After almost fifteen years of tampon use, this is my first period using a cup. I've been using a small DivaCup for the past ten days now, and I think I'm liking it.
I had done a few dry runs before getting my period. I was actually disappointed, because my cup came in the mail the day after my period had ended, and I didn't want to have to wait to try it. So, as I said, I decided to give it a few test runs.
The first time, I think I tried the Punch-Down fold, and wasn't too pleased with how wide the base was, so I came here and looked up a bunch of different folds and decided to try the Origami fold next. It wasn't uncomfortable to wear, but I could definitely feel it. Just, like, pressure inside. I could also feel the stem a little, which wasn't great. When I decided to remove the cup a few hours later, I had a bit of a struggle, but I'd say it only took me about seven or eight minutes to actually get it out, but boy, did it hurt! I definitely hadn't broken suction, and it felt like the rim of the cup was going to tear me open as it was coming out. Not a great start.
I opted to cut the entire stem off, and then, for the second dry run, as I said, I went with the Origami fold. The cup went in much easier, and was much more comfortable. Since I had a better idea of where the cup was positioned and which muscles to use to push it lower, removal was much easier, and I figured out that pinching the bottom, then wiggling the cup as I removed it so that one side came out before the other worked much better. (I don't know why I didn't do that to begin with, since that's pretty much what the instructions say, but...)
Third dry-run, easy-peasy.
And then, just two weeks after I got my cup (the day after my period ended, remember?), I started getting the blood-tinted discharge that portends my imminent menstruation. Now, this is pretty typical of my screwed up cycles, and usually it's a pain in the ass and requires me to ask my boyfriend to run to the store for me and get me a Tampax multi-pack, stat. But this time, I thought, "Great! My first real chance to use my cup!".
So, into the bathroom I go, in pops the cup, and I'm on my way. About four hours later, I decided to check on how things were going down there. No major leakage, but a bit of brownish discharge on my liner. I figured, "It's my first time, no biggy, I'll just make sure I get it in better next time.". I took the cup out and was amazed to see not the pale brown discharge that I had expected, but regular whitish discharge, with a teeny bit of straight-up blood at the very bottom of the cup. "Neat!", thought I, as I dumped, rinsed, and reinserted my cup.
The next few days were much the same, except that my period got slightly heavier, and I was a little grossed out by the consistency of my menstrual blood at times. (One poster mentioned The Strand in her post, and it cracked me up because I'd just experienced it, myself.) I found myself emptying my cup around every eight hours, with it usually only containing about 1/8 oz. of blood.
When things started to peter off around the fifth day, I was amazed to calculate that I'd already saved myself about 15-20 tampons, and my only real complaint was that I was still getting that discharge.
Now, I wear panty liners every day, regardless, even when I'm not on my period--I just like to feel fresh. So a little discharge isn't a huge deal for me, but still, I was a little disappointed, as I'd had high hopes for the "No leaks" claim.
Then my period decided that it wasn't through with me yet. Instead of ending, it just got heavier, so for the past five days, I've been closer to 1/4 oz. of blood when I empty my cup on the same 8-9 hour schedule.
Again, this isn't a big deal, because the DivaCup has such a huge capacity, but it does worry me a little because I recently won a medium soft Meluna from the very generous melissa569, and I'm concerned that the capacity won't be enough for my heavy flow, and that I'll end up with even more discharge, because of the smaller size, which is a bummer, 'cause I'm all excited about the ring stem and, more importantly, the cute blue color!
So, anyway, as I said, now I'm ten days into my period, and it doesn't seem like it's going to stop soon. This is normal for me; for the majority of my menstrual life, I've had a pretty messed up cycle. It's not uncommon for me to get my period for 7-14 days, then only have a week or two off before starting again. So for me, switching over to my DivaCup is such a huge deal. I mean, I was just going through a ridiculous amount of tampons every month. So to be able to have my period for a week and a half so far and have not used a single tampon is just... amazing.
I really wish I could figure out how to stop this whole discharge thing, though. I've read posts in this community about residual slobber, and I've tried swirling my finger around the cup several times to clear anything below the cup out, but I still end up with a fair amount of discharge. I'd say that, right now, for me, that's the biggest drawback of my cup. While I did sometimes bleed through tampons (even super absorbency, which is what I used most often), about 90% of the time, I had no discharge at all with tampons, and it was the one time of month I could go without a liner. That's definitely not an option right now.
Also, I'm visiting my family tomorrow, and I'm very excited to be giving my seventeen year old sister her first cup (a small DivaCup as well). She knows she's getting it--I had her read up on the DivaCup website and linked her to this community so that she could bone up a little. She's kind of a flake, though, so I'm worried that she's either going to try the cup once, get frustrated that she's not great at it, and give up (even I had to keep reminding myself that I had to learn how to use tampons, too, in the beginning), or that she'll tell one of her friends that she has a cup and her friend will be grossed out and she'll be too embarrassed to use it. I'm going to buy her a hamster cup pouch next month (I want the whale for myself), so I'm hoping that will be cute enough to encourage her to stick with it...
Anywho, I just kind of wanted to introduce myself and give my first impressions and experiences with using a cup. If any of you want to offer any advice or insight or anything, I'd definitely welcome it.
Also: Mods, if I'm not supposed to link to outside sites like Etsy, I apologize.