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03 November 2016 @ 10:07 pm
Hopefully I am not repeating an existing question, I looked as best I could before posting.

I have been using menstrual cups for about a year now. I started with the ruby cup but it made my cramps worse, so I switched to the sckoon cup (supposedly one of the softest on the market) and they got slightly less noticeable. I still feel more crampy than when I am not wearing the cup, but it is not unbearable. It opens properly and I can get it in and out with no problems.

What IS unbearable, however, is that since about two months into using the cup, sex has been painful for me, particularly deeper penetration. Even my last pap smear was unbearably painful when it's normally no big deal. The gynecologist has already ruled out any infection/cysts/endometriosis and she honestly was not sure what the problem is. She said my cervix just looked irritated. She doubted it was the cup causing this problem, but I am worried because of the timing of when the pain started and the slight cramping when the cup is in. It's ruining any enjoyment of sex and I am worried about damaging my body. Has anyone else had this problem? What could I be doing wrong? Should I try a different cup brand?
elisamba on November 4th, 2016 08:21 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear that. Just your cervix is irritated, not the whole vulva?

Here are some random ideas, take or leave whatever may/may not apply.

Take a close look at the rim and finishing details of your cups. Are they perfectly smooth silicone, or is there a seam or rough edge that could be hurting you? If there is, file it down very smoothly and see if that helps. To my knowledge, the Ruby is a very high quality cup without this issue, but I have heard/read complaints of poor finishes on the Sckoon (such as rough edges on the holes and rim.)

If it's just the cervix, the correlation with the cup seems clear to me, unless there is some other thing regularly touching your cervix that could irritate it, like a toy. Have you tried not using the cup or toys for a few cycles to see if things improve?

Think about what other materials come in contact with that area of the body: lube, condoms, intimate wash? You can wash the genitals with water only. Silicone allergy is very rare but possible (condom, cup). Lube/spermicide irritation is more common.

You don't say what size you have, but if your cervix is irritated, you may need a wider cup, i.e. a size 2. Even a few mm makes a difference in such a sensitive area of the body.
d_annette on November 4th, 2016 12:53 pm (UTC)
I am using the smaller size in both brands. I know sckoon cups sometimes have quality control issues but mine looks and feels very smooth all over. I don't use any toys or anything, and it is only my cervix. Nothing else seems to be irritated. I did try not using my cup for one cycle and nothing improved, but I think I am going to try not using it for several cycles and abstaining from sex and see if that fixes the problem. I love everything about my cup except this so I hope I can eventually figure out a way to use them. I had never thought that a larger cup would be the solution, but I could see how it would be less likely to bump the cervix. Thanks for your input.
rebecca2525rebecca2525 on November 4th, 2016 06:27 pm (UTC)
With what are you cleaning the cup? Could it be something that irritates you?

Do you have a tilted cervix? A tilted cervix probably touches the rim of the cup more than a centered cervix does. In my case, the contact doesn't seem to be an issue, but I can imagine that it might be a problem with a more sensitive cervix.
d_annette on November 4th, 2016 07:22 pm (UTC)
I clean it with dr bronner's baby unscented castile soap and boil it monthly. If that was the problem I would think my vagina would also be irritated. I do not have a tilted cervix as this was one of the things my gynecologist checked for when I complained of painful sex. Even when I press on it gently with a finger it hurts like a bruise.
Christy Velez-Noblechristyxvx on November 8th, 2016 12:31 am (UTC)
I believe there are softer cups than the Skoon cup. I also agree that you may need a wider cup. Instead of hitting the cervix, it can sit inside the cup.

What about switching to pads and seeing if there is a difference for a month?
How is the cup popping open? I know some people find it easier to have the cup pop open immediately after insertion and then move the cup up. Could it be possible that when the cup is opening its hitting the cervix, causing irritation and touching it?
d_annette on November 9th, 2016 02:57 pm (UTC)
It is possible, and I am currently switching to pads until this problem goes away. I eventually want to try cups again, is there a brand you all might recommend that has a larger rim but is still soft?
elisamba on November 10th, 2016 10:52 am (UTC)
There are lots, but we don't really have enough information from your first post to go by. Did you find the Skoon and Ruby too long, too short, just right? Do you absolutely need the stem or did you find yourself trimming it? Did you like the bell shape of the Sckoon, or the more tapered Ruby? Have you ruled out silicone allergy (eg have you used silicone lube without problem in the past?)

If you suspect silicone allergy you could try the Melunas. Otherwise my favourite soft cup is the Gaia but it is a bit long so only try that one if you comfortably did not trim the stem on any of your cups.

Check out dimensions here. http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/ (I see the small Skoon is one of the narrowest cups.)
d_annette on November 10th, 2016 02:08 pm (UTC)
I never needed to trim the stem because I believe I have a high cervix so it never poked me or anything. I would only use it if it worked its way up overnight and I had to reach it. I found the sckoon to be more comfortable wearing but I am not sure if that's because of the shape of it or what. I do not have a silicone allergy. I appreciate the feedback and I'll look into the Gaia as well as the chart.
elisamba on November 10th, 2016 05:24 pm (UTC)
If you have a high cervix pretty much any of the larger cups will do. Low cervixes are harder to find a good large cup for. I also hear good things about Si-Bell and Cuplee, as for as soft large cups go.