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Emmett
I actually got my first cup (a size 1 DivaCup) a couple of years ago, tried it a couple of times without success, and gave up. This weekend however, the stars lined up! Firstly, I saw a post on the internet mentioning cups, which piqued my thinking once more. Second, I read another post singing the phrases of 'Blood Cups' (as the author liked to call them -- I think it's cute), which made me decide to try my cup when my next period came along.



Now, just this wednesday, I stopped taking the pill after a few years, because the new one I had switched to made me crazy, and I decided some time off the medication would do some good. (Not that I have any problem with myself or anyone else staying on the pill, I simply decided to see what my cycles were like after a few years) I was on the pill because I had crazy periods, but I think now, that even if they do go crazy on me again, dealing with them will be much easier now that I'm using a cup.

A little background: I'm an almost nineteen-year-old virgin, who is quite well-acquainted with her vagina and very interested in keeping it healthy and happy. I've only worn tampons a handful of times, and been very uncomfortable when I have.

So, this evening, I hopped into the shower with my cup, waited a few minutes till I was warm and relaxed and then tried to insert the cup. While I did manage to get it in, it was rather painful. Once I got past the entrance, all was smooth sailing, but getting the cup in at first caused an awful burning sensation. As I said before, I like to think I know my vagina quite well, and had always assumed that I either didn't have a hymen, or that it was very small. I'm starting to think however, that I do have one, and that it is making cup insertion a little difficult.

Knowing this, when I went to empty it out for overnight, I took with me some lube my mother (she works in a pharmacy) had given me a while back. (I did check that it was waterbased and safe to use with silicone), and used a little of that on re-insertion. 

I can tell you now, that a little lube on the entrance of your vagina, and some on the rim of the cup can do wonders for getting it in with ease. I suggest that all you vagina-bearers go forth and try it!

When I came back from changing the cup, I had a quick look on the lubrication tag, just to make sure that the lube I'm using is okay, and learnt that the things I should be avoiding are parabens, silicons and glycerins. Unfortunately, while the lube I had is organic and silicon-free, it does include vegetable glycerin, which I want to stay away from as I'm prone to YIs. (Another reason I'm switching to a cup, I have long periods, and a week and a half wearing pads always leaves me with an unpleasant YI that's barely cleared up before the next period starts).

I've done a bit of surfing and have found a lubricant brand called 'Yes'. Their lubes come in oil-based and water-based, and have no parabens, no silicons and has a reassuringly short list of ingredients including food-quality preservatives. The only things I'm not sure about are the Guar, Locust bean and Xantham gums that are used. Does anyone know how safe they are for me and for my cup?

The other great thing is that it's available worldwide (I'm in little old NZ) and comes in a range of sizes, including a 25ml size that would be perfect for toting around.

 
ETA: I just took my cup out after my first night (it was a little painful, but that will either improve with time or a different cup), and while I had no leakage, I am a little worried/confused because there was very little blood in the cup, and a whole lot of clear liquid! I'm a chronic worrier so if anyone has any explanation as to what this 'liquid' might be, and whether or not it's a problem, I would be very thankful.
 
 
Current Mood: excitedexcited
 
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on August 5th, 2012 02:15 pm (UTC)
If you're curious about your hymen, sit on the floor with your knees up and splayed, part your labia and examine using a hand mirror. You should be able to see it.
Emmettexcellente on August 5th, 2012 11:06 pm (UTC)
That's a good idea, I'll have a go
Ashatenlegspider on August 5th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
The liquid is what people call "vaginal discharge", which is made up of cervical fluid and/or vaginal secretions. I'm sure you're already aware that this is a thing, but it's more noticeable when it's not being absorbed by your pants. Some people wear a cup between periods because they produce a lot of it.

What you describe does sound like you're having trouble getting past your hymen. When you check yourself out, are you expecting the hymen to look different to the other stuff? I thought that the hymen was somewhere inside the vagina for years after I lost mine so I wasn't nearly as aware as you, but I did have a look and it was just one hymen/labial mess to me (I don't think I ever poked around inside while using a mirror). If you've only seen diagrams because there are hardly any photos to be found, you might expect a more obvious difference. Anyway if it's your hymen you'll get it out of the way sooner or later, and yes lube makes things more comfortable. You might want to work on stretching it using lube and your fingers or a toy to speed things up.

Don't worry about damaging your cup with lube, it's only silicone oils that are a problem (ingredients ending in -icon or -iconol), otherwise it's much less sensitive than your vagina.

Those gums are all thickeners which are used in food products. They're safe, but the issue is whether they'll get your yeast growing. From my inexpert knowledge of biology I'd be surprised if yeasts couldn't use them as food, but perhaps it wouldn't be as easy as with glycerol and that would make the difference. If you don't want to risk it you'll probably need something with a less natural-looking list of ingredients. Sliquid H2O is an option; the closest thing to food in there is cellulose, but that's really awkward stuff to break down so it shouldn't be a problem. If you need a smaller bottle you can decant into a travel-sized one.
Emmettexcellente on August 5th, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
I thought the explanation for the fluid would be something along those lines.

What do you mean when you say that I'll get the hymen out of the way sooner or later? I don't see PIV sex happening for a long time, if ever, is it usual for cup use to break or reduce the size of your hymen?

I'll definitely try some stretching, along with some checking out.

That's what I was thinking about the lube, it does look pretty and nice but if there's yeast food, I'd rather not use it. I'll have a look for your suggestions online, see if I can get hold of some!
Ashatenlegspider on August 5th, 2012 11:36 pm (UTC)
It's not just sex that does it! Some people believe that virgins shouldn't use tampons because they might break their hymen in the process, and a common argument against that is that apart from not all girls coming with a hymen to start with, they can be broken by horse or bike riding accidents long before sex is an issue.

That burning you felt means you damaged something. It can happen to your inner labia or vaginal walls if there's too much friction and they'll repair themselves pretty quickly, but the hymen is so fragile it's not good at that, which is good because otherwise you'd never get rid of it.

There's nothing special about penises or penis substitutes, sex is just a common way that the hymen gets damaged. I lost mine in a blood-free (but painful; I didn't know about lube then) process of stretching and tearing over the first several times I had PIV sex, and what you experienced sounds like a milder version of that.
Emmettexcellente on August 6th, 2012 12:16 am (UTC)
Ah, cool. That is all good information to have. Also good to know that if I do damage/rip/tear it while inserting, it's not going to heal up so that I have to do it all over again next time.

Thanks for the responses, having people be so open and clear and helpful about these things is something that should be more common that it is.
n0m_de_plum: Rufus Sewelln0m_de_plum on August 5th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
The clear liquid is a combination of vaginal discharge and plasma. Plasma is the liquid component of blood and is clear/yellowish in color (red blood cells are what make blood cloudy and red).
Blood from your veins will also separate like that unless anti-coagulants are added.

Edited at 2012-08-05 10:38 pm (UTC)
Emmettexcellente on August 5th, 2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
Thank goodness I have the wonderful people on this forum to reassure me! That makes a whole lot of sense, and just demonstrates another great thing about cups; you learn so much more about how your insides work