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21 February 2013 @ 12:54 pm
(I know this post is long; I'm new to LJ, and I'm trying to use the cut as suggested. If it doesn't work, my apologies! >.<)

Hello, everyone! I would like to start by saying that it is through this community, which I found by a period-related Google search, that first introduced me to menstrual cups, and all the positive experiences convinced me to give them a try, myself! So thank you all for being so friendly and helpful; you have me the incentive to try something better. :)

Now, I have received my first cup and I started using it at the beginning of my current cycle. I did manage to insert the cup and try it out a bit beforehand, and I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get in. So far I've been very happy with it overall (definitely better that changing a super plus tampon every three to four hours!), but I do have some questions about it. I have looked through many posts, but couldn't find quite what I needed. I'm actually a bit overwhelmed, attempting to assess all these factors and things by myself; I admit I am not as familiar with my body as I should be, but I'm willing to learn. I could just use some starting pointers...

I'm 22 years old and have never given birth. Although I'm a virgin in the voluntary, consensual sense, I was sexually abused as a child and a teen, so there have likely been internal changes I'm not fully aware of. I have a heavy flow, especially for the first few days of my cycle. Oddly enough, I do have times when tampons I'm using begin to leak, but I remove them to find only one side of it with any blood on it. I'm not sure if this is because of my shape, how I insert, or some combination of the two, but those could be related to some of the issues I'm having with the cup, as well.

I have the Diva Cup, model 1. A tiny bit of trimming fixed the irritating stem issue, so that much is good. I did find that I may need something with even more capacity for heavy days, because I once filled it to the brim in 6 hours! But I'm not sure that I'm always placing it properly. I find when inserting I tend to start at an angle and straighten out later. I also have to say I really have NO idea how far in it's supposed to go. I have yet to feel it pop open or seal or anything; I just tend to feel around the body of it until I'm assured it's not dented anywhere. It rides up as I wear it, and past few times I've found the stem to be lodged "around a corner," up and to the left, and I can barely get it out. Kegel exercises don't do much until I get it unstuck, because it doesn't want to move. I know the Diva Cup is one of the longest cups, so if I'm having trouble reaching it, I think I'm inserting too far. It takes my entire middle finger to reach my cervix (four inches or so), and I'm not sure if that's high or normal or what. I have a small frame and I'm not even 5'3".

I find that when it leaks the blood seems to have been filling the cup from the side; I can see it the trail of it spilling down the inside. Odds are I'm putting it in crooked, and I don't know how to go about correcting this (and apparently I've been doing this with tampons for a while, if that's the case). The cup does put some pressure on my bladder, but it's nothing I can't put up with--and I'd put up with even more pressure from a firmer cup if it meant popping open would be easier. The MeLuna and the Lunette both appeal to me from what I've read, but I need to figure out what I'm doing wrong with Diva Cup first. The idea of a soft cup is really nice, because removing a full cup has been somewhat painful, but I know those don't pop open well, either.

So... Does anyone have any suggestions as to insertion, "sizing up" my body, capacity, types of cups, or anything? I'd really appreciate your help. :)
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on February 21st, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC)
ouch about your experience. it shouldn't have such a significant effect, though.
also, many virgins use wide cups just fine, for a heavy flow or due to a low cervix (like me).
here's an overview of the highest capacity cups http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2761581.html

as for the cut, it's your text that should go between the tags - not the "read more" words.
inazumarionrhodinazumarionrhod on February 21st, 2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you for the "cut" tip! I think I tried that first, but it didn't look right when I previewed it... Anyway... :P

I'm not scared about more width, really; I am a bit worried about less length, though! I think it's more while I'm asleep it gets stuck up there, so once I've got the hang of putting it in properly, something a bit shorter probably wouldn't be too bad.

I think a different stem might be more useful; the idea of the ring really appeals to me. :)
juliiie87juliiie87 on February 21st, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
Here's a comparison of all (or almost?) existing cups, including length and capacity, plus links to pictures and a stiffness chart : http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/

As you'll see, there are a few higher capacity cups that are fairly long as well, for instance the large Yuuki which comes in soft & firm. Btw, it's not true that "soft cups are difficult to pop open", at least not for me (soft cups are all I use), only for people who are used to firmer cups forcefully slapping their vaginal walls open with any fold, anytime, any position. To keep my rant short, there is a learning curve with ANY cup, and soft cups may require some finesse, but ultimately that's not a real issue. And -Oh- the comfort of not feeling them ! ;)

It sounds like you have a high cervix, so good on you for getting a Divacup, although there are some brands with a slightly longer stem, it's still one of the longest in terms of cup length. It could also be that your cervix is tilted to one side or off centered : it's not an issue as long as you insert the cup in such an angle that it'll end up sitting (o) around your cervix, so it can collect everything. Since you don't mention leakage, it sounds like it's working all right ! :)

Insertion : try different folds and angle them differently, especially facing the floor : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt6L-POE-b0

Edited at 2013-02-21 06:49 pm (UTC)
inazumarionrhodinazumarionrhod on February 21st, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your help! I'd been looking at that size chart a little while ago, and figured I might have a high cervix, too. I wish it were easier for me to tell whether the cup's open, though. Am I supposed to be able to feel it opening? I've read the Diva's relatively soft... Does that have any effect on how it feels when it pops open?
juliiie87juliiie87 on February 21st, 2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
In fact the Diva is rated as medium stiffness on the charts. But it does have tiny little holes that make it more difficult for it to fill up with air and expand. One trick is to NOT insert it as far as you can, not until it's open anyway, so it's easier to let air reach the top of the cup.

To tell if it's open... well just feel around with your finger, either it's round or you'll feel a bulge where the folded part is. I sometimes HEAR a whooshing suctiony sound when my cup fills with air, or *feel a pressure against my rectum (yep...cause that's the side my cup pops open best), but basically I always check with my finger.

Edited at 2013-02-21 07:28 pm (UTC)
inazumarionrhodinazumarionrhod on February 21st, 2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
Ah, okay--the chart I looked at before (the only one I'd ever seen with stiffness yet) rated it at a 2 out of 10 (1 being softest), and I remember thinking how awful a 10 would be... LOL. The person who did it had only ever used the Diva twice, though, and she'd admitted she hadn't left it in long or really liked it, so... Yeah. :P Medium stiffness makes more sense.

I have noticed the tiny holes. I usually get them cleaned out each time, but I'm never confident that they stay clear as I'm putting the cup in there; they're so small that pretty much everything can plug them up. I might try making them bigger, and I'll make sure the next cup I try has different holes so I can compare them. :)

I guess that's what I'm doing--at least when I'm doing it right, LOL--so I'll just play it by ear. It's been in since before I posted earlier, and no leaks so far! Guess I'm learning, after all.

Looking at all the options, I think a large MeLuna soft with a ring stem might be what I try next. Not too terribly short, but wider with more capacity and soft for friendlier removal. The MeLuna just LOOKS friendly, LOL. I don't know why. XD

Thank you again for your help!
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on February 21st, 2013 11:34 pm (UTC)
there's very little difference in the capacity though... but if the diva's length is okay for you, you could try a meluna XL. if you want something shorter, get a large fleurcup.
and the stiffness sounds scary but it's very subtle actually. i was wary of stiff cups but then i happened to get a meluna classic and i don¨t feel it at all!
inazumarionrhodinazumarionrhod on February 21st, 2013 11:57 pm (UTC)
That little difference in capacity could be enough for me, but I might try a classic XL. Looks like the dimensions are similar to the Diva except for being wider, which sounds good to me.

Don't want anything much shorter than what I've got now, though; overnight the cup goes pretty far up... I don't want any problems there, LOL. The length of this cup seems to work well, besides, so I'm probably in the right length range now.

I'm glad the stiffer cups aren't too scary, LOL. I'd like to experiment with different levels of firmness in cups, and knowing the differences aren't too drastic will give me the courage to try something firmer. :)

Thank you very much for your help! You've both been so friendly and informative! :3
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on February 22nd, 2013 01:44 am (UTC)
why a classic? if the size is the same, classic and soft have identical dimensions.
well if we do the maths then at best a large meluna would give you 20% more capacity and an XL one or a large fleurcup would give 50% more capacity. at worst, the difference is like 1-2 ml :D :S
edit: oh i need to sleep. you just want to experiment :) hmm tbh i think it's better not to experiment with too many factors at once. for example if your new cup feels too large you won't be sure whether it's due to the width or stiffness...

aw you're welcome ♥ i love cups ♥♥♥

Edited at 2013-02-22 01:51 am (UTC)
juliiie87juliiie87 on February 22nd, 2013 02:32 am (UTC)
"for example if your new cup feels too large you won't be sure whether it's due to the width or stiffness..."

Yeah that... best to avoid big AND firm if you can help it, imo, because "ouch!". Sorry it's way past my bed time too... :p
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on February 22nd, 2013 11:28 am (UTC)
well, not necessarily ouch, but it's better to do experimenting for the sake of experimenting when you already have one or two cups you're satisfied with. Will be frustrating if you realize that the shape/dimensions are great but you want a softer cup - especially as it's so easy with meluna. again, i'm not saying it WILL happen, but for now better safe than sorry.
inazumarionrhodinazumarionrhod on February 22nd, 2013 01:40 pm (UTC)
Ah, you guys are probably right about that. I was looking at the MeLuna page and realized the XL users don't get glittery options, either, so I thought, "Well, if I can't get the blue glittery one, it has to be pink!"--which would mean going with Soft, anyway, haha! (Clear cups bore me... What can I say? :D)

Oh, and when I replaced the cup last night, I did feel the air going by it when I ran my finger around it, and it's been in since then--a full 12 hours!--so I must be doing something right. I tried out a bunch of folds without inserting, too, just for the heck of it; when I did the S fold the cup jumped right out of my fingers and almost landed in the toilet, though, LOL! So I said, "Stop screwing around. You can play with it later" (:P) and used the Origami fold to insert it, which worked well. (That little cup's too springy for the S fold... I can tell, haha.)

Thank you both, once again, for all your help! I'm really starting to ♡ my cup, too! :)