pepp3rminty (pepp3rminty) wrote in menstrual_cups,

swimming problems!

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?
Tags: cleaning - public, divacup, leakage & spotting, sports/physical activities

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