Okay, so I've been interested in making the switch to a cup for about six years now. Mostly because I want to get away from the chemicals and waste, but also because it is SO hard to find light tampons! I am 27 and have been using tampons since my cycle started when I was 15, except for a recent 2.5 year hiatus from any cycle after giving birth to my daughter.
When my flow reappeared, I decided to make the switch. I had been lurking around on here for awhile and finally decided on a soft MeLuna cup. Upon visiting their website (and reading all of the recommendations and taking the sizing quiz), I decided on a small classic with a ring stem. Let me explain; yes, I have given birth, am sexually active (sometimes...it's hard to make time with a toddler!) and am 27. But I have always been of small frame (I am 5'7", 105lb) and, from what I've been told my my husband (and ex-boyfriends), my vagina is tighter than normal - I still frequently experience pain during intercourse, even postpartum. I also have a very light flow (I use about 2 - 4 light tampons each cycle, and that many only because I don't want to leave them in for too long, but they come out somewhat dry and cause irritation). I went with the classic instead of soft also based on MeLuna's recommendations - I have well-toned vaginal muscles and didn't want to have any trouble with popping the cup open. I thought long and hard about my decision because I really don't want to have to invest in more than one cup; by my calculations, it will take me 3.03 years worth of tampon purchases to pay for the cup.
So yesterday morning I woke up at 6:15am to find my flow had started, so after my shower I inserted the cup for the first time. I never tried any "dry" run after reading on here that they weren't very helpful. I didn't have a problem getting the cup in, but I did have a really hard time trying to pop it open. For one thing, I really can't get two fingers around the cup to spin or reshape it. That process was painful! I finally felt some air get in, but the cup still felt squished flat. Also, I've been told by a nurse that my cervix faces toward my right side, so I tried to get the cup oriented in that direction, but I guess I am not sure if I did it right or not.
I had to be on campus for 11 hours yesterday, and the general experience was not pleasant. First, the cup leaked. Each time I removed it, I could definitely feel that I was breaking a suction (and I surprisingly did not have much trouble with removal) - I'm not sure how, since I never actually felt the cup "pop" open. The cup was never full, usually just about 1/2 tsp. or so would be in there, with almost an equal amount having leaked out. I absolutely cannot stand pads or pantiliners, so I had to pleasure of wearing damp, bloody panties all day. And constantly feeling that "leaking" feeling. Four times I went to the rest room on campus (which is kind of gross, so I avoid it if I can) to remove, rinse and reinsert the cup - I brought my water bottle in the stall with me for rinsing. I tried a different fold every time, but nothing would allow me to pop open the cup. After some fiddling around, accompanied with pain, I would feel air go in, but the cup would still be squished flat. The length of the cup did seem perfect, though...it didn't stick out or feel like it went in too far.
But now for the worst part: the cup caused major, debilitating cramps. They radiated up into my ribs all the way to my breasts, and just as high on my back. Not like a pressure on my bladder or bowels, but actual, severe cramping in the entire abdomen. And after a few hours, I got incredibly nauseous, which just worsened with time. I normally have no cramping or illness whatsoever during my cycle. When I finally got home and took the cup out, I was in so much pain I just had to lay down in the fetal position for the rest of the night. I threw up several times last night as well. (I should note that I have experienced similar severe pain and vomiting after intercourse if my husband's penis hits my cervix, but that usually subsides after 20 minutes or so.) The light tampon that I have put in place to replace the cup is now causing only minor cramping, but I normally do not get any cramping! It's been about 16 hours since I removed the cup and I still feel weak and too nauseous to eat. I am actually staying home from school today, unfortunately. Now, it's possible that I somehow suddenly came down with the flu last night ('tis the season!), but even if that caused the vomiting, the cramping and pain was definitely cause by the cup.
So, I feel kind of helpless right now...I really want the cup to work out for me, and I will consider buying another one if necessary. But it seems like the cup is simultaneously too stiff (causing pain) and too soft (unable to pop open). I am worried that a larger size would only cause the pain to be worse. I know it's only been one day and I should probably try again now, since I am home, and pay more attention to how I am inserting the cup, but I am quite terrified of experiencing more pain and vomiting. Does anyone have any suggestions or encouraging words? I really don't want to give up, but I am just not brave enough to try this again right now.