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12 May 2012 @ 03:09 am

Bio-details: 30, nulliparous, IUD.

So I've been lurking here, combing over the FAQ and the posts archive and the incredibly comprehensive size and firmness charts for a while. I first heard about cups a few years ago, but didn't really think they were for me, because the possibility of dealing with it in a public restroom seemed too inconvenient to outweigh the benefits. But then I got an IUD, and suddenly tampons just made me feel... itchy. Or like I was developing a UTI. And I couldn't deal with them anymore. I used pads for a few years, but I was growing tired, quite frankly, of sitting in a puddle of my own blood.

I figured I'd at least give this menstrual cup thing a try; my current job has me working at home, so this is probably the best time to get any teething troubles out of the way, right? So, after combing the archives, I decided that the Meluna large softcup was the best one for me and my sky-high cervix (seriously, sometimes just checking the strings is an adventure-- it'll sometimes climb to a distance completely unreachable with my fingers, and I say this as someone who's not squeamish about her own body in the slightest), and I ordered and waited and signed for it when my mail carrier brought it and made funny faces at me for receiving packages with German return addresses. (I'm not kidding, he did.)

My period generally starts with two or three days of half-hearted spotting, so I was sort of prepared for the first few days to be a bit of a struggle. And for the first 36 hours or so, I definitely kept being acutely aware of what a recent poster described as "rasslin' with my vagina." But thanks to a bunch of posts-- which I combed for "high cervix"-- I figured out relatively quickly that bearing down made things So. Much. Easier. Really. REALLY, so much easier.

This was probably slightly complicated by the fact that I was very hesitant to do any pulling on the stem, because I didn't want to do anything to dislodge my IUD (because it is the sort of birth control I think really ought to be accompanied by choirs of angels-- it's that awesome), and really, really wanted to get my finger to the rim to break the seal, which is... difficult when you have short fingers and a high cervix. *sigh*


The nice thing about my period being one of the ones that starts slow is that I had the hang of removing the cup by the time the Heavy Day of Doom rolled around. I'm still getting the hang of getting it back *in*-- I can pop it open, but sometimes it requires getting my finger all 360 degrees around the rim, which can be slightly acrobatic still, and my cervix always seems to sit slightly lower after I've done the whole bearing-down thing, which can make it challenging to get the whole cup back up inside my vagina-- and I'm not sure I'm quite ready for that in a public restroom. However, I had it in for 11 hours on the day which used to have me doing panic runs to the bathroom because my super pad had runneth over, and it was only half full. So maybe even at my superheavy, I don't have it half as bad as a lot of people. But, even more importantly-- that 11 hours included jumping up and down and dancing. This thing is stuck in there solid! And it doesn't interfere with my daily life at all. No matter what I used before, I was always perpetually aware that it was Period Time and I felt kind of like an invalid sitting on a pad or stuffed full of cotton.

This feels SO MUCH BETTER.

Seriously, being able to just pee and not worry about whatever else is going on down there is nice. Not worrying about spills over the side of the pad and onto the pants/sofa/sheets. Not having to pack uncomfortable alternatives for the pool. Being able to sleep naked. Not cringing when I climb the stairs and hear the "crinkle crinkle" sound. Not having the bathroom smell like blood for one week out of four. Having a vagina that still feels like a normal moist mucous membrane rather than a dry socket stuffed with cotton or something slowly glooping fluid out. It just feels so much more *normal*. Oh, this is so good and freeing.

Sorry for the opining. 

But still-- having read the experiences in this forum, I feel very lucky. This is the first cup I've tried, and I've had no leaking, no discomfort (other than my IUD strings, which have a sort of bend in them from being tucked behind my cervix most of the time, occasionally reaching out and poking me, which is easily correctible), and no mishaps. If I've found goldilocks on the first try, it's only because there was such a wealth of information here for me to read-- and that's why I wanted to contribute. More people may post about having trouble than not having trouble, so I wanted to make sure I made my contribution to the pile of anecdotes about people who had no troubles at all! And also, I wanted to say thank you to all the people who have posted before about their experiences-- it made it that much easier for me to try. You guys are awesome!

chamekkechamekke on May 12th, 2012 08:19 am (UTC)
This is the most wonderful success story EVER <333

I'm glad you had such a great experience with your cup!
tinkerandcrabtinkerandcrab on May 12th, 2012 01:09 pm (UTC)
Great post! I think maybe I was the one who described the rasslin' in a post (high cervixes represENT!) Out of curiosity, are you using a hormonal or copper IUD?
bellesetoiles on May 12th, 2012 03:35 pm (UTC)
Copper-- I switched to an IUD after having bothersome side effects on both estrogen- and progestin-based methods, so my doctor suggested I might want to go with something without any hormones at all. It definitely makes my periods crampier and heavier, but it's a lot better than the perpetual yeast infection I got from all the estrogenic BCs I tried or the cystic acne I had while I was on a progestin-based BC.
bellesetoiles on May 12th, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, and yes, it was your post! I actually burst out laughing at one point when I'm pretty sure I was on the bathroom floor with one knee by my ear and both hands trying to get a grip on whatever they could, and I realized I'd screwed my face up into a mask of concentration, tongue sticking out sideways, and I thought "So this is vagina rasslin'."

Laughing didn't really help it come out, but I did get it eventually. Hehe!
craseydani on May 13th, 2012 02:17 am (UTC)
So glad to hear your first was as good as mine! I was starting to wonder if maybe I was weird lol.