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Can a virgin use a menstrual cup?

Can a virgin use a menstrual cup?

One of the questions we hear quite often from women all over the world is, “can a virgin use a menstrual cup?”

The short answer is, yes! You can start using a menstrual cup as soon as you get your period, no matter how old you are or whether or not you’ve had sex.

That said, we understand that many people who are virgins often have concerns about using a menstrual cup or other menstrual products designed to be worn inside the vagina. So don’t feel alone if you’re hesitant about using a menstrual cup as a virgin!

Let’s take a closer look at the concept of virginity and some of the questions we receive about using a menstrual cup as a virgin.

Understanding the concept of virginity

To start with, let’s make sure we have a shared understanding of what it means to be a virgin. By definition, a virgin is someone who has never had sexual intercourse. Conversations about virginity often refer to the hymen — a small piece of skin inside the opening of the vagina. The hymen is a very misunderstood part of the body. Many cultures view the hymen as an indication of virginity and believe that it remains “intact” until a person has sexual intercourse. 

Contrary to popular belief, however, the hymen doesn’t fully cover the vagina, and it doesn’t break or “pop.” The hymen naturally stretches and wears down over time, and may become stretched long before your first sexual experience. As you may know, many different activities can stretch the hymen, such as bike riding, yoga, dancing, or gymnastics. Some women are even born without hymens. So it’s important to not place too much significance on the state of your hymen. 

Will a menstrual cup take away your virginity? 

Your virginity is not based on a thin piece of skin, it is a simple fact about your life experience. You are a virgin if you have not had sexual intercourse, and that doesn’t change if you use a menstrual product such as a menstrual cup or a tampon. Using a menstrual cup doesn’t take away your virginity, and it does not say anything about your value as a person. 

For some people, and in many cultures, virginity is an important concept. Some people may feel like they can’t use the menstrual products they want because they are afraid it will take away their virginity, or that they will be judged for using these types of products. Women all over the world struggle with the question of whether or not it is acceptable in their religion or culture to use a menstrual cup. 

We deeply desire for each woman to have the freedom and the right to use a menstrual cup and experience the joy and ease that it can bring to her life. We need to be the voice that tells the world that the value of a woman is not determined by the state of her hymen, but by the existence of her soul.

Does using a menstrual cup break the hymen? 

As mentioned above, the hymen doesn’t actually break; it stretches. And yes, using a menstrual cup can stretch the hymen. But again, the hymen can be stretched by all sorts of activities, including something as simple as riding a bike. The cup won’t stretch your vaginal canal itself, but it may stretch your hymen. 

Are menstrual cups hard to use for a virgin? 

Menstrual cups take a little getting used to for anyone. So, don’t get discouraged if it all seems confusing! We’ve noticed two things that could cause someone to experience difficulty using a menstrual cup as a virgin: your own level of comfort, and your flexibility. 

Your level of comfort

Using a menstrual cup requires getting up close and personal with your body. You’ll need to assess your own mind and see if you feel comfortable with the thought of using an internal period product. If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with your vagina and have never used a tampon, getting comfortable with a cup may take a little more time and effort. But we believe it’s worth it! Using a menstrual cup helps many people gain a greater understanding of how their bodies work, which can be incredibly empowering.

Take it slow and give yourself some grace to figure it out. It often takes people a few cycles to really get the hang of it. We believe in you, and we wholeheartedly recommend a menstrual cup to everyone who menstruates because it truly is a life-changer! Imagine 12 hours of leak-free protection and no more worrying about soaking through pads at night! Not to mention swimming, backpacking, and all of your other favorite activities without fear of leaks or stains.

Your flexibility

The vaginal muscle of virgins or young girls can be more tense, which may make inserting a menstrual cup more difficult in the beginning. But don’t worry! Your body is stronger and more resilient than you could imagine. Your vaginal canal was created to expand when needed, and then return to its normal state, without stretching out. Otherwise, how could women ever give birth vaginally?

If you’ve never used a tampon or inserted anything into your vaginal canal, it could feel a bit uncomfortable at first. We advise you to start with a smaller cup. We have two small cups: our regular Pixie Cup small, and the Pixie Cup Luxe small. What’s the difference? The Luxe is a softer and more flexible material, which some people find more comfortable. However, some people prefer the more rigid material of our regular cup because they find that it pops open more easily. It’s really a matter of personal preference.

We also recommend that you start with the punch-down fold. There are different ways to fold your cup so that you can insert it, and your preferred method may change over time. But the punch-down fold is a great one to start with. Place your index finger on the top of the rim and press inwards to the base of the cup, forming a triangle. This gives you a small point of insertion. You may also want to use a little lubricant to help make things a little more comfortable. (We sell a really smooth Pixie Cup Lube that is AMAZING).

Click here for more detailed instructions on how to use your cup.

Do menstrual cups hurt? 

If properly inserted, a menstrual cup should not hurt. In fact, most menstrual cup users say that they can’t even feel their cup once it’s in, and they even forget they’re on their period! If your cup hurts or feels uncomfortable, there could be a few different reasons. Your cup may not be inserted properly, or you may need a different size. Try taking your cup out and reinserting it. Make sure you run a finger around the top to check for folds. If you continue to have trouble getting your cup in comfortably, try a different cup or a smaller size. We offer a 100% happiness guarantee, so if your cup doesn’t work for any reason, let us know! We’ll help you find one that does.

Can you practice using a menstrual cup when you’re not on your period?

Yes! You can absolutely practice using your cup before your period starts. In fact, we often recommend this to new cup users. If you practice using your cup when you’re not on your period, you’ll be much less nervous when it comes time to use it. If possible, practice inserting your cup when you’re not feeling rushed and you have some privacy. Because wearing a menstrual cup is not associated with toxic shock syndrome, you can leave it in for a while if you want to see how it feels, but don’t leave it in for longer than 12 hours. 

Removing your cup properly is also important. Your cup forms a seal inside the vagina, which you must break before you can remove it. Don’t simply grab the bottom and try to pull it out! Read our menstrual cup instructions for more info. Finally, make sure you always properly clean and sanitize your cup after use, even if you’re just practicing.

Can my cup get stuck up there? 

This is one of the most frequently asked questions we hear from new cup users. Don’t worry! There’s only so far your cup can go before it hits your cervix. It cannot migrate into your uterus or get lost inside your body. However, there may be times when your cup forms a tight seal up against your cervix, and it’s hard to remove. If that happens, don’t panic! It’s important to always remove your cup correctly by first breaking the seal. Pinching the base of the cup often does the trick, but if that doesn’t work, you can insert one finger alongside the cup and push the rim in. Read our blog on menstrual cup removal tips for more info.

Ready to try a menstrual cup? Visit our online store and take 10% off your first order with the code 10FIRST!

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This content was originally written on June 4, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

3 popular menstrual cup folds that even beginners can use

3 popular menstrual cup folds that even beginners can use

If you’re new to menstrual cups, it may take a little bit of practice to get used to inserting it in a way that helps your cup pop open, feels comfortable, and prevents leaks.

The way you fold your menstrual cup before inserting it can affect how it feels and sits inside your vaginal canal. You may also find certain folds easier to insert, especially when using a softer cup, such as our Pixie Cup Luxe.

Different types of menstrual cup folds

When you first get that brand-new Pixie Cup in your hands, your first thought might be something like, “How in the world is this supposed to fit in there?!” We’re going to share with you the three most popular menstrual cup folding techniques.

If these don’t work out for you, our favorite menstrual cup gurus over at Put A Cup in It have an awesome page (with videos!) on 9 Great Menstrual Cup Folds.

Menstrual cup folding technique #1: The C fold

The C fold is the most common fold and often a favorite with our #PixieFamily. This is a popular fold because you can do it with one hand, and you can do it very quickly. However, this fold can easily pop open before you want it to, so it may not be the best fold for beginners. It also results in a larger point of insertion than the folds discussed below.

To create this fold, start with the cup pinched flat and then fold it in half so that it makes a “C” or “U” shape.

menstrual cup folds: the C fold

Menstrual cup folding technique #2: The 7 fold

Use both of your hands to pinch the rim of your Pixie Cup flat. Then, take one side and fold it diagonally towards the base of the cup so the rim looks like a 7.

This cup creates a fairly small point of insertion and also gives you more control over when you want the cup to pop open.

menstrual cup folds: the 7 fold

Menstrual cup folding technique #3: The punch-down fold

For this fold, start by holding the body of your cup in one hand. With your free hand, place your finger on the rim of the cup, then push it down and pinch it to hold the position. This fold might be the most comfortable because it has a small insertion point, which makes it great for beginners. It also tends to work well with softer cups.

Once the cup is inserted, give it a push at the base to make the rim pop open.

menstrual cup folds: the punch-down fold

Inserting your menstrual cup

First of all, know that everyone is different. Inserting your Pixie Cup might be a bit awkward at first. Give yourself time to get familiar with your vaginal canal and figure out what works best for you.

Pick a fold and practice it a few times to get a good idea of how the cup will unfold once it’s inside you.

We recommend that you grab 2-3 pumps of Pixie Cup Lube (designed specifically for silicone cups) or another water-based lubricant and generously coat the rim and upper body of the cup.

Get into position

Now get into a comfortable position (you might find it easier to squat with your knees open the first few times) and insert the cup with one hand. Keep in mind that you aren’t inserting your cup straight up in a vertical line. Your vaginal canal slopes at an angle back towards your bum (try aiming for your tailbone).

Pop your cup open

Release the fold once the rim of the cup is securely inside the vaginal canal. After you release it, make sure the cup fully opens and seals around your vaginal canal to avoid leaks. You may feel a “pop” when the cup opens. Learn more about getting your menstrual cup to pop open

Check the seal

Slide your finger all the way around the rim of the cup after it’s completely inserted. If you feel any dips, it means that you cup isn’t open, and might leak. Wiggling or twisting your cup should make the dip or fold fully open.

You’ll know that the cup is in the right position if you can’t feel it, it’s not leaking, and no part of the cup is sticking outside of you.

It might take a bit of trial and error to find the best insertion method for your body. But once you get it down, inserting your cup will be a piece of cake!

Watch Meg demonstrate the punch-down fold and the C-fold: 

Ready to switch to menstrual cups?

Ready to give menstrual cups a try? Find out which menstrual cup is best for you. Our weekly newsletter also offers tons of menstrual cup tips. Sign up now and you’ll receive 10% off your first Pixie Cup purchase!

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This blog post is an excerpt from our e-book, All About Menstrual Cups: A Simple Guide to Anything + Everything Period Cup Related.