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28 March 2012 @ 10:41 pm
Hi-dee-ho! This post was supposed to be titled "The High Cervix Challenge" and contain my feedback trying out two longer-bodied cups (Natural Mamma & XL Meluna Soft), but the experiment has only caused me to marvel at my own anatomy, hence the renaming to Mighty Vaginey, aka the Mothership. All will be explained below.

Here's my deets:

36 years old, nulliparous non-virgin, not sexually active. Most of the time I can barely reach my cervix straining with my longest finger (3+ inches). I have a very light flow (as a tampon user I only ever used the lowest absorbency [usually a Regular O.B. non-applicator] and could keep them in for 6+ hours without leaking). My first cup was a small Keeper Moon Cup, which I gave up on after two uncomfortable cycles... I think it was just too firm for me; I could feel it all the time and often there was a chafing sensation. My second cup was a small Lunette, and it's light years more comfortable. I can hardly feel it when it's in there, and never any chafing. I do experience slight discomfort right after insertion, because it usually pops open inside me a few minutes after I insert it, but it's a very minor and temporary ping! and then nothing to speak of. As I mentioned, my flow is very light and I only ever half-fill this cup on my heaviest day. I've never leaked or overflowed with either the Keeper Moon Cup or the Lunette. This morning began my fifth (I think) cycle using a menstrual cup.

The only problem I have with my Lunette, and it's something I experienced with the KMC, too, is that removal is sometimes a real hassle because my cup naturally "rides high", and sometimes I feel like I'm having a rasslin' match with my vagina trying to get a serious grip on the stem so I can pull the base within reach to pinch it and break the seal. This gets more difficult in the waning days of my period, where I still have this irritating drizzle of flow so I keep wearing the cup, but my cervix has more or less returned to its highest position and the cup is sitting all the way in outer space. I feel this situation could be improved with a differently shaped cup, a longer cup.

The two cups I have chosen to test-drive are the new "Natural Mamma" cup from Italy (which FeminineWear now stocks... yay!) and the X-Large Soft Meluna with standard stem**. Both cups have a longer body than my small Lunette but both are supposed to be as soft if not softer. I got them in the mail over a week and a half ago (SUCH fast service from Feminine Wear, UK --> NYC, USA), and only had to wait for my period so I could try them out.

I inserted the Natural Mamma on the day my period was *supposed* to come, but nothin' doing. I pulled it out after about six hours and found it to be menstruum-less. Sad to report, pulling it out on this non-period day was every bit as arduous if not more, than pulling out the shorter small Lunette had been on my "drizzle days". Holding my labia apart with one hand, tugging at the tip of the stem with the other, trying to get the base of the cup within reach, tuckered me out so much I gave up and had to return to the ordeal an hour later when my frustration had worn off. I did finally remove it, though.

Okay, so not a roaring success, but as it turns out it was just a "dry run" since my period did not fall on the predicted day. The next morning, instead of reinserting the Natural Mamma, I decided to give the XL Meluna Soft a go-round. I pulled it out eight hours later, still no period, slightly less of a struggle to remove than the Natural Mamma but definitely no walk in the park either.

FINALLY this morning my period began, and I decided to reinsert the Meluna. Ease of insertion? Check. Comfort while inside? Check. Little jab in the uterus when the cup pops open inside, just like the Lunette? Check. Spelunking expedition upon removal? GRRRRRRRRR.... Check.

I dunno, folks, I think I'm consigning myself to the fact that either A) A cup doesn't yet exist that is long enough for my vagina or B) No matter how long of a cup I buy, my vagina will magically lengthen so that removal will always be arthritis-inducing.

You know those science fiction movies about UFOs, like "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", where the Mothership comes and sends out a tractor beam that sucks small ships or people up into her? That's how I imagine my uterus, and my vagina is the tractor beam, and when I'm trying to remove a cup it's like fighting a magnetic field or the power of a black hole or something.

So, I'd have to say, after three days of experimentation, one during menstruation, that neither the Natural Mamma nor the Meluna XL Soft are improvements in terms of ease of removal over my small Lunette. If any of these impressions changes in the next few days, I will report them here. That being said, I think that both are comfortable cups with good designs, and will probably work just fine for many people, particularly those who require good capacity. Because my flow is so light, unless something changes, I think I will just go back to my small Lunette Selene and sell the other two, maybe.

**Even though the Diva cup is slightly longer than either of these and also supposedly a soft cup, I have decided not to test drive it for a few reasons, some of them rather silly: 1) I hate the word Diva; 2) The packaging makes me throw up in my mouth a little; and 3) It has a short, hollow stem which I find problematic. I like tab stems better. Perhaps another high-cerviced person in this community who lacks my issues can do a Diva test and report their results... alas, it will not be I.
dareva on March 29th, 2012 03:35 am (UTC)
I have a seemingly looong vagina and a high cervix, and the Diva Cup, the only one I ever tried, works just fine for me. The hollow stem doesn't bother me, although on a low-cervix kind of day, I find it a tiny bit pokey at times, as I haven't trimmed it off at all. I worry about having difficulty reaching it stemless due to where it goes, but at least I luckily have long fingers, too.

I often feel like an oddball here since it seems most everyone else needs much shorter/smaller cups than I do!
tinkerandcrabtinkerandcrab on March 29th, 2012 04:12 am (UTC)
Not an oddball! I'm right there with ya... sigh. Maybe I need to suck it up and just get a Diva.

Or maybe my issue isn't just length but rather muscle tone or something... I'm at a loss!
dareva on March 29th, 2012 04:18 am (UTC)
It can be hard to tell, right? I suppose you could try kegels or something if you don't already do them. The only thing with the Diva, besides your personal objections (I rolled my eyes right out of my head at the name myself), for example, is that you don't sound like you need its capacity. That thing holds a lot.

Edited at 2012-03-29 04:22 am (UTC)
juliiie87juliiie87 on March 30th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
Hum, I don't mean to direct this to dareva in particular, but people seem to grant the Diva an awful lot of extreme qualities I don't think it has (judging from the chart, as I don't have one myself), maybe because it's THE cup locally available for so many (US-american) people on here.

All it has, is the longest body. NOT the longest cup of all including the stem, NOT the softest by far (it's actually of medium stiffness), NOT the biggest capacity. Especially since the small Diva has only 20 ml capacity, and the large one isn't any longer, just wider (so no real benefit for the OP).

I dislike the Diva too, for some reason. Can you tell ? :)
dareva on March 30th, 2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
The small Diva does hold 30 mL to the rim, though, I thought? It's the size I have, since I hadn't needed to get the bigger one yet, and hadn't really wanted to since the redesign.

I guess the Diva is kind of the Platonic menstrual cup to a lot of people because of its availability so it takes on those qualities in people's minds.
juliiie87juliiie87 on March 30th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
They redesigned ? since when ??? *confused and shamed* please do tell.

According to the sizecharts (http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/) I always thought the small Diva held 20 something and the large one a little over 25, nearly 30 ml possibly. Sorry if I'm wrong.
dareva on March 30th, 2012 02:27 pm (UTC)
Wow, those charts are so thorough!

Apparently I was wrong, but I could have sworn the absolutely full small Diva held 30 mL. Oops.

Comparing mine to the pictures I see, they made the rim less pronounced, shortened the stem a little, and have made the cup of softer silicone now. The Diva's rim is rather stiff and prone to popping (I can't be the only one who's accidentally launched her cup across the room that way, can I?), so that looks like an improvement.

I'm not sure when they changed the Diva's design; everything I'm finding is talking about when the company itself started.

Edited at 2012-03-30 02:29 pm (UTC)
tinkerandcrabtinkerandcrab on March 29th, 2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
haha... I said "suck it up" /buttheadvoice
Michellemichelleh324 on April 20th, 2012 02:14 am (UTC)
Low cervix days?
I've been using the diva cup for years and my doctor says my cervix hides from her. I trimmed off my stem completely, but every once in a while I can feel my cup much lower in my vagina near the opening. Is that from a low-cervix day?

It also leaks just a little bit of the mucusy stuff (spotting) sometimes. Getting a new one, but seeing if this is the same for you.
dareva on April 20th, 2012 02:59 am (UTC)
Re: Low cervix days?
That sounds like it, yes.
Michellemichelleh324 on April 20th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
Re: Low cervix days?
Superb! I wondered what was going on. :) Thanks.
m03m on March 29th, 2012 11:48 am (UTC)
This may be unnecessary, and if so then I'm sorry, but are you bearing down for removal? Because it sounds like you are pulling the cup all the way down, and maybe pushing from the other end would help.
nocebo_domingonocebo_domingo on March 29th, 2012 12:17 pm (UTC)
Seconding this. Bearing down is a skill like any other so it's possible that with additional practice you can bring your cup closer.</p>

Also, having poop in the pipeline can push my cup out of reach. Solution is obvious.

Finally, there may be cups with total greater length (body + stem) than the ones you have listed. The Diva and NaturalMamma are both long cups with short stems, not sure about the XL MeLuna's stem.

tinkerandcrabtinkerandcrab on March 29th, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
Okay, I am going to take bearing down more seriously and see if the practice helps me... on my last cup dump, I took this advice to heart and realized that I can actually move the cup up AND down with my muscles... I think removal was a little less stressful as a result.
mallt on March 29th, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
I understand from older posts that squatting shortens things internally too... so that, combined with bearing down might help.

Sorry I can't be more help than that but I have the opposite problem!
ohletmeteluohletmetelu on March 29th, 2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
I have a very high cervix too (my ob/gyn once said, "Wow, it's way up there!" Lol).

I also hated the DivaCup's name & the holllow/nubby stem is not my favorite (imo) but it is the cup I have most success with!

The trick with any cup with you have a high cervix is to bear down! Use the stem to guide you to the base, not to remove it. Then grip the base to release the seal/get air above your cup, and slowly rock the cup back and forth. Right before the cup is out, do a modified fold it so it's smaller/narrower coming out of your vagina.

Good luck!
tinkerandcrabtinkerandcrab on March 30th, 2012 12:48 am (UTC)
Thanks for your input! Out of curiosity, what other cups have you tried besides Diva?
Arrow_Bright: Anne & Gilarrow_bright on March 29th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
The beginning of your story sounds just like mine! I started off with a KMC and found that the stem was pokey on the first few days and was a search-and-rescue mission after than because of my high cervix. The hollow stem also drove me crazy because my darker end-flow would get caught up there and dry and could only come clean with a hydrogen peroxide soak. I also found it too stiff. I then got a small Lunette, and it's a huge improvement. I love the tab and can't feel it at all. I still have to do some reaching to find it at the end of my cycle, but the nubs on the tab make it a lot easier to get a grip on. I also recommend the bearing down or squatting. It really does help a lot.

I feel the same way about the Diva. I don't like the word Diva, and their packaging reminds me of toys aimed at preteen girls. ALso, how is a bag "discreet" when it has the word "Diva" all over it? (Of course, you could say the same about my Lunette Aine's hot pink satin bag, but at least there's no preteen writing on it.) I also specifically was looking for a cup without a hollow tube stem.
tinkerandcrabtinkerandcrab on March 30th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC)
Yes, arrow_bright, I remember you from your post and that our situations sounded very similar! In so many ways the Lunette really is ideal for me, for all the reasons you mention, and yet I can't utter the word "Goldilocks" because I still have the removal issue.

Oh, and I have to say that the Keeper Moon Cup wins over all the cups I've tried in one and only one category: nicest pouch! Simple, not trying to be all conspicuous and "glam" like the shiny Lunette pouch or the plush Meluna or the elaborate zippered Natural Mamma. It looks handmade and it's just the right size for the cup and that's all I need.
Arrow_Bright: Anne & Gilarrow_bright on March 30th, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly! It looked presentable without yelling "LOOK AT ME!" to everyone who might see it.
p_seudonymp_seudonym on March 29th, 2012 09:26 pm (UTC)
I hate the Diva stem, so I trimmed it off. And sewed my own little bag for it, so I can ignore the packaging. Voila! But I only have the Diva because I hate ordering things online, and it's available in stores in Canada.

Also, my cervix moves SO. MUCH. Sometimes the Diva turned inside out is too short; sometimes the Diva rightside out gets lost way the hell up there and I basically have to go through labour to get it out. I dunno.