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I've been feeling pretty grotty last few months, more than usual, unrelenting constant headaches, abdominal, pelvic, chest, bowel and back pain, excessive discharge, frequent urination.  After my last period two weeks ago, excessive green discharge finally gave me a real indication it was possibly an infection.   I've never had anything like it.   No itch, not bad odor.  So I went to the doctor who did a urine test and said I had a UTI, much to my surprise, since I haven't had one for about ten years, ( I used to have chronic cystitis, always with bloody urine and intense burning pain), the doctor also thinks it's in my kidneys, due to pain there.  Then he said I need to get swabs and a blood test, which I have done today.  The nurse was very concerned, she said she hadn't seen anything quite like it, she said it could be thrush or BV, but resembles a STD, which I can't have as I am not sexually active.  I asked her if my menstrual cup could transfer infection, but she had never heard of them.  Anyway, I've had yeast infections before using my cup, but rarely, only when I've taken antibiotics or have had a severe infection, but I have had thrush a few times since I started using my cup, but the symptoms are different from now.  I've never had BV or an STD, and as far as I know I've never had a UTI AND a vaginal infection together.  The nurse said it's possibly it could be something else. The only thing that has happened differently with my cup usage in the past two months, is that I started to use soap and hot water to wash it after emptying, where as before I just just cleaned with water.  I also scratched inside my vagina which caused burning and bleeding, when removing my cup that had become lodged, this was about the time these symptoms started, perhaps just co-incidence.  I really hope this is not some sort of recurring thing, that is aggravated by my cup, because I LOVE the menstrual cup, and I'd HATE going back to tampons or pads.  I use a natural soap, possibly contaminated?  I do have a bottle of unfragranced Dr Bronner's castille soap, but I read somewhere that castille soap is not recommended.
Current Mood: gloomygloomy
juliiie87juliiie87 on September 26th, 2012 09:28 am (UTC)
Whatever soap you choose to use, and the least fragranced, least moisterizing, possibly glycerin free (hum isn't it the thing with castile soap ? it's made of glycerin, so it's moisterizing? idk) the better, just make sure to rinse it off your hands and the cup really well. If you're worried, you could try using the Lunette or Diva wash, or even just any sex-toy cleaner.

Besides that, the only possible correlation with cups is if the cup is quite firm and puts pressure on your bladder, it may prevent you from emptying it fully, and thus encourage infections.

Personnally, I sometimes use antibacterial soap on my cup, instead of boiling when I'm lazy, but this one you need to rinse off super carefully because your vagina will not like it. But most of the time, if I do use soap, it's a feminine wash that I know my vag tolerates well. I don't think I'm very prone to infections though, and some people are just more sensitive than others.

What you have sounds awful, I hope you feel better soon ! :/

Edited at 2012-09-26 09:32 am (UTC)
chamekkechamekke on September 26th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
(hum isn't it the thing with castile soap ? it's made of glycerin, so it's moisterizing? idk)

Glycerol (glycerin) is produced by saponification of fats as a byproduct of soap-making. Dr. Bronner's doesn't include added glycerin, but nor do they distill it out as many soapmakers do... so yes, their soap contains some "retained glycerin".

I wash my cup once in a long time with Dr. Bronner's unscented liquid castile soap. No ill effects so far, FWIW. But mostly I clean it by boiling.

I also understand that users of silicone cups (such as the Diva Cup) should avoid cleansers containing silicone since that will eventually degrade the cup, but AFAIK that isn't a concern with TPE (MeLuna) or latex (Keeper) cups.
angelsweep on September 27th, 2012 12:02 am (UTC)
Why is glycerin bad? My soap is Earthwise natural unscented i contains olive oil and glycerin. Could this be the cause of my trouble?
chamekkechamekke on September 27th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
Well, TBH I'm not sure.

Some people think glycerin exacerbates yeast infections. This webpage talks about that theory, for example.

Mind you I've no idea whether this is proven or Internet word-of-mouth. This page repeats the story but says "there is actually no proof that this is the case, and women use water based lubes with glycerin all the time without getting yeast infection".

Also, most of the warnings I've seen involve the use of glycerin-containing lubricants, where there'd be more likelihood of the glycerin remaining in the body than would be the case with a soap (which would be largely if not completely removed from the cup with thorough rinsing).

If you're worried about it, perhps it's best to avoid glycerin to be on the safe side. Maybe try boiling the cup, and/or using something like hydrogen peroxide?
angelsweep on September 27th, 2012 12:10 am (UTC)
My cup is extremely soft so I don't think that's the problem, but I did feel pressure on my bladder when I used it last, I think, that it was because I already had a UTI then. But my new cup is much firmer and I haven't tried it yet, not going to risk contaminating it until everything is sorted! Thanks, I hope so too, I have some bleeding now, maybe from the swabs yesterday? I hope I don't get an early period, sometimes that happens when I am not well, or taking medications. I don't want to use my cup, that could make the problem worse, since I have been advised not to insert anything up there.
fuckincapslockfuckincapslock on September 26th, 2012 02:51 pm (UTC)
Before I started using a cup and making cloth pads I got a ton of issues regularly. I'd suggest tea tree oil soaks for your cup in hot water, soap can be really bad it never fully washes off. Tea tree oil stinks but it isn't something harmful in trace amounts if it doesn't rinse off fully (think tea tree oil lotion).
angelsweep on September 27th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
OH NO! I think I have got my period now. I get heavy and really painful periods, I want to use my cup, but would that make a vaginal infection worse?
juliiie87juliiie87 on September 27th, 2012 07:57 am (UTC)
I can't see why it would. Cups are made of inert material that doesn't encourage nor prevent the growth of bacterias. Disposables on the other hand... well, you know how they stink ? that's because they're the perfect nest for bacteria to developp. I'm guessing the issue is not pushing bacteria up your cervix and uterus, but I don't think a cup would do that. Douching is more likely to. People have been known to use their cups with a vaginal infection and not get worse for the fact, is all I'm saying.

Just to be in the cautious side, if you feel like the cup might prevent you from emptying your bladder, it might be wise to remove it when you use the bathroom. And of course, if it creates more discomfort, don't wear it.

Edited at 2012-09-27 08:05 am (UTC)
angelsweep on September 28th, 2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks :) I tried using pads for a day, but I hated it, so hot, uncomfortable and itchy as always, just makes me feel unclean to. So I am using my old cup, oddly after a day of using it my discharge seems to have stopped, and also my vagina has gone and cleaned the old stains out of my cup, that I've been trying to get rid of for ages!? IDK, it's like the Twilight Zone in there! Another strangeness is that I am a bit too dry in there now...so inserting my cup is tricky also I can't seem to get it positioned like I use to, it just won't go up as far as usual, and is hard to get open, the cup is also putting pressure on my poor sick bladder, it's an extremely soft cup, but when I try to push my cup in, I can feel what seems to be my tender bladder pushing against my vaginal wall, which kind of seems like it's in the way a bit. Well the nurse didn't notice anything strange apart from my green discharge. It's not very comfortable with the cup right now, but it still beats nasty itchy pads! I did try taking it out when I went to urinate, but I am having to urinate excessively, and it hurt more to keep removing the cup and reinserting all the time.
juliiie87juliiie87 on September 28th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
Vaginas do magical stuff sometimes ! The cleaning stains I've heard of.

I'm guessing your bladder must be inflammed somewhat, which explains the discomfort... Do what feels best, but maybe try to go back to pads once your flow is back to being managable. And try to pee without the cup in the evening and morning, so there isn't too much old fluid left in your bladder.

Whenever people mention how uncomfortable commercial pads are, I can't help but recommend cloth pads as an alternative, they're wonderful! And one can make their own fairly easily too, using old towels as an absorbant core, a soft cotton top and a polyester fleece back, sew-on snaps and here you go ! :)
angelsweep on October 1st, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks, and I will definitely look into getting some cloth pads!