I want to thank this wonderful LJ community for providing me with all the support a girl could ever ask for! You've been fantastic! I hope my experience and pointers help other first timers who may be worried about the pain associated with cups.
And as far as cup usage is concerned, nothing makes things easier than learning the Kegel exercises!!
What I Love
- The cramping I get ranges from crippling to mild.. not sure if the DC has anything to do with it but this cycle, my cramps were mild.
- By the second day, my girlie bits are normally sore, and the muscles feel like they have been tensed up non-stop so feel very tired + achy with no relief. And this is when I cannot stand for more than 5 minutes without feeling the desire to sit down.
With the DivaCup, my muscles were perfectly normal - no soreness / aches / tiredness. And I stood somewhere for 30 minutes without even thinking about it.
- I normally have to use 3 maxi pads each day + 1 each night, for around 3+ days. With the DC, I was surprised how light my flow actually was.. I only emptied a full cup twice (after 8+ hours each time). After that, it was less than 1/3 full after 12 hours. After that, it was less than 1/4 ever 12 hours.
- I normally continue to have to wear liners for the 3+ days.. but I only use my DC now :)
- I'm irregular so I always need to have a "just in case" bag, Now, all I have is the DivaCup in it's small pouch and a few panty liners.
- I didn't need to trim the stem.. I just pushed it past my opening and I don't even feel the cup. In fact, I forget I'm having my period. It's amazing how "invisible" it becomes!
- I normally prefer insertion / removal whilst squatting but after 2 days, I'm now able to do it whilst sitting on the toilet.
- I haven't found a way to remove it cleanly whilst full (with only having a full cup twice, I didn't get to practice!) but I'm fine with frequent emptying if it means no messes :)
Tips I Found Useful
- Before even trying out the cup, I strongly suggest spending a few days doing kegel exercises to understand how to control your muscles. The internet says not to stop peeing frequently as this may cause your body to start retaining pee.. so instead, use the method where you insert a finger and start working the muscles. Later, you'll know instinctively which muscles to work and won't need the finger.
- Be sure to look at the other folds available as it seems most people, incl me, have success with the 7-Fold instead of the C-Fold that comes with the cup's instructions.
- The painful part of insertion is if you let it pop open at the opening of your vag. To avoid this, hold the 7-Fold as tightly as possible, and only let it open when a third of the cup is already past the opening / bone.
- Funny thing is that I kegel down when inserting the cup.. it seems to help me get it in quicker i.e. before I lose my grip and it pops open.
- For removal, using kegel muscles, push and bear down, reach for the cup, pinch the base and wait for the suction to break (you'll feel / hear the bubbles of air), then start wiggling it out. When half of the cup is already out, try to do the C-Fold whilst removing to avoid the pain of trying to get it out at it's full size.