I've been hearing, reading, and researching about menstrual cups for a while now, ever since I first heard about them on vaginapagina and I migrated over here for more information.
I am 25, sexually active, and have never had children. I also have a light to moderate flow. I have been wearing pads since I first hit puberty because I could never NEVER get a tampon in correctly or without a ton of pain, even after I lost my virginity. I think I'm rather small and tight (my doctor even remarked that this was so), and so I was pretty unsure about using menstrual cups even though I really wanted to for a variety of reasons. Partly because it would be great to go green, and partly because as an archaeologist having your period in the field is miserable, but mostly because pads are just all around awful.
Somewhat impulsively, I bought a box of Instead Softcups while I was out a couple weeks ago. Given my difficulty with tampons, I hated the idea of spending the money on a cup that I wouldn't be able to successfully use. So I thought I could try with the cheaper Softcups first, just to see if I had any luck, before purchasing a cup. And I was very surprised that within a couple of tries, I was able to insert it.
When my period started on Monday, I tried out the Softcup. Not that inserting it was super easy, but it was doable, and I could hardly feel it once it was in. I was so impressed the first two days; I wore a panty liner as back up, but I had no leaks and no major problems. It was pretty messy to remove, though, but I got accustomed to it pretty quickly. I thought, "This is great! I don't have to spend the money on a cup! I'll just wear these!"
Then, of course, while I was running errands, I felt something was wrong. I slipped into the bathroom and, sure enough, there was a minor leak. I probably just had not inserted the Softcup quite correctly, but because it happened when I was out in public, I got a little angry at it and decided it was no good and immediately went and picked up a Diva Cup at my local Walmart. I don't know why they had them there, but it was definitely handy! I had initially thought I should get a Mooncup during my earlier research, but I got a little impatient.
When I got home, I was pretty worried that I wouldn't be able to use the Diva Cup and I had just wasted $40, but after a couple uncomfortable tries, I got it in! However, I immediately felt the stem, which was irritating, so I chopped half of it off. It was still irritating, so I chopped the whole thing off. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have done that, but I was pretty gung-ho. Fortunately, when I bear down the bottom of the cup sits right at my entrance, even after it's migrated upwards while wearing it, so that was a huge relief! Basically, don't do what I did; it's a bad idea. Anyway, I wore it half the day yesterday and all day today, and it's super comfortable and no leaks at all. I do notice that it takes a bit more, jamming I guess, to get it in there than the Instead Softcup, and that pulling it out I can feel the suction and it's a little uncomfortable, but not overly painful, until it pops out. But there's no way I can get my finger beside the rim to break the seal. However, like I said, it's hardly painful and doesn't really bother me.
Anyway, I thought I'd do a little comparison, just because I know when I was researching, that would have been something very helpful to me. It's just a short list, of the things that I found most noticeable. These things may not be true for everyone!
- much easier to insert/remove
- much messier to remove
- I could feel it a little, but it was hardly noticeable
- it leaked, but that may have been because I put it in wrong that time
- more difficult to insert/remove
- much less messy!
- I can't feel it at all, which I was really surprised about!
- no leaks thus far
In case anyone is having trouble or thinking about purchasing the Diva Cup, I really don't think I would have had any success with the Diva Cup if I hadn't familiarized myself with the Instead Softcup first. I understand that the product works differently, but it really helped me become more comfortable and familiar with the idea, because it was easier to insert and remove. I found the Diva Cup takes a bit more patience and finesse, but I would have definitely given up if I didn't know I could already do it with the Instead Softcup. I'm not sure if that helps anyone, but that's my two cents!
Finally, I do have a question. I've been really lucky and haven't had any leaks, but how on earth do I know if it's inserted correctly? I use the punch down fold, and after I wiggle it past my pubic bone, I press down on the bottom of the cup and hear/feel it "pop". I tried turning it, but no luck. I also cannot fit my finger in between the cup and my vaginal wall to feel around the rim. It just doesn't fit! So, my question is, is it okay to just kind of let the cup do what it wants? I basically just insert it, play around with it until I hear the "pop", and let it be. It migrates upwards while I'm wearing it and I haven't had any leaks, so do you think it's fine? Thanks!