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Well, those of you who suggested I try inserting the cup on my period were right, it was a lot easier, and I actually managed to get it in all the way this time, with a fold I couldn't use at all during attempted dry runs even (punchdown). I did it in the shower.

However, I kind of freaked out once I did. The stem was sticking out to one side for one. I managed to straighten it out, but I wasn't sure if it had created a seal at all. I tried feeling around the base but it hurt a bit, and that point I panicked and decided I needed to get it out, which was tricky, and uncomfortable (I pulled down on the stem until I could reach the base). Once I managed to get it out I heard this *pop* noise,so I was wondering if that meant I had a seal after all? There was already some blood in the cup but I wasn't sure how much of it was from my period and how much of it might've been from my struggle, like maybe I tore my hymen or something. In any case I've chosen against trying to reinsert the cup again tonight, though I intend to later during this cycle since I didn't have it in long enough to really see if I could feel it or if it would ride up or if I had any other problems.... I don't actually hurt down there as I type so now I'm guessing I didn't break my hymen as I thought I did.

EDIT: tried inserting it again today. I didn't panic as much as I did last time, but I was less successful. I tried walking around with it in and realized I could feel to to one side. It wasn't sore, but it was uncomfortable, and I felt some chafing. When I removed it I also realized it never popped open from a punchdown fold. I have a difficult time feeling for if it's popped open or not, since inserting my finger with the cup in kind of hurts, like it's way too tight. I almost certainly can't get myself to move my finger up alongside the cup. Anymore advice anyone can give me?
teacupcake89 on August 14th, 2012 11:09 am (UTC)
my cup stem always slants to one side no matter how I insert it, because my cervix is on the other side. :) you don't need to remove it just push it up in the direction it wants to go and get the stem into a comfortable position. if, after a while its clear that you don't need all of the stem for removal and it won't ride up during your period and it's sticking out/poking you then you can trim it :)

once you get the cup in, RELAX don't panic! take it slowly as you've done the hard part getting it in, push/wiggle it and move the stem into a comfyier position if needed/possible, you can slowly and gently run a finger around the base of the cup to feel if it's opened up, maybe a few kegels, squats, wiggly dance (!!) but I would then just leave it to do its thing! you'll know fairly soon if you didn't do it right :)

for removal you need to release the seal by squeezing the base and/or pressing one side/rim of the cup inwards to let air in. (you might be able to hear the seal releasing)

if the blood was in the cup then it's probably just menstrual blood. :)

CONGRATS on your progress so far! :) you'll be a pro in no time! :)
juliiie87juliiie87 on August 14th, 2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, try to relax and... I'm sorry because I've probably said this before, but try lying on your back, in the privacy of your bedroom. I swear this makes everything loosen up down there.
teacupcake89 on August 15th, 2012 10:44 am (UTC)
have you read this FAQ post and comments about tips for getting cups to pop open: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2618390.html#comments

good tips on different folds, angles, hole positioning etc.

also: push away the wall of your vagina in order to let some air in. you need to get air in/above your cup for it to pop open. When you do that, push away the back soft wall and make sure to hold it like that for long enough. 15-20 seconds maybe. You may hear a sound as the air goes in.

also try running it under cold water before you insert as this makes it temporarily a bit stiffer/easier to pop open.

if it's chafing you then trim the stem a little bit and see if that makes a difference! you might need to repeat the trimming, but make sure you can still remove it if you need the stem for removal. Remember to bear down like you are giving birth to the cup to bring the stem a bit lower for removal.

in the beginning I couldnt get a finger alongside my cup but it really is a matter of practice and relaxation! also, sort of press towards the cup so it's easier/more comfortable. you don't need to feel all the way round, sometimes just feeling around the base can tell you if it's open or not.
juliiie87juliiie87 on August 15th, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
Re : Edit
First off, what position did you insert in ? because standing in the shower has always been the most difficult for me. Sitting on the toilet or lying down are much better. Second, Sre you making sure you relax your muscles around the opening ? For me, it's actually just like pushing for a wee or a bowel movement. That creates the extra room you need for the cup to unfold. And perhaps the punch-down fold just isn't the one for you. I have much better luck with folds that I can actually help unfold manually (triangle, labia and half diamond. At least, did you make sure it was inserted facing the floor ?

It's normal that the cup isn't settling to a comfortable spot if it didn't pop open. Once you'll be past that issue, it should all be smooth sailing from there. So don't get dicouraged !
tempestas_inu: argh! sorry!tempestas_inu on August 15th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Re : Edit
I was squatting in the shower actually ^^;. I relax as best as I can but I seem to have trouble figuring out if I actually am or not. I actually inserted the punchdown fold with the folded part facing sideways since it was the easiest way to get it around my pubic bone. Maybe that was part of the problem. I'll definitely try experimenting with other folds though.
juliiie87juliiie87 on August 15th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Re : Edit
Oh squatting is good to bring the cervix closer, for removal, but definitely NOT for relaxing and get the cup + a finger in. Just my experience. If I really want to insert in the bathtub, which is not easy, I need to put a foot up and really splay my legs. So really, try sitting on the toilet or lying down. Definitely try a few tips from the "soft cups and popping open" faq post. You'll get it soon !