First cycle was interesting, I leaked a few times, but wore a pad to protect myself and had one of the best periods of my life, (which, coincidently was my 30th anniversary of menstruating. Talk about feeling *old*.) I even took a chance with sleeping without any backup protection and was pleasantly surprised not to leak at all. The biggest problem I had was staining of my fingers and a funky metallic odor to my fingers. I washed my hands before and after each time I emptied the cup, but for some reason my fingers held on to just enough blood to stain the lines in my fingers. I solved that problem by using a latex glove during my work hours and then using a nail brush to scrub my fingers with after changing the cup at home. This helped tremendously.
The second and third cycle were pretty much uneventful, and extremely low stress. I continued to wear back up protections, but leaking was once a day or less. Because my periods have been horrific for the last several years and I would go thru a pack of pads a cycle, using two or three pads per day was just short of a miracle, in my opinion.
The cup has simplified my life incredibly. I have suffered with my period my whole life, feeling gross, dirty, sweaty and just barely able to function. The cup stopped that dirty feeling, as well as the sensation of blood flowing out of me, which is such a relief, I can't quite explain it. My days would be ruined by that one sensation, making me feel out of control. Believe me, I have always rejoiced that I'm a woman, but the physical sensations that accompany my period used to wear me down and exhaust me.
I still have cramps, but not quite as intense. My periods used to last for 8 days, 4 days of heavy bleeding, one day of no bleeding, then another 3 days of spotting. Since using the cups, the heavy bleeding days are down to 3, the one day of not bleeding is down to just hours and the spotting is less than 2 days. On those very low flow days I use a drop or two of lube to insert the cup and just leave it in for twelve hours or so.
My biggest problem with removal has been first thing in the morning when I'm groggy and dying for a cup of coffee. The cup seems to move very high overnight and getting it out is a challenge, not to mention replacing it after I empty it. But being able to shower with it in and know that I'm clean, well worth the challenge.
I want to thank this community for all the help and suggestions that have been posted here. I ::heart:: my Diva :) I keep spreading the good word, even to my menopausal friends, since they have menstruating daughters who might like to give it a try.