I began reading up on fertility in general in July, which inevitably led me to read more about menstrual cups. Being into homeopathy, eco-friendly measures, and all things friendly to the natural cycle, I decided I'd like to try using a cup. I did a lot of reading about them to get an idea of preferences, experience, comfort... everything. Many of my searches brought me to this community, but I only just tonight joined Live Journal so that I could share my experience.
It took me about 2 months of mulling over which cup I wanted. I kept reading posts about women who had gone through 3-4 different cups before finding "the one." In all honesty, I didn't have $25-$40 to blow on each cup trying out different ones, so I read a LOT about them. I wanted to know what people liked and didn't like. I wanted to know why one cup worked for someone and not for someone else. After scrutinizing the web for user experience and reviews, and even taking a quiz about which cup was right for me I settled on the Fleurcup. (Fleurcup was NOT recommended to me by this quiz, but the quiz helped me narrow my selections down a bit to what overall style and features I liked. I decided on the Fleurcup after reading one person's review/recommendation about it and multiple other cups. I can't seem to find this review again to post it here.)
Regarding why I chose the Fleurcup, I liked that it didn't have a second smaller rim, that it was made of soft silicone (people who have tried more than one have noted that they think the Fleurcup is the softest), that there weren't any unnecessary bumps or other ridges on it,and that the site didn't try to steer you towards their own cleaning products or pouches or other "accessories." True, the Fleurcup site isn't extremely professional. And, when I emailed to ask details about when my cup would arrive, they replied to me in French (they are/I am lucky I know French!). But... I'm THRILLED with the performance of the cup itself.
When I first got it I went straight to the bathroom and started to try it out. (C'mon, you know you did it too when you first got yours!) I wasn't even on my period yet, but I wanted to be prepared for when I did get it so I did a dry run. First, the size is intimidating. I got the L as recommended by the site, because although I have not yet had children I am over 30. Still, you look at it and you think, "That's gonna go in there?" But like others have said about the cup, our bodies are made to bear children, which are much bigger than a 41mm wide silicone device! So, I hunkered down (literally) to give this thing a go.
I first used the c-fold because it's just so darned simple. Then tried the 7-fold because it seemed "smaller" and like it would fit in there better. In the end, I settled back on the c-fold; I found the 7-fold harder to get fully open. I must say, the first few times inserting it were very strange and even uncomfortable. The biggest obstacles were figuring out how to get it far enough in and how to get it to open once in. It took about 6 tries to figure out what worked for me. I can give details if anyone wants, but for now, suffice it to say that it helped me to know what to feel for when I was goin' in. In case you are curious, mine does actually fit quite nicely around my cervix (with a bit of coaxing), though I know this isn't true for everyone. (For reference, my cervix tends to sit at a relatively medium level through most of my cycle, and instead seems to "pivot" rather than rise to indicate fertility.) After two nights of inserting it and taking it out up to 3 times each night. I wore it overnight one of those nights and after finding that it nicely contained my cervical fluid from that night, I decided that I had the hang of it and that it at least worked moderately good for me.
I also tried lubrication (plain old KY) to help with insertion, but I ultimately found that it made it tougher to get in - my fingers kept slipping as I was trying to insert it.
I did end up trimming the stem. After my first insertion I just trimmed it a little, but it was still almost poking out, so I just trimmed it all the way off; hasn't hindered me in the slightest. In fact, I find that the grips provided on the Fleurcup are more than enough to help to release the suction, where in my experience pulling on the stem just pulled on the wrong places and increased the suction.
All the reading I did in advance, and the fact that I already know my cervix a bit really helped me to be prepared when I got my cup. So yes, I'm THRILLED with mine!