I finished my first cycle using Insteads today but I experienced a few big leaks throughout the week. One I know was caused by a coughing spell and I ran to the restroom immediately to check/empty/reinsert, however the other leaks are a bit more troublesome. I must laugh at the ‘you can wear an Instead Cup for 12 hours’ bit, because while it is physically possible, it is not hygienically sound! I was checking mine every 1-3 hours during the day to catch leaks before they got too far started. Day #2 the cup definitely got full and was probably leaking due to overflow after a couple hours, but the others are somewhat of a mystery. I seemed to get leaky when I was climbing, bending, pushing and pulling (i.e.: cleaning house and at my job) and those are things I do all day. I know from reading here that the Insteads can be fairly easy to accidentally empty, but I don't think I was doing anything strenuous so I'm wondering if there's a way to screw up the placement. Initially I thought I should be able to push it further in, but it locked in behind my public bone, wasn't uncomfortable and seemed to catch a lot. It’s supposed to just sit under the cervix and catch the fluid so I’m not sure why it would leak when it isn’t full unless it wasn’t placed right. I made sure it had opened by feeling around the rim and I rinsed it in between each placement to be sure there was nothing on or in the cup that could give me a false positive leak. I also checked to be sure the cup wasn’t leaking through puncture or something.
Placement isn’t my only concern; I noticed my cramps were a lot worse. Normally I have cramps the first two days and then just a minor achey back the rest, but this time I had pretty bad cramps for all 5 days and even more severe back aches. I also had a full bladder sensation much sooner than normal, but I did kind of expect that since the cup would be taking up some room in there.
I’m going to try the Instead cup again but I’d like to clarify on reusing them. I didn’t die this time so clearly for the short run only rinsing in hot water is OK, but should I use some other cleansing technique between placements? Since I had some issues with this one Instead cup should I toss it and try a new one next month? If I do reuse this one, what is the best cleaning technique before storage and again before using it next month?
I’d really like to get a silicon cup and I was contemplating a Lunette before the US/FDA thing happened, but I wasn’t sure, so I tried Insteads first. I really like the clean feeling, but I’d prefer not having any leaks! I’m wondering if I have enough room inside for a silicon cup. The Instead went in with some effort and took a good bit of bearing down and tugging to pull it out and I could kind of feel it inside. I’m not sure if my difficulties inserting are caused from my insides being so tight or my inexperience with inserting since I don’t do tampons, but removal and insertion is a big concern. The silicon cups seem a bit daunting since they are stiffer and would need to be tilted out, not to mention all the insertion folds. If I can barely get an Instead in/out (which is flat to me) how on earth will I get a non-flat variety in and out without dumping it everywhere? Feeling around inside I can almost reach my cervix but I’m pretty tight in there past the pelvic bone, so this further increases my insertion/removal concerns. I’d love to go full reusable, but I certainly want to be sure I can use the thing before getting it. As it stands, the Insteads are a good compromise with minimal waste and expense, and even with the leaks, I did enjoy the no-pad feel. I’d really be happy to figure out my leaking issues and go from there.