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01 September 2012 @ 01:06 pm
Hello everyone!  Been a lurker for a good long while, and made this account nearly five minutes ago just to post.
I've been having my period since I was about 11 years old.  Started using tampons at about 13/14.  Now sixteen, soon to be seventeen.  I've been interested in more eco and body friendly menstrual product alternatives for a while and a few months ago after lurking these forums, I finally got a small blue Lunette after using cloth pads for awhile.  The problem?  I can't get it in.

I've been trying various folds but it always unpops prematurely or my hand cramps.  I prefer the folded over punchdown and half diamond, but particularly in the half diamond the second I get it in position (after a lot of fighting) my hand cramps and it pops open.  I have gotten it about halfway in before, but it always begins to pop open before it's all the way in. 

I'm a virgin not by choice, but because I have had lots of problems with intercourse of any kind, be it a finger or his penis.  I'm currently working on scheduling a gyno appointment to figure out if this is due to physical or psychological problems.  I have used tampons in the past, but that can be a bit of a fight at times with insertion as well.  I think that cups are amazing and really want to begin using them.

Would appreciate any help anyone can offer!  Thank you
 
teacupcake89 on September 1st, 2012 06:43 pm (UTC)
Hi! :)

have you tried using lube/coconut oil? if you haven't tried that already I really suggest putting lots on yourself beforehand (I struggle to insert mine/get sore otherwise!)

it might be that you have a fuller/thicker hymen? not sure if i've worded that right but hopefully that's something a GP will be able to help with!

I use both hands to insert the cup and keep it closed until I want it to open: one hand nearer the base/stem and the other at the top. I find lying on my back on my bed helps with not having to hold myself open. I found this position the most relaxing for insertion, which might help you if it is more of a relaxation/psychological issue.

some cup users let their cups open when it's half in then nudge/kegel it into place, perhaps this could work for you?

have you tried taking deep slow breaths during insertion? (and either pausing mid insertion while you breathe or inserting it a bit more whilst you take the breath!)

also pushing down with your muscles as though you are having a wee during insertion can help too!

In a rush so hopefully the others will have some tips, hope some of this is useful! :)
marley_marie on September 2nd, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
Hello!
Sorry, to clarify yes I use lube. It's just a basic water based one by KY, hadn't thought to use coconut oil! My problem isn't really being able to put it in, it's more holding the fold in order to keep it in.

I'll definetly try holding with two hands. I've tried doing it laying down but I think so far standing with knees bent works for me, but I'll definetly try.

I can't imagine nudging it in when its open but I could definetly try.

It's kind of funny, I do push down I feel it helps physically relax the muscles but I thought that might have been counterproductive.

Thank you so much!
juliiie87juliiie87 on September 3rd, 2012 11:20 am (UTC)
Pretty much all of what teacupcake89 said, I do push down during insertion and like inserting lying down as well. Also, because my cup is very soft, I run it under cold water right before use and keep it wet to help it slide in. I do use the half diamond fold as well, but I can see why it would be difficult to hold. There are other convenient folds to try, such as triangle, labia and origami, which you might like. In any case, I hope you don't think you have to hold the cup folded as long as possible, as it kinds of defeats the pupose of half diamond being one of the quickest folds to pop open.

Basically you just want the rim to be past your pubic bone so the cup has room to expand. There's no need to place it as far as it'll go, as the cup will eventually climb there on its own, due to the slickness of your body. All you need to do is make sure it's fully unfolded. And nudging the cup into place can be as simple as a couple kegels (just give the cup a squeeze as if you were trying to hold a wee mid-flow).

Oh and I forgot : angle ! Don't aim up, aim straight or even towards your a**hole ! And keep pushing down, that's definitely the way it works for me too.

Edited at 2012-09-03 11:23 am (UTC)
marley_marie on September 3rd, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
I'll look into those folds for sure.

The problem I'm having is that half of the cup itself is still outside of me, I'd like to get to the point of having just the stem (if that) outside. I thought kegels would help get the cup out, interesting.

As far as aim/angle goes, it's similar to when inserting a tampon correct?

Thank you!
teacupcake89 on September 3rd, 2012 12:20 pm (UTC)
are you inserting the cup at the right angle? you need to insert it on a sort of diagonal aiming towards your lower bottom rather than across or straight up!
the vagina also curves so you may find that the cup needs to go more 'downward diagonal' and then on an upward diagonal.

have you tried inserting a finger/pencil end etc after a relaxing bath or a clitoral orgasm? it might really help with relaxing and if it's something that doesn't matter how long it takes etc then it could help you feel more comfortable inserting something and get used to being more hand-on with yourself. :)

my hands used to cramp to beging with, I think this is pretty common but goes away once your hands get used to it! :)

have you tried the labia fold? or triangle or origami? I like the labia fold with my large fleurcup, and a sort of labia/punchdown hybrid with my small lunette. :)

also agreeing with Julie's advice! :)
marley_marie on September 3rd, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
I'm inserting it like I would a tampon, towards my tailbone. That's right, isn't it?

I can't do fingers, haven't tried anything else. It makes me nervous, even if it is in the realm of self pleasuring-I had some bad experiences when I was younger that still hold me back. I will work on it though.

I think that doing what you said, using two hands will help.

I'll definetly try the folds you guys mentioned.

Thank you for all your help!

Looking forward to reporting back soon!
juliiie87juliiie87 on September 4th, 2012 11:10 am (UTC)
Basically, what kegels do is they squeeze the muscles around your vagina, so they would also squeeze the cup and push it upwards, or a finger, penis, etc. The opposite move, pushing down, should bring your cervix lower and relax those muscles, creating more room at your entrance and therefore helping you "birthing" the cup. It would also bring it closer to said entrance.

I understand that this whole insertion process makes you nervous, still we usually advise virgins / people who aren't much acquainted with their anatomy to try some self exploration first, with a hand mirror, a finger and lots of lube and patience. It's by no means a requirement, but it would help you see and feel what you are aiming for.

Cups pretty much go in like tampons, except for the fact that you want them to unfold as soon as anatomically possible, which is usually right above your pubic bone. It could very well be that your vagina is on the short side, and that your cup will have no other option but to sit (o) around your cervix (the round flesh nub menstrual blood comes from). In that case, don't be too focused on how much of the cup gets in, before you let it go, as that'll only make it more difficult to for it to suck on air and unfold, if not impossible, if the cup somehow ends up past your cervix in a nook on one side (which can very well happen with tampons).

Alternatively, if you are aiming up, it could be that you just end up crashing against your pubic bone /urethral sponge area, which is just 1 inch or 2 inside, on the top wall. In that case, take a deep breath and try to change your angle a little bit more towards the floor.

I'm sure you'll get it very soon ! :)
marley_marie on September 9th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
Good to know re: kegels and pushing down.

I can't do fingers, it's a psychological thing I'm trying to work though.

Anyway, I am now pretty confident that I'm aiming the right way at least, lol.

How soon is too soon for the cup to open? Because if half of the cup (not including the stem) is still outside of me, are you sure I could kegel it into place or do I still need to get it in a bit more than that?
juliiie87juliiie87 on September 9th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
I'm sure it would be fine. Having the cup spring back outside of you as it unfolds is probably the only limit. To tell you the truth, my only concern when I insert is to stuff all of the rim inside and make sure it unfolds completely, the faster, the better. Because my cups of choice are very soft, I prefer using the folds that I can barely hold together and even so they don't *pop* open on their own for me, I need to poke them a litle, make room for them, etc. (which is usually just a matter of seconds). For this reason, and also in the case of a low cervix getting in the way, many users find it's actually easier to let go as soon as you can, so air reaches the top of the cup more easily. Others find they need to get the rim in the smoother, more flexible area just above the pubic bone, which should be roughly about 1 inch in. Experiment and find out what works !

PS : Not to scare you off or anything, but you do know that with cups, unlike with tampons, you'll most likel have to get at least one finger inside next to the cup to break the seal before you can yank it out ? just making sure you know what you're in for. If you're slowly getting used to this, cup use may actually help you be more comfortable with your body, in a non-sexual, non-traumatic way. Yay for that !
annabelle64: hello kittyannabelle64 on September 1st, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
yep i think it would be good to see a dr. i had hymen issues myself and after a little operation in january i'm now a happy cup user. so its worth getting checked out.

also lube, lube and more lube! thats what i've learned from roaming around the vaginapagina community.
marley_marie on September 2nd, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
If you don't mind my asking, could you give me a general idea of what the process was? I'm still not sure if it's psychological or physical, but definetly will schedule an appointment hopefully later this week (currently on my period)

I am using lots of lube but have to wipe some off so that it doesn't start slipping
annabelle64: hello kittyannabelle64 on September 3rd, 2012 01:15 pm (UTC)
of course. its a very long story.

first of all finding a dr who believed helped because drs over the years had tried to examine me and couldn't and didn't really care why to be honest. one nice dr thought i might have vaginismus but didn't really know what to do. it was only when i researched a lot that i realised why i had 2 holes down there, that my hymen was septate.

i actually went to a new dr and said i have this wrong with me. and upon examination she said yes you're right but theres 3 tiny holes, 2 of them separated by a septate band and my hymen was very thick. i'm in the uk so the gp refered me to the gynaecologist at the local hospital. when i went to the gynaecologist a couple of months later she examined me to and confirmed what the gp said. and she gave me options. leaving it and attempting to break it through sexual intercourse, using vaginal dilators to stretch it or an operation. in my case dilators wouldn't have worked because the holes were too small for even a cotton swab and it wasn't advisable to break it with intercourse because it was too thick and the gyn predicted i would probably end up in a&e. so i went the surgical route but instead of having it totally removed (a hymenectomy) i had it partially broken/partially scalpeled while i was under a general anaesthetic because to have it totally removed may have resulted in scar tissue because of the thickness of my hymen.

that was in january, i was only under for 20-30 minutes and only needed 1 disolvable stitch and i went home about 2 hours later. afterwards there was bleeding and the area was sore and tender but about 6 weeks later i started using a menstrual cup. and all of that was worth it after 8 years of trying to use tampons and getting pad rash and being so confused.

anyhoo, there is info under the hymenectomy and hymen tags on the vaginapagina lj community and there is also info on vaginismus and other psychological conditions. and a website called theclitoris.com helped me a lot. it has some graphic pictures of vulvas so beware. any questions i'd be happy to answer. i hope this helped and i hope your dr appointment goes well.
marley_marie on September 3rd, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your help! I appreciate how open you were in talking about it.

I'll definetly be looking into those websites and look forward to getting down to this.

It's so empowering!
anh06005anh06005 on September 1st, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
If you are performing dry runs remember that it is MUCH easier to insert on your period. MUCH MUCH. Just keep practicing folds and wait until you are on your period before getting aggravated. When i first started the folds were kind of difficult to hold onto as well. You will find one you are happy with and can hold. I love the 7-fold since i dont have to hold much and it is easy to coax open if need be (just slide finger up on side of fold...maybe a slight twist as well). Good luck!
marley_marie on September 2nd, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
I only practice when I am on the first two to three days of my period as thats when I'm heaviest, AND I use lube.

I'm trying to research different folds, like I said I like the half diamond and folded punch down but it's too much to hold into place. I need a fold that's not hard to hold into place but still gives relatively equal girth instead of pointed top and thicker towards the bottom, if that makes sense. One of the other members suggested using two hands so I think I'll try that.

Thank you for the help!
juliiie87juliiie87 on September 3rd, 2012 11:25 am (UTC)
Have a look at this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt6L-POE-b0

Origami and labia could work too.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on September 2nd, 2012 01:33 am (UTC)
Have you seen the Virgins Guide to Cups at the Community FAQ yet?
marley_marie on September 2nd, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
Yes I have. I did find it helpful, but I can't get a finger in (that I know is a psychological issue.)