jill84 (jill84) wrote in menstrual_cups,

First-time experience & stem-trimming questions

Hi everyone!

I just discovered this forum in the last few days—unfortunately
 after purchasing my first cup, a Keeper Mooncup (did not know about the ethical issues associated with the company at the time)—and have since been fervently reading as much of your advice as possible before trying it for the first time.  A little too fervently, I guess, because despite recommendations for a dry run, before I knew it my period had arrived and I was stuck trying it for the first time a half hour before leaving for work this morning.  (It’s amazing how the thought of putting another tampon inside of you can completely turn you off after merely discovering an alternative…).

Anyway, insertion went pretty smoothly—I tried the C-fold first, with just water.  I did not hear the ‘pop’ that some girls describe but it definitely seems to be getting a good seal.  I thought about just leaving it in, but figured I should probably practice removing it in case I had to do so at work.  Enter freak-out mode.  I was certainly experiencing the ‘death grip’ suction combined with the slippery-ness of the ridge-less Mooncup.  The stem was absolutely useless—a stretchy piece of spaghetti which seemed incapable of rotating the cup or nudging it down in the slightest—and trying to slide a finger all the way up to break the seal was only pushing the cup higher and higher.  I definitely started to feel a little panicky, but then quickly remembered all your tips to relax, sit on the toilet, tilt hips forward, and really bear down, all of which helped immensely.  I had to push a few times, moving my fingers up the base a little more each time until I could finally rock it out, but I know I will get better with practice and have no more apprehensions about not being able to get it out.

I have re-inserted and removed it a few more times today using different folds (punch down, 7—all three worked fine but the 7 seems easiest to hold on to near the base without popping open too soon).  I still have to ‘bear down’ several times to work my fingers far enough up to break the seal, but it’s getting easier and for now it is really just a convenience/time issue rather than a pain or discomfort issue.  The only real issue I seem to be having is that the stem (or at least I’m assuming it’s the stem) is really poking me.  When I inserted the cup for the first time, it did not go in very far, and the stem was just barely protruding outside my body, which was only slightly uncomfortable.  Within a few minutes of standing up and moving around though, the cup seemed to be ‘sucked up’ by my vaginal muscles until the stem was well inside and the base was barely in reach (I have read in other posts that it is okay for the cup to ‘ride high’ like this).  Once inside of me, the stem was really poking/pinching my vaginal wall.  I took it out and tried trimming off the slightest bit and beveling the edges in hopes that it might not be so pokey.  But it is still very uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful (especially when sitting down after walking around). 

I know that a lot of other cup users have trimmed their stems off completely, and I have no qualms about not having a stem for removal, because as I said, it seems way too stretchy and flexible to be of much use against the super suction.  However, I read a few comments by girls who said that once they trimmed their stems all the way off, the cup would rotate inside of them, sometimes rendering it useless.  I was slightly concerned to hear this, because I remember that when I used to use tampons, sometimes if I didn’t push slowly or in the right direction, they seemed to slip back into some weird position that wasn’t comfortable, almost more horizontal than angled/vertical, and I’m wondering if my cup could do the same thing.  Although, since it seems to be getting such good suction, it is hard to believe that it could rotate, and would probably be effective at catching the blood no matter how horizontal it was.

So, after all the rambling, my question is:  Have any of you regretted trimming your stem off all the way, especially for reasons other than removal assistance?  Or, did you too experience the same type of sharp, internal poking from the stem at first, but then found it went away?  I just want to make sure I’ve thought of everything before trimming it all off and not being able to get it back.

As a side note, a lot of you talk about how high/low your cervix is, or the size/shape of your vagina.  How do you determine these things?  I feel so out of touch with my own body—I would have no idea how to describe my particular shape/size, with nothing to compare to, let alone choose a cup based on my size without physically trying them.  Is there some kind of measurement you do, or is your knowledge more from trying different cups and knowing their respective dimensions?

I also wanted to add that I, too, think it’s crazy how unheard-of menstrual cups are, at least in the US.  I come from a very eco-conscious and all-natural family, especially my mom (who has never been squeamish about her/our bodies), but I only just found out about menstrual cups from a friend at age 24, and when I told my mom (who has now gone through menopause) about them she said, “Gosh, I wish they had had things like that when I had my period!”, even though they have apparently been around for decades.  I will definitely be spreading the word to my sisters and friends!!

(Sorry for the long post!  And thanks in advance for any advice/insight!!)


Tags: first time use, keeper moon cup, removal - painful or problems, stem length/trimming

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