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excyan
First of all, I've been here for a while without having an LJ account. This place is awesome. It has taught me a lot and I've been cheering every single person with problems on. I'd like to say thank you so much for being the friendly place you are. I hope this part of LJ never dies!

Regardless, it's not enough. The time has come for me to post. Some of my questions are very common, answered and probably accounted for, but for me the issue lies in having wide and contradicting combination of traits and problems. It's keeping me from actually using a cup. I've gone through size charts, discussions on hardness and the terrific kuradi8 answers to FAQ's. I'd like to say I know my basics.



This post will be long and winding but I'll start with the short info about me and my parts:

- 25 years old, not given birth
- sexually active
- bleeding a lot the first two days, my first mami cup small was 2/3 full in 3 hours.
- former elite dancer
- done yoga, I'm very flexible
- my pelvic floor muscles are extremely tight and toned.
- I've previously had vaginal/urethral sensitivity issues. Yeast infections twice in my life, and a long, one-year period of small, not serious (but still annoying) episodes of what I think was UTI's. They were mild and passed within a week's constant drinking of water. I went to a doctor and she didn't find anything at all. She said that there is no need taking samples if I'm not bleeding when urinating. The problem came and went for a while after that, until it stopped altogether half a year ago. Praise the sun! Still don't know exactly what it was though.



Now I'll list the issues.



1. Either I can't find my cervix even when squatting in the bathroom during my period, or it's extremely low down. I know this sounds weird but let me explain:

I read guides on how to find the cervix and how it's supposed to feel like, so during the past year and up until now I've taken my sweet time feeling around. Meticulously. This is how I do it: I squat on the floor. Then I insert my middle finger, which is 7 cm (2.76 inches). All instructions say that the finger should go in and in until it "stops", and at the stop I should feel something like a hard donut with an indent in the middle. At least it's supposed to be hard during periods, and also lower down.
Fine. I insert my finger with the knuckle downwards (to the floor) and the cushion of the finger tip upwards (to the bladder/belly side). I go further and further until I realise there's no more finger left and I still haven't reached any kind of firm stop. It's just empty space. When this happens I rise up on my legs to a standing position with the finger still inside to try and "catch" the elusive little trickster, thinking maybe it will appear. No success, meaning that even during periods it might be further up than 7 centimeters (2.76 inches).

Conversely I feel something really hard-spongy only 4 centimeters (1.57 inches) in, on the upside, but it seems tilted and strange and doesn't really stop my finger from going further. It's like a curve, or an upside down hill with the base of the hill upwards. During my period this particular place feels a bit harder, like a nose actually, and it might be wishful thinking but I might also feel flaps or a hole or something remotely similar to what I think a cervix might feel like.
What doesn't convince me that this is my cervix is that it's more like a curvature, a half of a donut, and it's situated at an unorthodox angle and place. It also doesn't hurt or feel anything in particular as I press hard on it and I've heard that when it's a cervix, you will definitely experience an obvious sensation.
This leads me to the conclusion that this might be my pubic bone.



2. My first cup was a Mami small. I managed to get it to almost unfold after three day's constant battling. I let it sit and after two hours it started to leak. I took it out and haven't been able to get it to unfold since.
After this episode I took a break and said goodbye to the idea of using a cup. I went back to the hated plastic pads. But as summer came so did bathing, swimming and other fun sporty activities, which I love doing. I decided to try a larger cup this time and bought the Fleur large. The reason for my choices what that this was what the webshop in my country had (the shipping and custom taxes for my country are ridiculous and I try to avoid it).

Sadly, I've never been able to get either of my two cups to unfold. The Fleur is even worse than the Mami. I get sad every time I see them on the shelf (I even crafted cute small pyramide-shaped cotton bags for them so that they would thrive and be happy and kind). When I insert them they don't even bulge. They stay in the exact same fold I have tried (I've tried them all a hundred times). After three periods with no success I started to cry out of frustration.



3. Since I'm sensitive but have super strong pelvic floor muscles I'm forced to either get a cup with the hardness of a rock and springy like an old bed, but risk getting irritated or uncomfortable, or to get a soft cup with minimal amount of ridges/edges but to once again get a cup that simply doesn't unfold. I'm lost.



4. There's also the issue of my heavy bleeding and which size to choose. The main problem is that I can't know for sure how much I bleed since it's a question of perspective and position.
Here's why: With pads, as long as I'm sitting down the blood does actually not run out. Sometimes I can even keep it in by sheer willpower and force (if I forgot pads and need to bolt to the nearest bathroom). But when I sit down on the toilet and relax, it gushes out violently and it seems to me that it's extremely much blood, it flees my body with a constant angry speed for at least 10 seconds. I usually need to flush twice to get it all away. During night, I use the longest pads, but not with the highest absorption. This is because I move around a lot and the blood tends to travel around to all possible directions, but since I'm lying down the amount of blood is not really an issue.

How do I know it's a lot of bleeding comparing to others? Well, a few times during my life I've bled sparingly when compared to myself. Like, normal pad got maybe ten drops worth of blood during 4 hours of use. I've come to understand that this might be the "standard".



5. Can the blood block the small holes as I insert the cup, preventing it from opening? I've thought about this a lot but not come to a conclusion.



I don't think I've ever written a post this long, but maybe it's granted as I'm really passionate about this subject and love the idea of freedom a cup can bring. For me, making my period as easy and natural as it can be, means the world. I wish I had this option when I was dancing ten years ago.

I hope I followed all the rules, posted with the right tags (there can be so many!), and not annoyed anyone in the process. If I have, feel free to move the thread to the right place or write to me and tell me I should repost or edit with the right tags/thingies. I'm completely new to LJ but I'll stop by again soon and monitor the thread closely.

xoxo
 
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 7th, 2015 01:54 pm (UTC)
Wow, you have a really strong PC muscle. :o) Be sure to relax it fully for insertion and removal. Read the "really important" section at http://kuradi8.livejournal.com/ and skim/read the rest too. I think it's your technique rather than cup design or muscle strength that's keeping your cups from opening. But if you think that enlarging the anti-suction holes around the rim would help, then try that. The holes on the cup with the largest holes are 2mm.
Sal McGhostface Killahbeuk on July 7th, 2015 02:41 pm (UTC)
Lemme clear up your misconception regarding the location of the cervix. It is not the "lid" of the vagina and it is not at the tippy top. Generally speaking, it is on the front wall of the vagina. If I had to guess, what you're feeling 4cm in is likely the cervix.

Disposable pads and cups are not your only option. While you get through the learning curve, cloth pads might be something to try as they are more comfortable.
Tashanamelessw0nder on July 7th, 2015 06:07 pm (UTC)
I disagree with beuk on #1, that sounded like your pelvic bone to me. That's how mine feels.

http://themidwifeisin.tumblr.com/post/121623147078/hello-recently-i-was-examined-by-my-obgyn-and-she

Check out the first diagram in this link (it shows a cross section of a pelvis with vagina & uterus, relatively safe for work). The side of the vagina closer to the rectum has some space next to the cervix and the vaginal wall. That is probably where your finger is going when you reach up to try and find your cervix. If you can keep against the front wall and then push your finger towards the back wall, you may find it that way. But some people simply cannot reach their cervix, and it can move depending on your time during your cycle. You'd probably have your best luck during your period.

Additionally, next time you have a pelvic exam, you could ask your doctor to show your where your cervix is with the use of a hand mirror. I found it kind of cool :).

Do you have access to disposable cups (Instead Cups)? They're not the same, they sit kind of as a shelf beyond your pubic bone.
chamiletchamilet on July 7th, 2015 11:43 pm (UTC)
It definitely sounds like your pelvic muscles are keeping the cup from opening up. Sometimes mine is stuck looking like this )( and I have to make a concerted effort to breathe in and out and relax my muscles and with some coaxing from my finger all the way around the top and it pops open. Sometimes I have to tug it down a tad so that it can expand where my vaginal canal is a little wider, then I push it back up.

Edited at 2015-07-07 11:43 pm (UTC)
excyanexcyan on July 8th, 2015 12:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the same for me. Either that or they simply stay in the exact fold formation I insert them in. But I got it to work now, I think relaxing my pelvic muscles by finger work was the trick.
bklynmom on July 8th, 2015 01:51 am (UTC)
Lots of great advice already but I want to weight in on the heaviness of your flow. It doesn't sound very heavy to me. A 10 second gush is pretty short if no blood is coming out for hours. When I used to use tampons or pads I'd have that when I went to the bathroom and changed a tampon or at times when I used pads. I think even the strongest muscles couldn't hold back a really heavy flow for too long.

And, 10 drops in four hours is definitely not the standard for most women's periods. (Certainly some women have light periods like that but it's not that common). I'm in healthcare and have asked a lot of women about their periods. I find most report changing their pads 4-6 times in 24 hours. Of course more and less are both common, but what you described as "standard" sounded like spotting to me. Although many have times during their periods when they spot, you wouldn't need to choose a cup to cover that specifically. Pretty much every cup would have the capacity for that type of bleeding. I think you'd be fine with a small cup until you get more practiced at using it.

I also think it's just teething trouble. Practice relaxing the muscles around your fingers first and then insert the cup. Although I use the c fold, I've read that more complex folds like the labia or even the 7 will pop open more easily, have you tried that? I had a hard time getting my cups to open when I started and almost never do now. Maybe that will happen to you? If not, a soft cup with a firm rim might be the answer. Sckoon comes to mind of the ones I have but I'm sure the size charts would also point you to others.
Kathlynekathlyne on July 8th, 2015 02:27 am (UTC)
Wow. Requiring blood in the urine to test for a UTI is not standard medical practice.

To get the cup to open try to get air into it by pushing the side of the vaginal wall away from the cup to allow air in. Try to actively relax. Let you jaw hang loose. Make funny faces.

It sounds like you need to relax and practice more.

Keep on trying.
excyanexcyan on July 8th, 2015 12:41 pm (UTC)
Classical Swedish healthcare. They only take you seriously when you're already dying (or if you are an infant).

Your funny face trick worked really well! Thank you <3

Edited at 2015-07-08 12:41 pm (UTC)
excyanexcyan on July 8th, 2015 12:36 pm (UTC)
It's in!
This is awesome, I read every comment and then ventured to the bathroom after purchasing cloth pads (thanks beuk!). Bye bye scratchy plastics.

I realised that the only way for me to make the process more easy and not as clinical as I did was simply finger pre-work with a dropped jaw. I then did a punch-down fold with the fold turned down and tried my best to get it to pop open early just beyond the pubic bone, much like kuradi8 writes. When I failed I washed it with very cold water, and after four attempts it unfolded smoothly but not very controlled. Still, I managed to turn it maybe 90 degrees for a bit and tug it both up and down slightly.

I did this squatting. When I rose i immediately felt tiny cramps and understood that something is not entirely correct. So, is it too far in and bumping into my cervix (which I still havent found) or is my cervix in fact lower, with the possibility of me missing it entirely? I put the small mami cup in one hour ago and it doesn't leak yet. Today is my fourth period day and it's not much blood, I also only have cramps (IF I have them, sometimes they stay away entirely) four days before the flood and first and heaviest day.

The stem is hidden by my inner labiae but I can reach the outermost end of it when squatting/sitting. Currently I'm walking around in a paranoid state, constantly grabbing the stem to check if the cup had disappeared further in (I admit that I'm quite scared of that even though it's unusual). At the moment it has traveled up a tiny bit.

Edit: The cramps are gone now, can it be that the body is trying to adapt to the cup in some way? Coincidentally, the stem has traveled a bit further up now, but I can steel feel the tip of it when I part my labia completely and dig atound. I also feel it chafing as I walk around. The stem is not cut.

Edited at 2015-07-08 12:52 pm (UTC)
m03m on July 8th, 2015 01:22 pm (UTC)
Re: It's in!
> grabbing the stem to check if the cup had disappeared further in (I admit that I'm quite scared of that even though it's unusual).

It's very usual for cups to travel up as far as they can go. It's also very fine. You'll still be able to get it out.

The Mami has a short stem, and if it stays that close to your vaginal entrance, your cervix may not actually be all that high.

I'm so happy that you are starting to get better results! Keep on keeping on, you're doing great.
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on July 9th, 2015 10:44 pm (UTC)
Re: It's in!
Yup! The Mami is a long cup in general so you may need to snip some of that stem. Mine arrived unexpectedly quickly in the mail--though I'm waiting to try it because I have a Lena on the way as well. If my friend's cervix is high enough I may pass it on to her. (I don't really like flat tab stems)

Also, hello Brahms :)