Some of you may remember me from entries probably starting a year or two ago...it is this cycle that I can finally say I can exclusively use my cup with no issues, and an easier, shorter period :D.
Cut for length! My experiences below...
The learning curve was long -- I've never been able to reach my cervix so I had less idea of my anatomy than was ideal for cups at first. I used the punchdown most often, it used to flick my insides after about 5 minutes (ow!) then would (probably, I'm not 100% sure) suction onto/near my cervix and cause this horrible WRONG feeling. It seemed to make my cramps worse at times like these. It took me around 20-30 minutes to get it out the first handful of times.
I tried a small MCUK (which I took to the GP to show -- she hadn't heard of cups and her first response was 'it's so big!!') and a small lunette...I settled on the lunette because it was easier for me to get out. Both have the stems taken off.
I would try the lunette a day or so every cycle, and it was frustrating, but great when it worked. Overnight was best because I could fall asleep before it started feeling bad and would wake up and be able to take it straight out. I got faster at taking it out, and scratched myself less :P.
This cycle I've been using something similar to the 7 fold, but more a tall, lean kind of 7 shape...it sound awkward because the bell sticks out a lot to the side but it seemed to make my cup 'lock' in place fairly low and not move. It also doesn't flick my insides (win!). This cycle, I tried it on day 2 after having horrible cramps day one. Day two I wore it all day, changed it once, overflowed that night and wore it all day 3. It was completely hassle free!! Last night (night of day 3) I wore it overnight and it had barely a splash of blood in it...I've barely bled at all today, I think it shortened my period!
I've tried cleaning it with several different things, eventually settling on an antibacterial sex-toy cleaning gel. It's really easy to use, and while it leaves a slight scent on my cup it hasn't irritated me. I try to use it sparingly.
Some technical details for those who want to know -- I'm 21, have been having PIV since I was 18, never been able to reach my cervix or the 'back' of my vagina with my hand. I'm of a pretty average weight. I think my biggest secret to success was sticking at it a little at a time. I think dry runs are so different they're almost worthless -- they're only good if you just want to experiment to see what it feels like to begin with. I am able to get it out using my forefinger and middle finger while squatting or sitting on the toilet.
My advice -- don't be scared when you can't get it out! It does come out, just relax and keep at it. Wear a cloth pad for backup, especially at night. EXPERIMENT WITH FOLDS -- seriously, this is what got me in the end. Try one for a while, and if it doesn't work, try something else. Don't worry if you can't spin your cup, or reach the edge to check the suction. Poke a finger in the side of it, bear down, and wiggle it as you take it out. Don't try and just yank it out without folding it.
Now I can safely say I'm a complete convert, thank you all for all the advice and encouragement, I hope everyone who comes here is able to have the same success. It really does seem unsurmountable to begin with, but you get there, I promise.
Now I really have to stop buying pretty cloth pads, XD.