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13 March 2014 @ 04:49 pm
I use a lunette cup size 2. Two cups, actually, in rotation.
I'm in my mid 30s. I've had two 9+lb babies (now ages 4 and 6). I'm in good health and physical shape.

I use the cup plus a heavy pad. The cup is full to the lunette words and the pad is full to the point of leaking within 2-3 hours.
When I go to change the cup, I pull one out and empty into the toilet then insert my second cup and feel around the edge to make sure it's open. My hand gets covered to my wrist in menstrual fluid. I get my pants back on with my non-dominant hand, then go to wash my hands and the first cup.

This routine works fine at home, but I have to go back to work shortly. I don't want to have to do this in a public bathroom 3-4 times during my work shift. Help! What am I doing wrong? I thought the cup could last up to 12 hours?
 
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on March 13th, 2014 09:23 pm (UTC)
"I thought the cup could last up to 12 hours?"
No, that's the longest time you should leave it unattended. If it fills up before then, empty it. Full is full.

Since cups hold more than disposables, imagine how much more frequently you'd fill those. =8oO

It sounds like you need an even higher capacity cup. Check the Community FAQ for size and capacity charts.

Also, if such high blood loss is new to you, mention it to your doctor/Gyno. You might want to track how much you actually lose. Write down how much each time you empty your cup and tally it up at the end of the day. That's good quantitative information to be able to give your Dr.

As for alternating two cups, you don't really have to. It's perfectly OK to dump it out and re-insert it without rinsing or wiping it down in a public stall if you don't have access to running water. The few drops that remain won't make any difference and the less you handle it, the fewer hand germs you'll impart onto it. It also reduces the chances of =8oO dropping it.
lily_momma on March 13th, 2014 11:39 pm (UTC)
Ok, thank you!

My cycle has always been like this. I take 800mg ibuprofen every 4 hours to help reduce the flow.
Quantities... yikes. 30ml cup plus super/heavy pad 8-12 times a day for 2-3 days, then I can use the cup alone for for the remaining day or two. So maybe an average of 1000ml per cycle if I'm taking enough ibuprofen and NSAIDs.
I used to use a super/heavy tampon plus overnight pad per hour before discovering cups.
I actually thought everyone was like this - isn't this why we all hate our cycles?

The 4 years of amenorrhea due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, pregnancy, and breastfeeding was the best 4 years of my life. ;-)

Dump and reuse (a larger cup) while at work sounds like the best option and then clean up using tp as best as possible before coming out of the stall.
I'm disappointed to learn there's not much improvement to be made, but I guess it's good to hear I'm on the right path.

Edited at 2014-03-13 11:49 pm (UTC)
Luceafaraluceafara on March 14th, 2014 12:13 am (UTC)
Do you really mean 1000ml? That would be a liter of blood.
So sorry :(

There are higher capacity cups, if they fit size and shapewise, like the Luv Ur Body, which you may want to look into. At least you would not have to empty them so frequently.

http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2761581.html?thread=35859565#t35859565

Medium 38.5ml (holes) 42.75ml (rim)
Large 38.75ml (holes) 43ml (rim)

Edited at 2014-03-14 12:15 am (UTC)
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on March 14th, 2014 02:13 am (UTC)
Check out the replies under the cleaning - public tags. There are good helpful hints in there. For example:
Bottled water
A mug or coffee cup of water
Wet paper towels or washcloth/rag

Ibuprofen is a mild blood thinner and a mild anti-clotting agent. I don't think it will reduce your flow. However, it might make it easier to pass, reducing cramps and other discomfort. Drinking lots of water helps a lot with that too.

If your doctor isn't already aware, give him a heads up about how much you bleed each month. Since you've always lost that much, it's no big deal cos it's "normal" for you. And he can probably suggest ways to reduce it via hormonal birth control or other medications if you want to go that route.
lily_momma on March 14th, 2014 02:56 am (UTC)
Interesting. I've always found ibuprofen to make my cycle lighter.
It seems NSAIDs may be effective? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23440779/
You've given me a lot to think about. Thank you.
(Lily here - I don't know why it's showing me as not logged in. Hmm)
lily_momma on March 14th, 2014 12:24 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'll look into that one.

I'm estimating the amount. But yes. Lunette size 2 says it's a 30ml capacity. I don't know if that's full to the holes or full to the rim. But a full cup plus full super pad 8-12 times a day for three days is a lot. The last two days are minimal.
Iron supplements and coffee!
I think my cycle is comparable to donating blood (in volume). I just drink a ton of water and take it easy for a few days.
m03m on March 14th, 2014 07:56 am (UTC)
No, it's actually twice the amount you're allowed to donate.

What does your doctor say? Have you talked about the amount of blood you lose?

I had periods like that, and it turned out that I had fibroid that caused it.

Your period sounds very much above average. Maybe there is something that can be done.
lily_momma on March 14th, 2014 12:36 pm (UTC)
"it's actually twice the amount you're allowed to donate."
Oh okay. I was thinking menstrual fluid is mostly endometrium, water, mucus, etc along with less than half blood.
It's good to put the volumes into perspective. It definitely justifies the fatigue!

Wouldn't fibroids be diagnosed along the way? All my pelvic exams have been normal. My fertility is good. My pregnancies and ultrasounds were perfect. My bloodwork is always spot on...

This conversation has been helpful. I'll look into everything suggested.
m03m on March 14th, 2014 01:07 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't fibroids be diagnosed along the way?

I'd expect so, yes. But one of the ways they make themselves known is excessively heavy periods. That's what made my doctor check for them. I'd had mine for ten years, and it wasn't problematic; only in recent months I found that I was starting to lose way too much blood, and it made me anemic. Now I'm back to having manageable periods and it's such a relief.

However, of course, that may not at all be what's going on with you. But it seems like something is.
britbritandmebritbritandme on March 14th, 2014 04:21 am (UTC)
I actually understand why you want want 2 cups. Since you flow so heavy for a few days I bet it gets really "messy" so it's probably easier to have the second cup ready immediately after removal of the other one.

Have you thought of a higher capacity cup or a cup with holes that are higher up? Might help a little. Are you using reusable cloth pads along with your cup?
lacrymaslave on March 15th, 2014 08:37 am (UTC)
Is there any chance you're iron deficient? My flow used to be really heavy until I started bleeding myself and monitoring my ferritin and haemoglobin (I work in a lab so that's easy to do) before and after my periods. I now take an iron supplement for a couple of weeks a month (when i remember to) during my period and for a bit after, and that's significantly reduced my flow.