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12 June 2014 @ 12:47 pm
I'm a 30 year old pre childbirth bicyclist. I've been using cloth pads and tampons (some reusable) without applicators for years, but I always appreciated the strings. Still, I'm no stranger to digging around. After a recent ride at the end of my period I decided that I needed to get things sorted before my long bike trip in a week. I got a large diva cup and decided to try it out before I got out on the road since I might start then. So I'm not actually on my period. I had almost no trouble inserting it with the punch down method. It seemed to pop right open, and...has been there peacefully ever since.

I've tried both hands. I've tried getting a finger up to release the seal. I've tried bearing down. I've tried standing, sitting, squatting, one foot on the tub (haven't tried other foot on the tub). I've tried reaching from the front or from the back. I can pinch the stem, and I can get at the base a bit, but not enough to really feel like I'm pinching it, and I can't get a good enough grip to pull at all from anywhere. I can't get a finger up to the top edge of it at all, maybe just about halfway up the side. I've tried relaxing, singing, resting with my hand up my vagina to relax more. The stem seems to sit just behind my pelvic bone and isn't that easy to grip from both sides. (I kind of have to coax it out a bit first). I have no significant other. My mom's a bit squeamish, and one of my best mentor friends reviews all of the charts at the local urgent care.

Barring more great insights into how to get this thing out, I'm considering just waiting the week or so until I start as I've read that it's easier when it's full and going to the clinic if I still can't get it out then. I've never had a UTI/yeast infection or anything of the sort, and I've never had any trouble with leaving a tampon in for a day or occasionally even two for a small one.

So, how stupid of an idea is that? And any removal tips (I know, relax!) or tips on cups that might work better (and why) are also appreciated! Thanks!
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on June 12th, 2014 06:48 pm (UTC)
The good news is that since you apparently have a long vag, you have bought yourself one of the longest bodied cups there is. Imagine if you'd gone for a shortie instead. =8oO

It's not unusual for a first timer to have trouble removing a cup. Have you tried the "hot dog in a bun" method yet? Slide a finger up alongside the cup, squish it so it wraps around like a hot dog bun and do your best to slide it out. Even if it doesn't come all the way, it should come far enough for you to get a better grip.

Using a spoon on the soft back side of your vag will often help create an air channel so that air can get into/above your cup so it doesn't create suction on its way out.

Once you get it out, try enlarging the anti-suction holes around the rim. They help with popping open and also with breaking the seal for removal. Something like a piercing punch might leave less ragged holes than scissors or a drill bit. The holes on the cup with the largest holes are 2mm.

Most of all, try not to get frustrated and TAKE YOUR TIME! The more you try to rush it, the longer it will take.
dkaksek on June 12th, 2014 07:11 pm (UTC)
I'll definitely enlarge the holes, and I may need to be more careful of insertion. Not sure if I was pushing it in too much since I'm used to inserting tampons.

I've tried the hot dog in a bun idea, but I can't really get my finger high enough or can't exert enough pressure to actually get it to turn in. Perhaps a smooth chopstick..... :)
m03m on June 12th, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC)
Most likely you did nothing wrong.
For most of us, the cervix is lower during an actual period; for that reason, dry runs aren't always representative.
And cups will sit where they please. You could put it in high or low, it would still find its own 'sweet spot'.

Whichever method you try, try to combine it with squatting (as this shortens the vaginal canal) and with bearing down.

Don't worry. You WILL get it out.
Good luck!
dkaksek on June 15th, 2014 02:45 am (UTC)
Thanks! That's reassuring.
Meganarwen_17 on June 12th, 2014 07:36 pm (UTC)
Try squatting down in the shower, and bearing down like you're having a bowel movement.
elisamba on June 13th, 2014 10:19 am (UTC)
Another poster posted a very similar question about a day before you, so you might check out her thread, too. It's called "Help! !!!"

I also have a cup whose short stem catches on my pubic bone. Since I insert my thumb first, I don't have that problem any more. You could try that. Basically you have to clear the stem with your thumb, then you can grip the actual base (not the stem) and firmly pull to either side while bearing down, and refolding into a loose C fold.

Your cervix moves lower during your period. Dry runs are notoriously misleading for so many reasons (lubrication, cervix height, less suction with a full cup), maybe don't puncture the holes just yet. :)
dkaksek on June 15th, 2014 02:50 am (UTC)
I can pull the stem out, but it's just hard to squeeze the base because when I try to squeeze, it often slips back again.

I looked at her thread, but she's a step past where I'm stuck. The biggest problem I have is that I really don't think I'm getting the suction released at all. I finally did manage to squeeze the end during one try today (couldn't do it again), but it didn't seem to release the suction, and so of course I still couldn't move it at all.

Still wondering if it would be better to just try harder to remove it after I finally start and it's actually doing its job...

Just wishing I hadn't tried the dry run. Seems like it all would have been easier once things get going.

Edited at 2014-06-15 02:51 am (UTC)
dkaksek on June 15th, 2014 03:17 am (UTC)
Wow! Finally got the thing out. I think I will enlarge the holes just a bit.

Still, no damage done and it should be easier next time. So perhaps this upcoming trip will see some results. Thanks all! (including the many others who had similar challenges!)

A TMI description for anyone reading this post with a similar problem in the future...
After a break, I tried squatting again and finally got ahold of the base again and managed to pinch it. It never really did feel like anything was happening, but I kept pinching (with a couple short breaks) and bearing down until I could easily grip it without bearing down. I was pulling a bit side to side, but mostly down. Finally, I could tell that it was actually moving, mostly in how stretched my hand felt, and eventually I could even feel the rim. Then (my theory always being that the sooner things get through the sensitive lower part of the vagina, the better) I basically just pulled when I started to feel it, and it came right out.
elisamba on June 15th, 2014 04:32 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear you got it out! Next time the suction will be lessened by the blood in the cup. You can fold it in a U between your middle and forefinger and thumb to avoid the pubic bone (which is what hurts). It is very well explained and illustrated in this video http://youtu.be/LljkmNl8qdc
dkaksek on June 15th, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
For me, that's not really it. I just really hate it unless there's a lot of lube there, and experience with tampons has made me hate it more. Doesn't really hurt. (I'm going to be so glad to not have to mess with tampons!) Still, I'll have to learn that nice slow removal technique eventually.