99 problems and leaks are one
Help! I have been using a cup for the past 2 cycles and I can\’t seem to prevent leaks.
I bought my first cup last month, the Blossom Cup, in a large because it was fairly cheap, and I knew I needed a large because I have a heavy flow (I fill up an ultra tampon in less than an hour on day 2 of my period). Anyway, the first time I used it, it was in for a few hours and I didnt feel it, and didnt experience leaking. However, getting it out was a completely different story. It took almost 2 hours of trying over the toilet, trying to relax, researching techniques. I got in a bathtub and tried to get it out but couldn\’t, and even recruited my boyfriend (the saint that he is) to try and pull it and he couldn\’t reach it. Fortunately, I was able to eventually able to slip it out. Between my long torso, short arms and high cervix, it had lodged itself up in there.
I gave up that cycle and went back to tampons and pads. Fast forward to this month. I did my research, took the quiz and got the Lily cup. I used it on my heavy days and it leaked, but I figure it was overflow. I used it again on lighter days, and the cup goes in and catches some blood, but still leaks pretty bad. I cant reach the rim of the cup when its inside me (long torso plus high cervix). I cant twist it like others have recommended. But it seems to be in place. However I cant get it to stop leaking. So I gave up on the lily cup.
Back to the blossom for days 4-6, and now I have gotten the hang on \”bearing down\” to remove it over a toilet. However, this one leaks too! I know it\’s not from over flow. And I\’ve seen the diagrams to not push it up too far past the cervix, but the thing just navigates all the way up there.
I have tried different folds, though the punch down is the only one works for insertion. The c fold is too wide for me. I\’ve also tried putting the blossom cup backwards since it seems a lot of leaking is coming from the front of the cup, but it still leaked.
Also, my pelvic bone gets in the way of insertion, making it difficult. I cant only manage to get one finger in the va-g, I don\’t know how you all work your magic to get a finger and a thumb.
Anyway, I ordered the venus today and a merula xl (should get here later this month), but I am getting frustrated. At this point I\’ve spent over $100 on cups and I just want something that works. Any advice is appreciated, but thanks for letting me vent.
I’m sorry to hear that you’re not having any luck with either of the two cups that you’ve tried. I hope that you have better luck with the Venus Cup or Merula XL, but I’ll give you my thoughts on these later in my reply.
First, I’m glad that you were able to find some information on bearing down to make removal a bit easier for an “average” sized cup. I totally understand how scary it can be when you can’t even reach it. I’ve had that happen to me a couple of times with shorter cups. So good on you for researching that. You might also find a little better reach if you squat on the floor or in the tub – if you’re at home with the room to do it.
I’ve tried over 150 cups/sizes and out of ALL of them, only ONE brand (two sizes) didn’t ride up for me. That was the Tampax Cup. However, I did have some other issues with them.
Cups will situate themselves to the path with the least resistance. They will move above or below your pelvic floor muscle – which would be the tightest resistance in the area. The pelvic floor muscle stretches like a hammock from your pubic bone to your coccyx to support your organs. Your cup should sit above this but there are times when a cup is not properly placed and with a contraction of the muscle, it can be pushed out instead of in. This is not your situation, but I’m getting there…
When the cup is inserted above the PFM, movements/contractions will move the cup up even more. To add to that, our cervix also jumps around with everyday movements like coughing, sneezing, laughing, squatting down, lifting items, carrying items, etc., and this can shift the cup around as well.
If you have a short cup or a high cervix – as you do, you might experience this migration more than others. In this case, you’ll definitely want a cup with more length or a longer stem.
I would also like to add, that it is common for a new user to unknowingly insert the cup next to the cervix into the vaginal fornix (the area around the cervix), instead of right below or right around it. As a former tampon user myself, I know that when I first started using menstrual cups I didn’t know that this was possible as it didn’t matter where you inserted the tampon and that it could be inserted partially next to the cervix. Anyhow, if the cup is inserted all the way before allowing it to open, the cervix could be in the way of the rim and get pushed to the side. The cup can still open, but blood will not be caught as intended.
To help avoid this, 1. you can insert the cup halfway, allow it to open and then use a finger to push it up into place or 2. after you insert the cup, wiggle it down a bit in hopes that the rim allows the cervix to right itself.
Lily Cup – This cup was a tricky one for me. It’s designed to be ergonomic and should be inserted/positioned a certain way. I personally have trouble telling which way is which when I swipe my finger (and partially rotate the cup) so I never know if it’s correct. And, since it doesn’t have a rim, it was always hard for me to tell where the top of the cup was (I normally have a high cervix).
Venus Cup – The Venus Cup is a great high capacity cup but the firmness is a medium and might be too soft for you to easily get the cup to open before placing it around your cervix.
However, one tip that I can share about softer cups is to insert the cup, then insert a finger and press the cup to the vaginal wall. This will create a small void or pocket. Then slowly release the pressure from your finger and allow the cup to open up against it. You can now use that finger to nudge the cup into place. I’m not sure if you’ll have troubles with this as you mentioned long torso/short arms.
Here’s a video that shows this method –
Troubleshooting Soft Cups: https://youtu.be/dnA4iKctXp0
This method can also be helpful for shielding your cervix from getting hit with a firmer cup. OUCH!
Merula XL – The Merula XL is the highest capacity cup out there. It’s awesome for heavy bleeders and although the silicone itself isn’t extremely firm, the shape makes it feel as such and helps it to open well. However, it is a shorter cup and many have already shared that it has migrated upward on them. Personally, I didn’t have too hard of a time with this cup even though it rode up and sat high for me as it has the ladder stem and I was able to use it to remove my cup easy enough.
Here are some ideas about leaking and opening softer cups:
I hope that either the Venus Cup or Merula XL works out so that you don’t need to move on to another cup, but I’d like to suggest the large Yuuki Cup “soft” version if you decide to try something else. It’s longer than the “average” large sized cup, has a decent stem, and is on the firmer side even though they labeled it as their “soft”. Having a firmer cup may help some of your issues as it will open easily before being placed around your cervix. It holds approx. 38ml to the rim. So not the highest capacity, but not too far off.
Check out some menstrual cup FB groups. Several of them allow “destashing” (selling) of gently used cups. Even if it might not sound like something you would be interested in for yourself, there are others who are confident in their cleaning methods and are happy to pay a slightly discounted price. It will help you free up your unwanted/unused cups and recoup some funds back.
I hope that something here sheds some light or is helpful in a successful cupping experience. Good Luck to you! <3