? ?
 So, I just turned 20 and am still a virgin. I've been using tampons for years but I hate having to guess what size to use at any given time (that and I hate having to stuff my purse full of every size tampon and a bunch of pads during my period). This is especially an issue as I will be studying abroad in Japan in September and I really don't want to have to bring a bunch of supplies with me (I'm scheduled to get my period about a week after I get there). I started reading up on cups and so many people said they really liked them, and they were pretty easy to use, and that they were comfortable. I got really excited and after looking around at the different types online I ordered myself a small purple Lady Cup. It hasn't arrived yet, but I was at Lori's Natural Foods today and they had a Moon Cup US size B. I started my cycle today and thought I could get this one and try one out. I got all excited about putting it in and then not having to worry about my period and how everything was going to be easier. I got home, washed it, and sat down on the toilet to put it in. And that's where things went downhill...
I realized that I didn't know where it was supposed to go in. I've always put my tampons in by feel so I never really gave it much thought. With Mom's help (she held a mirror and flashlight for me) I was able to find my vagina. I tried for a good half an hour trying to get it in. I tried sitting, standing with one leg on the toilet, laying down... nothing worked. Mom found some water-based lubricant and I tried that too... still no luck. This just made it harder to handle. I don't know if it's me or what but I had a really hard time keeping the Moon Cup folded (tried 7-fold, C-fold, puch-down fold) especially when trying to insert it. And here's the other problem, either something is in the way or I haven't found the right angle, but no matter how I try to angle it or wiggle it or fold it, the blasted thing won't go in past the rim). It gets stuck on me, pops open (which hurts a lot), suctions when it isn't in very far and makes it hard to get out, and if I try to push it in further it really hurts. I ended up crying because it hurt, I was frustrated, and disappointed. I guess I thought it would be easier than this. I really want it to work for me but that's impossible when I can't even get it to go into me further than the rim... What am I doing wrong? Is there anything else I should try? At this point I'm starting to wonder if it was a mistake to spend almost $80 on the 2 cups when I can't seem to get them to work and I kept wanting to chuck it across the room out of frustration. Please help, I really want this to work out.
Sorry for this long, whiney post - it's only been about 3 hours since this happened and I still feel like crying (and am probably not thinking as straight as I should be).
kitsunenomizukitsunenomizu on May 21st, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)
This happened to me for quite some time before I was able to get it in. Some suggestions for you would be to take deep breaths and relax. The cup will go in at a similar angle as tampons do. Take a small amount of that water based lube and reach your finger in there to kind of ease the insertion and also figure out the angle you will be inserting the cup in. I find that putting lube on the cup or the rim of the cup just causes problems all on its own when attempting to insert. There are also plenty of different folds that you can try. I don't have the link at the moment but I am sure you can search for them. If you find that you are too frustrated right now, you can put the cup aside until you are ready to try again. The key is to be patient and relaxed.
Rockin´the suburbs! (of San José, Costa Rica)christine on May 21st, 2011 04:54 pm (UTC)
I agree with Kit...

Lube on the cup -- disaster (makes it even harder to keep hold of).

A small amount of lube in the opening of the vagina -- perfect!

And take a break! try again tomorrow! With a fresh start you'll be more relaxed, which by itself will make things easier :)
Mechellemechellelemode on May 21st, 2011 02:13 am (UTC)
Yeah girl, it will get easier! I promise. I first tried to do a dry run to practice and damn, it hurt like hell! Then, when my period came I tried to put it in and it hurt like hell then too, even when taking it out! haha I ended up using tampons again and was so mad because I figured I wasted money on the dumb thing! Well, the next cycle I was out of tampons, no money, and I hate pads with a passion so I tried the Diva cup again. I used the punch down fold which has a really small opening and I actually got it in! It didn't hurt either! Now, I am able to put them in when I am not on my period and there isn't much lubrication. I'm still on a learning curve because I still leak and use pads, but I haven't given up yet. And you never know, the other cup may be a bit easier to insert. It gets easier after a couple of times.
cenamen on May 21st, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
It sounds like your hymen is in the way and is not letting your cup go past it. However, many girls who are virgins use menstrual cups. I think maybe relaxing might help, Ive read that keeping your mouth open while inserting the cup will relax you more down there. Ive also read that masturbating before trying again might make it a bit easier to insert the cup. I hope that helps!!
crosleybabe4evacrosleybabe4eva on May 21st, 2011 04:30 am (UTC)
I second this- have an orgasm right before you put it in.
fee_parisienne on May 21st, 2011 04:56 am (UTC)
It really is okay if you don't get the hang of it at first! There's a lot of things to figure out (anatomy, folding, insertion angles, etc.) when you first start using a cup, and it takes most people a few cycles to figure them out and get confident with their new cup-using skills.

With practice, you'll start figuring out which folds go in easiest and you'll get better at keeping the cup folded until you decide to let go of it. One thing about lube - it can be helpful, but I find that it's usually more helpful to apply it to my vagina, not the cup. Once you've got some lube there, you can wipe your fingers off so you're not trying to hold onto a folded cup with super-slippery fingers!

One thing that helped me when I had a hard time inserting a cup was to slide it in really slowly, millimeters at a time, and sort of visualize/imagine my vagina opening up to engulf the folded cup.

And you've got plenty of time to practice. If you're feeling really frustrated, throw it back in the drawer until you feel ready to try again.
Dina Clarelintilla on May 21st, 2011 08:38 am (UTC)
If worst comes to worst, they do have pads and tampons for sale in Japan. ;) No need to bring them all with you!

Give yourself a break - come back to it later, when you're a bit more relaxed. It doesn't have to be today, or even this cycle. Heck, you can stick it in a drawer for the next six months and try again later if that's what you have to do!

I also recommend this post.
queensneak83 on May 21st, 2011 12:52 pm (UTC)
Seriously, pads and tampons are amply available in Japan. No need to go so hardcore and take them with you. If anything, they have pads that come close to cloth pads in feel and put the ones we have here in the US to shame.

I think you're expecting too much too soon. The learning curve for cups is pretty steep. Most users don't fully master the techniques until a few cycles into using it. Keep at it, and don't be discouraged. Also, the Moon Cup is pretty stiff/inflexible, maye you could try a softer cup if your hymen is obstructing the way? Check out this chart:
mjspmjsp on May 21st, 2011 08:47 am (UTC)
If your hymen is in the way, you can stretch it with your fingers a little every day for a week or two. I've heard a lot of people say that, but never tried it myself..

And also if your a little nervous about getting it in right and all that, i'd say just leave it for some hours, do something nice and relaxing, and then try again when you feel ready for it. I figure one gets a little sore and swollen if one just keeps pushing it.. Someone also suggested that "blowing rasperries" while inserting it will help you relax your pelvic muscles.

And I would say just feel around for your cervix while on your period, that helps you to get to know how to aim the cup. (I started doing this while in the shower the first few times, 'cause i thought it was a bit messy).

Good luck! I think you'll manage it well pretty soon! ;)
mikayla_224601mikayla_224601 on May 21st, 2011 01:44 pm (UTC)
I'm only 13, have a hymen...I don't masturbate or stretch myself! That's completely unnecessary, because the vagina stretches itself. Use the origami fold at the beginning because it's very small. I know it hurts like hell when it opens too soon, so you need to place your fingers at the very tip of the cup and just put it in a little, then move your fingers down the cup...and just keep doing that because it ensures that you have a good grasp on it. It took me a whole month to get it in, just forget about dry runs because they hurt a lot! While on your period it is soooo much easier! And it really just takes patience. I used to think that my cup was way too big for me and that some folds were huge, but now that I get the hang of it, I know that my cup fits and I can now use any fold I want! Patience!....Best of luck! :)
Rockin´the suburbs! (of San José, Costa Rica)christine on May 21st, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
Just commenting to say that it's nice to read the comments of a young person that is so aware of her body :)
Dina Clarelintilla on May 21st, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
While I agree that there's no need to "stretch" oneself, for some people, it's largely the lack of familiarity of having something in the vagina that's the problem. In that case, exploration can be helpful. :)
Serpentserpent_849 on May 22nd, 2011 09:58 am (UTC)
the vagina itself is elastic but the hymen isn't so yeah, stretching can be useful.
another small fold is the triangle, which i personally find much easier.
Serpentserpent_849 on May 22nd, 2011 12:11 pm (UTC)
well it is elastic, but not to the same extent as the vag
hinata42691hinata42691 on May 21st, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you, everyone! I'm going to go look up some more folds and then maybe try again in a day or so.
hinata42691hinata42691 on May 21st, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
Then again, I might just wait until my Lady Cup gets here and try that (since it's a little smaller and much softer).
kitsunenomizukitsunenomizu on May 22nd, 2011 02:44 am (UTC)
Just wanted to add that because it is softer doesn't mean it will be easier to get in. I find that softer cups are slightly more difficult to get in without some serious relaxation or they end up just not wanting to go in there because they are just odd like that. They can also take some work at being able to get a proper seal at first.

With that said, this will be much much easier to do when you are on your period because a dry run *can* cause a more pain than what the pain is worth. Don't be too eager or impatient to put it in. Just go at it slow, relaxed and patiently and you will get it in eventually.

I said before that it took me a long time to get mine in. An embarrassingly long time, and that is without being a virgin.

Don't give up completely. It is worth it, you will see.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on May 21st, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
Deleted and re-posted in the right place with correct spelling.

You put too much pressure on yourself to succeed and you were trying too hard. Try it again when your head is in a better place. :o)
yellowsunflowersjmnstars on May 21st, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
I am 30, not a virgin and have been using my cup for...seems like forever now! I had the same problem inserting my cup at first, and I don't think I ever had a hymen. I was running into my pubic bone at first and my cup would pop open, seal and hurt like nothing else! It hurts because there are a bunch of nerves and stuff in that general area. Here's what worked for me:

Once you figure out your preferred fold (I used the C fold just because I can't figure out how to keep the others folded), angle the cup toward the small of your back and exhale while sliding it up into your vagina. Do not hold your breath, that will only clench your vagina! You will kind of feel it when the cup goes past your pubic bone because it will be easier to insert. Sometimes the cup will also just be sucked up to where it needs to go on it's own! :P Once it goes as far as it can - don't force it, that hurts! - try and twist it so it will pop all the way open. Personally, I couldn't get mine to twist for the first few months, so I ended up gently pushing the back wall of my vagina out with my finger until I could feel the cup pop open. Also, I do use lube, but I only put it on the rim of the cup and hold on to it closer to the base.

You will figure it out, learn about your body and what works for you. Good luck! :)
lullinatalk on May 22nd, 2011 08:03 am (UTC)
If you are going to be in Japan, don't worry about having to bring a bunch of supplies. Even if you don't get adjusted to cups, Japanese pads are the nicest pads in the world. I promise, they are so much nicer than American ones.
Serpentserpent_849 on May 22nd, 2011 10:16 am (UTC)
were these dry runs? sounds like mine, i'm also 20 and a virgin. it was MUCH easier the morning when my period was due. oops you're actually on your period.
it's important to hold your cup folded in a way that keeps it, well, folded. experiment with this too. that's what works for me, when actually inserting i keep it folded like that against my vulva/labia and kinda slide till BAM it's in my vag:) interestingly, i do need to let my cup open as soon as the rim is in, and when i actually was able to insert it, getting it to open was difficult (before i figured out how to do it easily). it's definitely not the same feeling when you let it open low than when it opens when you're still trying to insert it.
maybe you could also hold your cup so that your fingers covered the holes?

also, tons of time till september, if the ladycup is too small for you (it has very little capacity), you'll be able to get another one AND get used to it by the time you leave for japan. no worries:)
the main thing... it definitely doesn't mean cups aren't for you!
Serpentserpent_849 on May 22nd, 2011 10:20 am (UTC)
basically, your cup pops open when air gets into it. so try to keep it folded flat when you don't want it to open yet. you can also try warm water btw, it's not recommended for soft cups but stiff ones get a tiny bit softer this way, easier to fold, easier to hold folded and less likely to open before you want them to. i guess my post could also be useful for the cases when cups pop open too soon, lol.
hinata42691hinata42691 on May 22nd, 2011 12:49 pm (UTC)
I guess one of the hardest parts of me and it could be that I don't realyy know what I'm doing and have a stiffer cup (according to comparisons). At this point, I can only fold my cup into 3 shapes and they're really hard to hold there because of the amount of resistance from the cup itself. And by the time I get what might be a good angle my fingers are cramping and the cup pops... should I maybe try a softer cup for now, just to get the hang of it? I thought they might be easier to fold/hold?
Serpentserpent_849 on May 22nd, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
have you tried warm water to make your cup squishier? you can try it without actually inserting, just practice folding. i also can't do many folds and when i saw a large lunette at a store in finland i couldn't do the labia fold...
holding it this way is exactly what helps me avoid cramping fingers, that's ANNOYING. basically it's just about experimenting.
a softer cup will definitely be easier (and you have the link for advice on popping open:D) so i'm sure it'll be way easier when you get your ladycup:)
also, the triangle is very similar to the 7 fold but it's a bit smaller:)))
Angela, the not-so-teenaged dementor: Bring It On - Spirit Fingerscrazykitties03 on May 23rd, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
I second the suggestion of running the cup under warm water. It makes it more flexible and easier to hold it without it popping open.
Angela, the not-so-teenaged dementor: Be Okcrazykitties03 on May 23rd, 2011 04:44 pm (UTC)
You have already gotten a lot of great advice. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. It is common to have difficulty at first, virgin or not. It seems to me that I had a heck of a time holding onto my cup at first. I know that the silicone doesn't break down, but I think maybe it breaks in, if that makes any sense. It really does take time and the more frustrated and upset (and in pain) you get, the worse it is. You really have to be ok with just walking away and trying again. Just know that you can do this, it will just take time. Also, I know that you mentioned the stiffness of the cup, but I wanted to tell you that while I found a softer cup easier to insert, removal was very difficult and frustrating with the softer cup. I did eventually get it out and I even mastered removing it, but I prefer my stiffer cup because it's faster for me to remove. I'm not trying to scare you or anything, just know that there are going to be difficulties at first with any cup. It hurts and it's frustrating, but it does get better.
hinata42691hinata42691 on May 24th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
I'm almost at the end of my cycle and I think I figured out part of the reason why putting it in was so difficult and painful (aside from not really knowing what I was doing). This has so far been the lamest period I've had yet. I think I've had only enough blood for one, maybe two, light tampons... and that's a guess total for the last few days. So, I might have actually been doing a dry run... I'll just have to try again next month (and then I'll know for sure).
Thank you all again for all your suggestions. Some of them I've tried and others will be tried next month. I really appreciate the support since I don't know anyone who's used cups.
m03m on May 24th, 2011 08:41 am (UTC)
Good luck for your next cycle! And maybe you can use the time in between for some exploring.
Use your fingers and a mirror to get a good sense of where everything is. You'll be more likely to get the hang of using your cup next time.
groovyjewgroovyjew on May 24th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
You already have a ton of good advice here. But just in case you wanted more...

I did my first successful insertion in the shower. It's relaxed and wet and you're used to being naked in there. I highly recommend it.

Also, I find the origami fold to be the closest to the experience of putting in a tampon.