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06 November 2013 @ 10:00 am
I am a first-time cup user. I bought the Keeper (silicone) size A, as I am 47 yrs old, with three vaginally-birthed children. My cervix sits pretty low. My flow has changed to be pretty heavy for 1-2 days, then fairly light. In just a day or so of using it, I am miserable. I trimmed the stem off completely, because it was very uncomfortable. I've tried turning it inside out, which helps with the length, but seems like it wrecks any suction I get. I've tried many different insertion methods, and can tell that it opens just fine. I wore it overnight and had no leaking, so was hopeful this morning. After removing, cleaning, re-inserting in the shower, I cannot get this to work for me today. My pelvic floor muscles are not strong (lots of pushing to get those three out), so it seems like no matter how well I feel like I've inserted it, when I stand up (or cough or squat or bend over), the cup feels like it's coming out. I can actually feel half of it sticking out. I push/twist it back into place, and then it slides out again.

I gave up this morning and used a tampon. I'd really like to find a way to make the cup concept work - for travel/camping/hiking and general no-waste lifestyle. I do yoga once a week at work, and cannot see this being comfortable at ALL for that right now.

Is it the cup (too long for me)? Is it the fact that I have crappy tone to my pelvic floor, so the sides of my vag wall aren't holding it in? It seems like a Lunette might work better as far as length/width, but if I can't get a shortened (by turning inside out) Keeper to work, I don't have much hope for another brand.

Any insights, suggestions, sympathy welcome :)
 
hairballsplathairballsplat on November 6th, 2013 09:05 pm (UTC)
size charts
have you seen the cup size charts?

http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/

maybe that would help?

i don't have much time to write, but i also feel like i don't have much left in the way of my pelvic floor (two large children delivered vaginally) and i also don't have much room between my cervix and the outside world. i've tried a bunch of different cups and my favorites are the L LadyCup and the L Fleur. My cervix sits in the cup, the stems are completely trimmed off. I also feel like the cup is coming out sometimes if i cough, squat, etc. Hopefully more people will comment with more useful info!
tobilei on November 6th, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
It sounds to me like the cup is too long for you. Also, I'm not sure on how soft the silicone keeper is (only know about the latex one) but softness could be an issue if it's really soft (although I think that tends to be more of an issue for people who have really strong pelvic floor muscles rather than weak? Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that point!). I tried my Diva inside out too but found the same, it just wouldn't seal.

The keeper is one of the longer cups available so a shorter cup is pretty easy to find.

First is to check roughly how high or low your cervix sits (while on your period if possible, I believe a lot of people find their cervix drops during). Once you have an idea of how low or high it is you'll know whether to go for a shorter cup or if that's not the problem. Size charts (and softness/stiffness) charts are here: http://menstrualcupinfo.wordpress.com/cup-stiffness-comparison-chart/

Hang in there! It took me AGES to get the hang of my Diva cup and it still leaks on me on my first day no matter what I do (I just wear a pantyliner as backup, by day 2 it's all good).
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on November 6th, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
The Keeper is a long narrow cup with a pointy base, a wide flared rim and fairly low capacity. Since your pelvic floor isn't as strong as it could be, compare the SHAPES of those that you think might fit you better. A cup with blunt rounded bottom (example: Fleurcup) might suit you better than one that's pointy (example: Lunette.)

I have a large Lunette and I LOVE it but it's a fairly stiff cup and sometimes it feels like I've got a bowling ball up there. I often wonder if a Fleurcup wouldn't be more comfortable due to its squishy-ness and its rounded base.

For strengthening your pelvic floor, look into Ben Wa Balls. Start with ones that are about 1" and 3/4 ounce each. Then graduate to ones that are about 3/4" and about 1 ounce each. The longer you walk around, the harder they get to keep in. Do this at home. You don't want to drop one down your pant leg and have it roll down the frozen foods aisle at the market. ;oP
jmstoneking on November 7th, 2013 05:08 am (UTC)
I busted out laughing on that hypothetical scenario! I've been studying all of the charts and comparison pictures until I'm cross-eyed :( I think you're right, that strengthening would be a great help. Also couldn't hurt for those full-bladder coughs and sneezes either...
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on November 7th, 2013 02:16 pm (UTC)
Maybe I shouldn't admit it but that happened to me. =8oO I looked at it like "What did I just kick?" And then looped around and came back for it later.
perigrine: cupsperigrine on November 7th, 2013 12:35 am (UTC)
It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that if a tampon stays in, being 10mm or so in diameter, then a cup - being considerably larger - should be fine.

I've had the best luck with the Yuuki, nice and firm, no leaks and doesn't seem to dislodge quite as easily as my other two cups. I've had six babies, but I have no idea how my pelvic floor has coped.

Edited at 2013-11-07 12:37 am (UTC)
msphat on November 7th, 2013 03:28 am (UTC)
I'm 37 yrs old with 1 vaginal birth. After my daughter was born and I went back to my old cups (small DivaCup and Keeper), they wanted to come out too easily. I decided to get a large Lunette. I like the stiffness, width, and length, and have found that it leaks a lot less than the others. I realize it's not an exact comparison to your situation, but I think that the large Lunette's width, height, stiffness, and capacity (larger) have made the cup work for me on a whole new level!

Re: crappy pelvic floor tone, do you do squats? I think they've been helping my tone a fair amount.
jmstoneking on November 7th, 2013 05:14 am (UTC)
Thanks to each of you for the input! I think I need to study the size charts (again) and perhaps try another brand (along with some exercises). My flow is so erratic, which is one of the reasons why a cup was attractive to me. That way I could see what is really going on, instead of guessing.

I can say that one of the benefits of being on the downhill slide towards 50 is knowing this time of my life is coming to an end in a reasonably close future time...
Kai: 50IsntOldkuradi8 on November 7th, 2013 12:27 pm (UTC)
Having gone through a long rough peri-menopause, I can't sing the praises of cups long or loudly enough. I'd need your fingers and toes as well as mine to count the "kiss my cup" moments when tampons/disposables would not have been around or done the job.

It sounds like you need a short-to-medium blunt cup. Capacity is nice to have -- better to have it and not need it than the other way around. And if you need to track your blood loss, even if your cup doesn't have measuring marks, come up with a system for measuring. I tracked mine out of curiosity in the beginning and then when all hell broke loose, that was good information to give my Gyno.

Squats for butt muscles and lower abdominal crunches work well together with kegel exercises to tone your pelvic floor.
juliiie87juliiie87 on November 7th, 2013 10:17 am (UTC)
I second a large Fleurcup as it has proven itself to be a favorite high capacity, low-cervix, mommy-sized cup. Although you might want to asses exactly how low your cervix is, and how much room you got for a cup to sit (o) around it. Large Sckooncup is another possible option, and medium Mini meluna in case your cervix is "just there", but that's technically not much mroe capacit than a tampon.
pandauraepandaurae on November 7th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
Mini-Meluna for me!
My experience:

I am 39 and have gone through 1 vaginal birth a little over 2 years ago and am pregnant with my second child. My first was an 10-lber and my pelvic floor is pretty weak because of him. My cervix also plays 'peek-a-boo' with me quite often, particularly during my cycle.

I didn't discover cups until after the birth of my son when tampons just didn't work anymore (one got folded in half, I have no idea how!). I tried the Diva L (easily available but way too long), the Fleurcup L (still too long the first few days of my cycle, but kept as a backup cup as it works the last few days), the Lunette S (not wide enough at all, really just an experiment and I love their colors) and the Mini Meluna <- THIS is my cup!

However, my flow was not very heavy, kinda average I would think, so the Mini suited me perfectly. It wouldn't fall out of me, was the perfect softness, it became oval-shaped to fit me very comfortably while wearing and had enough capacity to get me through 8 hours on my first two (heavier) days and 12 hours on my last 3 days (sometimes 24 hours, hah!).

Of course, I have no idea what awaits me after the birth of my daughter in February ... but I have kept my Minis and my Fleurcup to give me some choices/options to see what will work for me when that time comes.

Good luck in your search for your godilocks cup! It's out there!
jmstoneking on November 7th, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC)
Day Two
Yesterday was an "I'm just kidding, I'm not really starting" day. This morning, I could tell it was full-on period time, so I tried again. Felt great, until I went to the bathroom midday and saw that I'd need to pull it out and empty it. Except there was just not a lot of stuff in there. Apparently I didn't get a good seal, and was leaking.

I'm going to see what kind of flow I really have before deciding on a different cup to try. My goal is not to ever, ever, ever have to deal with it in a non-private restroom again. Except after I'm WAY more experienced. I'm hoping for the capacity to get me 10 hours or so on my days where it feels like the faucet is ON.

I *really* appreciate all of the insight and advice. I keep looking for a like button for all of your comments.

Edited at 2013-11-07 08:34 pm (UTC)
juliiie87juliiie87 on November 7th, 2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Day Two
Just to warn you, many people with REALLY heavy flow find that they still have to empty their cup during the day... there's only so much any cup will hold, although they're a tremedous improvement over the competition.

If it's just a tiny amount of blood though, it might just be residual slobber creeping its way out from when you weren'' wearing the cup yet or busy emptying it. An ultrathin pantyliner (cloth or disposable) should be able to handle that, or even just dark underwear to prevent staining.
jmstoneking on November 8th, 2013 12:45 am (UTC)
Re: Day Two
It was definitely more than a tiny amount! I got the cup in this morning before any flow had started, so I know it had to do with not getting it in right. After coming home tonight and checking things out, I had no mess at all with how I put it in this afternoon. And I figured out that I could have missed getting it around my cervix this morning, since I almost did it again just now.

I still have that uncomfortable sticking out feeling, but am so curious about the volume of my flow that I'm going to endure it.

I bought some Glad Rags panty liners. A little bit doesn't bother me, but like I read somewhere else on these forums, I don't want see what I saw at lunch time after trying to clean up (even with taking a wet paper towel in there). Definite axe-murderer looking potential.

I'm sure this is going to get better/easier! Seeing how little true mess there is when the cup is in there correctly is super encouraging, and makes me less scared to empty in a public place.

Edited at 2013-11-08 12:50 am (UTC)