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Free the West Memphis 3!
28 January 2015 @ 10:46 pm
Hi all! I'm a cup noob. A bit of background: I have a history of heavier, irregular periods. Have been stacking the pill for almost 5 years to not have any periods. Not that that works, but that's a story for another time. Anyway, for the past 10 days, I've had my period, and was bleeding really heavily for 5 of them. I was passing huge clots every 2 hours and doing the tampon with pad combo and changing the tampon every 2 hours. This kind of bleeding is not normal for me. Yes, I have consulted my GP. We're working on it. ;) So, I got the Diva cup, was worried about it not holding enough, because of these clots...but since I started it, I had 1 small clot and that was it. This may be a stupid question, but having a cup wouldn't somehow cause the clots to stop forming, would it? Like, something about the suction inside? I'm guessing not, and that it just so happened that those huge clots were done at the same time I started using the cup. This is probably a totally lame question. ;)

EDIT: I've had the cup out for an hour, and suddenly got a bad cramp and felt a clot coming out. How does that work? I haven't had any all day, and then I take the cup out and suddenly I have one? I'm so confused!

I'm having some difficulties and weirdness, too. I am sure I'll get used to it, but I'm still learning. I was having issues with the cup being too long and irritating my labia...I googled and found this community and read suggestions of flipping the cup inside out. So I did, and that's been great. I'm having trouble taking the cup out. It comes out easily, but when it pops out, it kind of hurts. Like, when the rim pops out, I cringe every time. And getting the cup to come out without spilling is driving me nuts. My underwear from today now has some drops of blood on them because I just couldn't get the cup out without dropping a little. :( Any tips for both of these?

I also figured out, at this point in this freakishly long and heavy cycle, the cup starts to leak after about 5 hours. That hopefully will change as my cycle gets lighter again. But that means I won't be able to sleep through the night without getting up once to empty it, I guess. So I'm not wearing it tonight just in Case...but now that it's out, I'm noticing some itching around the opening of my vagina. Could that just be from putting the cup in and taking it out multiple times?

The weirdness: a couple times, I've put the cup in and it has kinda settled and shifted to where it wants to sit within a few minutes, which is fine. I feel it pop open, which is good, but it is such a weird sensation. And a couple times, I have felt dizzy for a few minutes after feeling this pop. What gives, and has anyone else had that?

Lastly, I'm wondering if it's absolutely necessary to use soap or the Diva Cup cleaner to clean the cup. Can I use just hot water, or will that not suffice? I don't want to have to carry around *another* bottle of something...I already have lotion, and pills, and Chapstick, etc.

I feel like I have more questions, but this post is already long enough! I really want this whole cup thing to work. I'm thinking about getting a Meluna because I love how customizable they are...which could be a whole other post.

If you've read this far, thanks in advance!
elisamba on January 29th, 2015 09:08 am (UTC)
When removing the cup, once you feel the suction release and the cup start to collapse, guide the collapsed part so it forms a U and avoids your pubic bone. Keep it collapsed with your thumb as you ease it out, or else "rock" it out with one edge of the rim first. Precious Star Pads on YT has a good video, something like "how to remove a cup pain-free".

Yeah, the itch is probably just getting used to it. Maybe give it a rest for a while, you want your first experience to be positive. Did you remember to boil it before using? To get off any potential manufacturing residues and such.

I have heard of the dizziness, though never felt it. I don't have time to search on the community, I seem to remember someone saying the cup might hit a certain nerve.

Soap or special cleaner is not necessary. Actually if there's a risk you can't rinse the cup thoroughly, I would stay away from soap. Water is fine, some of us don't even boil it regularly, and we call that our cup being "clean as cutlery". :) There are lots of cleaning tips in the Cleaning FAQ on the side bar.

I have no idea about your clots, unless you have an allergy/sensitivity to some product in tampons.
Free the West Memphis 3!die_fledermaus on January 29th, 2015 04:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your reply! I'm worried about soap actually because of the residue, even if I have access to hot water. I have a veeeery sensitive vagina, and I even wash my underwear separately in scent free detergent.

I haven't had any more clots, and I didn't wear the cup last night. I wasn't wearing a tampon when I got the one last night so I don't think it was because of it, but your point about sensitivity to tampons is a really good one. :)
Free the West Memphis 3!die_fledermaus on January 29th, 2015 04:30 pm (UTC)
Oh I wanted to ask: how do you make the U when you take it out? I can barely get one finger in there with the cup in, so getting two in there to hold the opening of the cup closed as I pull it out sounds impossible!
elisamba on January 29th, 2015 09:44 pm (UTC)
Slowly! It takes some practice, but at least one fingertip and thumb tip can fit (even a baby can lol). Once the cup starts sliding out, put your forefinger and middle finger under the tip in a fork shape, and your thumb on top to maintain the U. With practice, the cup slides out in the U into your palm upright and does not spill!
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on January 29th, 2015 01:43 pm (UTC)
An old wives' tale says that the more water you drink before and during your period, the more fluid (less clots) your flow will be. That also alleviates the cramps associated with passing those clots.

You already found the trick about flipping the Diva inside out. Another trick is to enlarge the tiny little anti-suction holes around the rim. There are other helpful hints at http://kuradi8.livejournal.com/ -- including advice about cleaning. It also has a link to the size and capacity charts so you can compare your Diva to other brands that interest you.

As for the weird sensation and feeling dizzy, Google vasovagal. The good news is that a vasovagal response is usually only temporary. It stops happening after your body figures out that whatever you're doing to trigger it is OK.
Free the West Memphis 3!die_fledermaus on January 29th, 2015 04:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks! That's a great link. I may try enlarging the holes a bit.

The vasovagal response is interesting. I have a really sensitive vagina so maybe that's what's going on.
pinkydoodler on January 29th, 2015 03:28 pm (UTC)
If you want to sleep through the night, don't forget you can still combine cups and pads. I've had some horrendously heavy flows, but the cup buys me 5 hours until it starts leaking, then a pad buys another two or three hours on top of that by catching the leakage till morning. 8 hours sleep is no problem if I use a cup and an overnight pad.

Also, I recommend reusable cloth pads, way more comfortable for sleeping!

As for cleaning, I normally use a soap-free feminine wash, but I've also used handwash with no problems as well. For carrying around wash liquid I just dispense a little of it into a clean contact lense case. Small, discreet and you can put some lube in the other side too.
Free the West Memphis 3!die_fledermaus on January 29th, 2015 04:21 pm (UTC)
The contact lens case is a great idea! I think just using hot water is working...I'm really hoping I don't ever have to empty it in a porta-potty...I work outside and sometimes that's the only access to a toilet I have! Yikes.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on January 29th, 2015 08:09 pm (UTC)
I also had an outside job with only a porta-potty. And I would so much rather empty a cup than have to deal with tampons in one! It's really no big deal once you get the hang of it. Having some bottled water is very handy for rinsing your cup and/or your hands.