Okay ladies, I need some help because I am seriously about to pitch my cup in the trash.
I've been using my Divacup for almost a year now (~9 months) and haven't really had any of the typical issues with insertion, size, etc. (in fact the Divacup is almost too short - I can barely reach the stem!) No major leaking issues, nothing like that. It works great for the most part.
Except, my most overwhelming problem with it is it STINKS. I have tried boiling it, scrubbing it with soap and water, soaking it in soapy water, wiping it with soapy wet paper towels, and pretty much anything else I could think of short of a bath in bleach, and it still reeks. The stem is slightly blackish for some reason which does not come off no matter how much I wash it, and even if I leave the cup in the little cotton pouch for a month when I take it out again it still smells terrible. Hell, when the cup is *in* I can smell it if I sit in a chair with my legs open, even through pants and everything.
And it's not like I leave it in for that long, either - 12 hours most of the time, with an occasional stint up to 18-24 if I'm traveling or it's very very close to the end of my period and my flow is trailing off... but then I boil it for like 10 minutes in between periods and it does NOTHING for the smell. I basically keep using it every month thinking "well maybe it won't be so bad now, maybe it will have faded", but it DOESN'T. Ever.
I am at the point where I dread my period each month because any contact with the cup makes me gag from the smell. This is not to mention the gross sight and smell of the stringy red-yellow-black-brown muck that seems too stringy to actually "dump" out of the cup like everyone else seems to be able to do, and the strings end up on the toilet seat and my hands and the sink. This mess plus the lingering smell on my cup leave my bathroom smelling even after cleaning up all the blood and then Febrezing the hell out of it. Right now, sitting in my bedroom, I can smell the cup from where it sits innocently on the rim of the bathroom sink - it's hard to sleep, the smell is so rank.
Now, I don't know it's actually the cup that is causing this smell, or if it's my blood that is causing the stench, but when I used tampons I NEVER had problems with odor, so I wouldn't think it's just a fact of me, or something. And the smell definitely clings to the cup, and nothing I've tried yet will get rid of its lingering effects. Now, maybe I am oversensitive to something other girls have learned to deal with... but it really does bother me, and I have definitely nearly thrown up about three times from the smell and the stringy grossness.
Until I can kill this stink issue, I am back to using tampons... and sorta wondering why I ever switched over, considering how much better I already smell.
So, what do I do? Am I doing something wrong? Is there something wrong with ME? Is there a secret magic treatment that will kill the smell without poisoning my friendly neighborhood vagina-bacteria? Is there a way to make my period-muck less stringy and more manageable?
PLEASE HELP. Thanks everyone.
ETA: In case it helps at all with figuring out why I smell so bad... um... I'm 22, definitely no STDs, no symptoms of any sort of UTI (and the smell is ONLY when I have the cup in - with a tampon in I don't smell at all so I don't think it's an infection if it doesn't affect me the rest of the time), drink only water, get plenty of iron... I really have no idea what else could be relevant/helpful, so if there's something relevant to ask, go for it in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.
ETA again: Oh! Also I read back several entries on the "cleaning - smells" tag, but here's the thing. I don't just have an occasional stinky period, it seems like EVERY ONE is worse than the last, but ONLY when I use the cup. Meanwhile, I don't have vinegar/tea tree oil/H2O2/isopropanol and don't want to buy a whole bottle of each just to try to use for this one thing. I'm allergic to citrus, so no lemon juice. And as for leaving it out in the sun... well, I live in a high school dormitory, in an apartment which has only skylights and no windows, on the fourth floor, in New Hampshire in the winter. So not only do I have zero private access to sunlight, but we don't have any sunlight this time of year anyway. Yeah. So other suggestions would be great which don't involve me having to spend a lot of money or needing access to something unusual...