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12 April 2012 @ 03:15 pm
Hello all!

I've been lurking for a while, but I'm new to cup use. I recently decided on a small Lunette, which I've used for one cycle. It's been off to a pretty smooth start, except for ze smells. Normally, I don't notice much odor (if any) on my period or any other time. However, using the cup, I started noticing some smelliness. I figured it could have been that I had it in too long (I usually kept it in for about eight hours at a time), or because I didn't rinse the cup in cold water (I'd washed it every day, but I live in a dorm, so I washed it with Dr. Bronner's in the shower, and never rinsed when changing it due to the public restroom setup). Whatever the reason was, by the end of the week, my cup was smelling pretty rank, and even after washing and soaking in cold water with Milton tablets, the smell persisted, though in the past week or so since my period ended, it's been airing out in my closet and the smell's been lessening. I've read up on most of the tips and tricks to take care of smell, but is there something I should be doing day-to-day that still works in the public bathroom setting?

My bigger issue is that since I've finished my cycle and the cup's gone, I notice that I smell now. It's sort of a weaker, fishy version of the way my cup would smell when I took it out to wash it. At first I attributed it to the fact that I'm doing things differently and I need some time to adjust to it, but it's been a week, and I still smell. This never happened when I was using pads or tampons, and I'm wondering if it's just an adjustment issue or possible BV or what. Any ideas of what it could be or how to take care of it? 
 
anh06005anh06005 on April 12th, 2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
Since you are in the public bathroom setting you need to be careful at hand hygiene. Even if you wash your hands before you go into the stall think of how many germs are ON the stall handle and door. 8 hours is not too long to leave a cup in. Heck sometimes I leave it in for 14-16 hours if I'm busy that day (I empty before bed and in the shower in the AM). So based on the smell it may be a slight case of BV or yeast. You can always call the doctor or student health center and explain to them that you just started using a cup and think you may have gotten an infection. If you explain it to the nurse maybe they won't insist on you coming in and having an exam eh??

I believe I have also read that for smell sometimes putting the cup in sunlight helps. Or maybe that was stains? Or both? Whatever. If it's possible it can't hurt can it? ER departments have UV lights to kill germs in the air so hey...it's logical.

As for suggestions if you're hoping to get rid of it without antibiotics you can always try probiotics. I have done research for my MSN (nursing) program regarding probiotics and in some cases probiotics are able to help with infections (even antibiotic resistant infections!). You can get probiotic capsules. I use Phillips Colon Health. A bottle with about 45 of them costs $15-17. The only side effect really is on your digestive system. It has helped regulate me actually (I have self-diagnosed myself with mild/cycle related IBS lol). Also it might not be a bad idea to have a small bottle of hand sanitizer to use once you are in the stall and before you touch your hoohaa and cup. It shouldn't be an issue if you can't rinse but if you're worried you can make up a small batch of homemade wipes with your Dr. Bronners and prolly a few drops of tea tree oil or lavender on a wad of paper towels or, even better, an old cut-up t-shirt (then no waste!). Then maybe just rinse with a small bottle of water (like get a mini-shampoo bottle and just refill every couple of times).

Good luck!
Summers0mmer on April 13th, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
The fishy smell sounds like BV. Seeing a doctor is a good idea--any change in your vaginal environment should get checked out (if possible). Those things don't just go away on their own.
The recommendation to wash your hands before emptying your cup is good. Wiping out the cup or bringing a bottle of water to rinse it may help, but I'd think the smell is related to whatever overgrowth of bacteria or yeast is going on. Good luck!
moonhoney925 on April 13th, 2012 06:06 am (UTC)
I'm assuming that you have never had kids. Wait until you've given birth, in all honesty you end up smelling like a fish market for 6 weeks. The worst bit is that you can only wear pads (cups and tampons are not recommended for this purpose).

It's just the smell of blood, save your trip to the doctors.
juliiie87juliiie87 on April 13th, 2012 03:52 pm (UTC)
According to what I heard and read, a healthy, clean vagina shouldn't smell much if at all. A subtle vinegar-y smell is most common. If a shower doesn't get rid of it, you might want to have it checked ! And I support the first comment : there's nothig unusual with the way you are using your cup, just make sure your hands are clean and there's no residue left anywhere.
hortense in exileapolliana on April 14th, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
Lately my Ladycup (and...where the cup hangs out) have been smelling like slightly soured raw chicken. Is that a similar smell? I certainly don't feel like I have any kind of infection, and it's been the case over multiple periods. I have, however, been able to get the smell out of the cup with baking soda followed by strong soap. Boiling didn't help at all.
juliiie87juliiie87 on April 14th, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reminding me of my cup, that I throw in my bag after taking it out the other day !

So the other day, I kept it in for a good 12 hours, took it out and got curious so I smelled. Well, it did smell a little bit like raw meat, raw chicken why not, which makes perfect sense. nothing that made we wanna barf though. I think it's pretty much done now.
htebazile10htebazile10 on April 22nd, 2012 01:30 am (UTC)
I heard that castille soap is bad for the silicone. It could be affecting the smell. I would just be safe and not use the Dr. Bronners castille soap.