So I got my moon cup (Keeper) in the mail and my period started just a few days later. Unaware of this forum and of alternative folding methods, I inserted it exactly as written in the instructions with the C fold. This took over an hour to do and IT HURT SO BADLY!
I went to my bed and lay there in shock with my legs slightly apart and I couldn't put them together because of the pain.
It was quite comfortable after a half hour or so...so comfortable that I couldn't even feel it inside me anymore.
The next morning I woke up at 6AM and ended up in the bathroom trying to get the darned thing out. I finally broke the suction like it said in the instructions, and yanked it out with the rim at full diameter. My body was cold and clammy with sweat during and after, and my muscles spasms accentuated the pain and nausea. It was horrible.
Vowing to return the moon cup by mail, I cleaned it, closed it tightly in its baggie, and wore pads for the rest of the day (I usually wear tampons, but my poor vulva was so sad and swollen, I couldn't bring myself to even try shoving anything up my vagina that day).
Then, I found this forum!
Reading stories of other peoples' first times and horrible experiences made me optimistic that maybe it would get easier. Oh, by the way, I'm an 18 year old virgin and I can barely fit three fingers in my vagina....two is a stretch.
So last night, I gathered up my courage and got some free lube sample from a health center at my college. I practiced the different folds, and eventually settled on the origami since it looked like the smallest.
Sitting on a towel with my legs spread and bent, I folded the mooncup and tried to shove it in. It didn't work, and the cup popped open before I could get it in, so I opted for a different fold and coaxed.
It's difficult to get your vulva to accept something with a two-inch diameter.....so you have to really be nice. Mine already hated me because of the saga from the night before.
I coaxed for like, 20 minutes and tried the punch down fold with lube coating my vulva and the rim of the cup. Then lo and behold, it slid in, and best of all, there was less pain!
I slept pretty well and avoided taking it out until noon today. I sat on a towel again, this time on the bathroom floor.
I started out coaxing with lube and slid one finger up alongside the cup. I pinched the bottom with two fingers of the other hand, and pushed the rim inwards from the side with my finger. Suction release makes a really funny sound. : - P
Then, I wiggled it down a little bit, until the narrowest part was out comfortably, then I pushed my finger up to the rim and folded it down just like in the punch down fold. My cup was pretty full at this point, so there was an icky thick strand of fluid that slid down my hand. I slid the cup out folded, and voila! no pain! There WAS, however, a pretty huge mess, since the cup had been in for over ten hours. I emptied out the half empty cup into the toilet, washed, and reinserted. I coaxed with lube again and used the punch-down fold. It popped when it went in and expanded.
The next time I changed it, four hours later, it only took about fifteen minutes, and the cup was pretty full. The time after that, I changed it after two hours, and there was no spillage when I removed it since the cup was only full to the first line (about half way up). The most recent time I emptied, rinsed, and reinserted, the entire procedure took only four minutes, and I didn't even have to use lube! The push-down fold works well for me.
It really does get easier with time. It's a process...
I am getting used to removing/inserting whilest sitting on the toilet (graduating from a towel on the bathroom floor!) now that I'm less scared that I'll drop it in. I also wore a thin pantyliner under it to catch any extra leakage. It only leaked really after the first two times I changed it today. I think maybe just like with tampons, where for me, if I don't put in a tampon right when my flow starts, it leaks a little bit until I change the tampon again.
To check for suction/ensure a good seal, I grip the base and twist slightly, and then pull gently on the stem. If the cup moves too much (as in the base can easily slip out of my vagina), then I use my vaginal wall muscles to move it back up or "swallow" it back a bit, or alternatively, push it up with my fingers, and then twist again and check by pulling down.
Hopefully, in a few cycles, using the Mooncup will be as easy as using tampons (I don't like pads because it feels like I'm peeing every time I stand up....and I hate how the threads stick to your body when you go to the bathroom...but I guess it's safer than a dry wad of less-than-sterile cotton stuck up your vagina leaving threads behind).
My advice to women trying it for the first time is this:
1. Go slowly.
2. Don't panic when you take it out, and do NOT yank it out. This will only cause your vulva extra pain. We've all heard the saying, "Your body is a temple," so please treat it as such! The vagina is very stretchy, and will accomodate the cup, so don't worry too much about that.
3. Explore your body before hand. Figure out which fold works for your vulva, which is smallest or which has the most comfortable shape.
4. Don't be squeamish about blood....it's part of you!
5. You may have to put a finger or two up with the cup...proceed gently and slowly. Give yourself time and don't rush. I had to wait a few seconds for my body to readjust getting just one finger in to the second joint.
6. Be comfortable...try listening to music when you insert/remove the cup. I don't even start without my MP3 Player.
7. Figure out your flow (my heaviest flow is on my second day, so I have to empty every two to four hours...stuff like that), and don't let the cup get too full or you might have a huge mess on your hands!
8. When you are trying to remove the cup, squat and bear down / push. You can practice this when you're not on your period by stopping/starting your pee midway. When you're urinating, try to stop, hold for two seconds, then release. When you reverse the process (think pushing versus pulling), those are the same muscles you need to "bear down" or "push."
9. Breathe deeply, and relax!