Three and a half years ago this journal gave me the information, motivation and trust to go ahead and try menstrual cups. Since then, I have only used a tampon once in an emergency situation!
I figured I could write a post as a thank you to the mods and all the people making questions and / or providing advice, and listing the tricks that have helped me most (in no particular order of precedence):
A) How to use the menstrual cup: great video, lots of answers in 3-4 mins. (I actually learned with the previous version, it is great that it is kept and updated!) http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2273192.html
B) To avoid the mess of the deep part of the toilet just put some toilet paper on the water surface, it will serve as a “parachute” when you empty your cup.
C) To clean the cup in a public toilet: half a liter (~17 oz) of water is more than enough, so bring with you a small water bottle [my addition: carry it empty, fill it up only before use, your back and legs will be thankful].
D) Folding techniques with pictures (there might be a more recent post, but these are the one I learned with): http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/453392.html and http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/1044441.html [my addition: even if you think you learned, try new folds when you have time, you might be surprised!]
E) To clean the holes of the cup when no water is available, put the base of the cup on your palm and squeeze it a couple times. The air going out the holes will clean them [my addition: put toilet paper between your palm and the cup to keep it clean]
And here goes a short collection of own tricks:
i) You can make sure that the cup is totally unfolded by scrolling your finger around it just after putting it on.
ii) If you have troubles with insertion or removal, try a different posture. The first cycles I used my cup I was on climbing trips, and I learned how to use it squatting (no toilet available). Everything worked out (perhaps a bit slow, but oh well). Back home though it did not go so smooth. So I went back to squatting, to see what was SO different… it was only the angle of my hand! After that, no sweats while changing on the toilet anymore!
iii) Go out and sport, I went swimming, SPA, ballet dancing, motorbiking, climbing and trekking. In my heavy days though I need to empty it before starting [Do not leave toilet paper out in the fields. It will eventually disappear, but it takes time and it is not nice looking in the meantime]
iv) Don’t be afraid to cut the stem if you feel it. I felt it too much when I rode my motorbike, and discovered I had no issues with removal after I cut it completelly. Just do it step by step, leaving each time a shorter stem and trying to remove it before cutting it all.
v) Regular medical alcohol takes out the “stains” and brings the cup almost back to its original color.
vi) I thought this was particular to me, but I saw another post stating a similar theory: In your heavy days, do not wait forever to go to the toilet. The capacity of the cup will decrease with the deformation of the vagina walls by its neighboring organs (bladder and rectum), and might overflow.vii) Come back to the journal for advice, the open atmosphere and clear information will help most of your concerns: I wanted to buy a new cup, and with the help of the posts in this journal I was able to take my decision in about an hour!