This is very picture-heavy. You have been warned.
Some background: I'm 21, a virgin (though I do have a sex toy I use vaginally every once in a while), and, of course, have never given birth. I have used tampons in the past, but only when pads weren't an option (never liked them too much due to the TSS risk and dryness).
I consider myself a fairly environmentally conscious person, but shamefully, the though of all the waste associated with periods has never even crossed my mind. I live in a coop next to my college campus, and we have a recycling manager who takes care of our recycling logistics and sometimes posts recycling tips. Well, a couple months ago, she posted a tip on reducing the amount of waste generated by periods (all-girls coop, so no guys to gross out), talking about cloth pads, cups, and sea sponges. Cloth pads I ruled out immediately (I'm open to them now that I know about all the awesome patterns they come in), and sea sponges seemed like a recipe for leakage (which I know now not to be true). So that left menstrual cups.
I admit, the idea rather intrigued me, but it took a while for me to get around to actually looking it up. The link my manager gave for more info was the Luna pads site on Diva cups. I went there, read all the info, the reviews, and wondered, "What about the other brands?" Because there most certainly has to be other brands. A quick google search brought me to this comm.
A few hours into reading the archives and tags here, and I was in love. My initial reaction to cups was "ew, I'm holding a cup of menstrual blood in front of my face," but that was forgotten pretty quickly. I happened to be on the third day of my period, so I checked my cervix in the shower, and ended up buying a small Yuuki later that night.
Yes, it took only a few hours to go from the smallest "ew" to "omg why haven't I heard of this earlier whyyyyyyy." I was torn between the Lunette Diana and the Yuuki, because that green is oh so gorgeous but so expensive. I ended up with the Yuuk since it was so much cheaper, and I liked that the reviews commented on how easy it was for them to use. Just to be clear, price was the deciding factor, since the other factors (size, capacity, whatnot) were nearly identical.
My shipping experience with the company was positive and exactly what I expected. It wasn't until I received the shipping email that I realized that durr, I ordered it when all the planes in Europe were grounded, go me. Later that day though, I learned that England's planes were back up, and they were all complaining because theirs went up 14 or so hours after the rest of Europe had been cleared, so haha, guess I was in the clear. Didn't know if the back-up would have affected my shipping, but it seems like it didn't, so yay. 2 weeks even from order to delivery.
I was expecting to be slightly embarrassed upon delivery and would have to surreptitiously squirrel it away to my room, but surprise, the word "menstrual" was nowhere to be found. On the customs label, all it said was "cup." I admit, I was pleased by this.
They also seemed bent on mispelling my name (packaging slip and all), but I guess it's just a European thing? I never mistype my name, and if I do, it's in the second half, not the first. Meh, I'm used to it. Most of my relatives never spell it right either.
My dry run:
First insertion and removal went super smoothly- took less than ten minutes. Getting it to pop open again, however, took a bit longer. I tried experimenting with the folds a bit, and the labia fold worked the best for me, I think. The cup was stiffer than I expected (not that I have any to compare to), but pretty easy to use. The holes, though, are small.
I have a lot of discharge right now due to the whole "hey sup guess wat ur ovulating whoooo" thing my vagina does. So, if I insert it unsuccessfully, the holes come out clogged my discharge, which means I have to rinse it between attempts just to clear the holes so I have suction. I can't imagine how much worse it would be when I have lots of blood down there.
The squishy stem is so super comfortable. The bottom of the stem was right at the entrance of my vagina when the cup was in, and it was still there when I took it out a few hours later. Since it sits kind of low, my paranoia won't allow me to pee when my cup is in. I don't want to trim the stem, as I kind of need it to take the cup out- one hand holds the stem, the other hand breaks suction. I have small hands, so it's hard for me to reach in and push the brim in to break the seal. I have to hold onto the stem so the cup doesn't get pulled back up. I'll wait until its first actual use to decide whether or not I need to trim it. I'm kind of loathe to, since it's so comfortable as is.
Also, during removal, I bear down until I need to take a breath, then resume bearing down. I assume this is what child birth is like, only lots less painful since I'm not passing a baby's head.
..Aaaaand that's probably enough boring stuff, yeah?
The picture-heavy part starts here. This is where the fun begins, so skip the above if you want. That's why it's labeled tl;dr. ;)
The back of the container and a ruler for sizing.
The pouch came with my new glasses (along with a case). I have no idea why a pouch was included, since I would never use it to store my glasses. However, I realized it was the perfect size for my cup, should I ever need it, which solved my pouch problem quite nicely. :)
Grabbed some stuff around my room to model my cup with. That's Jack Sparrow from the McDonalds toys on the left. A random stuffed cow on the right.
Scrat from Ice Age on the left, and my lovely Magic 8 Ball on the right.
Riding my flu bug.
And in my periodic table cup, where my flu bug lives. I used it to microwave my Yuuki, since I've never used this mug and probably never will. Can't leave my flu bug homeless, can I?
In retrospect, white may not be the best color to shoot clear cups in, but I needed the white background to make mah icons.
Looking through the icons tag, I see there's barely anything there, and nothing of the newer brands. So I though I'd add to it.
Feel free to take as you like. No credit is needed.
The last one requires an explanation, I think. There's an anime, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, that was fairly popular a few years back. One of its main characters is named Yuki Nagato. On the fan forum I frequent, there's a well-established genderbend universe, and Yuki's counterpart is designated Yuuki- same pronunciation, slightly different spelling. That's Yuuki in the icon- a fanmade genderbend character from an anime. XD I lol'ed pretty hard when I learned of the menstrual cup called Yuuki.
I used my own pictures to make these icons, which is why there's only Yuukis. I'm happy to take icon requests, or even make more of other brands if I received permission to use your photos. The other new brands could use some icon lovin'.
I love the cup so far, and I can't wait to try it out for real. I only have one problem. The holes. Are. TINY. Seriously tiny.
I would really really really (really really!) like to enlarge the holes. It's nice that the cup holds water to the brim without leaking out of the holes, but they get clogged way too easily. Does anyone have any specific techniques they used to permanently enlarge their holes? Even better, specifically for slanted holes? I imagine that would be much more difficult than regular 'ol holes. I probably won't do anything permanent to my cup until I've tried it out for real, but I'd like to keep it in mind.