Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ask Naughty Nurse Kimpy 5/24/12


Ask Naughty Nurse Kimpy is an advice column that addresses reader’s most burning questions on sexual health/relationships. STIs, birth control, is it real or is it fic, sexual positions--you name it. There are no stupid questions, only ones that are too embarrassing to asks someone you know. If Naughty Nurse Kimpy doesn’t know the answer, she’ll find an expert who does!

The information and advice from Ask Naughty Nurse Kimpy is for entertainment/educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as expert medical advice. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician. All medical advice and information should be considered to be incomplete without a physical exam, which is not possible without a visit to your doctor.

Well, dear readers, believe it or not, but Naughty Nurse Kimpy is not the only woman on the internet who loves menstrual cups. Don’t believe her? Read on, lovelies, and you’ll find that there are some pretty excited menstrual cup users who are willing to share their experiences and wisdom with you, so you don’t need to just take Kimpy’s word for it anymore!

My favorite thing about the menstrual cup, (I'm also a Diva user) is that since they are non-drying and not associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), you don't have to wait ‘till your period actually begins to put it in. You can put it in a day or so before you expect it to start and just check and rinse it morning and night till it does; that way you never ruin underwear or sheets or get caught unprepared. Also helpful for those with abnormally heavy periods, is the fact that (at least on Diva) there are ounce measure markers on the side, so you can accurately track how much you're flowing per day, which may make your doctor take things more seriously. They can be a little intimidating at first, but once you get over the learning curve they are AMAZING! This community has the most comprehensive information on every type of cup and advise for any problems you might have with them. Menstrual Cups.

Menstrual cups are absolutely WIN! I use the Diva Cup and I also own a smaller Meluna cup that I keep in my purse in case my period starts when I'm out and about. I highly recommend every single woman reading this try them - I wish I'd discovered them sooner. They are the most comfortable and dependable thing I've ever used. I too found tampons painful, and pads were a pain. I've never had an issue with my menstrual cup, though I will say it does take a couple of cycles to really get the hang of it.

This is less a question and more a comment - I'm a bit squeamish and resisted the Diva Cup and its brethren for years. Then a couple months ago, a reader on Dan Savage's advice column suggested the Instead SoftCup. It's sold in grocery stores/drugstores and is sort of like a DivaCup, except you dispose of it at the end of each cycle, and ... wait for it ... YOU CAN HAVE NO-MESS PERIOD SEX WITH IT IN! No post-coital homicide crime-scenes to clean up. It was finally enough to convince me. I tried it and it changed my life. Yes, it's more expensive than the DivaCup over time, but it's less up-front expense, less intimidating for people like me who were scared of menstrual cups, and there's no boiling/sanitizing/storing between cycles. And did I mention no-mess period sex???

See, Nurse Kimpy is not alone in pointing out the many things that are WIN with menstrual cups. But when her ideological hero Dan Savage includes it in his advice column, you know it has to be something supercalifragilisticexpealidocious. Just saying.

A tip for the painful periods lady: Evening Primrose Oil. This is an inexpensive supplement available at Target, Walmart, GNC, etc. It comes in capsules and looks very similar to vitamin E. It works wonders. Helps with PMS, cramps, bloating...basically all the icky period side effects. Take it everyday and hopefully you'll see results within a month.

Thank you so much for that tip, Nurse Kimpy hadn’t heard of Evening Primrose Oil for painful periods. What a great suggestion!

Several weeks ago, there was a question about Lady-Comp, and Nurse Kimpy asked the inquirer for clarification. While the inquirer didn’t respond, a wonderful reader did, and I could hardly improve upon her research. For that reason, I’ve included her answer in its entirety--yes, it’s that thorough and well-researched. Don’t believe it? Read on, dear reader, read on:

Just in case the original poster doesn't resubmit her question: Lady-Comp is a fertility monitor that provides information on fertility based exclusively on monitoring basal body temperature (rather than cervical mucus etc.).

I tried to find some info on failure rates (I assume that's what the asker is interested in), but reliable information is actually pretty hard to find. According to one study, the probability of an unintended pregnancy after a year of use was about 5.3%, i.e., out of 100 women who rely on Ladycomp for one year, 5.3 will become pregnant according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (more on this study can be found here). The thing to consider about Ladycomp from the asker's perspective is that you cannot just whip it out for the times you don't feel like using a condom, because you have to monitor your basal body temperature daily (temperature taken orally immediately after waking up while still lying down) for the method to work reliably.

Basal Body Thermometers (BBTs) monitors in general have good false negative rates: 1.7% to 4.7% days falsely declared infertile while the woman is, in fact, fertile, which is much, much, MUCH better than the false negative rates of salivary and hormonal monitors (just in case anybody is considering those). Btw, false positive rates (days declared fertile when the woman is infertile) are very high, e.g., 53.9% for a different BBT monitor. This presents no pregnancy risk, but certainly affects the frequency of sex (or rather the frequency of needing to use other methods of contraception). (Research source can be found here)

Thank you for your dedication in finding such a detailed response. Your altruism and intelligence are plain to see, and both are much appreciated by Naughty Nurse Kimpy.

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