April 3rd, 2009

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I had previously posted about using a cup for discharge.  I was left a very immature, close-minded response, and deleted the whole post.  This morning, I now feel like the immature one for doing that.  I was just very embarassed someone would call attention to something like that.  So let me put it into perspective for you from my point of view, since it made me feel like I have some mental health problem:

I have a very light period.  When I use my large LC, it only fills to the top of the bumps at the base after twelve hours.  When I use it for discharge, it fills to the bottom bumps.  My small Lunette fills to the top of the rings on the base with just discharge.  It's not everyday.  Some days I have almost nothing at all in the cup.  My heavy discharge days are about twenty days of the month.  I won't wear a pantyliner.  Why get a reusable cup for the four days on on my period if I'm going to throw away forty pantyliners that month?  And since I refuse to wear a pantyliner (why?  because I wear tight pants everyday and only own thong undies.  and yes, I have a whole case of thong pantyliners I will never wear again because they wadded up in my butt crack) so I sometimes actually get a wet spot on my jeans before I used a cup.  And with the tight jeans and short shirt, you can imagine once I felt wet down there I would have to feel and go check the mirror constantly for fear it would look like I peed myself a little. 

So, yes, I wear a cup all day, all night, everyday.  I rinse it out before bed, and I wash it every morning.  I have been doing this for several months now, and have yet to experience any negatives.  In fact, I noticed my undies smell like moist fabric softener, not coochie.  I am quite happy with my decision, and wish not to have it questioned.  It didn't even have to do with my actual posted question.  So I apologize to those who had nicely answered her question for her.  You had some really proper answers, and I thank you who defended me.
wind turbines & sunset

Cups, Sponges, Tampons, and IUDs

Back in March I posted two polls over at </a></b></a>iud_divas and many of you here were kind enough to participate.  : )   It makes me happy to see evidence (more than just me!) of peacefully co-existing cups and IUDs as there are still the occassional comments floating around over there saying cups will "suck out" your IUD...
Yesterday I finally got around to posting my followup over there and now I'm posting the part that is relevant to menstrual cups below.  To see the post in it's entirety, click HERE.
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Does using internal period protection increase the risk of expulsion?
Based on the answers to Poll #1363283, this would also seem to be an exaggerated fear.

With 121 divas who currently use an IUD or have used one within the last 5 years responding, 64% (77 women) reported that they use some form of internal period protection.
Of these 77 women, 56 use tampons (73%), 24 use menstrual cups (31%), 1 person reported using sponges, and 1 reported "other" (baby sock tampons?)
Out of the 77 divas who reported using tampons, cups, or sponges, the vast majority, 78% (60 women), began using internal protection within the first month of having an IUD inserted. Of those 60, more than half (33 women) have successfully had their IUD in place for at least 6 months.
Out of 121 who currently use an IUD or have used one within the last 5 years, only 5 reported an "on period expulsion". Three reported using pads (1 cloth, 2 disposable) , 1 used a menstrual cup, and 1 used a combination of tampons and sponges. Simply looking at the numbers for this poll, this puts the expulsion rate for pad users at 7%, menstrual cup users at 4% and tampons/sponges users at 2%... As such, I believe it is unlikely that choice of period protection influences IUD expulsion.
The menstrual cup user had her IUD in place for less than 2 weeks before expelling, and while she credits her cup for helping to pull out her IUD, here she cites long strings as a contributing factor.
As mentioned earlier, the tampon/sponge user accidentally yanked out her 5 year old Paragard thinking she had a tampon in... read her story here.

While the results here suggest that using internal protection does not increase expulsion risk, it is still probably wise to use caution when removing a tampon, cup, or sponge.

fortwo

Ideas for Informational Session

Hello community members,

I've been tossing around the idea of contacting my local health food store to ask if they'd be interested in hosting an informational session on alternative menstrual products. I figure they could either host a standalone session or make it part of one of the periodic Q&A sessions they host with a local naturopath. They only stock the DivaCup at the store, but this might generate some demand for other brands or at least increase their sales of Divas.

Even if the store isn't interested in hosting anything, I might just go ahead and do something on my own and post information about it in the store and on other local bulletin boards that would reach an environmentally conscious audience.

I guess I'm just looking for suggestions from community members about what types of products to cover in my presentation and how I might go about it. I was thinking it might be useful to have samples to show people, which would mean procuring a few things because I don't use pads or sponges so I don't have any to show people. Maybe I'm just looking for an excuse to collect more reusable menstrual products. ;-)

Any ideas? This is something I'd really like to do and I want to make it a success.

Thanks,

Brie

First Timer - So far ok, except for the panic removing it.

So, I've been reading about menstrual cups for quite a while.  Thinking, mulling, and slowly moving  in this direction. Because easily 90% of the information I've received and digested has been from this group, I thought I'd post my thoughts, in part in appreciation for what you've all shared already.

I'm 44 years old, have had a child, don't intend more, and frankly could do without my period.  Tampons don't fit well internally post pregnancy and pads chafe. 

Had to go to Whole Foods to get cramp bark and while I was looking saw Diva Cups on the shelf.  No time like the present.  So I brought it home, and decided to just keep moving on this experiment.  Squished it up, not worrying too much about which fold it was but seeing that the general idea worked.  It took a little work to get it situated just right, but I immediately was able to understand what people meant about sort of settling it in by running your finger around it.  It took surprisingly little time and although a little discomfort initially, not much.

Told my husband a little about it and went to bed.  No leaks, no panties, no slipping pad, not problems!  Joyful rejoicing!

Then, tried to get it out.  I knew from reading that this was likely the biggest hurdle.  OMG what a hurdle.  To start with I'm a very plus sized woman so maybe that limits my reach a bit but I could reach well enough to get it up there.  Somehow in my head, I'd sort of missed the "pulling on the stem is NOT how you get it out".  Needless to say I couldn't get a good purchase on the stem to pull, no matter how I bore down.  I was longing for the string you find on tampons, considering if I ever got it out drilling a hole to add a string. 

Panic ensued as this continued for several minutes.  I envisioned calling my husband and telling him he had to come home from work to get this out of me.  Would it last til the end of his work day?  I couldn't ask my 16 year old daughter to do it for me. 

Very carefully tried tweezers - didn't work.  Very very very carefully tried very very clean pliers (I'm a jewelery artist and have all sorts of types of pliers). Didn't work.  More panic.  Finally decided the best solution was to walk away, get into the shower and stop panicking.

Finally remembered what I had seen here to simply stick my finger up and break the seal/squeeze the cup out and it worked.  That seems anticlimactic, but picture me, moments before, on the toilet with pliers up my fandango rooting around.

The next big hurdle - do I put it back in??  That took a little thought.  I left it sitting on the sink and got dressed while I breathed.  Decided that I knew that part was the biggest challenge, I now understood it, and that the only way to go was forward. 

Three days later, I really haven't looked back.  I'm liking this a lot.  Very comfortable - notice it less than a tampon.  It's a little messy and gruesome, but I figure part of that is my inexperience and part is just the nature of the beast.  I did have a little leaking earlier today, but I took it out, rinsed it and put it back figuring something just wasn't aligned perfectly and so far, so good.

So, mostly this is a tale of thanks.  Without the resources here, it could have been a very interesting time, when I called my husband to come get it out of me. 

Thanks.

Teachers and MC's

Lomg time lurker -slash- cup user.

Started with the DivaCup 1 when I was student teaching. Because, after all, how often do teachers get to go to the bathroom? I swear we're part camel! And, me with a heavy flow, I figured, get something that'd work WITH me teaching and not have to schlepp tampons or pads to the staff bathroom! As far as I know, I was the only teacher using a M-C when I was student teaching. That was 4 years ago. Then, I had my daughter and due to lack of $$, kept using my size 1 DivaCup till last month's cycle when I finally said "enough of the leaking, squishy-ness, etc." and bought the size 2. Was going out of town when my period was due, so I just went to the local REI (sporting goods store) and picked it up. WHY oh WHY did I not pick up the larger size sooner? :) It was like night and day, no leaks, squshing, and I never felt the cup move around like it'd been doing.

AND...come to find out, several of the other teachers in my building use a DivaCup. I think it was a godsend product especially for teachers. Plus, I find that it's hilarious talking about M-C's to non-M-C users. It's the "Eeeewww...why would you put somethign in your v- to catch the blood that's gross!" mentality. Until I get into the cost effectiveness of it and benefits, etc. Heck, my 3 year old has seen me empty and insert my cup. She asked once, "What is it" and I said, "It's mommy's cup, you'll have one when you're big."
iBox

Backup

For those of you who wear cloth pads as backup, how many pads do you own? I was wondering how large of a stash one generally needs if it's their secondary method of protection.

Right now I have two overnights and six liners.