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12 October 2011 @ 03:43 pm

Hi everyone!

I've been reading so many articles on this website, so thank you all for posting. 

I am a 21 year old virgin who has never used a tampon nor self-stimulated vaginally. My first experience with a tampon was with an OB tampon, and that ended in 3 wasted tampons and a whole lot of pain for me. 

Pads were terribly irritating to my skin, so I came across the menstrual cups. Taking the advice of people on this site, I opted for a size 1 lunette, as it is generally smaller and more comfortable for people who have never had intercourse. 

Since my lunette has arrived, I've been learning lots about female anatomy. One piece of advice here was to try to insert fingers into the vagina to prepare for the insertion of the cup. I've tried inserting my finger in the shower, but it typically ended up being extremely painful. The pain is from the vulva area, where the vagina begins. Once inside the vagina, my finger does not hurt, but withdrawing the finger is terribly painful and stinging. 

Today was my ovulation, so I thought I'd try it again. I was able to successfully insert 2 fingers once today, but it was painful again on the way out. The right side of the vaginal opening, especially, causes a stinging pain. I tried to look for whether or not I have a hymen (I have no idea) but my forchette is in the way.

After somewhat successfully inserting the two fingers, I tried with the lunette, using the triangular fold. I could not even get the lunette past my forchette! If I pressed downward towards the vulva, some of the pain would return. I'm at a loss for what to do, so if you can help me, that would be amazing. 

Thank you so much :) 

Current Mood: confusedconfused
Cynthia: Book Heartstarstruckfeie on October 12th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you're experiencing so much pain :(

I too was in your predicament (age, sexual experience, painful tampons etc.) and went with a small lunette and it was still pretty big and rigid and hurt upon insertion and removal.

I started to use the small soft meluna with no problems (but I will soon try to wean myself onto a small fleur bc the capacity of the small meluna is basically nothing and it really acts as a cork in there to prevent the floodgates... lol sorry for that weird imagery). Small meluna = comfortable but it more stops menstrual flow from coming out than captures it in the cup like most cups do.

As for the pain I would only say give it time :( You may be more tense than you think you are. Or you could try a small meluna and wean yourself slowly. It will take some trying because you have to put your fingers in when you insert and remove. Good luck!
bridgettehearts on November 23rd, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for your advice. I may want to try something else, but I don't want to spend that much money again (shipping, accessories and lunette together came to almost $100!). You're right though... I'll just keep trying until it works!

I have had my first "period" experience with the lunette and tried all different angles of putting it in, but it is so difficult. I've tried "stretching" the area but 2 fingers is all I can stretch to. Should I see a doctor, or is that just my intercourse and tampon virginity?
juliiie87juliiie87 on October 12th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear about your painful experience too.

I'd say give it time, don't push yourself too hard, relax, even stimulate yourself (not vaginally) it you're used to it (but that's totally optional!), and mostly, get some water based lube that you'll apply generously on you, not on the cup, anywhere you fear it might be stingy. That should ease your finger / the cup in.

You may also want to try smaller folds, like the labia fold, punchdown, or 7 fold, and see if any of these works with lube - you can find them on youtube. In the meantime, have you considered clothpads ? just a thought.
bridgettehearts on November 23rd, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
I did get the lube! A little awkward, since I've never had use for it before ;)

So you're saying apply it to me? but not on the cup itself?

I tried the other folds, and it seems I got somewhere (i.e. 0.5 cm) with the punchdown. The part tucked in is HUGE though compared to what I've got to work with though, haha :)

I got some cloth pads as well as some "natural" pads! Thanks for the suggestion!
juliiie87juliiie87 on November 24th, 2011 10:47 am (UTC)
Aw I'm glad you're working this out !
Yeah, putting lube on the cup might just make it more difficult to hold tightly folded (cup springs and pops open out of your hand)... But don't hesitate to use it anytime you're trying to insert anything.

Oh and did I not mention origami fold ? it's sorta smaller then the punchdown.
きみえ (Kimie)kimie_catclaw on October 12th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
Have you read through the Virgin's Guide to Cups?
bridgettehearts on November 23rd, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
I did in great detail! I'm not sure what it is - I just seem to not be able to insert it in whether I am on my period or not... but another period is coming up in 2 days, so I'll try again!
margar02margar02 on October 12th, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC)
It sounds to me like you probably just tore your hymen a little. I recommend getting some lube, or even just using some water, and practice inserting your fingers for a while. do it a few times a day, for a week or so. I'm not sure if keeping an in-tact hymen is important to you, but if it's not, then a little bit of "self-stimulation" for scientific purposes can' hurt. I'd say it's just your vag's lack of experience.

Also- relax! Make sure you're not clenching your jaw. that's a sign that you're tense in other areas too. let your jaw o slack and breathe slowly.
bridgettehearts on November 23rd, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
You're right - I think it's a combination of stressing/tensing and the lack of "experience" haha :) I'm trying to practice with inserting my fingers to stretch it, but only 2 fingers can fit. Not sure what's going on because scientifically I know it stretches!
furiouselgeorgefuriouselgeorge on October 13th, 2011 12:24 am (UTC)
I was a virgin when I started using cups, and I had a similar space issue down there from when I first started using internal products.

When I first tried a tampon, it was very difficult to get in, it took me a couple tries. And then, once that baby was full, it got stuck! Talk about painful experience. I ended up taking a hot shower and slowly worked it out, stretching my hymen as I went. I was so curious how this all worked at the time, so I kept checking with a mirror and I could actually see the tears in my hymen! Talk about scary for little young me :P

This happened quite a few times before I could get a (junior size, mind you) tampon out without having to stretch/tear my hymen each time. So you can imagine how scared I was to start using cups. The first time I got it in, it got "stuck" again. And hurt like a bitch to get out. I pretty much couldn't get my fingers passed the opening to grab out the cup!


I spent a little while working the opening of my vagina with my fingers once every couple of days.. When I felt more comfortable with the space there, I went ahead and it all worked smoothly from there.

It also meant that when I had sex for the first time, it wasn't NEARLY as bad as it probably would have been. I am so glad, you have no idea (he wasn't exactly on the small end).

I hope my story helped :) Keep us updated
bridgettehearts on November 23rd, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks!! I'll keep stretching with my fingers. So far... just 2, but I'll keep trying! Another period is coming around this week so I'll try again with the cup as well.
Cait: Irene Adler : The Womanmscaitlinpotter on April 25th, 2012 08:03 am (UTC)
I just started using my cup today (thank goodness it arrived yesterday because I started today and am almost out of disposables) and it's extremely painful to remove (insertion is somewhat painful/difficult but I think I've not been breaking the suction for removal which hurts a lot). I can only get one finger in with the cup in (and even that, that's difficult/painful).

Are you saying that you used your fingers to widen the vaginal opening? Because I have the feeling that mine is quite small (20 year old virgin) but I'd very much like to avoid the aforementioned pain associated with my cup (as well as the pain I've heard associated with sex; my current boyfriend isn't exactly on the small end either which is a bit disconcerting).
kaera_brennan on October 13th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
I second the opinions that you probably tore your hymen a little bit. I'd give it a little rest to heal up before you try inserting again - and I also second the recommendation to get some lube. This will help when you insert fingers to stretch yourself out.

I would also recommend waiting until you're actually on your period before trying to insert your cup again. I'm a 21-year-old virgin as well, and never used tampons (they've always been uncomfortable to me). I tried doing a dry run when I first got my cup, and couldn't get it in even a tiny bit. When I started my period though, there was a VAST difference - I was much more stretchy, and there was more natural lubrication. It was much, much easier to insert on my period, and was way less painful.
bridgettehearts on November 23rd, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
I definitely agree with you that it was easier to insert on my period. However, it still didn't stretch too much, so I will keep trying in 2 days when it comes around again!

I tried cloth pads though, and I LOVE them. They're a good compromise while I get my lunette working :)
Melon the Sleepermelonaise on October 13th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
A fourchette is a pretty specific piercing that shouldn't be in the way of seeing if you have a hymen, so I guess you have a labial or clitoral piercing...? Have you tried looking with a handmirror? You generally need a good amount of light to figure out what's going on down there, so it can be hard to find a good place. Like people said above, you probably did tear your hymen, but it'd be good to see how much of your opening it's still obstructing, so you know whether to expect more pain next time you try.
p_seudonymp_seudonym on October 13th, 2011 04:38 am (UTC)
"fourchette" refers to a strip of tissue at the side of the vaginal canal nearest the anus, as well as the piercing. I'd assume the OP is talking about the tissue, since she doesn't specifically mention a piercing. It probably wouldn't get in the way of seeing the hymen either, though.
bridgettehearts on November 23rd, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
p_seudonym is right - I don't have a piercing there (goodness, that would hurt!).

It's the flap of skin I'm referring to. From diagrams, I think it's the fourchette as I understand the hymen is usually hidden inside. The flap of skin that is blocking the cup is attached to the outside skin of my labia minora... if that helps at all.

I might just go see a doctor. As I am a virgin, I haven't ever done my pap test either, so maybe I'll just ask for a full physical next time (yikes!)
Il etait une fois: deer lolikyokomurasaki on October 13th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
Don't be discouraged! I'm in a similar situation (though I've been using tampons for years and years) and it can be a little scary inserting things if you're not used to it. Just be patient and take gradual steps until you get to a point where you feel comfortable. If it hurts, don't force it! As for the stinging on removal, you probably just need a bit of lube as other folks have said. Try it in the shower as well, since the water will help with that a bit (and you don't have to worry about mess if you're menstruating.)
bridgettehearts on November 23rd, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!! I will keep trying and update this with anything new :)
The fact that I can't use tampons even scares me, because the cup is much bigger. Oh dear :)
busymary on October 13th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
I am in agreement with the others... lube and relax. Also, are you making sure to hold open your labia so that they are well out of the way? I would hate to think that you are not only dealing with your hymen but also dry labia making things difficult. Kimie thanks for the link on cups and virgins btw. I have a young daughter who has a heavy period and is interested in cups.
bridgettehearts on November 23rd, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
I am holding open the labia, but as I understand (and please correct me if I'm wrong), my fourchette (the flap of skin between the labias) is in the way of much stretching. So I can't really insert the cup. It's much easier to insert a finger (I've tried 2 maximum), but even that can be difficult sometimes. I'm worried....
juliiie87juliiie87 on October 13th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
Also, just another thought, if you say your fourchette get in the way, it could also be that either your muscles being tensed or just the position you are in is making your canal narrow.

I'm not a virgin but I'm a cup-beginner too, and I found it surprinsingly easy to insert while lying on my back on the bed, with my legs spread, knees bent and soles flat on the bed, lifting up my butt a little. This position seems to magically "open" my vag, making more room for the cup AND my fingers than say, squatting. You may still want to try squatting with a mirror on the floor below, just to see where you're going (yes, I did that too). ;)
bridgettehearts on November 23rd, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I've tried lying in the bathtub while trying to put it in on my period last time (and it went in 0.5 cm!!), but I'll try that again!