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So the story is I recently invested in a Diva cup because I'll be moving to Japan in August and really don't want to have to deal with the whole trying to purchase feminine hygiene products and stuff and having to invest so much money into them like I do here in the U.S. I am 26 years old and have never had a baby or been pregnant or anything like that so I got the model 1 diva cup (I guess the small one?).

My period came and I was excited to use the diva cup. I have only ever exclusively used pads and I fear sticking anything much less a tampon into my vagina so naturally I was terrified. I have really NEVER been that super close and intimate with my lady bits ever before this point so I'm sweating bullets at this point. First time, I ended up getting it in with some trouble. The c fold didn't work and I couldn't get it up there so I tried the other fold and it seemed to do the trick. I didn't feel anything although I couldn't turn it 360 like the instructions said. So I just went to sleep for the night.

Woke up and wanted to take the cup out before getting in the shower. Read the instructions and tried taking it out. But I couldn't find the thing. Like I couldn't even feel it. How high is this thing supposed to go? So I horrifically had to go deeper and I managed to get past this like really hard space which I think was my pubic bone and I still couldn't feel it. At this point I'm almost knuncle deep with my pointer finger and still can't even feel the stem of the cup. I then bared down like trying to poop and I could finally just feel the tip of the stem but there was NO WAY that I could grab it or anything like that. I tried different positions and relaxing and breathing and pushing but I couldn't get the cup to come any lower than just getting the very tip of the stem over the pubic bone which I still count grasp because it was too far in to get two fingers inside to grasp it.

30 minutes goes by and I somehow miraculously get this thing out. I decided maybe I was just really anxious with it being my 1st time and decided to go for it again. Surely it wouldn't be as hard the 2nd time around because getting it in wasn't as hard the 2nd time. I was HORRIBLY WRONG. I spent over an hour trying to get the thing out the 2nd time. I did everything I tried the first time and even tried taking a hot shower and I could barely even touch the stem again. After over an hour I eventually basically ended up on the floor of my bathroom basically "giving birth" to my diva cup after breathing and pushing and positioning and crying and sweating and all sorts of things.

I don't want to completely give up on menstrual cups but I have no idea what I'm doing wrong? I watched YouTube videos of different people using diva cups and it seemed like the cup was right there for them to reach but I can barely touch mine. I don't want to have to go through this every time I use the stupid thing and I want to love my diva cup. But trying to remove the cup is almost killing the experience. Do I need a longer cup? Are my fingers just too short? Please help or is there any advice that could help?
 
miltigirl on April 10th, 2018 10:02 am (UTC)
Hi,

I created an account just so that I could participate and help people on their cup journey, having been using it for about 8 months now and feeling (fairly) confident that I've been through a PRETTY STEEP learning curve myself and can now handle anything the cup throws at me (oh god no). It is a steep learning curve but only takes a cycle or two to master, and is sooo worth it. (And maybe a dry run for practise in between?) I'm NOT a doctor, so there's my disclaimer.

Firstly, I think the Diva cup is among the longer ones out there (I'm not an American so I don't know the other competitive brands; I myself use something created in India which is close to the Diva cup in specs).

Now to your specific problem. It could be that your cervix is high during the first couple of days leading up to the period. The cervix seems to gradually lower in the days the bleeding takes place. It will be much easier to reach the cup in those days of lower cervix.

The advice to bear down (this hard at least) is actually not completely advisable because it leaves you prone to haemorrhoids, anal fissures, weakening pelvic floor muscles etc. You shouldn't have to feel the need to bear down once you get into the habit.

Suggestions:
Squatting (sitting on your haunches, not the gym squats) usually helps because it automatically lowers the length of your vagina and makes it easier to search around for the cup. Yes, the hard bone you feel there is the pelvic bone and it gave me a hell of a time too. When you manage to grasp the bottom of the cup (NOT the stem, that will hurt!) you don't have to rotate it. Just press/pinch it and keep it pinched - if you can, use your thumb and middle finger to grasp it and deflate it, making it detach from the vaginal wall, and don't pull it out straight: walk it out of the canal gently (if you try to pull it out in a straight top to bottom motion you'll hit that bone again, and if you try grasping at the stem and tugging... just DON'T!)

Another trick I learnt for while inserting it (to get around the stupid pubic bone problem). Keep the folded part facing the other way (i.e. towards the bum). The reason is it's MUCH easier to manipulate the smooth back wall of the vagina than it is to root around ahead of the pubic bone. My fingers are pretty long but they get tired as hell when I have to fish around in the crook beyond the bone. So I push very gently against the back wall (vagina/rectum?) which is totally smooth and pliable and wait for my cup to open up like that, then tighten my muscles again to let it ride up to the cervix.


I hope these suggestions help you. Do let me know if you have any more doubts/need help.
ayreis on April 10th, 2018 01:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the advise! I actually have no problems with inserting the cup. That part was the easy part comparitively. The only issue I have is with removal. I actually used the diva cup during my period on like the 2nd and 3rd day of it (I guess when the cervix should technically be at its lowest?) and that's when I was having the issues. Baring down on was the only way I could even touch the very tip of the cup. I read that you should get to the cup body and depress it, but I could barely reach the stem of the cup with my longest finger, and that was while I was in the position you suggested (in a squat with my bum resting on my heels).

I tried all sorts of positions to try and easily reach the cup but the space where the pelvic bone is way too narrow for me to get 2 fingers in there comfortable if at all. I could barely get one finger beyond the pelvic bone, I can't imagine having to try and get two of them in there especially when the cup still sits so high even on my 3rd day of my cycle. Maybe my fingers are too short or big to get in where I can get to the body of the cup? I tried numerous positions, squatting, putting my leg up on the tub, bending, standing, everything and I could still barely reach the stem while baring down and in the best position.

Would a larger cup maybe not ride up so high do you think? I was thinking about trying the Diva Cup 2 which is wider but it isn't longer but I don't want to have to shell out another $40 just for it to get stuck way up there again and have to give birth to an even bigger cup.

Edited at 2018-04-10 02:21 pm (UTC)
Saruwatari Aiko - love seems to hate mestephynee_c on April 10th, 2018 10:13 am (UTC)
My best guess is that you have a high cervix and the Diva Cup model 1 is maybe too short for you. You could try tying a string to the base of the stem so that it's easier for your to pull the cup out if it gets stuck inside of you. Alternatively, if you have the means and time (cause I read that you're leaving for Japan soon), you could consider purchasing a longer cup that's specifically targeted for women with high cervix.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on April 10th, 2018 12:38 pm (UTC)
If you haven't already, skim/read https://kuradi8.livejournal.com/ especially the parts about insertion and removal. Will enlarging the holes help too? Maybe.
ayreis on April 10th, 2018 01:29 pm (UTC)
I read that while trying to figure out how to get it out both times. I tried to do everything that it said with the exception of putting a spoon up my lady bits. If I can bareltt get one finger through there then I definitely didn't want to try and force a spoon up there.

My main problem is that I can't get two fingers up far enough to touch the body of the cup (I can barely reach the tip of the stem with my longest finger) in order to press it and break the seal. It's so far up there that even when I bare down I can only get it to come right up to where the pelvic bone is. When it's there I can grab the stem a little better but I still can't reach the body of the cup much less the rim to break the seal. Am I supposed to be able to comfortably put two fingers past my pubic bone?
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on April 10th, 2018 01:58 pm (UTC)
How about one finger? "Hot dog in a bun?"
ayreis on April 10th, 2018 02:23 pm (UTC)
I would have tried that but I get my middle finger in almost to the base of my finger so was pass the knuckle and I still can't touch the body if the cup. I can only really get as far as maybe mid part of the stem and then I basically run out of finger.

Edited at 2018-04-10 02:24 pm (UTC)
miltigirl on April 11th, 2018 08:33 am (UTC)
Hmm. Maybe you should push your finger up the back surface of the canal. This is to avoid your pubic bone, so "behind" the cup. There are no annoying turns or curves or bones there to restrict your movement.

The only other advice I can think of is that your cervix is just really high. However, the Diva is about the longest length of cup you can find out there - if there are longer ones maybe that's your best bet.

P.S. getting size 2 won't help; a bigger cup doesn't unfold completely and even if it does, your muscles will grasp it so tight it's bound to hurt. Plus your vagina needs to get used to one or 2 fingers poking around for the cup and it definitely sounds like there isn't enough space to begin with.
miltigirl on April 11th, 2018 08:40 am (UTC)
I was thinking about this - the vaginal canal is on average 7 to 9 cms (I'm typing from memory, no Google, so I may be inaccurate) but I'm really surprised you couldn't reach at least some part of the cup (which is long) no matter how high up it was, which leads me to believe it may not have fully unfolded. Could that have been a possibility?

When you're on your period you'll have some kind of lubrication in there even if you wear the cup, mucus etc., which may make it easier to reach inside.

If you can grasp the stem, use the stem to "walk" it down, like tug as gently as you can till you can force it to slip downwards and find the base. With your one finger, push the base against the back wall and try to deflate it.

This may get easier to do with practise and once your vagina is used to it. So keep persisting.
ayreis on April 11th, 2018 11:07 am (UTC)
Thanks. My period is pretty much over now at this point. So I'll have to try again on my next one. I haven't put the cup in since that horrible 2md time trying to get it out. I don't want to have to give up on the cup especially because it did actually work very well for it's intended purpose. Maybe I'll try attaching a string to the stem so that I can pull it down to reach it? Any ideas on a good type of string to put around it?
ayreis on April 11th, 2018 11:40 am (UTC)
Thanks. My period is pretty much over now at this point. So I'll have to try again on my next one. I haven't put the cup in since that horrible 2md time trying to get it out. I don't want to have to give up on the cup especially because it did actually work very well for it's intended purpose. Maybe I'll try attaching a string to the stem so that I can pull it down to reach it? Any ideas on a good type of string to put around it?
mamab1216: pic#127715311mamab1216 on April 11th, 2018 01:58 pm (UTC)

I had the EXACT same experience when I first started using cups, and my first was the diva. Like I could have wrote this word for word a year ago. I had trouble getting it out and at the end I was so exhausted and everything down there hurt I would quit using it.

Here’s what I did, I got a longer cup. I got the longest cup on the market (that I have seen.

I got the Luv your body cup. It has changed my life. I went from barely able to wear it for a day to being able to wear it my whole cycle. I went from barely able to get the damn thing out to actually being able to use it on Day 1 of my period, very heavy, at a fair with my family, and emptied it twice....in public!!

There are so many cups out there, and because of that not all cups work for everyone. So I took the chance at anther cup and I am absolutely thrilled. Don’t give up!! I was a 100% pad user, couldn’t use tampons at all. Now I am a cup convert and it has changed my life!

supperlinh on April 16th, 2018 01:08 pm (UTC)
Tie a string to it!
Hi there,

I had the exact same experience as you when I first got my cup. Also after a while I got pretty uncomfortable with having to lurk around inside with my fingers trying to grab the stem of the cup, it's slippery and sometimes I ended up pinching myself. So I did the two following things:

1. Change to a cup with longer stem: I switched to a Sibell and have been happy with it for the past 3 years.

2. Tie a string to the stem, leaving it about 5-7cm longer than the stem itself: I use an unwaxed dental floss - never ever use the mint flavour one, it burns!!! Hahaha. Anyways because the dental floss is thin, I usually fold it twice or thrice before tying it to the stem. Just remember to replace the string everyday or whenever there's too much blood stuck on it.

I hope you'll have a better time with your cup next month! :)



Edited at 2018-04-16 01:08 pm (UTC)