Three Years TTC to Three Months with Softcups

Love this post? Share it with others!
  • 34
    Shares

Beat Infertility Naturally Softcups #infertility #ttc #naturally

*This post may contain affiliate links. By purchasing a product through an affiliate link on this site, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps keep this site running. Thank you so much for your support. Details here.

Update 1/7/2019: Softcup has been renamed Softdisc. After doing some research, I learned the company decided to do this to differentiate it from the other “soft cup” menstrual cups on the market since it is designed differently. I’ve also received several questions about which menstrual cup is best for TTC purposes. For the sake of getting pregnant and based on my personal experience, I specifically recommend Softdisc, not any other soft menstrual cup. Unlike other menstrual cups which sit inside the vaginal canal, Softdisc (formerly Softcup) is designed to sit below the cervix. When Softdisc is placed after intercourse, the proximity to the cervix gives sperm a little less work and gives semen more time to liquefy.


TO START, I am all too familiar with the unsolicited suggestions of “You just need to do this. This is how I get pregnant,”

  • “Just have sex. That’s how I got pregnant.”
  • “Go on a cruise.” (Did that, by the way. Didn’t work.)
  • “Try taking birth control. Oh, throw in a condom if you really want to get pregnant quickly.” (Yes, I was the sarcastic, bitter type of infertile. Not proud of it. It is what it is.)

This is NOT, “This worked for me, and it will work for you too.”

THAT’S ANNOYING.

Infertility is so complex. There are so many factors. You start trying to conceive thinking it’s simple. It’ll take three months, tops. But it’s not. Thankfully, in our case, we were able to find what worked, and it worked again… and again… and again. I’m sharing it here in case there’s any chance it will work for you too.

SOFTCUPS.

I first learned about them six months into my marriage, shortly before my husband was due home from his second deployment. I was searching for a way to manipulate my birth control to move the start of my “period” (read: withdrawal bleeding) since it was due the day of his Homecoming. The only good thing about my time on hormonal birth control was the reliability of my period, but that was NOT a plus for me this time! Apparently, I was on the wrong kind of pill to be able to manipulate my period.


After days of searching, I learned about Softcups.

THESE WOULD SUFFICE.

My husband came home earlier than expected, so I never used Softcups for my original purpose, but from that point, I began using them for my period and never looked back!

In my years of TTC, I did a LOT of research since Anthony and I had decided not to pursue ART. I became a patient of Dr. Google. I could not tell you what I was researching on this particular day, but whatever it was, I did NOT expect to find this:

A thread of hundreds of accounts from women who had struggled for years to conceive

They all conceived within 1-3 months of using Instead Softcups! (Seriously, I have no idea how I found this because I wasn’t able to find it again years later after hours of research in preparation for this article. I did find something similar.)

Ah, yes. My old friends… except not so much those days because by then, using them meant I was on my period, which felt worse and worse each passing month. (I will say that using these for my periods while TTC made the monthly “Not Pregnant” reminders a little less blaring compared to using pads.)

The idea was that this menstrual cup would keep his *ahem* swimmers closer to where they needed to be for longer so they can do their job more easily. This seemed like it would be especially helpful in our case of male factor infertility, though surprisingly these women all had different infertility factors– male factor, female factor, unexplained– and had all tried all sorts of fertility treatments and methods for varying amounts of time (sometimes years) with no success.

We beat infertility 4 times with Softcups. #maleinfertility Click To Tweet

I could not deny all these success stories.

I already had a box of Softcups in the bathroom. I approached my husband carefully, sensitively with another one of my kooky, crunchy conception plots. We decided to try them the next cycle. Finally, ovulation day came. It coincided with an all-expenses-paid art exhibition trip at a nice hotel. At least that timing worked out, right? We fought the whole time.

BECAUSE INFERTILITY.

Still, we put the Softcups to work. Our new beacon of hope. We left the art expo with our marriage and hopes intact.

Two weeks later, my period was due.

BIG FAT NEGATIVE.

Days later, still no Aunt Flo. Big fat negative. One week late. Nothing. What the heck? Well, if I’m not pregnant, let’s get this show over with! Finally, two weeks late and 2.5 years into TTC, it happened. For the first time, that second little pink line finally appeared. Minimal squinting necessary. Cue ugly tears and praises to God. I was six weeks along with my first baby.

A week later, on another rainy day in Southern California, I miscarried.

DEVASTATION.

It took some time for us to be ready to try again. When we were ready, we knew the plan. We had conceived on our very first cycle of using Softcups. Was that what did it? Was it just “our time?” Had all our other efforts finally come together to make us fertile?  How could we ever know if it was truly the Softcups? I was mystified but just convinced enough to try it again.

Our second cycle of using Softcups, we conceived our firstborn child, Abel, born in August of 2016.

THIS SIDE OF IF Infertility ICI Success TTC Naturally Softcups #infertility #pregnancy #ttc #naturally

 

After all these years and all I learned about whole foods and health, I was adamant about breastfeeding my son. I knew this could delay the return of my menstrual cycle. Between this and the fact that we had already waited for three years to conceive our first, we decided to enjoy our son and see what happened. We didn’t use any type of contraception after Abel was born. It would be fun to see how long it would take to conceive naturally now that the pressure was of infertility was off.

Well, Abel began sleeping through the night at almost 10 months old, and my cycle regulated, meaning I was able to track my fertility again. I quickly contracted baby fever. We changed our minds about just “seeing what happened.” What the heck? Might as well start trying now.

The first one took long enough. What if the next one took years as well?

It honestly wasn’t the best time in our lives to begin TTC again with a cross-country move in the near future, but we knew enough by then to know that whenever it happened, the timing would somehow be perfect. We broke out the Softcups.


Two months later, I was pregnant.

THE NEXT WEEK, I MISCARRIED AGAIN.

I had a very different reaction to this miscarriage than to my first. Surprisingly, I was equally devastated, but in a different way. I also coped in a different way. Instead of needing months to mentally recoup, I wanted to be pregnant again immediately. This was not to erase or replace the baby I had lost. It was a complicated desire, but it became my mission.

I was still spotting when I felt the familiar pains of ovulation.

I immediately and obsessively began tracking my fertility signs. I mean obsessive. More than I ever obsessed when trying to conceive my firstborn. It consumed me. It dominated my every thought. It was unhealthy. I used physical calendars and virtual calendars and phone apps and note paper and the backs of receipts. I analyzed and overanalyzed all my data in all my free time. I strategically timed intercourse.

Each time, we used SoftcupsFive weeks after conceiving my third pregnancy, I was pregnant again. One cycle with Softcups. My due date moved– it seemed– from April 7th, 2018 to May 16th, 2018.

Three years three months infertility softcups conceived naturally this side of if #pregnancy #infertility #intracervical
Our second rainbow baby, born May 2018

Just in case you skipped to the end…

NO HARD FEELINGS. I DO IT TOO.

I got pregnant twice on the first cycle and twice on the second cycle using Instead Softcups. Again, this is not something that will work for every couple, but for us, I am a believer. I know there is a couple with an equally unique infertility situation for whom these will work too. I am putting my experience out onto the Internet for that couple so that maybe they’ll have a little easier time learning this trick than I did.

FOR OUR FULL INFERTILITY TIMELINE, head to the bottom of my About page.

Did you appreciate this post?

Buy me a waterBuy me a water

Had you heard of Softcups for conception? Have you tried it?

ICI Success with softcups THIS SIDE OF IF #infertility #pregnancy #ttc #naturally
THIS SIDE OF IF Infertility ICI Success TTC Naturally Softcups #infertility #pregnancy #ttc #naturally

Love this post? Share it with others!
  • 34
    Shares

36 thoughts on “Three Years TTC to Three Months with Softcups

  1. We have actually tried this! While it hasn’t worked for us like it did for you (which is sooo awesome!), I actually like using them anyway. I’m a big believer in holding those legs up, but these assist and keep things cleaner if you have somewhere to go!

    1. Yes, exactly! It’s a better alternative to holding your legs up! When we learned hubby’s viscosity was THE WORST and liquefaction time was HOURS, it totally made sense to try Softcups to keep everything in while it liquefied. Otherwise, I’d have to hold my legs up until my legs went numb and then some. The things we do for babies, right??? I’m sorry you haven’t had any luck with them!

      1. Hi Jalina,

        What was your husbands diagnosis. We are also struggling with incomplete liquefaction/high viscosity and subsequent low motility. I bought soft discs and have been using them for the first time. Did you also use a lubricant like preseed?

        1. Hi! My husband had low motility, “critically low” morphology, and extremely high viscosity. His count was actually good, so basically he had a lot of deformed sperm that couldn’t get anywhere. Of course, there are good sperm in every sample, so I knew if we could overcome the viscosity, we’d have a higher chance of conception! No, I didn’t use any lubricant. Preseed, in particular, contains methylparaben (used as a preservative), which is an endocrine disruptor and potentially carcinogenic- not the way you want to greet the sperm you hope will create your baby!

      2. Hello! Thank you so much for sharing this. My husband and I have recently started trying for another baby. Because of many factors we would like to be pregnant sooner than later, not really having a “wait and see attitude” (although I wish I felt a little more at ease and patient!). I’m certain that I am ovulating but even testing constantly, I still feel like I’m missing it. (No definite dark lines with opk and I don’t know if I can trust the digital ones) Anyway.. after researching we just started using flexdisc for the first time. (I just picked up softdisc brand also, but haven’t used them yet, but apparently they’re the same??) SO the question I have is.. How long should I keep the disc in??? It does like I’ve put it in properly, but even so it makes me feel kinda crampy. It might just be psychological, not used to having something that far inside me. But either way I can’t help but to be anxious to remove it. But if the consensus is to keep it in all day, 8 hrs, 10, 12 hrs.. than I will do that! Thank you!!

        1. I don’t trust the digital tests either! Yes, Softdisc and Flexdisc are the same. I believe they are sister companies, actually. Softdisc does make me feel crampy too and sometimes causes some lower back pain, so I don’t always use it for menstruation anymore. I’d say try keeping it in for at least 2-4 hours to give the semen pleeenty of time to liquefy, but if you can keep it in any longer, BONUS! Regarding the OPKs, you might benefit from Proov test strips? I haven’t tried them personally, but they are designed to detect progesterone to “Proov” ovulation so you can have a better idea of if/when you’re ovulating. Sending baby dust your way!

  2. I am so glad I found this post! I’ve not tried it but I’ve been researching desperately online. I love your honesty about how determined you were, I don’t feel so alone in my obsession, you could say. Did you just use it to hold everything in place after?

    1. Lindsay, I’m so glad this post has helped you! It’s so important to know we aren’t alone in our experiences. Yes, I used the Softcup to hold everything in place. It keeps everything close to the cervix and gives it time to liquefy! It’s the same idea as holding your legs up in the air except it’s easier and more effective. In our case of male factor infertility, liquefaction time was hours long (as opposed to a normal 15-20 minutes), so I would have had to hold my legs up for a LONG time.

    1. No, I do not! Softcups (now called Softdisc) take the place of holding your legs up after intercourse. The concept is the same but is particularly beneficial with male factor infertility where there is high viscosity (liquefaction time.) Softcups (Softdisc) keep the semen near the cervix for a longer period of time while it (hopefully!) does its job!

  3. So basically you just have intercourse then insert the soft cup while lying in the bed after sex? How long do you leave it in, overnight or longer? And do you just insert it like a regular menstrual cup? Sorry for all the questions, after 9 years of TTC I’m willing to try ANYTHING!

    1. Hi, Jaci! I don’t mind all the questions at all! I’m sorry you’ve had to endure this wait for so long! Yes, I placed a Softcup (Softdisc) immediately after intercourse and before standing up. Depending on what time we had intercourse, I left it in all day or overnight for 8-12 hours. The pamphlet recommends leaving it in for no more than 12 hours. Softcups (Softdiscs) are designed differently than other menstrual cups, so the method of insertion is slightly different, but that is all specified in the pamphlet that comes in each box. You would just insert the Softcup like you would if you were using it for menstruation, as explained in the pamphlet. I hope that answers your questions! I’m praying for healing and endurance for your and that your wait for a baby comes to an end very soon.

  4. Hey,I’m just finding out about Softdiscs and TTC and my only question is peeing after intercourse? I have like a Pavlovian reflex to pee after sex but I know I shouldn’t,so the swimmers can just keep swimming (#Doryfan) would that change somehow by using the Softdiscs?
    Also as some have said, thank you for the honesty,I am trying to relax and be less obsessive as well….but phew yeeeeah…
    Thanks again!

    1. Hi! Great question. I have to pee right after intercourse every time too! Another reason Softdiscs are great! Put it in right after intercourse, and then you can get up and go pee right away 🙂 I was pleasantly surprised how much less leakage there was during my post-intercourse bathroom trips after I started using Softdiscs. Baby dust to you!

  5. Thank you so much for your story and blessings to you and your family ❤️ My husband and I have been trying for a year and half with no luck. I’ve used these a few times for my period so I know how to insert them when I’m in the sitting position however…….possible TMI – We tried soft discs tonight and I had my bottom on some pillows to try to put me at a bit of an angle and when we were done, I inserted the cup but had some challenges doing it laying down. When I stood up it seemed fine but then I had some leakage when I went to the bathroom. Did you have this too? I’m not sure if it was just residual that didn’t make it far enough ya know? Or if I maybe inserted it wrong? Have you had this issue? Thanks so much for any response. I know this post is old but it’s hard find info on this cause there is so much contradictory information about using discs so I wanted to ask someone with experience. Thanks again ❤️

    1. Hi! Great question. I actually didn’t have any leakage after inserting Softdisc while lying down, whereas before Softdiscs, it seemed EVERYTHING leaked out IMMEDIATELY. Try lying flat on your back with no pillows and bending your knees up toward your chest. That movement alone will put your hips and pelvis into a “sitting” position optimal for inserting the disc! The Softdisc user guide also suggests keeping the disc parallel to the floor when inserting, so if you’re inserting while lying down, you’ll want to envision the disc being perpendicular to the floor. TMI- I also always found it helpful to quickly push/pull the disc back and forth a few times before fully inserting to get it lubricated and give it kind of a running head start, if that makes sense. I’m sorry if any of these tips are redundant for you! But yes, I would definitely recommend aiming for no leaks since it IS possible! I wish you peace and blessings as you continue growing your family <3

  6. I’m going to by trying this method my next cycle with a known donor (as a single female.) No sex, just AI.
    I’ve been tested at a fertility clinic prior, to see if I had any issues or not. I don’t. I’m 26, or will be by the time my next cycle comes around and I ovulate. This donor has had known successes before using this method. In this case, he would just do his thing into the softdisc, and then I insert it. What do I do after? Is there anything else I need to do to help it along? Does it seem like it would be a good idea to try the softcup/disc before I move onto IUI?

    1. I don’t have personal experience with doing it this way with a sperm donor, but I have come across a couple success stories of doing it the way you’re describing, yes! There’s nothing you need to do after inserting the Softdisc. All you need to do is, of course, do your best not to spill any, and then make sure the seal is tight after inserting. Then leave it in up to 12 hours! I would 100% recommend trying Softdisc before IUI because it’s far less invasive or expensive. If Softdisc doesn’t work for you after a few cycles, you might be interested in looking into Mosie Baby, which is a specially designed at-home insemination kit and also seems to be a great next step before doing IUI. mosiebaby.com

  7. Hi, it’s me again with a small update trying softcups. I just had a few questions from when you tried and used them.
    The 1st insemination, I used Preseed on myself, waited 15, and then put the donation in once my donor did his thing in softcup. I hung upsidedown for 15 minutes. When I took it out the next day, there was a mix of my stuff and the liquified stuff from the donor.
    The 2nd insemination, I put a bit of Preseed into the softcup itself, only I hung upside down for 30 minutes instead of 15. When I took the softcup out today (2nd donation was last night. I should ovulate today or tomorrow early), there was less stuff in the bottom, but still a mix of fluids.
    Is that normal? And how do I know if any sperm got up there during my fertile window? After I put the softcup in, I didn’t feel it at all, nor did anything spill and I pushed it back as far as it would go. Does that mean I had the softcup in right? I timed it correctly (positive opks, using CM and cervix position to time). I just really want this to work!

    1. Hi again! Thanks for the update. I really hope this works for you too. Yes, a little mix of fluid after you remove the Softdisc is normal! It’s a great sign than none leaked out when you had it in and another good sign that there was less fluid in the cup the second time. There’s no way to know for sure that the sperm got to where it needed to go, but it sounds like you had the Softdisc in correctly and had good timing. The sperm sit in the semen, so if it works, what’s left in the Softdisc would be semen while the sperm hopefully swam out and started on its long journey to your egg!

  8. First time worked…but let to a chemical a few days before my period was due. Had implantation bleeding on CD 10.
    Second try had only one timed properly using a Softcup, the second was too late after I ovulated.
    This time, my donor has agreed to trying NI and sperm meets egg plan, or as much of it as he can due to working from home/if his room mate is present. So, I guess we’ll see how this one goes. I’m due to move closer to him next month, so that way if his room mate is there, he can just donate at my place. I just hope this time works.

  9. Hi! So, I used soft cups on our last cycle of TTC. After reading and doing my research I decided to give it a go! We been TTC the old fashion way for 1 year and 6 months. No luck yet. My period is 12 days late after the cycle of soft cups. I still have a negative pregnancy test. Therefore, I’m waiting and I also schedule a doctors appointment. Any advice?!!!

    1. Hello! Aw man, sooo much waiting! Is your cycle typically pretty regular? The only thing I can think of is slow-rising HCG or possibly an anovulatory cycle. (I had one anovulatory cycle while TTC, and it pushed my cycle back a couple weeks. Such a frustrating wait!) Definitely make that doctors appointment! I’d personally keep testing every couple days until a new cycle starts. That way you’ll know for sure if you were ever pregnant and if maybe Softcups did work for you this cycle. Keep trying it though! Doesn’t hurt and just might help! I’m sorry you’ve been at this so long.

  10. Hi, I would like to thank you for sharing your experience it really gives hope for women who have been trying to conceive for sometime now. I have started using Softdisc this cycle. TMI- When we were done I inserted the soft disc with my leg up for 15 mins. When I took out the Softcup the next day there was some residue still present. Is it okay to have residue? Or there should be no residue.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m happy to share and glad my story gives you hope. You don’t have to hold your legs up after inserting Softdisc. The point of the Softdisc is to keep everything close to the cervix instead of having it leaking out. It’s the same idea behind holding your legs up except Softdiscs last MUCH longer. Feel free to get up as soon as you insert it, but if holding your legs up makes you feel better, do that too! I totally get wanting to do everything you possibly can. The residue is fine! It’s probably cervical mucus, which is good for fertility. In my experience, all the semen was pretty much gone though whereas before Softdiscs, it seemed ALL the semen would leak out immediately. Good luck with the Softdiscs! Sending baby dust your way!

  11. Hi! This is all very helpful information. We are going on month 4 of trying and will definitely give the softdiscs a go! Since you don’t advise Preseed, what lubricant did you use? We’ve used it previously with no luck. Normally we would just use saliva when not TTC, but that is supposedly not very fertility friendly. Any advise? Thanks!

    1. The best fertility-friendly lubricants are the body’s natural lubricants! (Male AND female.) That’s all we used! That’s why there’s an increase in cervical mucus around the time of ovulation. If that doesn’t happen for you, that might be indicative of a hormonal imbalance and might be worth investigating. *not medical advice* I haven’t had any luck finding a lubricant I’m 100% happy with, so I don’t feel comfortable recommending any. Yes, saliva is spermicidal due to it’s pH.

  12. So my husband and I have been trying for over 4 years now. Two failed IUI and on the verge of IVF unfortunately we’re not made of money. I continued to research and stumbled upon this on Pinterest the method of using the softdiscs. I just have a few questions. Currently I’m in my ovulation window, but is this only to be used during that time or any time of the month?

    1. I’m sorry you and your husband have been waiting so long. Yes, I know it can be very expensive. That’s a great question! If you have a regular cycle and are confident about your ovulation window, you can stick to using Softdiscs only within your ovulation window to save yourself a little bit of money. It’s also nice to have sex without worrying about putting in a Softdisc afterward, though I know how hard it can be to escape that TTC mentality! If you have an irregular cycle, using Softdiscs each time might be beneficial so you don’t miss ovulation. Based on my knowledge and experience, using Softdisc after intercourse won’t HURT your chances of conception no matter when you use them throughout your cycle, so use them as much as you’re able to afford and feel comfortable with <3 *not medical advice*

  13. Thank you for sharing your story AND continuing to answer everyone’s questions, because I’ve had a lot of the same questions! I decided two cycles ago that I would try this the next cycle if we weren’t successful. I did get pregnant, then miscarried. I only just remembered, so I just ordered some of these after reading this. We have similar male factor issues and I’m getting really desperate now so looking forward to trying this!

    1. You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you found this article and the comment section helpful. I’m so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby <3 I hope these work for you! Sending sticky baby dust your way.

  14. Thank you for sharing this! My husband recently had random bloodwork that showed low testosterone. So I just have this idea in my head that he might have a lower sperm count that is making things harder (ironically it’s been hard to keep longer amounts of time between sex (like 48hrs) during my fertile days, which I think would help too). Anyway, I tried pre-seed last cycle to no avail. I am looking to try SoftDiscs (already have them being delivered) this cycle, with or without pre-seed (which I know you are against). So, one question I have about the SoftDiscs is the timing. Is immediately after best? I’ve read that female orgasm after male orgasm helps the sperm get up there as well (and we did that the first time we had unprotected sex when we accidentally conceived our daughter and I also did the same the times we had sex during the fertile week when I conceived for a second time…unfortunately, we lost that baby girl at 19weeks in June) … can SoftDisc be inserted 10-15mins later and still be effective?

    1. Great question about timing! Yes, I’ve read that too about female orgasm. No need to interrupt the flow of things to put the SoftDisc in! Just be sure to put it in before you stand up, whenever that is. It doesn’t have to be immediate. I’d stay away from any positions where you’re upright after ejaculation. And I might be understanding your comment incorrectly about time between sex, but just to share something I’ve learned is that intercourse every 1-2 days during the fertile period is best for sperm flow and quality! (I had to learn this myself after my first OB suggested we try “saving it up.”) Praying for an uncomplicated, full-term pregnancy for you very soon <3 I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby girl <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *