Instagram ads have done it again! I am a marketing professionals dream.
I’ve always looked for some sort of option for a more tolerable shark week (that’s what I call periods because the word period resonates with me like moist resonates with most people). Myself, along with my mother and sister, all suffer from PMDD (pre menstrual dysphoric disorder) and extreme symptoms associated with the week when we ride the cotton pony. I tried everything to make any one of the adverse effects better and nothing seemed to work. I’m not someone that can be on birth control because my PMDD symptoms will worsen and my level of psychotic goes to if Gary Busey and 2007 Britney Spears had a child and that child was me. So here I’ve been for years, not only dealing with two weeks of my emotions playing air hockey in my head but also crippling physical effects as well.
The first time I ever heard of any sort of alternative feminine product was the Diva Cup but was ultimately turned off by the re-using aspect of it. There isn’t any amount of boiling that will sanitize a plastic cup that’s been sitting up in my fur burger for 12 hours at a time. Fast forward to some years later scrolling on Instagram recently and up pops this ad for Flex. Now Flex was intriguing because it said it was a one time use “menstrual disc” and you basically just toss it out after you’re done. So many other aspects of Flex were enticing, 12-hour wear, being able to exercise without leakage, doing the dirty without swimming in the Red Sea, less cramping, some people claimed that it even shortened their shark week and the overwhelmingly positive reviews of it.
I ordered my first round of Flex off of Amazon (I need immediate gratification) about 6 months ago. I will say that everything that they claim on their site is ultimately true for the most part. I would consider myself on the more extreme end if we are ranking level of shark attack (more blood, more pain… you guys get it) so some things didn’t happen for me like other people but I did end up switching over to Flex completely.
Step One: Getting that sucker up in there….
First things first, you have to get Flex in place. I’m so used to shoving satan’s little cotton fingers up there that I thought the point was to get Flex up there as far as possible. Not only is that NOT the case but I had apparently put it in backwards as well. Disaster ensued. Their directions are very helpful and turns out your pelvic bone is not in your abdomen as I had obviously thought. Pinch the disc in the middle, get it in there and then tuck the top behind your pelvic bone and you won’t feel a thing after that. That’s when you know it’s in the right place. My suggestion would be to start in either a squatted or seated position and as you push it further in stand up and then adjust it to behind the pelvic bone while you’re standing. The couple issues I had with leaking were when I inserted it seated and then didn’t readjust when standing.
Step Two: Leaving that sucker in there all day…
As you all know by now, this time of the month for me is like attending the Red Wedding in GOT so the whole 12 hour wear thing isn’t necessarily the case in first couple of days. I definitely get more hours out of Flex (probably about 4-6) but I most certainly could not last 12 hours with just one disc. After the first couple of days though, I will max out the 12 hour usage with absolutely no issues. In general it makes every day tasks much easier especially working out. I’ve done vigorous workouts, yoga, running, hiking and am completely confident while doing these that I will have no issues. The first thing that you have to get used to when switching from vampire sticks to Flex is using the bathroom with it in (yes you can use the bathroom without removing it). Such a weird concept since that’s literally the first rule when learning to use the cotton donkeys, ALWAYS TAKE THEM OUT WHEN YOU PEE! Because of how Flex is positioned when you go to use the bathroom the sitting position and the act of bearing down a little will allow the disc to move slightly and ultimately releasing a little of the red devil. Don’t panic! It will reposition itself when you stop and/or stand up.
Step Three: Taking that sucker out
This is the one you really have to get used to doing. They suggest taking Flex out in the shower and I second that notion. It is the “cleanest” way to go. I put quotes around cleanest because no matter how you do it you’ll be playing Daniel Day Lewis and There Will Be Blood. Physically removing it is very easy, you squat, bear down a little like you’re peeing and once you feel the rim, fish hook it with your finger and slowly pull out. The shower is much easier disposal of the vampire juice and if you Van Gogh the walls it’s obviously easier to wash away. I’ve unfortunately come into the situation where I was not able to wait to shower to remove Flex in which case I became Jeremy Renner’s character from the Hurtlocker when moving from the toilet to the sink and garbage. To sum it up, you won’t be looking like Carrie when you remove it but prepare for some hand washing and maybe an extra couple of toilet paper squares if you’re not in the shower.
There are so many good things that have come from using Flex for me and I’m going to list some of them with some brief explanations:
1. Less Cramping:
I’m not exactly sure the science behind it but there is DEFINITELY less cramping going on and for me that was a reason in itself to switch.
2. Shorter Shark Week:
It seems that because Flex allows things to exit that it shortens the overall time that Aunt Flo is around. That’s my scientific explanation for it and I’m sticking to it. Regardless of my terrible explanation, it’s noticeably shorter by at least a day or two.
3. Less Overall Product Usage:
I live in the woods with a septic system so I have to be careful what I’m flushing anyway, but the less disposal of products in general the better.
4. Mess Free 4th Base:
If you’re boyfriend doesn’t mind riding the red roller coaster than he’ll be pleasantly surprised that Flex allows for it with much less clean up and by that I mean no clean up at all. The position of the Flex makes it a little difficult to play anything but just the tip but get creative and you’ll enjoy it much more than the alternative.
I see one minor downside to Flex (which they’ve actually addressed on their website that they’re working on improving). The Flex disc is BPA and Latex free but it is not biodegradable so it is a single use of plastic. You do end up using less product overall comparably but you’re contributing to the carbon footprint.
I’ve used Flex for almost 6 cycles now and I will confidently say I will never go back to the lady sticks. Its definitely helped me in my Shark Week struggles and I hope that this may help others find their way on to the Flex train.