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I am a 21-year-old virgin who began menstruating when I was about 13. My periods have always lasted for about a week, and are always accompanied by bad back pain. I only used tampons if I was doing a water-related sport, but because my periods were so long, my skin would often be rubbed raw by the pads by the end of my period, so I was open to alternatives (I just didn’t know of any).

I first heard about menstrual cups when I was browsing Xanga in August of 2008. I was intrigued (yes, and a bit grossed out!) and saw that there were two brands – Keeper and Diva (I didn’t see anything about the other cup companies). I could order the Diva Cup from Amazon, so I decided to do that. I knew nothing about menstrual cups and all the sizing issues.

I was super excited when my small Diva arrived and even though it was near the end of my period, I decided to try it out. Well, I think I spent about ½ an hour trying to get it in and even though taking it out took less time, it was very painful. I gave up and decided to try it at another time.

In February of 2009, anticipating that I might be on my period when I backpack the Grand Canyon in May (and not wanting to pack out pads & tampons), I decided to give the cup another go. However, I didn’t want to have the same problems I had the first time I tried to use the cup, so I did an internet search and found this site. I read through several of the posts and my second attempt was much smoother than my first. I have now been using a menstrual cup for 2 periods.

Period One:

My period started in the morning, so I popped in my cup and went about my day. It was great – no discomfort at all. I wasn’t sure how the cup was going to work for me, so I wore a backup pad. Good thing, too, because I went 14 hours before emptying and by then the cup was overflowing. After posting on this community about it, I decided I would need to empty the cup every 4-6 hours on my heavy days.

The rest of the period was great! I LOVED having the cup and after 2 days of using a backup pad, I stopped using one because I didn’t have any leaks (except for the 1 time when the cup overflowed – but that was my fault). On the 3rd day of my period, I actually forgot for a while that I was on it. It was amazing!

After hearing everyone rave on their Lunette cups, and wanting to get something with a little more capacity, I ordered a large Selene for myself and a small Selene for my sister (she refuses to talk to me about it, though, so I have NO idea how it’s going for her! Arrgh!).

Period Two:

I had finally found my cervix! After watching the video on youtube about how to find your cervix, I was able to do it (I don’t know where the link is for that video – if someone posts the link in a response, I will add it to this post). I discovered that my cervix is way to the left of my vagina.

My period started at night so I decided to use the Lunette Selene. It was my first time using it, so I wasn’t sure what it would be like. I woke up in the middle of the night with bad, bad cramps. I used my Diva the next day and then tried the Selene again the next night. I woke up in the middle of the night to empty it, but that was unnecessary. The cup was comfortable, though, and I didn’t have any of the issues I’d had the first night.

The rest of that period was completely uneventful. After the first 2 nights using the Selene, I used my Diva for the rest of my period. Right now, the Diva is my favorite of my 2 cups – I LOVE it! But, I’m going to give the Selene another try on my next period and see if I can fall in love with it, too.

Benefits of Menstrual Cups:

- No more having to take your purse to the restroom with you!

- FREEDOM! It is soooo freeing to not worry about whether I’m leaking, or how I’m sitting, etc. etc…I don’t have to go to the bathroom extra-often to check for leaks! I can go swimming, horseback riding, running, backpacking, etc. while on my period and be worry-free!

- No more extra trash in my trash can! Having 3 younger brothers, I’ve always been paranoid about disguising the trash…now I don’t have to worry about it!

- It’s cheaper than pads/tampons!

- It makes me feel more positive about being a woman – I no longer dread my periods!

- It’s good for the environment!

I was going to do a side-by-side comparison of the small Diva Cup and the large Lunette Selene, but I’ll save that for another post after I have more Lunette experience :).

I hope it’s OK, but I thought I’d link to the posts that really helped me when I first discovered this community:

Assorted Size Charts

The Virgin's Guide to Cups

Folding Techniques

Jonilittle_joni on April 24th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to comment that I totally agree with you about menstrual cups give you freedom. I always felt like a slave to my period when it came, like it controlled my whole life and what I could or couldn't do until it was over. It shouldn't have to be like that...and now it's not. :D Also, totally agreeing with your comment that feeling positive about being a women. I think that's the best thing cups can do if you stay positive about it. I want to add also that my attitude about periods have changed. Using a cup made me get a little more up close and personal with that part of my anatomy. It's not that I was squeamish about it before, it just never occurred to me to figure it out. I no longer think getting my period is "gross" or "nasty"...it's just what it is and there is nothing wrong with it.

Anyway, I liked your post, I'm glad you shared your experiences.

Oh...one more thing I almost forgot: about the cramps, I know what my cup is positioned close to my cervix so that it bumps on it or leans on it my cramps can get really bad. If I take out my cup and reposition it then I can usually improve that situation. I just mention it so that when you try out your Lunette again that might help you decrease those cramps if that is what is causing them. Good luck!
slenderstar on April 24th, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you're a successful cup convert! and also glad to hear you got one for your sister!! thanks for sharing your success story with us. It's so worth it eh?
Kai: pic#73999355kuradi8 on April 24th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
"No more having to take your purse to the restroom with you!"

That's my favorite benefit as well.

I have a (part time) outdoor job at which I'm surrounded by two dozen macho men, a different class every two weeks. Before cups, my purse would be way off in one direction and the porta potty was way off in the other direction. If I took a 2-direction potty break, it would always catch their attention. "Hey! The potty's THAT way!" Followed by snickers. And then they would use "That's just HORMONES talking..." to disregard anything I told them to do from that point on.

Unfortunately, because they were students, I couldn't "report" them to a superior. Fortunately, because they were students, it wasn't my fault if they refused to learn from me. If they figured it out on their own, GREAT. If not, "See you again next class." (Not out loud: "Maybe you'll listen better next time.")

Now with cups, I can take care of business in the plastic room without anyone being the wiser. :o)