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So I've been reading through this for hours.  Lots of information and so many different cups.

I decided to try a menstrual cup a few weeks ago for several reasons.  But as many newbies, I'm having a struggle.

First some, if too much, information on me:  I'm 33 and a non-virgin.  With that said, I'm a lesbian and haven't been with a man in 12-13 years.  I also don't use toys for sex.  I'm mentioning this because I'm very small.  If I'm not in the full forces of being on my period, inserting a tampon is very difficult.  I also have to use an applicator as it's smoother and goes in easier.  I'd use teen tampons if they made them in the brand I use.  Over the last year or so, I've been experiencing pain when inserting tampons.  I feel like my insides are being torn apart.  In fact, my last pap, took 3 doctors to get.  Granted, the first two were GP's.  They were extremely painful and they never got a proper swab.  They finally referred me to a Gyno, who didn't seem to have much of an issue.  This is really what provoked the thought of using a cup as it has no rough edges at all.  But I was concerned with the size and being able to insert it.  Again, two fingers even is a bit much for me.  I can do it, but sometimes it's more difficult than others.

So, I did a little research before purchasing, but probably could have done more.  I went with the MCUK in the small size.  I have very light periods so capacity isn't an issue.  I had heard this opened easy enough and was weary of the "slapping" experience that my friend speaks of.  She won't go near her cup anymore.  So I tried inserting it as a dry run, but honestly, that simply won't happen unless I get lubricant or do it whilst aroused, which would be awkward.  Today I started my period though and gave it a shot.  I had already tried several times, so I already found a fold that would most likely work (the smallest fold I could manage).  Since I'm unable to insert the cup with two fingers at once combined with the cup size, I kind of had to coax it up.  As you know, the MCUK has quite a stem on it. I didn't cut it because I didn't want to cut it too short.  But at this point, it's sticking out quite a bit.  It's not overly comfortable.  I can't tell if it's just due to the stem, or if it's more than that.  I also don't have the means to cut it right now as I'm in a hotel traveling.  But I'm not sure if I've inserted it far enough.  It feels like it's fully open, but I can't imagine it's in far enough?  I don't know how to tell.  Apart from that, it is also making me feel as though I have to pee and I know I don't.

It was also painful getting it to open up.  Like it felt like the rim was digging into me.  I don't know if I should keep trying with this cup or go for a softer cup?  Maybe a shorter cup?  Or maybe I'm just not getting it in far enough?

 
juliiie87juliiie87 on August 27th, 2013 11:37 am (UTC)
First of all, congratulations upon finding us and giving cups a try despite your fears! I think you're doing great so far!

I'm not a huge fan of the Mooncup for several reasons, but before you go spend money on new cups, let's try and see if you can learn to use a cup with this one you already have.

In order to collect your flow, cups need to be unfolded and (o) around your cervix. Can you find yours with one finger ? that should give you a better understanding of where and how the cup is supposed to sit. It's perfectly fine to use lube or arousal or whatever works for you, especiall while you're going through the learning curve ! But lots of people need lube anyway, especially during dry runs. I find wetting the cup with water is enough for me, but go ahead and get some lube, it can only help. On that note, make sure you're fully relaxed and not in a hurry while you experiment with the cup.

Insertion : for me, insertion is more of a one step method : I hold the cup folded just loing enough for the rim to be fully inside and push it above my pubic bone/pelvic floor in one swift move. Tihgtness : your vagina isn't a given width,and what can be percieved as tight is mostly your pelvis muscles clenching up, counsciously or not. Arousal is the best way to relax them, but you can also learn to control them to some extent. They're close in location and function to those you use to release and hold urine. So instead of holding, you need to do the opposite and gently bear down to make sure the way is open. Positon can also change how you hold those muscles : I find that lying down with my pelvis tilted or sititng on the toilet makes them more relaxed than say, squatting or standing.

As for you toher issues, they might resolve themselves with practice, or they might stick around and indicate that yes, you'd prefer a different cup, but it's a bit early in your learning curve to say for sure. Good luck ! :)

Edited at 2013-08-27 11:39 am (UTC)
bathedinshadow on August 28th, 2013 05:21 am (UTC)
I have to say, I feel a little ashamed of how out of tune I am with my body. It's odd for me to even say that I'm out of tune with something regarding myself - I'm overly introspective.

So after I posted this question last night, the cup just became too uncomfortable, so I got up and removed it and thought I'd try again today. And it's a good thing I did, as I was leaking. So I guess I didn't get the seal I thought I did. Although it sure felt suctioned trying to get it out (that's another story). But once I did get it out, I tried to feel for my cervix, and this is where the shame comes in. I really don't know if I was touching it or not. I looked up what I should expect to feel before I did it, and honestly, I still wasn't sure. It doesn't feel obvious to me at all.

When I insert the cup and it begins to open, it's painful. Like it's trying to open too close to my vaginal opening and if I could get it in farther before it opened, it wouldn't be as painful. I'm not sure that is the case, it just seems like it might be. Unfortunately, in order to hold the cup in the folded position, I need my fingers quite close to the rim, which means I'd have to put both fingers and the cup inside at once. That simply won't fit comfortably. I was pretty relaxed too. I'll try bearing down more as if I'm going to pee. Is that what you mean? I was standing, as I was in a hotel and I'm a total germ-a-phobe! Actually, I did it in the shower.

Edited at 2013-08-28 05:22 am (UTC)
juliiie87juliiie87 on August 28th, 2013 09:57 am (UTC)
Yeah, it sounds like you need to insert it a bit further, it shouldn't hurt if you're relaxed. And that's exactly what I meant by bearing down. Try lying down on your back next time you give it a go : it sounds awkward but I find it really helps with relaxing and unfolding. The fold facing the back is also my method. Folds you could try : punch-down, origami, triangle : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt6L-POE-b0
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3v1L sh33p3v1lsh33pz on August 27th, 2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
I want to agree with there being no "should" in terms of how far in the cup "should" be inserted. It doesn't need to be right up under/around your cervix as long as your cervix is somewhere above the cup and not along side of or under it. The comfy spot for my cup is very low, way lower than it sounds like most people have, and I needed to cut my stem off completely or it would stick out and be uncomfortable. Since my cup sits low, this wasn't an issue because I can easily reach and pinch the bottom of the cup for removal. For me, it took just deciding to wear mt first cup for a little while even though it was uncomfortable at first. Wearing it and moving around seemed to shift the cup to its comfy spot and get it to fully open. Once I did that the first time, getting it in the right spot became much easier. I'd definitely give your cup another cycle or two before deciding to switch.
bathedinshadow on August 28th, 2013 05:22 am (UTC)
I've tried a few folds, but the only one I could get in at all, was one I just sort of tried randomly. Then I found a site that listed a bunch. I don't know exactly what it's called, but it's the punchdown then the 7 fold. Although, I don't fully punch it down. And I got it in by facing the opening toward my back. Is there another one that is that small that I could more easily keep in the folded position by holding the base instead of the rim? It needs to be small, I Just can't get the others in at all.

Okay, I feel stupid asking this, but if I hit what I think is my cervix with my finger, can I still go beyond it with my finger? I can, right? I mean this is where a tampon sits, right?
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bathedinshadow on August 28th, 2013 08:09 am (UTC)
Oh... I'm actually doing that. haha. Sorry, I thought it was called the 7 fold. But I have to punch it down some so that the top doesn't open up like it does in that picture. With that said, after I replied to you, I tried just the basic punch down fold, and was able to make it work - very slowly.

So I THINK I'm feeling my cervix in that case. And I'm not sure was constitutes a "low" or a "high" cervix, but I feel like mine might be quite high and does seem to come from one side. I actually saw that site just last night when I was trying to figure out what I was feeling for. So again for maybe too much detail, but it's roughly (I'm just eyeballing how long my finger is to my middle knuckle) 2.25 inches in.

As mentioned, I did give it another go. I had some issues getting it to open up I think. One side of it felt like it was dipped in. So I tried pushing it in the direction of my cervix. The good news is, it wasn't pailful just sitting in there. I'm pretty sure it was farther in. But I got a little excited last night and cut some of the stem off. I really shouldn't have as everybody said. :( I think I cut too much as it was quite hard to get a hold of. Anyway, I'm not sure it was opened properly, but this is my last day on my period, which means there is a good chance I won't really bleed anymore, so I decided to take it out and I felt like it wanted to really "roll." Does that make sense? Like it felt like it was going to spin all the way around. It had moved quite a bit. Once I got a hold of it... came the removal issue that I had last night, only it was more difficult. I think maybe because it actually was around my cervix this time. It felt like it was full on suctioned. I had some issues breaking the seal without it sealing right back up because I couldn't grab it at the same time.

So another issue for me is getting it out. It's VERY painful. I can't fold the rim up, so it's quite large coming out and literally feels like it's tearing me open. I'm now retracting my statement of wishing my period lasted longer this time around as I am quite sore and nothing else is going in there for a few days!!!

I'm still determined to make this work though! Whether it be this cup, or a new one.
juliiie87juliiie87 on August 28th, 2013 10:00 am (UTC)
As far as removal goes, I can only advise to really push / give birth to the cup, so to speak, get a hold of the stem is you can bring it low enough and insert one finger between your flesh and the cup so it unseals. You need to allow air inside so it's not suctionned any more. You can also use that one finger to push against the cup and sort of refold it that way, wither ina loose C or in a punch-down, but I know this can be tricky with rather firm ims like the Moonup has (one reason I don't really like this one).
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on August 27th, 2013 02:53 pm (UTC)
I agree to get through the dreaded learning curve with the cup that you already have.

"Small" and "tight" are a function of your PC muscles. Cups sit above them where your vagina is quite elastic and the muscles are more involuntary than voluntary.

My guess is that you're clenching your PC muscles. To isolate them, next time you go pee, start and stop your stream a few times. Then 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. Open your mouth a little and keep your jaw slack -- and don't forget to breathe! :o)

Want to try my method?
Insert your cup so the rim is just beyond your pubic bone and allow it to open fully there. Then nudge the base/stem so the opening points toward your cervix (for me that's a healthy nudge rearward) and finally, give the cup a boost as you kegel it up and into place. As others have said, you want the rim to sit (O) around your cervix.

If you have trouble getting the cup to open, re-insert it with the folded part facing the other way. Up instead of down, left instead of right, etc. Create an air channel on the soft back side of your vagina to help the cup fill with air as it opens. Take your time, don't rush!

And final tip: If you don't already, drop your panties to your ankles so you can splay your knees comfortably. Keeping them up at knee height makes it hard to maneuver around down there.

Hang in there. You're well on your way. Get the hang of this cup and then decide whether or not you'd like a different one.
bathedinshadow on August 28th, 2013 05:23 am (UTC)
"Cups sit above them where your vagina is quite elastic and the muscles are more involuntary than voluntary."

Okay… so what I said in response to one of the above posts about feeling like it needs to open up father inside to prevent the pain, might be right given this comment?

I can definitely contract my PC muscles on command, so I'm 99% sure I'm not clenching them. I'm not saying they aren't slightly contracted because I'm doing it when I'm standing, but they definitely aren't fully clenched.

I'll give your suggestion a try. This is the first time in my life that I ever wished my period lasted longer. haha. 2 days just isn't much to practice this.

Edited at 2013-08-28 05:24 am (UTC)
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on August 28th, 2013 02:59 pm (UTC)
Once your cup is beyond your PCs, you shouldn't feel it any more.

It's possible to be "aware" of the stem or if your uterus/insides are pressing the cup down on your short vag days (they're usually sensitive and BLECH to begin with.) But that's a sensation that you'll either learn to live with or ignore.

I find it harder to "open the cup higher" because it's hard to get air into/above the cup "way up there." That's why I open it down low and then boost it up to where it will eventually settle into its own happy place. But just because it works for me doesn't mean it will work that way for everyone. Sooner or later, you'll combine all the advice you get to come up with your own methods of insertion and removal.
Luceafaraluceafara on August 27th, 2013 08:26 pm (UTC)
I get this peeing sensation with my Fleurcup, but not if I wear it inside out. I think it's the rim that is causing this.

Not sure if the Mooncup UK can be used inside out, but you could try,
ionracasionracas on August 30th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
I cut the stem completely off my MCUK, it's got ridges at the bottom that make it pretty easy to pinch and pull out. Pinching it out also helps break the suction which makes it easier too.

Also, the peeing sensation sounds like it's the stem, but watch out for cystitis/UTI.

Edited at 2013-08-30 07:03 pm (UTC)