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31 July 2014 @ 12:26 am
Recently, I've taken an interest in menstrual cups after stumbling upon the Diva Cup on Amazon. Up until recently it was a casual sort of search, sifting through blogs and videos of reviews and tips when the mood struck me.

Also, up until recently, I'd been using tampons (hate pads, it's like sitting in a soiled diaper; if babies can cry sitting in their own waste, I should be able to cry sitting in a piece of my blood-soaked fluff! Damn you society and your unforgiving standards) with little to no trouble. But the past few cycles, I've had cripplingly painful cramps whenever I would insert them. You know, the kind that leave you crouched and sweaty on the toilet, making you pace in the hopes of alleviating the excruciating pain, then realizing that won't work, so you crawl across the floor and curl up in a ball in the corner. Your face is smooshed against the carpet and you try to bargain with God or the Universe that you would do anything to stop your suffering, whispering incoherent thoughts and pleads, all while debating whether a sex change would be worth it to save yourself from all this trouble that rolls around once a month.

Yeah, those kinds of cramps.

Which brings me to my question: how do I know which cup to buy?

I've never had any experience with cups, never even seen one in person. My cervix is fairly low, I can touch it with my second knuckle in, measuring about 1 1/2 inches from my vagina. I am 16, a virgin, and if you haven't guessed, no little mini-me's in the picture yet. Typically, I use regular tampons through my whole period (5 days on average), changing a little more frequently on my heavy days (as in every 3-4 hours rather than 4-5). I'm also very, very, very strapped for cash, so I'd like to get a decent one this time around that can last me until I get enough money to continue my search for that fabled 'goldilocks cup'.

So far, I've narrowed down my search to the Sckooncup and the Lunette.

The Sckooncup is appealing because its supposedly so soft and squishy, which sounds fabulous to me as I cramp away and hit my Midol limit. It's made in the US, so it could arrive in a timely fashion, and not take weeks upon weeks like a cup from overseas. It's a little expensive, but they had a 10% off coupon if you signed up for their news letter on their website, which knocked a few bucks off the price. However, I've heard some things that turn me off. Stories about cups being undone and scratchy at the seams, splitting six months in at said undone seams, the silicone feels cheap, and it arrives covered in dust. I'm also concerned that since I'm young, my muscles would crush such a soft cup. I'm trying to be more fit, and if in the process it gets squashed and compromises it's capacity, then that would be a little disappointing.

The Lunette, on the other hand, is supposed to be a little firmer, and people simply rave about it. The second cup I heard of after the Diva was this one, and before researching more, I considered this first. It has lines for measuring your flow, which is pretty cool to me, but edges and lines means fluid could get trapped in the fine lines and make cleaning a huge pain. Also, firmer cups can cause cramps, something I want to stay away from for eternity if possible. It's more expensive, not including the shipping fees, and a trivial thing is I can only find the clear cups for a reasonable price, which leaves it subject to stains, but I wouldn't mind too much, plus there's easy fixes for that around here on the internet.

I'd like to hear people's opinions, and any advice on what cups to choose, or any other cups to consider?
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 31st, 2014 12:32 pm (UTC)
There are guidelines and size charts as well as a link to some Commonly Asked Questions at http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/

As for cramps, there's an old wives tale that the more water you drink before and during your period, the lesser your cramps will be. It works for me. Will it work for you too?
Kathlynekathlyne on July 31st, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
I have a Lunette, and the measurement lines don't cause any trouble with cleaning. The lines are on the outside and are less pronounced than the grip rings. Silicone is very easy to clean.

Also--Midol has acetominophen (tylenol) which is a pain killer, but not an anti-inflammatory. Ibuprofen (advil)is anti-inflammatory and without getting too technical it does block one of the hormones that triggers uterine contractions (cramps). Buy generics--they are the same and will save you money. And I agree with Kuradi, drink lots of water.

And check http://mc-sales.livejournal.com/ if you are looking for a deal/bargain.
thremmathremma on July 31st, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
My cramps have gotten a lot lighter since using a cup. I have a sckoon cup that I like quite a bit, and a generic one that I got off eBay when I first started that is OK.

Also, I've found some careful yoga helps stretch out cramps sometimes. usually my cramps show as a severe back pain, though; not sure child's pose and cat/cow and downward dog would help as much with front cramps.
dhrachthdhrachth on July 31st, 2014 11:09 pm (UTC)
I have a Lunette and a Sckoon and the Lunette sometimes gives me cramps because of the shape and firmness. I never have that problem with the Sckoon. Unfortunately, it's something that really varies from person to person--so all you can really do is make your best guess and try it out.
okwaho_okaraokwaho_okara on August 1st, 2014 02:45 am (UTC)
I may have more insight later, but, I just wanted to say. I've ordered Fleurcup (France) twice now. I live in the USA. It only took 7 days (Monday-Monday) to get here the first time and probably about the same with my second order, and I live in the USA too. :)
trejoytrejoy on August 1st, 2014 03:04 am (UTC)
Since firmer cups increase my already difficult cramps, I vote (and really like my) Sckoon cup. Unfortunately, I totally relate to being curled up on the floor in a perspiring ball of desperation, praying for the pain to end.
cideoncideon on August 1st, 2014 08:35 am (UTC)
I started off with a Si Bell cup, small, then later got a large Sckoon. I like the latter for my first two days, then the former for the last few days, so just get whichever one you feel like; you may end up getting a second or third later, and that's OK. I've only had the Sckoon for one period, so I can't comment on the long-term quality, though the seams are not very bothersome. The stem is kind crappy, but if you don't have a high cervix, I don't think it should be too much of a problem since you'll likely be able to grab the bottom of the cup. My Si Bell feels less springy though, so softer (2 weeks shipping from Italy, so not that long at all). I don't think it's so much youth as it is your muscle strength (people who kegel or perhaps do a lot of lower mobility like dancing would have stronger pelvic muscles).

As for your cramps suddenly changing, I couldn't guess other than sometimes I cramp in a different way than "normal" (such as when I'm just wearing a pad) for the first few minutes I insert my cup. It goes away 4 out of 5 times in as many minutes though. Perhaps it's a sudden intrusion that triggers some smooth muscle reaction? But if this pain doesn't improve or continues to get worse, you might want to let your doctor know.
drkneb860 on August 2nd, 2014 04:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all the feedback everyone :D

I've never heard of drinking extra water, but am definitely willing to try.

I think I'll go with the Sckooncup small, and if that doesn't work out... Well, we can cross that bridge if and when we get there ^.^

Again, thank you everyone!
mythigal66 on September 4th, 2014 03:12 am (UTC)
menstrual cramps
I understand completely: on one memorable occasion, I actually threw up from the pain of menstrual cramps. This was a little over thirty years ago, when I was your age. The cramping did lessen from that white-hot poker in the gut intensity over time, but never really went away.
Iibuprofen, then later, Aleve, did help.
Something else that I discovered, quite by accident a couple of years ago also helped: ginger. I start taking it (capsule form) the week before my period, then double the dosage it during.
Now, this might not work for you--everyone is different. And you might want to do a little research to make sure that it won't interact with any meds you might be taking, or any medical condition you might have.
The best advice I can give you is to check to see if any of your local health food stores has a nutritionist on staff who is familiar with the supplements.
And, you might want to see if any of the extra ingredients in your Midol might not be contributing to your cramping: I was told to avoid caffeine during my period.