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03 March 2013 @ 06:37 pm

Hi! The name is Courtney. I've been watching this community for years now and as my title states, I'm a first-time user of menstrual cups.

I realize that there have been recent posts about painful removal but I think my issue is different. I'm going to give a bit of a back story that may help.

Up until about mid-December, I thought it would take a LONG time to insert anything into my vagina. I'm 22. I have had issues with penetration up until a few months ago. For a while I thought I had vaginismus. Maybe I did have it. I don't know.
After four attempts (over the years) for a pap smear, a gynecologist was able to insert the speculum. I only flinched when she attempted to open it. I was pretty proud of myself, given the fact that I couldn't even insert a finger inside of my vagina without feeling pain. This gynecologist suggested that I try tampons. I bought some organic cotton tampons and my experience wasn't all that great-they weren't as absorbent as I would have liked and I knew it was there. So, since I am going to Costa Rica for a month and will be living with roommates for a 2 months this summer, I wanted to try my hand at menstrual cups. I have been using cloth pads for years and I've grown tired of them.

I ordered the Moon Cup by  Keeper since I had previously ordered it in the past and I liked how soft it was. Insertion on the first day of my period was not an issue.  Subsequent insertions haven't been so bad. I did have a few times where it popped open before I was ready. Yikes! Wearing it hasn't been an issue-until today where I'm feeling really uncomfortable but I think that's due to the painful removals.

Removals have been a nightmare. The day after my longest removal time, I could feel pain in my butt and my arms-probably from all the tensing I was doing during removal. =/ The longest it's taken me to remove it is over an hour. Considering the fact that I need to be studying for a mid-term and doing a lit review for my university job, an hour, TO ME, is a lot of time. The biggest issue seems to be the rim-getting it out. I have inserted a finger or two and tried to reach the rim but I can't. I eventually get one side of the rim out and then I'm able to sort of fold it more and get it out. It's just getting to that point that takes forever. It's also very painful. It's not my cervix that's the issue-at least I don't think it is. It seems to be the entrance of my vagina that's experiencing the most pain. I hope this makes sense.

I'm wondering if I should get the Meluna soft, as I'm assuming a softer rim would help with removal. I'm also open to other tips, so I don't have to buy another menstrual cup. I've kept inserting and dealing with the painful removal because I really want to get the hang of this.

teacupcake89 on March 4th, 2013 06:23 pm (UTC)
I would try putting some lube or coconut oil at the entrance to help with removal soreness and use both hands!

As you have realised already you'll get loads quicker with practice, removal will be loads easier once your technique improves! :) you might not need another cup, I would continue with your mooncup for a couple more cycles and see if things improve.

once you're through the learning curve then have a look for a softer cup/one with a thinner rim as the mooncup's thick rim is what makes it difficult to refold for removal/uncomfortable.

fleurcup/si-bell/cuplee are all options you could consider compare them next to your cup in the side by side photos with how much stem is left on your mooncup to judge how long your new cup needs to be: http://menstrualcups.friendhood.net/f52-moderator-s-photo-library
lvetodaylezlvetodaylez on March 4th, 2013 06:37 pm (UTC)
I'll try lube or coconut oil next time.
I use both hands. =/ I sometimes have to alternate hands because one gets a cramp. I definitely appreciate the tip.

I'll keep at it with the Moon Cup but I'm looking at the Meluna, Lunette, and Fleurcup as options as well. Of course not all three-only one will win. ;)

I just want something with a rim that isn't too thick or too stiff.

Edited at 2013-03-04 06:40 pm (UTC)
juliiie87juliiie87 on March 4th, 2013 08:30 pm (UTC)
I <3 my Cuplee for how darn soft it is, just putting this out there and popping open is not an issue since I found the half diamond fold (which also happens to be tiny). Ditto with my soft Meluna & labia fold, it just works beautifully.

That being said, tips for removal : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLPBZz3uJEg (yes it's long but good... feel free to skip the first third or so).

Another tip you may have come across here is the "hot-dog in a bun" method, in which your longest finger does the hot-dog and the cup mimics the bun, basically you squish it flat with one finger and drag it out this way. Bonus points if you can progressively bring your finger to the top of the rim as you drag it out, and form a loose punch down, but that's tricky, I'll admit. Do you make sure to stay loose and relaxed through the whole process ? Do you bear down ? Are you lubricated enough for all that vagina wrestling ? Other than that... Idk, I just prefer softer cups.
lvetodaylezlvetodaylez on March 5th, 2013 03:16 am (UTC)
Ha ha. I watched that video at least 7-10 times during my 4 day cycle.
I did try the hot dog in the bun method and I think this is the method that eventually worked BUT getting to that point was the difficult part. I can't really explain it.
I TRY to stay relaxed. I really don't notice much difference between being relaxed or being tense. I do try to bear down and I was definitely lubricated. I think being lubricated helped. The rim is the biggest issue. I think up to a certain point only so much bearing down helps.

I'm thinking a softer cup is going to be my best bet if the Moon Cup gives me more problems next cycle. I don't want to order a new cup just yet but I know which two I'm deciding between.
I use the punch down method for insertion. Would that be an issue with a soft cup?
juliiie87juliiie87 on March 5th, 2013 12:06 pm (UTC)
It depends on the cup, for instance Fleurcup pops open very easily due to its flared rim, but mostly I tend to avoid the punch down because the folded part cannot be reached to help it unfold.

Yeah, bearing down is just so you can bring it within reach, then you can reach for the cup with your finger, and once it's almost coming out, you should be able to use two fingers to sort of refold the cup.
pinkmathpinkmath on March 4th, 2013 08:52 pm (UTC)
Don't use coconut oil! It might damage your cup. Use a water based lube.

When I use my Keeper Moon Cup I have to do the hotdog bun method.

I got a Fleurcup after a year of the Moon Cup and I love it. The rim is so soft. But pops open easily b/c the base is thicker.
juliiie87juliiie87 on March 4th, 2013 09:12 pm (UTC)
I don't think oil damages silicone, only silicone based lubes do (and any that have something -icon in their ingredients list). Oil damages rubber though.
pinkmathpinkmath on March 4th, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC)
Ooooh! So the oil only damages the Keeper cup b/c it's latex. Had a memory frizzal thought it was both the Keeper and the Keeper Moon Cup. Thank you for correcting me.

Sorry OP I guess I should have double checked juliie87's comment from this post: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/3011425.html

Moon Cup is fine to use with coconut oil.
teacupcake89 on March 4th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
coconut oil won't damage a silicone cup, vaseline and silicone based lubes can degrade the silicone though. plus coconut oil is naturally antifungal/bacterial so good if KY/other lubes cause yeast infections :)
tinkerandcrabtinkerandcrab on March 4th, 2013 11:08 pm (UTC)
Gotta put in a vote for my favorite: Small Lunette! Keeper Moon Cup was also my first cup, and I, like you OP, had a very hard time with it. Small Lunette was like the day to KMC's night! Though those other cups sound very good, too.

For what it's worth, I decided to pop in the KMC last cycle to see if my problems with it were endemic to the cup or just a symptom of my learning curve. The verdict? Not the learning curve, it's the cup. My vagina just does not like that cup, for whatever reason.
lvetodaylezlvetodaylez on March 5th, 2013 03:18 am (UTC)
Glad to see I'm not alone.
I know everyone is different and what may work for one, may not work for all.
I really appreciate your input. =)

It really is between the Lunette and the Fleurcup. I think the deciding factor will be aesthetics and price.