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Hey Cuppers,

My good friend has been using a Diva Cup for a few months now, and she just loves it! She convinced me to give it a try, and I bought my very own size 1 Diva Cup (I'm 27 and have never been pregnant/given birth).  My timing was great because I got the cup in the mail a couple days before I was due to get my period. I wanted to make sure I could get the cup in and out without any "surprises" before I started my cycle. I found that the stem REALLY bothered me, it pinched and I couldn't get it into a position that felt good. After looking online, I found that a lot of women trim/ completely cut the stem off. I trimmed it almost all the way off, leaving only a little bit. With KY jelly, and using the punch down fold, I was able to insert it to where I felt comfortable and able to get it back out (after only having it in a few minutes) without any problem.

I was due to get my period yesterday so I put the cup in before I left the house, and went about my business. I was mostly very comfortable, but on and off I would get this sensation of uncomfortable pressure down there that I was able to relieve with moving around/ changing my position/ bearing down slightly. Also of note, I went to the bathroom and had a difficult time urinating... I had to push to start the stream of urine, and after it started I emptied my bladder really slowly. This worried me and didn't seem normal... I figured I'd google it when I got home.

When I got home 8 hours later, I could tell I had gotten my period (I had the tell-tale low abdominal cramps I always get when it starts) So, I went to the bathroom to remove the cup... and I could barely reach it (I was really wishing I had left that stem alone...). I didn't panic because my friend had told me in advance that the same thing had happened to her. I squatted over the toilet and started bearing down, and was able to get it to the point I could reach it, but I could NOT seem to break the suction. I tried to pinch the bottom, tried to turn it, wiggle it, rock it back and forth... Nothing was working. I tried to reach the rim with my finger to release the suction, but I couldn't reach it. I started getting really nervous after 20 minutes of being a contortionist and trying everything I had read/heard of doing. I knew that getting nervous and frustrated was only compounding my problem, so I took and break and walked the dog while I tried to calm down. When I got back, I felt better, so back into the bathroom I went for attempt #2. No luck. Another 25 minutes, and I was pretty scared I was going to be making a trip to the doctor's. I was able to get it to a position I could grab it with 2 fingers after bearing down... and then I just started pulling. Two very hard, very painful tugs later... and it was out. I was scared to look down... I was sure my uterus was going to be hanging between my legs! Oh my god it hurt. I had in fact started my period, the cup was about 1/3 full, and there was a stringy/bloody clot through one of the holes (could that have been the problem? do I need to maybe make the holes bigger?). I cried a little, put a tampon in, and went to bed.

I haven't been able to bring myself to try again... I've been using tampons all day. But I'm still sore and irritated down there to the point where inserting/removing tampons causes discomfort. I'm at a loss.... I really WANT to love cups. I love the concept, I just don't know if they're right for me. Did I do something wrong? Is it just the wrong cup? If so, what cup/type of cup would be better? I know there's a learning curve... but I don't want my poor lady bits to have to go through that ever again! 

I feel like crying (I realize that's mostly the period talking), and any advice you could give would be really appreciated :(
coffee nut bitchpeiyu on July 6th, 2012 03:46 am (UTC)
Usually what I do is to bear down, insert three fingers and squeeze them around the cup - index and middle on one side, thumb on the other.

Basically use these three fingers to create the punch-down fold in your vagina, at which point there will be the feeling/popping sound of the suction breaking, because the smaller size facilitates removal.

Remember that your fingers do not have to go all the way up to the rim of the cup.

coffee nut bitchpeiyu on July 6th, 2012 03:58 am (UTC)
Ok picture time. My cup is in my body so I did a mock-up, hopefully it will help!

Bear down, insert 3 fingers along the cup. Thumb by itself.

Your thumb is strong! Press down on the cup...

... while your index and middle fingers wrap the cup around your thumb as much as possible.

As this is happening, pull the cup out.

Hope this helps!
linds0307 on July 6th, 2012 09:18 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for the detailed instructions! This is actually how my friend says she removes her Diva as well. The only thing is, I was struggling to get 2 fingers in and around the cup without pain... 3 would never fit! I don't know if the cup is too big, or I'm too tight, or a combo of both. That's why I was thinking I might need a different style/size cup?
And also, doesn't folding it that much in your vagina cause the contents to spill?
coffee nut bitchpeiyu on July 6th, 2012 09:55 am (UTC)
Breathe in plenty and relax; right now I'm just ~chillax~ and remove but it was pretty weird at first.

If it makes sense, I don't reach in much. When I bear down, my index and middle goes in first while my thumb remains pretty much at base of cup. As I bear down I press down and pull out in one smooth movement. So not exactly 3 fingers in at one go. Can't explain it exactly,
sorry :( but definitely the blood will be contained only at point of exit when...

Well, the first few times will be a messy explosion of blood basically lol, but practise in the shower and move on to the toilet. It will be easier and you will find it less of a bloody mess haha; anyway we aren't doing it over a pristine white carpet and everything can be cleaned easily! The only smell will be that of blood; no more terrible stench that makes one feel odd.

I tend not to wear anything light colored on my heaviest day because I'm afraid of accidentally soiling it upon removal/cleaning (don't ask... :p)
linds0307 on July 6th, 2012 11:23 am (UTC)
Hmmm... If you don't have to reach in much, I may have a whole new problem... That sucker was really far in there! Should bearing down alone bring it all the way to the opening? Because remember, I hacked off the stem :-/
coffee nut bitchpeiyu on July 6th, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
I cut off almost all the stem on mine as well. My cervix is quite low when I have my period so I don't have to fish around all that much. And my cup doesn't appear magically when I bear down, it's just not very high up for me.

Maybe you can try it a couple more times and if you think a stem would help, to get a new one? Even so, if pulling on the bottom of the cup hurts, then the stem is not going to help much.

Relax and try again sitting down, squatting down and lying down! Some women find it easier as they go along! :)

Anyway I read your comment below re:peeing and UTI. I generally pee, then stand up for a bit before I sit back down to finish emptying my bladder haha!

Ide Cyanide_cyan on July 6th, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
Try practicing in the shower, if yours isn't too slippery to squat in. Running the shower with warm water on can help you relax, and you won't have to worry about making a mess or dropping the cup in the toilet. And you'll be able to squat lower than if you're squatting over a toilet.

Also: clots in the holes are normal. They shouldn't make things more difficult. You can use a toothpick to clean out the holes, but I wouldn't really recommend enlarging them. You can also clean out the holes by sealing the cup full of water against your hand and squeezing it to force the water through the holes (watch out for the water spraying!). (Or seal the cup with air in it underwater and squeeze out the air.)

Edited at 2012-07-06 04:09 am (UTC)
linds0307 on July 6th, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
Thanks... I'll give it another go on Saturday, I think... When I don't have work and can hop in and out of the shower when/if needed!
ever so slightly obsessedscien on July 6th, 2012 07:30 am (UTC)
I pee a bit slower with my cup in too, I don't think it's a big deal if it doesn't annoy you. (I don't find it difficult or painful, it just takes a few more seconds). I expect with more experience your cup will settle somewhere more comfy and less obstructive!
linds0307 on July 6th, 2012 11:31 am (UTC)
I was just worried the cup is too firm/too wide and putting excessive pressure on my urethra... I don't want to get a UTI because I'm not fully emptying my bladder. Would a softer/smaller cup help with this?
ever so slightly obsessedscien on July 6th, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
I'd say give it a few cycles before thinking about that - you'd be surprised how much a little bit of experience helps. If you're worried about UTIs in the meantime you can make sure to pee with it out once a day or so.
teacupcake89 on July 6th, 2012 02:44 pm (UTC)
you're not doing anything wrong, you're just in the learning curve!! :)

with time, practice amd relaxation it WILL get easier!! you've managed to get it out once, so remember that you CAN do it again, just refining your technique and the amount of time it takes :)

Removal tips:

first of all: try to relax! (I know this is easier said than done but it really will help)
remember that it can't get stuck or lost, the worst that can happen is that it will overflow. if it's realllly not coming out last case senario you could use a spoon to scoop it out! :)
if you're getting tired and it's not coming out go and do something else that will help you relax: a warm bath, glass of wine, an orgasm :)

try repeatedly wiping your fingers with toilet roll in between attempts so that they are less slippery.

push down hard with your muscles: pretend you are 'giving birth' to the cup/doing a poo' this may take a while, breath in between pushes and try not to let it 'yo-yo back up' when you pause to breathe!

you don't need to be able to reach the stem/base right away to remove (I can't reach that far to remove mine)
get a good hold on the stem/base and pull/wiggle it down side to side until you can get hold of the base with your other hand whilst holding onto the stem/base. then either squeeze the base to release the seal or slide your finger up and press the rim inwards before removing one corner then the other. this puts less pressure on the urethra, if removed diagonallyish.

you could also try the 'hot dog in a bun' method: cup=bun finger=hot dog, press your finger or thumb inwards and keep it there whilst you slide it out (shouldn't leak unless the cup is over 3/4s full)

also, the Diva's holes are quite small compared to other brands, some users have had success enlarging them using body piercing tools, but I think you should get the basics of removal and insertion down first in case you don't need them enlarging for now.

this recent posts lists some users own removal techniques in the comments and might be worth a gander: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2901135.html#comments :)

I hope some of this helps! :)
greanfreekgreanfreek on September 7th, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
Have you tried "giving birth" to it? Like pushing, instead of pulling?