March 28th, 2012

Convenience

Just wanted to say how wonderful these cups are.

I'm going away for Easter and for sure I'll have my period then. It's such a relief to know that I don't have to pack tampons and make sure that I'm packing enough of each size, let alone finding the space for them. One less hassle, thank you.

Also I don't have to hunt around for bins or sanitary packets to put the used tampons and applicators in. Nice.

Menstrual cups are fantastic!!!!

Amy Pond: The Girl Who Waited

A few questions about cup use & what to look for

Hello all, I'm looking into getting a cup for any number of reasons (desire to be more eco-friendly, travel ease, the cost of pads/tampons, etc.), but I have a few questions. My sister has been using a Diva for the past year and absolutely loves it but I'm not sure if the Diva would be the right choice for me. (Apologies if it seems like you've answered all of these questions  before!)

A few of my questions/concerns:
  • I'll be studying abroad in the British Isles from August to December of this year. I'll be travelling with about thirty other people (six guys but otherwise women). We'll be staying in many different places from hotels to cottages to college housing. How feasible would it be to maintain the cleaning on a cup whilst travelling in a group setting where I wouldn't necessarily have my own kitchen/pot/etc.?

  • For the Diva (in particular though others as well), the website says to only clean it with water or the Divawash. How strict is that? Because if I were to get a Diva, I don't think I'd really be able to bring Divawash with me through customs. I don't mind if I have to pick up something over there.

  • I'm twenty (on April 24th), a virgin, and have only been using tampons for the past four or five years. I can insert one finger easily but two is less comfortable (from the last time I checked which was a while ago). Do you think these would affect using a cup? Because I'm not entirely sure what size to look for (other than the smaller size with the Diva).

  • Tampons are sometimes irritable, especially when inserting or removing. This might be due to the fibers involved. In your experiences with cups, are they more comfortable than tampons? (I'm pretty sure I already know the answer to this question but I figured I'd raise it anyway.) I'd like something that allows the ease of movement that tampons do but without the discomfort. I also have only used tampons with applicators (both cardboard and plastic, which kills the eco-friendly side of me) and I'm not entirely certain how similar the application process tends to be. The Diva website said that the user manual is more in-depth than the online explanation.How similar/different are the application processes (cup v. tampon)?

  • Of the cups I've looked into, I'm interested in the Diva, Fleur, and MeLuna. (Part of the thought with the Diva is that I can drive five miles to a Whole Foods Market and pick it up now instead of waiting for it to ship.) I've looked at some of the charts but one thing I can't quite figure out is the comfort aspect. I know that it'll be different for everyone but before I, on my univ. budget, make a purchase, I'd like to know as much as possible. Comparison thoughts or cup suggestions?

I'm currently on my period (which is why I'm kind of leaning toward the Diva because I'd love to start using a cup as soon as possible). Any tips, comments, suggestions are welcome and appreciated! Thanks, everyone!

Edit: I've just ordered a medium Meluna with a ball stem. Thanks for all your advice and help, everyone!
hookah

Mighty Vaginey, aka The Mothership

Hi-dee-ho! This post was supposed to be titled "The High Cervix Challenge" and contain my feedback trying out two longer-bodied cups (Natural Mamma & XL Meluna Soft), but the experiment has only caused me to marvel at my own anatomy, hence the renaming to Mighty Vaginey, aka the Mothership. All will be explained below.

Here's my deets:

36 years old, nulliparous non-virgin, not sexually active. Most of the time I can barely reach my cervix straining with my longest finger (3+ inches). I have a very light flow (as a tampon user I only ever used the lowest absorbency [usually a Regular O.B. non-applicator] and could keep them in for 6+ hours without leaking). My first cup was a small Keeper Moon Cup, which I gave up on after two uncomfortable cycles... I think it was just too firm for me; I could feel it all the time and often there was a chafing sensation. My second cup was a small Lunette, and it's light years more comfortable. I can hardly feel it when it's in there, and never any chafing. I do experience slight discomfort right after insertion, because it usually pops open inside me a few minutes after I insert it, but it's a very minor and temporary ping! and then nothing to speak of. As I mentioned, my flow is very light and I only ever half-fill this cup on my heaviest day. I've never leaked or overflowed with either the Keeper Moon Cup or the Lunette. This morning began my fifth (I think) cycle using a menstrual cup.

The only problem I have with my Lunette, and it's something I experienced with the KMC, too, is that removal is sometimes a real hassle because my cup naturally "rides high", and sometimes I feel like I'm having a rasslin' match with my vagina trying to get a serious grip on the stem so I can pull the base within reach to pinch it and break the seal. This gets more difficult in the waning days of my period, where I still have this irritating drizzle of flow so I keep wearing the cup, but my cervix has more or less returned to its highest position and the cup is sitting all the way in outer space. I feel this situation could be improved with a differently shaped cup, a longer cup.

The two cups I have chosen to test-drive are the new "Natural Mamma" cup from Italy (which FeminineWear now stocks... yay!) and the X-Large Soft Meluna with standard stem**. Both cups have a longer body than my small Lunette but both are supposed to be as soft if not softer. I got them in the mail over a week and a half ago (SUCH fast service from Feminine Wear, UK --> NYC, USA), and only had to wait for my period so I could try them out.

I inserted the Natural Mamma on the day my period was *supposed* to come, but nothin' doing. I pulled it out after about six hours and found it to be menstruum-less. Sad to report, pulling it out on this non-period day was every bit as arduous if not more, than pulling out the shorter small Lunette had been on my "drizzle days". Holding my labia apart with one hand, tugging at the tip of the stem with the other, trying to get the base of the cup within reach, tuckered me out so much I gave up and had to return to the ordeal an hour later when my frustration had worn off. I did finally remove it, though.

Okay, so not a roaring success, but as it turns out it was just a "dry run" since my period did not fall on the predicted day. The next morning, instead of reinserting the Natural Mamma, I decided to give the XL Meluna Soft a go-round. I pulled it out eight hours later, still no period, slightly less of a struggle to remove than the Natural Mamma but definitely no walk in the park either.

FINALLY this morning my period began, and I decided to reinsert the Meluna. Ease of insertion? Check. Comfort while inside? Check. Little jab in the uterus when the cup pops open inside, just like the Lunette? Check. Spelunking expedition upon removal? GRRRRRRRRR.... Check.

I dunno, folks, I think I'm consigning myself to the fact that either A) A cup doesn't yet exist that is long enough for my vagina or B) No matter how long of a cup I buy, my vagina will magically lengthen so that removal will always be arthritis-inducing.

You know those science fiction movies about UFOs, like "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", where the Mothership comes and sends out a tractor beam that sucks small ships or people up into her? That's how I imagine my uterus, and my vagina is the tractor beam, and when I'm trying to remove a cup it's like fighting a magnetic field or the power of a black hole or something.

So, I'd have to say, after three days of experimentation, one during menstruation, that neither the Natural Mamma nor the Meluna XL Soft are improvements in terms of ease of removal over my small Lunette. If any of these impressions changes in the next few days, I will report them here. That being said, I think that both are comfortable cups with good designs, and will probably work just fine for many people, particularly those who require good capacity. Because my flow is so light, unless something changes, I think I will just go back to my small Lunette Selene and sell the other two, maybe.



**Even though the Diva cup is slightly longer than either of these and also supposedly a soft cup, I have decided not to test drive it for a few reasons, some of them rather silly: 1) I hate the word Diva; 2) The packaging makes me throw up in my mouth a little; and 3) It has a short, hollow stem which I find problematic. I like tab stems better. Perhaps another high-cerviced person in this community who lacks my issues can do a Diva test and report their results... alas, it will not be I.