Menstrual Cup Journal: Day 3

Day 3

WOW! I needed to change my cloth pad in the middle of the night and didn't. Now THIS is a heavy flow. This is only my second flow post partum (due to amennohorea caused by breastfeeding) so maybe that is why this is quite a bit funky. At any rate, I had total leak out with the pad. Menstrual flow down my legs, feet...everything soaked. I was able to hop in for a quick shower to rinse off and get the cup back in (again, quickly and easily with the punch down facing back) before the baby noticed I was gone. This is a really intense flow. I'm going to wear an entire pad as back up, not just a liner and see how this goes.

Less than 2 hours later

Busy morning! A bug was in my daughters cereal so she refused to eat it. She wanted oatmeal instead, but while eating the new breakfast, a bug flew into that and she refused to eat again. Now she wants junky fish sticks. Sigh. I ran into the bathroom to do a quick check and sure enough there was some blood on my pad. I took out the cup: pretty much full (full being 3/4th full when NOT tilted). I emptied it and reinserted. This time it was even easier to reinsert, seems that the vaginal canal has really "blossomed" with all of this heavy bleeding. Definitely a cup+pad day. I hadn't counted on that.

Much later

Wow, what a busy day. But here's what I realize. First of all, I'm having an unusually heavy flow. Totally normal for post partum/breastfeeding hormones, but something to be aware of. So I must be vigilant. If I change the cup every hour, I won't have any leakage. Unfortunately, it's hard to homeschool/raise 3 children in 1 hour increments. (Try telling your kids after you get to the park and eat an orange, that it's now time to go home. Sigh.) But I suppose this is only for a short time. So I'll make it work.

Also, punch down fold facing back...amazing! I'm getting really good at this. It must be the fold for me! I'm confident that it's opening up perfectly and I can take it out, rinse it, and reinsert in a matter of seconds! I was even able to take it out and dump it before my son barged in on me last time. Then I was able to put it back in again before he came right in again. And I guarantee you, that's pretty darn speedy!

It seems we are back on track, B"H!

I'm also noticing that once you've found your fold and insert, the whole process goes really really quickly. I'm back to absolutely loving my menstrual cup! Though I confess, I'm now thinking of testing some other types to compare and contrast.

Also, I spoke with a couple of friends (veteran menstrual cup users) about my progress so far. One friend mentioned to me that she can tell if her cup is fully open when she bears down with her pelvic floor muscles and can twist the cup completely and easily in her vagina. Another friend told me that I only need to feel the lower part of the cup and if it's open (if the air got in, in other words), then you are good to go. This has been a better indicator for me. Also, one friend changes her cup once every 2 hours on her most heavy days but the other friend doesn't change more than every 4-6 hours on her heaviest day. Both friends have 4 children. Both agreed that I must be having some funky post partum issues that are making this period heavier than usual. (I want to state, again, that this is post breastfeeding, post partum. I'm still breastfeeding, but this is my second cycle since my now one-year-old baby was born.)

This journal is getting long, but it seems that I have so much to say about this. It seems that I'm also dealing with blood a bit more as I continue on the learning curve. For now, I'm wearing a cloth pad to back up the cup, in case I don't get to the bathroom every hour. I'll keep this up until my flow is less heavy.

Bedtime

Well, it certainly has been a long day, yet my changing of the menstrual cup has been rather uneventful. I'm learning to tell when it's time to change it before it leaks. And my flow has slowed down tremendously (after a dosing of herbs when I started getting a bit concerned about the the overabundance of flow). It was neat to be able to watch that progression and also to see the direct correlation between my activity level and flow. Lots of great information here, literally right at my fingertips.
I also went back to my old notes and to a website I found when I was researching the original menstrual cup blog that I wrote. I wanted to see how the Meluna and Diva Cup and others stacked up against one another, and after spending, quite literally, hours on the site, I can say I have come back a much savvier consumer.(You will find lots of helpful information in the right hand margin with more links, posts and tabs.)

But I also learned here that a menstrual cup is not a menstrual cup is not a menstrual cup. In other words, some women have longer and some shorter vaginas. So certain cups will sit differently for some women than others. But this is just the beginning. Some women have lighter flow and some heavier flow and the rule of thumb is that you want to get a cup that will handle your heaviest flow without having to change often, so this tells me that, so long as I'm having this issue, I should look for a cup with a larger capacity (actually, the Diva Cup seems to have the most capacity of usable space (below the "air holes") but there are other factors. Some women like a "squishier" cup (Meluna's "soft" cups are maybe the squishiest around!) and some like a "firmer" cup. Some really like fun colors and some don't want any dyes (Mooncup UK, for example won't use dyes as a matter of principle, they don't want to use any extra chemicles, which I can respect!) but some claim that the colored cups look nicer longer (less staining). Some cups have reactions with women as far as smell yet those same cups can have no such reaction in a different woman's body (for example, some complained that the Meluna had the smell of, er, "rotting meat" after use. I certainly did not have any such thing, though I suspect what a woman eats would have a lot to do with the smell of her cervical and uterine secretions and, as a result, her menstrual cup.) Some need a firmer cup to get it to open properly, some don't. The list goes on and on.
So, this evening before bed and after my shower, I decided to do an experiment. I took both the "soft" and the "classic" large sized Melunas and decided to try and insert each back to back, since I now have a fold that I like and feel confident about, and I was surprised to find that the soft cup (even after running under cold water) just wouldn't open up for me, but the classic did easily and consistently every single time! So this was a bit of a revelation for me personally. The soft one was much more comfortable, I couldn't feel it at all when it was in, but I think I need a firmer cup to open well for my particular body.

To Be Continued...

4 comments:

Macha said...

I absolutely love these posts!

Medicine Woman said...

YAY! Thanks for your feedback. :)

Manu said...

For what I've found on the web, the Miacup is the softer/squishier cup.

I tried the bigger Meluna and the smaller Lunette. Lunette is more soft and with a slender ring on the top, it takes a few trials to learn the best fold and how break the suction. The meluna pops open immediately and the seal is easily broken.
I can't feel both, normally. The period is shorter and I feel like the other days, free and clean.

I suffer of internal hemorrhoids, and during bowel movements the stiff ring of Meluna may cause prolapse ( and it's painful). So for me it's better to remove Meluna during evacuation.
Lunette small have not this issue and can barely feel it during bowel movements, so chosed it as primary cup. ( almost one year!)

Now I am a bit scared from "stiffer" cups, also if those are easy to insert and remove...I want to try fleurcup because the ring does not look so thick, but it's said that's a pretty stiff cup!

My suggestion is to chose a softer cup if a woman has sensitive bladder or rectum problems. I wanted to write this because some women can be discouraged only because purchased the wrong cup.
Manu

Zucchini Breath said...

I have 2 cups. my soft lunette and my firmer moon cup. That and a couple of pantyliners gets me thru a cycle.

I LOVE your series of articles. Thanks so much for documenting this and for hosting the giveaway.