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!