I am aware someone already posted a lovely and detailed review on their Merula cup experience (link to the review: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/3600756.html), but since it is a pretty new cup I thought I'd make a review as well. I hope it helps someone out there!
Firstly, a few key points about me: I'm 18, virgin, medium-high flow, usually don't feel any cramping, with a low and dangly cervix. Prior to Merula I've used a small Lunette for a year. My reason for purchasing a new cup was I wanted more time in between changes on heavy days.
My first attempt at insertion did not go well... I used the upside down punch down fold (the recommended method) and inserted it. It opened completely just fine. However, after I inserted a finger to check where my cervix was, it was unfortunately outside, to the side of the cup. My further attempts at maneuvering the cup did not help to get the cervix inside the cup. I believe this issue has to do with the fact my cervix is tilted slightly to the side and that the rim of the cup is narrower than the body, meaning that there is some difficulty in getting the cup to embrace the cervix when it is being inserted. After a few attempts I was frustrated and gave up momentarily.
Fortunately, a few hours later when I tried again it worked perfectly fine. I feel like maybe my cervix descended a bit more then and it was easier to get it in, but this is what I've learned/what works best for me now for insertion:
(Just for your info, I change my cup while sitting on the toilet. I have not tried it in the shower - maybe it works better like that...)
- I use the punch-down fold, pointing downwards (upside down) like it says in the instructions
- It's important to know approximately where your cervix is located at that time, and if it is tilted, know in which direction. This helps because I find it is best if you push the cup in in one motion, towards your cervix and deep enough initially, before it opens up. - Doing so, it will most likely embrace your cervix when it opens up. I did find it more difficult on days when my cervix was less dangly for this reason.
- Trying to maneuver it when it is inside you is not a good idea. This is firstly because when it is opened, (unlike with my lunette) I found it impossible to move it upwards in any way, due to its easily collapsible bottom and wide body. Secondly, I found that pulling on it/squeezing the bottom of the cup (especially when your cervix is already inside the cup) causes pretty bad pain, (unlike anything I've experienced before), above the groin due to the strong suction pressure it is capable of due to absence of air holes. That said, apart from the first day of my cycle, (when I did experience a few minor cramps), I didn't feel any discomfort while wearing it in terms of the suction pressure.
I have not had any problems with removal, but here is my advice on it:
- Hook your index finger on the hoop closest to the cup (mine is right at the opening since my cervix is low)
- With your thumb press against the anterior body on the cup and, only when you feel the suction release, drag it out. It's important to feel the suction, as sometimes that is quite strong (eg. when changing it in the morning, after sleeping), and if you pull too enthusiastically it will be painful!
Few other observations I made:
- I have no problems with number 1 or 2. I feel no pressure on my bladder or experience the need to pee more often.
- EDIT: The overall cup is quite firm (rim is firmer than the body). It completely squishes my small lunette. That said, I think the firmness and tendency to remain opened up is due to its spherical shape. When it is inside though, the walls of the lower body are actually soft and fold in easily. I feel like if your cervix was really low, to the point where the cup was pressed up against your pubic bone it would still be comfortable to use, since the cup bottom would just shape itself according to your body. On the other hand, if you have strong pelvic floor muscles I do think it would be pretty hard to squish this cup's rim.
- I like being able to hook my finger around the hoop and therefore prevent any risks of the cup falling in the toilet (it's happened before, unfortunately).
- Aside from some discomfort due to strong suction, I love how easily the cup can be cleaned because it doesn't have any air holes.
- Cup cannot be used without any hoops because the bottom is very slippery. However, with a single hoop on my cup that sits at the opening I feel absolutely no discomfort
- The high capacity (38ml) is very impressive for such a short cup. I was able to go the full 12 hours without changing it on my heaviest day, while with Lunette I tend to only go around 4-6 hours.
- EDIT: I have had no leaking whatsoever! Not even residual leakage. I think the strong suction feature helps with this. I'm very happy about that since it means I can finally ditch liners completely!
Overall, if you have a low or dangly cervix I would recommend that you consider trying this cup out! I'm glad I decided to purchase it for my heavier days.
For additional information, I recommend you search through the private "Merula cup community" group on Facebook.
I hope this review is helpful! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.
Have a great day!!! :D