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05 July 2012 @ 12:11 am
I'm 15, and a virgin. I really want to get a cup because more often than not pads annoy me and I don't want to use tampons because well,  simply put they scare me.  I am staring a very active lifesyle, going out, figure skating, horseback riding, volleyball etc. and I really can't be bothered with pads and my period anymore. I have a few things I need to know first:
1. As crazy as this sounds because I want a cup, finding my cervix is something that I'm not prepared to do, per this information are there any cups that you would suggest? Or is there anyone in the same boat as I am?
2. How can I talk with my mom about getting one?
3. I am going on vacation in three weeks and I think my period is supposed to arrive during it, however i've heard about the learning curve and how they leak, so I was wondering if I would be able to use one. I'm plan to be swimming A LOT!
4. Is it really as daunting a task to put it in and take it out as it sounds?
5. Where is the best place to purchase one?
6. Easiest insertion and removal tactics?
7. Will it break my hymen, and if so will it be painful?
8. Is it beneficial to do a dry run first? If so, how should I go about it?
9. Is it comfortable?
10.Just any advice you are willing to give would really help, stories, testimonials anything that you think might help please mention.

On a side note, I have read both the virgins guide to cups (I think its called) and the scarleteen article "Innies and outies" TWICE. The scarleteen article only made my fear deeper, and the virgins guide I didn't think would be very helpful.
 
Ide Cyanide_cyan on July 5th, 2012 08:19 am (UTC)
The answers to a lot of your questions would start with "it depends". Like, #7 -- maybe all the physical activity you're doing has already broken it, maybe not, maybe you never had one -- anatomy varies like that.

You don't necessarily have to find your cervix before inserting the cup, but you might find it *by* inserting the cup, because it might get in the way when you open it. If your cup bumps against something you didn't feel before -- that'll probably be your cervix!

#4 I didn't find it too difficult to insert initially, but the first time the rim opened up inside was surprising and painful because I wasn't used to it. I gritted my teeth and stood it for a while, then took it out and only tried again the next month, and things went much better once I was over the sensations I hadn't expected.

Some people find dry runs useful, but I don't remember doing one -- I didn't try the cup until I was on my period. Other people have also said dry runs didn't feel the same as trying the cup during their period -- there's less lubrication, for instance.

Talking to your mom -- well, you could bring it up if she's planning to go shopping for more sanitary pads, for instance. But again, it depends on how you communicate.
m03m on July 5th, 2012 10:08 am (UTC)
Why is it you are not prepared to find your cervix?
Based on your reply we may be able to help you more.

"Is it really as daunting a task to put it in and take it out as it sounds?"
How daunting does it sound to you? I can take my cup out or put it back in within 5 seconds, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to learn to do that, too.

And as for your other questions: please look through the tags on the right, especially the FAQ, and you will very likely find answers to almost all of these questions. It's not that we don't want to answer questions, it's just that we have answered all of these many, many times.
Sarcasticia Nitpickersontisiphone on July 5th, 2012 11:19 am (UTC)
mod note
Hi happylifelove1! Please change the settings on your post so that you're not screening replies. Thanks!
Ashatenlegspider on July 5th, 2012 11:42 am (UTC)
1. It's possible to use a cup without ever locating your cervix (I did for years, and I'm not thinking about my cervix position when I use it now). The length of your vagina may affect which cups suit you, so if you don't find out before you order you're more likely to end up with a cup that doesn't work for you, but most people can use most cups so there's a good chance you'll be fine. Finding your cervix is also a troubleshooting procedure, so if you have leaks or cramps you'll probably need to do it. It's your cervix position while bleeding that matters though, so if you want to get a cup before your next period you're pretty much hoping for the best anyway.

There aren't any cups to suggest for an unknown cervix position, but I think the small Lunette is popular with teens, and MeLuna do small and soft cups which are also relatively cheap.

3. Maybe. Some people get the hang of it right away, but it can take time and in your position it's likely to take some work. Don't count on the cup for your holiday, because pushing yourself to make it work and getting frustrated will make things more difficult. If you feel comfortable with sea sponges you might find them easier to deal with at first, but you do need to be able to get your fingers into your vagina far enough to fish them out.

4. Not when you're used to it, but as above, some people find it difficult to start with.

7. You may need to break or stretch your hymen. If you do it accidentally while removing your cup I expect it would hurt. Stretching your hymen is covered in the virgin's guide to cups, so go and read it again.

8. You're more likely to be able to use the cup for your holiday if you get some practice first, so for that reason yes. Some people fail at a dry run but are fine on their period, but a benefit of a dry run is that if you have trouble getting it out you can leave it in and try again the next day. A dry run is much the same as using it on your period, but you should use lube (you may find lube helpful even during your period). The easiest way to get some is probably to get KY jelly from a drug store. If you can't stand doing that, vegetable oil is probably ok, but don't use anything soapy or scented. When I used lube I applied it to my vagina, as putting it on the cup makes it harder to handle.

9. If it's in properly you shouldn't feel it at all. Some people have reported being able to feel it at first but not after a few uses, which I suspect is because they got better at inserting it. It's possible for it to make you feel crampy or weird if it presses on your cervix (which is why yo might need to find it), and if it sticks out too far it'll irritate your vulva (but removing the stem usually solves this).

Edited at 2012-07-05 11:45 am (UTC)
teacupcake89 on July 5th, 2012 11:45 am (UTC)
Hi! :)

there was a recent post about whether you need to find your cervix before choosing a cup/how comfortable with your own body is necessary etc here: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2906723.html#comments
the comments are really useful so I suggest you have a read! :)

1. 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 :)

2. talking to your mom:

that depends on if you need to to buy your cup (there was a post recently about someone using an amazon gift card to buy one, or through paypal cards if you don't have a debit card/want your parents to know)
it also depends on your mom's reaction/feelings: some parents are interested and supportive, others I know are convinced cups are not safe (not true obvs!) If it helps you could show her some website pages, here maybe, melissa's menstrualcupinfo blog here http://menstrualcupinfo.wordpress.com/ and the Lunette website has some good info pages :):)

there have quite a few posts by teenagers/virgins recently with similar questions to yours:

http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2901135.html#comments
http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2899191.html#comments
http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2898765.html#comments
http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2897125.html#comments
http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2896696.html#comments
http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2894626.html#comments
http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2889957.html#comments
http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2894513.html#comments

if you read through all of these (sorry there are quite a lot but the comments will be good to bookmark for when you do get a cup for insertion and removal!) most of your questions should have an answer or two to them! :)
sorry my comment is very long but hope some of this helps! good luck! :)
juliiie87juliiie87 on July 5th, 2012 12:34 pm (UTC)
These are my answers based on my experience, so yours may vary.

1. Why is it that you don't want to look for your cervix / you're afraid of tampons ? Is it the whole process of dealing with your vagina that scares/disgusts/freaks you out ? Do you find it dirty, painful, shameful, plain evil ? Maybe you need to give it some thought. Cup use can be pretty straightforward for most people (me at least), but it's usually the ones who are comfortable with their body and not too afraid to just go for it. But any fears you may have, you can overcome. There's no rush either, just take your time and get familiar with the idea of having a vagina and being able to insert things, if not for pleasure, at least for scientific experimentation and convenience on your period. There are cup users who bought their first cup on a whim. Some of them were lucky and got an instant match. For some, it took some time to get to use it comfortably. Some of them had to look for a different cup because it wasn't working right. So we can't tell you what your case will be. What we can do, is help you along the way, listen to your issues and offer answers.

2. Maybe start just like you did here, state how active you are, and your dislike of tampons. You can mention tampons are at risk for TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrom, rare bacterial overgrowth in tampons, can be deadly) especially in yound girls, why cups haven't been linked to TSS. You can mention hygiene, and the fact that they can be boiled to get rid of any bacteries. Convenience, you can wear'em for up to 12 hours without emptying, and they're more comfortable because they're smooth and flexible. And finally there's cost : if you pick the right cup, it's a one time purchase, good for up to 10 years and you mom will save money on buying your pads in the long run.

3. It depends. I definitely think getting comfrotable with your body will save you some time and stress. Reading up posts under the tags "insertion" and "removal" will prepare you to the problems you might encounter and give you practical instructions on how to overcome them.

4.& 6. I don't find it daunting at all. It can be, at first, especially if, say, you pick THE MOST TINIEST CUP EVA and it ends up riding up way out of reach. But everything will get better with practice. Virtually every post you will find on this site is full of advice regarding those. This perhaps the most commonly asked & already answered question on this site.

5. Online, definitely. You'll have WAY more choice than if you just get a Diva at Wholefoods like so many Americans tend to do. Because the Diva is about the furthest from one size fit all you can get. It may fit you, but there's no guarantee of that. Cups are also much cheaper online. Online shops to get them : zanashop, femininewear.co.uk, meluna.eu, fleurcup.com, luneshop.com are amongst the favourite places to buy cups.

7. Mostly, the hymen and the "pop your cherry the first time" thing are a myth. Read here : http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/my_corona_the_anatomy_formerly_known_as_the_hymen_the_myths_that_surround_it (great site btw, browse through it!)
Unlike with having sex, you'll have complete control on what you insert, you could stop if it hurts, and this should be slow and gentle. But in the maggiority of cases, no & no. Getting stressed out and clenching your muscles around the opening is far more likely to cause pain. So relax ! :)

8. It's up to you. Some feel more prepared having done a dry run or several. Most users find that it's more difficult on a dry run. If you do have one, make sure it's not too dry - use water or warter-based lube to ease insertion.

9. Absolutely. I personnally chose to go with a very soft cup and I don't feel it at all. If you're very athletic, do some core stregthening, you may have better luck with middle-of-the-road firmness.

10. The Virgin's guide to cups, and the comments below, obviously, even though you seem to not like it so much.
The size charts, to compare cups : http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/
The stiffness chart : http://menstrualcupinfo.wordpress.com/cup-stiffness-comparison-chart/

Sorry about the length, and all the best in your cup journey ! :)

Edited at 2012-07-05 12:39 pm (UTC)
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 5th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
1. No, finding your cervix is not essential. But being familiar enough with your vagina to know if it's short or long will help you pick a cup that will fit. If you get one that's too long, it will be uncomfortable and shift/leak. If you get one that's too short, you'll have a hard time reaching it for removal. Also, knowing approximately where your cervix is will help you aim your cup properly. If the opening winds up "next to" it, it'll be like trying to fill your glass by pouring water down its side.

2. "Hey Mom, I'd like to change away from pads. Instead of tampons, I'd like to get a menstrual cup. Would you be interested in one too? I can send you a few web sites with good information." She'll probably reply, "A WHAT???" so give her some time to catch up to the research that you've already done.

3. Don't count on it. Even if you got one by then, you'd still be in the "learning curve." It usually takes a few cycles to figure out the details and learn to trust it.

4. It depends. Some people (even those who are unaccustomed to inserting things) catch on right away. Others struggle.

5. Online. But it depends on the brand that you pick. Not all distributors carry all the brands.

6. The key is to RELAX!!! And don't rush. Insert your finger and make your pelvic floor muscles give it a little squeeze. Now that you know how to contract them on command, learn to RELAX them too. That's essential for insertion and especially removal.

7. It's possible. It also depends on how stretchy your hymen is and how big the opening is to begin with.

8. It depends. It might help to learn to insert and remove it beforehand BUT it can be dry and non-lubricated in there, which makes it difficult. And if you become afraid of struggling and/or whatever pain it might cause, then you're doing more harm than good.

9. If it fits you right, yes.

10. Most of the posts here are to say "I'm having trouble with this or that." But there is lots of good advice and reassurance in the replies.