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Hey there fellow cup users, i'm looking for a solution to issues that im having that i cant seem to find an answer for anywhere! For some background, im currently 18 and have been "attempting" to use a menstrual cup since i was around 13-14. I am not a virgin, but im am currently not sexually active (and probably won't be for awhile) due to a somewhat recent breakup. I got a copper iud awhile back due to having mood issues with all types of hormonal birth control. Lucky enough, i've had no issues with it what so ever and it has not changed my periods significantly (maybe slightly "crampier"). I'd say normally i have a med-high cervix, but on my heavy period days id say i have a low-med cervix. In terms of flow, id say my periods are "normal", whatever that means. It lasts about 5 days all together, and for comparison purposes i could bleed through a super plus tampon within about 4 hours on my heaviest day. I consider my PC muscles fairly normal, i wouldn't say im super "tight" down there but i most certainly have resistance issues with my divacup when trying to get it to pop open.

*optional passage* On that note, there's also a good chance i have PCOS. My doctor has never found actual cysts on my ovaries but i have a lot of symptoms of it. Though she says she isn't quite for sure taking the fact i somehow someway have remotely regular periods, and i've found ways to keep my weight under control. In all honesty i contribute both of those factors to avoiding disposable menstrual products like the plague, and eating low carb and less processed foods (but that's another story). With that being said, my doctor said she thinks im onto something about using reusables only and having regular periods with the PCOS. There's no scientific data to back it up but she said it makes a hell of a lot of sense. This is actually a reason why i'm so hell bent on find a cup (or a method) that works for me. Even if a cup isn't affecting my possible PCOS, i still find them much less harsh on my body in comparison to tampons because i have like a "gushing flow". On my heavy day(s) ill have "heavy moments" in a sense that it'll be heavy for a few hours and then light for a few hours, so i can't exactly use super/super plus tampons because there's no telling if it'll be dry or not when i take it out (eekkk) and it's a leaky mess waiting for me to bleed through. The vaginal dryness alone is the main reason i decided to ditch tampons. On days i can't get a cup to work i just use cloth pads.

Now, for some reason, out of all three cups I've tried, i can't seem to find a cup that just "works"! They all seem to leak one way or another. I've tried three cups so far: the diva cup, the keeper mooncup, and the lunette; all in small sizes.

I started with the diva cup because there was a store about 20 minutes away from me that was carrying it. Anyways id say im thoroughly experienced on how to use a cup (fold, insertion methods, finding cervical position, etc). Name a possible solution and there's a good chance I've already tried it....quite a few times! Even with my lower cervix days, i can honestly say i've had the most success with this cup. I have no idea why but i just feel i can rely on this cup the most (when i can get it to work). I'm unsure if it's because of the capacity and maybe my cervix just sits in this cup or not. It could also be because i spent two years trying to make it work so i have the most experience with it. With that being said, it's hit or miss trying to get that damn thing to open. I don't know what it is about this cup but this thing is just a pain in the butt when trying to insert it. Also, i'd say this cup probably takes the longest to get comfortable. It seems to put quite a bit of pressure on my bladder when i do get it to pop open, not sure why this is taking the fact that the keeper mooncup is much more firm and puts less pressure on my bladder in comparison. In terms of leaking, there was like a 50/50 chance this thing would leak and i would know within the next hour if it was going to. However this cup was the only cup that never overflowed once i inserted it correctly (which i loved). I just felt this cup wasn't the best fit and was a bit too long and that's why i would sometimes get leaks with it.

Next i tried the keeper mooncup. I got this because i thought maybe the stiffer rim would cause the issues i had with the diva, and it did. It popped open immediately and didn't leak no where near as much as the diva. However i felt it caused more issues than the diva. This cup is almost painful to use. I have to bite my lip when this cup opens because i know it's going to hurt like a female dog. This cup buts pressure on my bladder as well, but not as much as the diva, i can usually solve this issu by readjusting. The mooncup is also an over flowing mess on my heavy days. I don't feel this is a cup i can feel secure about using unless it's a lighter day because it will overflow within an hour and a half. I'm pretty for sure my cervix sits in all my cups, so i'd say i have about half the capacity of the cup. I don't have many issues removing even with the stem completely gone, but i feel it's worth mentioning that i don't like using this cup because im afraid of pulling my iud out because i have to pinch the base so hard.

Cup #3 was the lunette. God i really wanted to like this cup! It seemed to be the "goldilocks cup" for everyone who sort of had the same issues as me in terms of leaking. But i can honestly say this has probably been the worst cup i've tried. It does not work, at all. I've been trying to use this cup for about 5 cycles and have persevered to force this cup to work. It's by far the most comfortable cup i've tried, no bladder pressure or issues popping open, and not the slightest bit of cringe when inserting or removing (kind of wish i wouldve tried this cup when i was 13!), but it's about a 1/10 chance that this cup won't leak. When it doesn't i'd say the capacity is sufficient for during the day, and i have to empty it out after about 3 or 4 hours or it'll overflow (like with the mooncup, i get about half the capacity due to my cervix). I've yet to figure out why this cup leaks so freakin much. I'd say it's because im missing my cervix but when i reach up to feel inside my cervix is about 1-1.5 inch past my pubic bone, which is more than enough room for the cup to fit. My only conclusion is that maybe the design of the lunette doesn't work for my body. I feel this cup doesn't create nowhere near as much suction as the diva cup or the mooncup. Even after it's popped open completely and i twist it i just feel the suction isn't nowhere near on par. Also, maybe the rim is effecting the way my cervix fits into the cup, taking that the rim is a tad smaller than the rest of the body. I honestly have no clue because by my experiences with both the diva and the mooncup, the lunette should work perfectly. But when it leaks it's like there's a little bit of blood going in the cup and the rest of the blood is going down the cup. I think my cervix is "dangly", but i dont think it's dangly enough to completely fill up the capacity of my lunette, and i don't think my cup is going past my cervix, but i could be wrong. I've trying feeling past the cup after to insertion to see where my cervix is, but my vaginal muscles just won't call for that and it causes some pain when doing so. I feel it's a possibility that rims that flare a bit just work better with my body, or maybe a cup with a larger rim would create more suction and allow for my cervix to sit into, even though it's going to be "tight fit" so to say. Also, if it was a cervix issue that would mean my diva cup would've never working in the first place, right? As an experienced cup user, im clueless on this one. When i first got it, i was halfway through my cycle and it worked just fine. Though i feel it's worth mentioning that i can use this cup the last 2 days of my cycle with no issues, but that kind of defeats the purpose for me seeing i can wear a light pad my last few days.

Hopefully my 4th cup is my last cup. I'm eyeballing the large ladycup because of the larger rim (and the colors! i didn't realize how much i loved having a colored cup until after my blue lunette), hoping maybe it'll help the issue with leaking due to my cervix sitting in my cups. Also, the stiffer rim and softer body might not put pressure on my bladder. I think the reason this happened with the divacup is because of the actual volume of the cup. Also, it seems the cup pops open for most people fairly easily. I'm also eyeballing the femmecup lite. It's not much of an investment, and like the lady cup it has a stiffer rim and softer body. Though the capacity isn't much higher than the mooncup, so no night time cup use. I looked at the large fleurcup but i think the design of the cup would put pressure on my bladder, and also cause the cup to not open properly like the diva.

Any suggestions what so ever are welcome! Like i said, i feel my situation is totally unique seeing everything i've tried just doesn't work. I also don't think most people start using a cup as early as i did, i do think my body growing a bit more from age 13-18 also could have had a difference in how cups work for me. Also, if anyone has another cup suggestion i'd be more than willing to check it out! I just want this cup to be my last!
 
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on May 10th, 2016 07:29 pm (UTC)
Compare the cups you have to the large Ladycup that you want at http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/ There are several other cups that have similar dimensions to the Lady but higher capacities. Of that bunch, the Lady has the lowest. Check out this post http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/3473209.html comparing the Super Jennie to the large Lunette and the large Fleur. Those three could also be contenders.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on May 11th, 2016 12:02 am (UTC)
Adding:
Try enlarging the anti-suction holes on your Diva. Try flipping it inside out to shorten it on your low cervix days. And skim/read http://kuradi8.livejournal.com/ for helpful hints. Also keep reading posts and especially their replies. Something someone said in passing is what turned into the magic AH-HA moment for me.
karleybug23 on May 11th, 2016 01:15 am (UTC)
I appreciate your reply so very much! I'd never even heard of the super jennie, but the small size is kind of intriguing me! It seems like it has around the same capacity as the diva, but is shorter. I sometimes wonder if maybe my cervix truly is taking up almost the full capacity of the lunette, taking the fact that my lunette tends to "crawl up" after a few minutes of insertion, or if it crawls up but doesn't exactly crawl up the correct way since it's a smaller cup.
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on May 11th, 2016 01:32 pm (UTC)
All the cups you've tried are more "V shaped"--you may need a bell-shaped, blunt-based cup like the Fleur or Si-Bell (sounds like softer may be better. The Keeper Mooncup is literally a rock and I personally can't wrap my head around the idea that ANYONE finds it comfortable, though somebody certainly does!). The SuperJennie would kinda fit into that category too (and I wish I could use it but my cervix is too high!)

If you have something suggestive of PCOS but no cysts, I HIGHLY recommend that you check out Nonclassical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. It's a genetic condition and is more common if you are Latina, Italian, Jewish, or another Mediterranean ethnicity. Since it's recessive, see if your mom shows/showed any symptoms too. In some women it doesn't "kick in" until you give birth and then discover that you can't get pregnant again to save your life. Good luck!
Kathlynekathlyne on May 14th, 2016 02:17 am (UTC)
It sounds like you have a dangly cervix and a somewhat heavy flow. A bell-shaped cup like the Fleur or Super Jennie will give you extra capacity. Also, consider going for a large size cup so that you get more capacity and are less likely to miss your cervix.

It sounds like you are missing your cervix with the lunette.
jennisezjennisez on May 14th, 2016 11:19 pm (UTC)
I found that my small cups just didn't get the job done on my heavier days. They always leaked. (I'm 38, no kids.)

It seems that I do much better with larger, wider cups. The large Super Jennie is my favorite - it is my no-hassle, no-leak, go-to cup. It is a high-capacity cup, which would probably be good for dangly-cervix days. And it is a softer cup - squishy at the bottom with a slightly firmer rim.

Of course, everyone's body is different and what works for me may not necessarily work for you, but those are my thoughts based on my own experience.

I hope that you find a cup that works for you! I know that the search can be frustrating.
negas0nic on May 15th, 2016 12:11 am (UTC)
Cysts aren't necessary for PCOS, however given the mood issues you mentioned from hormonal birth control as well as the lack of weight problems and regular periods I'm very much inclined to agree with your doctor about not having it. I've never used disposable menstrual products (cloth pads until just recently converting to the cup), never eaten anything that wasn't made, grown, and butchered here on the farm, and live an extremely active lifestyle. But without hormonal birth control to simulate what my body won't produce on it's own I am completely unable to maintain a healthy weight, will miss periods for 8 months up to a year at a time, bleed for 2-3 weeks when my period does come, unable to regulate blood sugar levels, and grow a full on beard. From what I've gathered by talking to several endocrinologists, OBGYNs, and other folks with it those are pretty much the normal range of symptoms for those of us with the disorder. That's not to say that you don't have some sort of endocrine disorder. Thyroid problems have been known to cause very similar symptoms to PCOS, but unlike PCOS they won't respond well (or at all) to hormonal birth control treatments. Might be worth asking your doctor about having your hormones checked as that could tell you if you do have some sort of issue with your thyroid, PCOS, or something else.
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on May 15th, 2016 02:56 am (UTC)
Yeah, thats why I am more suspicious that it's CAH. PCOS seems to have much more obvious symptoms, but both cause extra androgen in the body. It's just a different source for that androgen--in CAH it's the adrenals.

One of my best friends from college has PCOS, and for awhile it was managed well, but in grad school it kicked in much more severely to the point that she became full on genderqueer (was always bi but not genderqueer). Hormones have way more of an impact on our brains than we realize.
negas0nic on May 15th, 2016 04:55 am (UTC)
While there are a few that I've talked to who seem to have hardly any noticeable symptoms of PCOS even they meet two out of the three Rotterdam Criteria: 1) ovarian dysfunction (regular periods would indicate that this is not a problem for her), 2) increased androgens in the blood stream, and 3) polycystic ovaries (which she has stated she does not have). So it's pretty safe to say that PCOS is not what's going on with whatever her other symptoms may be. CAH is a very likely possibility, as is minor thyroid dysfunction. The biggest difference between most endocrine disorders and PCOS is that PCOS seems to hit the endocrine system harder as a whole. Comparatively you tend to see a lot more women with PCOS who also have thyroid, adrenal, pancreatic, hypothalamic, or pituitary dysfunction as opposed to women with say.....hypothyroidism.

I know what you mean about the crazy effects of hormones on the brain. I'm the first one to admit that my BC pills are the biggest reason that I have such a good handle on my anxiety and depression now. The governor in my state made it exponentially harder to get birth control so I had a bear of a time trying to get back on it for a good five or six months. The panic attacks got so bad I was almost forced to quit nursing school despite me still being on my anti anxiety meds and anti depressants.. Luckily an LPN friend of mine emailed me about this service that will mail you birth control if you fill out a medical history and questionnaire so a panel of doctors can judge your eligibility. It was all of the same questions that every OB/GYN had ever asked me and they carried the same pill I've been on for 8 years now, so I gave it a shot. My labs are normal, no more daily panic attacks, and I don't have to worry about trying to weasel my meds out of back woods pharmacies.
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on May 16th, 2016 02:55 am (UTC)
Wow! Glad you were able to get that sorted out. I haven't been officially evaluated for CAH yet but it creepily explains so many things about my physical development/mind/personality as well as my mom's (and the fact that my mom was completely infertile after me--that can happen in very mild cases, you can have one baby OK but the whole pregnancy process irreversibly damages your hormones). I've never been genderqueer in any way but have a lot of very masculine cognitive traits/ways of looking at things. I've delayed getting any official ruling on it since it won't do anything for me right now (except get people telling me I need to be on steroids, and I have enough of a round/moonface already/kind of don't want to weigh 400lbs right now) and I was working for awhile in a job that's much more difficult/annoying to get into if you don't have a squeaky clean medical history (I actually had to fib on parts of it just to get that job or at least not have to get my medicals renewed twice as often as normal)