I started with light discharge the first day, so I didn't use the cup. During the morning of the first day of regular discharge, I put the cup in. I started cramping immediately, and took it out an hour later. I didn't want to blame the cup or my first placement, as I sometimes cramp on Day 1 or 2. So I gave myself a break , took a shower to help me relax, and tried again in the evening when the surprising accompanying nausea wore off. I felt MUCH better about the cup then, and after checking it again before bedtime, I left it in all night.
I loved it! What freedom! But I think that after my first night I started to feel a little irritation externally, or just inside. There was some mild discomfort throughout that day, but I figured I was just getting used to things. I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable taking it out and putting it back in by then.
The next day was really rather uncomfortable, and by the end of the third day trying the cup I was concerned that something was wrong. I consulted the list.
I was washing my hands and the cup with whatever handsoap was available, and at home that meant an anti-bacterial. Now I know that's a no-no. I will just rinse the cup well with water and switch to a better handsoap and even take it with me next time to help resolve any irritation caused by soap sensitivity. I'll also wash towels and undies well after this issue, just in case, and of course boil the cup. I think that some of the discomfort was also due to taking out the cup without folding it on the way out, and I'll work on that next time also.
I discontinued using it after the third day of use, as my external area was VERY irritated and itchy by that afternoon.
But what can I do now? Last night and today I continue to be very irritated and itchy, like a YI. I have had them a couple of times before and used a 7-day treatment. I have not had any symptoms of a YI for quite a while. Could I get a YI so quickly after starting the cup for the first time? Would a soap sensitivity be enough to throw it all off balance during my period? I purchased a ph kit to help get some information, but it says not to use it during or within 5 days after your period, and I am not completely done yet. I don't want to start a 7-day treatment if I don't need one.
If I am reacting to placement/taking out issues and hand wash sensitivity, how long can I expect that type of irritation to stick around? In other words, if a simple reaction to soap goes away in a day, I'll know I've got another issue now and I should just treat it and move on.
Thanks to all who answered, and to the list support in general. I tried some more "natural" approaches (especially with diet) and gave it a couple days with little or no improvement, then started a 7-day treatment. After the first day, I felt much better. I never had any yeastie type discharge, but I wasn't willing to wait. Regardless, things are better now, and hopefully will improve for next month's second attempt with more experience "under my belt".