A month ago I decided to buy a menstrual cup. I read through the Livejournal menstrual cup community posts, and finally decided to buy a small Yuuki cup, because it was cheap & had very good reviews. The small Yuuki is a standard sized cup for women who haven’t given birth before & I know that women with fairly low cervixes like mine (6cm) use it successfully.
My Yuuki menstrual cup arrived a couple of weeks ago, the day before my period was due! I was so excited about using it, but unfortunately my period didn’t start until about a week later (my cycle’s usually approximately 28 days long, but last month it was only 19 days long, and this month it was 34 days long! What’s gong on?)
When my period finally arrived I got the chance to try my cup out. So much fun!
Because I had only ever inserted tampons up my vagina before I was worried that a menstrual cup would be too big. After ordering my menstrual cup, I spent several weeks stretching my vagina and hymen by inserting 2-3 fingers up there.
When my cup arrived I inserted it using the “punch-down” fold. At first I was very scared that the cup would ‘pop’ open too early and hurt me, but this didn’t happen. It ‘popped’ open very soon after I had pushed the rim inside me, and it didn’t hurt me at all. At first I didn’t have much success with the “punch-down” fold, because sometimes the cup wouldn’t ‘pop’ open properly inside me. When I read on the livejournal forum that the ‘punched’ side should face downwards when inserting the cup, that helped me a lot.
Once the cup was inside me I checked that it had opened up properly by feeling around the base of it (to make sure that the base was ’rounded’). Once fully inserted the base of the cup was one centimeter inside my vaginal entrance, and part of the 2cm long stem hung outside.
I cut 1cm off the stem because it was a little uncomfortable inside me – but when I reinserted the cup it was even more uncomfortable (the shortened stem dug into my vaginal walls), so I ended up cutting the entire stem off. I could still reach the cup easily for removal because I have a low cervix. When the cup was stemless it felt completely comfortable inside me, I couldn’t feel it at all (unlike when I wear a tampon).
I pushed down with my muscles until the cup was right at my vaginal entrance, then I reached my middle finger and thumb inside, pinched the base of the cup, and dragged it out. At first, removing the cup was a bit painful because of the rim. I ended up using a third finger to squish the rim into a “C” shape for removal – now removing the cup is easy and doesn’t usually hurt me.
On my heaviest days I’m sure that I will be able to wear the cup for at least 12 hours (because it will hold a lot of blood & I have light periods). With a tampon I can only wear it for a few hours before changing it, so the menstrual cup is fantastic.
Tampons are slightly uncomfortable for me to wear (and somewhat painful to insert/remove), and I haven’t found this with the menstrual cup. The cup is made out of silicon so it just ‘slips’ inside me. The main reason why I like the cup more than tampons is that I don’t have to worry about the cup leaking or overfilling. The cup hasn’t leaked once for me, and I can wear it for a really long time without needing to change it. When I wear tampons (in contrast) I am constantly aware that they could leak with no warning at any time. I am too scared to wear them for more than 2-3 hours without a pad as a ‘backup’.
I wasn’t looking for an alternative to pads because I quite like wearing pads, and I didn’t expect menstrual cups to work so well… now I’ll probably be using my menstrual cup every month. I bought several disposable pads last month, but haven’t had a chance to use them yet because my menstrual cup didn’t leak.
I did several paintings with my blood this cycle, and that was a lot of fun (I’ll post some pictures of them in the next couple of days). I found my menstrual blood to be a lot like red paint mixed with globby glue, except much more stringey/stretchy.