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06 July 2014 @ 12:54 pm
I've been looking into menstrual cups and I am rather frustrated. I'm young (under 20 but over 17), a virgin, have never used a tampon or had anything up my vagina. I don't think I have my hymen anymore (incident). I have noticed that women who laud menstrual cups have had to try different ones before getting them to work (way expensive), and those who are trying are constantly dealing with leaks and troublesome/painful insertion or removal or both. This is despite all the research they have done. It's not like they are cheap, or there is a one size/stiffness/length fits all. But I really liked the idea. Honestly, looking back at ur menstrual cup experience, or going thru it now, was it really worth it?
 
Yawnk: amazingsavannahjan on July 6th, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC)
It was absolutely worth it. You're right. Many people here take awhile finding their perfect cup. I just picked mine based on color, and have never needed another. I spent $31 on two orange lady ups back in November 2009, and haven't spent another dime on menstrual products since. I love cups. I preach to others abOut them. As far as I'm concerned, there is no other way to deal with Aunt Flo.
きみえ (Kimie)kimie_catclaw on July 6th, 2014 05:40 pm (UTC)
Yes, definitely. I've only tried two different cups, and I bought both of them used for cheap. Both have worked just fine at varying times (pre- and post- childbirth) with very little experimentation.
darkanddusty on July 6th, 2014 05:45 pm (UTC)
Totally worth it.

Keep in mind that people are way more likely to post with problems/questions instead of just "yeah, my cup is great, woo!" There are plenty of people, including myself, who did their research, got a cup that works on the first try, and haven't had a serious problem since.

When I bought my Diva Cup, I pretty much just asked a friend who was already using on, and checked the size charts to see if my cervix would be high enough. After I figured out how to get it in and take it out, I haven't had any problems besides leaks now and then overnight, and I'm okay handling those. Is there a better cup out there for me? Maybe. But it's not like there is only one cup that will work, and the rest will be awful. It's more on a scale of good/better/best, and chances are that you will be able to pick a cup that you're happy with even if it's not "perfect".

I've had my cup for a year and the amount of money I've saved on tampons alone is enough to make it worthwhile. Besides that, my cup is way more comfortable, doesn't ever give me a moment of "omg when was the last time I changed my tampon I'm going to get TSS and die" panic, and is just generally so much easier to use. 10/10, would do it all over again.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 6th, 2014 05:54 pm (UTC)
Those who struggle have usually chosen cups that don't fit them well and/or are not comfortable mentally/physically with inserting things into their vaginas in general.

There are fitment guidelines and size charts at the Community FAQ to help those new to cups pick one that will fit and suit their needs. Use actual dimensions, not what size they're called or their sales hype to pick a cup. Shape figures into it as well... pointy or blunt? Flared rim or not? Etc.

But just like with shoes or clothing, even though it's "the right size," sometimes a particular cup just doesn't fit right. Unfortunately, there is often some trial and error involved. mc_sales is a good place to buy, sell and trade "gently used" cups that didn't work out.

In my case, the first cup I bought was entirely the wrong size. Had I known of the guidelines and size charts, I would have chosen another. My next cup fit right but didn't feel right. I traded that for one that I love. And then I picked up another "for light days."

On the other hand, others pick a cup without considering its dimensions at all and get lucky with how well it fits and suits them.

So go to the Community FAQ and read posts like the Virgin's Guide to Cups, the Myths, the Commonly Asked Questions, the various guidelines and size charts, and the ones that show various folds. Then decide whether or not you want to pursue cups and which one might fit/suit you best.

As for cost, yeah, it's a big initial outlay but most cups will pay for themselves in about a year over disposables. With reasonable care, they can last 10 years or more. Here's a post with lots of great replies as to their Benefits: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2069973.html
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 6th, 2014 07:14 pm (UTC)
Was it worth it? YOU BETCHA!
Ashatenlegspider on July 6th, 2014 05:56 pm (UTC)
People are much more likely to post about problems than about everything working fine, and I'm sure there are a lot of people who are happily using their first cup that never think to look for somewhere on the internet where they can talk about menstrual cups. I wish newbies here weren't told that they need to study the charts and not just pick a cup because it's cheap or they like the colour, because while it's great to have all the comparison charts if you find you need them, I think the idea that I should know what level of stiffness I need before ever having a tried a cup would have put me off if I'd come here when I was a tampon user.

I got my first cup in 2002, when there were only three brands on the market, and the one I got was a small MCUK because that was the only brand I knew about at the time and I was under 30. I found insertion and removal a bit awkward at first, but never had any leaks or other problems. After a couple of months I was comfortable, and after year or two I'd had enough practice that insertion and removal were completely trivial. I was an LJ user and at some point after I learned to use my cup I joined this community. Some time after that I felt my cervix for the first time. When the Ladycup appeared (I think that was the 6th brand) the smallness of the small model was a novelty and I wondered if it would work for me, so I bought one even though I was happy with my Mooncup. I'm also happy with my Ladycup; it's the one I use now because I prefer the softer rim, but if I lost it I'd probably go back to the MC rather than buying a new LC. They're both great.

My friend bought herself a Mooncup because that's what's in the shops here. She learned to use it without any trouble. Her sister bought a Mooncup and had cramping issues so I sent her a link to the folding techniques and said that she might find she needed a different cup, but she was fine with the Mooncup in the end. I have other friends who bought Mooncups and as far as I know they've all been happy with them (one complained about the name, but not the product). Some people can't use the first cup they try, but they appear to be in the minority.

It turns out that I have a low cervix and the small Mooncup minus stem seems to be about as long as it could possibly be for me, so there are lots of cups that probably wouldn't fit me. I think it's a great idea to try to find your cervix so you know whether you should rule out the longest or shortest cups (if you can feel all the way around it don't get a long one, if you can't find it don't get a short one, otherwise don't worry about it). Consider your flow, too. All but the teeniest cups hold more than a pad or tampon, but if you fill one every two hours you'll be happier with a cup that holds much more.

Becoming a cup user is not as difficult as you've been led to believe, however if the things that have never been in your vagina include your own fingers then that'll be an obstacle. You'll have to get a thumb and finger at least far enough to pinch the base, plus you should know which direction your vagina goes - you can learn that from diagrams, but it's better if you've felt it yourself. Get to know your vagina, and if you don't feel ready to do that then cloth pads might be more your scene.

Edited at 2014-07-06 06:05 pm (UTC)
Jennifer Monoteasy2begreen on July 6th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
Absolutely worth it. I could have stopped with my first cup (a small Lunette), but was curious and ended up trying and preferring other cups for various reasons (slightly more comfortable, slightly better shape, etc.). But really, I would have been fine with my $30 Lunette without having to spend any more money on cups for years. Cups have been a total game changer for me. My period no longer has any effect on my daily life, whether I'm traveling, in the lab for long hours, swimming, hiking, dancing, or doing yoga. I don't have to think about my period, plan around it, or deal with it more than maybe a total of five minutes a day. It's amazing. This board is mostly about troubleshooting; most of us for whom cups work flawlessly don't post about how amazing they are!
Sarcasticia Nitpickersontisiphone on July 6th, 2014 06:57 pm (UTC)
I think maybe you get a slightly skewed view of how hard it actually is to find the right cup because this is one of the main places people go when it doesn't go OK. Personally, I heard about menstrual cups, bought a DivaCup at the health food store, and it's worked perfectly for years now - never really felt the need to post about it, because it just works! Maybe we should have some kind of cup love-in to correct the balance :)
mousebebemousebebe on July 6th, 2014 07:05 pm (UTC)
It's worth it. You can probably tip the odds in your favor by doing your research first, with the charts here and asking questions, and with a couple of "tests" to determine what you'd be comfortable with. For example, I checked where my cervix was over the course of the month and especially during my period in order to decide whether a long or a short cup would be a better bet. The first cup I bought was the smaller Divacup in 2010, and it's still the only cup I use. Similarly, I sent a friend here when she was interested, and as far as I know her Lunette (also her first cup) makes her happy.

Like I said, check the charts and what you want and ask questions. Check the used community if you're worried about cost (boiling water is your friend!). If you get a cup and it doesn't work at first, keep experimenting (or if you're getting frustrated, set it aside and try again later). My "dry run" when I first bought it was miserable- couldn't get it in, then couldn't get it out!- and I had a couple of issues with leaking the first couple periods, but using cloth or disposable liners helped.

As far as I'm concerned, definitely worth it!
Kathlynekathlyne on July 6th, 2014 07:09 pm (UTC)
One hundred percent worth it. The cost, the learning curve all worth the freedom.

A while back I wrote a blog post about the Journey to My Goldilocks Cup.

My first cup, The Diva Cup, wasn't right for me, and I went through a couple of other cups before finding my Goldilocks cup, but that was because I was impatient and kept buying cups without really figuring out what wanted/needed in a cup.

Cups aren't for everyone, and they aren't perfect, but neither are any of the other alternatives.
Alwynsabishii_kirito on July 6th, 2014 07:27 pm (UTC)
I prefer the first cup I bought (Diva Cup), but I also have a Lady Cup. I don't need two, but I knew I liked my first one enough to warrant getting a smaller cup for my very light days.

Generally speaking, one of the biggest sizing issues is length, which you can estimate before buying if you can find your cervix with your finger.

Was getting a cup worth it? Hell yes. I was living abroad when I bought my first one, and it was much better than the super thick pads and minimal tampon choices I had available to me. I also spent a year traveling, often through undeveloped countries, and since I went through some places I couldn't even find pads in, I was very grateful to have my cups handy. Now that I'm back home, it's just one less thing I need to worry about. I don't need to worry about running to the store when I run out of pads or tampons, the cost is about the same as ~10 months of menstrual products meaning that it pays itself off very fast, and it's much less obvious than pads or tampons. I'll wear cloth pads at night, but I outright refuse to wear disposables anymore. They just feel nasty now.
a clockwork cuttlefishcastalianspring on July 6th, 2014 08:45 pm (UTC)
Absolutely worth it. I agree that you're probably getting a skewed idea of how many cup users have trouble, as most of us who manage fine don't post about it. I have multiple cups, but that's just because I like having spares that I can keep around (one in the car, etc) and because I like having a smaller size for light days and a larger one for heavy days.

Even with buying multiple cups, I'm still young enough that I'll be saving more than enough money during my menstruating years to be worth it. I also feel healthier and more environmentally responsible, not to mention more in touch with my body and the way it works. I'm less worried about leaks these days, too. Never going back.
trejoy: lovetrejoy on July 6th, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC)
Someone above said it, the "oh no, I need help" posts greatly outnumber "woohoo, my cup works SO well" since success doesn't require input or support!

It is completely, totally worth it. There's no way I'd go back. Even back when I had issues with a cup that didn't work so well for me (without enough money to buy another at the time) I was better off than with tampons or pads!

I confess, I'm a cup junkie. I've owned close to half of the brands out there (at one time or other) and finally found my goldilocks cups. But I'm one of the more unusual types (extremely sensitive/need softest cups, very low cervix, large diameter required). Most people can make do with their first purchase unless the fit or their flow is really off.


Edited at 2014-07-06 10:11 pm (UTC)
msphat on July 7th, 2014 03:55 am (UTC)
YES. I just wish I had started using one sooner AND that when I did get one that I'd had the cup comparison charts/pics available. From when I first got my period (8th or 9th grade, maybe?) until the summer before 10th grade), I used toilet paper tucked up in my inner labia. After that (until my late 20s, when I purchased a DivaCup), I used tampons, which mostly worked, but came with their own problems.

After I got the hang of using the DivaCup, I wondered why I waited so long. After I had a baby, I started researching cups, and discovered the plethora of available options, and ordered one (the large Lunette), which is so much better suited to my vaginal shape (fairly short during my period) and menstrual flow (very heavy for the first couple days).

If I'd had a menstrual cup in high school...!!!! It wouldn't have made everything perfect, but it would have made so many little annoyances that come with being female in high school that much more manageable. I never want my little girl to feel the way about her body the way I did when growing up.
ionadel on July 7th, 2014 05:51 am (UTC)
THANK YOU so much everyone! I've had hope restored again. I just hope that I choose the right one.
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on July 7th, 2014 01:21 pm (UTC)
Absolutely--the work I've been doing for the past year (cruise ships) would have been a LOT more annoying if I didn't have my cups. It did take a few months to find ones that worked for me (having a very high cervix limits my options a bit, and I also needed something very soft) but I'm glad I did! I avoided my roommate's situation of having to run out to find tampons in the straight ghetto outside of one of our Caribbean ports (lol)...
pinkydoodler on July 9th, 2014 07:38 am (UTC)
One more thing worth mentioning is that some users like myself actually have allergic reactions to some of the things the disposable pad/tampon manufacturers put in their products. The worst thing is I didn't even know I had a skin allergy and thought it was normal to experience such misery and discomfort during a period.

It wasn't until I switched to cups because of sports and the horrible reactions coincidentally disappeared did I realise I'd been suffering needlessly for years. Given that the sports advantage alone made the switching worth it for me, being free of the skin rashes was a very big bonus indeed! So yeah, very worth it :D
silentrebuke on July 13th, 2014 05:01 am (UTC)
Dont overthink it
You have received many wonderful comments but I wanted to add another prospective. I struggled with which cup to buy for several months. I used instead Softcups first to make sure I could handle the idea of a cup. (I'm glad I did this because it helped my confidence, but I really cant recommend it. In my experience insteads are a DISTANT cousin to cups and are not nearly as comfortable, functional, or reliable. ) I finally settled on a meluna (which to be honest The price was the main deciding factor) I did carefully check the size charts, but I feel there is a lot of room for error when choosing a cup. I am still in the learning curve, on my fourth cycle now. But I will NEVER be going back. In fact this month I started early when out of town and just kind of "handled" it till i got back to my meluna. No more disposables for me!

So i say, just go for it! Don't overthink it or over-stress. I also highly recommend cloth pads for backup at first. This month I am confident enough i haven't used any backup at all!

Hope all goes well for you, and welcome :)
Luceafaraluceafara on July 14th, 2014 01:07 am (UTC)
Absolutely worth it. I did a good amount of research on here (thank you, MC community!) before buying my first one, a soft Meluna S with ball stem. That cups works for me, but I was curious about what else was out there, and over the following year, I accumulated a small collection of various cups. I rotate them all - as some fit better on some days than others. I could have stopped at the first cup, but found others that were even better.

I discovered that I can wear my cups every day, so I am getting my money's worth, and they have given me a quality of life I never thought I could have as a woman. I wish I had known about them when I was your age!

Do your research/know your body, and you have good chances of finding a well fitting cup the first time.