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Hello, everyone!

I am in my 20's and have never had children. I have very heavy periods and was diagnosed with endometriosis in my teens. To be succinct, my periods are a disastrous affair each month with horrid cramps and much of my money wasted on boxes of pads. I hardly ever use tampons, as I find them uncomfortable and unreliable. They usually leak. I go through even the largest pads very quickly on the first two days of my period.

Menstrual cups have intrigued me for a while now, so I purchased a Gladrags Mooncup (size B) locally last night. My period is due to start anytime. I'm afraid my purchase was on impulse, and I didn't do very much research. Now, after finding this community, I am very nervous about my decision. I may have purchased the wrong cup... what do you think?

I don't know how long of a cup I would need. I tried to measure with my finger, but I'm just not quite sure... I will say that sexual intercourse is usually a bit uncomfortable for me, and it took me a very long time to learn how to insert tampons for the first time. My body is small, and I'm assuming my vagina probably is as well.

Okay, I admit... I am getting really nervous about my cup now. I haven't tried to insert it yet. I want to learn to use a cup, but at the same time, I am a bit worried about some of the things I have read.

I guess my primary question is whether or not the Gladrags Mooncup in a size B might be a poor choice for me. Do I need something smaller, longer, shorter, softer? I am overwhelmed! It sounds like the Mooncup isn't necessarily one of the more comfortable cups. Should I try selling it since I haven't used it and get something else?

Thank you so much! This is truly a wonderful community.

juliiie87juliiie87 on March 12th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC)
Well, to be perfectly honest the Mooncup is not the one I'd suggest for someone with heavy, painful periods, but now that you have the cup, you might as well try using it ! Worst case, it'll be your starter cup, best scenario you'll love it and use it on lighter days or in combination with pads to maximize capacity. As a bonus, the Mooncup should pop open very easily due to its firm rim, so that's one teething trouble out of the way.

If I were to recommend a cup for you, I'd look for as high a capacity as you can accomodate, which is mostly a question of length (I recommend a wide cup as a default choice for a heavy flow). If you get a lot of cramping, as most endo sufferers do, I'd put in a vote for one of the softest cups as well, so it'll create minimal pressure against your insides. So basically that's large Si-bell and Fleurcup in the short-ish range, or XL meluna soft or Yuuki Soft in the long range. Those are just a few example of high capacity cups, though, feel free to do your own research, there's also several new-ish brands you might be interested in : http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/
Sayga: sp-camerasayga on March 12th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
The first comment is great advice, so I'll just add a little about my experience with heavy periods and using a menstrual cup. I read often that people say they only empty their cup a few times a day or complain that once it leaked at night. As a fellow heavy period sufferer, I had to learn that I cannot compare my experiences to those experiences, and you'll have to discover what your own experience is as well. I felt like I must be doing it wrong at first, because the first night of my period is very heavy and I ALWAYS leak the first night. I use cloth pads as backup, but I fill the large Diva, overflow intp the pad, and that's when I wake up. I usually have to change just the pad, sometimes everything from PJs down to the bedsheets (or including them) depending on how long I slept before being woken by the leak. Some periods, I leak two or three times in one night (or am paranoid and wake up before leaking but have to empty a full cup 2-3 times a night). It's not the cup malfunctioning; when it's full, it will overflow and it doesn't matter how well you inserted it, it's just full. A lot of sources say 35mL is the AVERAGE blood loss for a period. My periods are about 60mL a day for the first 2-3 days. It freaked me out when I was first able to start measuring and I realized how heavy mine are, but I'm just trying to say, don't freak out if it seems like a lot, and wear back up until you master the cup for YOUR cycle. Maybe you're not the anxious type and this is silly to you, but I didn't even know my periods were considered heavy until I started using the cup, so...it jarred me significantly.
teacupcake89 on March 12th, 2013 07:01 pm (UTC)
have you thought about getting a higher capacity cup? I realise your periods are super heavy but your large Diva holds 25mls to the holes, 30mls to the rim. A large Fleurcup, Si-Bell, Mami, or Yuuki hold about 30mls to the airholes and 35-37mls to the rim.

The XL Meluna holds 30 mls to the holes and a massive 42mls to the rim, which might buy you another hour or two in bed!

have you tried taking high doses of Vitamin E daily to help reduce heavy bleeding? (has got rid of my debilitating period cramps!) info here: http://www.bastyrcenter.org/content/view/373/
Gisella RavelleGisella Ravelle on November 3rd, 2013 11:04 pm (UTC)
Please look into drinking nettle infusions for anemia, menstrual pain, and heavy bleeding. I'm amazed at how well it has worked for me during my last 4 to 5 cycles. About 2 to 3 days before my period starts, I drink 2 cups daily. During my period, I drink 3 cups daily. It has greatly reduced my pain and bleeding. My hematologist confirmed that my anemia is under control as well since I started drinking the nettle infusions. No more iron infusions. Yay! Please check out Susun Weed's post which got me started on the nettle infusions. http://www.susunweed.com/How_to_make_Infusions.htm
teacupcake89 on March 12th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
Agreeing with Julie's advice above, and that you might as well give it a go! Mooncup's aren't in high demand so you won't necessarily get a sale even if it's unused. you can always use your mooncup for lighter days if you end up getting another cup for your heavy days at a later date.

try to locate your cervix beforehand as you need to aim the cup towards it, you want the cup to sit nicely underneath and knowing where it is will help with any placement issues. Whether you have a 'high' or a 'low' cervix is what most cup users choose cup length by. If you find after a period that the cup is sticking out even with the stem cut off then look for a shorter cup.

DON'T trim the stem until you've worn it for several hours/overnight and know how high the cup likes to ride up and can't reach it for removal.

Use lots of lube or coconut oil on yourself to help with insertion and experiment with different folds shown here in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep5hh0W-nFw the punchdownm triangle and 7 folds are good ones to try with your mooncup as they have a narrow insertion point and are easier to keep in position with such a thick rim.

your vagina length/size doesn't reflect the rest of you, i.e. tall people don't necessarily have long vaginas, same for short/skinny/overweight people :)

have a look at posts under the insertion and first time use tags for helpful tips in the comments! :)
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on March 12th, 2013 11:57 pm (UTC)
I also agree with those who say that since you already have a Mooncup, use it! Get through the dreaded learning curve with it and then use what you like/don't about it to figure out what you'd like in your next cup.

Because it's a low capacity cup, it will probably work better for you on your light days than heavy -- and once you get the hang of it, you might want to hold on to it for future light days. It can work for your heavy days too -- but you'll have to empty it more often than high capacity cups. FYI, I have the shorter UK version and LOVE it for my light days so don't let (for lack of a better phrase) "bad reviews" of its low capacity or flared rim scare you away.

As for being "small" external dimensions have nothing to do with internal ones. And "tight" is a function of your PC muscles. Next time, after you go pee, insert your finger and give it a little squeeze. Now that you know how to contract them on command, practice RELAXING them on command. You'll need to do that for insertion and especially removal -- but otherwise you can hold them as tightly as you normally do. Splay your knees comfortably, keep your jaw slack and don't forget to breathe. ;o)

Don't psych yourself out. Stay positive. Just go SLOWLY and be patient. If you get anxious or frustrated, put your cup away and come back to it later.
captainlonewolfcaptainlonewolf on March 13th, 2013 07:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
I appreciate all of the helpful responses!

After much deliberation, I decided to try my Mooncup today. I was so nervous about putting it in, but I must say that it was very easy, especially since I did start my period. I was worried about it hurting, but right now I can barely feel it at all, and the process of inserting it was also quite painless. Hopefully it won't be too awful to remove! I didn't seem to need to trim the stem. Right now it (the stem) is hanging outside of my vagina just a tiny bit, but it is comfortable and hasn't bothered me at all. Is that okay?

I was a bit confused about how to make sure the cup would open correctly inside of my body. I believe it popped open as soon as I put it in. Would I know if it didn't open? It was actually very difficult to keep it closed/folded as I inserted it, so as far as I know it opened as soon as I let go.

It will be interesting to see how quickly it fills, as I have been going through many pads. I do have a small pad on right now, just in case there are any leaks.

All of these years I have wasted so much money buying pads, not to mention damaging the environment -ugh! I think I may grow to love my cup!
teacupcake89 on March 13th, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank you!
yey for getting it in ok!

if the stem bothers/pokes you then trim it a little bit at a time, it it doesn't then leave it be :)

if you use both hands to keep the cup folded, one nearer the top and one near the bottom that should help keep it folded until you want it to open. the mooncup's rim does prevent this somewhat as it's so thick.

once you let go and have the cup in place, run a finger around the cup to feel that it feels round and open. you'll be able to feel if part of it is still folded in.

don't worry if you have a bit of spotting after putting the cup in, that's just the blood that was already lower down in your vagina before you put the cup in making its way out as it's already past the rim. A panty liner or black underwear should take care of it. if it starts leaking heavily then you know it's not in the right position/opened up properly!

give yourself plenty of time for removal, don't wait until you're about to go to bed! :)

well done, good luck and keep us updated! :)

Edited at 2013-03-13 08:23 pm (UTC)
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on March 13th, 2013 08:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank you!
Hurray for you!!!

If the stem is comfortable, then there's no need to do anything. I always say to get through at least one cycle with the stem intact. You can always trim it later but you can never put any back.

Good idea to back the cup up with a pad as you learn to use and trust it.

The Mooncup has a thick springy flared rim that makes it easy to pop open. It can also make it a little tricky to break the seal for removal so if you have difficulties, try enlarging the little anti-suction holes around the rim -- after you get it out, of course. ;oP 2mm = ~1/16" = ~12g body piercing punch.

Congrats! You're well on your way to success.