rivenriver1 (rivenriver1) wrote in menstrual_cups,

What am I doing wrong?? :-(

Hi all

I've been lurking here for a few months now - great info throughout your community, and it was really helpful in deciding to get a cup and which one to get. But now that I have one (JuJu size 1), I'm sure I must be doing something wrong, as I just can't seem to get it to work!!

I'm 26, childless, tall and big-framed, but I'm pretty narrow in the downstairs area - before losing my virginity I couldn't use tampons at all, and I tend to use mini-tampons when I do use them. This may be TMI, but it's also been... shall I say, commented upon - that I'm not very wide there. I think I'm long(ish?) though. I also have a tilted uterus which makes pap smears painful. I have a light flow due to my hormonal birth control (prior to that I had a crazy heavy flow, I don't like to remember those days).

I loved the idea of menstrual cups, especially as I am an avid traveller and it seemed so much more convenient and hygienic when accessing a bin can be tricking in remote natural areas. But I've used it for three cycles now (I'm at the end of my third currently) and I just can't make it work!! It nearly ALWAYS leaks, it ALWAYS hurts to put in, it ALWAYS is hard to get out, and it ALWAYS hurts to get out! I know I must be doing something wrong, since so many other people have great experiences with them.

On my first few days using it, it seemed great, worked more or less just like I expected. It hurt a bit to get in, but as I said, I'm not very wide down there so I expected it and I could deal with that. However after a few days, I don't know what went wrong, but I just couldn't get it in right. It wouldn't open up inside. I was at a friend's place at the time, it was super awkward spending that long in the toilet. Eventually I gave up, and it seemed to mostly work even though it wasn't fully opened - a nice surprise. However that's proved to not always be the case - sometimes it works when it's not opened, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it seems to be working for a few hours and then randomly starts leaking - I pull it out and it's only 1/4 full, yet I'm leaking!

I'm using a C fold. I've tried punchdown but it wouldn't open properly and leaked worse, and I've tried a 7 fold but it hurt more to get it in. JuJu seems like maybe it's less flexible than some others as I find it hard to make some of the different folds. But I've tried all sorts of folds, all sorts of positions (sitting, kneeling, squatting, standing, lying down) and I just can't get it to not leak. Have I bought one that's too small? But I don't know how I could get a bigger one in there - this one hurts enough to get it as it is!

Worse is taking it out. The consensus seems to be that menstrual cups don't 'stretch you out' - well I'm certain I've stretched since starting to use it, since at first I couldn't get two fingers in there to pull it out, and now I can. I obv can't see anything, but I think I feel quite different than I used to. However even though I can get fingers in, I can't get a grip on the cup. It's slippery and sits too high up to reach the base. It also feels like it's around a corner - this could be my tilted uterus preventing easy access? I pull on the stem to get it lower, which HURTS because of the suction, but I don't know what else to do, since kedgel exercises just seem to push it higher up. As I pull on the stem it stretches then slips out of my grasp to flick me, which hurts too. When I finally get it low enough to grasp the base and break the suction, I still can't get it narrow enough while maintaining my grip to pull it out the opening without pain either. If I've had sex recently, that last bit hurts a lot more than normal too.

I wish I could work out what I'm doing wrong!! I'm spending next year volunteering in a rural village in a developing country where I expect less than easy access to disposable products so I really want this to work for me, but it just won't! Can I please have some advice?

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