23 April 2009 @ 09:27 am
Firstly, f*ck me, Livejournal is confusing.

Secondly, so are menstrual cups.
I've read and read pages on here about how you guys love your cups so it's really kinda distressing me that I hate mine.
I want to use it because I spent bloody £22 on it and according to my maths it'll take almost 3 years of using it and nothing else before that equals the cost of tampons.
But I bloody hate the thing. Mine is a UK Mooncup. My problems are mostly about removal, which I dread. But also it leaks. Currently there's no real point to my using it at all, except for practice, because it leaks and leaks and leaks. I've read some stuff about my cervix being in the wrong place if this happens, but what can I do about it?

So yeah, removal, a bastard. Right now I still have to get into the bath tub to remove my cup, I'm just lucky that I don't have a job or any other reason to go out during the day, so I can do this and take all the time I want. I would say I am improving at it, yesterday it only took me a couple of minutes, compared to 30mins+ before. But I still don't like it. I'm probably less squeamish than the average female but I can't say I enjoy rooting around in my vagina while getting my hands covered in blood. It hurts and my vagina always feels like it needs a rest afterwards so I've never put my cup straight back in. (What would be the point anyway, it's going to leak.)

I just can't believe people are saying it's easier than tampons! Tampons I could do in my sleep! But obviously the waste aspect of tampons concerns me, as well as the whole money I already spent on the Mooncup issue. So I'd like to get it right. I'm just scared of the damn thing now. It's sitting there on the edge of my bathtub, looking all big and painful and taunting me.

I've read various things that I find myself incapable of doing. I can shove it in okay using the normal fold. But it says you're supposed to turn it to ensure a seal forms - how? Once it's in I can't move it. I cut the stem off the first time I put it in because, well, it was sticking out. But I've since found it moves up inside me over time so I have to do squeezy squeezy to get it within reach to pull out. Break the seal at the rim? I can barely, *just about* reach the rim, but in that position it's then almost impossible to *do* anything. It has to be in such a low position for it to *hurt* before I can reach the rim and pull it down. I can kinda reach high enough to squeeze the sides, but it's much easier to squeeze the wrong sides - ie. front and back, instead of right and left, I have to squeeze and then like turn it round inside me so it's coming out forwards/backwards instead of side to side, and that is not easy.

Like I said, I just don't enjoy rooting around inside myself this much. I wouldn't like it if it was any of my other orifices, and now I'm starting to hate my vagina as well as my mooncup, and I'd really rather keep it a place of fun!
Lorienblueberryeyes17 on April 23rd, 2009 11:11 am (UTC)
How long have you been using your cup for? Don't get discouraged!! Remember when you first started using tampons? It wasn't super easy then, right? Not for me anyway, I never was able to figure out how to use them and get them to stay in! Those of us who rave about our cups now were probably annoyed and discouraged at the beginning, I DEF was.

Have you tried some different positions to get the cup out? Find one where you can relax your muscles because that will help the cup slide down. For me, it works best sitting on the toilet because I don't need to worry about keeping my balance and can relax.

It'll be worth it, I promise. :-)
jezzie_d on April 23rd, 2009 11:13 am (UTC)
I'm sorry your having such a difficult time with it!
I'll admit it took me a few months to get used to both removal and insertion (LadyCup)- I hated the whole put my hands up there and get covered in all sorts of fluids.

First of all I'll point out it's not always necessary to turn it. Also when it comes to removal I can't reach the rim either, I tend to squeeze the base or push one side until I hear the seal break and then I rock it out side to side with a bit of pushing, used to take me 30 min + to but I can do it in a minute flat now, there is a moment of ouch when the widest part comes out but it's quick like a bandaid. My muscles have built up over time as well - before that pushing felt like I was trying to get a baby out! (total exaggeration I'm sure since I've never had kids but still I'd never really used those muscles!)

I can't suggest much for the leaks other than making sure it's popped open, I usually just run my finger around the base and make sure it's smooth.

Oh and for the mess and necessary bathtub - as you get used to removing and keeping it upright you'll hopefully find the most mess is the icky string of fluid that sometimes attaches itself- piece of toilet paper handy is always good for that.

I hope you manage to find a way you can use your cup!
Jenn: staring Nathynakedfaery on April 23rd, 2009 11:15 am (UTC)

This is probably not particularly helpful but...the first menstrual cup I bought was a Mooncup UK and I could never get the damn thing to work. I always leaked, it always hurt and it would never seal. I switched to a Lunette, no dice there either. When I finally got my Ladycup I almost wept with relief. Easy insertion, no leaks, comfortable inside my vagina and easy removal.

If it helps at all, I have a long narrow vagina and no matter how low I leave my cup, it always rides up towards my cervix. I figure my body knows best what position the cup needs to be in. I have to squat or hover over the toilet (if I'm in a public toilet I hover rather than squatting, that'd be weird!) and bear down to remove my cup, like I'm trying to go for a twosie.
Baby Bloodheartbabybloodheart on April 23rd, 2009 12:09 pm (UTC)
Ladycups are stupidly easy to get in and out, I practically wet myself with shock when I first used one. Very good cup, still got two spare Ladycups I need to find good homes for.
crochetaduckcrochetaduck on April 23rd, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
I found my Ladycup really easy to get in, but hard to get out. The base is so soft and slippery!
Baby Bloodheartbabybloodheart on April 23rd, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
True! :o)
Angela, the not-so-teenaged dementor: alice - wonderland by sidhefaercrazykitties03 on April 23rd, 2009 01:34 pm (UTC)
I found the LC to be a nightmare to remove. It was absolutely awful for me. I had a hard time getting it to pop open as well. It's comfortable once in me, but the removal was just horrible. I did finally get the hang of consistently being able to remove it with no additional apparatus beyond my fingers, but the time it takes for me to get it out isn't worth the minor difference in comfort while wearing it. I just needed to master the LC before I could make a fair judgement.
Jennnakedfaery on April 23rd, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)

I'd love another one as a spare! How much would you want for it, inc shipping to the U.K?
Jonilittle_joni on April 23rd, 2009 11:46 am (UTC)
I'm not sure I've ever read anyone on here say cups are easier then tampons. I'm not sure I'd agree with that statement either because I don't think they are easier. With a cup you have to take it out, clean it, and put it back in. With a tampon you just take it out and throw it away.

However, most of us use cups because of other benefits anyway (less waste, less risk of TSS, etc.). There is a high learning curve for using a cup, most of us can't just stick it in the first time and expect everything to be perfect. The only thing I can do is keep encouraging you to practice and be patient. Also, if your vagina gets sore after using it then take a break. I've been using my cup for about a year now and even I still have to revert back to pads a few times to let my poor lady bits rest. So don't let that make you feel bad.
Baby Bloodheartbabybloodheart on April 23rd, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC)
I'd say cups are easier than tampons...

When used correctly cups don't leak, where as tampons flood and leak. Tampons can't be used at night, during light days or before your period, you can with cups. Tampons aren't supposed to be worn all the time, you're supposed to alternate between tampons and pads, you can use cups all the time. Tampons have to be changed every few hours, cups can go for twelve hours. On insertion tampons cause pain from friction...when first using tampons it's difficult to get far enough in and in the correct place...cups are smooth so in theory easier for women who have no problems with inserting - obviously if you have problems getting the cup in and in the right place than smoothness doesn't help. When inserting you just put it in, rather than with tampons where you're having to fuss around with wrappers and while trying to remove the old tampon. There's carrying spares, dealing with infections, constant dear of leaking, fussing about getting them in place while suffering agony as they rip your vagina to shreds. There's also that great fun of finding there's no bin to put your used tampons so you have to wrap it up and keep the bloody tampon in your bag, ugh.

Cups there's few precautions, just pop in, ignore for twelve hours, remove, quick wash and reinsert. Once you've got the hang of them it's like second nature, a whole hell of a lot easier than tampons for me...more so as wit tampons I had constant infections and would always flood so lots of mess.
Jonilittle_joni on April 23rd, 2009 12:46 pm (UTC)
You're preaching to the choir...but that's okay. We just see things differently and I was trying to be sympathetic to the OP's frustrations.

Plus, I was only referring to the removal of a tampon being easier then a cup...not the whole entire process, so we aren't even really talking about the same thing. I'd still rather use a cup. While taking out a tampon is easier (to me), you grab a sting a pull, it was still majorly painful to me. I mean...damn...the dryness of the thing scraping me the entire way as it came out. I don't miss that...at all! And while taking a cup out isn't always pain-free (again, to me) I still prefer it over a tampon...definitely. If I never use tampons again I will die a happy woman. But it does take getting used to which was the main point I was trying to make to the OP.

I think using a cup is way easier now, but that's because I'm used to it and have put in the practice required to make it work. In the beginning though you should have seen the messes I made with it. My bathroom looked like I committed a double murder there! :P That sure never happened to me while I was using tampons and pads...

Can't say I've ever had to keep a bloody tampon in my bag...wow. If a public toilet didn't bother to provide a bin I would just flush it down. Right or wrong, I don't know, but in my mind if they can't bother to provide a bin then I won't bother to refrain from flushing it. :P

But, whatever, I don't have to worry about that anymore. Cups are awesome!
Kellyrainbowtastic on April 23rd, 2009 12:16 pm (UTC)
The only reason they tell you to turn it is so that you know its opened all the way. For whatever reason, your cup is leaking, which means something is amiss with the suction or placement. Make sure you are inserting correctly... its not the same as a tampon, you're aiming for a different angle... like a line going to the small of your back, rather than straight up. There are other ways to know that suction is there, such as giving a little tug on it. If you feel pressure from the tug, then you're correct with the suction. If you don't feel it and the cup just moves down without any hesitation, then chances are that the suction isn't strong enough, which is why you are leaking.

Just an FYI... you don't HAVE to follow the directions to each little detail. If the cup is easier to squeeze top to bottom, then do that and don't worry about turning it while removing it... you really should be fine. What you may want to do instead is try to collapse it back into the C-fold to pull it out, so that its smaller and won't hurt. I know this involves a bit of rooting around up in there, but you should be able to handle it. You don't have to reach the rim at all... see how low you can grab the cup and still be able to break the suction. It helps if you wiggle it side-to-side or front-to-back so as to allow air a better shot to seep in through the holes or over the top of the rim.

Cup removal and insertion are unique for each woman. What works for some of us may not work as well for you. The only thing you can really do is keep trying. I'd suggest a water-based lubricant, it will help ease the cup out. Hang in there! You'll get it eventually! Don't give up!
fordy304 on April 23rd, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your comments so far.

I'd still like to know more about how to prevent leaks. It seems like there's suction because once it's in it's so hard to get out. I can't just pull on the bottom and have it come straight out again.
Dina Clare: dreamlintilla on April 23rd, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC)
Generally no one can just pull the cup out... especially not if it's sealed! You have to break the suction quickly, whether it's by folding it or gently rocking it out (which is my preferred method).

What might be happening is that your cervix is ending up outside the cup - when I first was using my Mooncup, I had that problem. I take my index finger and swirl it around the outside of the cup to make sure that a) it's fully open and b) my cervix isn't poking out.
Kellyrainbowtastic on April 23rd, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
Maybe you should try locating your cervix without the cup first and then making SURE that the cup is covering it when you remove it. As a general note, the cup won't just "come straight out" if its just sitting there and you tug gently on it, it will still take some effort. The difference is that if there is suction and you pull on it, you will feel the suction pulling on the vaginal wall surrounding your cervix. As lintilla suggested, passing your finger around the outside of the cup once its inserted, after you've found your cervix, of course, should let you know where it is sitting.
fireaphidfireaphid on April 23rd, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
What kind of leaking are you having? Does the cup leak like it isn't there from the beginning? Does it leak after a certain amount of time of working okay? Is there a small amount of leaking constantly while you wear it? Different kinds of leaking are caused by different problems!
ever so slightly obsessedscien on April 23rd, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
Do you know what your cervix feels like and where it is?

Your cervix is what connects your vagina to your womb, so it's the passage the blood takes to get to the outside world. If your cervix is below the rim of the cup, then the cup won't catch anything, the blood will just drip down the outside.

Once you're confident you know what your cervix feels like, you can check where it is when you insert the cup. Just run a finger around the cup as though stirring it on the spot and see if you can feel it. If you can, you need to reinsert with the cup lower.
aedificaaedifica on April 23rd, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
I noticed a few people suggesting checking for your cervix after the cup is in, and wanted to give another point of view. Me, I can barely reach my cervix at the best of times (not that it's that high, I have shortish fingers) and definitely not with my cup in. So I wanted to let you know that if you can't either, you're not necessarily doing anything wrong.

Sorry I don't have any suggestions about preventing leaks, I've only ever used one model of cup (so far) and it is working well for me. Mine's a Moon Cup US. Though I've just bid on a LadyCup on eBay. :-)

On removal, here's what I do (presented not as The One True Way, but just as one more option)--I reach in so I can grab the base of the cup (I cut the stem off mine too), pinch enough of the bottom that the cup folds in half at the bottom (meaning the sides I grabbed come together), and gently pull out at an angle. By "at an angle," I mean I'm pulling the bottom to the right as I pull it out, since I'm right-handed. After I've pulled it about half an inch out I hear a squelch and then I know the suction is broken, and I slide it out the rest of the way, still at a bit of an angle to the right so the whole top of the cup isn't trying to come past my public bone all at once. I have a fairly light flow, so I can do this without spilling because there's not much in the cup. YMMV.

Good luck!

Edited at 2009-04-23 06:23 pm (UTC)
Kai: pic#84732488kuradi8 on April 23rd, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
You sound as frustrated as I was on my first time around. I also struggled (for several cycles) before I figured it out.

The first thing you need to do is throw out the instructions. They are just plain WRONG! The illustration makes it look like the cup is as big as a thimble, that it sits at the opening of your vagina and that there is a cup-length (or more) between the opening of your cup and your cervix. [Insert angry sigh.] No, no, no! In reality, the opening of the cup will sit (O) around your cervix and the body will kinda-sorta rest against your pubic bone as the cup more or less fills your vagina.

Your cervix isn't in the wrong place but you might be positioning your cup "next" to it instead of around it. Want to try my method for insertion?

I use the punch-down fold with the punched part facing down. (Facing down, it makes a difference.) I hold it with my thumb and middle finger, and insert the cup most of the way so the rim is beyond my pubic bone. Once there, I insert my index finger to create an air channel to fill the cup and allow it to open fully there. (It draws in a little as it opens.) Then I nudge the stem rearward to point the opening at my cervix and give the cup a boost as I Kegel (clench my PC muscles) the cup up and in. Ta-daaa!

Using that method, there is no need to spin the cup because your index finger felt it open fully before you Kegeled it into place.

As you've discovered, removal can be tricker than insertion. Click on the "Removal" tags in the right-hand column of this page and you will find many replies to posts with great advice. Basically, bear down so that the cup is as low as possible, stay relaxed and then the key is to get air into the cup. Whether it seeps in through the anti-suction holes or whooshes in over the rim or a combination of both doesn't matter. Sometimes it takes a couple of steps to get it out. Go slowly, don't rush the process. Finally, rock the cup out at a diagonal so it's not "the whole rim" at once.

It sounds like you are well on your way to coming up with a removal method that works. You just need to perfect it a little. We all do it a little differently so there's no "wrong" way (unless you're yanking and hurting yourself in the process.)

Hang in there. Be stubborn. ;o) I was not going to let my first cup defeat me and now that I've figured it out, it's a godsend.
hmmeversochili on April 23rd, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC)
I second the punch down fold, with the punched part facing down.

I'm then able to wiggle/slide it inside and as soon as it clears the pubic bone it pops open by itself. I use my index finger to make sure it opened (run it around the bottom to feel) and gently nudge it farther back or if it feels off center (gently because if i poke at it too hard, the cup collapses and has to be removed and reinserted). I don't need to kegel it into place, myself.

the punch down fold is wonderful!
hmmeversochili on April 23rd, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you've been having such troubles!

I wish that whole "give it a spin" idea didn't even exist. It's not necessary and there is no WAY I can spin mine and I think it causes people more distress when they are unable to do it then it actually helps

It's not uncommon to have to bear down to remove the cup. Mine goes very deep inside and I wouldn't be able to get it out without bearing down.

I also can't reach the rim of the cup. I break the seal by squeezing the bottom so the cup sort of collapses.

As for the leakage, I just don't know. Hopefully some of the other comments have good ideas about getting it properly positioned over your cervix.

It's okay to take a break from the cup and try again next cycle. I gave up on mine for about a year...then when I came back to it, it was a night and day difference. Not sure why.
NineThumbsUpfreedomliberty on April 23rd, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
Are you making sure the cup is fully opened in you? No dents? You want that cup full of air. I don't remember what cup site, but they called it "equalizing the pressure". And if it stops leaking, you shouldn't have anymore messy fingers. Also, you aren't suppossed to squeeze it out, you push...
But quite honestly, you sound resigned to the bad attitude. I have to root around to get my cup too, but big deal. If your just not comfortable with your "orifices" yet, I really would put the cup on the shelf and try again in ten years. Maybe your vagina will be used to activities by then, and maybe you will have a better attitude about touching yourself. It sounds to me more like the problem here. I think almost everyone has had these complaints, but we got over it.
hmmeversochili on April 23rd, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
She's just frustrated. I was in a blind panic about removal, and was cursing up a storm in my bathroom when I was first learning, and had I been near livejournal at the time I would probably have posted something that sounded just as upset.

I did take a break, but it was ten months, not ten years.
jezzie_d on April 24th, 2009 11:05 am (UTC)
I sympathise with the OP about digging around and getting messy. I would count myself very comfortable with myself and yet I still dislike the whole getting covered in my own juices and having my fingers inside me trying to break a seal - especially if I'm having to do this in a public toilet or I'm in a rush.

I don't know whether it's the OP being comfortable with herself or not that is creating difficulties. Just because you don't like mess or particularly having your fingers inside your vagina for an extended period of time doesn't mean your not comfortable with you orifices or have a bad attitude about touching yourself.
.bloodvsplastic on April 23rd, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
I'm currently having the same problems with my Divacup, so I'm glad you made this post. I thought tampons were extremely easy, but I definitely had to get used to them first, I remember. So let's not give up!
I haven't even been able to insert it yet, so you're ahead of me! The best advice I can give at this point is making sure you give your vagina a rest after practicing, that way you save at least some pain and frustration. :)
rainbowkiwirainbowkiwi on April 23rd, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Somehow there's either an area where the cup isn't touching the vaginal wall, or your cervix is going to the side of the cup instead of inside of it.

The way I insert is fold it in a c-fold, push it up past the pubic bone, then tug down on it. The pulling it down helps it pop open. I pull down on it until it reaches the pubic bone area and get's 'stuck' on the bone. Then I push it back up into place. Pushing it in while it's popped collects the blood collected on the vaginal walls, and also collects the cervix on the way up. Sometimes I can feel the rim of my cup get caught on the cervix, and I have to wiggle it or keep pulling it down and pushing it up until it can lock in behind the cervix.

Spotting could just be the blood that is in the lower part of the vaginal canal before insertion. If it's underneath the cup, the cup won't collect it.
rowan99 on April 23rd, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
I have spoken to someone with this removal problem with the MCUK.
Turn it inside out, that makes the rim not so prominant and very much easier to take out.