I heard about menstrual cups a few months ago, I don't even remember how I stumbled across them. It was completely by accident but I was intrigued, and I did a lot of poking around before deciding that I absolutely had to try them. I've never been able to wear tampons, they've always felt extremely uncomfortable to me. The first time I tried wearing one I was 12 or so and I wound up throwing up, possibly my fault for not really knowing anything about how things are set down there and I probably put it in wrong, but ever since I've gotten nauseous when trying to wear them, even now that I'm in my 20s. I do so hate wearing pads though as well, they're so bulky and get in the way, and I'm trying to be physically active again and back when I did martial arts it was always a difficult time when I was on my period.
So, I first started by finding the disposable kind. I was shocked and amazed when I found them in my local grocery store, as I wasn't sure I'd really be able to find them at all here in the states, since they don't seem to be too popular here. They were far, far better than tampons, a tad uncomfortable because of how hard the rim was, but it convinced me that I should get the real stuff. After a little more research, I decided to go with the LadyCup. I went ahead and ordered off their eBay, and silly me failed at reading comprehension that day and wound up ordering a pack of 2 larges, rather than a mixed pack like I wanted. No big deal, I decide that if they're as awesome as I was hoping, I'd give the spare to my mom. (And I will, as unenthused as she sounds when I tell her about them over the phone. I will convince her when I see her next week!)
Well, I was VERY happy with it! I had to completely remove the stem. Because it was the large it was somewhat noticeable, particularly when inserting and removing it was a tad uncomfortable, but after a few minutes it would settle and I'd feel fine. I actually wrote up a long-ish post on my personal journal about it that isn't friends locked if anyone is curious about reading it. A slight warning in that my language can be somewhat colorful... I like four-letter words a bit too much. I also went pretty in-depth in detail, hah, since I was making the post mostly to inform my lady friends and I figured I'd spare no detail and make the post as informative as I could, combining what I'd learned from reading and from doing.
Moving on, I've now got my small LadyCup, and that discomfort I had with the large is completely gone. I did still have to completely remove the stem, no matter how much I kept trimming it, it still stabbed me, particularly when running. It's not a big deal, and it's much easier to get my fingers around it than the large, so I haven't had any problems with it. I was somewhat concerned when I first started using them that I might have difficulty getting the seal, but I did a lot of reading (mostly here!) and from everything I read I was able to figure it out pretty quickly. My very first day and night I had some spotting, and nothing since then.
I'm wondering though, if maybe a different cup might be better, if only because of the issue with the stems. But then, they're working perfectly fine and it's not that much trouble so I dunno. All I know is that I'm super-excited I found out about these things, because, finally, I'm free of pads! And I'm hoping to join the Air Force (I have a medical condition -hypothyroid- that may not allow me to) and I have a feeling these things will save me so much grief if I do!
I wonder if it might not just be easier to constantly wear a cup at basic if I do. Although by then I'd know what my body will do when I'm physically active, but I do remember when I first started martial arts that my schedule actually changed when I became fit, so it may or may not be easy for me to keep track of when my period would start. Would there be any real drawbacks to doing such a thing? I likely wouldn't have the chance to really sanitize it. Are there any women who maybe have gone through this and might know what to expect and how I might be able to handle it? Or would I just be better off bringing pads and/or tampons (I can manage them these days, I just really don't like them XD)?
And to close... I have 2 15% off coupons for LadyCup's website from when I ordered off their eBay. I don't intend to order anything from their site, so if anyone wants them, they're yours. Just ask in a comment here (so others know they're claimed ^^) and I can send you the code however you'd like me to, first come, first serve. To be fair, one per person, unless there's only one person that cares, heh. I'd rather give them away than have them go to waste.
Thanks so much! Reading other people's experience through this community helped me a lot with learning how to use cups and in choosing one, and I hope to continue learning more. ^^