I am so happy I decided to try a menstrual cup. For years, women had been telling me about them; raving of their efficiency. I just COULD NOT wrap my head around the removing, emptying and re-inserting part of it all. But thank God, I got my head out of the way and delved in.
At first it was hard. I could not find the right position for the cup. I could not figure out the best squatting position for insertion. As expected, the logistics of dumping and cleaning, then re-inserting were difficult. On top of that, after a few months of use, I was not digging the smell the cup held. However, I now love my cup and have an easier menstrual experience. So hear are some tips from a 2 year user of the Diva Cup.
- You can soak your cup in hydrogen peroxide overnight. I do this at the end of my cycle washing it in between. I use an actual cup (of course designated for only this purpose) to immerse my diva cup in HP. It works wonders.
- You do not have to push the cup deep inside of you. I fold mine in the center, then over again. Using the this fold, I then push down on the lower part of my vagina and insert. The cup usually pops open inside of me. I push it in slightly, toward my tailbone and whallla! At that moment, if I place my finger at the opening of my vagina, I can feel the tip. Once I get up and move around it finds its way :).
- I insert mine while sitting on the toilet. I experimented with squatting, however logistically this did not work. Particularly when I just emptied and rinsed it (while still seated leaning toward the sink) and needed to re-insert while its wet. I have become really creative when needing to change while on the go. When I do, I have been lucky to find private bathrooms with sinks. I also have to do some special maneuvering since I squat over public toilets.
- RELAX. DO NOT TENSE UP. For the first month I was so nervous. The cup almost got stuck the last day of my cycle; I pushed til my eyes almost popped out of my sockets and it was not letting up. After giving up, taking some deep breaths and relaxing, I was able to easy it out. Another two months went by and I was unable to position the cup correctly (which I later learned was also a folding issue; more below). I mentioned this to a client who also uses a cup and she said “Yeah, that happens when you are tense. You have to relax” (I learn so much from my lovely patients :)). Letting go of the tension makes a huge difference.
- I find the folding of the cup to be important. Folding it in a certain way allows for easy insertion and the ability for the cup to open on its own once in. I now do what is called a C fold or U fold, depending on which way u look at it (find pics online). At first I tried just pushing it flat and inserting it from the side. I thought it was working (and was excited to be able to do a one handed fold & insertion). However, my little happy bubble was burst and I found that the cup was not opening and thus not collecting :/.
- I still wear a pad, just in case. Sometimes it does not go in correctly and I drip. I’m getting to a place to be able to feel at insertion, that something is off. If it is, I just re-visit the bathroom and have another try.
- I chose size 2, since I am not a 40 year old virgin :). I am glad I did. My cup fills pretty quickly on my heavy day.
It was a bumpy road at first, but for the most part it is now smooth sailing. Using the cup has helped me understand my body more and become more comfortable with myself. It has also made my heavy day much more bearable. I am less concerned with staining my underwear and I feel more at ease overall. On my less heavy days I am worry free to the point of having very easy enjoyable cycles – yippee!! I will say here, that Chinese herbal formulas have helped me have much better cycles reducing my menstrual bloating, cramps, and irritability. I am also constantly working on suppressing less, dealing with upset better and expressing more. This can all effect the cycle. I will blog about this another time.
I truly hope this helps other women on their menstrual cup journey. Comments and questions are appreciated.