"Just sit right down and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip..."
The stigma of (UGH!) *taking my purse* to the ladies room has haunted me since Jr High. I have always hated how it announces that I need its contents. "Attention everyone! I'm going to change my tampon now!" And it's so hard to smuggle a tampon with its tell-tale shape and crinkly noise. Less than a year ago, after literally decades of tampons, my wishes for "something better" finally came true. I was shopping for herbal hair dye online and noticed a Diva Cup advertised in the SALE column in the margin. "What the heck is that?" Needless to say, I was THRILLED to discover that such a product existed. I researched Menstrual Cups immediately and "Wow! There are even more brands?" If cups have been around for 70+ years, where had they been hiding for all the years I've wished for them? I'm still excited about them. I tell everyone whose ear I can bend -- even guy friends for their wives, girlfriends, daughters, etc. And even though it seems trivial to most of you, I can finally go in and out of the ladies room EMPTY HANDED! Insert me doing my happy dance here.
Large Diva (46x57, 25ml) - This was my first cup and I bought it because it was the least expensive option. I didn't have much success with it for the first couple of cycles. I didn't figure it out until I was able to get my next cup to pop and seal first. "Oh, so that's what it's supposed to do!" Enlarging the anti-suction holes helped a little. But it still leaked. A couple of cycles later, I learned about shortening the cup by wearing it flipped inside out. That cured the leaking problem. But inside out, without a stem to "anchor" it in place, I'm paranoid that it could somersault inside of me, especially because my outside job is a very active one with a lot of walking, bending, lunging, straddling, etc. And that's an environment in which I don't have the luxury of dashing to a bathroom at the first sign of trouble. The Diva is a hard cup to master. I think I might finally have -- but I still don't trust it fully. I will probably give it away to my friend's daughter.
Small Lunette (41x47, 19ml) - Because the Diva was too long, I went to the other extreme. I loved how short the small Lunette was (apparently my cervix drops really low), that it had a decent capacity and how easy it was to pop open and seal, but it proved to be too narrow for me. It was fine at my desk job but if I was active (like at my outside job), it felt like it was being pushed out, like it was "crowning." It didn't leak while I was upright or sitting but when I would lie down, I could feel it shift -- and then it leaked like it wasn't there at all overnight. Bummer. I sold it to someone who it fits better -- and eventually got a large Lunette to replace it.
Instead Softcups - Less than 9 bucks for a box of 24 at my Target. I use one per cycle, not single use. Love them! But overall, they're messier to use than cups. My hand looks like I've left a murder scene after emptying one -- versus just a little blood on my fingertips with a cup. And they need a blip shield for residual blood that gets on the other side of the vagina during a change. I keep one stashed in my purse in case of a no-cup emergency or to share with friends with whom alternative products come up. "Have you ever seen one of these? Want one to try?" Unlike with the cups, I had instant success with them. Until I rode my motorcycle. Sitting splayed, straddling the saddle, my mass centered on the Instead and squished whatever was in there out. DARN! Love them otherwise. Sitting, walking, sleeping -- anything but motorcycling.
Large UK Mooncup (46x50, 13ml) - I bought it second hand, on a whim, only because it was cheap and no one else wanted it at the last seconds of an ebay auction. I really didn't think that I would like it as much as I do. It is by far the easiest to use and the most comfortable of my cups. But I just wish it held more -- only 13ml to the holes -- which I very unscientifically equate to a "regular" tampon. That's OK. I got a large Lunette for my heavy day. This does the rest.
Large Lunette (46x52, 25ml) - When I first researched cups, I "knew in my heart" that this would be the RIGHT cup for me. But I second guessed myself and bought the others first. I don't know if it was intuition or a self-fulfilling prophesy but I seem to have been right. I love its high capacity for my heavy day, for overnight, for my outside job and for motorcycling. It is easy to use and easy to trust. If I could only have one cup, this would be it. Whether small or large, I like Lunettes. I think they're intelligently designed. They get my double-thumbs-up recommendation.
There was a gal putting together a bulk Lunette order a week or two ago. http://community.livejournal.com/menstrual_cups/1252658.html If you want one but missed the boat on that, then Sarah-May at http://stores.ebay.com/Lunette-Cups has good prices and she is VERY helpful.