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05 June 2015 @ 07:10 am
Many cup-users report fewer menstrual cramps while using a cup, which is pretty snazzy; but I always thought this was because if you are using a cup, you are not using tampons. Basically, you'd get the same cramps if you were only using pads--the absence of tampons alone is the deciding factor.

BUT, I noticed something. My period always starts with a rather acute pain in my cervix. It's pretty uncomfortable, though not unmanageable. When this happens, I know my period is starting, and I go to put in my large Fleur cup*. Almost instantly, the acute cervical pain disappears.

Is it possible that the cup is proactively relieving the cramp? Like maybe it's creating more space between my cervix and vaginal walls and this helps relieve pressure?

What do you folks think?

*The large FLeur is short and wide. I'm pretty sure it sits higher up and around my cervix.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on June 5th, 2015 01:19 pm (UTC)
Relieves your cramps? Good for you! Cups do for some. Don't for others.

Yes, despite what the instructions say, your cup should sit (O) around your cervix. Skim/Read http://kuradi8.livejournal.com/ for more.

Your cervix is one of the many sphinctor muscles in your body. It is usually squeezed shut very tightly and (combined with other muscle movements) the act of opening enough to let flow and clots pass is what causes cramps. There's an old wives tale that says that the more water you drink before and during your period, the more fluid your flow and therefore the lesser/fewer your cramps. It works for me. Will it work for you too?
margalee on June 5th, 2015 01:36 pm (UTC)
Hard to tell if drinking extra water helps! Maybe? I stay pretty hydrated in general, but my first day is always a bit crampy. Strange, because I pass some pretty big clots on days 2-3 but I never have accompanying cramps for those, yet I have the worst cramps on the first day when my flow is much lighter and everything is more, shall we say, "fluid". Weird, right? I figure my cervix is just reacclimating to passing fluids again on day 1.

My theory is that my cervix is descending up and down like a yoyo (it does that) and trying to open up a bit when my period starts, causing the cramping/pain. In the absence of the cup, the vaginal walls are hugging it, causing extra pressure and extra pain. As my cup sits around my cervix, I kinda think it's making a "bubble" and removing any extra pressure from the vaginal walls. It doesn't remove the pain entirely, but it's certainly a lot less sharp. So that's cool. Win for cups!
icanbmeicanbme on June 5th, 2015 10:04 pm (UTC)
I was a 100% pad user before I began using a cup, and I have less cramps now FWIW.
failsafe8failsafe8 on June 6th, 2015 02:47 am (UTC)
I don't know why but cups have all but relieved my cramps. I used to have curl-up-in-a-ball-please-kill-me-now cramps. With my cup I've noticed they are barely noticeable. This cycle I had the misfortune to forget my cup the day before I was due to start (yet another reason to purchase a spare.), for twleve hours I was cupless. The cramps started slow and by the time I got home they were terrible. I never take medicine and I had to some motrin. I put my cup back in and it took two days for the cramps to go away again, but they did.

Moral of the story: Never leave home without your cup.

My theory for cups:

The cup holds your vaignal walls open more which allows blood to flow freer from your cervix. The increased ease of blood flow leads to the cervix taking a break and letting things flow rather than overworking itself and getting back pain (AKA cramps for us).
Saruwatari Aiko - love seems to hate mestephynee_c on June 6th, 2015 03:55 am (UTC)
I'd been a tampon and pad user before I switched over to cups. I've had some hormonal problems in the past, so my cramps during the second and third day are quite intense. Coupled with the fact that I have trouble sleeping when I use pads, having my period is a traumatic experience for me and I dread it immensely.

However, I noticed that when I use the cup, my cramps aren't as intense and I don't clot as much. It might just be because this is my first cycle using the cup and my body is adjusting to it. Now, I cannot wait for my next period to see if it stays the same!
margalee on June 6th, 2015 07:08 am (UTC)
That's so awesome when your periods become easier! The best thing about cups is how much they've improved my sleep when I'm on my period. On occasion, I do have to get up and empty in the middle of the night, but I usually just have to worry about a bit of spotting- one cloth pantyliner and I'm set for the night. Can't remember a time I've woken up to a murder scene since switching With pads and tampons, i'd inevitably end up staining the bed. Such a strain, especially if I was staying over somewhere.

Still searching for a goldilocks to get me through the night dry and happy--eagerly awaiting an XL meluna and medium LUB in the mail to try-- but overall, it's been better even with my non-goldilocks.

Another thing about cramps. My secondary cup is a small Sckoon, which is a very short, very narrow, you-could-easily-not-notice-this-thing-is-in-your-vag kind of cup. I wore this on my first day once, and my acute cervical cramps were Real Bad. To test a theory, I swapped it for my large Fleur, and within minutes, the cramps subsided. The Fleur, a wider, stiffer cup, I think did the trick for easing up that cervical pressure. The much narrower, softer Sckoon didn't give me those results.
Saruwatari Aiko - love seems to hate mestephynee_c on June 6th, 2015 12:27 pm (UTC)
Oo! I totally get the murder scene reference! That's the main reason I HATE pads because I have to sleep in one position the whole night to prevent leaking.

I have an XL Meluna Classic that I bought because my LadyCup small was not enough to handle my heavy days. I had debated between the L and XL but the shop that I bought them from didn't have an L with a stem and color, so I went with the XL. I'm not really sure if it's because the XL is too big for me or if it's because the Classic is kinda stiff, but when I used it, it hit the back of my bladder and it felt a little uncomfortable. But I've read that the Meluna gets softer the more you use it, so I'm gonna stick with it and see if on my next cycle I still have the same sensations.

As a side note, I've just bought a M Meluna Soft to try out on my next cycle. I saw comparisons between the LadyCup Small and the M Meluna and the Meluna is just a tad bit bigger in capacity, so I wanted to try and see if it solves my leaking problem that I had with the LadyCup.
margalee on June 6th, 2015 02:53 pm (UTC)
I have an XL Meluna Classic in the mail- unfortunately, doesn't look like it will be coming on time to test drive for this cycle. Oh well. The Melunas have such an impressive variety and are so affordable that I was curious to give one a spin. I ordered a LUB after having a monster period that was rather reminiscent of a Tarantino film. My poor Fleur could hardly keep up! Thank goodness my flow went back to normal this month. Wanted to have something really heavy duty in the arsenal in case I have another monster period in the future. (They do happen.)

LadyCup is one of the leakiest cups I've ever tried. I think it's a combination of large (and LOW) holes, plus a squishy bottom part. Every time my muscles would clench, I think it would force menses through the holes and straight onto my panties. Then the outside of the cup would be so slippery without any grip rings that removal was a nightmare. Once I was in a public restroom trying to change my ladycup. Took me ages to get a grip, and once I pulled it out, the springy rim went POP and sprayed the contents everywhere. I kid you not. What a nightmare! Definitely not my goldilocks.

Almost every cup I've purchased (Diva, LadyCup, Yuuki, small Sckoon, Fleur, in that order) has been better than the last, so I'm looking forward to trying LUB and Meluna XL. Very happy with Large Fleur so far (those grip rings are heavenly, it's springy but not too springy, and the the shape is fantastic!), but I think a blunt-based cup with a BIT more length would give me extra capacity for the night. Fleur is a fantastic, pretty darn leak-proof daytime cup for me! Have to change it 4 times tops in a 24 hours period on heavy days, which I call VERY good. I lose some capacity to a yoyo cervix.

If I sleep for only 6 hours, the Fleur is fine, but I run way better on 9 hours of sleep. Don't need Aunt Flo waking me from my beauty sleep.
Saruwatari Aiko - love seems to hate mestephynee_c on June 6th, 2015 04:55 pm (UTC)

I love your replies! They are really funny and also well thought out.

Thankfully I've not had to change my cup in public yet, but I've had the immense pleasure of being introduced to the bloodbath that one gets when an extremely full cup spills forward instead of inside the toilet...

Over here in Malaysia, there is so far only one physical shop that sells menstrual cups and sponge tampons. Trouble is, they have a very limited range of cup brands that they carry; LadyCup, MoonCup UK, and, Meluna. I wasn't keen on the MCUK as they are transparent and will change color in time. I would have liked to have gotten the LadyCup Large as my first cup, but they were sold out and I was very determined to make the switch from disposables to cup. Just the thought of another sleepless night using pads made me very uncomfortable.

It is true that the Meluna range is very affordable and has great variety. In fact, after I had gotten my XL Meluna, I slightly regretted buying the LadyCup as not only was LC much more expensive, but she leaks like a faulty faucet (I'm being dramatic, it was probably a few spots on my underwear even when the cup was filled to the holes). But, I reasoned with myself that the LC would be good on my lighter days and therefore, not such a big waste of money.

Oh yes, I was re-reading kuradi8's reply to you about cramps and I thought I should share with you my perspective on cramps. Way back when I had hormonal problems and would get non-stop periods (it really lasted almost a month and was like a waterfall gushing out of me! I ran through heavy duty pads like nobody's business), everytime I felt a cramp, I could feel a clot being expelled out of me. I soon realized that  cramp=uterus wall shedding. Even after I got my hormonal problem sorted, the theory remained true until I started using the cup. Like I said in my initial reply, the cup has greatly reduced the clots.

Sorry about the long post though!!!

yayforcupsyayforcups on June 6th, 2015 10:26 pm (UTC)
I'm a murder scene bleeder for the first two days, so I got the medium LUB- absolutely in love with this cup!!! It even fills (for me at least) above the rim so when i wake up i dont even have residual, only when i go to the bathroom do I find out that it surpassed it's capacity!!
I do get some periods where my cervix lowers a little but i just flip it inside out. I actually prefer it that way as its softer and smoother, sometimes it feels flatter but the capacity and seal aren't affected :) the removal is a learning curve but insertion with 7-fold is a breeze. I hope all who are awaiting this cup have as good an experience :)
margalee on June 7th, 2015 05:51 am (UTC)
That's good to hear the LUB works so well for you. I'm honestly a bit intimidated by the size. The biggest cup I've tried is the Large Yuuki, and the LUB medium seems a great deal bigger!

Fleur is the best capacity cup I've tried so far, but I start getting a bit of spotting when it's only 2/3 full. This is already a huge improvement from the pointier Yuuki and Diva, but it's not ideal. Cups are always going to sit around my cervix, so having as much wide, blunt space below the "Cervix Zone" I think will give me more staying power for day-hikes and overnight sleeping. Will report back once I've had a chance with Meluna XL and LUB medium!

Thanks for sharing your experiences with LUB.
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on June 7th, 2015 06:59 pm (UTC)
I never had bad cramps to begin with (thankfully--my mom would get such bad cramps that she'd miss school sometimes). But I do notice sometimes, if I inserted my cup preemptively, I will have absolutely NO sign that my period has started until I go to check my cup that night. Usually, before I started with cups, I'd get a little twinge of something that would let me know to wear a liner or grab a tampon. Very rarely more than that.