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Bean
Hello everyone! I have loved the idea of menstrual cups since I first learned about them about six years ago. Back then I bought both a Diva Cup and a Moon Cup (USA), because I wasn't sure which one was best - and there were only a few to choose from at the time! Unfortunately, I never really got the hang of these things, as much as I wanted it to work for me... The Diva is the one I tried the most, but it always seemed uncomfortable and was hard to get in place right. The Moon Cup had too stiff of a rim for me to really even get in without hurting myself by it popping open too early. Pretty soon I gave up on them and went back to my cloth pads. Just recently, though, I got back into researching them (determined to make them work for me) and to my surprise THERE ARE TONS OF THEM NOW. Oh man. So. Excited.

Anyway, I've spent the last few days reading about all the little differences between the fancy new (and old) cups out there. My problem is that I can't pinpoint why exactly I can't seem to get mine to work, so choosing a new one to try has been difficult. I've been trying out the old Diva again and I still have trouble (I thought I got it in right once but it still leaked). It seems like maybe it's too big for me (size 1), but I'm not sure. My fingers are very short so I'm not sure if I have a high or low cervix but it definitely hung low when I got it in. It also seems like width might be an issue, because it suctions immediately to whatever surface it's touching as soon as I slide it in, which makes adjusting it very difficult and often painful. Based on the two times I have actually reached my cervix I found that it likes to hide in the corner, pointing a bit to the side, which makes covering it quite difficult with a somewhat large cup. So my goal is to try a smaller one. I just ordered the small Lunette Selene, and I'm VERY excited to try that one out! Last I was shopping, Lunette brand caught my eye but they hadn't come out with the small size yet, and there was only one site (which was in Finnish), so I skipped it. Should be here in three days, yay!!

I imagine I might still have issues with the new one, as I don't think I've gotten past the learning curve completely. But I'm kind of determined to keep collecting cups until I find the one that is best for me. If Lunette doesn't work, I am thinking about the Lady Cup. I can't resist that lilac color!

Based on the issues described, would anyone recommend anything different? I'm not 100% sure that shorter and narrower (with larger holes) will do the trick, it's kind of just a guess. What do you all think?

Thanks for enduring my long-winded excitement and confusion! :D
 
juliiie87juliiie87 on November 13th, 2012 12:19 pm (UTC)
If your cervix likes to hang low (especially during your period, it may change throughout the month), then the length of the Diva is probably your issue, so the Lunette will probably work out for that reason.

Now, if I had to get a new cup for you, I'd be inclined to look for a larger, short cup, so it can encircle your cervix better. The ladycup is fairly similar to the Lunette in terms of dimensions, only it has lower capacity, no grips, lower wholes, a slick material and a differently spread stiffness - most of them drawbacks imo. Examples of a larger short cup include medium mini Meluna and large Fleurcup. Now, there's a massive difference between those two, the Fleur is wider and longer so it holds twice as much. But it is known to sit nicely around low cervices, so it might be worth a try, especially if you're looking for super duper capacity.

Something to read about your other issue with your Diva : http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2091967.html
If it's too long, try flipping it inside out to shorten it, this might make it more comfortable, and who knows ? you might be able to use it that way !

Edited at 2012-11-13 12:35 pm (UTC)
Beanihatepickles on November 13th, 2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
I actually have quite a light flow most of the time, so capacity isn't really a concern of mine. The reason I want to try a smaller cup is that the Diva just feels quite bulky to me... Once it is in and open, I can't move it at all (up, down, or circular) without squeezing it to make it smaller. I can't imagine using one even larger. As for grips, I don't think that will be an issue either, if I try a LadyCup, and actually the fact that it's body is softer appeals to me for comfort reasons. I'm thinking trial and error might be the best way for me to go, I could be wrong about my assumptions.
juliiie87juliiie87 on November 13th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
Sure, the Lunette will be less bulky (and also much shorter), so that's a good thing for you to try, but on the other hand, it will be the same stiffness as your Diva and dang! I can't believe I didn't mention my motto : softness is usually what makes a cup most comfortable. I mean, vaginas are usually closed onto themselves, but they are flexible and able to adapt to anything, from a pinky to a penis, and cups aren't much different, but the difference lies in their softness.

The Ladycup is supposed to be softer, indeed, but many users have reported the rim is actually quite stiff, especially in the small, while the base is fairly soft. Go figure... Meluna soft, Si-bell and my own Cuplee are currently the softer cups available. Fleurcup & Shecup come next. See this chart & Melissa's reviews on the same blog : http://menstrualcupinfo.wordpress.com/cup-stiffness-comparison-chart/

And about moving and twisting the cup around ? Why would you want to ? If that's just to follow the Diva instructions, just ignore them ! There's no need to twist your cup to tell it's open, and actually that would ruin any seal you had going, which also explains why the cup isn't keen to move around. In fact that's a logical result of vaginas adapting to whatever you insert inside them, they create a seal around it ! Now, when you want to remove the cup for whatever reason, you need to pinch it and alter its shape, that's how it works... You'd need to have a very firm cup for it not to lose its shape when you grab it and attempt to twist it. That doesn't sound appealing in terms of comfort, right ?

You say the Diva feels bulky to you, other first-timers say their vagina is too tiny for any cup... well usually that's out of fear and stressing out, which leads to an anatomical factor : your vagina is only as loose as you let it be. Part of learning how to use a cup for me, has been learning how to actively relax the muscles surrounding the opening. For me, that feels a lot like bearing down /pushing to use the bathroom. Position can also help a lot : lying on your back or sitting on the toilet are big favourites for most people. Cups need room and relaxed tissues to unfold and expand, and when you tighten your muscles, there's less room for a cup, your fingers or whatever you're trying to insert.

Edited at 2012-11-13 06:36 pm (UTC)
Beanihatepickles on November 13th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
I was originally considering getting a softer cup than the Lunette, actually. (Thank you for the link, I actually used that chart and others, and many photo comparisons and videos in my decision-making process.) It does seem like softer could be more comfortable, but I'm not sure if maybe the softness could be contributing to the Diva not ending up open and in the right place? I might find that the Lunette is too stiff for me once I exhaust the width issue, but I figured getting one the same stiffness (as I don't *think* that is my problem with the Diva) would help me to narrow down what my cup needs actually are. :)

When I mentioned moving the cup around, I'm just referring to getting it into place and the fact that once it is inside of me I can't move it at *all*. I hear lots of people talking about being able to spin theirs (either to open it up or for removal) or slide it up into place once it's open, etc. But mine just gets wedged in there immediately. :/ And believe me, I have tried many positions, and I have the art of relaxing the muscles down. I have tried countless times over the years to get the cup thing mastered, but I'm pretty sure my biggest issue is that I have a very small anatomy. I didn't think that could have been the case at first, but I suppose it makes sense since everything else on me is tiny...

If Lunette is also uncomfortable, perhaps I will try the soft MeLuna. Maybe it's silly, but my hesitation with that brand is that they kind of look... cheap? Less safe? More mass produced? I'm not sure how to describe that, but then again it's very hard to determine just from internet pictures and videos. Have you tried them yourself? If stiffness is in fact an issue, I don't know if the rim of the LadyCup would be a problem or not, to be honest. I might do okay with a stiffer rim and softer body. Ugh, trial and error... the only way I ever end up learning. Lol. Thanks so much for your help and advice!
juliiie87juliiie87 on November 13th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
It's a fact that your vagina might be short, too short for a Diva anyway which is the longest cup. That should be easy to determine by reaching for your cervix. If you can't, then let's assume it's just slightly longer than your fingers. I just don't buy into the idea that it's a specific width. Some virgins use large cups, I use a medium-large cup and never had a child, so unless there's a medical condition involved, most people should be able to.

Have you read the post about suction ? it could be that the cup creates too strong a suction, you'll want to relieve that asap by pushing the cup away from your flesh (or your flesh away from the cup) to let air in there, cause there usually is very little to none, and the cup needs it to expand. The way most people get their cup in place is with a kegel, or a gentle push, but if it doesn't move then it is where it needs to be, and even if not, it should ride up on its own eventually, if there is room that is (your vag is only a certain length, perhaps too short for a Diva right side out). Other people vag's may differ, obviously.

I have tried Melunas, one of my 2 cups is a medium soft and I like it just as much as the other. It is a different material than silicone, but reportedly just as safe. It has a faculty to adapt to the shape of your body, which makes some people freak out that the cup may be "loosing its shape", I find it kinda cool actually. They have a different design style and bright colors, so I get where the "cheap" feeling comes from... also it's a german company and maybe their marketing isn't as polished as Diva or Lunette... meh, if I wanted marketing, I'd be buying Tampax still. But as far as I know, many people here like and trust them.

Edited at 2012-11-13 10:22 pm (UTC)
Beanihatepickles on November 13th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I did read that post about suction. Thank you for that link. :) Whenever I feel suction I do reach a finger in there and allow air in so that it can expand, the problem is just that every time I push the cup upward to get it into place, it suctions a bit again (to the wall or whatever it's leaning toward), and when it's high enough in to not be sticking out of me, my finger can't reach up to the rim anymore to effectively let air in. So it's hard for me to get it all the way inside without having that suction. My longest finger is actually shorter than the length of the Diva Cup. :/ I'm hoping that perhaps my biggest issue is actually with the air holes, and the larger holes of the Lunette might help me with this suction issue. I have tried expanding the holes in my Diva, but I was unsuccessful (it actually started to rip when I tried). I'm wondering if maybe my was flawed somehow, because air does not flow through the holes very easily at all. My Lunette should be here Friday, so we'll see if that makes a difference. :)

Thanks for you input on the MeLunas, I will definitely think more about trying those out.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on November 13th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
Rather than buying cups "because they're pretty," use the size charts and side-by-side comparison photos to figure out what size/shape cups would fit/suit you best. Use what you know and like about the cups you have and actual dimensions as well as shape and stiffness. There are many charts and links in the Community FAQ.

And as suggested, try flipping your Diva inside out. That often fixes fitment problems with that (long) cup.
Beanihatepickles on November 13th, 2012 05:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I actually have been doing nothing but the things you suggested for the past three days. Because I'm not sure what my specific issue is, I am planning to just try the ones that appeal to me based on what I do know might help. I have not, however, tried flipping the Diva inside-out yet. I think the issue might be with the circumference of the rim though, in addition to the length. Which is why I am buying one slightly narrower, and I will see if that makes it easier or harder and go from there.