June 7th, 2012

Rainbow of cups

Unexpected leakage at the worst of times...

Hello wonderful community ! I've just been on my first holiday with a cup, and after 8 months of blissful cup use, BAM! it had to let me down at the worst of times. I just spent the last 6 days away on holiday, and the first three walking around til my feet hurt and mostly shopping all day, eating greasy foods and just being generally exhausted, all while being on my period. As a background : I usually have a light flow from hbc, and my cervix usually hangs around 5.5 cm in while on my period. It's also been my third month on a different type of hbc, the gestoden pill type, and I think it's upset my body in some ways, I keep thinking I should change it.

Warning, this is a little tmi, especially if you're blood phobic. For the past few months I've been in the habit of emptying every 12 hours or so, and it's rarely been filled over the first third, never more than half. This last period especially, it seemed to me like I was bleeding an awful lot of thin, at times almost watery dark red fluid. Every time I emptied, for some reason I poured copious amounts of sticky warm blood over my hand, and it looked filled at least two thirds every single time up until the last couple days. On the third day, for some reason I forgot to wear a cloth pantyliner, which I do almost every single day (that'll teach me a lesson!). Right in the middle of the market, I started getting the funny feeling, so I went for a bathroom, and sure enough, it had been leaking. I couldn't figure out whether this was just residual slobber (but I had left the hotel over an hour ago so this wasn't right after insertion), so I thought I might have forgotten to empty in the morning and it was overflowing. Sure enough, I poured blood all over my hand while removing (urgh that feeling... in a public bathroom to top that up...! sorry but this was a first for me), and it still looked at least half full. So I sucked it up and tried to wipe both the cup and my hand with tp, but seriously, how are you supposed to manage that in a public bathroom, without dropping or staining anything, given that blood is STICKY ! not to mention clogged holes. At that moment I really resented my cup.

That feeling grew even worse when I got the funny feeling about 15 min later and had to make my mom wait for me again, at which point she got annoyed. After I reluctantly explained the situation an argument about the effectiveness of "my plastic tampon" ensued, which got me further upset. At some point in my bathroom trips, I borrowed a tiny thong pantyliner from her, and it got covered in blood pretty quickly. I was this close to follow her opinion and stuff a tampon in myself to solve my "situation". Fortunately, the last reinsertion + tp pad on top of my undies got me through the end of the afternoon with just residual slobber.

So fellow cup users, what's going on with me ? Do you think the walking around and/or gestoden pill could've make me bleed like a stuck pig ? Do I need to expect this again next time around ? And most importantly, do you think it's time for me to shop for a new cup ^^ ? I was thinking I might need a shorter cup for low cervix days, as I find sometimes my cup seems to fill up my vagina so that it's trickier to coax open. I think I could also feel the (partly trimmed off) stem more on these heavy days. I was considering getting a medium meluna as back-up, but now I wonder, do I need a higher capacity cup, possibly a larger one ? I got a Cuplee because it's soft and easy to reach, but there might be something else on the market for unusual extreme bleeding, low cervix days ? Any input or just similar experiences and sympathy always help ! :)

Leakage Problems

I've gone through the other leakage posts, and as much as they've given me lots of ideas, none of them seem to be helping much. I'm using a Diva Cup, size 1, and despite working with it for more than a year now I've only had one period go by without significant leaking. Sometimes I end up with much more fluid leaked than the cup actually holds, and not just when I go from sitting or laying to standing--it happens after two hours on my feet as often as it happens when I wake up in the morning. I've tried different folds and insertion methods, trying to get a better seal, but without much luck. 

I do have a low cervix, so I've considered trying the larger size, but I'm reluctant to drop another $35 on it (or any other new cup) without some confidence that it will help. 

I'm really dreading going back to just tampons, but if I'm going to be leaking this much it's just not going to work out for me because the whole point was to be able to avoid the discomfort of using pads as backup. I'm desperate for ideas. 

washing my cup - do I HAVE to boil it?

all this talk of periods the last few days has made my period arrive- yay! it's been a few months as I have PCOS and am irregular. 

I have always just rinsed mine in cool water and reinserted it or air dried it. I see talk of boiling and sterilising cups but I have never done this - am I putting myself at risk of infection do you think? I seem to find that a rinse under the tap gets it clean and it never smells but wondered if boiling or sterilising is really very important?

I would appreciate feedback about this - since I am new to the community (but not new to cups) I wonder if I need to make a few changes? I have a couple of Melunas indifferent sizes that I amusing :)

Thanks!

Success

I've been using my Diva Cup for 10 months now. 23, virgin, pads only before cup. I studied this site for months before I got it. The second cycle with it I was doing construction and only had portapotties (ew) I was super nervous that I would drop it but all went well. My dog just ate my cup the day before I started this week. I'm miss it so much! 

I just really want to thank everyone here for all the advice and suggestions for beginners.