Review: First Time Issue with a Whey Protein

Let me start this with, I have been tested for lactose intolerance and that came up negative. I know someone will likely try to tell me I must be intolerant, but trust me. I go through periods of eating a lot of dairy to times of not eating it at all and notice no difference.

I have never had an issue with whey protein powder before using Bob’s Red Mill Whey Protein Powder… I do not know if it is because I have been using the grass-fed whey protein powder from Promix Nutrition (which I had this yesterday without issues) for the last few years or what. Maybe grass-fed really is better?

I picked up Bob’s Red Mill Whey Protein Powder for a very reasonably price (58¢ / serving) and additional 20% off at Ocean State Job Lot. It is not expired. It tastes good too. However, 2 weeks ago it made me uncomfortably bloated and gassy.

I have loved many other Bob’s Red Mill products, especially their flours and oats, so I was surprised to feel as though the product that says “premium quality” is really of poor quality. Maybe it is because it is not grass-fed or maybe something about how it is processes just does not work with my digestion. I do not know, but I wanted to share my feedback. Also, people say I just love everything I review too much, so here is an example of something I do not care for.

First Period With Only A Menstrual Cup

Warning (if the title was not enough of a warning): I will be talking about my cycle. This post will even include talk about period fluid, blood. You have been warned.

A couple weeks ago I had my cycle (YAY!) and I was finally out of all the disposable feminine products I purchased from before I lost my cycle for 2 years. During those 2 years, I learned a lot about the waste problems we have here in the states and how the feminine products I had been using can effect my health. As much as I want to rant about how companies and corrupt people want to make money regardless of what is best for the environment and people, I will not because this post is not about that. My point is that I decided to change up my period game.

I quickly learned about menstrual cups and knew I wanted to give them a try. There are SO many options for menstrual cups. From researching Amazon reviews, YouTube videos and the product websites, I had a good idea that I wanted to try LENA Sensitive Cup:

  • Reusable for up to 10 years. Considering I used 20 tampons, 7 overnight pads and also 30 panty liners (thanks to lousy Playtex tampons) on average during my last few cycles, that is a lot less waste. Oh and do not forget these products come with wrappers and/or applicators.
  • Affordable, only $24.90 for a product that could last up to 10 years if I care for it properly. I have spent thousands of dollars on disposable feminine products since I got my first period around 12 years old.
  • Made in the USA. Supporting my economy and jobs for my fellow citizens.
  • Designed for sensitive anatomies. TMI ALERT! My vagina is VERY sensitive. I could feel my IUD strings moving in my vagina for over a year after getting it. Tampon removal when not complete soaked felt like I was ripping out my insides. There are few laundry detergents I can use on my panties without my vagina becoming irritated. Seeing reviews where women described similar issues with sensitivity and that they loved this product had me sold.

I used it from day one without panty liners, pads or period panties. I had mixed feelings the first day, but then day 2 changed it things to a very positive experience. Let me break down the experience by day:

  • Day 1.
    • I noticed my Basil Body Temperature decreased that morning and when I went to the bathroom, sure enough I had some spotting on the toilet paper I wiped with. So I inserted the cup for the first time and it was easier than I thought.
    • Peeing was interesting, it was like my urinary tract was pinched. I could still pee, but it was slow. There was a similar issue with pooping. Sounded like some, but not all experienced this according to menstrual cup reviews.
    • I had to do a lot of testing. Since I have an IUD, I want to make sure I am properly breaking the suction. In order for me to break the suction I have slide my finger up farther than the directions state. I read a lot of comments from women who dislodge their IUDs because of not releasing the suction. When I told my doctor I wanted to use a menstrual cup, they said, “GREAT! But a word of caution, make sure to have released the suction. It is not proven, but there appears to be a link to IUD issues and menstrual cup suction. For instance, the FemmyCycle cup should not be used while you have an IUD since it uses suction to draw in your blood.”
    • I irritated my vagina because I emptied the cup too often. So I gave myself a short break before wearing it to bed.
  • Day 2.
    • I could not believe how comfortable it was to sleep with. It did not leak and I did not feel it at all. I inserted it right before bed and then emptied it as soon as I woke up.
    • There was no smell. I always had some sort of abandoned meat market smell with my feminine products since I first got my period. It was part of what make me feel gross. When YouTube videos mentioned the lack of smell since the blood is not able to oxidize without the exposure to air. I was like, “REALLY?! Well scientifically, that makes sense.” Really, no smell.
    • No nasty, brown, clotty blood either, without exposure to air the blood will not oxidize and turn brown.
    • It was the heaviest day of my flow and I had to work standing for 5.5 hours straight. I did not leak, though my menstrual cup was more than half way full. You just need to empty it more often when you have a heavier day of your cycle. Thankfully, I made it through the full work day because this part time job has a disgusting bathroom.
    • I had some minor cramping just before bed and I am not sure if the cup contributed to me.
  • Day 3.
    • Slept with it in again. No leaking and comfortable.
    • As I stated on Day 1, I seem to have the issue of the cup straining/pinching my going to the bathroom. I was able to poop with it in, but it was slow and a bit uncomfortable. I experienced the same issues when I used tampons.
    • Made it through another work day without any leaking. At least it was a medium flow day.
    • Showered with it in, no issues there. It is not like it absorbs liquid so I just washed as usual.
    • I just really love that I do not stink. Usually, I feel like I need to bath my privates a lot or wet wipe every trip to the bathroom. It in like I am not on my period in this sense.
  • Day 4.
    • Another comfortable night sleeping without leaks.
    • 3rd work day standing for 5.5 hours without leaks or issues.
    • This was a light day so it was easier to take breaks from wearing the cup. When I took breaks I just used toilet paper in my panties, FYI or in case you were wondering.
    • This seemed to be the last day of my cycle. I only had a little spotting the following day.

Overall, I love it. I recommend it if you too are tired of spending so much money on feminine products or worrying if you have enough or generating so much waste. Though, I plan to get period panties or reusable pads as well because I think my vagina is just sensitive and needs to be able to take a break. Otherwise, that was the best period I have had in my life!

2 years with a Copper-IUD, My Experience

Disclosure, I have some TMI (Too Much Information) level stuff in this blog post. Nonetheless, I feel it is very important to share this information for women’s health reasons.

Before the IUD

Two years ago, I decided to change my method of birth control. I have been on 3 different brands of birth control pills since I was about 18.5 years old. Back then, I was a dysfunctional human being one day a month because my cramps made it impossible to stand unless I overdosed on analgesic and strapped a heating pan to my lower abdomen. Also, I had my first irregular cycle ever (likely due to the stress of my first semester in college) and  I was thinking about becoming sexually active.

The pill was what my doctor recommended and I figured it was the obvious choice because it seemed like the most reliable option. After I started taking the seasonal birth control pill though, I noticed a lot of negative changes. My sex drive was non-existent, I became anemic and my cycle slowly disappeared completely. I went from having a 5 day cycle to a 4 day to a 3 day pretty quickly. Slowly it dropped down to a 2 day cycle. Then as I was losing weight in 2015, I had a one day cycle and then no cycle for 2 whole years.

I was scared, especially after Googling all sort of things in regards to losing your period. On top of that, a conversation with my cousin about birth control pills made me connect the lack of sex drive, anemia and lack of cycle to the pill I was on. After doing more thorough research, I learned being on the pill for more than a decade is not well research and most of the experience others documented were similar to mine. So it was not just was type of pill I was on…

Making the Decision

Next step was to begin researching a new method of birth control, since now I am sexually active and hoped my sex drive would return as soon as I discontinued the use of the pill. I wanted something non-hormonal, which did not leave me many options that were easy to obtain and something that worked for my partner and I. I decided upon the Paragard copper intrauterine device (IUD) for the following reasons:

  • affordability (It did not cost me anything, but a doctor’s copay.)
  • non-hormonal
  • easy of use (in that once your doctor implants it you are good to go)
  • few and manageable side-effects
  • length of effectiveness (it protects you for 12 years).

Also, I had a friend who loved hers and it is the only copper IUD available in the US. However, with ALL forms of birth control there are risks. The risks associated with an IUD are serious and should not be taken lightly. The biggest risks in my opinion was the possibility of the IUD perforating your uterus and the rare chance of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy.

The first few months to year should be thought of as a trial period. Many woman get an IUD each year, but have them removed within a few months due to many reasons that I sum up to being just not the right birth control for them. It is common for women to experience discomfort with the device, birthing of the device (meaning your body expels it on its own), severe cramps for weeks, and more. That was not my experience, however.

My Experience

The insertion was not very comfortable, but neither is having my cervix scraped once a year for my pap smear. I mild cramping, in my opinion because the cramping during my teenage years was many times for painful, for less than 24 hours. I spotted a little, but it was not your normal cycle like spotting. I was discharging rubbery like tissue that was not as dark as blood and was tan in color at times.

The real test to me was how well it would work for my partner and I during sex, especially since my issue with my previous birth control was resolved with the fact that Paragard in non-hormonal. Here is where my over self-awareness came into play. Our first moment of intercourse with the IUD was very distracting. I was thinking about every sensation and suddenly wondered if I would know or more like feel if the IUD perforated my uterus. Needless to say, I did not get off. My partner said he could feel the strings (the strings that are attached to your IUD and allow your IUD to be removed eventually), but now does not feel them.

I could even feel the strings rubbing against the walls of my vagina for the first year. After half a year past I stopped over thinking everything completely. Sex is more enjoyable than it has ever been for me and my sex drive is more reminiscent to my teenage years. Additionally, it feels so good not to have to worry about taking a pill every day around the same time and about whether what I am consuming might effect my birth control.

Overall, I am happy with my choice. I do not regret it. I am going to end this post answering the 3 most common questions I had received from talking to friends about this. Please leave ANY questions you have below in the comments and I will respond as soon as possible.

Does it hurt?

Insertion was painful, but only for the brief moment they opened my cervix. I might have a highly tolerance for pain though due to having extremely painful cramps as a teenager. For the rest of the day after insertion (I had a late afternoon appointment), I experienced mild lower abdominal cramping. Since then I have not experienced any unusual pain. I am slowly getting more painful cramps with each cycle, but it is still a vast improvement over the cramps of my teenage years.

Are your periods painful and heavy?

Oh, yes they are heavy. The pain as I explained in the last answer is manageable compared to my teenage years. I have been going through 8 regular tampons plus 2 overnight pads in the first day of my cycle. Day 2 is more like 5-6 regular tampons and 1 overnight pad. Things greatly decrease from there. This is heavy for me and my previous cycle experiences. After I use up my current supply of feminine products I will be using a mental cup and period panties so reduce waste and save money.

When are you going to get it removed?

When my partner and I are ready to start trying to have children. Simple as that. Just have to make a doctor’s appointment to have it removed and can start trying immediately.