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01 April 2013 @ 01:05 pm
I am fairly new to cups, I on on my 4th period with the Diva cup. I've been lurking here and am doing really well with it now, in terms of leaking/confidence emptying in public bathrooms, etc. I do the finger sweep around the top edge of the cup to make sure everything is in the right place (I saw several people here mention this) and that has made all the difference. About 1 in 4 times my cervix is outside the cup--so then I just try again. On my first period, I got a really bad yeast infection--I thought--right after it. I had been using baby wipes on the cup to clean it every time I emptied it. I think that time it was actually yeast, from the wipes, and I've gone to just rinsing with clear water most of the time, maybe washing with mild (homemade) soap twice a period. Anyway, I went to the doctor and cultured negative, but had all the itching and discomfort. Diflucan (twice!) seems to have helped, but I still feel itchy after eating sugar. I just realized this cycle that what I thought was an ongoing yeast infection is maybe chafing. The inside inch or so of my skin is still irritated, and it seems to be worse with the cup in. It is also rough and kinda bumpy there. I tried turning the Diva inside out, and it is SO much better. But inside out is annoying because it is harder to remove--I can get it out by hooking a finger over the top edge, but then it spills out all over my hand--and tries to re-invert when I put it in, so there's a dimple in the bottom of it.
I'm thinking I will try and get a different cup by next cycle, and I was looking at the meluna, because that ball stem looks a lot more comfortable, and it is a lot shorter than the diva--the diva stem is often just inside the opening--but it still has those grip rings around the bottom, and I don't know if those would irritate me or not. My thought is, since it is shorter they would be higher up, so it might be better. I seem to have a pretty low cervix, I can easily reach it, at least during my period. I also have a very heavy flow, I fill the diva to overflow overnight on my heavy night, and half full-to the 1/2 ounce line-in about 3 hours on heavy days.
Thank you for any help you can provide! I've learned a ton from this board already!
thinkerjill on April 1st, 2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
Also, is there some kind of cream or something I can use inside to heal my chafed skin? Like neosporin or something? And would these damage the cup if I used them together?
teacupcake89 on April 1st, 2013 07:35 pm (UTC)
you can use coconut oil to soothe it as it's naturally antifungal and safe to use with the cup as you can use it as a lube.
m03m on April 1st, 2013 10:55 pm (UTC)
Seconding coconut oil. Amazing stuff and very vagina-friendly. Won't damage a silicone cup.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on April 1st, 2013 06:30 pm (UTC)
Google anti-candida diet. A yeast infection is often the external symptom of a digestive imbalance. And some ingredients in soaps and/or lotions can put that imbalance over the edge externally.

Compare your Diva to other cups using the size and capacity charts at the Community FAQ or ahttp://sizecharts.livejournal.com/ Also use side by side comparison photos to compare their shapes.
teacupcake89 on April 1st, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
I'm inclined to say that it was/is a yeast infection since you mention you feel itchy after eating sugar. (eating carbs aka yeasty foods or sugary foods which feed yeast are the main culprits after antibiotics for causing yeast infections!)

have a read of the causes/natural treatments and ways to prevent yeast infections here: http://wiki.vaginapagina.com/index.php?title=Yeast_Infection

if you get a shorter cup make sure you compare the capacity to the holes in the capacity charts here: http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/ as you don't want to be compromising capacity over length. so that rules out the small and medium melunas, and points towards the large or xl in soft stifness (unless you want a stiffer cup than your diva in which case go for the classic stiffness)

compare photos of other cups against side by side with your Diva here: http://menstrualcups.friendhood.net/f52-moderator-s-photo-library
pascallewest on April 1st, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
Have you looked up symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis? BV is 4 times more common than yeast infections. Anyway, worth looking into, what you have could be either of those or neither. Taking a garlic supplement, I believe, will help with both yeast and BV. I take one capsule daily. And try to nix the sugar intake as much as possible; yeast feeds on sugar and so does bacteria. (besides sweets, alcohol and starches are also included in the "sugar" category, btw)
juliiie87juliiie87 on April 1st, 2013 09:19 pm (UTC)
First things first, since you mention having a low cervix and flipping it inside out - have you tried trimming the stem off so it doesn't irritate you on that first inch ?

I second coconut oil to soothe the area and see if it improves. I'm reluctant to advise more drugs, perhaps the cream/paste version of an otc yeast treatment might help ? I've also heard of slathering plain, unsweetened yoghurt and taking probiotics to both soothe and fight off yeast.

Also your flow sounds on the "normal" side of heavy, meaning it's not uncommon to overflow a Divacup overnight. Some people invest into cloth pads to wear as back-up, or just wear regular pads as well as the cup if you're fine with them.

Speaking of other cups... There are 4 sizes Meluna, which are all different length and capacity, so exactly which one are you looking at ? The small size is tiny, so that would be a drastic loss on capacity. I think the medium holds about as much as the small Diva (I take it that's what you have?), while the large may hold somewhat more, anmd the XL brings you right back to the length of a Diva, but honestly ? A wide, bell-shaped short cup such as a large Si-bell, Fleurcup, RubyCup, etc. would provide significantly more capacity. Compare all brands and sizes here : http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/

Edited at 2013-04-01 09:20 pm (UTC)
thinkerjill on April 1st, 2013 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you all so much! I have tried the coconut oil and it is very soothing--great tip! I was worried about cutting off the stem, but I'm heading in to do it now. I thought it might leave a rough edge, or I might mess it up and go too deep or something. But inverted is annoying, and I don't want to have to deal with it inverted at school tomorrow (I teach 2 days a week).
More details about me:
I am 37, have 4 kids, in a large Diva. I was considering a large Meluna, but I will look at the other short/wide cups also. I'm having trouble fathoming that I have a low cervix, since I'm pretty tall--5'9". Maybe that's a side effect of having 4 babies though! I am also taking acidophilus sporadically. I will make more of an effort on that now, since it does seem to be at least partially yeast related. I haven't had a yeast infection in years, but I think I upset the balance with all the baby wipes in January, and maybe I just haven't really kicked it since then. I am worried that I will have trouble with recurring yeast infections with the cup, since this all started when I started using it. I soaked it in hydrogen peroxide after that first month. I'll do it after this cycle as well, just in case.
teacupcake89 on April 1st, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
you might want to treat your partner for a yeast infection (the external cream) if you think you may be passing it back and forth between you (very common and not all penis owners have any symptoms, or might just have a little bit of dry or red skin)

you can always file the cut edge of the stem with a nail file/nail clippers/sandpaper

cervix height/vagina length has NOTHING to do with how tall/short/thin/fat a person is! :) lots of short women use long cups, lots of virgins require wider 'large' cups if they have heavy periods etc.

the 'large' meluna is more like the 'small Diva' so I second the suggestion to consider the large fleurcup or the large si-bell as the width is the same as your large diva but the round bottom shape will provide more capacity than the 'pointy v' bottomed shape of your Diva.

confusion323 on April 11th, 2013 06:55 am (UTC)
I know someone else mentioned this - have you been checked for bacterial vaginosis/bacterial infection? I actually had issues with this, and yeast infection treatments do NOT help - while the symptoms were very similar. My doctor tested me and gave me meds, and I believe your partner can also give you back your bacterial infection. :/ Anyway, I rinse mine every time I empty it, and use very mild soap to clean it every day (or twice a day). Also, if it IS a bacterial issue, DO NOT sleep with underwear on. Weird, but I haven't had a bacterial infection since.

Also, I believe the MeLuna Large is about the same mL capacity as the large DivaCup, just FYI. DivaCup L is 57 mm long, plus a 10 mm stem. MeLuna L is 54 mm long, and the stem length varies... so switching to MeLuna may help with the length issue you're having.
adastra_flexineadastra_flexine on June 5th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
Fungal but not candida?
I am very late in answering this but it may helps someone else out there. I *always* come up negative for candida but the treatments for candida always help just the same; I get symptoms frequently.

It is so frustrating because doctors assume it is "all in my head" and it could be an irritation from xyz. So why would antifungals work? Placebo-you're crazy! lol Anyways, one advised the yogurt treatment someone mentioned but I have not wanted to go that route because of the sugars in yogurt and the thought of dairy in there seemed weird.

Finally (after YEARS of issues) I went with using an external cream (for general fungal infections like athletes foot) on the external parts as soon as I got symptoms (and having my partner do the same) and inserting the contents of a probiotic capsule before bed (laying down with my feet up until enough air got up there so the contents would fall right in). I figured the healthy bacteria would crowd out the fungi. It is way cheaper to treat this way so I can have everything on hand before I have issues and take care of it fast. If it's around period time I insert a probiotic (capsule contents) as a precaution (this part will also work for treating BV).

*Edited for forgotten info

Edited at 2013-06-05 02:42 am (UTC)