Log in

No account? Create an account
16 February 2014 @ 11:23 am
Hello community!

I'm 18 and I just started college. I used tampons, which were a major pain because I had to change them so often, buy so many and use heavy duty pads to accompany them. I could also never get them in properly without a bit of discomfort. I found out about the cups and this website which is AMAZING! However, since I'm in college I just need advice on managing the cup.
1. I share a bathroom with 5 guys and it's just a constant smelly mess. Also, I don't want to be cleaning my cup in the sink and they walk in. I also work, dance and move around a lot so recommendations on bulk disinfecting wipes/washes would be appreciated.
2. After my period, I'm not sure how I would boil the cup. Should I just heat water in a microwave and put the cup in a container of hot water, or is that not sufficient? My college doesn't allow for anything with a heating coil that isn't a microwave, and I've come across a few mini boilers.
3. I'm a virgin, no kids, my opening is quite small and I have a really heavy flow. I couldn't get my finger to measure, but I usually use the Tampax Radiant tampons and the length of those is fine. It's 12 grams and about 6.5cm long. I've looked at Lunette, DivaCup, MissCup and a few others but I'm scared that the size will be too big or just not hold enough. Where should I look?

Any advice/cleaning product recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
jchammondsjchammonds on February 16th, 2014 04:53 pm (UTC)
Soak in peroxide?
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on February 16th, 2014 04:58 pm (UTC)
There are size and capacity charts over at the Community FAQ. Choose a cup that will fit and suit you, not the one with the best sales hype. Don't be afraid of length if you think you need it. And if you're comfortable with the concept/act of insertion, width shouldn't be an issue.

You'll have to work out privacy on your own.

You DON'T have to boil a cup. "As clean as cutlery." Washing it really is clean enough. You also don't need special wipes or chemicals or anything else. Lots of water and if you use soap (any kind is fine) just be sure to rinse it off your cup and your hands thoroughly to avoid irritation.

"Tight" is a function of your pelvic floor (PC) muscles. Cups sit above them. You need to learn to relax them for insertion and removal, and then you can go back to holding them however tightly you want. Analogy: even the man with the strongest grip in the world can hold a little birdie in his hand without squishing it.
Kathlynekathlyne on February 17th, 2014 03:20 am (UTC)
I want to second Kuradi and add that the size depends on the height of your cervix and capacity you need to accommodate your flow. It really has nothing to do with your age, virginity, height, weight, or number of children you've had.

Measure the height of your cervix using your finger while on your period and then use the charts to find something that you think would work for you. It does sound like you have a heavy flow if you are having to use pads AND tampons, so consider getting one with a high capacity.

I personally love my large Fleurcup, but it may not be the best for you. Go with your gut after getting a baseline measurement and looking at the charts.
KaleidoscopeEydkaleidoscopeeyd on April 9th, 2014 03:47 pm (UTC)
I just need to say, I love your "tightness" analogy. It works well and, honestly, made me laugh out loud.
phantomkat on February 16th, 2014 05:41 pm (UTC)
I live in a house with 19 other college students. When I clean my cup I do it in the shower then reinsert it/put it in the bag I use to carry around my bath stuff. If I do change my cup outside the shower I just lock the door and make sure to clean any mess I make (i.e. drips on the floor). Is the bathroom dorm style, like a stall and the sink outside, or like a home-style bathroom?

I don't boil my cup. I just clean it with soap or wipe it down with rubbing alcohol then let it dry, and I haven't had a problem so far. Femininewear.com.uk sells containers you can put your cup in to boil in the microwave.

Edited at 2014-02-16 05:41 pm (UTC)
sakura309sakura309 on February 16th, 2014 05:48 pm (UTC)
It's a dorm style, so everything is separated.
Luceafaraluceafara on February 16th, 2014 05:58 pm (UTC)
Because a tampon sits lower inside you, it's not a helpful measuring tool. You could try the applicator (if that tampax one comes with one) and see how far in it goes (slowly, you don't want to hurt yourself), but a finger would be best. If your cup is too short for you, it would be difficult to remove. If your cup is too long for you, it would be uncomfortable.

Without knowing anything about your measurements and whatnot, out of my cups, the Si-bell has a nice capacity and can be worn by low and high cervix peeps, because it has a long stem that can be cut off, but is not too long in body. If I were to blindly gift one to somebody, I'd gift that one, because it matches so many different body types, is super soft, and easy to insert, pop open, remove.

Other cups may be a great match depending on where your cervix sits, so finding that out and exploring the size charts, as kuradi8 suggested, will be your best bet to find your perfect cup.

I boil my cups seldomly, but when I do, I just put them in a mug or mason jar and boil them for a few mins in a microwave. I obviously wash them first, so it's not like I need to keep a separate mug for this. It's all clean.

In terms of wipes, I just use "moist tissue wipes" (wet toilet paper) in general. They are the cheapest if on the go, and you could just carry a few in a snack ziplock bag, for instance.
However, I can usually wear my cup a full day without having to change it, so I just change it in the shower. If I had to change it in a public bathroom, I'd just empty the cup, wipe it down with toilet paper, reinsert, and clean around it with wet tissues to eliminate residual slobber around the cup that may otherwise travel down to your underwear.

Good luck and welcome to the world of cups!
yoshi488 on February 16th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
Like the previous poster said, you don't really to boil your cup between cycles. There are plenty of people here who have never boiled their cups or opted to only do so when they first got it. The medical-grade silicone that most cups are made of is designed not to absorb anything, harmful or otherwise, so a quick rinse is more than enough (the other materials don't absorb either, for the record). Plenty of people, especially when emptying their cups in public restrooms, don't use wipes or rinse off their cup and just reinsert it. Wet paper towels also work to wipe it off. If you're not comfortable with that idea, that's perfectly fine. I personally boil and use some soap by LadyCup if for nothing more than peace of mind. Find what's comfortable for you and do that.

I'm sorry to say, though, I don't know anything about buying wipes or anything in bulk. Lunette and MeLuna have their own wipes and LadyCup sells some as well, but I don't believe there's a way to buy in bulk other than just ordering a lot. You might ask some of those companies if there's any way to get a discount for buying a lot if you decide you want wipes. Depending on how heavy your flow is, you may be able to find a cup you don't need to empty so frequently that you need to change it in a public place. It really depends on your flow and cup, though, along with how long you'll be gone for and if you have an opportunity to empty before you leave.

I have an electric kettle I got from Bed, Bath & Beyond for about $12 with a coupon (~$15 regular price) that doesn't have an auto-off so I don't have to keep turning it on while I'm boiling it. I've found the electric kettle works perfectly for me because I don't need a coil or a stovetop and can just shove it under my bed when I'm done.

As far as the cups themselves go, I'd really suggest trying to find your cervix and figuring out how far in it is. Your cervix changes positions throughout your cycle, so it's a good idea to check while you're actually on your period. Length of cup is a good starting point for finding what will work for you. The MissCup and DivaCup are some of the longest cups there are, so I think it would be a good idea to make sure you can fit one first.

Edited at 2014-02-16 06:14 pm (UTC)
super top secret7deadlysins on February 16th, 2014 10:03 pm (UTC)
Can you not just lock the door while you're doing your bathroom stuff? Also, who cares if they see you cleaning the cup? They either won't know what it is, or they won't care. If they make a scene about it, tell them to grow up. Yeah, women have periods, it's a thing that happens.

Anyway, if you're a first time user, I wouldn't recommend the Diva Cup - it looks to be about the same size and shape of the Moon Cup I just bought, which I find bulky and awkward to insert. I'm also a first-time user, and after using the awkward Moon Cup for a few days, I decided that I something with a smoother shape and a gentle rim would be easiest to insert.

So I guess I would recommend really paying attention to the shape of the cup, rather than the size. Small will probably work fine for you. The difference in sizes in most brands is very, very small. I have a Fleurcup and a Sckoon cup on the way, both are smoother/more streamlined than the Moon Cup, and I think they will work out much better. :)

Also, regarding the capacity of the cup - I always thought I had a heavy flow, because I was bleeding through tampons every hour or two, but I left the Moon cup in for like 8 hours yesterday and when I emptied it, it was only about 1/4 - 1/3 full. It seems like they hold a lot more than you'd think, and you probably don't bleed as much as you'd think, either :p

Edited for typos and such!

Edited at 2014-02-16 10:05 pm (UTC)
mercy rainmercy_rain on February 18th, 2014 03:16 am (UTC)
I'm old, married, and we're pretty relaxed about things bodies do, and I still don't like my husband to be around when I'm dealing with my cup. It's all good to say "menstruation happens, deal" but when it comes down to it, it's hard to just shrug off years of conditioning.

Dorm-style bathrooms don't generally have locks except on the stalls; they're more like public restrooms where you have to come out of the stall and use one of the sinks, and anyone can come in and see what you're doing with the sink.
juliiie87juliiie87 on February 18th, 2014 01:11 pm (UTC)
I second all the advice about finding your length first, as this is the most important and individual parameter in cup fitting, then taking into account your preferences regarding capacity and stiffness. You'll most likely want a "large" sized cup (or rather a high capacity one : http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/ I think currently the large LuvUrBody cup is the highest, but it's also fairly wide and one of the longest so idk... large Fleurcup is a favorite of many, large Yuuki if that woulkd fit you lengthwise, etc. I think there's a FAQ post on high capacity cups but it's a bit older and doesn't have the LUB or Femmycycle) as those will hold more, and your vagina doesn't have a fixed width, it can be contracted or relaxed and stretched to accomodate a cup, and anything else within reason. The tiny entrance you see on the outside does not reflect how it is on the inside, yet another reason why it would be profitable to get to know your body before throwing in the added stress of having to learn how to use a cup for the first time while dealing with a bloodbath. ;)
Have you seen this ? http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/1243131.html

If you must find a way of sterilizing your cup other than boiling, Femininewear.co.uk (happens to sell most brands of cups) sells mini Milton tablets and you can find those on Amazon too.

Edited at 2014-02-18 01:14 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
sakura309sakura309 on February 19th, 2014 12:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all of the great advice everyone! I found my cervical length, assuming that I did it right, to be about 7cm. I had to lay on the bed to find it, so I'm guessing that my cervix was relatively high and it was hard for me to reach in the shower.

Edited at 2014-02-19 12:32 pm (UTC)
missmojorisin71missmojorisin71 on February 27th, 2014 07:34 am (UTC)
Hello to you! My friend who uses a SckoonCup just bought her 17 year old daughter a SckoonCup size 1. Her daughter flows heavy, has to change her super+ tampon about every 2-3 hours, and has a mid to higher cervix when on her period. She found a fold that works well for her for insertion (good ol' c fold). It's taken her about 2 full cycles to feel confident with insertion and removal.

You might really like SckoonCup because it's soft, smaller than some other cups with a large enough capacity for a heavier flow. This is because of the shape (kind of like a bell). The cup is soft, yet still has enough "spring" to open, even if you have strong muscles.