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19 September 2014 @ 01:19 pm
I'm a 9 year Diva cup user who, in my late 40s, is seriously in perimenopause. I have one cup and have been using it all this time. Took me about 3 years to get it right (I needed a forum), but once I did I hardly ever use anything else.

Problem is, with perimenopause, my periods have lately been quite long. Current one is 2 weeks and showing no signs of stopping (don't worry I'm in touch with my doctor, he's not worried as it hasn't been consistently heavy). So I've been using my cup every day and most nights for 2 weeks. One day I forgot to dump/wash it when I went to bed so I probably had it in for 20 hours.

Anyway, it's the smell that's starting to be a problem. I'd dealt with this before and it's always righted itself without too much effort. I did used to use peroxide for stains (I know they don't recommend it, but the darn thing seems nearly indestructible). I've only boiled it occasionally. Have done so now, twice in fact, but of course that doesn't help. What stinky steam comes from the water, too, ugh! Soaked it in white vinegar (no change), then in warm water mixed with mild liquid hand detergent with baking soda (removed some stains, maybe a little of the smell). At present it's airing in my bedroom (away from cats but also from sunlight because there isn't any there, I put it under one of my remaining incandescent bulbs). Did a gentle, vinegar/water douche to clean things up below.

I think I'm going to buy another cup to rotate use. My sense of it is, as a long-term user who never had a real problem with odor, continuous use of the sort it's been getting may be the problem. It occurred to me that those using it for discharge, etc. might experience similar problems. Also I didn't see any other postings from women in perimenopause, so I thought I'd weigh in.
 
Kai: 50IsntOldkuradi8 on September 19th, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
I went through the perimenopause from hell and had many "kiss my cup" days throughout it. Yeah, sometimes my cup would get a little stinky from continuous use. I'd take a break for a day or two if my flow was light enough to use something else like pads or liners. The cup would recover after a day or two of being in the open air. They say that douching isn't good for you but I would occasionally. Usually plain water or sometimes added just a little vinegar -- to clean ME out, not just the cup. Use your best judgement. Don't over-do anything. And grin and bear it. Even though it seems never-ending, it'll all be over soon enough. :o)
singanddanceall on September 19th, 2014 05:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the support. That's just what I've been doing, taking a break using pads or liners. Or once a tampon, but with the odor I'm not really comfortable with a tampon, I worry about being a petri-dish.

I get the feeling these long periods are just so we're happy to be rid of 'em. They're not the worst of it... the hormonal mood swings, and I just had my first hot flash (yay!). I'm thrilled to have the cup, but I do want to get rid of the odor. I'm a little worried my lover will be turned off. We only see each other on weekends. I don't (and won't) use any kind of scent down there, though.

Time to go take a bath, ha ha.
Kai: 50IsntOldkuradi8 on September 19th, 2014 06:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I felt the same about tampons but still used them occasionally. And same about scent. Paraphrasing an old air freshener commercial: "Now it smells like flowers... AND fish." ;oP

Hot flashes and night sweats are common. Black cohosh and/or soy help with those. I was and still am one of the (cough) "lucky few" who gets accompanying nightmares. Not necessarily scary but disturbing or frustrating. One of them from last night: George Clooney redecorated my house with WHITE carpeting throughout. NOOOOO! I'll never be able to keep that clean!!!

Returning to you... what if you picked up a second cup from http://mc-sales.livejournal.com/ so you could alternate them as needed? Maybe something for lighter days? Or another that you've been curious about trying?
singanddanceall on September 19th, 2014 06:36 pm (UTC)
You know, black cohash is really helping me, as did adding vitamin E and a magnesium supplement. Egad, nightmares are a symptom? Glad I haven't had those.

I'm going to stop by my local coop this afternoon and pick up another Divacup. I like what I know. Just hope I get at least a few more periods to make it worth it! lol
m03m on September 20th, 2014 08:52 am (UTC)
I can't guarantee that it's safe (I've been doing it for three years though, with no adverse effects on my Fleurcup) and I don't know whether it's available where you are, but for what it's worth:
Steradent denture cleaning tablets get my cup looking like new and smelling fresh, real quick. You could do it while you take a shower.

Good luck! I'm 46, so where you are now, I may go soon. I have suggested a perimenopause tag, but no luck so far.
jenn4a on September 21st, 2014 05:00 am (UTC)
You have/had troubles with the fleurcup? Me too..
I have a red fleurcup and last week I almost got sick from the smell. (I checked myself, and it was only coming from the cup!)

The smell was so awful! What got rid of it was some tea tree oil soap (I got it from the store.) so I filled my cup half way with water and put a small dab of the TT soap in it, like half or 1/3 of an eraser sized amount. I swished around the water and then started rubbed the outside with the foamy water mix.
It got rid of it :) I wouldn't use TTO directly though. The soap I have doesn't have that much in it, and it's in a plastic bottle.

I'm sure there's some cup users who advise against TTO, but I haven't had any problems with it diluted.

m03m on September 21st, 2014 08:12 am (UTC)
Well, trouble... for me, it stains easily and the Steradent fixes that completely.
chamekke: FT_invisible_duckschamekke on June 1st, 2015 06:00 am (UTC)
I'm a latecomer to this thread - missed it somehow last year.

I'm hitting perimenopause too, so posts like these are very helpful for me.

I do wish there was a 'perimenopause' tag on this comm. No idea at all why the mods won't go for it. I suppose we could always use the 'age' tag, even if it's a bit misleading (= it's perfectly possible to experience perimenopause in your thirties or even earlier).
m03m on June 1st, 2015 07:56 am (UTC)
Uh yeah, 'age' doesn't cut it, it's too general and you're right, it doesn't really apply either. Maybe you could make the request as well, to make clear that there's a need.
bklynmom on September 21st, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
If you are still having the odor, maybe you should see your doctor for a test for bacterial vaginosis. The fish comment made me think of it and the prolonged bleeding might have made you more prone to a bacterial overgrowth. It's pretty easy to treat, although treatment won't make a difference in the bleeding...

Edited to add- oops I just realized the fish comment wasn't yours, so feel free to ignore this if you feel it doesn't relate.

Edited at 2014-09-21 02:15 pm (UTC)
curious_bunny_8curious_bunny_8 on September 22nd, 2014 08:24 am (UTC)
I think buying another cup to rotate might just be an easy solution and the only you'll need.

BTW, is it still same cup you've been using for 9 years? Might be time to toss it altogether.
singanddanceall on September 24th, 2014 03:24 am (UTC)
So I thought I'd check back in. I'm very happy with my brand-new Divacup size 2, same as the old one. And my period finally ended (Finally!) after 19 days. Can women get swamp-crotch? That's what I felt like I had.

Anyway, Steradent isn't something that I can easily get, so I got the generic Efferdent. After 5 treatments the old cup is smelling pretty good. Not perfect yet, but decent. And it's lightened up considerably, although in my experience peroxide does a better job on the color. Pity it doesn't last. Since I have the new cup, and I feel like I'm a couple of years from full menopause, I feel free to experiment.

The new cup started to take on the same odor very quickly, however. Not as pungent at first, but I'm glad I only had to use it a couple of days. While I have no personal symptoms of any sort, and my partner hasn't noticed anything, it makes me think that there's still a little imbalance down there. I think I will clean the new cup with the denture wash as well, provided the results with the old cup are good. I'm not going to assume they're good until I've used it again and all is well.

I have to agree with the poster who says the Divacup seems darn near indestructible. It really does.

Thanks to everyone for their advice and I really think a perimenopause category is needed too!
(Deleted comment)
singanddanceall on January 3rd, 2015 04:06 pm (UTC)
Interesting. Well I'm very happy with denture cleaner, I must say. It took about 20 treatments but the old cup is like new again. The new cup is fine.

I've been having some stress incontinence and am quite bothered. I've had C-sections only, but I've read it's caused by nerve damage. Wearing a cup can help?