Menstrual cup sizing issue/questions... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 01-26-2011, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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feel free to skip right to the bolded "here are the issues" part to skip the backstory

 

I was happily using (homemade) cloth pads & sea sponges for AF, but things in my life got complicated for a long time and I've just recently gotten back into cloth pads but am still using regular tampons. I bought some sea sponges to use instead, but the cats got a hold of them while they were drying & batted them all over the house & they are now covered in fur. *sigh*

 

I've loved the idea of a menstrual cup for a loooong time. I used to use my diaphragm during AF for sex & loved it.  Then the Instead cups came out & I bought some but they were slightly bigger than my diaphragm & were uncomfortable so I wasn't able to use them.  Just as I was about to order the Keeper, I discovered I was allergic to latex. So, no Keeper & no more diaphragm, either!

 

However, nowadays there are just SOOOOO many choices, and pretty much ALL of them (except the original Keeper) are made from silicone, so I'm thinking I shouldn't have much of a problem on that front!  I am leaning towards the MeLuna (it's made in Germany); it just seems to have the best shape & comes in 3 sizes, unlike the 2 most companies offer.

 

Only...I don't know what size to order!  And I don't have a lot of money & would really hate getting the wrong one, since you obviously can't return it! This is another reason I'm leaning towards the MeLuna in medium. But I also hate ordering things online, & I can pick up a DivaCup at the store...

 

Here are the issues:  I am 32, have not given birth & weigh 235lbs (@ 5'2" *sigh*). I'm pretty sure this sets me up for the size 2 (the larger one).  HOWEVER, I'm kind of small in there, as well as short. For instance, if I use a Tampax-style tampon, it will start hanging out of me as it expands! (Tampax gets longer as it gets wet, o.b. gets wider & Playtex open in a cone shape that's wider @ the top).  For these reasons, I'm leaning towards a size 1 (the smaller one).

 

Does anyone have experience with both sizes?  Would it be super leaky if I got a small but a large would have also fit?  What if I got a large - would it just hurt too much if my body would have preferred a small?  Is the difference THAT obvious?  Will weight gain/loss make a difference?  I often fluctuated in a range of 50lbs back when I could wear the diaphragm & it didn't seem to make a difference, but I plan on losing 100lbs altogether (darn psych meds!) - could that make a difference?

 

TIA to anyone who can help out!

 

*I'm leaning towards a MeLuna in medium, because it seems to be rounder & shorter than other menstrual cups, they come in many cute colors & also because you can choose different "tabs" on the bottom of the cups - I'd like to get the "ring" version, & it can still be cut off completely if needed. However, I hate ordering things online & I don't have a credit card, so I'd have to get one of those "disposable" gift card thingys with the Visa/MasterCard symbol so I could order it & it seems like a hassle - esp when I could just pick up a DivaCup at the supermarket. Even if I do have to pay a little more to get the DC in the store than I would if I ordered it online...*

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#2 of 3 Old 01-26-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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I can't really help as I've only used the DivaCup (size 1) but I had the same problem as you with Tampax tampons and had to use Playtex ones (never tried OB) because they didn't get longer.  I could feel the Tampax ones as they expanded and got longer, it was uncomfortable.  My DivaCup has it's whole stem and it doesn't bother me though.

 

I don't think the DivaCup sizes are very different in length, just a bit in diameter.  This photo doesn't have many cups in it, but it does show those two:

http://community.livejournal.com/menstrual_cups/473758.html

(FWIW when I last wore my cup I was 30 and have not given birth; I'm planning to try it after the baby arrives when my periods return just to see if it will work before I upsize)

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#3 of 3 Old 02-07-2011, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I bit the bullet & bought a size 1 DivaCup at WholeFoods.

 

It fits okay & stays up there and everything.  But it gives me low-grade cramps (in addition to my regular painful ones!).  Now, whenever I remove or insert a tampon, I get this painful "full" kind of feeling, but it generally goes away; this feeling didn't seem to go away using the DivaCup this last cycle.

 

The pain seemed to come when the cup opened inside & applied pressure to the walls of my vagina.  Now, having said this about the pain, it was low-grade enough that I still used the DC exclusively for this entire cycle (that ended this morning).  So it's not, like, super bad painful or anything, but just somewhat painfully noticeable.  The "pain" might also be caused by suction/vacuum effect, in which case I can try a few other things, or it might just be because my body's not used to having something in there like that.  It's recommended to give a menstrual cup 3 cycles before you give up on it.

 

I'm thinking that I might want a small MeLuna cup; it's only 40mm in circumference (pretty sure it's circumference, not diameter), whereas the sz1 DivaCup is 46mm (& the medium MeLuna is 45mm, but I don't know if only 1mm smaller would make a difference).  I was surprised that the length of the DC didn't bother me, and I even left the "tail" on, though occasionally I'd notice it, I'd occasionally notice the string of a tampon as well, in certain positions.  For all the pain it brings (!!), my flow isn't very heavy, so I'm not worried about a small MeLuna overflowing on me or anything.  There's a girl doing a co-op order for MeLuna (and MiaCups), and you can get one for $20 shipped, so I think I'll order a small for the heck of it.

 

The only thing is, there's a theory that some women have pain because the cup isn't BIG ENOUGH to go around the cervix, and it's the bumping of the cervix that causes the pain.  Obviously, if that is my issue, the smaller cup might hurt MORE.  OTOH, the MeLuna is so small & shorter than the DC, that it might sit low enough to not touch my cervix & circumvent the issue altogether.  Decisions, decisions!  ;)  I don't think my cervix is really dipping into the DC anyway, so I don't think that'll be the problem.

 

I have to say, I was rather surprised that the menstrual cup kind of squicked me out.  I'm very in touch with my body, have no problem with cloth pads & handwashing them, I used to use sea sponges as tampons which requires wringing them out & washing them, etc.  But something about dumping the contents kinda bugged me out; not enough to stop using it, but it was just kind of weird.  Maybe I'm just not used to seeing a collection of blood or something?  Eh, I'll get used to it.

 

I really like the idea that I might not have to buy another menstrual product ever again; I have to check with my mom & aunts (Nana had a hysterectomy prior to naturally entering menopause), but if these last around 10 years, there's a decent chance this (or, well, the MeLuna cup) could be my last "period purchase", unless it gets lost or the cats find & chew it or something like that.  I find that idea comforting. :)

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