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19 September 2015 @ 09:13 am
Hi, I am using a menstrual cup for the first time and have started with an Mcup - it is a fairly low-budget cup from Mexico (as that´s where I am right now). I chose the small size, which still has a diameter of 4.5 cm as I have a fairly light flow, although I am 47 years old and have used (small-size) tampons all my menstruating life (but have never had children). It seems to fit in the sense that it doesn´t get lost at all inside me - there doesn´t seem much space for a larger one! I am finding I am getting quite a bit of leakage. The cup is fully open and I am still exploring the whole trying to check if it is sealed properly against the cervix, but really the problem seems to happen particularly when I urinate. A whole load of blood exits into the toilet and I can´t understand why it happens then, so that after that I worry about leakage - which after some insertions happens and then in others not. There has been just one time so far after one of the insertions that I didn´t have blood urinating, all other times so far I have. I am learning to give a little push with my muscles after inserting which makes a little whoosh sound that seems to indicate the cup is sealing, but it still seems hard to get a consistent seal.

The cup also hurts. It seems almost to be digging into one side of my vagina so that there is a constant pain. It seems to be a fairly rigid cup, although it is my first one so I don´t have others to compare it to.

I am about to buy a second cup. This will be a Chinese Aneer "Femmecup" as I am on a low budget right now, and need to buy two as I am normally based in Cuba where I have no access to buying any more for the next 6 months and am heading back there in a few days. (Also, I have just spent the money on 2 Mcups, which look as if I will end up discarding). I am wondering whether to look for a softer cup (the Aneer cup is supposed to be very soft, but this can also mean that it is hard to get it to open, apparently) and perhaps a larger one (although 4.5 cm seems generally the largest standard diameter, with only 4.6 seeming a larger option - UPDATE: I went and measured my Mcup as the box said 4.0 cm and the website 4.5 cm and when I complained they told me that the label on the box was incorrect, but...it is only 4.0 cm - no wonder!!!) or perhaps a smaller diameter one so that it doesn´t hurt (OK; so now I know it´s not because of the diameter that it hurts!). Right now, I am just concerned that it could be a long search to find a suitable cup, with the discomfort, and the leakage and not knowing if I should have a bigger or smaller one. I feel quite despondant about menstrual cups. I thought it would be such a good solution for all the travelling I do and teh difficulties of Cuba, but I find myself longing to just use my tampons, even if I get organic ones shipped around the world!

Any input greatly appreciated.
 
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on September 19th, 2015 02:35 pm (UTC)
Even though you haven't had kids, since you mentioned that you are 47, there could be some age-related weakening of the pelvic floor muscles...makes sense that if you are releasing those muscles so you can pee, you are also losing the seal around the cup. Actually, a wider cup may help a bit with this, and you might like one that is both wide and soft. The Aneer may be too much on the soft side though. You may like the bell shape of the large Fleur...it's soft-ish, has great capacity, and if the stem is irritating you can just cut it (sounds like your cervix may be kind of low?). The Si-Bell is another great one but you may not be able to get it shipped to you in time. I think someone based in the US was selling Fleurs on mc-sales so I might contact them first--US-Mexico shipping would be faster. Here's that post http://mc-sales.livejournal.com/256328.html

Or there's also the large Sckoon, though that will be smaller than most other large cups.

Meluna is also a nice brand with a number of options for cup designs and firmness levels, though users sometimes find the TPE material harder to pop open.
sikhi on September 19th, 2015 03:24 pm (UTC)
cups choices and role of pinholes
Thanks so much. That makes sense. I guess softer so it might not hurt as it already seems not to seal with the diameter I currently have so not a too wide issue. I am still learning about my cervix and don´t really know yet if the cup is positioned properly relative to it! It seems to be about a middle finger length up, of an average-sized hand...something like that! But a regular size tampon hits it pretty easily. Kind of average maybe? The Mcup really is very painful, and constantly.

Sometimes there are small holes in the top of the cup, or people add them. Does this help with sealing? The Mcup doesn´t have these.

I am looking for cups here. I have left it very late as I just expected the cup to be fine so I am left with few options. I already ordered 2 Aneers, not realizing at the time what they were and that they were generic as they were advertised as "Femmecups". I seem to be limited to Meluna, then also there are Angelcup, Iris, Ladycup, Lunacup, Gaiacup, and Yuuki. I am concerned about Meluna as so many people seem to have issues with opening them and insertion/removal. Capacity isn´t an issue, I have fairly light flow.

I guess I try to upgrade then to at least 5.0 cm from the 4.5 I currently have?

Ahhhh...I have just gone and measured my Mcup. I had already complained to the supplier as it says 4.5 cm diameter on their site, and then 4.0 cm on the box, and now I see that the cup is only 4.0 cm. No wonder. I am guessing even 4.5 cm might be fine then, which seems pretty standard among cups?

I have given up with my Mcup though, it just hurts too much. Tampons feel so lovely right now! I will keep trying though!

Edited at 2015-09-19 03:38 pm (UTC)
Kathlynekathlyne on September 19th, 2015 08:06 pm (UTC)
Does the cup only leak during urination? I have that problem. I think it's because I bear down when I pee. If I just wipe well and leave it, I don't have leakage unless it's full. I haven't had the problem as much lately with my large fleur, not sure why. Maybe you can take note and see if you are bearing down, and if you are, just try to relax.
sikhi on September 19th, 2015 08:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the helpful advice! It leaks more during urination and perhaps seems to leak more then afterwards, but it has also leaked without me peeing first. I have been told before that I have a strong pee force! Perhaps I am bearing down hard!

Anyway, seeing as I have now found out that the cup diameter is only 4 cm, and I am having considerable leakage problems, then I should try a wider cup. But also, since the M Cup hurts too much then I should also try a softer cup. So softer and wider?

Thank you, I am learning gradually, but it seems expensive, all these cups!
Kathlynekathlyne on September 19th, 2015 10:14 pm (UTC)
The large fleur might be a good bet (I personally think it is a decent price). Also, you can check mc_sales for cups. The cost might be high, but it will pay for itself quickly, especially if you use organic tampons.
(Deleted comment)
Kathlynekathlyne on September 20th, 2015 03:22 am (UTC)
Adding holes might help. Or enlarging them. It did help a little when I had the divacup, but the diva was just not right for me. If the cup doesn't leak right away after you put it in it might be a capacity issue and you might have to empty it more often. Still, I think a softer cup would be better for you, given that the one you have is causing pain.
sikhi on September 20th, 2015 03:33 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for the replies, they are truly helpful. I am trying again right now, but still getting significant leakage, no matter what. No problems with capacity, nowhere near full. When I test with my finger it seems that the cup is tight up to the cervix against the back vaginal wall, but I can feel an area of the cervix at the front so it seems I am not getting enough coverage over the cervix, perhaps. And it is just painful against one side of the vaginal wall and cervix. I can´t lower it at all, then it just protrudes, and feels too big.

So I will try the Fleurcup L. After searching around, I managed to find one random supplier here in Mexico who responded rapidly and can ship it to me fast. I will gift or see if I can get a refund on the two Aneer ones and my two M Cups!- but I had not initially known they were Chinese copies as they were advertised as Femmecup and had pictures of the box with Femmecup on it, and I had never heard of the name Aneer! Now, reading more, I see this can be a trap. All part of the menstrual cup journey! :-)
Kathlynekathlyne on September 20th, 2015 03:49 am (UTC)
Sikhi--sounds like you might be missing your cervix--which was my initial problem with the diva. Think of your cervix as a faucet, and the cup, as, well, a cup. The cup opening up and sitting next to your cervix, rather than under/around it. Like holding a cup next to the faucet, rather than under it. This, in addition to a cervix that points to the side, might be why you are feeling pain on one side.

Menstrual cups should sit around the cervix, not somewhere lower down in the vaginal canal as most drawing show. If you can feel your cervix, then the cup isn't in the right position. After I insert the cup I sweep/stir around it with a finger. If I can feel my cervix I pull the cup down a little and try to shove it toward the side my cervix is pointing. The larger diameter should increase your chances of "catching" your cervix in the cup.

I really wish you the best of luck, and hope that the large fleur works for you.
sikhi on September 20th, 2015 03:57 am (UTC)
Wow, that sounds so incredibly complicated, but the detail is good, and I will give it some experimenting! I have tried to pull it down a bit, reading that sometimes leakage can be due to it being too high, pushing against the cervix, but then it just feels too low and the tab is sticking out a lot (although I know that can be trimmed off) and it didn´t feel right so I have tried to basically push it up as far as it will go, or really where it just naturally seems to want to sit. And it sounds like you are saying that it should be high, against the cervix rather than below it. I was thinking that it is up against it for me, but that it doesn´t cover across its width ands that´s why I can feel some of the cervix on one side. Not really sure!

It seems crazy to buy 5 cups on my first go, but I have been frantically trying to make something work for returning to Cuba after a bag with a big supply of tampons (and other things) was flagged by Mexican Customs!

Thank you for being so helpful and your good wishes! So so appreciated! Maybe the cups will find good homes in Cuba where they have very limited options and little money.

Edited at 2015-09-20 04:01 am (UTC)
Kathlynekathlyne on September 20th, 2015 04:09 am (UTC)
The cup cannot go too high. It will sit where it wants to sit. It will ride as high as it can. I really hope a wider cup solves the problem. Still, there is a learning curve, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't work the first try. You may just have to work out the kinks/get to know your body.
sikhi on May 10th, 2016 04:47 pm (UTC)
still leakage
Hi, It's taken me a while to get back here as I was in Cuba, but...well...I got the large Fleur and at first it seemed good, definitely more comfortable, although very big to get in and out! But...it leaks just as badly as the smaller Mexican one. And it seems to leak straight away really, although not absolutely every time. It is seeming not to seal as it makes air sounds on most movements just after I have put it in, no matter what I try. In terms of trying to position it properly around my cervix, like a cup and faucet, although i don't entirely get that, really, I feel I can't do much as I can't reach up that far. I can't reach my finger up far enough to feel my cervix or the top of the cup when it is up as far as it can go, it's quite a stretch just to reach the bottom of the cup, quite long as it is. So perhaps I have a high cervix. I feel quite defeated on this. I so want a menstrual cup to work for me. I like so much about them, but I just can't continue with all this leaking. Any suggestions?
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on September 20th, 2015 12:18 am (UTC)
i'm yet to hear from anyone who's used a cheap chinese cup for more than one year :( i'd rather get one cup from a respectable brand than two cheapies :/
the fleurcup is rather inexpensive. same about meluna soft (but it has a less than ideal capacity in most sizes - the XL is great but pretty long)
out of the cheap cups on amazon and ebay, i've heard that rainbow/monzcare is good. it's fda-approved.
since cups are so hard to get in Cuba, you can probably resell the ones that didn't fit you.

also, generally you don't really choose a brand and THEN size. the actual dimensions are very important, especially length.
sjennifersjennifer on September 21st, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Never try menstrual cup manufactured from China. They are not regulated by gov health agency, so quality is in question. You don't want to insert an unknown materials into your vagina!!! Plus most of them are re-branded from a same manufacturer found in Alibaba, the extreme competition cause them lie to consumer to push up their sales, such as false claim they were made in USA, but actually from China or using lower graded silicone but claim is medical grade etc. very unethical. Just watch out. Another agreed, try get one inexpensive US made cup is much safer to two China made cups.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on September 26th, 2015 07:05 pm (UTC)
tbh i don't agree... (and i wonder if you're the person behind super jennie cup?) i was referring specifically to the op's situation, with limited access to cups.
in general i think getting a cheap cup to try out is a valid strategy as long as you're aware that it's unlikely to last a few years, and as long as you're very attentive to your body and remove the cup if there's any itching/burning.
for example technically the lunette cups aren't regulated by any finnish agency, simply because it's not considered a medical product. of course i trust them anyway, but official approval is overrated, especially if you look at the iffy things the FDA has approved.

and i was specifically referring to *cheap* chinese cups. my mum uses a green donna, which is/was a brazilian brand manufactured in china. it was before the wave of super-cheap cups, the price is comparable to other affordable cups like the yuuki or cuplee. she's used it for about 5 years already. not everything made in china is automatically bad.

also alibaba is a site like ebay, there are various manufacturers selling cheap cups there. not just one.
sjennifer: menstrual cup advocatesjennifer on October 5th, 2015 05:57 am (UTC)
Please don't connect my name Jennifer to Super Jennie. I have no relationship with them. I just love menstral cup. My collection of cups from Diva, Lunette, Sckoon etc. Super Jennie is just one of my new collection which is soft and work well to me. I personal have horrible experience with China made cup before - I received the product which was difference than what they describe from the product info. When email them for refund with no answer, they don't stand for their products. Maybe I was in bad luck for a bad seller. You are right, I think they just get the cups from Alibaba and use their own name and resell to consumer. I don't think they aware what materials the manufacturer is using and/or what production process is happening there since no regulation to follow.
eyaf_lemeyaf_lem on September 20th, 2015 09:33 am (UTC)
If your cervix is low(ish) try to get it inside the rim of the cup - if you can feel it outside the cup, your cup won't catch your flow. It sounds like you cup is sitting beside your cervix and that's why you are leaking and experiencing pain. A wider cup should help with this. Note that if the cervix is inside it will use some capacity so you won't be able to fill it fully just empty more often. Experiment with different folds to help your cup find the right position. Good luck.
sikhi on September 20th, 2015 02:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I suddenly managed to get the cup higher so that it was sitting with the whole tab inside and also so that I couldn´t reach the top of the cup, the rim, etc. with my middle finger even. It suddenly seemed to suction to my cervix, but I am still not sure it is covering it properly. It seems to be leaking less, but still I let out blood when I pee. It is a little bit more comfortable, but still causing some pain. I will keep experimenting. I think my only option now is to try a larger size, although I am a small frame, slender and quite active, no kids, I am 47 and doubt I have particularly conditioned muscles inside! Everyone´s input has been so valuable!