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19 June 2012 @ 02:38 pm
First off, let me apologize if I'm posting in the wrong area. I'm completely new to forums and such and don't really know what I'm doing yet lol =p I just created an account today in hopes of getting some help. I started researching cups a about 6 months back and finally decided to take the plunge, and though I'm excited and really want this to work, I need a little help.

So here goes... I bought the Moon Cup Keeper (the US one) and I'm having a few issues with it. The first month I used it, everything went great, after the learning curve of course lol. No leaking or anything and I was finally able to be comfortable with my periods for the first time in my life. Oh it was wonderful! But then, I developed some sort of problem to it. The stem really started irritating me no matter how it was positioned, to the point I finally just cut the whole thing off in hopes that that would solve the problem. Unfortunately, it didn't and it completely rubs me raw even though it doesn't feel sharp or anything when I've taken it out to inspect it. It then started causing me to have yeast infections. I realize the cups themselves don't have anything in them to become allergic to or anything, but is it possible that my body is rejecting this foreign object? I went to the doctor and I did in fact have a yeast infection so I do know it was that for sure, but after I healed up, I thought I'd give it a go again on the next cycle. Before I reinserted it, I boiled the cup to make sure there wasn't any yeasties or anything so as not to reinfect myself. It started out ok, but then the spot where the stem used to be started rubbing me raw again. Long story short, for 3 cycles I have ended with the treatment of Monistat. I love my Moon Cup, I truely do, but I hate those darn yeasties as much as the next girl and I really don't want to keep going through this. Somebody told me that once you get one, you have to throw the cup away and start fresh with a new one. Is this true? I really don't want to keep reinfecting myself, but they can get expensive if that's the case. I wash my cup in between changing times and boil it at the end of the cycle so that shouldn't be the issue right? It just seems that it's caused from the stem area. I used to use pads, but they irritated my skin. Then I tried tampons and couldn't handle them due to a tilted cervix and never being able to get them in the right position. After trying the cup, it was the most comfortable thing ever and I really want it to work out. I thought about switching to the Diva Cup as I've heard that they are similar in shape, but I thought they were all basically made of the same material so wouldn't that cause the same problems? Also, does anyone know why the Diva Cup is suggested to be replaced yearly as opposed to other brands saying 5-10 years? I'm willing to try any brand of cup if anyone knows of one that tends to cause less irritation. I only bought the Moon Cup because it's made in the U.S. and I live in Missouri. Therefore making shipping costs cheaper and faster =) 

I should also note that I am 27, married, no children and although I am on birth control, I am unable to use the NuvaRing for similar issues. Though it doesn't rub me raw, it does cause me to get yeast infections as well =/ 

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Again, sorry if these questions have already been answered or if I posted in the wrong area. Please feel free to direct me to the right spot if that's the case. Thank you =)
 
 
Current Mood: confusedconfused
 
juliiie87juliiie87 on June 19th, 2012 08:15 pm (UTC)
Hum, did you try to file down the spot where the stem was ? some people have had success with using sand paper on other silicone cups. Other than that, you could try wearing your cup inside out, if you're confident you'll be able to remove it that way.

I don't have much experience with yeasties or the keeper moon cup either, but here goes what I've read :

- yeast are often a digestive problem, maybe changing your diet would help.

- they are naturally present in everyone's vagina to some extent, it's the overgrowth that actually causes the infection, so you don't necessarily need to kill off all of it. It's more of a yeast imbalance actually.

- what kind of soap do you use on your cup, does it contain glycerin, and are you careful to rinse it off completely from the cup /your hands ?

About getting a different cup... I don't think you "need" to throw this one away, but if you decide you'd like to try a different model, don't jump at the Diva without giving it some thought. You want to make your next purchase an educated one. Have a look at the various size charts, or at least those two, and decide how different / similar you'd like your next cup to be :

http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/
http://menstrualcupinfo.wordpress.com/cup-stiffness-comparison-chart/

KMC's a pretty firm cup, which might or might not be part of your discomfort. And actually, most brands are cheaper online (starting from $ 20-25) and depending where you buy them from, shipping fees don't make that much of a difference.
bmloggains on June 19th, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
I actually tried filing it down with a nail file, but it didn't work very well. Perhaps it was the type I used, but I admit I have a hard time grasping how one can "file down" silicone lol =p I'll see if the sand paper thing works for me though. Anything is worth a shot and I really want this to work without all the discomfort.

I generally eat pretty healthy and it hasn't changed at all since before using the cup and after so I don't think it's that.

I was just using plain Softsoap brand as far as soap goes because it doesn't contain glycerin but maybe it's not mild enough? I always try to rinse everything really well, but I suppose there's always the possibility I missed a spot or something when I was in a hurry.

Thanks for the tips and the useful links! If I can't get this one to work right, I'll try to pick something better for me from the charts =)
Tweekietweekie on June 19th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
I sanded the end of mine after cutting the stem with a METAL nail file, not an emery board. I think emery board files are too flimsy for this task. The metal nail file worked like a charm, and now I have it for - you know, filing my nails, and all. :)
bmloggains on June 19th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
Lol ok I will try a metal one, and then if needed I'll try the sandpaper =) Thanks for the tip!
Tashanamelessw0nder on June 19th, 2012 09:23 pm (UTC)
Get your blood tested for yeast, to see if you have a intestinal yeast overgrowth. Yes, this can cause recurrent vaginal infections. Eating healthy is not enough if you are eating a ton of carbs (and carbs in the form of sugar), even in natural forms. If you have an overgrowth, that will just feed it. It could be that your body overreacts to the presence of the cup/ring and an existing infection flares up. Antibiotics will only mess up your natural flora more.
Tashanamelessw0nder on June 19th, 2012 09:23 pm (UTC)
I should say, antibiotics & antifungals, since Monistat is not an antibiotic.
bmloggains on June 19th, 2012 11:06 pm (UTC)
Ahh noted. I will definitely have that checked out on my next visit. Thank you =)
Procrastinator Extraordinaire: Gargoyle Eyenightmer on June 19th, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
Yeast is pretty tough stuff. It can survive boiling to some extent, but scrubbing and boiling (for at least 15 minutes) should definitely help. I get chronic YIs and using cups hasn't made them worse, and throwing the whole cup away seems drastic as yeast naturally lives in the vagina. Heck, seems like coating the cup in Monistat might even help.

I'd guess that irritation caused by the cup stem rubbing you triggered your YI, or perhaps soap or something carried in on the cup was the trigger. The Moon Cup also irritates me more than the Diva, so perhaps a different shape/less annoying stem could help. Silicone is very non-reactive and non-porous, so it's unlikely that you're sensitive to that.

I'd also think about taking probiotics and garlic to help keep yeast levels down. Your system is probably just very susceptible to yeast overgrowth.
bmloggains on June 19th, 2012 11:16 pm (UTC)
Is there something I can do besides boiling to help keep it clean? I know some of the sites said no vinegar, peroxide or alcohol so I'm kind of at a loss for what else I could try to keep it a little more steril. I definitely don't want to mess my cup up though...

That's definitely a thought about coating the cup. I may give that a shot if this continues. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that suffers from this.

I'm definitely thinking about giving the Diva Cup a try. After looking through the links above, I thought that maybe a softer cup would help so there wouldn't be so much rubbing going on. I probably shouldn't try the softest though as I could see myself not being able to get it open which would kinda defeat the purpose lol

Also, this might sound silly, but the probiotics and garlic that you mentioned above, is that what they are called in the store? Or is there a technical name I should be looking for? I've never managed to get rid of a YI without taking either Diflucan or Monistat so if there are other ways to either prevent or get rid of them, I'm definitely all ears. I'll have my blood checked to make sure nothing too crazy is going on, but if it's just an extra step I need to take to remain comfortable during my period, I'll give it a go =)
Procrastinator Extraordinaire: Gargoyle Eyenightmer on June 20th, 2012 02:29 am (UTC)
The no peroxide/vinegar/alcohol rules seem rather strict as many people here seem to use them successfully - I've only heard of them damaging the cup if left in there for too long (as in days) or in too high a concentration. I use peroxide very often - usually half (3%) peroxide/half water, and I soak the cup for a half hour or so as I bathe. I haven't had any issues yet! Other people use rubbing alcohol with no problems. I also scrub with dish soap and boil when the cup seems to need it, and haven't been getting YIs any more often than before I started using cups. Also, peroxide is safe for vaginas so I figure rinsing with it after soap and such is good in case any residue remains.

Probiotics are just any "good" bacteria that will help your body fight off yeast. A lot of them are sold in capsules in any vitamin section for digestion, but they'll also help vaginal problems. You can also just eat yogurt with live cultures or even use it vaginally (unsweetened!). I also eat fresh garlic or garlic capsules as it's antifungal and seems to help. I'd recommend more anti-yeast treatments but a lot of them are tricky to use during a period, but here's a good rundown of some anyway: http://vaginapagina.livejournal.com/5865641.html

Things like probiotics/garlic/etc may keep YIs at bay and can also be used along with Monistat. Hopefully they help!
bmloggains on June 20th, 2012 04:05 am (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying the cleaning methods for me. I've read so many different things that it's all become very confusing and to be honest, a little overwhelming. One site says one thing, another says something completely different. Wish they could all just agree and stick with it lol.

I'm going to pick up some probiotics and garlic pills tomorrow in hopes that it will work as well for me as it does other people. My body is a little weird, but I think it's worth a shot.

Also, any idea if it's true or not about the Diva Cup needing to be replaced more often than other cups? I really like how so many people recommend it and that it's supposed to be softer than the one I'm currently using (which may be contributing to my irritation issues), but I really don't want to have to replace it yearly when others say they last 5-10 years. Has anyone had one longer than a year without any problems?
Procrastinator Extraordinaire: Gargoyle Eyenightmer on June 20th, 2012 04:25 am (UTC)
No prob! There's a lot of conflicting information. I tried to research cleaning a lot a while back so hopefully I'm not forgetting anything.

I'm pretty sure that the yearly recommendation is just Diva covering their ass, and possibly getting themselves a little extra money, the same way they say to use their soap over other soaps. All the popular cups are high-grade silicone (except the Keeper) which has a long lifespan - mainly cups need to be replaced because of cleaning accidents or wear. I highly doubt Diva is using inferior silicone compared to the other brands. Just check the cup for a new "gummy" texture or pieces coming apart - otherwise it should be fine to keep using indefinitely! My Diva's about a year old and seems fine.

There are also some other cups that don't have the annoying stem. The Diva works pretty great for me most of the time but it's too long for some people, which could also cause irritation if that's your YI trigger. I'm hoping to track down a Meluna and see if that helps me!
juliiie87juliiie87 on June 20th, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)

Like I said, don't just jump at the Diva ! I agree with m03m, it might not fit you ! Next cycle, reach in for your cervix, estimate how far in it sits and compare that to the various cups on the size charts. If you think you need a different cup, that is. Round-bottomed cups include Fleurcup, Meluna, and Si-Bell. And about difficulties with softer cups popping open... it's nothing that can't be overcome. Otherwise no one would buy them and MANY people are actually very happy with them.
fortune elkinsfortune elkins on June 20th, 2012 12:20 am (UTC)
Probiotics
I highly recommend adopting an anti-candida (yeast) diet for 12 weeks and using probiotics. Go to your local Whole Foods or the like and investigate probiotic supplements and even suppositories. There are strains of probiotics you can take that actively attack yeast, that are the natural enemies of vaginal candida. This is real scientific fact! Google: Reid G. Probiotic agents to protect the urogenital tract against infection. [Review]. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;73(2 Suppl):437S-443S and Probiotics for prevention of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: a review, http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/58/2/266.full. There are many such studies underway now, so the early evidence is fairly good, considering.

Best wishes.
bmloggains on June 20th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC)
Re: Probiotics
Oh you are just amazing! Thank you so much for the wonderful information. I will definitely be checking this out tomorrow =D Thanks everyone!
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on June 20th, 2012 12:37 am (UTC)
Re: Probiotics
Even though the symptoms occur in your vagina, a yeastie beastie is usually based in your digestive system. Sometimes it's triggered by the foods we crave before/during our periods. Sometimes it is fed by soap residue left on our hands or cups. There are many off-the-shelf and home remedies to relieve the symptoms. (Google is your friend.) But I agree that you should also work on the cause, not just the symptoms. http://www.ehow.com/how_5701423_remove-yeast-digestive-tract.html
bmloggains on June 20th, 2012 12:46 am (UTC)
Re: Probiotics
Well I do eat pretty healthy in general, but as for junk food/sugar cravings right before and during my period? Guilty as charged. Guess I'll have to pay more attention to what I'm eating and actually remember what happens if I don't =/ Thanks for the info!
m03m on June 20th, 2012 06:43 am (UTC)
If you decide to get a Diva, check for your cervix first, preferrably during your period. The Diva is a long cup and it may not fit you comfortably if you happen to have a lower cervix (as plenty of us do).

I found that the pointy nub where the stem of my Ladycup used to be irritated my vaginal opening from the inside. (I have a low cervix.) So I looked for a cup that had a rounded, not pointy, base. I bought a Fleurcup, cut the stem all the way off, filed the base smooth and I now have my own customised, awsomely comfortable cup.

Some more tips regarding yeast infections:
https://www.msu.edu/~eisthen/yeast/diy.html
wings_on_water: green ladywings_on_water on June 21st, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
I'm a total noob to cups (on my first run with my first cup right now!), but if you do decide to get a new cup, did you know that the Meluna comes in a version with no stem? Just rounded on the bottom. I live in Canada and ordered mine from the Feminie Wear UK website - it came in the mail 2 weeks from the day I ordered it.
emesbe on June 26th, 2012 07:41 am (UTC)
Yeast can also be passed between sexual partners. Your husband may need to be treated as well.