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20 March 2017 @ 03:57 am
Hi there,

I'm a 16 year old high school student involved in all star cheerleading and softball.

I was at a friend's for a sleepover over the weekend after playing softball over Friday and Saturday. I am unfortunately started my period on Friday. I thought I had packaged enough tampons for the three days and two nights I was going to be there… but… I didnt :(. A few of my friends that were there, had started wearing menstrual cups within the last six months or so. So they were telling me all about their experiences wih using the cups and a friend, who carries a spare cup with her, gave me her spare. I havent started using the cup, but I have some comcerns and questions…

1. I atarted having my period when I was 13. I used pads and graduated to tampons when I had, had periods for 6 months. How difficult will it be for me to transition from tampon to cup?

2. I know with tampons, toxic shock syndrome is a real threat. How likely is it to happen with a cup and can I make it throughout a schoolday plus sports practice (outside of cheerleading) without having to change it?

3. Will I need to wear a pad while I'm learning to use my cup in case of leakage?

4. When you were first wearing your cup, could you feel the cup inside you? If so, does the feeling go away once you've used the cup awhile?

5. I do dance and am a flyer on my squad. With doing all this activity, what's the likelyhood my cup could come out like while I'm in the air or while I'm doing a split?

Thank you so much.
rebecca2525rebecca2525 on March 20th, 2017 08:45 am (UTC)
1. There is a learning curve with cups. How steep it is depends entirely on the individual and is hard to predict. Experience with tampons definitely helps, though.

2. As far as I know, there has been one case of TSS where a woman was using a cup, but there's no reason to believe that the cup itself was the cause of it. You can get TSS by any kind of wound, for example. Cups can be worn for up to 12 hours. It depends on your flow, the size of your cup, and the position of your cervix whether you can actually make the 12 hours before the cup overflows.

3. I would recommend some form of backup at the beginning. At least a panty liner, but if you're not at home and can't access a bathroom whenever you feel something might be wrong, a pad really helps until you know you can rely on the cup.

4. I couldn't, but I understand that it differs from person to person, and from cup to cup.

5. A cup coming out is usually caused by weak pelvic floor muscles. Since you are young, haven't given birth (I assume) and are physically active, your pelvic floor muscles will be in good shape. It might happen that your pelvic floor muscles are strong enough to crush/flatten a cup, or that the cup moves too much, but since cups come in all kinds of firmnesses, shapes and sizes, you can usually find one that sits securely during all kinds of activities.

If you haven't found her yet, there's a user on youtube called Precious Stars Pads who makes very informative videos about menstrual cups. She started doing the videos when she was about your age, and she also dances.
lilin_unite on March 20th, 2017 01:43 pm (UTC)
1. Not extremely, I would imagine. If you are able to use tampons, that is really the biggest hurdle: just getting used to an insertable. Cups do have a learning curve, but I wouldn't expect yours to be much greater than average.

2. Risk of TSS seems to be much lower than with tampons, if not non-existent. As of now, there has been no link established between TSS and cup use, and no cases where cups have caused TSS as far as I am aware. A variety of cups are FDA approved for 12 hours contiguous use, with no reported cases of TSS. One of the reasons silicone is such a popular material for medical devices is because it is non-porous, meaning it doesn't breed bacteria very easily.

3. It wouldn't be a bad idea until you feel confident about it.

4. Slightly, especially with a new cup I'm still learning how to insert correctly. That feeling *should* go away if your cups fits you correctly, and is inserted correctly. If it doesn't go away, despite that it is inserted correctly (feels fully open, not leaking, etc), you may have a cup that is too large or too long for your body.

5. You don't have to worry about it popping out! It's pretty snug in there, and besides, your pelvic muscles are actually quite tight when you're doing activities like that anyway. If your tampon doesn't come flying out, your cup won't either!
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on March 21st, 2017 09:52 pm (UTC)
you may find these posts helpful :)
which cup did you get, a diva?
if it seems too long, you can flip it inside out. it's also possible that whatever cup you have is not the highest capacity option for you.
candicelayla on March 22nd, 2017 04:35 am (UTC)
Thank you for linking me to those posts. A lot of helpful information and I learned a lot from them about my cup. I've also been watching Precious Stars Pads on YouTube.

The cup my friend gave me is a Lunette in size small. I put it in boiling water to cleanse and sterilize it after I got home from softball practice yesterday. I let it out to dry after its 10 minute bath in boiling water. After I had my bath, I tried inserting my cup. I used a little coconut oil as a lubricant and I was able to successfully insert the cup after messing with it for about 5 minutes. I used the punch down fold to successfully put it in the first time. I had to remove it after an hour because my cup was uncomfortable with the stem poking my lady parts. So I got it out after having to fight with it and I trimmed the stem. I used a 7 fold, relubed it with coconut oil and reinserted it. I wore a pad as an experiment to see if the cup leaked. I had a little spotting, but...that was the extent of it. I emptied the cup this morning and put it in before going to school and emptied it a couple of different times today because I could swear I felt it leaking or something not sealing right because I keep thinking that my cup didn't pop open the whole way. Like I would feel inside and like feel a little gap between my vaginal wall and the cup or I'd feel a little fold in the cup. I've tried rotating the cup and everything. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or if it's just the learning curve. I'm not frustrated enough to give up but a little concerned if I am doing it all wrong.

You mentioned about flow and capacity. I had inserted my cup for the second time was about 9 pm. When I removed it to empty the cup at 6 the next morning. My cup was between a quarter and a third full. This maybe TMI, but my period seems to last between 5 and 7 days. My heaviest flow is usually days 2 through 4. I usually change my tampon every 2 to 3 hours on my heaviest days.

Edited at 2017-03-22 05:17 am (UTC)
rebecca2525rebecca2525 on March 22nd, 2017 08:56 am (UTC)
As long as the cup isn't leaking and isn't uncomfortable, you're doing it right.

It's pretty normal that at the beginning you're hyper-sensitive about everything you feel, and worried about leaking. It takes some time to trust the whole process and to learn what is normal for you and what isn't. (Don't ask me how often I ran to the bathroom for nothing when I started...)
candicelayla on March 22nd, 2017 02:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the vote of confidence, Rebecca :). I've had some issues with the cup not feeling comfortable or leakage. But I'm learning that if you adjust the cup a little bit, that most issues usually work themselves out.

I'm glad I'm not the only one being hypersensitive about my new little buddy :). OMG I can't believe how much I've run to the bathroom for nothing. I'm trying to trust my cup but sometimes temptation gets too great to check it to make sure it's doing its job. Thankfully, my period only has a few more days and then I'll be getting my cloth pads.
lilin_unite on March 22nd, 2017 03:37 pm (UTC)
I think perhaps what you're experiencing is the initially strange sensation of your vagina continuing to self-lubricate while you have a menstrual product inside you. This can feel a lot like leaking!

Your body continues to make normal vaginal lubricant while you're menstruating; it isn't an either-or sort of thing.

But when you wear a tampon, it absorbs any moisture pretty indiscriminately, so you won't feel any of your natural discharge the way you would if you weren't wearing one. Or at least, if you do, it means your tampon is probably leaking, because if it can't absorb any more discharge, then it obviously won't absorb any more blood either.

But a cup doesn't absorb; it collects. And, your natural discharge doesn't only come from your cervix. It also comes directly out of tiny pores in the walls of your vagina. So, while wearing a cup, you may continue to feel vaginal discharge, which you might mistake for leaking.

This takes some time to get used to! But eventually, at least for me, I learned to tell the difference between that and a real leak.

Edited at 2017-03-22 03:40 pm (UTC)
candicelayla on March 22nd, 2017 05:41 pm (UTC)
That makes sense to me. I never felt another source of discharge when I was wearing tampons. I always thought it was all blood it was collecting and not my natural lubricant. Now that I'm using a cup, I'm feeling my natural lubricant. But I'm still having a hard time not thinking I'm leaking. I checked my cup after lunch because it was feeling uncomfortable and it was seated in there nicely. I still emptied it even though it was only a quarter full. But I'm trying not to think about it even though it would be easier than listen to my Spanish teacher drone on, lol.
lilin_unite on March 23rd, 2017 06:09 am (UTC)
For me, what works is that if I don't see blood on the TP after I go to the bathroom, it's not leaking. It's just in my head!
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on March 22nd, 2017 01:25 pm (UTC)
Here's another link: http://kuradi8.livejournal.com/

The small Lunette is a high capacity small cup. It will probably last longer than a tampon but don't make it a contest to see how full you can get it before you attend to it. That rarely ends well.

As the others have said, there's a learning curve. Learning to work it, learning to trust it. And occasionally, you'll have a day that it just refuses to work right so you're not doing anything wrong if/when you do.