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Hi guys,

I am a longtime Diva cup user and love it. Learned a lot from this group when I first started. Now I finally have a question.

There is a fairly common problem for athletic women with squirts of pee during exertion. It's something that happens to CrossFitters while doing double-unders, and to high jumpers, and to powerlifters during squats and deadlifts. I've experienced this while squatting--my understanding is that the intraabdominal pressure rises so much during a heavy barbell squat that your pelvic floor muscles just have no chance. But I noticed that I do not have any problems with this while I have a cup in. I thought it was a fluke until I looked into the research on stress urinary incontinence and found out that apart from Kegels, the other solution is mechanical: a pessary inserted in the vagina applies pressure on the urethra and affects the position of the bladder. Some readings:



A pessary is nothing but a silicone ring, so a cup should work similarly--and it does indeed work that way for me. Cup in, no squirts.

Some women on a barbell forum have weighed in on my discovery (link: http://startingstrength.com/resources/forum/showthread.php?t=47390) and reported that cups do not have this same effect on them--some say it doesn't make a difference, and others say it even makes things slightly worse. Since there are probably many more cup users here, can you comment? Do you ever experience stress urinary incontinence during strenuous exercise, and does the cup affect it in either direction?
tobilei on March 13th, 2014 09:02 am (UTC)
I don't suffer from this, but my biggest problem with cups (and I've tried 5 of them so far, 3 different brands) is that they put pressure on my bladder. When I first put it in I feel instantly as though I have a UTI. I generally have to pee in the next 5 minutes or so and I find that whenever a cup is in, I have difficulty peeing completely. It's as though my flow is reduced and I never quite finish so I can see how it would benefit someone who has a problem with leaking. It makes a lot of sense.
teacupcake89 on March 13th, 2014 10:43 am (UTC)
have you tried a very soft brand i.e. a small (newly released) CupLee or Si-bell? apologies if you have :)
tobilei on March 14th, 2014 08:36 am (UTC)
Was this meant for me? I did consider a softer cup but I have a MeLuna soft and cannot get that thing to open no matter what I do (have tried freezing water, various folds, just nothing :( I do a lot of exercise and things seem pretty tight in there when it comes to opening a cup, ugh).

I bought the Yuuki soft because I was hoping it would be soft enough but it's not, it still causes bladder issues and I need the length in a cup so it doesn't turn sideways or get lost.

Thanks for the thought!
teacupcake89 on March 14th, 2014 09:09 am (UTC)
meluna softs are notorious for having this problem because of the material, so it's probably not something to do with you tbh.

I don't know how soft the yuuki soft is but the si-bell or CupLee will be softer. The si-bell especially has a good long stem for removal. my cups sit almost horizontally inside me because of where my cervix is, so the si-bell stem is not poky but reachable for removal as I can bend it backwards/to one side. :)
Luceafaraluceafara on March 13th, 2014 02:29 pm (UTC)
I agree with the above commenter about trying a softer cup, but also suggest a different shape, maybe.
Luceafaraluceafara on March 13th, 2014 12:30 pm (UTC)
That's actually how I discovered MCs. I have SUI when I run, and had read that wearing a tampon prevents it from happening, so I looked for silicone tampons (there is one: Incostress). I also bought ben wa balls and ran with them, then finally found this forum while googling around.
I find that cups have pretty much remedied the problem, but I wear them every day.

When I go on runs, I prefer the Meluna classic and Fleurcup to my other cups. My softer cups are not as effective.

Edited at 2014-03-13 02:30 pm (UTC)
mshanai on March 13th, 2014 10:33 pm (UTC)
Ah great--thanks for weighing in! I have the opposite effect, both with cups and tampons--I tend to have a harder time peeing. Nothing I can't live with, but noticeable. So I suspect the cup will work as a pessary only for people who find urination harder with it in.

Ben wa balls would definitely not work for heavy lifting--they would get expelled from the pressure... which might make for a great show for everyone in attendance!
tjs77tsa on March 14th, 2014 08:04 am (UTC)
I have found that my MeLuna cup prevents urine leakage when I sneeze or cough repeatedly.
Luceafaraluceafara on March 14th, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
Which Meluna do you use?
tjs77tsa on March 18th, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
I use a mini med, a large and an xlarge all classic firmness depending on where I m at in my cycle.
faranth22faranth22 on March 14th, 2014 06:39 pm (UTC)
I can see how this would work. The cup could potentially put pressure on the urethra. Some users have difficulty urinating or fully emptying their bladder without removing their cup due to this very reason. Also, as you say, it could theoretically work as a pessary. As for the difference among users' experiences with this I would imagine that is because everyone's anatomy is different. Regardless, I'm glad it helps you!