Log in

Samantha The Great
24 March 2010 @ 09:23 pm
Hello everyone! I've been doing some lurking around recently but haven't really found a straightforward answer to my question.

I have vaginismus, which basically seems to mean that my muscles don't react well to putting things 'up there'. I am using dilators and am not a virgin, but I am worried that using a menstrual cup would be uncomfortable.

So I wanted to ask if anyone out there has experience with cups and vaginismus, or if anyone with experience with multiple cups can tell me which is the softest/smallest/best first cup for a newbie. I have had some great information from one member of the community already so I am hoping to get some opinions if you guys have tried several different cups!

Thanks :)

PS: Sorry, I don't know what to tag this post as. I can't find 'advice' or 'opinions' or anything in the tags.
fee_parisiennefee_parisienne on March 24th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
Ladycups (available on Ebay) are about the softest and smallest cups. I find that mine's pretty easy to put in using a triangle/extreme 7 fold. The origami fold also makes it pretty small.

Small Lunettes are similar in size, and are also fairly soft. They hold more, if that's important to you. They also have a slightly "frosted" finish instead of being smooth silicone.

Small MeLunas are about the smallest cups of all, but because they're quite short and only have two anti-suction holes, they can be tricky to remove.
Samantha The Greatfreedomreins on March 24th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much for replying so quickly!

I've been looking at the small MeLunas but hearing that they are tricky to remove when I have issues in the first place is making me think twice, lol.
(Deleted comment)
Samantha The Greatfreedomreins on March 24th, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much, I'd say you've definitely swayed me towards the Ladycup. I'm really looking for one that's small and soft.

Kai: pic#84732488kuradi8 on March 24th, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
On the other side of the coin, while Lady Cups and small Lunettes are nice small narrow and squishy cups, they are also quite short. And if it turns out that you have a long vagina, you might have trouble reaching in far enough to break the seal for removal. If it turns out that you're long and narrow, then a US Moon Cup or a small Diva might suit you better.

Check out the size charts, including the "how easily can you reach your cervix" guidelines at http://community.livejournal.com/menstrual_cups/1285963.html
Samantha The Greatfreedomreins on March 24th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I am on my period now (the irony of this whole post is that while I was writing the original one I was leaking all over the place :S) so will check for it tomorrow.
Moemm03m on March 25th, 2010 12:49 pm (UTC)
Then you'd better check it today, because it's usually lowest at the beginning of your period. It will probably be higher tomorrow.
Samantha The Greatfreedomreins on March 25th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
This is day 2 of serious bleeding (I usually have a day or so of really light at the beginning so it's technically day 3 I guess) and I couldn't feel anything at all when I tried this morning. Should I check next period on my very first day even though that's usually light? Does the position of my cervix change the flow? I'm on Tricyclen but I'm not sure if that would make a difference.

Thanks for answering all my questions :D
Moemm03m on March 25th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
Nah, if you can't reach it now, I doubt that it's ever very low. You could wait until your next period and check every day of that, but if I were you, I'd be far too impatient to wait that long to order a cup!

I don't know if the position of one's cervix changes the flow. I think not. I think they're both influenced by a common factor.
Samantha The Greatfreedomreins on March 25th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks! You've been very helpful. I'm definitely too keen to get a cup to wait I think, but I'll just hope that whichever one I order fits! :)
Moemm03m on March 25th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth: I went and bought the very first cup I found on the Web that wasn't a Keeper (the brown rubber put me off), and it fits just fine. So it's possible.

Mine is an orange LadyCup and it's working very well for me.

Good luck!
aimeelynn06 on March 25th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
I have vaginismus and I've tried 8 different cups. (Companies donated them to me for my thesis.) Depending on the position of your cervix and where you are in your recovery, I would suggest either the small ladycup or the small or medium meluna. Those three are the only ones that were easy enough to get in and didn't start hurting once they were in.
A further reason why you want a squishy cup (and this is just what my physical therapist thinks might be the case) is that since you are having random vaginal spasms and tensing and all that, you can actually break they suction on a stiffer cup and cause it to leak.
Just some unsolicited advice, also. Be really patient when you first try to get it in. It took my several tries, because you really don't want to create a muscle memory of pain. That's also why I like the meluna, you can get the ball stem, which is the only type of stem that doesn't stab me super hard in the vaginal wall.
Samantha The Greatfreedomreins on March 25th, 2010 09:31 am (UTC)
Fantastic, thank you so much for your response, especially having tried so many!

I think I'm nearing 'the end' and thought that maybe even using a cup might help me in that area since my body will become used to having something in there for extended periods of time. Did you find this to be the case at all?
aimeelynn06 on March 25th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
I actually started using a cup before I started physical therapy for vaginismus. It took me a really long time to get it in the first time (especially since it was a diva cup, which are kind of huge), but my next gyn exam was noticeably easier. For me, it went a long way to helping me learn to relax my muscles.
You might want to do a little stretching of wherever your trigger points are before you try putting it in.
Samantha The Greatfreedomreins on March 25th, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
Ah, that's good news. If this helps with that for me even the slightest bit, I'd be grateful!
A: smart is sexyurban_faerie_ on March 25th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
I have the same problems and I've actually had a really good experience with menstrual cups. To me they became another opportunity to learn about my body and relax. Just go slow like you did with the dialators.

Experiences with different cups:
Diva Cup: Easy to insert. So comfortable to wear I forgot in was in. harder to remove because the stem is short and with tight muscles it can be hard to get a good grip on the stem.

Mooncup: This one did NOT work for me. Too big, too stiff, stem so stiff it dug into me. I couldn't tolerate it in for even a few hours so I took it off and never used it again. I thought the long stem would be better for me but nooo... it was too rigid/inflexible.

Lunette: This has been by far the best, the flexibility of the diva but with a long/thin/flexible stem that is easy to get a hold of. I love it.

Good luck. People with vaginismus really can use cups so don't despair!
Samantha The Greatfreedomreins on March 25th, 2010 09:33 am (UTC)
Thank you for saying that we really can use cups because it's something I've been worrying about for ages! I've been interested in getting one for about the last four or five months I think (and the desire comes back every single time I get my period with full force!).

Are you able to feel that the Lunette is in? You mentioned that you forgot you were using the DivaCup but how about the Lunette?

Thanks again!

A: smart is sexyurban_faerie_ on March 25th, 2010 10:28 am (UTC)
I can't feel the lunette at all either.

I'm not a healthcare professional so my opinion might not be 100% correct in all situations but as far as I have experienced/researched/been told by there is no reason for a person with vaginismus or pelvic floor tightness not to use a cup other than the fact that it might cause us pain or be difficult to insert/relax. You need greater muscle control to use one so as far as I'm concerned it's a good exercise. I told my PT about it and she seemed interested and thought it was perfectly appropriate.

We have all the same parts, there is nothing "deformed" about our bodies, they just work a little differently. Sometimes I need reminding of that. ;)
Samantha The Greatfreedomreins on March 25th, 2010 11:03 am (UTC)
I need reminding of that sometimes too. :) Thanks so much!
cassandra1995 on March 25th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
This is so helpful to me! I do not have vaginismus, but I do have vestibular vulvodynia. I'm currently responding to treatment, but pain is an issue, particularly in terms of poking and stems and general irritation upon insertion and removal. I will be trying a medium meluna this month, but I have some concerns that removal could be difficult (my cervix is often difficult to find, even for ob/gyns!). I'm thinking a lunette might be good. Any thoughts? I hate the thought of spending $$ on another cup, but I really do want the right one.
Nataliasofty5310 on March 26th, 2010 06:08 am (UTC)
I have vaginismus too. I use a small Diva. it took some getting used to, but once I relaxed and could spend a couple hours working on it, to take it slow, I finally got the hang of it.
Hugs, and i hope you can get the hang of it.
Samantha The Greatfreedomreins on March 28th, 2010 10:59 am (UTC)
OP Here!
Just wanted to thank everyone for their helpful responses. I won a small ladycup off of ebay ($25 US when I expected to spend at least £20 so pretty chuffed) and am actually quite looking forward to giving it a try! I probably never would have taken the step of spending the money on one without the fantastic comments I got from everyone, especially the other vaginismus sufferers.

Thanks everyone!! :D