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I'm putting together a sort of "gift pack" for a friend's daughter who is just a few years younger than me and seems like she might benefit from a menstrual cup. M., is in her mid-twenties, just had her first child, and like her mom (my coworker) has PCOS and has a horrible time with disposable bloodcatchers. Her husband is in grad school and she works for the same retail chain we do, so they're a little strapped for cash too, which means blowing through super ultra mega heavy pads and tampons at the rate of a pack and a half a month could end up taking away from other important stuff for their family. Once I started talking with her mom about my cup, she had the idea to split the 2 pack deal at Fleurcup so I save a little on shipping since I need a new one anyway, and M. gets to try one risk-free.

What I'd like to do is put together a little explanation, directions, and resource packet for her so it's not just some weird and potentially scary/freaky/gross thing her mom came up with. I know the basic care instructions will be important and probably some kind of guide for different folds and opening tactics, but what else should she know? Its been so long since I got my Diva Cup, I can't remember how figuring it out actually went beyond lots of "open cup, take out cup, cut off more stem, repeat".

So, what do you know or have you learned since getting your cup that you wish you'd known before you started?
mood_swinger23 on March 4th, 2013 08:02 am (UTC)
3 am so I'm a bit braindead... but since you are making a "kit", I recommend throwing in some cloth pads/liners too if it's not too much. That way, she can have the option of choosing which she'd rather use and/or, she can have soft cloth liners for cup backup instead of having to use disposables.

Maybe add tips/tricks?

Like do a mini FAQ sheet?
How to remove, how to take out, how to avoid pain after removal, how to clean, what to do in case of leaks? various folds, a link to this forum, etc?

That's all I've got for now. I may come up with more things tomorrow!
neumeindilneumeindil on March 5th, 2013 07:25 am (UTC)
teacupcake89 on March 4th, 2013 11:18 am (UTC)
a suggestion to use lube, perhaps include some KY with the cup.
make sure to aim cup towards the cervix etc.
positions to try for insertion.
links to Lunette's youtube folds video.
the tips in the getting cups to pop open FAQ.
how to clear the airholes by squeezing water through them.
tips for dealing with removal, public toilets etc.
cleaning/stain removal tips (baby shampoo, milton tablets, white vinegar, surgical spirit, bicarb of soda, sunlight, boiling water etc)
neumeindilneumeindil on March 5th, 2013 07:26 am (UTC)
Thank you.
inazumarionrhodinazumarionrhod on March 4th, 2013 12:10 pm (UTC)
I would definitely link her to this site if you can. I wouldn't even have a cup right now if I hadn't stumbled across this place, but I'm pretty sure I'd be lost without it.

Hmm... Not sure if that cup comes with instructions of its own or not, but if it does you might want to forewarn that the cup often does not "sit low" like the instructions say. I read otherwise before I really got around to using my cup, but putting it in and coming back a few hours later to find you can barely reach the stem for some reason would probably be a little freaky if you didn't know that's the way it's supposed to be.

Also, most of us did a lot of reading up on cups before we bought one ourselves, so some background info would be nice--like the fact that it's eco-friendly, quite safe to use, lasts 5 to 10 years? And probably also the fact that there are many shapes, sizes, and styles to choose from if she ever feels she might like something different in the future. :)

Edited at 2013-03-04 12:21 pm (UTC)
neumeindilneumeindil on March 5th, 2013 07:21 am (UTC)
The history lesson will be the main part of it, I think. Luckily the Fleurcup site has a multi language pdf available already. :) Thanks for the input.
juliiie87juliiie87 on March 4th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
Could you send it in an e-mail form, through her mom maybe ? The Fleurcup deals is an awesome idea, I got a few friends to benefit from them too ! Here goes a few links & advice I have found helpful to send them.

Melissa's channel on youtube, she has very detailed instructions, mostly these :

and this one with detailed instructions for removal : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLPBZz3uJEg
The folds : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt6L-POE-b0
This is more detailed : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep5hh0W-nFw

And Fleurcup has tons of instructions translated into english here : http://www.fleurcup.com/Fleurcup-Notice.pdf and here with pics : http://www.fleurcup.com/en/fleurcup/questionsanswers

- Show her at least the punch down, C-fold & labia fold, just because I think this one is absolutely foolproof with the Fleurcup and similarly shaped cups. If the cup won't unfold, she needs to relax and introduce air inside so the cup fills up and expands.

- Explain that she doesn't have to shove it all the way back (horizontally, not vertically), just get the whole rim in, and make sure it unfolds, so she can tell with her finger that it's rounded and not still squished all folded. Facing the folded part towards the floor/ the anus is what makes it easier for me.

- Suggest lube or the cold water trick to help with insertion/popping open. And that the cup will work as long as it's unfolded and pointed towards her cervix, so if it's not working, she must be missing it.

- Let her know she can try different positions for insertion, for instance sitting on the toilet or lying down on her bed. Also that she needs to relax her muscles for insertion & removal to make manoeuvring easier.

- Suggest refolding (hot-dog in a bun or punch down) to lessen the size of the rim upon removal.

- Advise wearing a pantyliner or light pad until she gets the hang of it, also let her know that a little bit of leakage is normal since cups don't absorb, but it should subside as the fluid that was already sitting there leaves the vaginal walls. That's why it's good advice to wear the cup as soon as she suspects her period is coming.

- Make sure she knows she needs to break the seal, not pull on the stem! With one finger, or by oinching the bottom (I find pinching easier with this one.)

...that's all I can think of for now.

Oh yeah, that there's a learning curve, that she shouldn't freak out, but that cups are patient and she'll get it eventually. Also, if she does freak out, you or us here are always available for experienced advice ! :)

Edited at 2013-03-04 08:18 pm (UTC)
neumeindilneumeindil on March 5th, 2013 07:19 am (UTC)
Lots of good points. :) Thanks!
pinkmathpinkmath on March 4th, 2013 08:55 pm (UTC)
Water based lube

Link to:
This site
Melissa's cup youtube channel.
tinkerandcrabtinkerandcrab on March 4th, 2013 11:24 pm (UTC)
-Drop underwear down to the ankles!
-If you're not a waxer (I'm definitely not!), trim pubic hairs around the labia to a "crew cut", so they don't get in the way/get grabbed while navigating the learning curve!
neumeindilneumeindil on March 5th, 2013 07:17 am (UTC)
Good thinking. I keep everything more or less "clear cut" so I never would have thought of that!
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on March 5th, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
The less said, the better. If you "over-teach" it, it will seem over-complicated. It's just a cup. Let her think it's easy and it will be. ;o)
neumeindilneumeindil on March 5th, 2013 07:16 am (UTC)
Ultimately this is my goal, since they're really not complicated. But, I don't know how squeamish she is, so I want to stress the idea that they're safe, easy, etc. most of the time. My biggest pitfall with my cup is that it's just the wrong size for me, but obviously everybody's different, so I'd like to help her be prepared for some of the other weirdnesses that might crop up too. :)