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12 July 2012 @ 02:36 am
I got the Keeper size B this past February, and I REALLY want it to work, but I'm about to throw in the towel.  I don't have any problem getting it in, it feels okay while it's in for the most part, but it takes me a minimum of 2 hours to remove.  It takes a good hour of squatting for the stem to come down low enough for me to even reach it.  Then it takes another hour to get it out because my fingers are too thick for me to get up the side of the cup or a grip on the bottom of the cup to break the seal.  Every time I try it just pushes it back up.  It rides up high no matter how low I insert it.  And I keep pinching and stabbing myself with my nails, even when they're not long.  The best I can do is to wait until it gets low enough for me to grab the stem, then stick a toothbrush handle up there to break the seal.  And then it really hurts to pull out because I can't fold the cup.  On top of that, it always spills.  By the time I manage to get the stupid thing out, I've been poking myself for 2-3 hours and everything hurts and I just don't want to mess with it anymore.

Basically it's squat in the bathtub until my legs get too tired, take 10-15 minutes until they feel better, then try again.  Squatting is the only way I have a shot at reaching it at all.  I also usually try taking a warm/hot bath.  Yes, I know how to "relax" and "bear down".  If I didn't, it would take me 5-6 hours to get the cup out, the way it did the first time I used it.  And sometimes it's been in so long that it starts overflowing and makes everything worse.  I think I'm going to quit after this cycle.  I've kept trying for the past 5 months because I believed it would get easier the way it does for everyone else but it hasn't.  I really don't think the benefits are worth all this trouble and pain and I don't have 4-5 free hours each day to squat in a bathtub and torture myself.  I'm just going to have to go back to changing a tampon and pad every 1-2 hours*, because even that's easier than using a menstrual cup.

* I've also tried those Instead cups, but they kept shifting and spilling, especially when I pee.
Procrastinator Extraordinaire: Gargoyle Eyenightmer on July 12th, 2012 07:02 am (UTC)
I had the exact same experience with the Moon Cup (the silicone version of the Keeper) at first! It's just hellish to remove with my anatomy. I'd guess that you have a high cervix, too. I got a Diva (which is longer) and it works like a dream - it takes 10 seconds to remove without a spill. Now that I have more practice I occasionally use the MC for light days but it's still harder and occasionally painful to remove. Maybe look into a different cup?
Yamxyamx on July 12th, 2012 08:13 am (UTC)
In my experience, the Keeper is one of the hardest cups to remove. You might do better with something slightly softer. It also sounds like you should be looking for a long cup.
moonhoney925 on July 12th, 2012 08:31 am (UTC)
I agree, try a different cup. You obviously have the wrong one for you.
Ashatenlegspider on July 12th, 2012 11:01 am (UTC)
Yeah, it really sounds like you need more length. If you want to try another cup, pick one from the bottom of the size chart. The Diva has the longest body, or you might want one with a slightly shorter body but longer stem. Either way you'll gain quite a bit of extra capacity at the same time.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 12th, 2012 02:04 pm (UTC)
I agree that a different cup would suit you better.

In the mean time, try enlarging the anti-suction holes around the rim of your Keeper. FYI, the holes in my Lunette are about 1/16" or 1.5mm or appx a 13g body piercing tool. Curl your fingers slightly so you're not jabbing yourself with your fingernails. And when you finally do get a hold of your cup, be sure to rock it out at an angle so it's not the whole rim at once.

The Diva might be a good match but it also has teeny anti-suction holes that you'll probably want to enlarge.
Arrow_Bright: Benedick & Beatricearrow_bright on July 12th, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
My first cup was the Keeper Moon Cup, and it was a bitch to remove sometimes, especially on my high cervix days. "Spelunking" describes the process best. I generally had to use two hands to remove it: One to grip the stem and the other to pinch the base. If I let go for a second, it'd slide it's way right back up.

Between the slippery stem and my high cervix, it was just obnoxious. Then I got a small Lunette, and it was so much better! There's more capacity, it's much softer, and the flat tab stem with the little grips on them made removal a breeze. If you can afford another cup, I highly recommend it! I would suggest a longer cup (or one with a longer stem) with more capacity (which is basically almost any other cup) and with a stem that's easier to grip. Take a look at the sizecharts. There are also some comparison photos that might be helpful to look at (http://menstrualcups.friendhood.net/t228-keeper-and-keeper-moon-cup-comparison-photos). The size charts also has a link to some stiffness ratings that you might want to consider.

Good luck!
lovinggirl88lovinggirl88 on July 12th, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
I'm going to echo everyone else and say maybe you need a different cup. Like others have said maybe you need a longer cup and/or a softer cup. You could always try the Meluna with a ring stem and tie some sort of string to the ring so that you didn't have to work so hard to get it down. You could just pull on the string until you got the stem within reach. Just an idea. *shrug*

I really hope you find something that works for you because you are right, no one has that much extra time to fool around with getting a cup in and out. Best of luck.
annabelle64: hello kittyannabelle64 on July 12th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
totally off topic, i absolutely love your icon! a penguin with a menstrual cup hat is just wonderful.
lovinggirl88lovinggirl88 on July 12th, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
michaelaokayprettygood on July 12th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
I'll second the Meluna with a ring suggestion. I have been using cups for a few years, but no matter what, I always have trouble removing the things...the ring stem really helps! Easier to keep a good grip on than stems and balls, for me.
jstnbdy on July 12th, 2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks, everyone
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm glad to know that my problem is not unique and can be fixed.
naked_beauty_21 on July 13th, 2012 02:33 am (UTC)
I read of someone on here that used dental floss and tied it around the stem so they could pull it out sort of like a tampon. Might help!
m03m on July 13th, 2012 11:23 am (UTC)
That wouldn't work for me at all. Pulling a cup out without breaking the seal or refolding it... ouch!
teacupcake89 on July 13th, 2012 12:53 pm (UTC)
I think the person who using dental floss used it to pull the cup low enough so they could reach the stem and squeeze the base to release the seal. :)
Definitely would not advise trying to just pull it out without breaking the seal (going to hurt!!) but it's an option if you really can't reach the stem! :)

also seconding a longer cup (not necessarily a long bodied short stemmed Divacup as the stem is quite stubby and short) perhaps a short/medium sized cup with a long stem? :)
juliiie87juliiie87 on July 13th, 2012 01:04 pm (UTC)
I'd say any longer bodied cup (bottom part of the charts), but not necessarily the Diva, too ! ;)
kadiva_girl on July 14th, 2012 02:53 am (UTC)
Same experience with the DivaCup
I just want to say that the experience you describe is very, very similar to what I went through with my *Diva Cup* today - which I can't help but notice is the cup that some people have suggested you switch to. I tried for about 3-4 hours to get the damn thing out - squatting in the tub, bearing down as best I could, but I just couldn't get it low enough so that I could grab the stem or break the seal. My fingers were cramping, the stem kept getting stuck against the wall behind my pubic bone, the cup kept riding way back up. I took a warm bath, I masturbated, I focused on my breathing, I took breaks to calm myself down after several fits of sobbing, I shoved a sterilized toothbrush up there to try to break the seal, I even attempted to get at the stem with a pair of tweezers, but made NO progress through it all. I probably would have kept trying for another several hours and *maybe* would have been able to remove it, but it was Friday afternoon, and if I COULDN'T get at it, I wouldn't have had a doctor available to help me until Monday. So, at my mother's insistence after I broke down in front of her, I went in for help. My poor doctor was perplexed, never having used the cup herself, but was eventually able to get it out.

I am totally in the "I really want this to work" camp but right now I absolutely despise my Diva Cup, even though that seems to be a popular brand suggestion to address the problems we're having. So maybe the Diva Cup would work for you, but you should know that so far I have had all the same problems with the Diva that you describe with the Keeper. I personally like the dental floss idea and next time I am brave enough to possibly subject myself to such misery again, I'll definitely use that as a safety measure.

Edited at 2012-07-14 02:54 am (UTC)
chamekkechamekke on July 14th, 2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Same experience with the DivaCup
The seal on the Diva Cup does seem stronger than average.

One thing you might try doing - cautiously - is enlarging the holes ever so slightly. Some people mention using toothpicks for this, but this baffles me because this only forces the holes larger temporarily... and then they close back to their original size!

What worked for me was to take a needle (or a long pin with a plastic head -- works even better), sterilize it, and heat the sharp end so that it's red-hot. I put the hot needle into one of the holes for a few moments, then remove it; rinse and repeat for the remaining holes.

The difference is almost undetectable visually, but I think it did help because after that I was able to break the seal more easily. (Although that could also have been due to additional practice, too.)

Another poster mentioned hearing of a user who used a scrapbooking punch, but I'd be wary of doing that unless the hole it creates is very tiny indeed. You don't want overly large holes or you risk not having any seal at all!

Lastly, the following discussion includes some general tips on breaking the seal. You might want to peruse it before you modify your cup:

juliiie87juliiie87 on July 16th, 2012 11:34 am (UTC)
Re: Same experience with the DivaCup
I'm sorry you had such a (di)stressful experience. It seems like you are cursed with a very high cervix, hence your Diva riding way up... masturbating is good to relax, but it actually makes your vagina longer, so no help in this situation. I don't know if you've tried it, but for some people, having a bowel movement helps bring the cup down. Worst case, the weight of blood might have helped eventually. It's actually very rare that cups remain stuck for a very long time, if it's any help making you feel better. I totally understand how stressful it must have been, though. I don't usually recommend the Diva because of the strong seal, although it is the longest, but some cups are actually slightly longer due to a longer stem. Did you try when not on your period, because if *so, you may want to check (with your finger) if your cervix comes lower for your period.

Here's a chart to give you (both!) an idea of what I meant by regarding "longer" cups : http://menstrualcup.co/brands/comparer-coupe-menstruelle-tableau.html basically large Yuuki (firm) and large Si-Bell (soft) are longer overall. Lunette and Fleurcup are somewhat similar, but they have flat tab stems with grip rings that may be easier to grasp.

Edited at 2012-07-16 11:36 am (UTC)