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Hi all, I just joined because I wanted to seek out some advice.
I'm 22, sexually active, no children, and use the Paraguard (copper-based) IUD for birth control. I've had the IUD for almost a year now, and it has definitely altered my menstrual cycle--I can no longer tolerate tampons. The cramping is excruciating, and my flow is very heavy. I become iron deficient during my menstrual cycle, and when I did use tampons I was changing them every 3-4 hours plus the pad I used as back up. I was soaking through everything...it didn't matter if I was on bed rest or the amount of flow the products were supposed to handle, 4 hours was my max. I am now solidly using pads, and I am down to my last month's supply. I still have to change my pad every 4-5 hours, but the flow and cramping is not as severe as it was with the tampons.
I've been researching for several months now, my gynecologist has given me the okay to use menstrual cups with my IUD, even ones right against the cervix because my strings are very short--I can barely touch them they're so short. From my experience with tampons and self-checks, my cervix likes 3-5 inches of vaginal length, and after the gynecologist's ultrasound diameter isn't an issue.
My wish list for my cup is: to extend my "changing" time closer to 8 hours, reusable, eco-friendly, allergy-friendly (plastic allergy), comfort, no leakage (once user error is eliminated), and a pretty big one is allowing me to have a sex life again during my period...all sex is off the table that satisfies me because of how heavy my flow is, and I have a big sex drive. That is really unacceptable, that I've been putting up with this for 11 months. I've heard that the SoftCup allows penetrative sex, but is that the disposable line or the reusable line? Any advice/suggestions of cups would be really appreciated!
Current Location: San Diego, California
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
fullof_nargles on March 9th, 2015 04:05 am (UTC)
I've had my copper IUD for a little over two years now and I'm still in the learning phase with the femmycycle. I haven't tried any other cups, but at first I did have an issue with the cup pressing against my cervix and causing pressure and I am still working on fixing that and figuring out how to insert properly and how far to push it in. (I do have a post down below about how I think the femmycycle may have made my cervix too sensitive when I took it out before sex, so that might be something to consider).

Also, I don't think the Instead Softcup is recommended for people with IUDs as it sits right on the cervix (not sure about the reusable one, but I'm talking about the disposable one you can buy at drugstores)

HOWEVER, when the femmycycle works properly and I've inserted it well, it's great. I once had it in for an entire day and it did not leak and I felt so free (although I cannot sneeze as that creates a leak and did so with tampons as well, but that might just be me).

And I am so with you on being very annoyed with the heavy flow. It's so annoying. I learned on http://iud-divas.livejournal.com/ that you can take vitamin E to lessen the bleeding and it's working so far. Also, raspberry tea for me helps with my cramps.

Hope you find something that works for you!
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on March 9th, 2015 12:34 pm (UTC)
Skim/Read http://kuradi8.livejournal.com/ and follow the links to the size charts.

SoftCups are very different from other cups. The only difference between the "disposable" and "reusable" ones are the packaging. And why to they put a limit on how many times they can be reused? So they can sell you more of them. They can be reused for as long as you trust them -- and that will probably be several cycles.

My personal experience with them is that they work better on light days than on heavy and that they're drippy/messy to change. Alternate two. Take one out, put in a fresh one, wash the one you took out for next time. I have not used them for sex but others have successfully. If you're curious, get a box and try them out. You don't have to commit to them and never use anything else. It's perfectly OK to mix and match products.

As for other cups, check the size charts and narrow down which ones you think will fit best. Then compare their capacities. I don't think you'll get 8 hours out of ANY cup if your flow is that heavy. And it's perfectly OK to "change" your cup even if it's not filled to capacity.

Some folks have had PIV sex successfully wearing cups even though they're not designed for it. It's worth a try but I think their experiences were the exceptions, not the rules.
mshanai on March 9th, 2015 03:47 pm (UTC)
I had vaginal sex with the cup in place once by accident because I forgot it was in there. It was... squelchy. Not otherwise problematic though. I was not bleeding heavily at the time, so YMMV.

I do not have an IUD but I did find that the cup made my cramps worse. I take the cup out, the cramps subside immediately. My solution is to take an ibuprofen before the cramps even start. It works well, and the inconvenience of having to take a pain killer is trumped by the many benefits of cups. I use a Yuuki soft, in case it matters.
plasticfreegirl on March 12th, 2015 04:17 pm (UTC)
Have you checked out the Sckooncup? I have a copper IUD and started years ago with a Diva Cup. I hated it! I had the hardest time getting it out and was in tears. Finally had to get my boyfriend to remove it for me. I've just this week heard of Sckoon and from everything I've read it seems great. It's a bit more expensive but I'm hopeful!
wanderingpaths7wanderingpaths7 on March 13th, 2015 05:27 am (UTC)
Thank you for the recommendations, I really appreciate it. Here's my thoughts based after a few days contemplating...

I've read a bit about the FemmyCycle, I love the no spill design and the ring! The cost is average compared to other brands, but I don't know about their claims of replacing the cup every 1-2 years. That sounds like bull to me.

The reusable Softcups were okay'd by my MD, my strings are cut really short. I did do more reading about these, and I'll probably start with this...and eventually buy a second cup for everyday use, and use the Softcup for period sex only.

I won't be surprised if period sex is initiated eventually while I am wearing my "daily" cup...and ibuprofen is my bestie during menstruation. And camomile tea, although I am looking into adding more holistic alternatives.

I've looked at the Yuuki, and I like the product description. With my tendency towards allergic reactions, I need high quality-medical grade materials.

And I have seen the Sckooncup, and it is pricy! Also, the material is really soft which is a concern for me. I am very physically active, pilates, martial arts, and I am a massage therapist. I need a cup that can handle that much movement, and I'm concerned the softer cups won't hold up.

Does anyone use a cup that sits higher in the vaginal canal with their IUD? Anything low always was uncomfortable for me, and I'm so active that I'd be concerned about leaking.
meah1 on March 18th, 2015 11:15 pm (UTC)
I can't speak to the rest of your post as I've never had an IUD or been sexually active, but I just wanted to say that you might not be able to get an 8 hour changing time. I have a pretty heavy flow too- I was changing ultra tampons every 2-3 hours and they were still leaking onto the backup pad. Now I have a large Si-Bell, which has a 30 mL capacity (rated by the manufacturer and confirmed by my own measurement), and I have to change it every 3-4 hours on my heaviest days. So it just might not be possible, if your flow is heavy, to go a long time between changes.