First, I want to thank the wonderful people in this community. I've been lurking for a while, reading some posts-- and they really helped me mentally prep myself for trying out my first menstrual cup.
Second, I'd like to share my (sort-of) success story. I know from experience that just reading about similar issues can make you feel less stressed out when you're struggling to master the cup. You're not alone!
I'm in my mid-twenties, and have never given birth-- so I got the Diva cup size 1. My period was still a week away, but I decided to do a dry run anyway. First dry run was not successful: I tried the c-fold, punch down, and origami, and also a bunch of different positions like squatting, one foot on the toilet bowl, lying down, etc. My problem wasn't getting it to pop open. It was the opposite, actually. C-fold was too big, but origami and the punch down folds provided a small enough point for entry. But as I was pushing it in, my fingers would start losing grip...and unfortunately, the cup would pop open way too early. After a few tries, I decided to tackle it another day.
This morning, I lay on the bed and tried the punch down fold--and success! There were two things I did differently. One, I positioned the fold so it faced the inside of my right leg, rather than forward or backwards (I might be remembering this incorrectly, but I think I read somewhere that the vagina isn't shaped like a perfect circle, but more like an oval, with more space widthwise...maybe this is why it worked?) Two, this sounds weird but... I visualized my gynecologist telling me to relax (she always does this because I'm usually so tense during my annual check ups). Turns out, this worked like a charm! Like some kind of reflex, my legs fell completely open, and my PC muscles relaxed. The cup just slid right in. It's easier said than done, but relaxation really is key! After the base of the cup went in, it actually slid in way too fast and far. I was like, "no wait! I have to check to see if you're open! don't go yet"
I wore it for about half a day, without any pain or discomfort at all. Removal was a pain in the butt though. Again, I tried different positions-- but for me, the best one for removal was squatting. Apparently I have a super long vagina because I could barely reach the bottom of the stem. I did a combination of bearing down and nudging the stem back and forth until it came down far enough for me to pinch the stem with two fingers. Next obstacle: slippery stem. I had to pinch it with my nails to get a good enough grip and still couldn't get the cup to come down! And this is where it gets a bit gory. I looked down at my fingers and there was a bit of blood on them. Eek! (I must have been pinching a part of my vaginal wall along with the stem) That was my cue to take a break from removal.
A few hours later, I tried again. This time, I squatted with my tailbone facing forward, giving me easier access. I also kept bearing down after I got ahold of the stem. A few grunts and an eternity later, the cup came down to where I could grip the base of the cup. It was a bit of an effort to smush the cup (maybe the presence of a seal was making it difficult to come down?), but finally it came out.
Sorry for the epic story but hopefully this will encourage others struggling with the cup to keep on trying & practicing!
I have a quick question though: when I took the cup out, I noticed some discharge, which was expected...but part of it was pink-ish in color. I know this wasn't the blood from the earlier removal attempt because that was more external. I wonder if this is normal?