I wanted to stop in today with a tale of both success and teething troubles! And, oddly enough, the success came before the teething troubles! I decided to share my story for the benefit of those of you who may have been initially disappointed and/or are going through a similar phase in your learning curve.
I'm 29, married/non-virgin and have no children, and I'm currently using the small Diva Cup. This month is my fourth cycle using the cup.
My first month seemed to be a "typical" learning curve, meaning that I went through a lot of the same things that people who've had mild but not severe difficulty learning their cups went through. I had to play around with folds a bit to figure out what worked for me and what didn't, because the instructions that came with my Diva Cup were next to useless for me. I had to figure out which days were my heaviest and how long the cup could be in on which days. I went through the "murder mystery theater" phase where my hands looked like I'd killed about 20 people while I figured out how best to remove my cup. Then I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my period was shorter by almost a day and a half with the cup!
When the second month rolled around, I seemed to have everything aced. The only hiccup that came after the first month was when I left the cup in too long on my heaviest day one time, and it leaked a bit around the rim. None leaked out of my body to stain my underwear, but it was on the outside of the cup, and I had to do a bit of swishing with my finger when I re-inserted it to clean it up.
Fast-forward to this week, and all of a sudden: teething troubles galore. XD It's like my brain somehow absorbed every teething trouble I'd read in this community and subconsciously instructed my body on how to achieve them.
First hiccup: My period was a day later than I was expecting it to be, so when I put my cup in for what I thought was going to be the "first day," it ended up being a dry run. I was really, really surprised with how dry I was inside (though I don't know why, because the dryness was part of the reason I quit using tampons), and I figured out right away that I needed lube when I was that dry. Dry cup + dry vagina = unhappy insertion experience. I usually find my cervix at the beginning of my period, since it tends to shift around a bit each month, and discovered that it was really low and to the side - moreso than I've noticed it since I started keeping track. I thought it was strange, but I just shifted my cup a bit to accommodate it.
When I straightened up, something felt a bit off, so I double-checked my cup again and my cervix had managed to slip outside the rim! That has never happened to me before, so I was surprised and thought, "Man, now I know what those people meant when they talked about that particular teething trouble!" I readjusted the cup and ended up only checking it twice during the day, which is how I discovered I was a day late. In both instances, when I re-inserted the cup, my cervix managed to slip outside the rim when I straightened up. The second time I was like, "This is really strange." By the third time I was saying, "Okay, now you're just being silly." (Talking to your cervix - a phenomenon that can only come from menstrual cups. XD )
Day one came and went for the most part uneventfully. I had pretty bad cramps compared to what I've had the past three months but still not as bad as what I had before I started using the cup. One of the benefits I've found is that my cramps are nowhere near as bad as they used to be; prior to using the Diva Cup, I had some periods where the cramps literally had me incapacitated for up to two days. I was also unusually dry and my PC muscles were unusually tight, but I wrote it off to the previous day's dry run and the fact that my period didn't start until the afternoon.
Day two was okay, but I had a lot of trouble getting my usual fold (the punch-down fold) to pop open. When it did pop open, it was with this loud and forceful rubbery-sounding bang. I went back to the C-fold for a while, just because it was the easiest for me to get to open at the time. However, I was also still unusually dry, and discovered that I needed extra lubrication even though I was actually on my period for the entire day. Thankfully, I had the time in the morning before my classes for a little self-love, because I way prefer the natural lubrication to artificial lube. It also helped with relaxing the PC muscles (which I normally don't have trouble relaxing for the cup, but between the stress of the first week of classes and insomnia, I couldn't get to mentally relax). That made my first couple cup changes for the day a breeze - slide in easily, pop open, spin and away I went. After that was when it got trickier.
Day three was a disaster. It was partly my fault, because (thanks to my insomnia) I had not had enough sleep and had no patience. I was also in a rush before my first class of the day. I changed my cup as soon as a bathroom stall opened up. (I live in an all-girls dorm, so the bathroom is hogged up between 7 an 8 AM.) I had a kind of gut feeling as I left the bathroom that the cup wasn't sitting quite right, but I just dismissed it as being over-tired, because I was sure I had gotten it to open and seal. That turned out to be not so much so during my first class, when to my horror I realized the sudden feeling of leaking that I hadn't had since I'd given up tampons and pads. Immediately after class I rushed back to my dorm to check, and sure enough my underwear were stained through with red, and when I removed the cup there were only a few drops of blood actually inside the cup and a whole lot of blood and blood clots on the outside of the cup and leaking out of me. >_< I cleaned myself and the cup up, re-inserted it (plenty of lubrication this time, spanks to the leak), did the swishing with my fingers to wipe out the rest of the leaked blood and triple checked it before I left the bathroom. I did a load of laundry so that the stained underwear could be rinsed and washed out right away, checked for leaks before my second class of the day, and was able to successfully make it the rest of the day without leaks. However, my cramps returned (probably partially due to me stressing out over the leak and partially to me being rather unfriendly with the cup in my frustration) and I popped a couple of Ibuproferen before my class as well. My husband and I left for our weekend ski trip that afternoon, and I ended up needing more Ibuproferen halfway through the drive.
Day four (today) seems to have gone off without a hitch thus far. It's looking to be the last day of my period, and I haven't had any real problems with insertion and removal (thankfully) and there doesn't seem to be any leaks. However, this morning I noticed a slight odor that usually comes at the end of my last day rather than the beginning of my last day, so I did some extra scrubbing with my Diva Wash (being as I'm away from home, sharing a bathroom with friends on our ski trip with us, and don't have my mug to soak it). I'm hoping (crossed fingers!) that this month's "teething troubles" were due more to the stress and insomnia than anything else, so that I'm back on track next month. ^^;
On a side note, I trimmed the stem of my Diva Cup half way just before I used it the first time for this period. The stem had often poked me when I was dry or tight before, and I wanted to try trimming it since my experience with flipping the cup inside out had been less than awesome. ^^; Trimming it relieved the poking entirely, and I'm thinking I may trim it the rest of the way when I'm done with this cycle; I discovered I had more success pushing the cup into place by pushing on the bottom, and I think I'd have a better "pushing" grip without the stem; right now, it just seems to get in the way of pushing the cup. I really don't use the stem for removal; I only "use" it to find the cup, and I usually find the bottom of the cup at the same time, so I don't see it being stem-less as being a problem for me.