Suction related pain when inserting Menstrual Cup
I have been trying to use menstrual cups for over two years now and it just doesn’t seem to be working. I think I have finally managed to eliminate all problems except the suction one and if you guys tell me this is normal and won’t harm me in the long run, I am just willing to get over it at this point so I can keep using my cup.
This is the second cup I am using. It is the Gaaia cup, size Sensitive. Before this I was using the Sirona menstrual cup, Small size. With the Sirona cup, I had too many problems. Getting to insert the cup took me MANY months and when I was able to do that, I would always experience leakage. Insertion was painful and I have had vaginismus related problems during sexual intercourse also so I was expecting it. But overtime even after inserting, the cup wouldn’t open properly or it would hurt when opening, I just gave up. Plus, the Sirona cup was staining so much and it wouldn’t clean properly. It ended up giving up me an infection of some kind? Because I had itchiness after the last time I wore for a week after my period. Then I went to the doctor who gave me anti-bacterial medication. That’s when I stopped using it.
Then I decided to give cups another shot. I got the Gaaia cup. Right off the bat, the small size was incredibly helpful in insertion. I could insert it smoothly and I cut off a bit of the stem because it was poking out. It is only my second month of using it. I was experiencing leaks last month and this month too. I figured it is because the cup is not opening properly. Two nights ago, I entirely bled through my underwear. It was not nice. Anyway, how I figured the cup was not opening is: the morning after I inserted my finger to open up the punch-down. So usually I would just slide up the fold (the pokey part of the punch down) till it opens completely, or I would turn the cup around to open it. But when I was doing that I felt a weird suction pull and the cup was open. I had little to no leak afterward.
Next 3-4 times that I have emptied and changed the cup, I noticed that whenever I would feel that suction pull/pain there would be little or no leakage. So then that means that when that happens the cup is sitting properly.
I am happy with this. I just want to figure out if there is a way to reduce the suction pain/pull. It’s like I can feel air hitting me inside. And it gives me weird kind of “cramps”? For like 30-40 seconds after and then it’s over. Sometimes I feel it up on my side also. To be clear, the pain is not INTENSE like I am dying or anything but in that moment it feels like a hit (like when your ear pops in flight, except in my vagina and that POP is half a second but the pain lasts for another 30-40).
I want to know if this is okay OR if there is a way to avoid this from happening. I am unable to judge whether my cup is firm or soft, so I don’t know if that information would help.
I am really happy size-wise with this cup and I really don’t want to have to buy another one. So if I need to get over the pain I will (if it is not causing some long-term damage to my cervix or something).
If this helps, I am in my early twenties currently, not sexually active at the moment.
Hiii firstly thank you so much for such a detailed response!
I think I follow almost all the tips you have mentioned for Insertion and Removal. The information about cup shapes is new to me. I didn’t know the difference between a flared rim and a standard rim. The thing is I really do not want to go back the Sirona cup. That experience was overall just so painful and dissatisfying. I had the suction issue even then, and it was much worse and it would require more painful maneuvering to open it up.
I am really sad about having to try another cup. I checked out Safecup and Shecup. The Safecup has size options, I could try the Small one. The thing is, the Gaaia cup size is really good for me. The Safecup Small seems larger than the Sirona Small so I am worried that I will run into all the same problems.
Also thank you for telling me about the prolapse. I really should speak to a doctor.
Bell-shaped cups especially ones with a flared rim seem to “fit” better for those with a low to a medium cervix. The cup will ride up and sit higher while the rounded base is more comfortable than a pointed one like with “V”-shaped cups.
“V”-shaped cups are easier to reach for people who have a medium to a high cervix because it usually has more length, not just overall but the body length without the stem is longer.
However, some individuals find that small-sized “V”-shaped cups still feel comfortable for their low cervix depending on the length.
Another thing to take into consideration is the amount, size, and placement of the air-holes. This is a hard one to determine because the shape and size (of a cup) will position the air-holes in a different area and there is really no way to check. Smaller airholes often make a cup difficult to open and/or remove and create a tighter seal.
I know it seems like there’s a lot to figure out and that you don’t want to keep purchasing cups, but once you find the perfect one, you shouldn’t need to buy another for at least a few years. Check with Menstrual Cup B/S/T groups on FB. There are people willing to purchase gently used cups for a lower cost. Even if that doesn’t sound like something you would be interested in for yourself, you may still be able to resell your unwanted/unused cups to recoup some of your funds back.
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