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18 April 2009 @ 01:40 am
Okay guys, so I have my first cup problem.

First off, I used my size 1 Divacup perfectly on my first period with it last month. It worked great, I got it in on the second try, it didn't fall out when I pooped. I can't change it in the shower because the stem and cup bottom are completely up inside me unless I sit down and push like I'm pooping. I apparently have a ridonkulously long vagina, since everyone else seems to have cup-sticking-out problems and needing to cut off the stem while I really wish my cup's stem was 2-3 cm longer. If there's a longer one out there than the Divacup I'd go for it just to make removal a little easier! But the cup itself still works great and I haven't had a problem actually getting it out either. I love that I can wear it for 12 hours and not worry about it, I love that I never have to change it in public restrooms, I love that I totally can't feel it inside me at all. I'm a complete convert.






EXCEPT. Today I'm somewhere in the middle of my second period, and my cup's been working fine so far this week. I was invited to go swimming and since I've read everywhere on here that you can swim with the cup in no problem, I'd only had it in maybe 7 hours since I last emptied it, no leaks, it had popped open fine and everything just like normal, and my flow has never been heavy enough that I need to empty it more frequently than every 12 hours (and even then it's not even full up to a measuring line, the blood is usually just smeared around on the insides of the cup), so I didn't think anything of it and went swimming.



Everything was fine until I got out of the pool and suddenly I felt like I was peeing and I couldn't stop. It was awful trying to conceal the growing puddle of what I thought was pee around my feet - I wrapped the towel around my waist and I told my friends I wasn't feeling well and showered as fast as I could and then went into the bathroom to pee. Only when I sat down I didn't actually have to pee at all, so I was all like WTF? I looked in the toilet and the water was all red like there was blood dissolved in it! I checked with my finger and my cup was still in me fine and popped open, it was just... leaking? So I pulled it out. And when I pulled it out, I heard a huge SPLOSH! in the toilet - it was literally full of bloody water! I realized my cup must have somehow filled up with (chlorinated!!) water in the pool, and started leaking, and yep, there was blood on my towel too from when I wrapped it around myself to cover the leak.

So this is when I freaked out, because I was in a public restroom with no sinks in the stalls, and it was all gross (I still gag a little bit if I look at the blood clumps and strings and the brownish-blackish stuff that always clogs the holes at the top of the cup, though I'm fine with regular blood), and I was not only in a public restroom... I was in a locker room so I couldn't even carry it to the sink to rinse it because I was naked and actively dripping out my vagina and I only had a bloody towel to cover myself with and I couldn't drip any blood on the floor because people walk around barefoot!

I tried to wipe the cup off with toilet paper but it sort of just got wet/bloody and shredded and stuck to the cup. I didn't know what to do so finally I flushed the toilet and then once the toilet bowl filled up with clean water I grimaced and dunked my hand with the cup in it into the toilet and scrubbed it out with my fingers, then stuck it back in me, covered myself with the bloody towel as best I could, and went and took another shower with the towel to get the blood off it. Once I got back to my dorm room I rinsed it out and soaked my cup for 5 minutes or so in really hot water (I can't get boiling from the tap and I couldn't go out of the bathroom without my cup in) to hopefully kill anything that might have gotten on it from the toilet water or anything...




HOWEVER. The whole point of this is, WTF DID I DO WRONG? I thought cups were perfectly safe for swimming but this one just sucked up chlorinated water into my vagina! I know that my cup fits fine because this is the second period I've had it for and the first actual problem I've had. In fact I've worn it in the hot tub before without it filling up with water or anything. And I had it in for 8 hours before I went in the pool at all and it hadn't leaked, so I know it was open right and sitting right and everything inside me.

So WHY did it fill up with water and start leaking on me? This has really shaken my trust in cups completely; during my first cycle with it I seriously told five of my girl friends about cups and how they should get one and never buy tampons or pads ever again. People on here talk about how they don't like to use tampons when they swim because it wicks the chlorinated water up into them... well, my cup just somehow sucked up an entire cupful of water and held it inside my vagina.

Also, am I at risk for a yeast infection because of the chlorine? I've never had one before so I don't think I'm particularly prone to them, but I've also never had a cupful of chlorinated water sloshing around in there either, so I don't know at all what to do.




So I'm totally freaked out and upset that my cup would betray me like this. And I'm paranoid about it doing it again. And I'm upset that now I suddenly have a week every month when I can't swim, because I love swimming and recently started an exercise regimen including 1-2 days of swimming every week. But most of all just feeling completely betrayed by my cup.

Can anyone help me make sure this never happens again?
 
Dina Clare: dreamlintilla on April 18th, 2009 06:19 am (UTC)
It's possible that your anatomy combined with the physical activity might have caused it? I'm not sure. I've heard of some people getting pool/bath water in their cups before, though. What were you doing? Swimming laps? Water aerobics? Horsing around

I wouldn't worry too much about a yeast infection. Pool water's strong enough to kill any bugs that might live in the water, but since it was in the cup, I think it'll be fine. Besides, I'm sure pool water has gotten into your vagina when you were just swimming, too. :)
Take it, Bitch!tealighttrees on April 18th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
I wish I had something to say, but I'm really stumped, and worried about the upcoming swimming season now :S
newselenenewselene on April 18th, 2009 06:46 am (UTC)
So sorry for what happened to you!
I would not worry either about getting a YI, a normally cared for vagina has strong weapons. If you get one, you'll treat it by next cycle.

I hope that you will be able to use your cup for swimming again. Just remember that it is better to empty the cup just before any sport activity, so that by the time the activity ends, your cup has not filled ut too much.
I am hypothesizing that maybe that after seven hours, your cup was already a bit full and ready to leak, or the activity made you bleed a bit more... I noticed for me that some activities "press" blood out and some others don't.
Candiceacorna_cat on April 18th, 2009 10:30 am (UTC)
What I would think is that after a bit of walking and other things you probibly had bled some and by the time seven hours went by it had some stuff in it, and maybe it needed not normally to be cleaned but perhapse then. What I'm also thinking is that perhapse when you were swimming it some how broke the seal because of what was in it plus activity. I think maybe if you're going to do allot of activity where you're going to be doing allot of activity a wider cup might work? I'm not sure it seemed to have done better for me. I don't do allot of activity, but I nottice when I sleep my muscles aren't as strong and the cup has more manoovering room and then leeks and breaks the seal, and it seems harder to have the wider cups wiggling around. hth
hmmeversochili on April 18th, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC)
I don't have swimming advice and I'm really sorry your cup betrayed you like that. That must have been awful.

However, I did want to say that you're not alone in wishing the cup was longer! I have a size 1 Diva and when I stick my entire middle finger and thumb up inside me, while bearing down, I can JUST reach the base. Generally the whole cup has disappeared behind and beyond my pubic bone. I'd love an extra 2 centimeters!
melissa569melissa569 on April 18th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
You could have either gone too long without emtying it, or... Some people's anatomy can open up under water... Other people's doesn't leak or get water in it, but all women are different. But like Lintilla said, you've had pool water up there before, so no biggie. The only thing that MIGHT help is a firmer, wider cup for swimming, maybe?? It might hug more tightly agaisnt the vaginal walls and work harder to keep the water out. Just an guess though, I haven't tried it.

But honestly, it was the toilet water that worried me more than anything else. Lots of germs in those bowls, from tons of people... If that happens again, just continue wiping the cup, with new toilet paper; it eventually will dry out, and most of the fibers will dust away. Any left would be pretty tiny and insignificant, seeing as how we constantly wipe down there, leaving tissue fibers behind. One time won't hurt, the va-jay-jay will wash them out. Better to have clean TP fibers, than whatever's in the toilet bowl... Just a safety tip for future times, but it sounds like you'll be just fine.

Also, I keep bottled water in my purse now when I'm out with my cup, because I just like to feel like I always have clean water with me. And I can just re-fill at the sink, if I use it all up. And for wiping the blood away, I usually prefer to tear off some of those thick paper towls and take them in the stall with me, instead of TP. They are more durrable, and don't really shred, ya know? Hope some of this helps.
daimeredaimere on April 18th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
When I've had my Diva and swam, I got water in it. I just changed it directly afterwards.
Ms. Kanegenericjanedoe on April 18th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
My best guess is that it was full (it sounds that way from the reported volume of blood). And that perhaps the full cup had broken the seal. So when you got in the pool, water got in the cup and loosened the seal even more...causing blood to escape as the water went in it.

I have gone swimming tons of times and my cup has been totally unaffected, but my cups was never full when I went swimming. Maybe you could try to make sure you empty and clean before you get in the pool next time?

I'm not sure, it's a strange situation for sure.
namosinamosi on April 18th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
Very sorry to hear what happened to you. I haven't swam with my cup in, so can't offer experiences here. I suggest that you empty it next time just before swimming, so if it does fill up with water and gush out again, there will be much less blood to mix with the water. Hope you find a solution that works for you.
fireaphidfireaphid on April 18th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
As a cup fills, air is displaced by blood, and that air comes out of the little holes on the cup, allowing it to not break the seal of the rim with the vaginal walls. I think that when air escaped, water rushed in. I agree it's unlikely to occur again if you empty your cup immediately before swimming (and I recall that one manufacturer's site said that the cup should always be emptied before any physical activity). And yes, your story has made me quite terrified of pool swimming with a cup.
carmensandra on April 18th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
that happened to me in the bathtub because my cup wasnt open all the way. water got in then it opened and leaked.
ariel_la on April 19th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
I realize you were caught off guard and you did the best you could given the sitution. I can easily see how rinsing your cup in the toilet once you had flushed it seemed to be a good option at the moment (to tell you the truth in a moment of panick I might have even done the same)...that being said I suspect I would have had some concerns about reinserting the cup not being sure how clean that water was.
As for lenght of the Diva, I like you, don't have the problem many seem to have finding their cup is sticking out of them or too long. I concluded that my cervix is generally low (position does vary throughout the month) and I find that my cup rides up quite high when in fact I have it inserted properly and I find I need to bear down to remove it.

To get to your main concern, although I have yet to wear my cup while swimming or scuba diving, I suspect what happened is more a matter of your cup being quite full and that mixed in with physical activity and water resulted in your unfortunate incident. Don't give up the swimming while on your period and using your cup...do try to empty it just before going swimming, even if you just emptied your cup a short while ago. That way you can be sure it is empty and that you have a good seal and are good to go enjoy yourself.

Good luck and keep us posted.
devil_blondit on April 20th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
I remember when I first used my divacup (before I got the miacup) I went into the water and the water completely broke the suction (you have to consider too that this was when I was just getting used to the cup, and probably didn't have a clue to get a good suction), and I could feel the cup swimming around, like I could actually feel it.

Make sure you have a good suction before you go in (maybe try the different folds and see which one gets the strongest suction?), it only happened to me once, and I've had successful swimming sessions with my divacup and miacup ever since!

Don't be nervous now!
liamleopard13liamleopard13 on March 26th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
I had this same thing happen. Well, sans the panic. But that's just me.

My cup was absolutely not full when I began swimming. And when I got out, every now and then it felt sort of like I was passing gas. Only slightly more liquidy. I thought maybe it was just a wetness that hadn't dried from swimming. Well, later at dance class when I was changing clothes, it made itself very clear that it had somehow filled while I was swimming. My underwear was wet and I pulled the cup out and it was completely full, but only marginally pink. So yeah, very annoying. Not looking forward to next week when I am on my period and I have swim class. The seal is fine, I have never, ever leaked. And I do Irish dance, so I do physical activity with this thing in and it has never leaked. Not sure why this happened, but it is definitely annoying. But other than that, I love my cup. It's a Lunette Selene.

I would definitely appreciate anyone's suggestions, though.