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01 June 2009 @ 09:35 pm
Does anyone use there cup on a daily basis to monitor cervical mucus for natural family planning purpose (or any other purpose you might like, I guess)? It seems like a good way to monitor if you don't have a ton of mucus, making it difficult to determine the quality/characteristics....any thoughts/experiences?
 
Using stars as icecubes in my moonlight punchkaelstra on June 2nd, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)
No...actually don't think it'd be a good idea. While it may be safe to leave the cup in for long periods of time, I can't suspect it'd be good on your body or the cup to leave it in on a "daily basis" all the time.

For one, I imagine your vaginal opening would get sore after doing it long enough-I get sore near the end of my period from removing/inserting it just a few times a day.

Secondly, to accurately get a good idea of what your mucus is doing, you would probably be having to check it fairly often and this brings me back to the first point.

It seems like constantly using it would result in it having a much shorter life.
lizwinlove on June 2nd, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
I don't think this is a fair assessment. There are plenty of people here who use their cup all month long because they have heavy discharge. If they got sore it would certainly be up to them to use a cloth liner--but they continue.

And I don't think you could say it had a "shorter life". Sure you might only be able to use it for five years instead of ten, but if you a buy a pair of shoes and wear them every day for a year before they get worn out, didn't you get a LOT of use out of them?

As for the mucus, for people who know how to practice FAM or NFP, you are supposed to check once a day at the same time daily. If she didn't take it out at least once or twice a day for cleaning it would get smelly anyway. I'm not sure why she can't check her cervical mucus while she takes it out for cleaning.
Using stars as icecubes in my moonlight punchkaelstra on June 2nd, 2009 04:59 am (UTC)
The OP asked for thoughts, and I offered them.

Considering a cup's "life" is only rated by it being used approximately one week out of every four, it's reasonable to assume that if you were using it every day, it'd probably wear down faster.

I'm sure if you wore that pair of shoes only one week out of every month, it'd take you a lot longer to replace them.

I'm aware of checking mucus for family planning and fertility awareness, but I dunno if you'd be getting an accurate assessment of your mucus by letting it collect for several hours before checking it. But I honestly don't know.

She asked if we felt it was a good way to check cervical mucus; I don't personally believe it is.

Everyone's mileage may vary, obviously.
lizwinlove: It's Lizzielizwinlove on June 2nd, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)
I think you missed my point. Obviously it would need to be replaced faster. But she'd get the same number of days of use out of it either way. They'd just be squished closer together. And if you wear the shoes one week a month, you're going to need three other pairs.

My point was about the amount of use--which would be the same.

I didn't think of letting it collect, it did not seem that was what you meant, and you are probably right. Letting it collect could change it and give an inaccurate reading.

I am aware she asked for opinions and you gave yours. I was giving mine, which happened to be different, and I gave reasons for why. No big deal.
radicalancient on June 2nd, 2009 04:58 am (UTC)
We do know people who use their cups for heavy cervical discharge. But since you don't have that much mucus, you may feel sore after continuous use - especially during the drier days.

Secondly, I believe cervical mucus changes texture if it's been in the cup. That may really mess with your assessment.
A much better way of monitoring would be to stick your finger up your vagina upto 3 times a day, and swipe it along your cervix to gather the mucus. For me, the amount that sticks to my finger is generally enough.
Using stars as icecubes in my moonlight punchkaelstra on June 2nd, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
This was my thought; how accurate will reading your mucus be if you've let it sit and collect in a cup for even a few hours first, versus a "live" reading, so to speak.
radicalancient on June 2nd, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
...by "changing texture" I mean that the mucus might dry out, curdle or even grow more watery as it grows "older".

That said, you can always try using the cup for a cycle. If it works for you, keep at it. That'll be yet another reason to love cups :o).
Katherineeexposed on June 2nd, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
I practice FAM, and on the occasions when I've worn my cup a few days beyond my period just to see how my CM looks, it definitely differs in texture once it is in the cup - even creamy CM becomes liquid. While both are counted as fertile, I wouldn't use a cup to check my CM at all.

That is not to say that using a cup to catch heavy cervical fluid is not wrong, but for the purposes of FAM, I am skeptical as to whether it would be the best method.
~*~moonnymph on June 2nd, 2009 06:00 am (UTC)
The only reason I wouldn't use a cup every day for cervical discharge is because my cervix is a lot lower when I don't have my period, and it's painful to use then.

Other than that, with lube I don't think it'd be a problem.
Katherineeexposed on June 2nd, 2009 06:30 am (UTC)
Oops, I totally said that incorrectly in the last sentence - I meant, "That is not to say that using a cup to catch heavy cervical fluid is wrong." I think it's totally fine, and I don't see a problem with it at all!

For myself, I'm a bit tight and by the end of my period I'm usually just using pads when I can get away with it because the cup makes me feel a little sore, so using it all cycle long would probably hurt too much for me, but I know for others this is a viable option for when you get enough CM that it becomes annoying (and stains lovely underwear, grr!) :)
lizwinlove: It's Lizzielizwinlove on June 2nd, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
Speaking from personal experience here, from time to time I've used my cup (though not continuously) for when its heavy.

During your period your nerve endings are especially sensitive. I too get sore removing my cup when I'm on it.

I don't have this problem for heavy cervical mucous. The nerve endings are much less sensitive and I can pop it in and out with much less issue.

Just throwing that out there.
Katherineeexposed on June 2nd, 2009 06:56 am (UTC)
That's good to know! I should have figured that during your period things may be a little more sensitive and easily upset compared to the rest of the cycle. I'd definitely try it if I had heavier CM than I do, and if I weren't too worried about getting the perfectly accurate fluid consistency description for FAM purposes. :)

I remember that in the past there was someone in this comm that felt attacked when she mentioned that she used a cup all cycle long for her CM, and I felt especially bad that she felt that way, so I felt even worse making a mistake in my comment earlier!
fireaphidfireaphid on June 2nd, 2009 06:36 am (UTC)
It'd probably be fine, and there are several members of this community that do wear their cups daily to collect discharge, although I don't know if any are attempting to observe CM. While the discharge in a cup will appear different from that observed without the aid of a cup, it should still be possible to use it for fertility monitoring. Discharge in a cup cannot be compared to discharge on a pantyliner or discharge on a finger, but if you only observe discharge in the cup, you should be able to learn the same information that someone who only uses their fingers or a pantyliner would about their discharge. It's all about consistency, so if you can consistently use a cup to observe CM, then it will work just as well for you.

I think the person who said it will wear out a cup sooner is wrong, as the cup manufacturers don't recommend that people buy new cups because they will wear out; rather, it is generally stated that the (silicone, not rubber) cup will last indefinitely with proper care. Proper care in this case would probably be more frequent but no different in terms of cleaning methods, so there's no reason to think a cup used daily would need to be replaced any sooner than a cup used only for menstruation. Wearing the cup more and cleaning it more will not decrease its lifetime, so that shouldn't affect your decision to use it for this purpose either way.
zandperl: Sciencezandperl on June 2nd, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
I expect you're right that there will be a difference in the CM as it appears in the cup as opposed to elsewhere, but that it will change on a daily basis. The OP would have to come up with her own standard for the appearance in the cup and learn how it compares to the official standard for fertility monitoring, and I expect this is where the main flaws in using a cup for fertility monitoring will be.

Discharge in a cup cannot be compared to discharge on a pantyliner or discharge on a finger

Perhaps the OP could dip a finger into the fluid in the cup? This might not work if the fluids separate out, but it's an idea.

In the end, my opinion is that this method would NOT be as accurate as other methods, but it may be possible with time to learn how to adjust for the inaccuracies.
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