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Hey, y'all!

I'm new to the menstrual cup world, but after doing quite a bit of reading I decided (rather eagerly) that I wanted to give them a go. I have always had messy, heavy cycles that cause a lot of grief, yet I've always just buckled down and dealt with it accordingly. At some point in the past month or so I just had enough. I use super plus, super, and regular tampons throughout the duration of my period, though regular is usually used in the last day or two. Maybe the last three days if I'm lucky. I always have to double up with pads and find tampons to be incredibly drying and leaky, though I have found a brand that is more reliable than most for me, so it's not as bad as it once was.

That all said, I am 20, nearly 21, a virgin, and I got the smaller, Model 1 Divacup. It arrived today, and since I've always been rubbish at sticking things up my vagina -- seriously, I am the most lazy tampon inserter ever -- I figured I'd have a dry run. It took a while to figure out how to get it inserted without wanting to ragequit, but I got it. All was well. I liked the feel, I can't feel it at all, and the stem doesn't bother me. The real trouble started when I tried to get it out. The first few tries, I just couldn't. It was angled to one side and the tip was stubbornly stuck behind my pubic bone. There was some mild panic, but akin to the times when a tampon has simply gone too high up, and the string with it, so I calmed down and tried bearing down. Happily, it came lower and I'm able to feel it without sticking half my hand up there.

Now, I'm not squeamish about my body -- I'm actually quite fascinated by it -- so I have no issues with sticking my hands up there. I'm used to walking away from an encounter in the bathroom while on my period looking as though I'm some ax murderer. Trouble is, there's not much room for two fingers, let alone a finger, thumb, and the base of my cup. So, try as I might, the best I can seem to do is run my finger along one side of the cup. It seems to be jammed up against my left side (I'm left dominant, if that matters...). I have tried the hot dog method and all that happens is to push the damn thing back further into the canal, never mind the goal of breaking the seal. I am determined to get this thing out -- I got myself into this mess, I'll get myself out kind of thing -- so if anyone has any suggestions, I'd be glad of them.

That all aside, my hope is that my cervix rides quite a bit lower when I actually have my period, and I'm hopeful that the cup will be a good fit for me. It's comfortable and such. I just really need to figure out a way that works for me in getting it out. My vag is getting irritated from the attempts and my wrist is sore. *sigh*

For your reference, some extra info: I have a mild case of cerebral palsy that affects my legs/trunk muscles, so I'm not the most flexible person ever and my balance is crappy, and I'm currently awaiting approval to go ahead with cortisone/lubricant shots in one of my knees for some rather severe muscle-related irritation and inflammation.
julieelizamaryjulieelizamary on May 29th, 2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
Yaaaay, I got it out (I had some choice words for "it" when the deed was done, but we won't go into that)!

I'm not really sure what did it, but I tried the spoon handle as suggested and there was some pain and squelching noises and I gave up when it came out with diluted blood but I think it somehow shifted the cup downward and more to the center so that it wasn't jammed up the left side of my vagina anymore. I think, anyway. But with some bearing down I was finally able to get a good grip on the stem and just pulled as much as I possibly could while bearing down more. I lost it a few times and had to start over but I finally got the bottom of the cup to my pubic bone, and then was able to slowly, slowly pull it through. Once I thought I had it far enough out that it wouldn't recede, I dried my fingers off and went for the base. Pinch, pull, pinch some more, and the seal broke, super easy from there. It hurt a bit but nothing I won't get over in a day or so. I don't think I spent more than ten or fifteen minutes in the bathroom this time, hooray!

Ultimately I think I was more relaxed trying today, albeit far more frustrated and less optimistic (go figure, my body's a walking contradiction anyway). I did take a shower when I got up late this morning and then filled the tub to soak after, so maybe that helped. Funny thing, once I was able to cram a thumb up with a finger, it was so much easier to keep my involuntary Kegels from sucking it back in and gain some control over that. I think perhaps it had to do with being able to feel the contractions more readily and thus get myself to relax because I knew more of what was going on.

In the end, though, I think the continued helpful suggestions and encouragement was the trigger, so thank you so much, everyone! You guys are great. I have only been lurking for a few days but I think I love this community. :)

Going forward, I'd like to try the cup when I'm actually on my period. Despite the hassle I'm glad I did a dry run just so I can figure out how I'll most likely have to handle everything and I much preferred dealing with natural lubricant and pressure-induced urine to blood. I think it's safe to say my cervix rides high, at least while not on my period. Should I stick with the Diva for a few cycles to see if it works out better when used as intended or look into some other cups? I did like the fit rather a lot and couldn't feel anything. It was comfortable, just irritating to coax out. And I still love the concept of a menstrual cup, so I don't plan on abandoning it. is there any kind of string I might try tying to the stem to help at least get the removal process started if it continues to be a problem?

Edited at 2013-05-29 06:33 pm (UTC)
jwthemathsterjwthemathster on May 29th, 2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
Hooray! Everyone gave such good advice and encouragement. I just knew you'd get it! From the sounds of it, once the seal broke, it was easy going on the removal.

Certainly sounds like those air holes need to be enlarged. I've enlarged holes on a Diva I used to own, and it made a huge improvement in reducing the "super suction." Back then, I had my husband take a power drill to my cup, with not aesthetic, but functional results. Definitely look into a 12 gauge piercing tool for the job if you choose to go that route.
teacupcake89 on May 29th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
YAY!! well done! phew! :)

I would try enlarging the airholes slightly to make it easier to break the seal. You could tie some (clean) string tightly to the top of the stem near the base to help pull the cup slightly lower for removal? I would leave the string pretty long so you have lots to hold on to, and change it every time you empty the cup to prevent against TSS, but it's not something I'd advise doing for more than a period because string is absorbent. Others have used dental floss, but I get a sliiggght feeling that won't be strong enough to be of use to you!

The Divacup is the longest cup without the stem, but there are a couple of other cups that are slightly shorter in the body but longer in the stem that makes them longer than the Diva with its stem.

Your (small?) Divacup is 70mms long including the stem and 43mms wide. The Si-bell (both small and large) are 74mms total length, they have slim flexible stems that looks easier to grab a finger and thumb around. have a look here at the comparison photo of the Si-bells and the Diva to see if you think that would be long enough to make removal easier: http://menstrualcups.friendhood.net/t496-si-bell-cup-comparison-photos

The other option is the Lily Cup (made by Lelo!) the small size A is 77mms long and 40mms wide so longer, narrower and softer than your Diva but a similar shape with a sturdier stem. The large size B Lily Cup is 82mms long and 42.5mms wide so still narrower than your Diva even though it is the 'large' size.