Menstrual cup discomfort and weird suction problem
Hello, I have recently bought the saalt small cup and have been using it during this last period. I bought it with a determination to make my periods change for the better. I am a teen and I have just recently gotten interested in menstrual cups and have been excited about them for a few weeks now. My hope is to be able to go to school all day without having to worry about my period as much.
So my first experience with the cup was ok. I used the punch down fold. It probably took 20 minutes to get in, and it burned really bad going in, but I was determined. I have only ever used tampons a few times. As needed, swimming and stuff. They always hurt me though, going in and coming out. I never knew why this was as the internet always said they should never hurt. Well I got the cup in eventually, but it leaked a bit. (I see now it was probably not open all the way.) but I didn’t really care, I was using a menstrual cup! I am pretty heavy on my first two days, so I decided to take it out after about 3 hours just to be safe.
The stem was almost poking out, so I could easily grab it. I had seen many YouTube videos on menstrual cups, so I thought I knew what I was doing. I gently tried to pull and wiggle it downwards, I felt some suction, which was somewhat painful. I just kept doing that and trying to get my fingers to grasp the base to break the suction but I could not get my fingers in at all to grab it, I was relaxing my muscles. I tried to get one finger in to hook it but it really hurt to push against the inside. I ended up getting it out and break the suction eventually but it was painful. It is not just the last part that is painful, when the rim comes out, but just about everything before that as well. It kind of perplexed me. I didn’t really care too much about the pain because it was normal for me with tampons and stuff so I just have been kind of doing the same thing over and over again, but I do wish there was a way to do it without pain.
As well as this I have had a hard time getting the cup to open inside of me. When I insert it, (I use the 7 fold now as it is less painful) it ends up basically flattened, not still folded, but flattened inside of me. It’s really weird. I have (with some effort) been able to open it every time. But when it suctions, it feels like a punch to the gut almost. :’) Before i found out this problem with opening it, (aka with the punch-down fold) i would just leave it in there still unknowingly folded, and about a few minutes to an hour after i inserted it, it would do this weird thing where it would randomly gain suction and open itself up inside of me. This is pretty excruciating for about half of a second, and then never happen again until i re-inserted it. I have looked online and it seems that no one else has this issue.
Also a bit of a sidenote, but i think the suction (when the cup is already inserted) is causing pain. Exactly after i insert the cup and get it open, sometimes i feel these cramps, which dont really feel like cramps, they feel like suction. I hope i’m not being sensitive or over dramatic. I am willing to deal with these things (as long as they don’t cause damage to my body) in order to use the cup. I just want to know if there is anything i can do to make my experience any better. I am so ready to convert to menstrual cups for the long term and fall in love with them. ❤️
I’m happy to hear that most of the issues you were experiencing are now gone. For the last one, try letting the cup open a little lower before pushing it into place. Hopefully, when the cup opens, it’s not creating a strong seal around the cervix.
Currently, when you insert the cup and there are no folds, does it slide down easily? If there’s any resistance even slightly, the seal should be fine. A cup doesn’t need suction to be placed correctly.
Seal – creates a barrier so that the blood doesn’t leak
Suction – is created when the cup is pulled (like a toilet plunger)
The seal should be released so that the cup doesn’t create suction and tug on the cervix during removal.
Way to go on your success so far! I hope that you can work out this last bit and be smooth sailing from here on out.
Happy New Year! <3
Hey, it’s me again. Don’t know if you care but I am going to give an update. Thank you so much for your answer 🙏🏻
I have been using my menstrual cup for a few cycles now and most of my issues are gone. I no longer have pain with insertion or removal. I guess I just got used to the cup, and I don’t have that strong suction problem anymore. A lot of these issues have been solved by switching to the triangle fold. I really couldn’t believe how dramatic an effect changing up the fold could have!
Anyways, I do still have one issue. When I insert the cup now, it is not usually flattened, it seems to be all the way up against everything, no folds, but it has no suction or anything and the sides can be pushed easily with no resistance. I don’t know if this state is safe or not to leave or if it will cause leaks, so I usually just pull and push it until it suctions. But the thing is when it suctions it hurts pretty bad, like I was saying before. At least now I can get it over with when I am inserting but it still is not pleasant. :/
Any ideas what this could be? Otherwise I am very happy with my cup!
First of all, I’m proud of you for even considering a cup and for your determination.
What you found on the internet is correct. A cup should never hurt during any step – inserting, wearing, or removing.
When a tampon hurts, normally it’s because it’s dry or has a dry part that feels like it’s scraping against the delicate tissues. It’s likely the same that you’re experiencing while using a cup. Using some water-based lubricant should help ease the cup in smoothly without that dragging feeling.
You could experience a bit of “leaking” even if the cup is placed correctly and open. This is due to excess blood and not actually leaking from the cup.
There’s always some blood coating your vaginal walls that don’t make it into the cup when it’s first inserted. This blood will eventually find its way out with gravity. To eliminate this, use a wet wipe or cloth to clean the stem and base of the cup (grip rings) of any excess blood.
Although the Saalt Cup is an awesome cup, it’s not going to be for everyone. The small is a short length and it sounds like you have a medium to high cervix. If this is the case, the small Saalt Cup is moving higher and making it harder to reach.
I would suggest a longer cup, not overall length, but pay attention to the length of the body. This will put the base of the cup lower so that you can reach it and not just the stem.
If you rather stick with shorter cups, these “V”-shaped cups might give you an easier reach as they taper to a point:
Saalt Small – Body 45mm (for reference)
Casco Mini – 47mm
Venus Cup – 47mm
Yuuki – 49mm
If you would like to try something longer, the body of the cups are longer than the ones above but still have a narrow diameter:
Diva Cup Model 0 or 1 – 56mm
Casco Small – 56mm
If the stem feels a little too low, you can trim them bit by bit until they feel comfortable but still reachable.
Having a cup with a base that is lower will allow you to pinch or press the side so that you can break the seal instead of wiggling your cup down first.
Some cups create a strong seal for one user, while the next person won’t get one at all.
Also, a cup may not seal but can create a suction when pulled during removal.
This is something no one can guarantee. Sadly this is found through trial and error trying different menstrual cups. Everyone will experience a different seal and/or suction. The only thing that you can do to eliminate this is to avoid cups with very small air holes or lack them completely. Cups like the Merula, Lily Cup Original, BFree, and FemmyCycle, are a few that you might want to stay away from.
Most companies don’t really give details about the air holes, so you might need to do some research for the cups that you’re interested in.
Being able to release the seal should help with any tugging pain, but you mentioned that the rim is also painful when removing the cup.
Even if a person doesn’t normally have a sensitive urethra, it can still be painful if a firm rim pushes and slides against it. Some users describe this as a burning or stinging sensation. To eliminate this, right before the rim is out press down on the cup body. If you are able to, you can insert a thumb but half of the cup should be out by this point so it might not be necessary. This will collapse the cup a bit so that it eases up the pressure while moving against the urethra.
I know exactly what you’re describing. I normally only experience this with cups that have very small air holes or no air holes at all. There’s a couple of cups that create suction as soon as I release the fold. For me, there’s no budging it to get it into place when that happens. They usually correct themselves over the day, but I am NOT confident that I won’t leak.
Some tips to get a cup to open:
Insert the cup and slide a finger next to it. Press the cup against the vaginal wall and then slowly let the cup open against your finger.
Pressing the cup against the vaginal wall will create a void for the cup to open.
You can also try inserting the cup halfway and letting it open before pushing it into place.
I’ve experienced this as well. Both with a cup with small air holes and a cup with no air holes. I’m not positive, but it might be the root of all of the issues that you’re having, too 🙁
I promise you that when you find the right cup, you will not experience any pains.
Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.
Until then, Good Luck!
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