Pain Inserting & Removing
So I recently bought a DivaCup (size 1 because I’m 18 and have pretty heavy flow) for the first time and I’ve started using it a day ago. But now I’m literally too scared of using it again because of the pain.
I find it pretty painful to put in, especially when it comes to my vagina hole (it feels like the Diva Cup is too big and is tearing at my hole even if I fold it in 4). I also feel like putting my fingers in there hurts pretty bad even though I do it in the shower so I’m kinda lubbed up with the water (and I cut my nails).
When I take it out, my fingers are literally in pain and shaking because my walls are squeezing the cup so hard and even though I’ve squeezed the base (not the stem mind you), last time I did it it just felt like I was pulling my cervix out and it was the grossest feeling ever. Like I never want to feel that again (it wasn’t painful, it was just a lotta pressure). Also, just trying to insert my fingers inside while the cup is in there is painful (like I’m ripping/scratching my walls).
So I’m wondering if it’s normal for it to feel this way? Maybe I’m not doing it correctly or maybe the cup is too big? Thx for the answers!
I have exactly the same issue. I also hated tampons and bigger ones definitely hurt. Sometimes I spend 30 minutes trying to get the cup out in tears. I have tried different cups and sizes and found that for me it isn’t the size. I always thought that my opening might be too small or I am too “tight” but it isn’t. I experience everything you describe and for me it’s a muscle contraction issue.
Whenever I try to insert anything my muscles contract and I can’t seem to control it. You might want to look up vaginismus and see if it applies to you. Even if I think I’m relaxed my muscles are contracting, making it really painful.
In addition to using right techniques I found it really helps
to cut my nails completely because I found my tissue squeezed between my nail and finger which hurt a lot.
I don’t like store lubricants, I made sure it’s water based and works with silicone. But because I have trouble getting it in already it causes irritation and swelling which just makes everything worse. Sometimes your tissue swells up anyway while you’re on your period, that is normal. But it makes it harder to insert the cup if you’re already struggling. Furthermore it just seems to be like water, which is not really a good lubricant. I mean better than nothing but still.
Instead I use Aloe Vera gel. I think that’s the best type of lubricant in general. I recommend buying an Aloe plant and just cut pieces off as needed. Or to buy a big leaf and cut it into ice cube like pieces and refrigerate those. If that seems to much of a hassle you might buy the gel instead, but make sure it’s 100% Aloe Vera as some other ingredients can
be harmful. For me personally it works really well as lube and is soothing, instead of causing irritations. And it definitely takes away some of the pain while inserting.
Furthermore, it helped to get the right stem. I was struggling just to grab the cup and I switched to one with a ball stem, like MeLuna cup. There are ring stems too but they tend to poke me in weird places when I sit, so I prefer a small stem. If that isn’t an issue to you, you might get a ring as stem as it makes it easier to hold and avoids unnecessary irritation by trying to insert your fingers multiple times while it’s constantly slipping through your fingers, making it all a painful experience.
I try to insert the cup while lying in bed with a towel to relax the most and always remove it in the shower when possible. That makes me relax most. Usually I can manage to do that, since you can leave it in for 12 hours. Since my period can be really heavy and the cup does spill sometimes from being full way before those 12 hours I try to use a reusable pad in combination because I hate changing cups in public bathrooms.
When taking it out in the shower it helps to squat while having my whole feet touching the floor and being relaxed. If that is a weird position for you, you can try to kneel on the floor with your legs apart or if possible sit on a corner, maybe leaning against a wall. The most important is that you are completely relaxed and comfortable. Sometimes I don’t get wet completely because I know I need some time to relax and don’t wanna be cold or keep the shower running. Then I use my muscles to bring it to the end and grab the stem which should almost be outside of your vagina and if you push the tissue back a little you might not have to insert your fingers at all. I make sure to hold the stem tightly and break the suction at the bottom with one finger which is not as painful to insert both and then try to pull on it gently. When a tiny bit of the bottom is out I try to fold it and then pull the rest out carefully. If it’s too slippery you can dry your fingers first, this helps getting a better grip.
But the most important and helpful for me was to relax my muscles. It takes some time to learn it, since it’s a psychological issue. Ideally you should talk to your gynaecologist or see a pelvic floor therapist if the muscles always contract while trying to insert/remove something or in general and you can’t seem to relax them. It is curable and will make your life so much easier, and sex life less painful. If you don’t have the option to, you can try to do some pelvic floor relaxing. Maybe look up exercises on YouTube, especially those with a professional explaining anatomy and reasons. It will really make a difference and if you learn to relax those muscles insertion should be painless like the lady stated above. If it’s still painful and that wasn’t the issue your gynaecologist will be able to help you too, since they check you for scars, trauma, etc.
It’s kinda long and detailed but I hope anything helps you at all or maybe someone else. And if you found a solution yet, feel free to share.
It is never normal to feel pain while using a menstrual cup – ANY menstrual cup. There should be no pain during any process of using it. A little pressure while inserting, positioning, or removing it, but never pain.
With what you’re describing, it sounds as though you might need a narrower or softer cup.
The Diva Cup has one more size – model 0, which has been dubbed the ‘teen’ size. Since it’s narrower, it might allow you to maneuver the cup easier without the added pressure.
You can also try a cup that’s a little softer. This may make it easier to manipulate since the body will cave in with the pressure of a single finger.
If the Diva Cup’s diameter and length were comfortable while it was inserted, the small Casco Cup (not mini) is a similar option but slightly softer. People who find the Diva Cup too firm, have found relief in the Casco Cup.
Using a drop of water-based personal lubricant can make a huge difference. I know that you mentioned that you are ‘kinda lubed up with water’ but it’s very different.
As for removing any cup, make sure that you are breaking the seal that it has created before tugging down on it. If it is still sealed, the cup could create suction when it’s pulled. This can cause extra pressure, pain, and even cramping. Insert a single finger and collapse the side of the cup a bit before nudging or rocking it down enough to reach the stem or base for a better grip.
How to Insert & Remove a Menstrual Cup
Lastly, I know that it’s easy to say and hard to do, but you have to relax your muscles so they are not clinching onto the cup. Squat down in the shower/tub to bring the cup closer to the vaginal opening so that you can reach it easier. Do a series of Kegels to bring it down even further.
If you would like some other cup suggestions, check out the Cup Quiz and see what comes up. I’d be happy to give you my thoughts on them if you’d like.
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