am big on using humor to deal with it and I don’t mind when people make friendly jokes about my RA. This particular friend did it a lot and we would both laugh about it. Then one day I went to his house during a flare up and it took me about 5 full minutes to get down one flight of stairs to watch a movie. He had this horrified look on his face and kept asking me if he could help and I just told him i’m fine but slow. He repeatedly apologized for ever making jokes about my RA once he saw how bad it could be. I reassured him that it was fine and that I was sort of grateful that he at least would have a frame of reference for future jokes so he could understand why not everyone with an autoimmune disease is a-ok with handling it that way. It’s sad that it took witnessing me on a bad day for him to take it seriously, but at least that made the flare-up feel sort of worth it.

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