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Nikki Bee
08 April 2013 @ 03:02 pm

A month or so back I posted my rant on tampons and how I was so happy to have found this community and cups as a whole.  I steeled myself when my period came this last Friday, knowing full well that it might not be sunshine and roses my first time through.  I was prepared for a literal bloodbath.  I put in my MeLuna M on Friday afternoon before the floodgates had opened and went off to work that night, nervous and hoping everything would go wonderfully--and one nine and a half hour shift later, it did!  It was perfect and wonderful and everything I could've ever hoped for in a menstrual whatnot!  I emptied it, cleaned it as directed, and popped it back in for bedtime.

I was awakened around 8 or 9 am by some of the worst cramps I've ever had.  They lasted for a good hour or two whilst I was in a half-asleep stupor.  When I was finally awake enough to realize what I was feeling, I trekked to the bathroom to check things out.  Thus begins Saturday-and-Sunday Bloody Sunday.  I had leaked a lot and I continued to do so all of Saturday night.  I had to work that evening, so after my fifth round of "oh god"-bathroom-empty-clean up-reinsert-repeat, I had to switch to a tampon...because serving tables doesn't allow for frequent potty breaks, especially when you're getting your ass handed to you by a party of 14 and 6 and 4 and 8 at the same time.

But I digress; I got home Saturday night and switched back to the cup to find it leaking again by morning.  Sunday was a similar story, though I didn't have to work so I had all day to try different folds and positions and magical voodoo chants to get everything to stay where it's supposed to.  No dice.  I slept with a tampon to ease my sore and aching vagoo whilst sobbing quietly in defeat.  Today it was back to the cup!  It's in right now and hopefully not(!!!) leaking.

Now, I already perused the "leaking/spotting" tag and found some slightly helpful tips, but nothing that I felt really answered any questions I have, so here are some facts/queries in nicely organized (read: not organized at all) bullet point form:

  • I'm guessing the agonizing cramps Saturday morning were the product of my cervix dancing a jig and moving around while the cup was still inside.  Alternately, the cup shifted and suckerpunched the little guy?  Not sure which is more likely.

  • I'm pretty sure I have a high cervix.  It takes pretty much my whole middle finger to find it (~3in).  I didn't go searching on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday I did.  Today, I wasn't able to confidently locate it.  I think it might hide slightly up and to the left?

  • I read in one of the comments on another post that if you discover your cup is tilted (and you didn't put it that way), it might be because your cervix is on the side that the cup is tilting towards.  Does that mean if the cup is tilted with the left side higher and the right side lower, the cervix might be on the right (thus pushing that side of the cup down)?

  • Did that last question even make sense?

  • No matter which way I try to angle my cup upon insertion, it always seems to have blood on the inside and out of the cup.  I don't think it's residual because it seems like it's a lot.  The cup is indeed filling, but it's getting on the outside, too.  It's rarely anywhere close to full when I check and I can't imagine that my cervix would be dipping so far into the cup that it barely fills less than a centimeter and then spills errywhere.

  • I am using a MeLuna, which only has two holes.  Is it possible this is an air hole issue?  Should I enlarge them?  Should I leave them?

  • If it helps, I'm 23, sexually active, never had kids--but I think my muscles are pretty toned and that I'm naturally narrow.  I can't get a finger very far in alongside the cup to, say, check to see if it's around my cervix.  It just won't fit.

  • Also, the MeLuna M seems to be a pretty decent fit for me lengthwise.  It sits right where it's supposed to.  The L, however, I only tried to get in once and it straight refused to pop, so I put it away and haven't tried it since.

  • I can't think of any other questions!

As with my last post, this one was lengthy so thank you for reading and answering if you so choose to.  I appreciate all the support this community gives to any and everyone.  You're all so lovely~
teacupcake89 on April 8th, 2013 08:56 pm (UTC)
how many hours did you have the cup in for whilst you were asleep? you might find you need to either empty right before bed and/or get up earlier or use your large overnight when you want more capacity.

I'd keep trying with your large as it will have more capacity than the medium, and the width might help with the leaking issues. have you tried the tips in this post for getting cups to pop open?: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2618390.html#comments

re your cervix question: do you mean the 'left' and 'right' sides of the cup or the rim? If the rim is tilting to one side, it's most likely because it's tilting towards/underneath the cervix.

it's also common for cervixes to be on the front wall and in a corner to one side.

re your not being able to get a finger alongside the cup. I'm the same age etc etc as you and I couldn't so this at first either, don't worry it will get easier as you get used to using the cup and relaxing. when you try: slide the finger slowly up the stem towards the base, your finger can press against/press the cup in a bit it doesn't have to be a finger as well as the cup! take your time and breathe deeply, I couldn't get a finger/more than one finger at first in with the cup which made checking the seal/pushing it up further difficult, but now I go slowly and move fingers one at a time, deliberately.
Nikki Beenikkithebee on April 8th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
How many hours? I'd say probably 6 or less. I got home at 3am-ish and probably went to bed around 4ish. The cramps woke me up by 9am.

I'll have to try again with the L cup; it was just so uncomfortably large that I just said, "nope" and put it down.

I meant the rim, as far as the left-right issue.

I'll have to keep trying to find a way that works for me to sweep my finger around in there. I appreciate your advice and reply! Thank you!
juliiie87juliiie87 on April 8th, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC)
First off, thank you for an entertaining post, it's always appreciated. Second off, forgive me if my writing is not quite as fun, it's only my second language and it's late here. So onto business.

By the sound of your questions and issues, it sounds like you cervix might be off center or slanted, yes. I'm terrible with directions so those questions are always tricky for me, but basically the cup needs to be (o) around the little guy, or at the very least the rim must be facing the tip so it can collect the flood. See the difference between the "wrong" and "right" illustrations at the bottom of the page here ? http://www.easycup.fr/conseils1.php#Port That might be what's up. Also, excuse my french, litterally. Worst case scenario, some people find that they manage to squish a cup in the nook past their cervix on one side, but usually that means the cups stays uncomfortably folded and therefore does not catch anything, so I don't think that's your case. the fun part is, your cervix could well be playing hide-and-seek with you from one day to the next, as well as go up an down randomly over your cycle, so yeah that could take a bit of figuring out.

My brain is a bit dead right nnow so I'll stop the ramblings, but feel free to ask more questions if you have any.
Nikki Beenikkithebee on April 8th, 2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
Glad you were amused; I feel that if I can't find humor in shoving tiny cups into my vagina, I'll only get frustrated and quit.

Also, I think you speak English much better than I speak French (I assume?), so there are no worries.

That illustration helps immensely. It's so difficult to try and maneuver something around when you can't see what's going on. I would consider myself a visual learner--I can read something over and over but until I see it done and start doing it myself, words don't help.

I appreciate the help very much. I just went and checked my cup (which I put in about 3.5 hours ago) and it was indeed filling up but leaking. As usual. The airholes definitely aren't clogged, so they're not the culprit. And I just went looking for my cervix again and found it 2 out of the 4 times I went finger-diving. It appears to be much lower than it was Sunday; only about 2-2.5 inches in. Maybe. I don't know, because it's being super elusive.

juliiie87juliiie87 on April 8th, 2013 10:21 pm (UTC)
Lol. Still amused, but don't worry, I know the feeling.

You've read about "residual slobber" right ? the fact that cups don't absorb so they can only catch fresh new blood from the cervix, not what was already making its way out anyway when you inserted it ? Because if that's what's happening here, it's a little bit annoying and potentially stressful but it won't show through your pants, so no worries there.

Also I'm assuming you have the big bulky purple Meluna ? I didn't get along very well wiht this one, but i have a friend who loves it, so ymmv... you might want to give it a try when you have time on your hands. I's suggest sitting on the toilet or lying down on your bed, as relaxed as possible and trying a few different folds, inserted with the folded part facing down : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt6L-POE-b0 You way need to help it pop open by pushing down your vaginal wall so air can sweep in and fill it up, or poke and pull the crap out of it until it cooperates. Some folds allow for more efficient poking, such as labia fold, but this one may be tricky to hold folded. Cold and warm water can soften the cup or make it springier depending on what the problem is. Good luck! :)
Nikki Bee: (POOLPARTY)nikkithebee on April 9th, 2013 12:55 am (UTC)
I thought that it might be residual at first...until it just kept coming. I wish I knew how much to consider "leftovers" versus "holy crap I'm leaking."

As far as the MeLuna I have, I bought this combination in medium and large with the little ball stem. I've tried with the fold down and that didn't work (it was uncomfortable).

Interestingly enough, I reinserted right before I wrote my last reply to you, trying to aim for the back right. I had a sneaking suspicion my cervix might be hiding back there because I managed to sweep a finger around the outside and discovered the blood was coming from that back right area. Sure enough, I aimed that way and I've been blood free so far!
juliiie87juliiie87 on April 9th, 2013 02:06 pm (UTC)
yay! :)
fluffmyflamingofluffmyflamingo on April 9th, 2013 04:51 pm (UTC)
Hmm I just had to chime in as you seem to have the same cervix position as me and the same issues I was until very recently having! I was using a Mooncup UK size A (I'm 33) until this cycle just gone and I was having issues with leaking when cup barely full (as well as some bladder pressing issues). Anyhoo long story short (ty kindly to help from this comm) I switched this last cycle to a Meluna Classic xl (I have a very heavy and watery flow due to my iud) and I didn't leak a single spot, infact I don't think I even ever got any blood on my fingers during emptying! I put it down not just to the higher capacity but the width and also the fact that due to it's longer body length and firmness, I can actually let it pop open and then direct it up to my cervix like I would when I used to use tampons. Obviously everyone is different so that might not work for you but I would second the poster above's suggestion to try the larger meluna again! Good luck :-)
Nikki Bee: JACK likes kids (Bnikkithebee on April 9th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
I think that will be my next step. My period is almost over now so perhaps I'll practice with getting the Meluna L to pop along with various folds, etc throughout the next month so I'm prepared when my next cycle crops up.

Thanks for the advice!
confusion323 on April 11th, 2013 05:49 am (UTC)
I didn't see anyone else mention this, and I didn't see this on the page, so my two cents!

I've been using a cup for almost 5 years now. I used to have occasional leakage issues, for the first year or so (on and off). Now, I do have a deep cervix, and I'm using the DivaCup (small size), but maybe this will help. I found the best way to avoid leaks is first, make sure your cup is totally popped open. (Even a quick rinse in cold water seems to help.)

Second, try twisting it at least a full turn after it's open. If it's not quite open, twisting it can actually help it to pop open, too. It helps to pull down a bit and make sure you're relaxed. If you have to, twist it two or three times. It actually made a huuuuuge difference for me - it helps get a good seal, if that makes sense.

I hope this helps! Good luck :)

Edited at 2013-04-11 05:56 am (UTC)