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I am a cloth pad user who might be interested in a cup for those times when I would normally use a tampon. I am not yet convinced that I could actually get a cup in there, but I'm intrigued--especially by the new-to-the-U.S. femmycycle. I am in my 30s, but I am a virgin. I also have super small hands. My longest fingers are only about 2 1/4 inches long with, of course, a smaller length than that available for actually probing.

I see people here saying that the cervix will feel like the tip of your nose or like a hard bump (and immediately beyond this bump would be the opening to the uterus). I do have a very noticeable hard bump on my vaginal wall *less than 3/4 of an inch in*. Insofar as my tiny finger will go, I CAN put the finger in higher than the bump (note that I absolutely cannot put two fingers in ANYwhere). So I don't think my uterus immediately follows this bump unless the uterus has an opening wide enough for a small finger (?).

So what is this noticeably hard bump? Is that indeed the sign of a freakishly low cervix? (If so, should I be worried? E.g., would it effect my ability to have sex in the future or to carry a baby without pre-term birth?) If this bump has nothing to do with the cervix, then I guess it is impossible for me to know if I have a low, medium, or high cervix for lack of finger length. (How do women with anything but low cervixes ever feel their cervix, I wonder; my fingers may be small, but it seems ultra-long fingers would be required?) Anyhow, if I do not know what kind of cervix I have, I guess it would also be impossible to know what length of cup I need? (I would still tend assume small just b/c my torso is disproportionately short for my body.) I did try to have a female exam once but was too tight. Since my complaint was an exterior rash, we just dealt with that, and the doctor told me not to bother with an exam in the future until I am sexually active.

Finally, if I can only stick my finger roughly one inch inside of me due to my finger only being 2 inches long, would it even be feasible to use a cup? Offhand, it would seem not to me. So maybe all my research was in vain? TIA!
 
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 22nd, 2013 12:05 am (UTC)
That hard bump is most likely the "back side" of your pubic bone. You might be feeling a very low cervix but more likely, you are coming up against your pelvic floor (PC) muscles which you seem to be clenching rather tightly. You already know how to relax them enough to insert a tampon so "do that" to insert your finger. Beyond your pelvic floor will be your vagina, which is where your tampon or a cup sits. Since you've got your finger there, give it a little squeeze. Now that you know how to contract your PC on command, practice relaxing it on command -- which is what you'll have to do for cup insertion and especially removal.

http://www.the-clitoris.com/ is a very good site about the female anatomy and what to do with it. But WARNING: the photos there are VERY FRANK, up close and personal, and leave NOTHING to the imagination. There is also R and X rated advertising. Please do not surf the site if you think you'll be offended and be very careful about who might suddenly peer over your shoulder if you do.
djs429 on July 22nd, 2013 01:22 am (UTC)
Thank you. The pubic bone makes sense, especially since I did use to regularly stuff tampons (via applicator) much higher. (I can't use OB or applicator-less tampons.) Also, if the hard bump I am supposed to feel for is the donut-shaped thing pictured on that site, that would not be on the side of the vagina so much as at its top, it seems. The bump I reference is very hard and definitely contains no opening in and of itself. So it must just be the pubic bone.

SO... if that is my pelvic floor, my finger *literally* is not long enough to reach more than 1/4 inch beyond my pelvic floor. Maybe if I reached from the back, just maybe I could get it another 1/4-1/2 inch up, although that would be awkward and give me far less control than a squatting position. It certainly sounds like menstrual cups will not be feasible with my short fingers (?).

Fwiw, I never had to relax to get my tampons in, but I did have to insert them at a very specific angle in order to get them in without hurting. Maybe if I were more relaxed any angle would have worked? I have occasionally done Kegels but don't have a clue how I would get them to relax more. I know that sometimes if I am super-super-duper aroused like when I am just starting to hanker after a guy and wonder about the possibilities of an us, I am aware of feeling more open down there, but it really takes a lot before I feel that. In fact that sensation has been so rare that I made a note to myself that if I was aware of feeling like that again I would interrupt that thought to go get a mirror out to try to figure my body out, lol. I have tried to "think it" into being before with no success.

I appreciate your help!
teacupcake89 on July 22nd, 2013 09:36 am (UTC)
squatting shortens the vagina so that would probably be the best position for you to insert and remove a cup (over the toilet/sitting on the edge of toilet or bath tub)

that specific angle you inserted tampons at is the same angle that you use to insert a cup (or a finger etc) the vagina slants down diagonally towards the base of your back/tailbone not horizontally/vertically.

Seconding the suggestion the get a cup with a long stem, a Si-bell would be a good option as it's very soft (so comfortable to insert) and has a long thin flexible stem, some cup users have said they don't even need to break the seal to remove their si-bell, just pull on the stem!

don't forget you can use lots of water based lubricant on yourself (like KY jelly) or coconut oil to help insert the cup (the same goes for your finger, a sex toy/penis etc)

:)
juliiie87juliiie87 on July 22nd, 2013 09:51 am (UTC)
I would not underestimate Kuradi8's comment about clenching your pelvic floor. For me, relaxing (which is what I have to do for insertion and removal) is a bit like gently peeing, just to quite as strongly as to actually push anything out. I also find that squatting, while it tends to make the canal shorter so my cervix gets closer, also makes things tighter. That's why sitting on the toile,t relaxed, knees splayed wide or lying on my back as for a gyno exam are my favorite positions for insertions, it feels like it helps things loosen up. The good news, if you can't reach your cervix and you were able to insert tampons higher, is that you could do with a longer cup, which would make it easier to reach and grab for removal. Examples include Yuuki, Natural mamma and Divacup but I wouldn't recommend this one due to a short stem and small anti-suction holes. I also agree with the si-bell rec, and why not, the femmycycle since you don't have to make it pop open and there's a long loop. Compare your options here :
http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/

But whatever you choose, it'll have to sit above your PF muscles. Tihgtness is a function of those, once you're passed that point, everything should feel smooth and fairly loose, that's why most of us don't feel our cup, it just sits in that pocket of flesh. Everything except for the cervix which *is* the base/entry to your uterus, which is mostly closed so nothing can get there but an IUD if the doctor forces it through, or sperm.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 22nd, 2013 12:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, getting more familiar with your body is a good step prior to choosing a cup. A hand mirror and flashlight are good for the external parts. And getting comfortable with insertion is a good step too. A "slim" vibe or dong might be a good investment if you don't have one already. Or you can use something like a clean hairbrush handle (etc) if its size and shape appeals to you.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 22nd, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC)
Replying to myself to add:
When you're looking at cup sites, IGNORE THE ILLUSTRATIONS and the directions for the cups to "sit low." The illustration that shows the cup way down by the entrance of the vagina with a cup-length or more between the rim and the cervix is JUST PLAIN WRONG! Why, oh why do cup manufacturers perpetuate that image???

In real life ANY cup will settle (O) around your cervix and should more or less "fill" the body of the vagina. The depth of the base of the cup will be relative to the length of the vagina and the length of the body of the cup. It should be above the pelvic floor.

If the cup is much shorter, it will be hard to reach for removal and (what we call) a "dangly" cervix could fill a short cup, leaving very little room for flow.

If the cup is too long, it will press on or poke through the pelvic floor, which will feel uncomfortable and "stuffing it in there" could push the opening off its target of the cervix.

Note: the cervix is not necessarily at the "top" of a vagina, just like your face is not at the top of your head.

Sorry, this isn't coming out well. I hope you can piece together what I'm trying to say. ;o)
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on July 22nd, 2013 03:13 am (UTC)
Welcome! I wouldn't necessarily give up yet, even with your small fingers. One option is to try and find a cup with a really long stem, so you'll never have to reach in very far to grab it and you can always trim any portion that ends up being too long for you. Melissa's website has a chart that shows both the actual cup lengths and the lengths of each of their stems: http://menstrualcupinfo.wordpress.com/cup-stiffness-comparison-chart/

Another possibility for measuring yourself--do you have any, uh, toys you could try out and see how far they can be inserted comfortably? Or a significant other with fingers longer than yours? (Admittedly, I've never been able to find my cervix--mine is just extremely high so even a 3" finger can't reach it--and my BF's fingers are the same length as mine so he's no help. I'm also a pianist and overly preoccupied with people's hand sizes. lol)

Best of luck!
mech_chick on July 22nd, 2013 05:52 am (UTC)
Thought I'd jump in and reassure you that even if you did have a low cervix, sex shouldn't be an issue because your vagina gets a lot longer when aroused, which is called vaginal tenting according to wikipedia. Not that I've tested this out, being a virgin also, but I can relate to that particular concern. This is the kind of stuff they should really teach us in health at school. It would have saved me a little anxiety lol.
Back to cups though, maybe one with a ring stem would be good. That way you could tie a string to it if you're concerned about reaching it and it would be easier for just one finger too.
djs429 on July 22nd, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much to everyone for the help.

I think the most reassuring thing stated was tying a string. However it still seems to me that if I literally can barely get a finger past the pubic bone (not b/c I am too tight but b/c my finger is too short), and if I cannot get more than one finger in without tearing my hymen (which is very much the case; I guess I have an extra lot of hymen; it seems looser and wider inside), then the proper placement (or even the initial insertion) of any cup is perhaps wildly unrealistic. And it is a little dicey counting on a string for removal, I think. I keep reading your comments trying to see other possibilities and coming up with squat. Some of the good suggestions you have made are things I have already tried that are simply impossible. And there is no way I am lying on the floor every time I need to insert; that just doesn't fit my situation, so if more normally sized women have to do that, count me out. If someone had passed a femmycycle that they did not want on to me, I would certainly experiment. But I cannot put money down for something that seems like a recipe for failure.

I hope your suggestions will help another virgin here though. Thank you!
djs429 on July 23rd, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
Thanks again for your friendly help. This discussion inspired me to look up hymen stretching to see if it is a "thing," and indeed it is. I already began the process a little today, although dang it if I know how to keep nails from hurting me. Whether or not these short fingers will ever make a cup doable, it seems like w/ my extraordinarily small opening it is simply a good idea. E.g, although it is likely that first time sex when I marry will have its challenges, the challenges are pretty outrageous with that small of an opening. I don't want to be in so much pain that he cannot touch me for another week or simply cannot get in. And just maybe I will find that in stretching I can envision ways to make a cup work. Ty.
sofia_airodebas on July 24th, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
I won't comment on the stretching because I don't know much about it. As for your short fingers, it will depend on how long your vagina is. I take myself as an example, my cup sits very low (because I have a short vagina) and I normally don't need to put my fingers further than my first knuckle to get the cup out (or in), I just need to kegel it out a bit and I can easily reach the base of the cup. So, if you find out you have a short vagina, and you get a cup that is suitable for that length, your short fingers shouldn't be a problem!
All the luck and take your time!
djs429 on July 26th, 2013 04:11 am (UTC)
Thanks for the additional thoughts. :) I'm not sure when I will find out how long or short my vagina is--as, well, yeah... no way of knowing until I am married and have a proper exam.

I've also read more from some ladies here about the femmycycle that intrigued me so much... enough to realize that it most likely would be a bad fit for me, period. And I'd already sort of ruled out the other brands as not ones I want to try. If I do some day discover I have a high cervix I may return and try the femmycycle, but I seriously doubt that I do.

As for fingers, my thought is that with as far as I can get one finger in (mind you, still one finger, so no gripping abilities) it would actually be quite uncomfortable to have a stem that low whether or not my vagina is short. It would pretty much have to be peeking out just about like a tampon string.

Just b/c I am the type of person who likes to research things, I may still come here to read now and then. But I think I am more than comfortable now with the idea of never using a MC--sticking to cloth pads and the occasional organic tampon.