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02 March 2012 @ 10:39 am
I'm really wanting to stop using pads. They make me feel gross and dirty and they smell, not to mention the fact that they can be expensive and they're bad for the environment. I've been looking into using a menstrual cup for awhile now. My only concern is that I have a very small vagina. This is probably due to being a virgin (my hymen is broken though). I can't even fit a single finger up there much less any kind of tampon. Another issue is that I'm a bigger girl and my arms are on the shorter side, so there is the problem of reach. Do you think a cup would be ideal for me or should I maybe try cloth pads instead?
 
Ashatenlegspider on March 2nd, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
If you can't insert a finger you can't insert a cup, but you can learn if you want to. Your vagina is not small, it's tight, and sex doesn't change the size of anyone's vagina, it just makes it easier to relax the muscles. You can do this on your own with practice; see the virgin's guide to cups.

Reach will make things more difficult, whether you should try to work around it depends on how restricted and how determined you are. I think ideally you want to be able to get most of a finger in, but I don't have reach issues myself so I don't know how much of a problem it is if yo can't.
msmith1221msmith1221 on March 13th, 2012 02:28 am (UTC)
I would like to just point out that I myself cant wear the tiniest tampon's but I use a size 2 Diva every month. And if a girl is tense about something going in her vagina then it's going to tense up. I didn't start using cups as a virgin, so I can't speak from that side. But I think this is a chance to encourage. I would suggest starting off with a small soft cup like the MeLuna. In my opinion the softest cup available, and they have the smallest size.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on March 2nd, 2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
Your outer dimensions have little/nothing to do with your internal ones. Being "small" or "tight" is more a function of your pelvic floor (PC) muscles than the size/length of your vagina. Cups sit above those PC muscles. You need to relax them for insertion and removal and then you can go back to holding them as tightly as you normally do.

I think that length is a more important dimension than width. How easily can you reach the end/top of your vagina? Is it way deep inside? Then aim for a medium to long cup so you don't have go spelunking to remove a short cup. Can you reach it really easily? Then a short to medium cup would probably suit you better.

I think a cup's shape and stiffness has more to do with how "big" a cup feels than the rim width measurement. Once folded for insertion or squished for removal, the differences in rim widths are negligible.

Use the size charts at http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/ eliminate the cups that you don't think will fit or suit you. Then use capacity, shape, stiffness and gut feeling to choose from those that remain.
Ashatenlegspider on March 3rd, 2012 12:18 am (UTC)
This may be useful advice at some point, but at the moment the OP can't feel around inside her vagina at all, and when she's able to she still might not be able to get an idea of where her cervix is, depending how much of an issue she has with reach.

OP, please don't be put off by all the size/stiffness/etc. choices; many/most people are fine with the first cup they try, whether they've considered that stuff or not. You may or may not feel that trying to use a cup is worth the effort at the moment, but I don't want you thinking that it won't work unless you know your vagina inside-out and can make sense of all those numbers.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on March 3rd, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
My advice won't expire. If/When she's ready, I hope she'll make an educated guess as to size instead of just picking the prettiest one.
Ashatenlegspider on March 3rd, 2012 08:35 am (UTC)
Yes I know, but the question was "do you think I can use a cup?", and I think "look at the size charts" doesn't answer the question at all and makes the whole business seem more daunting than it should be. The idea that you should be able to make sense of the size charts when you've never used a cup bothers me because if I were looking into it now and believed that I think I'd give up on the idea, this is just an unusually extreme example.
ex_swaggerd on March 3rd, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
...I kind of have to say you are right. I can't make sense of any of those numbers. I just didn't want to say anything for fear of sounding stupid. =/
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on March 3rd, 2012 03:43 pm (UTC)
if you're more used to inches, here's a chart that uses them: http://menstrualcupinfo.wordpress.com/cup-stiffness-comparison-chart/ it also lists the stiffness.

and have a look at the comparison photos here: http://menstrualcups.friendhood.net/f52-moderator-s-photo-library it's not like with clothes or other things where you can be more or less sure what to expect. here's the most extreme example: http://i66.servimg.com/u/f66/14/96/65/91/pictu247.jpg
so you can't just pick a "good" brand and choose the small size. all small sizes are different and so are all the large sizes. the difference might seem minor but it often isn't. my large ladycup hurts right side out, while inside out, a couple mm shorter, it's pretty much fine. but yeah don't worry about sounding stupid. most people can use most cups, but especially with your issues you don't want one that is too long or too short.
Darling Nikkijessiebanana on March 3rd, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
I agree, I don't anyone suggested she just pick the prettiest cup. I think that was unnecessary thing to say. The size chart is great, but it's hard to know what any of that means IRL for your body until you've tried at least one cup.
Ex astris, scientia.component on March 3rd, 2012 03:16 am (UTC)
I agree. My first cup is still my favorite cup. I've been using it for a few years now. I didn't have to compare cups in person. I just went with my gut feeling that I should probably get the smallest (or it was the smallest at the time I think).
Ex astris, scientia.component on March 3rd, 2012 03:18 am (UTC)
I think what is most important involving reach is whether or not you feel like you can grip with both your finger and thumb. If you can reach the opening of your vagina with your thumb and forefinger pinched together, then you can probably manage to remove a cup, since you need to pinch it to break the seal in order to remove it. If you can reach your finger at least half way inside, then you can probably insert, pop open and seal the cup without any issues. For me this only requires my forefinger. If you think you might have trouble with removal, look into getting a cup with a long, squishy stem. The small Ladycup has a very long squishy stem for instance. Once you tug on the stem a little, and bear down with your muscles, you should be able to get the cup close enough to your opening to be able to pinch the bottom and pull out the cup with ease. It takes getting used to with all cups, but having a stem will definitely make it easier in your situation. The reason you want a squishy stem is because a harder stem might dig into your or be uncomfortable if it gets folded or something. A squishy stem will probably make it less likely that you'll need to cut it in order for it not to be uncomfortable in yoru underwear. Hope that helps! :)
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on March 3rd, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
if it helps, quite many of us went from pads directly to cups. for example, not all low cervix folks can use tampons.
hymens are stretchy. after i decided to get a cup, i went from being able to insert one finger to three in a few weeks. i'm still a virgin and i use wide cups just fine.

that said, even my mum made the switch slowly and still uses pads to catch residual slobber. i don't think you need to use cloth pads INSTEAD of a cup but you can start with them. this site explains the various styles: http://clothpads.org/ knowing there's a "safe" option will help you not to feel pressured about cups, and this should make the switch easier.
(i myself hated pads too much to take it easy...i was determined to start using only cups and i succeeded :D used cloth pads as backup for 1-2 cycles though. but i mostly got them in case i'm just unable to use my cup, i don't wanna use pads ever again.)

also, i read your lj a bit... seems like there are no religious reasons for your virginity? if you're okay with it you could try masturbation with or without (small) sex toys. but that's not a requirement or something:)


Edited at 2012-03-03 01:48 pm (UTC)
ex_swaggerd on March 3rd, 2012 03:00 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about this. I'll need to wait until I have a bit more money, but I think it would be less daunting if I first switched to cloth pads and worked my way up to a cup.

As for masturbation, I masturbate almost everyday! Just not vaginally. One issue with that is chubby + short arms + short sausage fingers = no reach at all. My vag seems to be really deep in there too, so it's not like I can just reach down and get to work. I have to go digging for it. Another reason is the times I have successfully made it there I found it to be quite painful. With my finger it seriously feels like I'm being ripped in half even though I broke my own hymen over ten years ago. I have two vibrators, one of which is a small sort of pocket rocket type deal, and I've tried getting it through and it seems like it can't get past my pelvic bone at all. It's about the size of a normal finger, too. I've also tried to insert tampons out of curiosity and they couldn't get through either. It's one of the biggest reasons I've never been in for a pap. How the hell are they supposed to get an entire speculum up there when I can't even get a tiny little vibrator or my own finger? o.O
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on March 3rd, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
have you tried various positions? many people insert their cups on the toilet so you could try if you're able to insert a finger.
do you think you might have vaginismus? (i don't think that's a definite obstacle either btw).
very importantly, have you tried lube? (for a cup, you need water-based. NOT silicone-based or oil-based). when you tried tampons, was it a light day or not? there's less natural lubrication when you're not bleeding much.
see the virgin's guide to cups in the faq and try lube if you haven't:)
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on March 3rd, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
as for money, you can make your own cloth pads:) there are also a lot of sellers on etsy that sell them cheap:)
Darling Nikkijessiebanana on March 3rd, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
Not to scare you, but speculums are uncomfortable. Maybe I'm not the best person because I am a lesbian and neither me or my gf are into internal stimulation. It's just a discomfort I deal with for the 10 secs it takes them to do the swab and I let them know about my level of sexual activity so they take it slow. I think it is important to get those exams, so even if you don't get a cup I would try to at least get a finger in there.

Because your arms are short and you might have fat/skin in the way of your entrance it might also be the angle with which you hitting your vagina. Try something longer, but as thin as your pocket rocket. That way you can experiment with angles. You might be hitting the walls of your vagina instead of going in and that WILL make you feel like your tearing yourself apart.

I am able to wear tampons. I just insert it very shallow, against the advice of the instructions. A tampon is shorter than a cup.
Ashatenlegspider on March 4th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Seconding the recommendation for lube - I wish I'd known what a difference it makes when I was a virgin. KY jelly is cheap and should be available in any pharmacy (it has a bunch of non-gential-related uses).
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on March 3rd, 2012 10:07 pm (UTC)
For the future:
Don't let the size charts daunt you. Use the size categories (3 widths and 5 lengths) rather than numbers.

ALL cups that are called "small" say that they are for if you are 25-30 or younger and haven't had kids. ALL cups that are called "large" say that they are for if you're 25-30 or older, or have had kids. But "small" and "large" have nothing to do with actual dimensions. Don't go by what they're called.

Using the most extreme example that serpent_849 pointed out... http://i66.servimg.com/u/f66/14/96/65/91/pictu247.jpg The small Diva on the left and the small (now called) Mini-Meluna in the center are both called "small." But look at how different their physical sizes actually are.

Because you are unaccustomed to inserting things into your vagina, you might aim for the small Mini-Meluna just because it's the teeniest cup you can get. But if it turns out that you have a long vagina, you would probably have a heckuva time reaching that super-short cup for removal.

On the other hand, if you see that the Diva is cheap and easy to get from US distributors (most cups need to be ordered internationally) you might not realize that it's the longest of all the brands. After all, it's a "small" and therefore claims to fit those "25-30 or younger who haven't had kids." If it turns out that you have a short vagina, that small Diva would be too long. It would probably be uncomfortable and leak.

Yes, it's true. Some people can wear "any" cup no matter how short/long or narrow/wide. But others can't. Read recent posts about cups that are "too long." There hasn't been one in a long time but occasionally there are posts that say, "I couldn't reach it and had to have it removed at the ER."

I'll stand firm that making an educated guess as to your internal size will improve your chances of getting a well-fitting cup instead of struggling with an ill-fitting one.

All that having been said, I'm glad that you considered a menstrual cup. Even though you have decided that you would probably be more comfortable with cloth pads, the option of using a cup some time in the future stays open. There is no reason you can't mix and match ALL types of products, whether they are disposable or reusable, internal or external. You don't have to commit to just one. Once you are more comfortable --both physically and mentally-- with insertion, you might want to consider a cup again.
ex_swaggerd on March 3rd, 2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this. It was very helpful. I was feeling pretty bad because it's something I really wanted to try. But yes, I do think I will stick with cloth pads for now and then in the future work my way up to maybe using a cup every once in awhile to see if they're right for me and to get the hang of it, and then I might try a cup full-time. I'm only 21 so I have plenty of years ahead of me to experiment! =D
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on March 4th, 2012 11:25 am (UTC)
there might be a simple solution though, like lube, angle or position. it doesn't have to take years:)
good luck!
ex_swaggerd on March 13th, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
Actually... you're right! I tried inserting a finger while I was on the toilet and it worked! A tight fit, for sure, but it still worked. I also tried inserting my pocket rocket which is about the width of a slender finger and it worked too! I think I should have few problems with the diva cup. :D
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on March 13th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
great!
if you're not sure about your cervix position (especially on your period), it might be better to get something a bit shorter, like a small miacup (43x53).
msmith1221msmith1221 on March 13th, 2012 02:47 am (UTC)
please email me, I own www.snappypads.com and would like to talk with you personally.