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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
Hi everyone! This is one of a series of general advice and information posts that will be used to build a FAQ for new users. I don't have the expertise to give all the advice, so anyone that wants to pitch in, please do.

What techniques and advice do you have for a new user that can't get a cup in?
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titaniumtrinitytitaniumtrinity on July 17th, 2014 09:38 pm (UTC)
I owned my cup for a couple years before I started using it regularly, and what stopped me was that I could never insert it easily or without pain. I'd been using the punch down fold because the package directions made that one sound easier for beginners. But the issue was that that fold creates a small tip to insert, but then it widens to a "corner" that hurt a lot the few times I managed to get it in. On a whim I tried the C fold and it was so much easier! The C fold also opens really easily, I found I needed to use two hands to hold it closed until it was most of the way in, then let it open and push it up as far as it wanted to go. Moral of the story is to try a bunch of folds, maybe one of the more complicated ones will work for you. (BTW I have a diva cup size 1)
titaniumtrinitytitaniumtrinity on July 17th, 2014 11:56 pm (UTC)
Oh and also to try different positions. Some folks like to squat, or do the one foot up on the toilet thing, for me it works best just sitting down with legs apart, probably because in that position it's easiest to relax.
denisecarpetfish on July 22nd, 2014 04:06 pm (UTC)
May I share how I sorted the punch down problem? I too liked the small insertion point but got stuck at the wide corner...what I ended up doing is put it in as far as it will go (eg halfway to corner), then I use my index finger to push in the corner and also roll it inwards, in effect converting it into a C-fold halfway. Pops like a charm every time too! :)

This works well with my Si-bell and Fleur...don't know if it would work with a thick-rimmed cup though. Hope this helps someone!
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 18th, 2014 01:24 pm (UTC)
Try several different folds, and if you still can't get it in then DON'T. Pick another product and come back to the cup later when you think you are more mentally and/or physically ready. Inserting, wearing or removing your cup should not be something that you dread.

If you think your hymen is in the way, read the Virgin's Guide to Cups at http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/1243131.html To see your hymen, sit on the floor with your knees up and splayed, spread your labia and you'll be able to see it with a hand mirror and a flashlight/torch.

If you think you're "too tight" then next time after you go pee, insert your finger into your vagina and give it a little squeeze. That's your pelvic floor. Now that you know how to clench those muscles, practice RELAXING them on command. Cups sit above them. You will need to relax them for insertion and again for removal -- and then you can go back to holding them as tightly as you normally do.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on July 20th, 2014 03:00 pm (UTC)
More information about "tightness".

Also, a virgin should generally be able to insert two fingers before using cups. I'm a virgin myself (and I was 20 when I switched to cups), and I remember seeing the advice about stretching the hymen. A good time to stretch is when you are relaxed, perhaps in the shower/bath/sauna. Within a month I was able to insert three fingers, something that previously seemed impossible.

Consider also learning to insert something that's not your own finger - initially you'll probably have to look and maybe use a mirror. A narrow object is the best, perhaps the "blunt" side of a pen or toothbrush. Don't try to insert them as deep as they go, just get them past your hymen. And of course be sure to clean them first.
elisamba on July 20th, 2014 06:30 am (UTC)
Ask yourself whether it is difficult because you are on a dry run. I'd rather see the "avoid dry runs" advice for beginners under the insertion FAQ, rather than the "can't get it out" FAQ, at which point it is a bit late!

On a dry run you are not lubricated, your cervix is probably higher, your muscles are tighter, and most importantly, you won't have any flow to decrease the suction upon removal.

So wait until your period is in full swing, maybe day two, if it's your first try.
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on July 20th, 2014 12:11 pm (UTC)
The labia fold is foolproof for me (provided you have a standard-construction cup--this won't work for the Femmycycle or Lilycup) http://menstrualcupforteens.wordpress.com/folds-and-insertion/

For my Lily I prefer to use the half-diamond fold--fewer folds work with this cup and it's harder to pop open because it's so soft.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on July 20th, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
If your cup seems too soft, read the faq on soft cups and popping open instead of rushing to buy a stiffer cup.
m03m on July 24th, 2014 03:04 pm (UTC)
Consider using lube. If your cup is made from latex (the Keeper), then stay away from anything oilbased; if your cup is made from silicone (most brands), stay away from anything silicone-based.
Generally, waterbased lube works fine; most people prefer a lube to be glycerine-free.
For silicone cups, coconut oil is a cheap and good alternative. Not sure whether it's compatible with TPE (Meluna) though.

If you are using lube, put it on your vulva and vaginal entrance, not on the cup, as it would get way too slippery to hold.
m03m on July 24th, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
Beside using different folds, also try turning the folded cup so the folded side is oriented differently. Most of us have a softer spot on the back of the vaginal canal, and a harder spot on the front, because of the pubic bone. Turning the cup in different ways may help it to enter and open more easily.