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27 February 2014 @ 05:47 am
So I learned about menstrual cups a few months ago and finally got up the nerve to give them a try. I bought a rainbow cup because I thought a softer cup would be a good thing and the lower price.

Well now I have the cup and have been using it for my first cycle. For the most part I'm happy with my purchase. Except I have so much difficulty getting the thing to open properly. I have tried multiple folds including the c fold, punch down fold, 7 fold, diamond fold, and half diamond fold. I have the most success with the c and diamond folds. But even when I get the rim to pop open it doesn't want to expand. I tried pulling down slightly, twisting it, and anti kegals and still can't seem to find the right thing to get it to expand most the time. When it does expand it seem to based more on luck. I try so many times and it eventually works right.

It leaks some as well. Which is probably because I have to struggle with it so much to get it fully opened up that I mess up the suction.

Is it simply because this cup is too soft that I'm having so much difficulty?

Also the tab irritated me a little so I trimmed it. Which seemed to make it more irritating so I cut it completely off... Well that was a mistake. The cup seems to migrate farther up as I wear it and now getting it back out takes some time and a good bit of work.

I have already ordered a yuuki large soft and classic that I found as a set on amazon for $25.50. So I guess if that's the problem I will soon find out.
daydreaming07daydreaming07 on February 27th, 2014 10:52 am (UTC)
Also I forgot to mention. I'm 25 years old have had a natural birth, have an inverted uterus and have difficulties reaching my cervix on the best of days and always have a very heavy period so I feel a large cup is a must.
teacupcake89 on February 27th, 2014 11:23 am (UTC)
it's probably the cup itself, as it's probably not made from medical grade silicone like approved/branded cups are.

you're also still in the learning curve, it takes at least 3 cycles to get the hang of insertion, opening up, removal etc.

read and try all the tips in this FAQ post on getting softer cup to open up: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2618390.html

is the leaking/spotting right in the first 30 mins or so after insertion? if so it's most likely just 'residual slobber' i.e. the blood that was already past where the rim sits when you insterted the cup making its way out. which is normal, just wear a liner and it soon stops.

if it's full on non-stop leaking then it's a placement issue, make sure the cup rim is right underneath your cervix which may mean the cup sits diagonally or horizontally inside you. also make sure the cervix isn't peeking out over the rim on one side, run your finger around the rim to check this.

if it's leaking after a few hours and is only half or a third full then most likely your cervix is sitting in the cup stealing capacity so it leaks before it is full.

a wider, round bottomed cup like a large fleurcup, large si-bell, large mami cup etc would be a good option as they all have long stems (the si-bell especially non poky-irritating)www.femininewear.co.uk and www.luxurymoon.co.uk ship most brands internationally

don't trim any stem on a new cup until you've worn it for a whole period and know how high it sits when you remove it. despite what the instructions say it needs to sit underneath your cervix, and you have a high cervix/long vagina.
Carriecarrieb on February 27th, 2014 01:38 pm (UTC)
I am no expert, but I am betting it is the softness. I've used a Diva for 8 years but just recently bought a much softer cup b/c it had a little higher capacity. I have tried and tried to get it to pop, but have had no luck. My Diva just pops right open. It's frustrating!
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on February 27th, 2014 01:39 pm (UTC)
IGNORE what the instructions said and showed that your cup will sit at your vaginal opening with a cup length or more between the rim and your cervix. That's just plain WRONG for most of us. In real life, ANY cup will eventually settle (O) around your cervix. The height of the base of the cup will be relative to the length of your cup and the length of your vagina. Since yours migrated WAY up there, you apparently have a high cervix (long vagina) and at 55mm, the Rainbow is a bit short for you. OK, no big deal. You'll just have to bear down to reach it for removal.

Why are you having so much trouble opening it? A combination of a soft cup and inexperience. Open it down low, and make sure it's fully open before you insert it the rest of the way to settle into its happy spot. If you insert it too deeply, you'll have trouble getting the cup to fill with air so it can open. Do so lower where it's easier, then give it a boost up and into place.

As for suction: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2091967.html

The Amazon ad says the large Rainbow holds 26ml. If that's "to the brim," then that's not a very high capacity. And it will be diminished if you have what we call a "dangly" cervix -- which literally hangs into your cup and takes up room where flow should go. Again, it's no big deal because the cup will probably still hold more than a disposable product -- but not as much as other cups might.

You have already ordered other cups but if you struggle with them too then don't order more until you get through the learning curve and figure out why those cups don't fit/suit you right. Then use the various size and capacity charts at the Community FAQ to see if there are others that would be better instead of ordering random sizes.
Luceafaraluceafara on February 27th, 2014 02:29 pm (UTC)
If the Yuukis don't turn out to be a good fit, try the Si-bell. The stem is super super super soft and thin and would not bother you, and though it is a very soft cup, its design makes it open without fail.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on February 27th, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
I disagree that the Si-Bell is a good choice for the OP.

Daydreaming07 has said that the 55mm long Rainbow cup has migrated too high up and therefore she implies that it is too short for her. She has ordered 57mm long Yuukis. Yet you are suggesting a 52mm long Si-Bell -- because it fits YOU so therefore she should try that size too. Just because you prefer narrow, short and squishy cups doesn't mean they will fit everyone else.

That's why there are size charts.
teacupcake89 on February 27th, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
the Rainbow cup including stem is 70mms, the large si-bell including stem is 74mms, the Large Yuuki including stem is 75mms, so the large Si-bell is just as good a suggestion as the large Yuuki. especially as the si-bell stem is less poky so the OP probably won't need to trim it as much as the Large Yuuki's stem.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on February 27th, 2014 04:50 pm (UTC)
I still disagree. A stem is different from a cup body. But the OP can make up her own mind about whose advice to take. :o)
Luceafaraluceafara on February 27th, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
OP was asking for advice and I gave it, not because it fits me (where you got that idea from, I don't even know), but based on comments from high cervix users who successfully use the Si-bell. It is also based on the fact that the stem is really soft, so poking won't be an issue, and the fact that the Si-bell's design makes it open easily despite its softness, two issues that OP has with the current cup.

Edited at 2014-02-27 06:38 pm (UTC)
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on August 1st, 2014 04:26 pm (UTC)
Not sure if people might still run across this thread but I will put in my 2 cents anyway--my pubic bone seems to sit quite high up in my vag compared to what I hear from most people (think of it as the knee, and think of someone with short femurs and long calves, I suppose)...so short cup + long stem is the perfect combination for my overall high cervix. When I try a cup that's longer in the body, my pubic bone will pinch the base and steal capacity (and sometimes affect suction because the cup cannot unfold completely)--this is the reason I haven't yet tried the LuvUrBody and also the reason I initially had so much trouble with my Lily popping open. (I don't notice the capacity issue so much with the Lily because its lack of suction holes allows an airtight seal, so blood just backs up rather than leaking out once I've hit capacity...gross I know...) So some people with a high cervix will still need a short cup, provided it has a generous stem to go with it.

Edited at 2014-08-01 04:28 pm (UTC)
Jennifer Monoteasy2begreen on February 27th, 2014 03:52 pm (UTC)
I have a small Rainbow, and it is definitely not the easiest cup to get open. I've been using cups for a while, but even so, it took a little doing until I figured out something that worked. To start with, the Rainbow has a softish rim and only two holes, and they are quite small. That never helps when you're trying to get air into the cup so it will open up inside you. You can try enlarging them with a thicker needle or tiny hole punch. Or: try a different fold. Here's what works for me. I fold it up into the origami fold ( http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/1044441.html ), making sure that one of the holes is in the middle of my fold. Once I insert it beyond my pubic bone, I use my index finger to push on the vaginal wall away from the folded part of the cup. The point is to get air into the holes. Once it's open, I run a finger up around the rim to make sure my cervix is inside. Missing your cervix is a really common reason for leakage. This might be tricky if your cervix is super high. Mine is just high enough that I can wear the Rainbow comfortably without trimming the stem. Hope this helps!
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on February 27th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
"the Rainbow has a softish rim and only two holes, and they are quite small."

There ya go! That's why it's so hard to open. Yes, enlarging the holes and/or creating more of them will make it easier. The holes on the cup with the largest holes are 2mm. Something like a punch will probably make a less ragged cut than scissors or a drill bit.
daydreaming07daydreaming07 on February 27th, 2014 08:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you everyone for the advice.

The cup is leaking once it gets at about 3/4 of the way full so I guess my cervix is sitting inside it taking up space. Unfortunately that was only after 3-4 hours on my heavy days that it got that full. Which doesn't surprise me too much I completely soak through a super extra tampon in 2 hours and have to use a tampon and a large pad at the same time. Surprisingly I started having only very light bleeding yesterday and seems to be continuing on into today. Typically I bleed heavily till at least the 5th day of my period. Yesterday and so far today I have had no problems with leaking since it is so light.

I was able to get the cup to open much easier by opening it just inside the vagina and then pushing it up and allowing it to settle the rest of the way itself.

Even with all the problems I am having with this thing it is still so much better than tampons. Having to use such large tampons had me pretty much in constant pain or at least discomfort. At least with the cup the discomfort is only when inserting the rest of the time I don't feel it at all.
m03m on February 28th, 2014 08:03 am (UTC)
Then it's not really leaking, it's overflowing, it sounds like. When it's full, it's full!
The cup seems to be doing its job, you just need to empty it more often than you expected or get a larger capacity cup (like you ordered already).

3-4 hours is all that some of us can expect on a heavy day. I've had days where I could not wear the cup for more than an hour before needing to empty. The cup was working fine, my flow was just too much for it too handle.

I'm glad to see you reporting progress. Here's wishing you find your personal perfect cup soon!
bklynmom on February 28th, 2014 01:11 am (UTC)
Just a thought, but I'm wondering what you meant when you said inverted uterus. Did you mean retroverted? If so that might mean that you need to experiment with placement as you could be missing your cervix sometimes. Retroverted means tipped backwards and often (not always) means the cervix points more towards the front of your body. Uteri can point to the front, the back or either side, and the cervix will then be angled differently into the vagina. Many posters mention that they need to have their cups angled in the vagina to meet the cervix. Perhaps that is also an issue for you? Good luck with the learning curve, it gets better!
daydreaming07daydreaming07 on February 28th, 2014 01:54 am (UTC)
I believe it is retroverted as you said as my cervix it is definitely tipped more towards the front of my body. The gyno I was using said I had an inverted uterus and was surprised that I wound up pregnant. I just know when I had my mirena (so glad it's gone now) put it she had a heck of a time with it. Also I had an extremely difficult time giving birth to my daughter which they said was caused by that as well? I don't really know the gyno I was using didn't ever explain things really well and I'm having a difficult time finding another female gyno in my area.

I have already found that it works better if I tilt the cup toward the front of my body where I know my cervix is. Which is why the tab was annoying me so much. I'm hoping since the yuuki is suppose to have a hollow tab that it will bend easier and not cause that problem.

Edited at 2014-02-28 02:22 am (UTC)
bklynmom on February 28th, 2014 04:21 am (UTC)
Sounds like you know exactly where your cervix is so thats not likely to cause the leaking. Good luck with the gyno search. No one should make you feel like your uterus is tipped in a bad way, I think of it like being left handed. Most women have uteri tipped (or verted) to the front, some don't. Hope you find your goldilocks with the yuuki. But I agree with the pp, work with the ones you have before buying more. There really is a learning curve- sure was for me!
daydreaming07daydreaming07 on February 28th, 2014 05:59 am (UTC)
Oh yes, I know where my cervix is. Having constant troubles with the mirena for 5 years made me very aware of my cervix... Whether or not I can reach the thing on any given day is another story lol.