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Nattie
27 April 2012 @ 06:18 pm
Hello all, I recently bought a Keeper Moon Cup, small size, and tried using it for the first time today.  It did not go well, and I'm looking for advice/suggestions.

First, I had a TON of trouble getting it in, but from my research beforehand I knew this could be a problem and that day one can be horrible and people get used to it later.  I tried several different folds and finally did manage to put it in and remove it a few times -- and the whole "it's supposed to be awful at first" idea is the only thing that kept me going, because it WAS awful -- but here are the issues:

Pain:  It hurts, VERY much, putting it in, and it hurts while it's in.  I kept whimpering and hissing.  What's worse is when I take it out, I cannot keep it folded at all, so that's incredibly painful; I had to stifle a scream.  I really don't foresee this as something I can just deal with and get adjusted to because I cannot stand to keep it in whatsoever.  It feels like a never-ending pap smear in terms of uncomfortableness, except painful too.  It's hours after I took it out the final time and I'm still sore and in slight pain.  I usually have great pain tolerance -- I have a large parrot that bites me sometimes, and manage to injure myself cooking constantly -- so this is surprising to me. 

Length:  I can barely get all of it in, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot get it up any higher.  Even discounting the stem, a little bit still is visible.  I tried inserting it while sitting, standing, and lying on my back at various angles, and nothing was an improvement.

Inability to urinate and constant need to pee feeling:  When it's in, I feel like I need to pee really badly, but I cannot pee at all.  Literally, not at all; it's not the slow/incomplete urination I've read about here, I mean that nothing comes out.  I had to strain very hard to make sure I really couldn't, and even moderate straining just begins to push the cup out.  I tried taking it out, peeing, and putting it back in, but putting it back in made me have to pee again.  I repeated this every time I put it in.  I don't normally have any issues with incomplete urination so something about the cup or how it sits stimulates me to have to pee.  This is the other reason I don't think I will just adjust to it, because going even half an hour feeling like I needed to pee and being unable to pee -- in addition to the pain -- is crazy-making.

Removal:  I have tried a ton of things and short of pinching down directly below the rim of the cup, I cannot remove the suction.  And since the rim of the cup doesn't stay folded no matter what I do while removing it, it's not only painful but splatters blood on removal. This is really not feasible for me to do in a public restroom because of the amount of blood involved, and given this is only the first day of my period and I'm barely bleeding, I'm not looking forward to trying it when the cup actually has blood in it too.  Both of these problems are caused, I think, because the rim is too rigid for me.

After reading around here it seems like I need a different cup, because this one is not happening.  I looked at the comparison chart of cups, and I'm considering that I might need something shorter (to fit), smaller diameter (for less pain), and softer (to alleviate the blood splattering, some pain, and maybe help the urination feeling)?  I'm also thinking that maybe other cups will just sit differently enough that I don't have the urination issues.  I don't have a particularly heavy flow so I'm not worried about capacity.  The small, soft MeLuna looks like it might be okay, but I can't seem to find one in the US and I have qualms about the material it's made from (some kind of plastic, as opposed to the medical grade silcone of the Keeper Moon Cup).  Since one of my main reasons for switching is wanting to avoid the chemicals in pads, the material is pretty important.  But is it even possible to have a softer silicone cup?  I honestly don't know.  I also don't know that a centimeter shorter or less than a centimeter wide is even going to make a big difference, although I'm hoping that softness alone might help.

For what it's worth, my success in the "sticking things up my vagina" category is poor.  I can barely get a tampon all the way in, I can't use any sex toys that require insertion, I find it very uncomfortable to even put a finger inside, and it took literally months of trying/stretching, even with lots of lube (natural or otherwise), to have vaginal intercourse.  I've never been diagnosed with vaginismus, and when I have paid close attention to what's going on, it doesn't feel at all like muscle tension; I can will my muscles to relax and stay relaxed, but there's not always pain and even when there's no pain it's very difficult to get anything to go in.  I think it might be narrow or wonky-shaped, though.  :/

Any suggestions or advice is appreciated...  :-/  Thanks!
 
Arrow_Bright: Gusarrow_bright on April 28th, 2012 04:18 am (UTC)
Yes, it's possible to have a softer silicone cup! http://menstrualcupinfo.wordpress.com/cup-stiffness-comparison-chart/ You'll see that on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the firmest), the Keeper Moon Cup (KMC) is a 7.5, and there are many cups much softer. The softness of a cup can influence how much you feel it when it's in and how much it presses against your bladder, although the shape factors in, too. Not everyone experiences these things with a firmer cup, but some do. When I had a KMC, I could almost always feel it (not painfully, though), and it usually pressed a bit against my bladder. When I switched to a softer cup (a small Lunette), I could no longer feel it and it doesn't bother my bladder.

As for the MeLuna, it's made of TPE. I don't know much about the health issues, if any, to be honest. For what it's worth, I did do a bit of research on it, and I couldn't find anything of concern that would apply to a menstrual cup. The reason you can't find it in the US is because only the Diva, Keeper, KMC, Lunette, and MCUK (Moon Cup UK) have gone through the paper work with the FDA to be approved for sale by US retailers. This doesn't mean they're not safe, though. It may just mean they aren't looking to be sold by US retailers or don't see the money for approval as being worth it. You can still buy them from overseas, though. Most countries have their own health standards and approval process that must be followed.

I'm also thinking that you'll probably want something softer and shorter. On the sizecharts, you'll see the KMC is long and actually pretty narrow. Have you found your cevix? If not, you can use that as a guide to how short you'll want your cup to be.

I have no experience with cups softer than the Lunette and never had a lot of pain to begin with (mostly just discomfort), so I can't really help with specific brands or how soft you should go.
juliiie87juliiie87 on April 28th, 2012 01:13 pm (UTC)
I support getting a feel for your cervix (preferably while on your period), and picking a shorter, softer cup from there. Use the charts given above to make an educated choice. In the meantime, try flipping your cup inside out to see if it's less painful this way. I'm sorry you had such a horrible experience, it just goes to show how different every body and every cup is.
tinkerandcrabtinkerandcrab on April 28th, 2012 05:34 am (UTC)
KMC felt like a rock in my vagina. Switched to Lunette (small) and my nether parts sighed with relief.

Edited at 2012-04-28 05:35 am (UTC)
chen_a on April 30th, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
I had a lot of those problems with my Diva (it hurt, I couldn't pee, too long - if I sat down with it in, OW!), and I LOVE my small soft meluna (Old style, which I think is this now Mini Small: http://meluna.eu/review/product/list/id/479/category/58/). I have the one with the stem, and although the stem seems really long, I can't feel it at all because it's super flexible. If you're not comfortable with the material, look at the size chart arrow_bright linked, and find one that is similar in size and softness, maybe? Though the shape of the old Meluna is one reason why I find it so comfortable, the softness is probably the biggest factor.

That said, I DON'T have problems with penetration in general, if I'm not leaving things in there for a long time or sitting. So what works for me may still be painful for you. I DO have problems with pretty much all tampons, and my cup is way more comfortable for me than tampons.