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I found out about menstrual cups around the beginning of this summer and have been reading up on them since. I am a 19 year old treehugging virgin who also just started using cloth pads (which are great), and I'm now pretty sure that I want to eventually use a cup at least part of the time (particularly when I'm doing physical activities), but I have a few questions holding me up before I take the leap.

I keep reading about how it's helpful to "get to know your body", and finding where your cervix is, etc. But honestly, I'm not sure if I can bring myself to do it. I find it's a bit ironic, considering I discovered what periods and puberty were on my own when I was only in 2nd grade (yay for wandering into the section on such things in my elementary school library) and have never been uncomfortable with my body, but anytime I've tried to insert one of my fingers I tense up and lose my nerve. I've never actually relied on tampons during my periods, but I HAVE experimentally inserted the applicator of one, AND, I've had a pelvic exam for when I had a yeast infection, so at least there's that, but I do wonder if this will hinder my ability to use a cup. I'm going to assume I'll probably still manage to insert one, but what about checking for a seal? Can you tell if one's there even without having to go all the way in to check?

Another question I have is a more superficial one though. My favorite color is green, so any cups that come in the color green look attractive to me (of course, I realize that fit is a more important factor than color when it comes to choosing a cup), but I worry that green is a color more susceptible to staining, since as per color rules, red on green turns onto a really obvious display of brown. I know that red or orange or purple colors would probably fare better in regards to avoiding noticeable stains, but I'd still like to buy a green one if I can get around this problem. Is it really difficult to remove stains?
hobbitsarehairyhobbitsarehairy on July 4th, 2012 08:57 am (UTC)
I'm glad more people are showing an interest in menstrual cups :) It's okay if you can't bring yourself to find your cervix. It could help a little but when I first got my cup I didn't even think to check and the cup I have works great. As for not having used a tampon you will be fine. When you insert a cup you fold it before putting it in so it will go without any problems and all the cups should be made out of a material that will go in smoothly. It's really easy to insert but the first try will seem really weird (at least it did for me). It's also very easy to check for the seal. Once its inserted it will pop open and to make sure just put your finger in your opening and if the cups open and round (or mostly) then it's in correct (you can usually feel it pop open into place which doesn't hurt).

Removing stains isn't to bad. Here are a few ways you can do it: "Remove stains from your cup. If your cup starts to look grimy there are a few ways to remove those stains. One way is to leave the cup sitting in the sun while it dries from cleaning. You can also scrub it with a little baking soda and cold water. Or try soaking it in hydrogen peroxide for a few hours."
From what I know they will come out fine...I have a green cup so I can say there is some discoloration but its not as much as I thought. I hope this helps and a cup I would personally suggest is Lunette because they have a higher capacity(which has a nice green one called Lunette Diana). If you have any other questions feel free to ask!
moonhoney925 on July 4th, 2012 12:24 pm (UTC)
Since you've experimented with applicator tampons that may give you an idea of how high your cervix is. If it goes all the way then its quite high, if does not go too far then its low.

As for green cups- both mine are green too. I have a Lunette and a Fleurcup. The Lunette Diana (which is what their green cup is called) is a pale soft apple green, it is also quite opaque. The green Fleurcup is a much deeper and brighter emerald green and is more translucent.

Ladycup, Cuplee and Meluna also sell green coloured cups.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 4th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
If you're uncomfortable with touching yourself, then rather than buy the prettiest green cup that calls your name and struggle with it, get comfortable both mentally and physically with inserting things first. Then make a more informed decision as to size/shape and use it with confidence.

Scroll down at http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/tag/faq and read the Virgin's Guide to Cups. http://www.the-clitoris.com/ also has some wonderful information about your southern anatomy and what to do with it for both function and pleasure. But be warned, it is chock full of VERY FRANK "UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL" PHOTOS to illustrate what they're saying.
tempestas_inutempestas_inu on July 4th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
I'd like to clarify that I don't mind touching myself per-se, since I do it everyday when I bathe (my mom and grandma were very adamant about me cleaning "down there" when I was growing up ^^;). I also know where everything is since when I discovered what periods were at that young age I got curious and looked myself over. I have also looked at the virgin's guide, and it was actually reading that that caused me to make this post. It's really only the sticking my own finger all the way up there that freaks me out.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 5th, 2012 02:52 pm (UTC)
But you still have reservations about inserting your finger. And if that's the case, then maybe you should wait until you are more comfortable (mentally as well as physically) with insertion before considering a cup.
teacupcake89 on July 4th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
You don't need to find your cervix before buying a cup BUT it does give a very good idea of what length cup to get.

You could just buy a cup you think looks right and hope it works for you (it might) : BUT if you happen to have a high, low or 'dangly' cervix, you'll be spending money on a cup that may or may not be right for you.

you don't need to be able to reach your cervix for insertion or removal but you do need to be fairly comfortable with touching your own body, especially if your cup rides high. for removal you reach inside to pull on the stem/squeeze the base and sometimes press the rim inwards to release the seal. All of this takes practice and relaxtion :)

I would suggest waiting until you feel ready to buy a cup and take small steps towards feeling comfortable with yourself in the meantime.
perhaps, after (or during) a bath or an orgasm (if you're comfortable with that that is! :) ) try to insert one finger (maybe even your baby finger) and stop if you feel uncomfortable. then, next time try to insert your finger a bit more. etc until you feel comfortable.
it's best to check the height of your cervix when on your period, so that might make inserting a finger more comfortable for you. :)

stains: if you decide to use a mild soap/baby shampoo to clean your cup with rather than just water your cup might not get stained. if it does you can soak it in Milton tablets and water, use some bicarbonate of soda mixed into a paste with water with an old toothbrush, use rubbing alcohol or leave it in sunlight for a few days! :)

pick the cup that's right for you and your body, then choose a colour (if applicable) :)
there's little use in having a lovely green cup if it's too long/short/stiff/soft for you! :)
juliiie87juliiie87 on July 4th, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
I agree with all of this, and mostly with the commenters who advise you to take your time and get comfortable with your body first. There's no need to rush this process. There's also no need to reach in for your cervix everyday. But it does make a world of difference to be able to relax your muscles and comfortably insert a finger or two, not so much for insertion, as for removal ! You can't, usually, remove a cup just by yanking on the stem. And despite what instructions say, a cup will hang out wherever it pleases inside of you, and that's usually up around your cervix. Which is why picking a cup that is the right length for your anatomy will make cup use so much easier.

Nevertheless, I'm confident you'll be able to find a green cup that is right for you, when you come to explore and make a decision. Between 4 Meluna sizes, in middle stiffness (classic), 2 soft Fleurcup, the 2 Lunette (small is soft, large is firm), and possibly the 2 soft-ish Ladycup, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend the small one because it has a fairly low capacity.
juliiie87juliiie87 on July 5th, 2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to add that I recently converted my best firend to cups, and while she's 25, been sexually active for years and very open about it, it still took her a good 3 months to gather the will to look for her cervix.

I advised her to do so because I really wanted her to succeed at the first try, but hey, if you really don't want to, that's fine too. Just be prepared to the fact that, unlike tampons, you need to actually grab them inside of you. But it's ok, it's your own body, and it's not any dirtier then sticking a (clean) finger in your mouth. You seem already very knowledgeable in theory, so think of this as a scientific experiment that will lead to a better understanding of your body, in practice. Many cup users confessedt they feel more in tune with their body, cycle and flow now that they get to actually see it and handle it themselves, instead of just throwing it in the trash bin like some disgusting waste (you're already doing this with cloth, btw). You might think it IS weird or disgusting anyway, but most cup users, includind my best friend, found it quite fascinating. Just throwing this in there.
Darling Nikkijessiebanana on July 4th, 2012 02:38 pm (UTC)
I guess I'll be the odd cookie out here, but in my opinion if you can't get over touching yourself you might want to try cloth pads instead. They're tree hugger friendly and you can stay squeamish for as long as you'd like.
m03m on July 4th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
No cookie jar is complete without odd cookies!

I concur. If you can't insert a finger comfortably right now, then this may not be a good time to buy a cup.
tempestas_inutempestas_inu on July 4th, 2012 08:39 pm (UTC)
Don't know if you noticed but I already mentioned I'm using cloth pads right now. They're great, and I intend to continue using them, but I'm realizing they aren't the best for me to wear when I do strenuous physical activity ^^;
Darling Nikkijessiebanana on July 4th, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
Whoops, managed to blow past that. But yeah my opinion still stands. It's unrealistic to use a cup and not be okay with touching yourself...especially when you first start. If you really want to use one you'll have to suck it up.
queensneak83 on July 5th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
An odd question: just how strenuous are your physical activities? I used to be able to go to yoga class just fine, when I wore cloth pads. Could it be that the style you're wearing is just not the right size/length/gusset width for you? Food for thought...
anh06005anh06005 on July 4th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
I must agree with this. Though you can just stick a cup in without checking for a seal you MUST dig up there a little to get the thing out! You need to get more comfortable with your body or you may wind up one of the ones freaking out cause you can't remove your cup!</p>

If exploring your body feels weird...'talk' yourself through something mentally. Your body is YOUR body and the vagina is just a part of it. All females have one and MANY explore it...we just may not talk about it so much lol. If its a private matter to you keep it that way. But there is definitely NO shame in it. The vagina is as much a part of your body as your eyeballs and feet. And who doesnt like a good foot massage?? :)

If you become a little more comfortable down there then think on cups.

And as for the staining...i LOVE my colored cups and when they look yucky i just soak in hydrogen peroxide for a bit and they look good as new!

melissa569melissa569 on July 4th, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
I think you can use a cup if you want to, with some practice perhaps.

I wouldn't say that finding your cervix is a MUST, but sometimes it can help a little, like if you can't get it to seal right or something. But many people use a cup without knowing where their cervix is.

And in all honesty, you will find out soon enough after using a cup, lol. If your cervix is high, then the cup will sit up in there a bit higher, and you should leave more of the stem on. If its low, the cup will sit down low, and you should trim more of the stem off.

I have a low cervix. No big deal, I just stick with shorter cups :)

Is not that difficult to remove stains, usually a regular wash rag and some pressure in scrubbing works. Or a tooth brush, or whatever, lol. In truth, a lot of it is really just residue and can be removed if you clean it properly. This point is proven well in this video:


Keep in mind, its very rare for cups to stain THAT much, lol. I've been using mine for about 3 years, and its never gotten any darker than the cleaner version at the end of the video, even on its worst day.

There are also some things you can do to prevent stains:

* Rinse the blood off with COLD water first. Then you can wash with warm water. Cold water prevents the stains from setting in. They advise the same when washing blood out of clothing.

* Empty the cup often, even on light days. Menstrual blood is often more concentrated toward the end of your period, and the longer the cup goes without being washed, the more stains can set in.

* Use a mild, unscented soap when you wash, it seems to keep it cleaner.

Edited at 2012-07-04 10:42 pm (UTC)
Arrow_Bright: Green Gablesarrow_bright on July 5th, 2012 03:59 am (UTC)
You may be able to use a cup without being comfortable touching yourself. Using a cup might help you get over that because the touching would have more purpose, if you will. It'd really have to be up to your own personality, though. Keep in mind, though, that there is the possibility that you'd have to do some spelunking to remove the cup if your cervix is high or the seal is strong.

You could try using some applicatorless tampons (such as o.b.) to try to get used to partially inserting your finger into your vagina (and perhaps even try to remove them by reaching for the base of the tampon, rather than just using the string). It would also give you a general estimate of where your cervix is. It would be less expensive than buying a cup and finding that you can't bring yourself to use it. I think you can also order free samples (just pay shipping) on their website, iirc.
juliiie87juliiie87 on July 5th, 2012 01:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, there's really nothing wrong with using tampons on the days you don't want to deal with your cloth pads ! Do what feels comfortable to you. :)