February 5th, 2014

Long Time User-- New Problems

Hi all! I used to have an account on here a long time ago but I cannot remember the login info. Anyway, I am a long time cup user. I have been using the cup for 4 and a half years now and I have converted many friends. I feel like an old pro...yet now I feel kinda hopeless and confused.

My Cups:
-Small DivaCup (Cut stem)
-Small Lunette Selene (Cut stem)
-Small LadyCup Orange (Cut stem)

I've been using my Diva primarily, since it has the most capacity. But, once in awhile I will swap out to one of my older cups on a lighter day. My issue began in December 2012. I've been on hormonal birth control since 2011 (Nuvaring) and it made my periods like clockwork and didn't really change anything with cramps. The duration decreased down to 4 days. It was great! In December 2012, I had one of the worst periods of my life. I had the worst cramps I've ever had. I was bed-ridden because the pain was too excruciating to bear. On a scale of 1-10, it was an 11. I have a very high pain tolerance too. So, I figured it was just a bad month. But then it happened again, and again. I went to my gynecologist in August for my annual and I mentioned this to her. She didn't have any answer for me, but she prescribed me Ponstel for the pain. It worked the first month. Now, it's very hit or miss. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I've still been living with this horrendous pain and I can't take it. Every month, I seriously contemplate a hysterectomy. (Mind you I am only 21) I started thinking could it be cup related? Anyone ever deal with anything like this? I had ultrasounds done and nothing abnormal was seen. I am an ultrasound student, so I've been scanned every week since July 2013 and I can interpret them, so I scan myself too. The pain radiates throughout my lower abdomen and it feels like it extends into my cervix. It doubles me over and makes my entire pelvic region so sensitive to the touch.

Second question. Every time I remove my cup, my perineum really hurts. It almost feels as if it's being stretched and possibly tearing. I have the same problem when I have sex. Could I just have a tiny vulva? Or could my cup be creating tears?

Thanks again! I missed this community!

It's like a revolution in my pants

This might be a bit early... it's literally only day 3 of using a menstrual cup but I'm just so happy and excited about the whole thing that I wish I could just tell everyone I know about it. Most of my friends are guys though, so this wouldn't help them. And, since I enjoy reading other people's happy transitions for some reason, I feel like I'll write my own. I'm bored, don't judge me.

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tl;dr I've come to the dark side, and I love it. It's a revolution in my pants. Divacup, backup cup, get some cloth pads for overnight... and that's it.

using cup when not on period?

I've been seriously considering trying to use a cup when I'm not on my period because my mucus flow is extremely heavy and it seems like using the cup would be easier than having to change a pantyliner every couple hours. I hate how gross pantyliners feel but I can't go without them. I go through an entire pack in about 2 weeks and would love to not have to even use then (like most of my friends are able to). I'd love to not have to smuggle one to the bathroom every time. I know a lot of people here recommend cloth pantyliners but as good as they sound, I don't think they'd work for me as I'd need to carry at least 5 or 6 with me to school everyday and have a good way to carry the dirty ones around in my bag. So, instead I've been thinking about using a smaller cup everyday (probably my ladycup or possibly a xs/s meluna) and then my regular cup (diva 1) during my period, and then just ditching pantyliners all together. But I have no idea if this is even a remotely good idea in reality or if anyone here has tried it before. I'd ask my doctor but I'm currently in Japan for at least a year (probably longer) and I'm not sure about finding a doctor here (and asking for help in Japanese). Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated. 
Alone

Help on removal?

So I just bought my first cup, after doing a bit of research I settled on the MCUK due to size and reviews that it's a softer material. I should be starting my period in a few days and I thought since I was home today, maybe a "dry run" might be a good plan. I got it in with minimal issue, which is to say that I pinched myself a little, but nothing too bad. I wore it for about 2 hours (maybe less, I wasn't watching the clock) as I walked around, sat at the computer, whatever I might do on a normal day just to make sure I couldn't feel it, which I assumed would mean it was in the right place. Everything went smoothly.

The problem was taking it out.

In case this makes a difference, I want to mention that I have a tiny cervix, every gynecologist I've ever seen has commented on it, so even though I'm over 30, I choose the smaller cup (size B). The website said there wasn't too much difference, so I thought I'd err toward what I know of my anatomy. Anyway, I reached in with a finger and pressed against the side of the cup, which I thought would break the seal... but instead it just felt rather uncomfortable and I still couldn't get it to come out when I pulled my finger down on the side. So I pushed harder against the side, the cup was about half collapsed and I still couldn't get it out, it didn't feel like the suction was broken at all and it wasn't a particularly pleasant sensation. I tried bearing down, I tried standing with one foot on the edge of the tub, nothing was working.

At this point, I got up, washed my hands and headed to the internet. I watched a video of a woman showing an example with her Diva Cup filled with whiskey where she explained she pinches the bottom slightly, gives it a twist and pulls. I headed back to the bathroom and when I went to pinch the bottom, it turns out the cup was still collapsed, so pinching wasn't going to do much. The twist was a terrible idea by the time I got here because I somehow managed to pull it out sort of sideways with the stem poking where no one wants to be poked- at least not like this! And now I'm a touch crampy, which I assume was from tugging on my cervix via suction cup. In the TMI department, there was a fair amount of (normal) discharge in the cup, so I'm wondering if I suctioned that out with my tugging.

I'm not about to give up on this! Surely I can figure out how to use a cup if scores of other people can do it! But clearly I am in need of some advice. I don't want to be removing a full cup only to pull it out in a painful sideways maneuver that ends with me spilling an ounce of blood on myself- I mean, it's my blood and I'd survive it, but you know, not really my thing. I'm thinking maybe I'll have to change it in the shower a time or 2 for practice. Does anyone think that maybe the suction of doom was due to it being empty? The cup has these little perforations up by the top, so I didn't think the suction could be that bad! Or could this be due to size? Or am I just straight up doing it wrong?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edited to Add: I am very comfortable with my vagina and am not squeamish. I had an IUD for 7 years, so I know where my cervix is and what it feels like and while it tends to be low near my period, I still have to bear down in order to touch it with the tip of my middle finger- though I do have weirdly small hands! I couldn't reach the rim of the cup, though I tried. Neither could I get my thumb much past the outermost band of muscles at the entrance of my vagina, which made pinching difficult. Maybe if I bear down more first, then try to break the seal, instead of trying to break the seal then bearing down?

New user with removal issues: Cups with less suction?

So I've been really excited about starting to use a menstrual cup, and wanted one with decent capacity, and also a firmer cup since I want to be able to exercise without it leaking. I'm a virgin but almost 30 so I got a Large Lunette. It took me some time to work up the courage to actually get it all the way in, but now it's pretty easy, and once it's actually in I can't feel it at all and it works great. The problem now is removal.

I've read up on all the tips for breaking the seal, but I can't seem to get them to work. The problem is the entrance to my vagina seems tight. It's more than enough for me to insert the cup without much discomfort, and when I try to remove it I can feel the stem and feel like I'm getting a decent grip. However, I can't get my forefinger and thumb in high enough to actually pinch the base of the cup even after bearing down, and when I try and get my finger up the side to break the seal, I can feel that I'm not getting very far up, and can't feel the rim. The only way I've been able to get it out so far is by bearing down hard and then using a towel to get a good grip on the stem, and just pulling as hard as I can. It didn't really hurt coming out, but as you can imagine it was pretty messy, and not something I can really do in a public restroom.

Does the Lunette not have stronger suction than other cups and is this a matter of just getting used to the process? Or are there brands that are a similar length, but where I can basically pull the cup out if I can reach the stem, and not have to worry about having to reach high enough to break the seal? I initially started out wanting a firmer cup, but I'd be willing to go with a softer one if they tend to be easier to remove.

Apologies if this feels too similar to the previous question but I didn't want to hijack her post. Thanks!

Update
Well, I make a whole lot of awkward squeaking noises and still have to figure out how to do this without getting blood all over my hands, but I can actually do it without having to resort to a towel now. I'll just have to keep practicing :). Thanks for all the help!