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25 July 2008 @ 12:19 am
So I've been interested in menstrual cups for a while. A week ago I ultimately decided I was going to get one. However, I had one problem. I am virgin, and one week ago I had never had anything in my vagina before. I couldn't even find the entrance to it in the first place! How pathetic is that? But, I made up my mind, and when I want to do something, I do it. So I did a little research and decided the best cup to buy would be the Lady Cup, because it's so small. But then my period started today, and I still hadn't bothered to order one, so I got in the car and drove to the nearest Whole Foods to buy a Diva cup.

Anyways, I believe that the best way to learn how to do things is in baby steps. I play the clarinet, and I know that you can't just look at a difficult piece of music and play it perfectly right from the start. You have to develop some muscle memory in your fingers first, starting slow and gradually up until the piece of music is now so easy you wonder why you ever thought it was hard in the first place. Using a cup is the same way. Since you've never had anything in your vagina before, it naturally is going to be awkward the first time.

So I thought up a set of baby steps to introduce myself to the cup, and I'm going to share them here. These steps are going to seem small and insignificant, but hey, that's why they're called baby steps :) If you can do more then one step at a time, then do so, if you are ready. But if you feel any discomfort, wait until later to try again. You will be able to get the same step you were at before, because the muscles will remember how, and then you will be ready to go on to the next step.

Before your period starts

1. Find the entrance to your vagina. This sounds stupid, but I honestly thought it was higher than it really is.

2. Relax, and try to stick a finger in. Just a little bit. Enough just so you get used to having something in and out of your vagina.

3. With one finger, try to reach as high as you can inside of you. If it hurts, then stop and try again later.

4. Once you get good at all that, explore your anatomy. Feel where your hymen is, and stuff like that.

5. Stretch your hymen a bit. Put some pressure on it with a finger, but not so much it hurts. You can also try putting more fingers in, but I never got to that point.

When you're on your period

1. Explore your anatomy more! When I'm on my period, I'm a lot looser and my hymen is more flexible.

2. Now get your cup out. Decide which fold you want to use. I like the 7 fold best, because it's small and easy to hold onto.

3. Now, separate your labia, and put the tip of the folded cup at the top. Move it downward towards your vagina until you feel the opening. I found it was tricky to find it without actually touching it with my hand, but it gets easier with practice.

4. Try pushing the cup in. Make sure you are aiming for your tailbone! At first I wasn't, and it hurt! Put the cup in a little at a time. If you have discomfort, stop and try again later.

5. Eventually you will be able to put most of the cup in, but don't put it in all the way yet. Practice putting it in most of the way a couple times.

6. At this point you should be able to put it in all the way. It's a little tricky to tell if it's open. Running a finger around the edges helps. The first time I put it in, it didn't hurt at all. In fact, I could hardly feel it.

7. Okay, now that you've got it in all comfy, just get it over with and take it out. This is the hardest part. Make sure you're relaxed. The first thing want to do is stick in a finger, and break the suction by pushing in on the cup rim. Then bear down, and twist it out. OK, I'm not gonna lie, it hurt because my stupid hymen was in the way. I'm not sure if I tore it or not, because I can still feel it there, but it's less in the way now.

Whatever you do, don't panic about getting it out. If your hymen is in the way, just remember that it's temporary and won't keep the cup in forever :)

UPDATE: More removing tips!

So, apparently my cervix is quite high, even on my period. So when I tried to take my cup out after my first full day, I had quite a shock! I could hardly reach it, and it was slippery because the cup had started leaking. So the natural thing to do was, of course, panic. But I did manage to get it out! First thing I had to do was squat and bear down, really hard! It does move down when you do that, even though I was freaking out! Anyways, eventually I was able to get in a finger to push in on the side of the cup and break the suction. Then, I pretty much just grabbed it and pulled it out, while bearing down.

It didn't hurt that time, but I highly recommend doing it in the bathtub or shower, because I got blood everywhere, but thankfully I could just turn on the tap and wash it out.

Here are some tips if the cup leaks. At first mine didn't leak, but once I got adept at inserting it, it starting leaking. However, it would only leak for about half an hour then it would stop. Turns out I wasn't putting it high enough up. It would eventually move up on its own and stop leaking, but it's much better, at least for me, to put it up higher in the first place. It also pokes me if it is positioned wrong. So, if you have leaks, experiment with where you are putting your cup. You might even want to try different folds, as that might help position it properly.

Anyways, I think the most important thing about using a cup is not to force it in. Make sure you are ready. It's unacceptable for a guy to force something in you, so you shouldn't force anything in you either!

Also, remember that you will be able to get the cup in eventually! It WILL fit. The vagina stretches beautifully! Anyways, I hope I was helpful and didn't bore you to death!
neurotic_orchidneurotic_orchid on July 25th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
This is awesome! I hope the cup works great for you.

I think this should be added to memories.
I'm not goth, I'm anemic!sadhe_sati on July 25th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC)
Those sound like great baby steps and I'm sure you will get it right, just be patient with yourself=)

And don't feel bad, lol. I had a hell of a time finding the entrance to my vagina when I was younger. I tried to use a tampon when I was 11, had no idea what I was doing, and didn't even bother to try again until I was 14 (and I had the internet to help me).
tegelly on July 25th, 2008 04:58 am (UTC)
hat all sounds really helpful & I like the baby steps approach. I'm planning on giving my girls information like this when they want to start using a cup, which I hope will be when they start their period! Hopefully they won't think it's too strange since that's all they see me using.

I'm wondering if you could add more about removal. It seems like many find it more tricky than insertion, especially during the learning curve time. The following process helped me a lot.

When you pull & twist the cup down it can also be squished or even re-folded into a "C" fold. Then just before the rim comes out you can tilt or angle it so that a "corner" of it comes out first. It slides out more easily this way, without stretching your vaginal opening or hymen out to the diameter of the open cup rim. If you breathe out during the final part of the process it also helps.

If you don't want the contents of the cup to spill then you can rest it at the vaginal opening for a little while to catch any blood that has been pushed out of the cup during the removal process. This stops messy fingers & works even when the cup is really full (for me at least!).

Hope that helps.
Christinekisekileia on July 25th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
I use the tilt/angling to remove a corner method for removal.
Christinekisekileia on July 25th, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
These are great guidelines. Also, I think your hymen is probably stretched but not broken.
mo_mi_jimo_mi_ji on May 19th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
I know this is out of topic but OMG you bunny icon is just so CUTE!!!
bad_pixie_000 on July 25th, 2008 08:21 am (UTC)
Brilliant baby-steps guide! Next, get a mirror and compare yourself to a diagram. Then, find your clitoris. :)

I first found my vagina when I was about 4 or 5: I had the genius idea of trying a "tampon" (I knew there was a hole where babies came out of and I knew that tampons went in the same place) I had made from twisted-up toilet paper.... that STUNG LIKE MAD! :D Hmm... this is probably why I don't remember ever having a hymen! :D
Daniamanita03 on July 25th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
I don't remember ever having a hymen either. I can't even imagine what it would be like.
karajcrabbekarajcrabbe on September 26th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
most painful experience of my life happened with divacup
mo_mi_jimo_mi_ji on May 19th, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
OMG When I was little I though babies come out from the other hole. I did not know 'til I was 12.
dorkdude3 on August 12th, 2009 05:45 am (UTC)
I though babies came from a magical hole that forms the bottom of the stomach( namly cause I was Bon by c section and when I saw the scar my mom said that's where you came from).
flyingdogsflyingdogs on July 25th, 2008 01:09 pm (UTC)
Excellent post!
I think that a lot of us have these expectations of ourselves that we should be able to make the cup work on the first or second try.

It takes practice, like you said. :)

I would also suggest that anyone new to a cup try all of the folding techniques and practice holding the folded cup for a few minutes, and you will probably have to hold it securely when you're trying to insert it. Try holding it when it's wet or lubed too!

It can be a surprise if the cup slips out of your grasp as you're trying to insert or remove it.

vampieofsavannivampieofsavanni on March 27th, 2014 05:18 am (UTC)
Re: Excellent post!
I just spent my second 20-minute session trying to make my diva work, and my whole canal AND opening hurt, but even more than that, MY THUMB IS CRAMPED BEYOND BELIEF. I'm a little afraid that I'll never be able to write or rock-climb again!
pris_smiles on July 25th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this! I've been worrying about having trouble with getting the cup in once I buy one and everything, this is really helpful.
ever so slightly obsessedscien on July 25th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
The interesting thing about hymens is that people assume that they are either 'broken' or 'not broken'. In fact, as you found out, it's an organic piece of skin. You can tear it a little or a lot, stretch it a little or a lot, it can get in the way more or less depending on what your starting point is and what's happened to it since. Perhaps it'll still get in the way occasionally, perhaps never again, perhaps only when you try to do something more stretching.

Good luck in any case!
Blogging Sarabloggingsara on July 25th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
yeah even though i'm not a virgin, i have what i think is my hymen still there in pieces at my vaginal opening. it doesn't bother me during sex or cup wearing.
thatsmealright on July 25th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Well written :)
eco_tone on July 25th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
this is fantastic, i wish i had had something like this when i first used the cup!
great work :)
purplechick1 on July 27th, 2008 07:12 am (UTC)
Great guide! I got my Lunette when I was 13, and I prepared for it by sticking fingers up my vag. At the time, I was all like, ewww you can put fingers up there! Being comfortable with that area is vital for using a cup.
luvmybirds on September 19th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Teri S. Woodthe_resa on October 26th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
That was actually very helpful.
For someone who is much older, but scared to death about trying one of these things!!! :)
flyingdogsflyingdogs on May 13th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
what a great post!
luckyy23 on July 1st, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
great advice.
this is really good steps.
i just ordered a small lady cup,
and am really nervous about trying it :(
this did help tho, thank you.
redditor on May 15th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
How many days/hours did it take you to be able to finally get in? I am having a lot of trouble with it..
sizechartssizecharts on May 18th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
May I link to this post from the new Size Charts?
I'm adding a paragraph about virginity and tightness.
Jessalyn WhitlockJessalyn Whitlock on August 2nd, 2011 03:53 am (UTC)
really great!
thanks for this! it really helped me! i'm still getting the hang of my cup! :P

firsttimeuser7 on July 12th, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
How did you do it?!
I have been trying to insert a diva cup since yesterday without success. I too can put just put one finger in and I feel that the cup is too big to slide inside. I tried the punch down fold. Do I have to put it in parallel or at an angle? I tried both sitting and standing. Pls suggest!
nicoliolioio on August 31st, 2014 05:41 am (UTC)
I am so very new to using menstrual cups (in fact, I just got it in a few hours ago, thanks to this guide, as I am a virgin) and I'm a bit worried that it might have gone too far up? I can't feel the stem of the cup anymore, is it normal for it to be that far up?
grad1321 on June 21st, 2016 04:37 pm (UTC)
Pubic Bone or Cervix?
Hello! Sorry for posting here, but I am not sure how LiveJournal works and just had a question.
I am trying the menstrual cup for the first time (I bought the small IrisCup) and am having lots of trouble inserting it. Specifically, I can't tell if it is my cervix or my pubic bone that is blocking it. If it's my pubic bone, I know I should try to push past it if comfortable; but if it is my cervix, I know the cup should lie below it. But it is super low! Like my first knuckle low. How can I tell the difference between the two? Thanks!